Posts Tagged 'Slice of Laodicea'

This can only be brief, but it only needs to be. Here, Slice says: “Shack Author Denies Substitutionary Atonement.” I’m sorry to say, that this is simply not true. What the author denied is the Penal version of Substitionary atonement. The author of The Shack specifically states that he believes in some form of substitution and quotes 2 Corinthians 5:19 in support of it. It is simply not true that the author denied substitution. What he denied is the Reformed Calvinist version of substitution. What he denies is the penal version of the substitution. I think the author of Slice needs to correct the title of her post because Young specifically states that he believes in some form of substitution.

Now, just a couple of finer points. The person conducting the interview with Young states at the end a whole list of people, one who even did one whole sermon on The Shack that included ten whole points (!; talk about avoiding the Gospel!) (and others like Driscoll, Mohler as if anyone outside the SBC cares what Mohler thinks; as if we are not people with minds and can think on our own without these all powerful guardians; as if Driscoll is always right and never wrong and the ADM’s are always for Driscoll), who are ‘opposed’ to the book The Shack. What they didn’t do is include a whole list of people, theologians and preachers alike, who are not opposed to The Shack and there are many. The interview itself was little more than the interviewer trying his damnedest to convince Young that there is a literal hell (even after Young stated that he believed in Hell as literal). Young was gracious, but he was in the lion’s den. The interviewer was just beside himself that Young denied penal substitution is central to the Gospel. When Young tried to point out that there is actually great debate about this right now, the interviewer didn’t seem to care too much.

Young stated unequivocally, “I believe the only hope for any of us is Jesus.” That’s pretty clear to me. However, denial of the penal substitution is not a denial of the Gospel. It is a denial of a particular interpretation of the Gospel. There are many, many, many theologians who deny that penal substitution is the ‘core’ of the Gospel. Consider the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:

1Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

3For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 6After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

9For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 11Whether, then, it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.

The author of Slice needs to correct her post to reflect the truth because as it stands, it is simply wrong. Again, a denial of penal substitution is not the same as a denial of the Gospel. It is only in the minds of Reformed Calvinists and The Shack haters that penal substitution is the center of the Gospel. I don’t think you will find it in the Scripture.*

*The author of Slice does have it correct in her post, but not in her title. The title is misleading. The rest stands on it’s own as a criticism of what one considers ‘gospel.’

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Well, I have recently become a big fan of Mark Driscoll because he preached a sermon from 1 Timothy that was timely and helped me a lot, but today I became a bigger fan of Ingrid Schlueter. Thanks to Ingrid, I now have a couple of very important links to VERY important web pages. (Sex.) Since I don’t read Mr Driscoll’s sex stuff, I would have never known about these links if not for you! Thanks! (Sex.)

On the other hand, I have to sort of chastise Mark Driscoll today. You see, I have steadfastly avoided his ’sex’ talk (sex) because, in my humble opinion, I don’t think there is a place for it in the pulpit. I know, I know. That runs against the grain of many people in my generation, but sex in the pulpit is to me like sex in the oval office: There should be more respect. That’s my opinion and I’m not trying to foist it upon anyone else. (Sex.) Like I said, the best person to ask about sex within a marriage is your spouse. As a preacher, I won’t talk about it; as a parishioner, I don’t want to hear it. But that’s me and it doesn’t have to be anyone else. I don’t preach in Seattle. (Sex.)

That said, Driscoll really let me down today with this post: Spiritual Disciplines: Chastity. Man, Mark, are you nuts? Here’s what Driscoll wrote:

Chastity is the fasting from all sexual activity for the purpose of holiness. The best example of chastity in all of Scripture is Jesus Christ, who never married and never committed any sin, including sexual sin (Hebrews 4:15). As an unmarried man, Jesus is the perfect example of appropriate male-female loving friendships that do not violate propriety or holiness in any way. The Scriptures command God’s people in numerous different verses to remain chaste in both their actions and appearances [...]

I was starting lose confidence in Driscoll, now he goes and writes something like this. I’m wondering if there will be any blog posts from certain bloggers today praising Driscoll for this post? No one even uses the word ‘chas…’…what was it again?…chas…’ oh, nevermind. (Sex.)

Attention Mark Driscoll: Boring! (Sex.)

I’ll let ‘the remnant’ have the last word:

God help you, Mr. Driscoll, and God help the so called Christian leaders who support him in it. You’re no longer going to do it in a corner, because the remnant is blowing the whistle. [My emphasis.]

Mr Driscoll, be afraid. Be very afraid. (Sex) It appears that now, God help you, you have been handed over to the satan. (Sex.)

I’m done.  I’m going home. All this talk about sex is making me anxious.  :)

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It’s an interesting thing the internet. I love that we can share ideas, thoughts, and dialogue. I’m also a big fan of being able to use the internet and blogs in particular to share the love of Christ. Sometimes I wonder what an uniformed not-Christian might think if they read this:

John the Baptist didn’t whimper around about “praying for those in authority” like Rick Warren has, as cover for self-promotion and thinly veiled political ambition. John the Baptist rebuked King Herod for his adultery. Then again, he lost his head for it. There is no danger of Rick Warren losing his head for what he’s about to do. Three resounding cheers to Joseph Farah for publicly stating the obvious about Warren’s fawning sycophancy of Barack Obama. He begins his letter with this excellent sentence: [...]

I didn’t realize that President-elect Obama had committed adultery. I didn’t realize the USA advocated chopping off anyone’s head. I didn’t realize preachers were only called to pray for those with whom they agreed. I didn’t realize that Joseph Farah was a moral majority who had any authority over the daily schedule of Rick Warren. I didn’t realize it was against the law or Scripture for Rick Warren to have political ambition (not that I’m saying he does; who cares?) You know, the more these ADM’s write against certain folks, the more I find myself siding with certain folks. These people need to get real jobs.

You know, the author of this is correct. John the Baptizer didn’t whimper about about such things as ‘praying for those in authority.’ Why on earth would we want to do that? However, Paul did.

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time. 7And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles. 8I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing. (1 Timothy 2:1-8)

Hmmm….who should we listen to…the one who doesn’t seem to know Scripture (or at least only remembers the parts they desire to remember) or the Scripture?

Sola Scriptura my ass. More like ‘Sola the Scripture I Wish to Remember’. Or Sola Joseph Farah. I wonder what will happen to us if we don’t pray for Pres-elect Obama? God have mercy!

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The author of Slice is on the prowl again…searching for someone to devour…and she found her victim. A church was donated $3 millions by someone who won the lottery. The author of Slice is unhappy that the church is praising God because this happened commenting: “See? Gambling does pay off!” The author of Slice did not tell her readers this part:

Crabbe said that only he and his wife, Jennifer, know the identity of the donor, whose only stipulation was anonymity. The donor bought the $10 ticket in Middle Island on July 19 and told Crabbe the same day. The congregation’s 12-member leadership board spent the next week deciding what to do.

Eventually, they decided, “we’re giving that whole first year away,” said Melissa Joles, of the church planning team.

The bulk of the first-year money, $102,225 after taxes, would go to Love’, a New Haven-based charity that looks to end child sex trafficking. The Lighthouse Mission in Patchogue, which feeds the poor, and Prodigal House in Port Jefferson Station, a halfway home for boys, will also get donations. After that, the church has promised to tithe at least 20 percent of the earnings and use the rest for a bigger meeting place.

Isn’t it strange that the author of Slice would complain about this? Those heretics!! I am simply floored at the half-truth reporting by SOL. To the author of Slice: When are you going to get it? When will you stop telling half-truths? When will you stop criticizing everything you see just because you can? I am almost persuaded that the author of Slice posted this in jest. One can only hope.

Soli Deo Gloria!

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I’m supposed to be on hiatus this week as I begin moving into our new house and all, but something at SOL caught my eye this morning and I don’t want to let it pass without a comment or two.

Before I object to something in the post, I want to state upfront that I agree with this statement, “You cannot be a Christian and support the killing of un-born babies.” I am opposed to abortion on demand and the wholesale slaughter of children (even as I am opposed to the wholesale ‘putting away’ of the elderly in nursing homes or white vans owned by Jack Kevorkian). Murder, what the Bible calls enmity in Genesis 3:15 and elsewhere, is a terribly heinous sin and is perpetuated as the seed of the serpent goes about the business of trying to annihilate the seed of the woman. I am not, please note, not disagreeing with this particular point of the OP.

Having said that, I also came across this sentence (this quote is from Dave Daubenmire’s article that the author of Slice excerpted) that sort of bugged me. I’m not posting this because I agree or disagree (although I am leaning towards disagreement) at this point, but rather to stimulate some wholesome thinking and hopefully learn something. Daubemire wrote (admittedly, there is no other context aside from what the author of Slice excerpted, but I think I am not misunderstanding what he is saying):

No wonder we are losing the battle for this nation.

Now here’s my question: Is the battle we are fighting really for ‘this nation’? Is that really the war we are engaged in right now? I have to say, with all due respect, because in this instance I am perfectly willing to learn–that is, I’m not entirely certain of my position–that this doesn’t seem to be true. (I could ask if anyone thinks RW should have been tougher on the abortion issue, but that’s another post.) You see, I think here I agree again with Ellul who wrote this: “The church lets itself be seduced, invaded, dominated by the ease with which it can now spread the Gospel by force (another force than that of God) and use its influence to make the state, too, Christian. It is great acquiescence to the temptation Jesus himself resisted, for when Satan offered to give him all the kingdoms of the earth, Jesus refuses, but the church accepts, not realizing from whom it is receiving the kingdoms.” (The Subversion of Christianity, 124)

My point here is that if we are in a ‘battle for this nation’ are we not settling? I mean, is a merely Christian America the goal here? Is that why I wake up and pray every day? Is that why I preach? Is that why I sing? Is it God’s ambition that every business, every corporation, every entity in America, be Christianized? I know, I know: “Your Kingdom come, your will be done…” Yes. But if our vision doesn’t extend beyond the borders of America, are we not selling short the prayer? God’s vision is universal, cosmic, not merely local or national. When we pray, “your Kingdom Come,” does that mean, ‘Your Kingdom come in America?’ as in ’smite all the heretical enemies of America so the truly elect can get on with the business of Eden in America? Is that what Jesus had in mind?

With all due respect to Mr Daubemire, I am not fighting a battle for this nation any more than I am fighting a battle for the community where I live. Mostly I’m fighting a battle within myself (Romans 7) and often I’m losing–more often than I am winning. So my question to you is this: Are we, Christians (or for you good Reformed folks, the Elect), fighting a battle for America? Is that our particular calling at this particular moment in the history of the universe?  Ever? (On a side note, I might ask if RW is really the reason we are ‘losing the battle for America, but again, that’s another post as I don’t happen to think that what goes on at Saddleback is necessarily indicative of what goes on in most churches in America.) And do we really think that abortion is the issue in this battle? It goes back to Genesis 3:15 and the enmity. America is fond of killing in general; we invent ways of doing it; we glamorize it in films and Law and Order reruns; we are obsessed with killing. We have all sorts of reasons for murdering, but they are all murder. Abortion is a symptom and a consequence of the greater problem we have in the world, not a specifically American franchise.

What do you think? Does Ephesians 6 here play any role in this? Is there a battle for the soul of America that Christians are engaged in? (This sounds very political, and I am tres skeptical of the church being involved in politics at any level.) I’ll be interested in reading your thoughts. Please try hard to stay on topic and not railroad this post. Thanks in advance.

Soli Deo Gloria!

PS-please don’t read this and assume that I am either a) pro-abortion or b) anti-America. I am neither and if you accuse me of being so, I will sic merry on you or Rick or iggy or all three at the same time.

PPS-shame on Daubemire for laying all this at the feet of RW! Even if we are ‘losing the battle for America,’ it is hardly just to pile that at the feet of one person, especially RW. Fact is, all of us are guilty at some level. All of us bear the shame and responsibility for the sin of this nation.

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I’ll apologize at the outset for the offensive title to this blog post, but it is really the only way to say what I am thinking after reading Ingrid’s latest drive by display of ignorance. I am angry though about her most recent outburst against the Body of Christ. She was so willing to make a hit against someone that I don’t believe for a minute that she even listened to the sermon she criticizes. I am simply astounded that she has criticized this sermon delivered at the Grace Church. Here’s part of what Ingrid wrote:

Please take just ten minutes to watch the video. After watching it, you can vote on the website as to whether Christ was glorified or something else. You can forward past the out of tune guitar and singer, and just listen to what the pastor has to say.

We have been so far removed from Christ-centered worship, most evangelicals wouldn’t recognize it if they saw it. Worse still, because of a lack of biblical knowledge, the Scriptural metaphors and references within this hymn wouldn’t have any meaning to most reared at a circus church. We are generations deep now in biblical illiteracy, and that’s why the church and professing believers are in the condition they are.

See also the comments at Truth Matters where even more ignorance is on display. Here’s what the author there says:

When you have a spare 10 minutes, please go to the video link below. Before you get to the senior pastor’s introduction you will have to listen to the music director sing and then an associate pastor speak for about 2 minutes, then watch the Pastor’s introduction. The whole thing is very painful to watch. [You can also vote in their ridiculous poll which, predictably, favors a negative reaction. In fact, I had the only positive vote out of 33 or so.]

I suspect the reason why neither Ingrid nor the author of Truth Matters got it, and why they found the whole thing ‘painful’ is because they only watched 10 minutes of it, if they watched it at all.Well, just so you know, I watched the entire clip and I can say without reservation that this sermon was profoundly biblical in every aspect. I’ll only add a few caveats. First, he did look ridiculous in the Superman costume. But I suspect that he was playing the doppleganger by dressing in such an ironic way. Second, his outline was a bit difficult to follow, but he evidently provided outlines for the congregation. Third, he dealt with the Scripture from front to back. Fourth, aggghhh…he had people stand when he read the Word of God in order to, are you ready for this, ‘honor the Word of God.’ What a heretic!!!* (*Sarcastic)

Please someone tell me: What was painful about what he said? What was unbiblical about it? What did not glorify God? Mrs Schlueter, with all due respect here, did you even listen to what he preached? I am simply floored that they are bent about this message. The main part of the message, the overarching point was this: We are useless to God if we don’t forgive. How is that unbiblical? How is that painful? I’ll conclude by noting the main outline which follows this question: How can we be Biblical Supermen and Superwomen. Then I’ll note just a few bullet points that I picked up.

How can We be Biblical Supermen?

  • The Biblical Superman puts his faith in the death and Resurrection of Jesus. Put your faith in Jesus.
  • The Biblical Superman is committed to the local church in prayer, worship, teaching, fellowship, and accountability (and a few others)
  • The Biblical Superman is active in serving Christ, using his gifts and talents.
  • The Biblical Superman is always looking for divine appointments (This was really a brilliant point)
  • The Biblical Superman is bold enough to share Jesus with others.
  • The Biblical Superman takes responsibility for his actions.
  • The Biblical Superman chooses to forgive.

Can someone point out to me, because after 13 years of preaching I guess I have missed the point, but can someone point out to me at what point this outline fails to honor God? Can someone point out to me how this is ‘painful’? This is one of the most biblically derived, expository outlines I have seen in a long, long time. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this outline or the delivery or his exegesis or his orthodoxy. He argues for Pauline authorship, he tells us the historical circumstances that prompted the writing, he argues, first, that it is faith in the Work of Christ that makes the letter to Philemon possible in the first place.

I’m offering a challenge right now to the author of Truth Matters and the author of Slice: Point out one aspect of that sermon that was unorthodox or unbiblical. He dealt with the text from front to back. Offer one example of his failure and I will stop writing here. You cannot do it.

Now some bullet points in conclusion (these are a few things I picked up and wrote down, there was much more!):

  • If you are harboring bitterness, God cannot use you.
  • God sets up divine appointments.
  • Philemon=loving
  • Onesimus=useful
  • Real biblical supermen choose to forgive.
  • The grace of God makes us brand new
  • Repent.
  • Put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Man is never more like God than when he chooses to forgive.
  • The news of the Gospel is that God forgives sins no matter how ugly they are.
  • We are NOT supermen.
  • Paul is asking Philemon to forgive Onesimus
  • Sometimes when people hurt us it is part of God’s plan for spiritual renewal (ie. salvation)
  • Forgiveness always refreshes the body of Christ.

The church sang. They prayed. The stood when the Word was read–and to be sure, they only read, for the purposes of the sermon, three verses! (Even though he read nearly half the book in the context of the message.) They talked of forgiveness and grace and repentance and Scripture and love. I counted the word ‘grace’ at least six times on the website where I watched the video. Just so you know, I am writing this defense of the preacher who preached that sermon because I know he wouldn’t do so himself. What I fear is that some lost person will happen along Slice or TM and be turned off to the sermon without giving it a chance. But I’ll say this: If I was lost and heard that sermon I would be convicted that Jesus is Lord. I am not lost and I am convicted of the Lordship of Christ after hearing that sermon. What a blessing.

Ingrid: Give the sermon more than ten minutes. TM: Give the sermon more than ten minutes. Get through the pain of being confronted with the command from Scripture to forgive and listen to what the preacher has to say. You have both missed it entirely! Oh my God, it is so sad, so pathetic that these two blogs have run down this preacher, Christ’s body, this sermon for no reason whatsoever. Oh My God! I am convinced, and becoming more so with every blog post I read at SOL, that there is something seriously, seriously wrong with their point of view.

Ingrid wrote:

We have been so far removed from Christ-centered worship, most evangelicals wouldn’t recognize it if they saw it. Worse still, because of a lack of biblical knowledge, the Scriptural metaphors and references within this hymn wouldn’t have any meaning to most reared at a circus church. We are generations deep now in biblical illiteracy, and that’s why the church and professing believers are in the condition they are.

The preacher spent nearly a third of the sermon (at least a third, maybe more) explaining and re-explaining the history and background and text of the book to Philemon. He did his part to eliminate biblical illiteracy and he is criticized and it is said that the sermon and worship ‘did not honor God’?!?!?!?!?!? My guess is that the people at Grace Church are not among the biblically illiterate. I suspect this is a church that is very good condition–especially if their preacher preaches like this every single week.

Wow. I think it is time to put SOL and TM into the heap of irrelevance. They ought to be ashamed for attacking that message, that preacher, that church in such a way. Shame on you, SOL!! And shame on you, TM!! You have no ground to stand on in your criticism of this man or his message. And I think I know of what I speak since I too preach every single week. I won’t dress like superman, but who cares if I did? The point is that this man delivered an orthodox, theologically sound, expository sermon. I don’t care what he was dressed like on the outside. He was wearing Christ on the inside!!

Soli Deo Gloria!

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It appears that Mrs Schlueter is on vacation (again!). I have only a short thought on her post announcing that she is on vacation: I agree with what she said!!!

Much has happened/is happening, and we just need to remember that truth divides. We aren’t going to be loved for speaking biblical truth. In fact, Christ told us we would be hated. So when people mock at you, sneer and throw your past in your face, ridicule and stir up discord, realize that it’s all been done to God’s people before. We’re just the latest in the long train of believers down through history to face this stuff. As we serve the Lord, God is doing things in our own hearts and lives, as well. That should give us hope that He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it. Have a wonderful rest of the week.

The only real problem is that I don’t think any of us ever expected that such mocking, sneering, ridiculing, discord, and hatred would come from inside the church now did we? But, to answer your question, yes, Mrs Schlueter, we are the latest in the long train of believers down through history to face this stuff.

Soli Deo Gloria!

PS–I pray for Mr & Mrs Schlueter’s safety and that they have a great vacation!

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Friends–A brief update to this post and all those I have made here at I realized last evening that I have been spelling Ingrid’s last name incorrectly. I assure you this was inadvertent and I am sorry that it happened. Her last name, to be sure, is spelled Schlueter. I have, in all my posts and replies, reversed the e and u. I apologize for this mistake.–jerry


Good news for all you struggling preachers who are fast approaching this Sunday’s sermon deadline: Slice of Laodicea now offers sermon outlines! That’s right. This week’s feature sermon is from…The Teletubbies. But seriously, Ingrid–who has herself preached many sermons directly from God’s word and never once used an I-L-L-U-S-T-R-A-T-I-O-N–is actually criticizing those who would dare to use movies as illustrations in sermons or to make a larger point about living or Scripture. Certainly, if the Apostle Paul were living today and dared to quote from pagan poets he would be on Ingrid’s list of heretics who deserve to burn in the fires of IHOP.

Yet on May 18, 2008, (I think it is fair to cite this because White Horse Inn that day was recorded before a ‘live studio audience’; may as well have been church!) Michael Horton began an episode of the White Horse Inn with an I-L-L-U-S-T-R-A-T-I-O-N from the Tom Cruise movie Risky Business and do you know what we heard from Ingrid? Just like when Chris Rosebroughused a filthy joke from Bill Cosby to I-L-L-U-S-T-R-A-T-E a point at one of his blogs and we heard zip from Ingrid. Is it fair, here at, to call a spade a spade and point out that Ingrid is simply hypocritical and only applies her standards to those she wants to apply them too which is more often than not those she simply doesn’t like? I hope that is not too mean or anything. Where is the fairness, Mrs Schleuter?

I suspect that Mrs Schleuter has never read from the prophert Ezekiel. That was one crazy preacher! Have you ever noticed how the Lord commanded Ezekiel to get his point across? He had to play with blocks of clay (4), shave his head (5), eat a scroll (3), preach to mountains (6), pack his belongings and dig through a wall (12), and preach to a valley of dead bones (37) among other things. How about the prophet Hosea? He had to marry a prostitute to get the Lord’s point across! As much as I am a fan of sound expository preaching, those who do not do it should not tell those who do the best way to get it done. I will give anyone $10.00 if they can demonstrate from Scripture where the Lord prohibits the use of films in preaching (and it must be specific, such as ‘thou shall not…’).

Quodlibet…Mrs Schleuter has also revamped her blog SOL. Said the affable one:

Laodicea isn’t pretty but there’s no reason that this website has to be dark as well….Everything is here on the new Slice, no big changes except for the look.

No real surprise, now is there? Isn’t it ironic that Mrs Schleuter’s two new designs, one for Slice and the other for her Slicecast both feature fruit?


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