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I am a 1967 graduate of The Citadel (Distinguished Military Student, member of the Economic Honor Society, Dean's List), a 1975 graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div., magna cum laude, member of the Phi Alpha Chi academic honor society); I attended the Free University of Amsterdam and completed my History of Dogma there and then received a full scholarship from the Dutch government to transfer to the sister school in Kampen, Holland. In 1979 I graduated from the Theological Seminary of the Reformed Churches of Holland (Drs. with honors in Ethics). My New Testament minor was completed with Herman Ridderbos. I am also a 2001 Ph.D. graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary (Systematic Theology) in Philly with a dissertation on the "unio mystica" in the theology of Dr. Herman Bavinck (1854-1921). I am a former tank commander, and instructor in the US Army Armor School at Ft. Knox, KY. I have been happily married to my childhood sweetheart and best friend, Sally, for 43 years. We have 6 children, one of whom is with the Lord, and 14 wonderful grandchildren.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Mean Old Church

(The "man" on the left interviewed Brian McLaren recently. And people say we're crazy in California! He's a softball pitcher and tossed Bri quite a few! )

One More Time with Kimball

I was invited to the office of one of California’s state legislators recently to discuss State Bill 777. There were about twelve of us that showed up and we went around the room and introduced ourselves. Jean, a female pastor, said that she was from—and I quote—“an open and affirming church.” To my mind any church with a female pastor is open-minded to the point that their brains have run out on the floor. Other than that, “open and affirming” tends to denote: we’re pro-homosexual. This, indeed, was the case for when we began to discuss the bill Jean was up in arms that the homosexuals were treated so poorly by the Church and that the Church was filled with homphobes.

I tell you this because Dan Kimball has a chapter in his book They Like Jesus But Not the Church entitled “The Church is Homophobic.” He opens that chapter with a statement by a girl/woman named Penny who believes that homosexuality is equivalent to having either blonde or brunette hair. Obviously, Penny was not aware at how much Yahweh despised blondes. I mean, how many blondes do you hear about in the Old Testament? There were a number of women that acted as if they were blondes from Orange County, California, who had had the necessary cosmetic surgery performed, but how uninformed and shallow can Penny and Dan be?

The chapter that precedes Dan’s “study” on how the Church oppresses women and is homophobic deals with how the Church is judgmental and negative. To demonstrate his judgmentalism and negativity he embarks on a tendentious exposé. Well, we ended last time with Dan’s friend, Erika, who beat feet out of the Church when she was a teenager because she felt that the Church focused too much on negative things. In their conversations, Erika made it clear to Dan that she doesn’t have an agenda (p. 120). Dan’s congregation is filled with unique people, one of whom is Erika who has no agenda at all. She has arrived at that perfect balance of neutrality and continues to see things well while the rest just kind of stumble along.

What follows from Dan are words like “opinions,” “sensed,” and “felt.” In other words, what follows is not based on Scripture but on what any given individual feels. Given all this feeling orientation, we should not be surprised that Dan’s congregation is dominated by ambitious women and effeminate girly men. Erika’s views are “based on what she has sensed from talking to others who grew up in the church” (p. 120. Emphasis mine.)

Alicia, who was quoted at the outset of the chapter goes on to say, “When I think of God, I think of God being both motherly and fatherly.” (Ibid.) I’ll grant that there are references in Scripture that refer to the loving side of God in anthropomorphic maternal terms. What I take exception to is the fact that neither Kimball nor Alicia (or Erika the O.C. blonde for that matter) have bothered to bring any Scripture into the discussion. Alicia is conjuring up “God” in her mind and then wonders why the Church and her “God” don’t dovetail. In Kimball’s mindset we need to be about “empowering females within their view,” whatever that means. This “empowering” thing seems little more than a mere buzz-word. I’m all out of pixy dust, my magic wand is malfünkten (German—sort of), and I have no steroids left—I sold them all to Barry Bonds, who, to his credit, really didn’t know what they were. What does it mean to “empower” someone to do or be something, especially if we have no biblical warrant to “empower” them? For Kimball that is apparently unimportant; what is important is the word and how we can be sensitive to how we come across to the emerging culture. If the culture is de facto emerging—in the state of becoming—wouldn’t it be wiser to wait until it’s out of the cocoon so we’ll know what it is?

Anyway, in a sub-heading, Kimball asks, “What can we learn from this misperception?” Here’s his solution: “As you read these suggestions, evaluate your emotional response by asking whether your reaction is shaped by your feelings and church subculture or on a thoughtful study of Scripture.” (p. 122.) I like that because it’s the first time he’s raised the possibility of a thoughtful study of Scripture as being of any help at all. Up to this point we could just as well have been listening to Dr. Phil or Oprah.

So how does Kimball work his thesis out? He offers a number of suggestions. First, we need to have a balance of males and females in the Church. (p. 123.) I couldn’t agree more. It is high time for the lazy, quasi-effeminate men to get off their duffs and start acting like biblical men and fulfilling their God-ordained call to lead like real men in their local churches. Men, you have sat on the sidelines long enough and acted like mere spectators. God has not called you to be crude or macho, but to be providers, protectors, and spiritual leaders in your homes and in the church. Start doing what God called you to do! Oh, and while you’re doing that, don’t whine. I don’t think this is what Kimball meant, but this is what I mean.

Second, we need to have a well-thought-out understanding of the Bible (Ibid.). Wow! There’s a novel idea for a church! Dan is especially disgruntled with the so-called complementarians because they are the ones “who are limiting the roles women can play.” (Ibid.) Really? A true complementarian like myself will argue that it is precisely God as he has revealed his will in Scripture who is “limiting” the roles women can play. In fact, I would argue that God is not limiting women in the least, but that in the roles he has given them he expects them to use their gifts to the glory of his Name and for the males to encourage them and nourish those gifts. Dan is “down”—not in the hip-hop sense—on those who only use Scripture to “shoot off verses taken out of context.” (Ibid.). Well, who wouldn’t be? The major problem is that Dan doesn’t give us any specifics about what he says, which is tantamount to shooting off lack of Scripture out of context. He is convinced that “Not being able to give clear, intelligent, and compassionate reasons is detrimental to emerging generations.” (Ibid.) I doubt it, but if he’s correct, then he and McLaren have been the most detrimental writers to the emerging generations because their writings are vague, filled with generalities—shot off out of context—with little or no Scripture whatsoever to substantiate their theses. It seems to me that the emerging generations actually lap up that kind of thing up. If they didn’t they wouldn’t read another word Kimball or McLaren wrote.

In a John Lennon-esque moment, Kimball asks us to “imagine” that we’re an intelligent, 27-year-old female college grad, trained as a pharmacist, lawyer, or high school English teacher. You’re well rounded—I’m assuming he doesn’t mean you’re obese—, a reader, and culturally savvy—you know who Britney Spears and Lindsey Lohan are; in fact you know their parole officers personally. In the course of your imaginings you’ve become interested in Christian spirituality—not necessarily Christianity, but Christian spirituality. We are a metro-spiritual in progress. You pick up a Bible and are confronted with 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 and 1 Timothy 2:11-15. This is a fortunate providential event in your life, you just don’t know it yet. God has taken you directly to the passages that are going to stretch and challenge your spirituality. Are you going to take God at his word on his terms or are you going to equivocate? Dan imagines a knee-jerk on the part of our college grad, who somehow managed to survive attending an American university, and wants to know if Christians really believe this. (p. 124.) Our metro-spiritual has had her first trial.

But in reality, the problem isn’t hers. The problem is that those Christians in leadership—in fact most of them (that’s his word) are not really prepared to give good explanations of the above-mentioned passages. (Ibid.) He’s probably right. I agree that many do not come out of seminary well-equipped, with notable exception. Rather than responding to the college grad that Yahweh and Jesus don’t like blondes, more than 51% (most) leaders give weak explanations using Christian clichés. (Ibid.) Which leads Kimball to conclude: “And we wonder why emerging generations so often see us as fundamentalist, backward, oppressive, narrow-minded, cultic fanatics from another era.” (Ibid.). Just for the record, I am from another era. I grew up in a time when men were men and women were women and those who didn’t know the difference stayed in San Fran.

Dan and Jean (open and affirming) could co-pastor The Church of What’s Happening Now, since Rev. Leroy has received his emeritus status. Where are all these churches? If there were ever a straw man, this is it. But Dan is into young-adult ministry, which, when you think about it, is a scary thought. In fact, it was Dan who along with the leadership of his church decided to hold separate membership classes for the 18-30-year-old range. Smooth move. Why did he do that? Well, it was because the older fogies “came across pretty much like, ‘This is the way it is. Take it or leave it, and don’t question it.’” (p. 125.) I’m still looking for this type of congregation. They must exist because the emergents keep referring to them, but I just have never actually found one or been in one. Granting that there must be some like that out there, not being able to ask questions is unfortunate. If I were in that type of new member’s class I would be motivated to move on. On the other hand, many churches seem more than willing to answer questions. We might disagree with their reasons and rationale, but they will answer the questions we ask.

We’re back to John Lennon because now we’re supposed to imagine what it’s like sitting in a room with a number of young adults wondering what the deal is with the “women must be silent” texts. I’ve been there and done that. In reality, we had a good discussion that was based on my preliminary remarks about the Bible being the infallible and inerrant Word of God. From there it was an easy step to explain that God not only disliked blondes, but that he was also pretty cheesed at young people. End of story. Easy.

Third, Dan reminds us that “We need to teach the people of our churches our position,” (p. 127) which really does make you wonder why “we” need to do that while the emergent chit-chat avoids that type of thing like the plague. Does he really expect us to believe that either he or McLaren have been the least bit clear on their views of the atonement and homosexuality? Clearly, Dan the Man and I have a very different view of college grads. He sees them as the paragon of thinking, questioning, and intelligent young adults (p. 126). I tend to view them a young people who have wasted dad and mom’s money while they imbibed all types of nonsense from some left-wing, moveon.org tenured professor, who has never had a real job in his or her life. If you think I’m kidding, grab a catalogue and check out the courses that are being taught these days. Don’t get me wrong: I love to talk to people this age, but my approach is quite different from Dan’s.

Fourth, Dan believes we ought to stop thinking in stereotypes. (p. 129). Apparently, he’s referring to those types of people who call those who do not agree with them fundamentalist, backward, oppressive, narrow-minded, cultic fanatics. Yep. Good point, Dan. One of the reasons Dan is upset is because of an experience he had where one of those narrow-minded, misogynistic, homophobic bigots—and his wife—showed up at his church. It was during one of the chit-chat services and Dan had asked a female leader to give a devotion message in preparation for communion time. Where was Dan? He was “hanging out”—one can only hope he didn’t mean this literally—in the back of the room where he noticed a couple in their late 30s leaving. Clearly, they were not part of the intelligent college grad crowd. They told Dan that they were offended that he had a female speaking. They went on to say, “We thought this was an evangelical church and expected feeding from the Word of God from a male pastor.” (p. 131.) Is that too much to expect? For Dan, however, “these are extreme examples (I hope!)” (Ibid.) Are we any closer to ridding ourselves of stereotypes? Dan certainly is helping us.

Fifth, we need to include females in high levels of leadership and decision-making. (p. 132.) This is more of the emergent conversation’s precision formulation. I say that because Dan never actually tells us what this might entail. For him, the female “isn’t titled pastor, but she is in the highest level meetings.” (Ibid.) So let me see if I have this right. If the church leaders are engaged in the process of excommunication a female, some female, is to be brought in, brought up to speed, and asked to participate in the decision-making process. You’re kidding, right? Simply—almost simple-mindedly—Dan concludes, “Giving females a voice not only brings beauty and strength and health to your church but also sends major signals that your church is not just a boys’ club.” (Ibid.) Automatically? What about the large number of mainline evangelical churches that have done this with less that beautiful, strong, and healthy results? I suppose they only end up being open and affirming.

You would think that given its past since the Second Great Awakening that the modern church would be more concerned to convey the notion that the church is not just a girls’ club. That is not what Kimball and McLaren have in mind. There is also an air of naiveté in Kimball’s words when he says that he has never heard any female ever making the “balance” question a feminist issue. (p. 133.) Really? Which planet has he been on? For someone who purports to be so culturally savvy he seems abysmally ignorant of what the feminists have done since the 1960s. He concludes the chapter on the church being dominated by males and oppressing females with a suggestion that might change the perception that the Church oppresses females by morphing from a church that is dominated by males to one where the church holds women in the highest respect and includes them in the leadership of the church. (Ibid.)

Can’t you have one without the other? Is it possible to hold women in the highest esteem—which is correct—without including them in the leadership of the church? I believe that it not only is possible, but is what our Lord desires in Christ’s Church. For some strange reason some in the modern Church seem to believe that you can’t have the one without the other. As you conclude Kimball’s chapter you cannot help but wonder why he didn’t help us out by giving us the “kosher” interpretation of those pesky texts from Paul especially. If it’s so easy; if it’s so clear cut why didn’t Dan enlighten us? Erika might not have an agenda—right—but Dan certainly does. And, as we shall see in the next few issues, so does Brian McLaren—in spades. Balanced Bri is going to present us with one of the most socialistic, left-wing interpretations of Scripture you’ve seen in a while. If global warming doesn’t kill us all first, we’ll take a look at Bri’s efforts to save the planet.

Labels:

34 Comments:

Blogger Stephen said...

What a post! Ron, we need to hook up one of these days. Orange County is a big place with a big need for Christ! Maybe we can hang out some time soon. I'll ask Morey to come and maybe some other Reformers and we can chat about the challenges that the church will soon and is facing. Let me know!

12:47 AM  
Blogger Morris Brooks said...

The emergents are just a newer form and label of liberal. They want the Bible to be and say what they want it to. They want the Bible to make them feel better about themselves and their sin, so they reinvent what it says or disparage what it says along with those who hold to what it says.

I haven't noticed God mincing words or being worried about being open and affirming. God doesn't love you for who you are, in fact, He hates who you are unless you are in Christ.

If the pastors would preach on male leadership, in the church and the home, the men couldn't stay because the wives would want to leave.

1:35 AM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Stephen,
Shoot me an email at bavinck@socal.rr.com. I'm leaving for Memphis for teaching for Reformed Theological Seminary this afternoon, but you can reach me via email.

Morris,
You're spot on! Keep your message going!

6:39 AM  
Blogger Pastor St. John said...

Preach it!

8:25 AM  
Blogger Randy said...

funny funny post... i decided laughter was a good medicine.

it's ironic how we are all capable of the same things. while dan doens't quote a lot of Scripture there isn't one verse quoted in this post either...

... so we argue that one person isn't making a biblical arguement while we do the same thing...

... and whatever happened to the reformed guys who took the entire Canon rather than just proof texting? i thought that was one of the hallmarks of the reformed guys???

... somehow this seems to be a post that actually makes me want to read Dan's book.

blessings!

8:52 AM  
Blogger SolaMeanie said...

Randaroo,

Did you miss the references to 1 Corinthians and Timothy, or were you speed-reading?

Just wondering.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Kyle said...

Randy,

If Ron were presenting a detailed argument in favor of the standard Reformed position on women in the church, I'm sure he'd quote Scripture.

But what he's doing here is criticizing Dan Kimball's largely unscriptural ideas about what the church should be and do. That doesn't require Ron to present the Scriptural position unless he's specifically showing where Dan Kimball is at odds with Scripture. Again, he's only showing here that Dan Kimball doesn't start with Scripture.

2:57 PM  
Blogger Justin said...

What advice would give to a Covenant Theological Seminary student to help him avoid being "poorly equipped" when he graduates in about 2.5 years?

9:40 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Justin,
Take a lot of exegesis courses, study hard in every class, pray daily, read the Bible for yourself every day, take solid core courses--stay away from the fluff--and read the classics. Make sure you've read Lloyd-Jones on preaching.
I'll be praying for you.

9:57 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Justin,
Take a lot of exegesis courses, study hard in every class, pray daily, read the Bible for yourself every day, take solid core courses--stay away from the fluff--and read the classics. Make sure you've read Lloyd-Jones on preaching.
I'll be praying for you.

9:57 PM  
Blogger Randy said...

I caught the refernces - but we can all reference texts without explanation. I've been critized for doing just that as well. again - ironic.

until we begin with the first and second commands to love - we have nothing. sound doctrine with all the classics means nothing if we can't at least show people that we are nice.

as my unbeliveing friends say - 'why are Christians so mean?'
-- and my best response is 'good question.'

5:36 PM  
Blogger SolaMeanie said...

Ironic? No, not really. Our experience has been that if we do quote Scripture to reinforce what we say, you bunny-trail off into another direction or throw up Derridian deconstruction to try and say it doesn't mean what it says it means. Or you'll ignore the Scriptures quoted outright. Come on now, admit it.

See, I'm an old hand at this. (smile)

10:24 AM  
Blogger SolaMeanie said...

And while I am at it, fine..let's begin with the first and second commandments to "love."

Loving God entails doing what His Word says. We can bleat "love love love" all day long, but if we aren't obedient to the Word, that sort of takes the wee out of our words. We can't cherrypick either.

10:26 AM  
Blogger Randy said...

Here's what's central to the agape love that God gives to us: grace.

While Calvinists claim God's sovereignty over all things while also believing it was God's grace -- that kind of grace isn't so freely given to others regardless if they are believers or unbelievers.

This leads us to being willing to title a blog post something like 'the mean old church.' If the church is mean then we have no witness.

As the bumper sticker says 'mean people suck.' Being created in the image of God does lead us to seek justice but it also leads us to seek mercy... and mercy and justice is what is required of us.

Justice done well and mercy done well go hand in hand; they are not two different things. Thus we end up with God's grace.

Being 'mean' isn't what grace is about though.

1:56 PM  
Blogger Randy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:59 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Randy,
I keep coming back to the same question: Is he really that thick? What is love and how is it defined? I'm asking you this because I'd like for you to make an authoritative appeal to Scripture. That being the case, we can make our authoritative appeals back. Are you willing to do that?

3:07 PM  
Blogger Kyle said...

Randy,

Being 'mean' isn't what grace is about though.

Is grace then about being "nice"?

6:00 PM  
Blogger wordsmith said...

"Is grace then about being 'nice'?"

It evidently is in Randy's lexicon.

I can't seem to find "nice" in most concordances, though: once in NASB/NASU, a handful of times in TLB, and a few in TEV - and in the overwhelming majority of these instances, "nice" had negative connotations.

The word "nice" is like fake crab meat - it takes on whatever flavor one wants to give it. Some people just primarily utilize it as a descriptor of "those who agree with me." Ergo, "you disagree with me" = "mean."

My six-year-old talks like this - I just can't figure out why some adults haven't moved beyond that stage.

6:38 PM  
Blogger SolaMeanie said...

Randy,

Are we supposed to give "grace" to false teachers or show them the door?

Just asking. ;)

9:06 AM  
Blogger Randy said...

Ron

Here are some definitions that I believe are helpful for a good understanding of love...

I John 4:16-21
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17 In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.

21 And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

I Cor. 13:4-7
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Galatians 5:22-23
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

9:50 PM  
Blogger Randy said...

I believe a better and more useful word than 'nice' would be 'kind.' There are more than plenty of biblical texts calling us to be people of kindness.

9:53 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Agreed, but why do you leave out the texts that speak to Christians about being discerning and spiritually mature? Why don't you place equal weight on what we are to those who are dangerous to the faith like Paul and John do?
Your arguments suffer--rather constantly--because you are one-sided AND because you insist on defending the indefensible: the emergent church and its non-leader leaders.

7:33 AM  
Blogger Morris Brooks said...

Love does not mean checking your brain and discernment at the door. Love also does not mean unconditional acceptance as we see the example of Jesus in John 2:23-25 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, observing His signs which He was doing. But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for he knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for he himself knew what was in man.

People like Randy, who always throw out the love bomb when attacking those with discerment, are usually the most arrogant as they hold themselves out as having a spiritually or morally superior position so that those with discernment must defend their postion to them. The reality is that the love bomb is used to cover up their own compromise, their lack of biblical understanding, their poor theology, and their rejection of the things they don't like in the Bible. In essence they are in a state of rebellion, and are therefore unteachable.

8:27 AM  
Blogger Randy said...

Ron

You wrote:

Your arguments suffer--rather constantly--because you are one-sided AND because you insist on defending the indefensible: the emergent church and its non-leader leaders.

You may be right that my arguements are one sided. I'll give you that. So. Perhaps I haven't done a good job in the mentioning the fullness of the biblical text.

As far as defending the emergent folks: This is an entirely different matter. While I am perhaps one sided you need to be fair as well. There is no fairness on your part regarding them either.

Of all the texts that I mentioned -every major name within the emergent village conversation would fully embrace all of those texts. So perhaps their understanding of love is not complete your fairness toward them is not complete either.

Blessings.

9:58 AM  
Blogger Randy said...

morris

The 'love bomb'? I believe it was the Creator God who threw around the love bomb.

He creates us in his image. He sends his Son to recreate us in his image. His grace never ends. He continues to forgive endlessly.

His followers write things like: Without love you are a resounding gong or a clanging symbol. Without love you have nothing.

Please continue to call me the 'love bomb' guy as I believe the witness of the church has been lacking this kind of stuff for too long.

Because he lives.

10:01 AM  
Blogger Randy said...

morris

how would you have any idea what I think of discernment? you are WAY off base with this claim.

as for being teachable and in rebellion? what the heck do you know about me??? i'm more teachable than you know... and fyi... i highly entrust my life to people with discernment in my midst...

10:04 AM  
Blogger Morris Brooks said...

Randy,

Look at the OT and see what God says about and does to the false prophets. Look at what Paul and Peter say in the NT about false teachers. Look at what Jesus Himself said about the Scribes and the Pharisees. Look at what Jesus did to the money changers in the temple, twice. Look at the words of Jesus to the seven churches in Revelation. None of this fits in with your view on love. The harshest rebukes and greatest condemnations in the Scriptures are for those within the body of the faithful that are leading people astray by their words and their deeds.

In fact, in Ephesians 4:15 we are shown that we are to speak the truth in love. So the best thing we can always do for anyone and in any situation is to speak the truth. It is the most loving thing we can do. However, we are not to speak our version of the truth, or what we feel the truth should be, and that includes taking Scripture out of context and throwing it around.

We know from Hebrews 5:11-14 that those who know the word have the ability to discern good and evil. Ron obviously knows the Scriptures, and as such is sensitive the the falseness, ie the evil, in Dan Kimball's theology which is manifested in his book. False teaching is evil, period. And it is just as much about what you leave out or pull out of context as it is if you spout downright heresy. Ron is showing his love for the brethren in warning them about the errors in Dan's theology and writing, and, in fact, he has a responsibility as a brother in Christ to do so.

12:31 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Randy,
You are naive vis-a-vis the Emergent chit-chat. In all likelihood they wouldn't embrace those same texts in the way that traditional orthodoxy has down through the ages. In fact, their writings point in the opposite direction.
I'm pleased that you finally stated the obvious: Your arguments are one-sided. I'm convinced that you know substantially more about the Emergent nonsense than you do the Reformed tradition although you give the false impression that you are at home in it. Having grandparents and great-grandparents who adhered to Reformation thinking doesn't help you. You don't become Reformed by osmosis or by proxy.
You still don't seem to comprehend that when someone like McLaren, Kimball, Miller, or others put their thoughts on paper and publish them that they are open to criticism.
McLaren's latest book, for example, virtually plagiarizes N.T. Wright, Jim Wallis, and Open Theism. If you really think Christians should sit back and think this is a good thing then you are more pitiful that I first suspected.

2:26 PM  
Blogger Infinity8Ball said...

Ron,

The passages that you brought up were 2 that lead me to see a push for men to be the spiritual leaders of their home, and for women to respect that fact. Especially in church, where spiritual education occurs.

I'm curious though... would you apply these texts to Sunday School? Especially in reference to "asking questions?"

3:30 PM  
Blogger Publius said...

All that feminism is right there in your own PCA. Again, Ron, everything you complain about will be normal in your own church a decade from now. Maybe if you concerned yourself with your own house, you would realize that.

8:55 PM  
Blogger Randy said...

Ron

I am not 'naive' about whatever you want to call it within emergent village. These people are my good friends. I know their lives; I know thier families. I would give my life for them.

Why? Because I've yet to meet another group of people who are more passionate about God and his kingdom. Bar none!

As for the reformed tradition: Perhaps you are right. Perhaps I nor my grandparents knew nothing about being reformed people. Maybe I misunderstood their lives and it was simply faithfulness that I recognized.


As for my definitions of 'love'. Were Paul and John simply wrong when they wrote their definitions of 'love'? There was a reason they didn't include all of your stuff in their definitions...back to the biblical text please.

10:15 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Randy,
If you want to be good friends with people who call the atoning sacrifice of our Savior on the cross "cosmic child abuse," then that's your call. To my mind, you are hard up for friends. But you've shown us all that it doesn't matter what Emergents says you have a blind, naive defense of them. Orthodox people are anathema to you. Period.

Infinity8ball,
No, we usually keep all of our women under lock and key. We have stooges wandering the church searching for those who might even look like they're considering opening their mouths. We like to keep the women under our thumbs. If we didn't they might start thinking that they are created in the image of God or something dreadful like that.
It never ceases to surprise me that some modern Christians have no concept of common, natural parlance between men and women. I haven't located the text in Scripture for Sunday School yet. It might surprise some that we have a large number of highly competent women at Grace who have no desire whatsoever to read Scripture in the worship service, lead a devotion, or serve the Lord's Supper. They entrust that to the spiritual leaders that elected them. In turn, we respect and honor them for their gifts and talents. Neither they nor we want them to lead the congregation during worship.

Publius,
You are neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet. Granted, there are some churches in the PCA that would fall into this category. If you have read any of my previous posts you will see that I have hammered my PCA counterparts pretty hard on this issue.
However, the PCA as I know it will not become such a denomination, but if it does, a large, large number of us will be leaving.

8:35 AM  
Blogger SolaMeanie said...

Ron,

Didn't you forget to mention that, when you preach on Sundays, you wear a caveman's fur toga instead of pastoral vestments?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go find a lady and drag her by her hair.

11:13 AM  
Blogger Acoustic Heresy said...

you are my new favorite. perfect use of sarcastic wit in the delivery of truth

1:16 AM  

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