"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Theological Debate Without Finger Pointing

The comment stream yesterday was very interesting, with several perceptive comments by the readers of this blog. One of the things that struck me as I read through the comments is how many Southern Baptists can debate theological issues with a spirit of grace, never demeaning those who disagree, while displaying a humility that conveys they don't feel they always have all the right answers. Some Southern Baptists, however, seem to display a spirit of arrogance, pointing fingers at those who disagree, and act as if their words are the words of God. I am hopeful that the latter group can learn from the former. I really think that one of the good things that might come from disagreements over The Shack could be learning how to disagree with grace.

Two of my favorite comments were not actually posted, but were sent to me via email. The first, written by a Bob Cleveland, one of the wisest SBC layman you'll ever want to meet, wrote the following:

"Unless I'm mistaken, a non-believer reading The Shack would get the idea that God is approachable, redeeming, and loving. I also don't think the church does nearly as good a job of getting THAT message out as many seem to think.

I'm just sayin'"

Emmanuel Baptist Church will baptize new converts during each of our five Sunday services on Easter Sunday. I am personally aware of two individuals who will be baptized on that day who credit the Holy Spirit using The Shack to cause them to begin asking questions that led them to become followers of Jesus. I am confident that all Southern Baptists can rejoice in that fact.

The second email I received is from distinguished Baptist scholar Dr. Curtis Freeman. Dr. Freeman wrote:

"You really struck a nerve with your blog on The Shack. Our church recently formed a reading group. The first book they read was The Shack. Everyone loved it. Last week was Marilynne Robinson's wonderful book Gilead, which in my view is a far superior book, both in a literary and theological sense. But many of the group found it tedious, while they related to The Shack.

My wife teaches our Sunday School class. One of the members has an adult son whose life has taken a very tragic turn. The man told me, with tears in his eyes that after reading The Shack he realized that God really does care about him. While I have some reservations about the theology of The Shack, I find it speaks to people about the love of God in a remarkable way. It has also started a discussion about the Trinity which is far more than many sermons, books, and articles have done. So perhaps we should first say “thanks” before we voice our concerns."

This Baptist scholar makes several great points. All of us would be hard pressed to find anyone that would agree with every theological tenet to which we hold, but theological discussions that begin because> of a book can be a very good thing.

For example, one of the charges that is made about The Shack is that it does a very poor job portraying the Trinity. I would agree simply becaue the book, a work of fiction, was never designed to present a doctrinal view of the Trinity. However, if The Shack causes others to begin to discuss theological issues like the Trinity, that's a good thing.

Finally, for those who want a really sound theological paper that refutes the eternal subordination of the Son as the basis for the eternal subordination of women to men (a very hotly debated theological issue today), then I invite you to read my father's most recent post entitled "Is Jesus Eternally Subordinate to the Father? - My Two Cents"

I think you'll see an example there of how to present a position with both grace and humility.

In His Grace,

Wade

85 comments:

Anonymous said...

Who cares about the doctrine as long as people are nice about it?

Andy Bernard

Wade Burleson said...

"By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another."

Who said that Andy?

Anonymous said...

Who cares about people as long as we have correct doctrine?

Andy Taylor

Anonymous said...

Wade said, 'Some Southern Baptists, however, seem to display a spirit of arrogance, pointing fingers at those who disagree, and act as if their words are the words of God.'


There are some things about God that we are not given to know. The closer we get to God, the more we know that we cannot completely know Him.

Can it then be assumed that the arrogant ones who 'speak for God' are not close to Him ?

Wade Burleson said...

I think Andy is related to Andy.

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

Hard to say. There is within my soul a rock solid conviction that what I believe is biblically based, God-glorifying, Christ-honoring, soul-satisfying truth.

I just don't get angry when other people don't agree with me - nor seek to break fellowship with them.

Not Andy said...

wade,
Andy Bernard is yet another character from "The Office". Andy Taylor is Opie's father.

RKSOKC66 said...

Not Andy:

Is the Opie that you are referring to the same one that has a candy store in Mt. Airy NC on Main Street next to Floyd's Barber Shop?

That is a pretty good candy shop.

Anonymous said...

I have read The Shack(twice)and it has caused me to do a lot of thinking(a good thing). The thing that I struggle with is forgiveness-there are times I do not want to release my hold on someones throat but I must (to be forgiven I have to forgive) I enjoyed the book - made me look at some things a little different (and that is ok). Bottom line, and the only that gets me through thi old world, The Anchor Holds and in Him I am safe evermore

Anonymous said...

It is said that our capacity to forgive is only as great as our capacity to love.

Steve said...

I got the distinct impression from reading responses to some of the recent posts that there is a class of So. Baptists who get up every morning and jump up & down 50 or 100 times, saying, "No, no,never, never!" before doing anything else.

Anonymous said...

Terms like 'debate', 'discourse', dialogue: all need parameters to set forth some 'boundaries' of civility in order to be effective for good communication.

This doesn't work for all of us red-headed Scots-IRISH.
Contention is 'in the blood' and our natures are contentious to the core. In short, we like a good fight. Trouble is, does it work in a 'Christian' setting ? God wants our honesty, right? But it doesn't look too good: all this fighting. Kinda fun though.

Word verfication: f a b l e s

:)

Wade Burleson said...

Dave

Thanks for your comment. I have done as you requested and deleted it.

Jon L. Estes said...

RKSOKC66,

When facing Floyd's, it must be to the right because Snappy's (the best place for pork chop sandwiches in the world), is to the left.

I just wish they did not run out so soon daily.

If you take a good look at the pictures on the wall in Floyd's, you can find several pictures of my grandfather. A, now in heaven, one time long citizen of Mt. Airy. Still have family there.

Joe Blackmon said...

You know, I honestly thought you were just a little bit goofy but mostly harmless, Wade. I mean, you're a complementarian who posts regularly on his blog how the complementarian position is wrong. Kinda makes me think of some guy with a mouthful of fried chicken holding a chicken leg in one hand and a pork chop in the other whilst saying "I'm a strict vegitarian". Pretty funny stuff.

However, if you can allow the man who wrote that garbage that is the Shack to speak when you should be preaching the Word and sincerely defend the book as you have then I have to conclude that what people say about you must be right. I totally agree with the gentleman yesterday who said if his church permitted garbage like that to be brought in place of a sermon he would walk out and never come back.

Wade Burleson said...

Joe,

Saturday night is a book discussion. Sunday morning he is preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Sunday night he is sharing his testimony.

If, as you say, you (Joe Blackmon) were a member of our church and walked out to never come back either Saturday night during the book discussion, or Sunday morning when the gospel is preached, or Sunday night when his testimony is given, then we would give you our blessing . . .

For you would not have the kind of spirit which typifies our church, and both you and we would be better off.

In His Grace,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Joe,

By the way, I've never posted how the "complementarian" position is "wrong."

I've only posted biblical arguments for another view.

Let the sisters decide.

Grin.

Rex Ray said...

Dave Miller,
When someone says goodbye they always welcome a reply unless they’re angry.

It seems in our comments to each other, I’ve mostly half-way agreed with you. Today is no different.

I agree a lot of the comments here are people sniping at each other, and most hide behind ‘anonymous’.

I believe you’re wrong in blaming Wade for that. He has deleted many comments that abuse others.

Of course if a person’s skin is too thin, they make think anything in disagreement with them is outrageous. ‘Mama, mama, make him stop looking at me.’

You’re mentioning ‘SBC Today’ as an example of not “being put down or ridiculed” made me smile. They allowed David 007 and CB to comment…I rest my case. But you are 100% correct when they closed comments. :)

BTW, did ‘SBC Today’ ever give the REAL reason for removing the post where Patterson was recorded on tape?

So in saying goodbye, I close with what ‘anonymous’ quoted, “Our capacity to forgive is only as great as our capacity to love.”

I believe the reverse is true…‘Our capacity to love is only as great as our capacity to forgive.’

Paul Burleson said...

All,

I know I run the risk of the proverbial "he's blinded by close relationship" statement. But I will take that risk. Since I believe that could be true I'll leave it to each one of you to decide. I don't think it is in what I'm about to say.

I'm convinced that hurt, wounded, disillusioned and dis-enfranchised people generally are more likely to possess strong negative emotions and express them more readily that will other people.

So this blog will, because of it's stated purpose, [being a voice for such] attract those kinds of people more readily that my blog or your blog will.

While Wade does NOT fit that category personally, in my judgment, [nor do a lot of the commenters] and I know him well, he does possess that listening ear for that kind of hurt people because of what he has faced.

I know the resulting atmoshere may not be confortable for many and that's understandable. It isn't always for me either. But I've counseled enough to know healing can come if someone will listen. Wade does.

What they [those hurt people be they dis-enfranchised women, dismissed missionaries, denominational workers unjustly let go or life long Southern baptists now wounded] etc,] DON'T NEED is a non-listening ear. [even if anonymous]

I do several pastor's conferences a year and in those we do bull sessions where anything can be brought out that has been difficult for whomever. We establish walls for protection such as no shaming, no condemning, no fixing unless requested... period, and no talking about what is said outside this room. You should see what develops. Unconfortable? yes. Easy to hear? No. Healing? You bet your bottom dollar it is.

Many who read this blog do not have a place where they can go to speak, be heard, and be respected in their struggles. They seem to find a measure of that here. Three and a half million hits attest to that.

The Body of Christ is in the construction stage NOT the consummation stage so there will be present those hurts and struggles in all of us to some degree. To be heard, understood, and not condemned in our struggles is needed by us all to some degree too.

Will this work effectively on a blog in the long run? Who knows. The jury is still out. But, while there is no asolute freedom of expressin here, and shouldn't be, Wade has shown that by deleting some comments, there is a different bar for people than on my blog OR others.

If this is unconfortable I understand that. I understand why some would not want to participate. I understand why David may not wish to. But I will because there is a need in the Body for it as I see it and, as difficult as it may be, Wade is willing to pay the price to make it happen.

Don't hear me say being UNchristian is OK. I just believe being genuinely christian isn't always pretty as the original followers of Christ show in their walk with our Lord. But He stuck with them even when they were not pretty but were hurt, [prostitutes] petty, [desiring the left and right hand position] and sometimes proud [Peter] with no real cause at all.

For me...and speaking ONLY for me...being Christlike requires the same sticking with the unlovely sometimes. That's why I'm still Southern Baptist by choice by the way. Besides wherever I go there I am. That's difficult to live with sometimes too. :)

Paul Burleson said...

Put the "p" in it's proper place and I'll be appreciative. :)

Anonymous said...

Paul Burleson,

Speaking as one of those hurt deeply, who comments anonymously, I say "Thank YOU!"

I could not have said it better. Not only does your son listen - he has helped me, my wife and my kids and restored our faith in the Southern Baptist Convention.

Mr. Hyde said...

However, if you can allow the man who wrote that garbage that is the Joe,

You wrote, "Shack to speak when you should be preaching the Word and sincerely defend the book as you have then I have to conclude that what people say about you must be right. I totally agree with the gentleman yesterday who said if his church permitted garbage like that to be brought in place of a sermon he would walk out and never come back."
While you may not like that "garbage," to publicly desparage the book in that fashion (name calling) will estrange you from the people to whom you are trying to minister.
If there was a member in your church that has read this book and gotten anything at all out of it then hears you stand up and call it garbage, you have just lost your credibility with them. Even if the book is garbage, it is not becoming to stand up and call it names (as a Democrate would do). Speak to what is incorrect and use it as a door to gain a foothold for ministry.
Books are going to be read by your congregation, no matter if it is great material or garbage. Our job is to help them process what they are reading and sort between the two. That is one of the main reasons I started my blog, to review and critique books in a helpful fashion.

Anonymous said...

Andy Bernard here,

I never said it is okay to not be loving as long as you have good doctrine, but Wade's post does seem to say that it is okay to let poor doctrine slide as long as everyone is nice. Thanks for misrepresenting me.

Ruddy said...

I liken the Shack to a kind of C.S. Lewis book. Introduce Christianity through a story. Isn't that what Jesus did? Teach people with stories to introduce his radical Gospel message?

Amy said...

Mr. Hyde,

Well stated. It would be interesting to compare how many people are being ministered to, converted under, and lives changed between Pastor Burleson's ministry and Pastor Blackmon's ministry. If one were looking for answers as to why the SBC is declining, we ought look no further than the pastors' spirit reflected in the two examples above.

RRR said...

My son just referred me to a youtube video message from John MacArthur who takes stabs at Rick Warren's "Purpose Driven Life" because it does not specifically address some aspects of repentence, Old Testament prophecies that point to Jesus as Messiah, etc.

Who knows the extent of those impacted by Rick Warren's book and how it could have been used by God to lead many into His Kingdom. Yet a prominent church spokesman and leader chooses to criticize it viciously. I wondered why we "Christians" do not celebrate the ministries and diversity of others instead of attacking and undermining their efforts.

What must the lost world think of us? I know that my son who himself is a new follower of Christ scratches his head and wonders who he should rely upon for sound teaching.

Alyce Faulkner said...

"Let the sisters decide"
Thank you Wade. I wish others would grant the same liberty to me, other sisters and brothers.
In fact, I have decided. I searched the scriptures, talked with my husband and sat under teaching and inquired of Paul Burleson. My pastor and I don't agree completely about this, but we have great unity and love for one another. Also, he has NEVER attempted to squelch my calling or my gifts.
And today, I have complete liberty, in Christ and in my calling. I know this post isn't about this and I'm also certain I just can't address "the Shack" other than to say read it.... loved it.

Joe Blackmon said...

"Let the sisters decide"

I'm sorry. I didn't realize anyone got to decide whether they could ignore the clear teaching of scripture or whether they had to obey it. My bad. My bad.

Alyce Faulkner said...

Joe, Joe Joe, read the entire comment.
I believe the Holy Spirit is our (including my) teacher.
Taking a doctrinal stance from comments by you here, would be crazy.
It's very clear you and I don't agree on much.
Let's just leave it at that.

Joe Blackmon said...

Alyce

Actually, that was a copy and paste from Wade's comment a few comments up. However, don't fret too hard---I'm sure in the forthcoming "Mainstream Resurrgence" [(c) Joe Blackmon 2008] the folks that gain control of the SBC will make it very friendly for women pastors. In fact, and you've heard it hear first, the new slogan for the SBC will be "No rules, just right". It'll be a joint marketing effort between the SBC and Outback Steakhouse.

Jeff said...

Amy, Numbers are not the measuring stick for a successful ministry.

Jeff said...

Wade, What about the brothers? Are we second class citizens?

Dave---as I have said many times the most mean spirited fundamental attitudes I have see are from liberals, not fundies.

Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alan Paul said...

The Baptists world (for as long as it will last anyways) will always have folks like Robert and Joe. The proverbial thorn in the side type folks. Though I think they completely miss the point of the Gospel, they are good to have around. They remind me to STOP when I begin acting like them - and boy I wish i could say I didn't act like them, but alas, to my shame, I do. And God uses them to get a hold of me and He sets me straight.

I appreciate Paul Burleson. I think he completely gets the message of the Gospel. Joe and Robert and the rest could learn a few things from him as I have just in reading his earlier comment.

Alyce Faulkner said...

RRR,
If men and women would stop attempting to build their own kingdom, rather than work with God to build His, we wouldn't have jealousy in the body.
I agree with you.
Also, according to the scripture we don't "take sides" or join causes and ministry because one's theological ideas are more compatible. I love the comment "It is very clear in the scripture" and that comment is often, if not all the time, followed by, "if you don't agree with me, you don't agree with the Scriptures. " Well I do agree with scripture and according to the scripture, all we can do is judge the fruit.
I remember during "Better together" (a study many could benefit from) Rick Warren talked about his father laying on his death bed saying, "one more for Jesus" Rick Warren has done just that and the fruit of His ministry and walk with God is plentiful and seen to all who have eyes to see.

Anonymous said...

RRR,

Be very careful who you speak poorly of on a blog. You never know who might read it!

John MacArthur

Joe Blackmon said...

Matthew 7:22 & 23 Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'

Hmm, that's interesting. Even people who have done more spectacular things than I or Rick Warren will ever think about doing will find their activity or fruit will not be enough to save them nor does it prove they're really saved at all. That's pretty eye-opening.

greg.w.h said...

Anonymous wrote:

For the record, I'll take MacArthur anyday over Warren.

It seems odd to even compare those two.

Kind of an insult to MacArthur, in my view.


So I take it that you endorse the model that John MacArthur goes around looking for specific points to complain about in Rick Warren's work. I do agree that seems to be the prevalent model in Christian life for how we carry on our theological debates.

I think the real question is how we carry on our discussions and remain both sacred--set apart by God for HIS purpose and not our own purposes--and righteous. We simply cannot be righteous and ignore passages like Matthew 25 (the story of the sheep and goats), John 14-15 (where Jesus commands us to love one another), and John 17 (where Jesus prays for unity).

Yet many Southern Baptists ignore all three passages and pretend that the fulfilling the calling of the Great Commission erases those passages. Instead, because those passages come BEFORE his death and resurrection, arguably the opposite is true: we have no business working on the Great Commission UNTIL we're serious about the other three passages.

Greg Harvey

P.S. "John MacArthur": you should be more careful about what you say about other people if you don't want negative comments on blogs. ;)

Alyce Faulkner said...

Joe, let's be contextual, shall we?

A Tree and Its Fruit Matthew: 7:15-20
"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. And Joe, please not this one....healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

Christiane said...

Hi GREG HARVEY,

I was so moved by your gift of wisdom from the Holy Spirit, when you said this:

"We simply cannot be righteous and ignore passages like Matthew 25 (the story of the sheep and goats), John 14-15 (where Jesus commands us to love one another), and John 17 (where Jesus prays for unity).

Yet many Southern Baptists ignore all three passages and pretend that the fulfilling the calling of the Great Commission erases those passages. Instead, because those passages come BEFORE his death and resurrection, arguably the opposite is true: we have no business working on the Great Commission UNTIL we're serious about the other three passages.

Greg Harvey"

Since learning about the changes made concerning Jesus the Lord's words and actions in the bfm2k,
I have prayed that the words and actions of the Lord Christ would be restored into prominence in the SBC; as I know that this will bring the healing of the wounds that have been suffered. Thank you so much for sharing this wisdom with us. My faith is strengthened.
God bless you, Greg. :)
Love, L's

Anonymous said...

Lenten Reflection
from the Gregorian Chant
'Living Water'


"I saw water coming forth from the Temple
on the right side,
alleluia:
and all those
to whom this water came
were saved,
and shall say,
alleluia, alleluia.

V. Give praise to the Lord, for He is good:
R. For His mercy endureth forever.

V. Glory be to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Ghost:
R. As it was in the beginning,
is now,
and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen."

Anonymous said...

MacArthur "goes around looking for specific points to complain about in Rick Warren's work."

Huh? MacArthur sits around thinking about Warren all day?

Sure, I can see that happening. NOT!

I do think that MacArthur "goes around" looking for people who are screwing up biblical theology so he can clear the way for truth.

It just so "happens" that he continually trips over Warren.

Is that MacArthur's fault?

tupers

greg.w.h said...

anonymous wrote:

Huh? MacArthur sits around thinking about Warren all day?

Sure, I can see that happening. NOT!


Remind me what John MacArthur said motivated him to comment again, please. Here, let me help you:

MacArthur's comments on The Purpose-Driven Life

This is a sermon excerpt. It could be we lack the entire context of MacArthur's remarks, but what you get is a lot of fault finding without a specific explanation for WHY he's complaining or what drew him to complain.

Some of it is specific, none of it takes into account that the book's primary audience isn't to evangelize as much as provide a new perspective on Christians who feel they have no sense of purpose or direction. (I taught Warren's book, so I'm somewhat familiar with it, though I'm not advocating it as a "great" book by any means.)

I think the thing that bothers me most about this clip is the edge of MacArthur's voice (I assume that's him and not someone else reading his sermon for him). It's condescending and sarcastic, not instructional. He could have said the exact same things instructively and contributed to the dialog. Instead, he SOUNDS LIKE he's just taking pot shots.

I admire MacArthur by the way more than I do Warren. I listened to his radio programs and tapes from time to time in the past. I've never heard Warren except with respect to the tapes we used in services with The Purpose-Driven Life and a news report on his work in Africa with Rwanda and especially his ties to Paul Kagame (the news report questioned his involvement in Rwanda.) So I'm not shilling for Warren here or anything.

Greg Harvey

P.S. Christiane/L's: thanks for the comment. I'm never sure why the words come out the way they do, but you expressed my hope for what I write: that it is received wisdom from God and that he will guide me to write only what he wants us to see and to understand. I cannot take credit for that, of course, and I'm delighted when I succeed in getting out of the way. And, regrettably, too many times I get in the way.

Joe Blackmon said...

"Some of it is specific, none of it takes into account that the book's primary audience isn't to evangelize as much as provide a new perspective on Christians who feel they have no sense of purpose or direction."

Why on earth would he NEED to take that into account. If the Purpose Drivel Life is full of error, and it is, who CARES who it was written for.

"I think the thing that bothers me most about this clip is the edge of MacArthur's voice...It's condescending and sarcastic, not instructional."

When you care about truth and you are confronted with gross error from someone who should know better, and emotional reaction is expected.

bryan riley said...

"Andy Bernard"

How do you define doctrine?

Has anyone ever felt like a perfectly well written comment is full of error not because of its factual content but because of its spirit?

Wade, thank you for pointing out that it is error to write with arrogance and finger pointing. Writing in such a way and having such a heart is, in my opinion, incorrect doctrine.

Anonymous said...

Bryan,

Are you "pointing a finger" at me? Shame.

Andy Bernard

Aussie John said...

Wade,

I am so thankful to see your father's comment here. Having read him for some time now, he has impressed me with his care in handling what he writes, and a great sense of Whom he represents as well as concern for those who may read what he writes.

Sometimes I wonder whether the spiritual Police who peruse your page are more concerned about their own ego than Biblical truth.

Some are extremely skillful at the trick the Pharisees perfected, of sitting on their own heads whilst pointing fingers at others, all the while forgetting that three fingers are pointing back at themselves.

Anonymous said...

Aussie,

Are you pointing fingers at the Finger Pointers? Strange.

Seems to me none of us should be able to address anyone else because in fact wouldn't that be pointing a finger. Or directing our comments toward another?

Andy Bernard

Aussie John said...

Andy Bernard,

Did I mention you by name? You certainly missed the point of the sentence!

I am very mindful that three fingers point back at me. How I sometimes wish they didn't! Even at 70 I still don't know how to point with four fingers.

Anonymous said...

I have seen the MacArthur you tube about Warren.

In fact, it is so good and Mac Daddy is so right on in his assessment, that I have seen it many times.

Nay, I say, I have downloaded it and I watched it with a bible study group as we broke down the nonsense in Warren's book during a 6 week long study.

Warren's target audience is "easy believism" candidates. Growing his "church" is the most important thing to him.

coterc

Bryan Riley said...

Andy,

I was asking you a question to try to understand what you had already written. "Doctrine" can be defined many ways. And I really don't know what you are saying, so I asked.

Am I pointing a finger? I think that is the question you asked of me. No, I'm not. It's difficult to point at someone I can't see and don't know, and I really don't like to point at people negatively.

I'm trying to understand you.

As to "shame," I really don't understand that ever coming out of a Jesus follower's mouth. I'm not sure it ever comes out of our Father's mouth. What do you think? Does the Father say shame to His children?

Anonymous said...

Psalm 44:7

"But you have saved us from our foes and have put to shame those who hate us."

In fact God actually puts some to shame! Wow.

Andy Bernard

Wade Burleson said...

The anonymous poster with the same IP address signing in under multiple pseudonyms has had his comments completely removed.

:)

greg.w.h said...

Joe:

I wish that you could see how you look when you write like that. I believe Warren's book directly addresses theology in an accurate way with respect to answering the question "what's our purpose". Some of his comments in the book made me roll my eyes and I don't disagree with the SUBSTANCE of what MacArthur said, though I disagree with the DEGREE and the TONE that he used.

Now I realize people idolize him, but I don't. And that, in this sentence, refers to both hims mentioned above. Neither do I feel the need to attempt to play the childhood game of making up names in an attempt to castigate either person. I would like to think you're above that, too. Please convince me that you are.

Greg Harvey

WatchingHISstory said...

Wade, isn't the "finger pointing" issue a possible 'argumentum ad hominem'
The accusation that an opponent is acting ungraciously and finger pointing rather than acting civil could be an indication that the accusor is lacking in his argument and resorts to accusations.

"Don't stoop to debate with this person he is not gracious and is finger pointing." Since this is a "Christian" blog we are expected to back down when we are accused of acting "unChristlike"

Is it fair to disarm someone because they feel strong about something. The best defense is a strong opposing view not thin skinned ad hominen attacks.

Defeat ungraciousness and finger pointing with a substantial opposing view that disarms the opponent of his convictions.

If you cannot disarm your opponent then say your views are weak and then conceed defeaat, graciously. Admit that you need to do some more thinking and compliment your opponent for mastering his views.

But I forget we are "Christians" we can't do that. Watch the battle rappers as they challenge their opponents with insulting adhominen attacks. The loser knows he lost and conceeds defeat and determines to return for a rematch.

Why can't we just get along? Oh, I forget we are Christians!

ha! word verification 'singfus'

Lydia said...

I like to point one particular finger a lot! :) It relieves my stress!

Lydia

Tue Mar 17, 06:33:00 PM 2009

Folks, this Lydia did not write that. And I will take the time to use my profile from now on.

If these are the tactics of the Wade bashers, then we know what we are dealing with, don't we.

greg.w.h said...

Lydia wrote:

If these are the tactics of the Wade bashers, then we know what we are dealing with, don't we.

We're dealing with people. No more and no less. Each of us still deals with the residual influence of the sin nature. No tactic--nor any form of sin--is uncommon to those who struggle with that influence.

Not excusing the behavior, of course, as much as reminding us of that from which we are being delivered. I fall into the same trap at times and accept that influence as a shortcut to feeling in control and empowered. I sometimes even remember to regret it and to confess it and to repent of it when it happens.

And sometimes I hope my parents still pray for me the way Job performed sacrifices for his children: that even their unknown, unrecognized sins be forgiven.

Greg Harvey

Wade Burleson said...

Lydia,

A person seems to be posing as several people and making some pretty snide comments, including forging your name. I have deleted the comment where he posed as you.

Where's Dave Miller when you need him?

Smile

Anonymous said...

Whoever is trying to upset Lydia,
Please reflect on the meaning of the words in this hymn.


LENTEN HYMN
Ubi Caritas et Amor
9th Century

Where charity and love prevail, there God is ever found;
Brought here together
by Christ's love,
by love are we thus bound.

With grateful joy and holy fear God's charity we learn;
Let us with heart and mind and soul
now love God in return.

Forgive we now each other's faults
as we our faults confess;
And let us love each other well
in Christian holiness.

Let strife among us be unknown, let all contention cease;
Be God's the glory that we seek, be ours God's holy peace.

Let us recall that in our midst dwells God's begotten Son;
As members of his body joined,
we are in Christ made one.

No race or creed can love exclude,
if honored be God's name;
Our family embraces all whose Father is the same.

Jeff said...

I am memorizing Judges 9:54 so I'll know what to do the next I debate some these women on here. ;)

Anonymous said...

Wow, Jeff, you sound worried.
You can't win with Lydia, she is a great scripture scholar.

But don't go out and buy a sword just yet. These ladies might teach you how to defend yourself, after all. :)

Kevin M. Crowder said...

“The Internet is a great place to find unconventional comedy that you can't find anywhere else.”

~Andy Dick


:)

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"You can't win with Lydia, she is a great scripture scholar."

?????


umm....Google and BibleGateway hardly make one a scholar.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"A person seems to be posing as several people and making some pretty snide comments, including forging your name. I have deleted the comment where he posed as you."

Welcome to my world. Two words -- "visible profile."

Anonymous said...

Lydia runs rings around you guys.

oc said...

"You can't win with Lydia, she is a great scripture scholar."

?????


umm....Google and BibleGateway hardly make one a scholar."


Kevin Crowder,
And professing to be a pastor who knows the Word and the grace it teaches, but then still demeans others, hardly makes one a Christian. You go right on ahead with the "scholar" thing. I'll take the Christian, every time.

Just sayin'.
oc.

oc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
oc said...

I am memorizing Judges 9:54 so I'll know what to do the next I debate some these women on here. ;)"

Jeff, I don't think you EVEN want to go there...

Judges 9:56,
"Thus God repaid the wickedness of Abimelech, which he had done to his father, in killing his seventy brothers."

It maybe a bigger headache than you've bargained for... :)

Just sayin'.
oc.

jle said...

OC (Official Critic) states:

And professing to be a pastor who knows the Word and the grace it teaches, but then still demeans others, hardly makes one a Christian. You go right on ahead with the "scholar" thing. I'll take the Christian, every time.

... and does so with such a gracious attitude towards Kevin. Thanks my fellow Christian.

Anonymous said...

OC is the world's greatest christian!!!

Anonymous said...

OC is the world's greatest christian!!!

Jeff said...

jle, I am working on that one too. I hope everyone knows that was a joke....

No woman could match wits with me. :)
That's a joke too! Esp., if my wife reads this..... :)

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"Just sayin'.
oc."

OC,

I did not demean anyone. Get off your high horse. No need to demean me as a pastor (finger pointing) for making the observation that quoting Scripture does not make one a scholar.

k

gram said...

many people who read "the shack" may not even be christians. many others may be new christians who wouldn't understand a word of what you guys are talking about in these comment threads. if "the shack" is a starting point for these people to ask questions and realize the need to be discipled, then it is serving a great purpose. many who read "the shack" are not spiritual and theological "giants" like many of you. and by the way, they might get a better understanding of God's love from a reading of "the shack" than from some of the "sniping" and personal attacks that show up in the comment threads of this blog.

"Contention is 'in the blood' and our natures are contentious to the core. In short, we like a good fight. Trouble is, does it work in a 'Christian' setting ? God wants our honesty, right? But it doesn't look too good: all this fighting. Kinda fun though."

btw, as christians, we CAN disgree and "debate" and "fight" honestly and in a way that is pleasing to God - even if we are hot tempered scots!

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"they might get a better understanding of God's love from a reading of "the shack" than from some of the "sniping" and personal attacks that show up in the comment threads of this blog."

Which is exactly why this blog needs a warning label.

[READ WITH CAUTION! A MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE COMMUNICATIVE STYLE OF THE PROFESSING BELIEVERS ON THIS BLOG MAY IN SOME CASES MISREPRESENT THE GOSPEL SENDING YOU TO HELL. PLEASE CONSULT THE BIBLE FOR DIRECTIONS TO HEAVEN.]

A suggestion for a label to be placed on The Shack:

[Warning: IT WAS NOT THE INTENT OF THE AUTHOR TO WRITE A "SPIRITUAL BOOK." THIS BOOK IN NO WAY ATTEMPTS TO REPRESENT GOD, THE BIBLE, CHRISTIANITY, NOR ATTEMPTS TO DESCRIBE CHARACTERISTICS OR ATTRIBUTES THEREOF IN RELATION TO THE AFORE MENTIONED NOR ANY OTHER IDEA OR PHILOSOPHY. THIS BOOK IS SECULAR IN NATURE AND IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PERCEIVED THEOLOGICAL CONTENT IT MIGHT CONTAIN WHETHER TRUE, HERETICAL OR OTHERWISE.]

Francis Geis said...

Pastor Burleson, I'm an occasional visitor at your site, and I find it informative and helpful in a number of ways. And even though I'm of Scot-Irish descent myself, I appreciate your teaching that a good debate or discussion can be both lively and civil. However, I perceive in the statements of some of your commentators a problem I have had in my own discussions and debates with other Christians on disputed issues, i.e., their tendency to equate the true teaching of Scripture with their own set interpretation of what the Scripture teaches on a given subject, whether it be a young creation vs. a old creation, the proper relationship between the law and the gospel, women in ministry, gifts of the Spirit, etc. Often they seem incapable to honestly consider the other person's view, without being personally threatened, feeling that their own view is in jeapordy simply because an alternative is even being seriouly discussed. And in my experience, when they are confronted with sound exegetical and rationally coherent arguments from Scripture that they cannot anwer or refute, they fiercely attack their opponent's intellectual ability, moral character, or theological orthodoxy. However, I am glad that while you allow lively discussion and debate, you have rules of mutual respect and civility which you faithfully observe and enforce. Please keep doing so. And may God bless you and your father's ministry to the disenfranchized and discouraged who still want to believe that the Gospel of Christ is good news for everyone. Amen!

Lydia said...

"You can't win with Lydia, she is a great scripture scholar."

?????


umm....Google and BibleGateway hardly make one a scholar.

Wed Mar 18, 12:12:00 AM 2009

I have never professed to be a scholar. I would check an interlinear instead of biblegateway. :o) And pray for understanding.

I can relate to this:

26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 1 Corin

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"I would check an interlinear instead of biblegateway. :o) And pray for understanding."

Sadly, this is all most SBC pastors do to preach on sunday mornings.

Byroniac said...

Kevin, in all fairness, no one can truthfully put that entire warning on the book (The Shack) because it would not be truthful. The book may sell well to a secular audience, and is probably sold in secular bookstores, but there's no way I could truthfully say it's secular in nature. It's a religious book, or at least a spiritual one (according to the distinction one hears in society). I do not think it fits the definition of secular.

My pastor has a saying I like about gleaning the truth out of what you hear (or by extension, read). He likened it to livestock grazing and said, "Chew the hay, and spit out the sticks." The best warning for the book is the label most bookstores give such works: FICTION. It really does not need any other warning, does it?

Lydia said...

"I would check an interlinear instead of biblegateway. :o) And pray for understanding."

Sadly, this is all most SBC pastors do to preach on sunday mornings.

Wed Mar 18, 10:31:00 PM 2009

Kevin, It might be instructive if you give us a rundown on what you do to prepare to preach.

Anonymous said...

Wade,
Anyone who wants to hear Mr. Young's testimony and purpose in writing the book can visit the website below.

Mel

http://www.drewmarshall.ca/listen2008.html#080426

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Lydia,

I try to follow Spurgeon's example by engaging in hours of reading and hours of prayer. Sometimes I even walk in circles around my desk to stay awake while reading--just like CHS did. Of course if I could ever attain half the quality of his sermons I would be happy.

Byron,

Let it then be said that I endeavor ALWAYS to be fair and truthful. [FICTION] is shall be!

Btw:
I do like the idea of using the book in a Christian (or evangelistic type) book club. I will read and discuss ANYTHING--as long as no holds bar discussion can follow. :)


Thanks to you both for keeping my comments in check. I have been a bit disturbed lately in life. God is making some changes in my life and I am anxious to find out the result.

k

Bryan Riley said...

Andy,

Putting to shame and wagging a finger and saying "Shame" are quite different, aren't they? I was referring to the latter. You bring an excellent word on how righteousness prevails.

Putting to shame may be no different than allowing one to continue to open one's mouth and demonstrate their lack of wisdom. It definitely need not be an aggressive action and isn't just a negative word that has no design for growth.

Anonymous said...

I want to express my sincere appreciation to Dr. Albert Mohler who has sounded the alarm on the heretical teachings in The Shack. There are many others who have done so, such as Oklahoma pastors Newkirk and Day in Edmond. Also, Lighthouse Trails Research has done a noble job in exposing all its blatant lies, such as the author recently saying that he does not believe in the substitutionary atonement of Jesus. You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. Guess what the non-truth will do to us? We should reject anything no matter how popular it is to make a splash on the scene. Jesus refused to play that game when his brothers in John 7 wanted Him to show Himself to the world. I figure if Rev. Oprah likes something, then that sends all types of signals that there is a good likelihood I should not like it.
Pastor Chris Humphreys
Heartland Baptist Church of OKC

Kendall said...

Wade, I plan on reading your book. There are "fundamentalist" who will castigate you if you don't agree with their view of the rapture, tongues and alcohol, just to name a few. However, do we not draw the line over someone denying penal substitutionary atonement (as Paul Young has…listen here http://rock-life.com/KAYP.html )? You are going to have Paul speak at you church right before Good Friday, you should ask him why he denies this central doctrine. Paul recommends Stricken By God which says outrageous things against the penal view. Here is an example: “A god who demands the child-sacrifice of his own son to satiate his own wrath? That is not Jehovah; that is Molech. God was not punishing Christ on the Cross; he was IN Christ, reconciling the world to Himself.” One of Paul's points in The Shack is that Jesus was not forsaken on the cross and that God does not punish sin.
You say that the book is fiction and should be taken as such.

However, he wrote the book to teach his children about his view of God. This book represents his theology in part and many things are outright Scripturally--wrong.