Emergent church

If Paul had to deal with postmoderns...

Dear “Brother” Paul:

I’m finding it very difficult to write this letter to you since I know how you’ll respond. But I choose not to think about that. You’ve mentioned me in two of your allegedly “private letters” to brother Tim and I feel I must respond.

In the first you claim that I’ve rejected the faith and a good conscience. And, as if that was not bad enough, you accuse me of blasphemy. How would you feel if someone said those kinds of things about you? Have you ever thought of that? I thought you...


Announcing the Tim Keller study Bible...

Publishers dream about Bibles because they are the cornerstone of publishing profits. Putting out a new Bible translation can assure a publisher's profitablity for generations, but short of a new translation, study Bibles do almost as well.

In a recent interview, Christianity Today's Global Publishing Director, Cliff Johnson, spoke of the profitability of Christianity Today's study Bibles:

Both the NIV Student Bible and the Quest Study Bible have been some of the most visible Christianity Today Bible products. Both were done with Zondervan and have produced ongoing revenue streams for quite some time now.

Tim Keller has been hitting doubles and triples with his books the past few years. Now he's going for the cycle with Christianity Today's recent announcement of the Faith and Work Bible to be marketed under the Keller/Redeemer trademark. Christianity Today CEO Harold Smith explains the Keller study Bible...


An excellent pastoral word concerning sodomy...

Several friends have made their home within St. Ebbes (Anglican) Church while doing grad work or on sabbatical at the local university. St. Ebbes' pastor (rector), Vaughan Roberts, is a single man who has written a book on seven temptations Christians face. Not ashamed to confess his need for God's grace, Pastor Roberts acknowledges he faces each of the seven temptations himself. One of those temptations is same-sex attraction.

Given the endless drum-banging by homosexualists demanding the normalization of sodomy, Vaughan Roberts' description of the work of sanctification in this area of his life is a spring of clear water.

For years, now, ministers of the Word and Sacrament in Christian churches that identify themselves as Evangelical, Reformed, or Bible-believing have been adopting a posture that allows them to hold on to their jobs while avoiding this breach in the wall. With blood flowing, we're determined it won't be our blood, so we blather on about not hating the sin or the sinner; about the need to distinguish between those who identify as gay men or lesbians, and those who act out on their gay and lesbian desires; about the superiority of monogamy to promiscuity; we equivocate, trotting out the old canard that God loves everyone just the way they are—no exceptions; and then softly, to our closest friends, we allow that the church across the centuries really was quite unkind to gays, and a reappraisal of the ancient texts and the Church's approach to this particular part of the diverse human community is long overdue.

Other pastors don't bother with such talking points: in the face of the teaching of Balaam everywhere around us, we're simply silent. We're prophets of God with nothing to say about the very thing the entire world is in an orgy of conversation and litigation over. One former member of the pastoral staff of a well-known Reformed church in New York City recounted how the church's senior leadership lived in terror of the New York Times coming out against their congregation because of Scripture's condemnation of homosexuality. Reflecting that terror, any inter-staff communication related to the subject was stamped in red ink, "CONFIDENTIAL."

Speaking tongue in cheek, we all understand this is precisely what's needed for the Reformed church to get a foothold there in New York City, isn't it? The Apostle Paul had to go easy on the "ignorance" of the Athenians...


Shame at the Name of Jesus...

The Brian McLaren who markets himself as a Christian while blessing his son's sodomite union now announces that someone asked him to compose an inaugural benediction, which he did:

Living God, whose glory surpasses every name and creed by which we seek to honor you, May our leaders become less concerned about the splinters in the eyes of their opponents and more concerned about the planks in their own. May our people reject the allure of dishonest and arrogant voices and be drawn instead to leaders who are humble, kind, and wise.


If San Francisco has a fundamental right to sodomy, Salt Lake City has a fundamental right to polygamy and New York City to pedophilia...

Woe to those who enact evil statutes... - Isaiah 10:1a

This is a helpful piece demonstrating the irrational nature of arguments for legislation establishing a right to sodomite marriage. Here's an excerpt...


An economist's advice on choosing a Church...

A couple months back, Six Rules for Dining ran in Atlantic Monthly. The article was written by economist Tyler Cowen and had some tips on how to choose where to eat. The article was insightful, but what I found more interesting...


Andrew Marin is a wolf...

Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears. (Acts 20:28-31)

In response to my warning against the heresies promoted by InterVarsity and its publishing house, InterVarsity Press, a man commented that he'd been involved with InterVarsity and now has a sodomite son who has found a church where he can be at home as a gay man. He went on to comment that he's read IVP's Love Is an Orientation by Andrew Marin and found it a "balm to (his) soul," so he recommended it to our readers.

Marin's book is preciously wrong and one day Marin and his publisher will give an answer for seducing many away from repentance for their bondage to sexual perversion. I responded to this man...


Go for the men and the women will follow...

So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men (aner) of Athens...” - Acts 17:22a

Dad gave me a couple pithy exhortations my first year in the pastorate. They weren't original but they carried the weight of his authority and I've passed them on to other pastors. Here are four of them: "Don't use Pardeeville as a stepping stone." "A home-visiting pastor makes a church-going people." "Preach it down; then preach it back up, again." And, "Go for the men and the women will follow."

That last one was deleted from an article on men's ministry I did for Christianity Today's journal, Leadership, back in 1989. Shortly after buying the piece, Leadership's editor left for Focus on the Family. The new editor didn't like the article, so he cut more than half the text and ran it without sending it back to me for approval. Readers won't be surprised Dad's advice "go for the men" didn't make the cut.

Jesus calls twelve men as His Disciples and we're not supposed to notice? Poor Christianity Today. Poor readership. Poor leadership.

I think of Dad's advice all the time. Parachurch organizations and church planters each have their own marketing strategies. Here are a few...


Another (yawn) minced confession at the PCA's Redeemer Presbyterian Church...

RedeemerWedding"To be wrong, and to be carefully wrong, that is the definition of decadence." - G. K. Chesterton, A Miscellany of Men

Here we have a wedding ceremony of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Manhattan.

Presiding over the service on the congregation's right wearing a suit is a male pastor (Scott Sauls) who formerly held his credentials in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church--a Reformed denomination that approves of female pastors and elders.

Presiding over the service on the congregation's left wearing a minister's robe is a female pastor.

Wedding ceremonies not being sacramental among us Protestants, one might argue it doesn't matter much if female pastors co-officiate with male pastors...


Reformed blings invite heretic to wax eloquent...

Jesus said, "...whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. - Matthew 20:27, 28

One of Baylyblog's themes is the necessity of avoiding all the Evangelical and Reformed bling. There's gold in them thar hills and that's the point, dear brothers and sisters. Jim MacDonald and Mark Driscoll are out having Elephant Room conversations and want you to come pay them money to see how bright they are.

Except check out the man they've invited to join them and wax elephant for their customers.

He's a pastor who claims he's a Christian, but he's not...


"Turn him loose. He's no threat..."

Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil. (Matthew 5:37)

For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was proclaimed to you by us... was not yes and no; but in him was yes. (2Corinthians 1:19)

An older pastor I respect is not opposed to women elders and pastors, yet I count him a close friend and listen to him carefully. Trained at Pittsburgh Seminary, he spent most of his life serving calls in the mainline Presbyterian Church (USA). Now though, like many of us, the PC(USA)'s promotion of sodomite pastors has led him to leave the denomination.

A few minutes ago, I received this e-mail from him in response to the video clip of Tim Keller being interviewed by Martin Bashir concerning the exclusivity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Heaven, and Hell. He wrote...


A tsunami of precious equivocation...

It is the final sign of imbecility in a people that it calls cats dogs and describes the sun as the moon—and is very particular about the preciseness of these pseudonyms. To be wrong, and to be carefully wrong, that is the definition of decadence. - G. K. Chesterton

A number of people have forwarded this clip in the past two weeks and it's been hard to know what to do with it. Keller's interview is about as bad as it could be. When the interview hit cyberspace, Keller issued an apology for one or two things he said. But his unfaithfulness to Jesus Christ and the Word of God was no momentary oversight or accident. It was a tsunami of careful, precise, well-placed equivocation, so the apology only made things worse.

For years, now, the Redeemer pastor has demonstrated a heavily nuanced and timid support for orthodox Christian doctrine...


Update to "A minister with a scripture" post...

The blog of the Gospel Coalition men continues to show itself thin-skinned, circling its wagons and refusing to respond to readers. The "Minister with a scripture..." post has been updated with the latest. Scroll down to the bottom of that post to keep abreast...

(TB)


"A minister with a Scripture..."

A few days ago, Tim Keller used his own Gospel Coalition blog to issue an apology for this very bad interview he did back in 2008 in conjunction with the release of his The Reason for God. The matter came to light only now because the video of the interview was only just released by Veritas Forum. Keller's apology is good in that apologies generally are; but it's bad in that some aspects of the interview that are most unfaithful to Scripture aren't addressed by the apology.

Noting this, I submitted a comment under the Gospel Coalition's announcement of the apology. The comment appeared for a few minutes, then was removed. Five days ago I submitted a request to the Coalition's e-mail asking them to...


The deafening silence...

This piece, "The Deafening Silence" by Nathan Ed Schumacher, demonstrates that the silence of Emergent and R2K men in the face of the wickedness and oppression in our public square is of the same fabric. Fear of man is a principle that knows no boundaries. (TB)

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. - Matthew 5:14

He that is not with me is against me. - Matthew 12:30

Qui non improbat, approbat [He who does not disapprove, approves]

Causae ecclesiae publicus causis aequiparantur [The cause of the church is a public cause]

-Maxims of Law

When Obama started his latest war in Libya, I wasn’t surprised – but I did start looking for some reaction from those in official senior positions of Christian leadership...


I wanna talk about me, wanna talk about I, wanna talk about Number One...

Listen to the first minute or two and it's so clear what this video and at least two of these men are about. You'd have to be highly educated to miss it. Then the last minute or two, it surfaces again. As that patriarch of all things Evangelical, the late Vernon Grounds, said some years back, Evangelicals worship "the bitch goddess of success." Followers of Jesus Christ should have nothing to do with multi-site video venues.

And by the way, Mark Dever pulled in his horns after being whupped by the two alpha-males going two-on-one on him with fangs bared. Try to imagine the good doctor, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, agreeing to be part of this exchange. I apologize for posting it, but some things have to be seen if they're going to be properly condemned. (TB, w/thanks)

Multiple Sites: Yea or Nay? Dever, Driscoll, and MacDonald Vote from Ben Peays on Vimeo.


DeYoung is "too kind" to Rob Bell...

A brother in Christ forwarded this letter he'd just sent to Pastor Kevin DeYoung responding to DeYoung's review of Rob Bell's recent book attacking the Biblical doctrine of Hell. It was an encouragment to me and the brother gave me permission to post in here for your encouragment, also. As far as I know, Pastor DeYoung has not responded. (TB)

* * *

Dear Pastor DeYoung,

I just read your excellent review, "God Is Still Holy and What You Learned in Sunday School Is Still True: A Review of Love Wins by Rob Bell". I hadn't read Bell before, but I  recently read his Hell chapter and was shocked at how bad it was--not just in its theology, but, as you point out, its crude and sophistical use of Bible passages...


A festival of hirelings and wolves...

WildGoose2011 The Economist reports on the June 23-26 Wild Goose Festival that "explicitly pitched its appeal to artists and musicians, nonconformists, post-Christians, non-Christians, disaffected evangelicals and a liberal evangelical subset known as the 'emergent' church." Held in eastern North Carolina a couple weeks ago, here's the Economist's description...


Redeemer's bondage to cosmopolitan conceit...

“Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name..." - Genesis 11:4

...if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter; and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds), then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment... - 2 Peter 2:6-9

We make it a habit to say less than we know when we oppose ministries and their leaders here on Baylyblog. We don't want to overreach. This has been true of our criticisms of Redeemer Presbyterian Church and her pastor, especially.

Back in the early nineties we first started recommending Redeemer to souls moving to New York City, and by now we have close to two decades of listening to those men and women who have become a part of Redeemer's congregations.

Our second thoughts about Redeemer started seventeen years ago...


WORLD enters the Promised Land...

Father Bill Mouser submitted this excellent comment under the post, WORLD's schtick.... Reading the original post may be necessary to understand this comment. (TB)

Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled. For the land has become defiled, therefore I have brought its punishment upon it, so the land has spewed out its inhabitants. (Leviticus 18:24, 25)

Imagine for a moment Joshua facing Israel as it's perched on the east side of the Jordan river, addressing that nation this way:

"For the longest time I’ve struggled to put my finger on just what I believe about homosexuality. Or, for that matter, about incest. Or, for crying out loud, Moloch worship. Forty years ago, after all that sturm und drang at the foot of Sinai, I think I would have come down pretty solid on the line of “absolutely not.”

"But, I’m not sure I can say that anymore. Wait a minute: It isn’t that I think homosexuality, or incest, or Moloch worship, or anything else Moses wrote in Leviticus 18, is OK and is something YHWH overlooks or agrees with. But it is that I’m understanding a little better that what is commanded of us Jews is simply not the same as what we should expect from those who inhabit the land YHWH has given to us...