What do Marcus Borg, Greg Johnson, Zane Hodges, and Gene Roddenberry have in common...

Another exercise in discernment: please join this work. Resistance is not futile.

In the godly, fear and love embrace.

Dear readers, my brother, David, and I have often written here that our work on this blog is an extension of our calling to serve as shepherds of God's flock. And although we recognize this calling is primarily to particular congregations in Toledo and Bloomington, we approach this blog as an extension of our local ministry and work to serve as shepherds here, also. In fact, a high proportion of our readers are present or past members of our congregations. Whether the medium is the telephone, E-mail, church newsletters, or blogs, David and I are working to correct, encourage, and rebuke, with great patience.

At times we give in to the temptation to waste these words on inconsequential matters, but we hope not too often. Seeing the title of my recent post, "The World Cup, racism, and the reprobate," some likely wondered why I was squandering time on soccer? But the post wasn't really about soccer, but rather the sin of racism, and the failure of pastors and elders who connive at this sin in their congregations.

Why this lengthy preamble?

Here is a link to a piece I believe to be terribly dangerous. I've considered whether it's too dangerous to be circulated, but I think we need to read it. It's a sermon by Lutheran scholar Marcus Borg, titled "The Character of God," given at Calvary Episcopal Church in Memphis, Tennessee, on March 24, 2000.

Professor Borg is leading the souls he's teaching in a liberal and academic context to a place that is similar to the place Covenant Theological Seminary graduate and PCA pastor, Greg Johnson, takes us in his piece , "Freedom from Quiet Time Guilt: The Rare Beauty of Weakness Christianity." Sure, Pastor Johnson uses terminology and arguments that would appeal to conservative reformed, rather than liberal Lutheran, academic types. But both pieces, I believe, lead souls to presume on God's grace and allow no place for the fear of God...

How could two men from such different contexts lead us to the same error? One is reformed and committed to a high view of Scripture while the other is Lutheran, a member of the Jesus Seminar, and denies the physical Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Do they have anything in common?

Yes. In these works both men have served as pawns in Satan's hands, borgs who carry out the task of assimilating all men in religion's grand project of liberation from the wrath of God. And the Evil One's conspiracy has spread across Christendom creating the strangest bedfellows imaginable. It is preached and taught by liberal PC(USA), but also conservative PCA Presbyterians; by liberal ELCA, but also conservative Missouri Synod Lutherans. And amazingly, go among Moody, Dallas, and Grace dispensationalists and you'll find them promoting it, also. And when Zane Hodges got a hold of it, the plutonium core went critical.

So now, dear brothers and sisters, have at it. Please read this piece and try to assemble the parts so that, no matter our denominational heritage, we may recognize the poison and expose it. Write up your critique, posting it here as a comment, and I will love you for it. Answer the questions:

What are the similarities between the arguments made by Pastor Johnson and Professors Borg and Hodges? And...

Is there an antidote that can stretch the seemingly huge distance between the Religious Studies Department of Indiana University, the Divinity School at Vanderbilt, Dallas Theological Seminary, and Covenant Theological Seminary?

And keep in mind the Holy Spirit's exhortation in Hebrews:

Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant.

But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. And this we will do, if God permits.

For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.

But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way. (Hebrews 5:11-6:9)

(Deep appreciation to Pastor Dan Reuter for pointing me to the Borg sermon and its similarity to Johnson's piece; and also to Pastor Dave Curell for the Trekkie hooks.)

Comments

Wow--it's like Borg is using a divide and conquer approach to the Bible. Let's talk about love and not whether that lover might request something of His beloved.

Mercy Maud, there's so *much* wrong with this lecture or sermon or whatever it is, it's hard to know where to begin.

Were I to start with the most picayune objection, it'd be with Borg's using "constellation" and "Gestalt" and "image" as adverbs. Never, ever take theological Greenwich time from someone who uses unwords such as "constellating" and "gestalting".

A man who'd make *those* up would make up *anything*.

On the flip side, one of the biggest problems I've run into (and I'm not halfway through it) is with Borg's clearly disapproving statement:

"It suggests that the Christian life is about measuring up, of doing or believing what God requires of us. Secondly, this way of imaging God's character leads to an in-group and out-group distinction. There are those that do measure up and those who don't. There are those who are saved and those who are not."

Well, yeah. We are supposed to do that and believe that which God requires us to do and believe. You know:

"One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, "What commandment is the foremost of all?"

29 Jesus answered, "The foremost is, 'HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD;

30 AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.'

31 "The second is this, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:28-31)

Last time I checked, "commandment" meant, um, a command. An instruction. A "Do this!" or, conversely, "Don't do that!"

Not to mention which there's the whole Matthew 1:21 point: "[Y]ou are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins," plus Acts 13:38-39, "Therefore, let it be known to you, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is being proclaimed to you, and everyone who believes in Him is justified from everything, which you could not be justified from through the law of Moses."

One could also haul in the sheep/goat distinction to which Christ referred in Matthew 25:33, "He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left."

So it doesn't seem terribly unreasonable to assert that God does indeed separate people into saved and unsaved.

What's really pitiful is I've cited more Scripture in this short post than Borg did in his whole talk.

Oy vey! =8^o

Perhaps it's just me, but I don't find the Borg sermon so dangerous. It's just standard universalism--God is too nice to punish anyone for sin, and most of the Bible is not to be taken seriously-- plus Social Justice--- God is very angry about certain political sins and about being rich and selfish, and wants us to punish the bad guys. Of course, these two things are quite contradictory, but that's standard too.

Mr. Johnson at least understands the basics of Christian theology. Mr. Borg thinks that orthodox Christianity is much like ancient Judaism, but with obedience to rules replacing being Jewish and making sacrifices. He seems ignorant of the concept of undeserved grace, and hasn't even gotten as far as the Roman Catholic idea of obedience being generated by grace.

The funny thing is, the Herbert poem Borg quotes gets the theology right. It looks like he quoted it because it talks about God and Love and sounds very sweet, but he didn't see the iron under the velvet. In just four lines we have: 1. We sin and deserve Hell. 2. God bore the blame on the Cross. 3. If God calls us, we must accept His grace.

"Truth, Lord, but I have marr'd them; let my shame
Go where it doth deserve."
"And know you not," says Love "who bore the blame?"
"My dear, then I will serve."
"You must sit down," says Love "and taste my meat."

Scripture itself is the antidote that will inoculate Christians against these teachers and their teachings. Borg uses John 3:16 in his text but is only willing to quote an entire six words of the verse! Why? Because the rest of the verse is too damning to his cause - not to mention verse 17-21. Here it is, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." Belief (i.e. faith) is required. And what of the inverse implication - there will be those that perish. Verses 18-21 are even more harmful to Borg's cause.

We fall for this stuff because we have shepherds who tell us that it is okay not to study scriptures. So many Christians work really hard to climb the corporate ladder - studying business management, people management, etc. to attain to our goals. They work hard to keep the weight off by working out every day. But when it comes to their relationship with God - they expect God to gently lay it into their laps.

Why did Paul tell Timothy to study to show himself a workman who does not need to be ashamesd and who correctly handles the work of truth (2 Timothy 2:15)?

Could the trouble be that Borg and Johnson really don't believe in the authority of Scripture? Or perhaps they don't believe in the authority of God altogether. (Side note - instead of the "Divine Lover Model", think of it as the "Divine Hippie Model".)

Wow, if I reared my children the way Borg wants God to interract with us, well I think everyone knows what they would grow up to be! The antidote is study, study, and more study. The people of God need to cry out for shepherds who are faithful to the task - handling the word of truth correctly and using the rod (i.e. the law, discipline) and the staff (i.e. the gospel, love) to lead us into spiritual manhood.

In this sermon Mr. Borg begins by inviting us to see God's character through metaphors. He uses sleight of hand, trying to direct our attention away from God's specific, scriptural designations as King, Judge, and Father, all the while keeping our eyes fixed on what he calls the images and metaphors where God is only 'like' a king, a judge, and a father. After reducing God's specific designations to generalized metaphors he groups them together with other characteristics revealed in the scripture that are not specifically designated: mother, potter, warrior, and lover. By mixing His specific designations with the general and inferred characteristics, Borg performs his trick. He dupes the reader into thinking that God is not actually designated as anything, rather, He is just 'like' a lot of different things.

He then divides these general metaphors into two groups, those that form and support the theology he refers to as the monarchical model and those characteristics that comprise the divine lover model. He divides his manipulated characteristics based on their either being hard or soft, male or female, father-like or mother-like. Herein lies a particularly clever twist in his deception. He is careful never to use the specific designate pronoun 'He' when speaking of God. He avoids this pronoun even when the use of the name 'God' becomes repetitious and burdensome to read in the text. He even stops short of it in his partial quotation of John 3:16. However, he is not opposed to using the designate pronoun 'She' when referring to God. This deception is also seen in the names given to his two contrasted models. The monarchical model remains a general metaphor but the divine lover model, by virtue of the adjective divine, becomes a specific designation. Apparently, even to Mr. Borg it is not enough for God to just be a lover (i.e. the lover model); He had to be the divine lover.

So, he first diminishes God into attributes, dividing Him into two groups of general metaphors; He then purposefully jettisons all things male, and finishes by elevating his tame god using non-biblical specific designations. Mr. Borg is a deceiving feminist of the worst sort.

Another observation that can be made of this sermon is that in it Mr. Borg opens our eyes and clearly defines the 'battle lines' of our spiritual engagement. I have often asked myself why liberal pastors bother to embrace a vocation where they serve as faithless, powerless ministers in a faithless and powerless system. The pay can't be that good. In Mr. Borg's sermon we get a glimpse of their motivation. They are attempting to 'save' people from God and from the true church. Everything is an attempt to remove offence, any 'no' spoken by God. Greg Johnson is evidencing this same characteristic in the quiet time article and so he is like Mr. Borg. Their 'gospel' is one that has long been a favorite weapon of Satan. In Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan describes such deceivers with the character of Mr. Worldly Wiseman who instructs Christian to, "with all speed get thyself rid of thy burden; for thou wilt never be settled in thy mind till then; nor canst thou enjoy the benefits of the blessing which God hath bestowed upon thee till then." and "it is happened unto thee as to other weak men, who, meddling with things too high for them, do suddenly fall into thy distractions; which distractions do not only unman men, as thine, I perceive, have done thee, but they run them upon desperate ventures to obtain they know not what."

One of the easiest ways to identify wolves is to observe how they treat sin, whether they abhor it or ignore it.

Mr. Borg is one of the editors of Explorefaith.org, the website from which this sermon comes. Apparently anyone can contribute written offerings to the site as long as the editorial board approves them. The published goal of the site is to, " provide an open, non-judgmental, private place for ANYONE interested in exploring spiritual issues."

It makes one wonder why a non-judgmental site would need an editorial board.

(I purposefully refrain from referring to Mr. Borg as Dr. because I believe he is only 'like a doctor'. I choose to believe that in his case the designation 'Dr.' is oppressive and tyrannical, perhaps monarchical. Therefore I think it best to characterize him as a Mr. or perhaps as 'the lovable Ms. Borg')

Since many of the preceding comments contain much excellent analysis of this poorly-written, illogical piece of postmodernism, I will try not to restate the criticisms already directed at it. Rather, my interest primarily concerns the fundamental errors that lie at the very heart of Borg's deceptive and dangerous sermon.

Borg begins his discussion of "The Character of God" by inviting his audience to make use of an intriguing technique that yet does increasing violence to the truth of Scripture as his sermon proceeds. Specifically, he attempts to illuminate the character of God by examining the use of figurative language to describe God. Of course, insofar as Scripture uses imagery and figurative language to reveal the nature of God, Borg's technique could be profitable; but as the sermon progresses, it becomes evident that Borg is engaging in a reductionism that describes God's character only in terms of the figurative language that Borg discusses (and, often, misapplies), rather than attempting to obtain a complete conception of God's character on the basis of Scriptural revelation.

Moreover, even Borg's basic discussions of imagery and figurative language are both woefully incomplete and, in some instances, flatly inaccurate. Dave Curell has already made the excellent observation that Borg deceptively lumps together two classes of descriptive terms: (1) those that Scripture uses as specific designations of God's attributes, and (2) those that Scripture uses in an indirect way such that the reader must infer their applicability to God. Borg's cunning in this matter, moreover, is matched by a misuse of the basic terms of figurative language, an ignorance that is simply incredible in anyone possessing such educational credentials. I am referring primarily here to the elementary distinction between a simile and a metaphor, which seems to have escaped Borg. At the risk of appearing overly pedantic, a simile compares one object with another using the words "like" or "as," while a metaphor asserts that one thing is another. With a simile, the comparison is obvious, but so is the inherent discreetness (for lack of a better term) of each object; with a metaphor, the degree of comparison is so strong as to imply an identity, within the realm of figurative speaking, of course. I belabor this point because I believe much of the deceptiveness and error of Borg's argument flows out of what is at best a misapprehension and at worst a mendacious twisting of this language. Thus it is deceptive for Borg to claim that Scripture merely describes God "like a king, like a judge, like a shepherd, like a father...," and so on. Scripture may indeed say each of these things, but it also clearly indicates that God IS a King, Judge, Shepherd, Father, and so on. For Borg to mislabel these designations of God with the language of simile, while even yet calling them metaphors, is to both misinterpret figurative language and distort the testimony of Scripture.

One might object, however, that I am minimizing the import of figurative language in Scripture by harping on these distinctions. Not at all. To say as Scripture does that God is a king, a judge, etc., is not to claim that these titles of men can fully or absolutely apprehend these aspects of God's divinity: thus God is a king but this title also incompletely describes Him; he is a judge but one whose legal declarations are just in a way that eclipses any human example of justice, for, as the Psalmist notes, "The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether (Psalm 19:9)." We understand, then, that God is pleased to use figurative language in order to communicate and condescend to our human limitations, but what we must always bear in mind (and what Borg avoids) is that images and symbols are used in writing (and especially in Scripture) to express realities greater and loftier than those that can be described in sober prose. In Borg's own sentence, for example, he notes that, "...images or metaphors are more concrete, more visual." The adjective "visual" is a fairly straightforward descriptor of what an image is, but the first adjective ("concrete") is itself a metaphor whose figurative referent is a thing vastly different from its literal antecedent. Thus Borg knows that the word "images" and the word "concrete" are really completely different, but by using the latter as a metaphor for hardness he can make a stronger point than if he had merely said "images or metaphors are harder." To return to my earlier point, then, by mishandling the use of figurative language Borg not only conflates the varying levels of designations in Scripture, but also obfuscates the paradigmatic function of God's titles in Scripture. That is, God is not only King because He functions similarly to a human monarch, but rather, he is the King from whom all kings, and thus kingship itself, derive their attributes. He is not a Father simply because he reminds us of our fathers, but his is the Fatherhood from whom all human fatherhood flows. Borg's problem with metaphors, then, is not so much that he exaggerates their importance but rather that he minimizes the primacy of their Creator, an error I shall return to momentarily.

Equally dangerous, and perhaps more obvious, is Borg's attempt to completely oppose the God of judgement and lawgiving with the God of love (or, to use his terms, the "monarchial model" vs. the "lover model"). This deviousness, of course, arises in part from his aforementioned chicanery with God's designations, but it becomes even more explicit as Borg's sermon continues. Thus we read that "God as lawgiver and judge in a way triumphs over the love of God," and that this produces a "God of requirements," a distinction between the "in-group and out-group," a "God of vengeance," and a self-preoccupation with "our own salvation." Now, despite the fact that Borg finds them distasteful, Scripture clearly teaches each of the first three notions (and I think the fourth one may be a dubious claim): God has established requirements (this used to be called "holiness"); there are two groups (the quick and the dead, the elect and the reprobate, the saved and unsaved---take your pick); and to Him alone belongs perfect and holy vengeance. Borg's fundamental error here, however, is not even that he denies these truths, but rather that he depicts them as in opposition to the attributes of a loving God. He says, "It's very different from the monarchical model. The monarchical model puts us on guard. There are requirements to be met, rewards and punishments to be considered. We are defendants on trial. But the Divine Lover model changes the way we see the character of God." Indeed. It changes the way we see the character of God because it presents us with an incomplete, falsified, and dangerous picture, a description of something that is ultimately not the Scriptural character of the Creator but that of the creature.

In some ways, of course, this is nothing more than the two-god dichotomy long claimed to exist between the Old and New Testaments, i.e., that the God of the Old Testament is a God of justice and wrath while that of the New Testament is One of love and mercy. But Borg's errors extend even further, inasmuch as he not only opposes justice and mercy but also invites his audience through both word and example to "image" the character of God in a way that seems best to themselves and their society. Such an invitation is both profoundly dangerous and manifestly illogical, as Borg's own words demonstrate: "The ethical imperative that goes with each [model] is quite different. For the monarchial model the ethical imperative is, be good because you will be called to account...For the divine lover model the ethical imperative is, love that which God loves." Assuming that Borg is here using the word "ethical" in its extended connection with the term "ethics," we can grant him the logic of his first statement, but his second declaration is as absurd as any in this sermon. For if in Borg's "Divine Lover model" we view God as simply a Deity "in love," or a "besotted lover," to speak of either "ethics" or "imperatives" is futile. What profits ethics for those who need fear no judgement, no anger, no disapproval from their "lover god"? How can we sensibly speak of an "imperative" from a god who will not judge violations of that imperative and whom, as Borg says, we have no obligation to please? What meager argument exists in this sermon here reaches utter absurity, and so his rhetorical statement "What is the character of your God?", which in a proper context could be appropriate, is finally nothing more than a blasphemous and senseless invitation to "image" God's character according to our own sensibilities.

This, then, is the final, principle, and (I think) most damning aspect of Borg's sermon-- that we as his audience are invited to choose our own model by which we may "image" God. And here I must return to my earlier discussion of metaphor, for I find Borg's use of the term "model" throughout his text to be all too revealing of the errors he is promoting. For a model is not simply a metaphor with "staying power" nor a way of "constellating or gestalting metaphors" (as Borg so infelicitously argues), but rather, it constitutes a framework which we construct and whose molded form we use to explain some aspect of the revealed world we live in. Indeed, whether in mathematics, statistics, or theology, the model allows us to make sense of the imperceptible through some intellectual construction of our own. I emphasize the term "construct" because this is the fundamental impiousness that underlies Borg's entire approach. God has indeed chosen to reveal himself through both specific and figurative means, but the Christian imagination must both begin with and remain conformed to the revelation that He has chosen to give us. Indeed, in the final analysis we can neither "image" the character of God nor choose which model of His character we will accept. He is the Potter, while we are the clay; we choose either to embrace the God of Scripture Who is revealed through metaphor and simile or to create our own figurative model and thereby serve a god of our own creation. Were we, then, to search for a label for Borg's approach, we might well have simplified his confused figurations and illogical ideas in favor of a simpler, if more terrifying, appellation: idolatry.
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Since this comment has become more of an essay in itself (sorry), I'll briefly touch on what I think are the similarities between Borg's approach here and that of Dr. Johnson in the "quiet time" article.

I note first of all that both Borg and Johnson view guilt as in some sense antithetical to the Christian life. Borg obviously demonstrates this more explicitly, even to the extent of being astonished that confession could be necessary at only 9:00 in the morning. For Borg, an improper "modeling" of the character of God can result in the Christian's guilt, and this guilt is assuaged by changing one's intellectual mindset. For Johnson, though the guilt with which he concerns himself in his article is narrower in scope, it is nevertheless a guilt still responsible for other problems in the Christian's life. Moreover, like Borg, he sees a change in mindset (in his case, concerning the necessity of daily study and prayer) as the antidote to this guilt. Both authors, then, regard guilt as a problem but fail to express a complete solution. Borg's solution involves not a realization of human inability and Christ's complete ability but merely a shift in our intellectual perspective; Johnson's disallows the possibility that guilt over the lack of study and prayer may be legitimate in the Christian's life.

Both authors also employ at the heart of their arguments (or, in Borg's case, his musings) a false dichotomy that stains their resulting conclusions. Borg takes the figurative language of Scripture and distributes it into two mutually exclusive "models" whereby (as he says) we "image" the character of God; Johnson takes the element of prayer and assigns it completely to the category of "grace," thereby excluding it from that of "work." In both of these authors, the net effect of these dichotomies is to create a false impression and to offer a choice where none is present. We do not have the option of choosing a "model" whereby we can rid ourselves either of God's love or his wrath; both elements find their perfection in the character of God. Similarly, Scripture will not allow us to restrict prayer and study either to the category of "work" or to that of "grace." Prayer is the Christian's duty, and yet it is also a grace whereby the Christian is daily sanctified.

Finally, I believe the postmodern love of "choice" infects each of these authors' texts. As might be expected, this religious relativism is manifest most obviously in Borg's sermon, inasmuch as his audience is offered the choice of which model they will embrace in their conceptions of God. As he says, "There are many ways of thinking about that journey of death and resurrection that stands at the center of this season." Johnson, for his part, is likewise enthralled with the many options available to Christians for meditation upon God's law, each of which he finds just as valid as daily prayer and Bible study. Borg's postmodernism, of course, goes straight to the heart of belief (or unbelief) about God, and is therefore the more damning, but Johnson's essay, though less egregious, is ultimately tainted by the same error that infects Borg's.

In the end, then, the essays of both men lead Christians to presume upon the grace of God and, as Tim noted, leave little room for the fear of the Lord in their lives. Johnson believes in the Christian faith, while Borg arguably does not, and, at least in the case of Mr. Johnson, I have every reason to believe that his motivations are sound. But I think in both articles there lurks the fundamental flaw of postmodernism, and in a culture so enthralled as is ours with "choice" and "freedom," we must be ever vigilant to proclaim that freedom from the law's curse brings not the lawlessness of sin, but rather a righteous bondage to Christ.

On a slightly different note, these two peices only reflect what the reality is in many of our own hearts. It is easy to see that Marcus Borg serves a god who is a woman - a goddess. His god doesn't do the nasty work of disciplining his own.

Johnson's God is only a little better in that his God is a He. Sadly, for Johnson God is a eunuch. Johnson emasculates God when he insists that God will not be mad at us for our sin of laziness concerning our quiet time. It is only different from Borg's goddess in that God is a He, but He still doesn't do the nasty work of disciplining His own.

That brings us to us. Is it really any different when we (those of us who think God is a He and that He truly does do the nasty work of disciplining His own) have the correct thoughts of the character of God, but live our lives in such a way that the only statement one could surmise is that we are not afraid of our God?

We should reject outright these men's errant views of God's character, but we need to gaurd our own hearts from living secretly what these men are all too willing to say!

Is there a difference between saying "God is a woman" or "God is a eunuch" or "God is my father, but I ain't skeered of Him"?

If we don't take care and gaurd ourselves, as Johnson and Borg prove, our theology will come into conformity with our practice.

Borg is being taught at our ELCA church at an evening service, mostly devoid of church members. During the morning worship, our Pastor is Lutheran, during the evening service he denies the deity of Christ, embraces the inclusiveness of "all ways lead to God", and denies the authority of scripture. The church is largely unaware of the heresy they are funding.

Greg Johnson's article flows with grace and has been unfairly attacked in many of these posts. Almost everyone missed the point entirely. Why is this sin of attacking genuine believers so common? I'm all for discernment but love of the brethren is also important.

> I'm all for discernment but love of the brethren is also important.

Telling brethren who are in error is loving. Telling people about brethren who are promoting error is even more loving.

Amen Jay N Smith & David Grey!

Telling brethren who are in error IS loving and telling people about brethren who are promoting error is even MORE loving.

However, classifying Greg Johnson with a someone like Marcus Borg seems to be an error in itself. It was not only Johnson's article "Freedom from Quiet Time Guilt" that was unfairly attacked here, but Greg Johnson himself.

How fair was it to judge Johnson based on how one of his articles confronted one of our most dearly cherished religious traditions (the 2-hr early morning quiet time) and make it appear that because of this article, Johnson somehow does not believe that we ought to fear God?

Monergism.com have links to more of Johnson's online articles and it would be interesting to learn how anyone can go through them and still think that Johnson can be lumped together with Borg:

http://www.monergism.com/directory/search.php?action=search_links_simple&search_kind=and&phrase=greg+johnson&B1.x=26&B1.y=8&B1=Search

Many thanks.

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