The most controversial two words you can say in public

Brit Hume, in an interview about his controversial statement on television that Tiger Wood should turn to Christianity:

It is certainly true in secular America today that the most controversial two words you can ever utter in a public space are ‘Jesus Christ,’” Hume said.

When asked to speculate about the reasons for the mainstream media’s vitriolic reception of Christianity, Hume initially expressed bewilderment

“I’m somewhat at a loss to explain it because so many of the people who purport to be aghast at such mentions are themselves at least nominally Christian.  But there it is,” Hume said.

He added: “I think it is true that for people who are not Christian, Christianity makes a fairly extravagant claim which is that the Son of God — God made Flesh — came into this world, lived, suffered terribly, and died for the remission of our sins, and then rose again.  This is a huge supernatural event, and a lot of people don’t—have a lot of trouble believing it.  But if you do purport to believe it, the implications are pretty staggering.  And the result is you may end up talking about it,” Hume said.

Hume also ventured possible practical reasons for the public’s searing distaste for Christianity.

“There is certainly a level of anti-Christian bigotry that may have something to do with the fact that on certain issues, the views of Christians are against theirs on certain matters such as abortion and others, but I can’t account for all of it.  It is a striking reality, however,” Hume concluded.

via CNSNews.com – Brit Hume: ‘Jesus Christ’ the ‘Most Controversial Two Words You Can Ever Utter in the Public Square’ Today.

How do you account for the Christophobia that seems rampant everywhere today?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://www.examiner.com/x-27802-Televangelism--Pop-Christianity-Examiner Bob Hunter

    The message of the cross is an offense. It’s a spiritual aversion to Christ. I have two sisters-in-law who, rather than merely laughing Christianity off, fly into a rage at the mere mention of Jesus Christ. Not a logical reaction at all, but I’m convinced their reactions are because, deep down, they KNOW Christianity is true and that they’re accountable to God.

  • http://www.examiner.com/x-27802-Televangelism--Pop-Christianity-Examiner Bob Hunter

    The message of the cross is an offense. It’s a spiritual aversion to Christ. I have two sisters-in-law who, rather than merely laughing Christianity off, fly into a rage at the mere mention of Jesus Christ. Not a logical reaction at all, but I’m convinced their reactions are because, deep down, they KNOW Christianity is true and that they’re accountable to God.

  • http://wipfandstock.com/store/As_Though_It_Were_Actually_True_A_Christian_Apologetics_Primer Matt C.

    I think this video from CNN is pretty instructive on Christophobia:

    http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/living/2010/01/06/nr.sanchez.buddhism.explainer.cnn?iref=allsearch

    The interviewer basically tries to set himself up as (unlike Hume) open-minded and knowingly ignorant about Buddhism and has therefore called in a Buddhism expert (who is really just a meditation trainer) in order to receive proper instruction. He then spends the entire interview on a fishing expedition trying to get the Buddhism expert to agree with his preconceived judgment that Buddhism and Christianity really both offer forgiveness in an apples-to-apples way. He is embarrassingly disingenuous.

    How is this instructive on Christophobia? It really arises out of theological liberalism. Christianity is seen as a kind of community or a set of loose moral guidelines, etc (which every religion has) and the real problem from that point of view are those who (as we would probably put it) “take Christianity seriously” and think it has exclusive truth claims. This often spawns a misguided effort to be pluralistic through thinking every religion in its purest form is really theological liberalism at its core. No other authentic religion is really taken seriously enough to hate, but orthodox Christianity is hated for contradicting theological liberalism because they are familiar enough with it to know that it actually does.

    Many of those mired theological liberalism really hate every religion except their own — they’re just too ignorant and narrow-minded to realize that there are any religions other than different flavors of their own and orthodox Christianity.

  • http://wipfandstock.com/store/As_Though_It_Were_Actually_True_A_Christian_Apologetics_Primer Matt C.

    I think this video from CNN is pretty instructive on Christophobia:

    http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/living/2010/01/06/nr.sanchez.buddhism.explainer.cnn?iref=allsearch

    The interviewer basically tries to set himself up as (unlike Hume) open-minded and knowingly ignorant about Buddhism and has therefore called in a Buddhism expert (who is really just a meditation trainer) in order to receive proper instruction. He then spends the entire interview on a fishing expedition trying to get the Buddhism expert to agree with his preconceived judgment that Buddhism and Christianity really both offer forgiveness in an apples-to-apples way. He is embarrassingly disingenuous.

    How is this instructive on Christophobia? It really arises out of theological liberalism. Christianity is seen as a kind of community or a set of loose moral guidelines, etc (which every religion has) and the real problem from that point of view are those who (as we would probably put it) “take Christianity seriously” and think it has exclusive truth claims. This often spawns a misguided effort to be pluralistic through thinking every religion in its purest form is really theological liberalism at its core. No other authentic religion is really taken seriously enough to hate, but orthodox Christianity is hated for contradicting theological liberalism because they are familiar enough with it to know that it actually does.

    Many of those mired theological liberalism really hate every religion except their own — they’re just too ignorant and narrow-minded to realize that there are any religions other than different flavors of their own and orthodox Christianity.

  • Jonathan

    It’s the devil, the world, our sinful flesh at work. We humans are by nature spiritually blind, dead, and enemies of God. If Christianity weren’t true–and thus so offensive–why else do those outside concern themselves with attacking it, than say, Buddhism, or scientology?

  • Jonathan

    It’s the devil, the world, our sinful flesh at work. We humans are by nature spiritually blind, dead, and enemies of God. If Christianity weren’t true–and thus so offensive–why else do those outside concern themselves with attacking it, than say, Buddhism, or scientology?

  • TE Schroeder

    If you use the words “Jesus Christ” as an expression of vulgarity or obscenity, most people don’t have a problem with those two words at all.

  • TE Schroeder

    If you use the words “Jesus Christ” as an expression of vulgarity or obscenity, most people don’t have a problem with those two words at all.

  • http://wipfandstock.com/store/As_Though_It_Were_Actually_True_A_Christian_Apologetics_Primer Matt C.

    Jonathan @ 3:

    Your answer is true as far as it goes, but I think its helpful to attempt more precision. We humans are indeed that sinful, but we’re not that simple. Even when we’re doing evil, our nature makes us come up with reasons that allow us to think our evil is actually good. Nobody gets up in the morning and considers how he’s going to deny important truths today because he hates God.

    In light of this, when we just write these issues off as sin making people deny the truth, we tend to ignore the rationalizations people use. For one thing, this means we miss opportunities to take their rationalization away by argument and thereby expose them to the law. For another, it means we treat grievances about Christianity (as practiced) which are often legitimate as though they were no big deal. Both of these failures do a disservice to the lost we’re supposed to be seeking.

  • http://wipfandstock.com/store/As_Though_It_Were_Actually_True_A_Christian_Apologetics_Primer Matt C.

    Jonathan @ 3:

    Your answer is true as far as it goes, but I think its helpful to attempt more precision. We humans are indeed that sinful, but we’re not that simple. Even when we’re doing evil, our nature makes us come up with reasons that allow us to think our evil is actually good. Nobody gets up in the morning and considers how he’s going to deny important truths today because he hates God.

    In light of this, when we just write these issues off as sin making people deny the truth, we tend to ignore the rationalizations people use. For one thing, this means we miss opportunities to take their rationalization away by argument and thereby expose them to the law. For another, it means we treat grievances about Christianity (as practiced) which are often legitimate as though they were no big deal. Both of these failures do a disservice to the lost we’re supposed to be seeking.

  • John C

    The convergence of fundamentalist Christians and the deeply conservative right-wing Republicans under George Bush has led to a reassessment of Christianity. I think people turn away from Christianity if it starts to dominate the political culture. For some, this may amount to Christophobia.

  • John C

    The convergence of fundamentalist Christians and the deeply conservative right-wing Republicans under George Bush has led to a reassessment of Christianity. I think people turn away from Christianity if it starts to dominate the political culture. For some, this may amount to Christophobia.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Insightful, Matt C. (2) and John C. (6).

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Insightful, Matt C. (2) and John C. (6).

  • http://farnham.tumblr.com Will

    John C @ 6 is onto something (though I would argue how conservative many of those ideas/policies actually are). This is tied to both the tenor of polarization in politics these days, as well as the politicization of nearly every sphere of life. Couple this with sensationalist media, and you have a public perception that in order to believe the “fairly extravangant” claims of Christianity, as Hume puts it, one must also believe (here I use examples of varying extremity) that dirty-hands morality regarding torture and the use of total war is acceptable/encouraged, that “fill the Earth and subdue it” implies a free pass to act as one wills with regards to ecology, and that Fred Phelps and the rest of the Westboro crew are shining examplars of Christian ideals, worthy of much accolade.

    Whereas within the Christian community we are aware of our diversity of beliefs, and many of us are capable (particularly in this peculiar forum) of reasoned, informed discussion of how we believe our lives and politics should be ordered in the light of Christ’s life, death and resurrection, many of those outside simply preceive a single, solidary “Religious Right.”

    To publicly align one’s self with Christ, then, is to publicly align one’s self with all those viewpoints, either real or caricatured.

    That said, I believe that Bob, Matt and Jonathan @ 1, 2, and 3 encapsulate the other primary components of “Christophobia”, once one removes the politics: Our culture is inexplicably unwilling to judge any person or belief that has not been made a crime; many of us are resistant to the ideas that we sin at all, that those sins condemn us, or that those sins may be forgiven; many genuinely believe the notion that Jesus of Nazareth was simply a moral teacher, and the Christians have made up this whole “God became flesh and died for the restitution of man’s sin” thing on their own.

  • http://farnham.tumblr.com Will

    John C @ 6 is onto something (though I would argue how conservative many of those ideas/policies actually are). This is tied to both the tenor of polarization in politics these days, as well as the politicization of nearly every sphere of life. Couple this with sensationalist media, and you have a public perception that in order to believe the “fairly extravangant” claims of Christianity, as Hume puts it, one must also believe (here I use examples of varying extremity) that dirty-hands morality regarding torture and the use of total war is acceptable/encouraged, that “fill the Earth and subdue it” implies a free pass to act as one wills with regards to ecology, and that Fred Phelps and the rest of the Westboro crew are shining examplars of Christian ideals, worthy of much accolade.

    Whereas within the Christian community we are aware of our diversity of beliefs, and many of us are capable (particularly in this peculiar forum) of reasoned, informed discussion of how we believe our lives and politics should be ordered in the light of Christ’s life, death and resurrection, many of those outside simply preceive a single, solidary “Religious Right.”

    To publicly align one’s self with Christ, then, is to publicly align one’s self with all those viewpoints, either real or caricatured.

    That said, I believe that Bob, Matt and Jonathan @ 1, 2, and 3 encapsulate the other primary components of “Christophobia”, once one removes the politics: Our culture is inexplicably unwilling to judge any person or belief that has not been made a crime; many of us are resistant to the ideas that we sin at all, that those sins condemn us, or that those sins may be forgiven; many genuinely believe the notion that Jesus of Nazareth was simply a moral teacher, and the Christians have made up this whole “God became flesh and died for the restitution of man’s sin” thing on their own.

  • scots

    Jesus Christ would have men deny themselves and their idols and worship Him alone – proud humans hate this…

  • scots

    Jesus Christ would have men deny themselves and their idols and worship Him alone – proud humans hate this…

  • Larry

    How do you account for the Christophobia that seems rampant everywhere today?
    I read the main linked article and Mahoney seem to lay out that it wasn’t so much against Christianity as it was “conservative values” in general and sexual issues in particular.

    I think he’s partially on to more than he realizes but not the way he’s thinking. If THAT’S why the public hates Christianity, conservative values and such (not that we’d want to project immorality), then clearly Christianity in the very broad sense of the term, is projecting the wrong message. It’s kind of like the debate we use to have in SBism over alcohol and “not hurting your witness”. I had more than one unbeliever tell me that “Christians don’t drink because that’s their religion”. It made me, back then, relook at what I thought was true Christianity. It’s kind of like going out to Utah and seeing someone not drink coffee or tea, that’s a particular of their false religion that begets the heart of it, works righteousness.

    Christianity is thus projected to be just another “law religion”. A lot of atheist and agnostic see through that. I did when I was one. Because for the most part having been raised early on a SB I was basically taught it was a law religion and Jesus provided the impetuous or example that could make one do it all. A protestant form of “infused grace” if you will. But it doesn’t take a person long to take (A) you say your religion is xyz laws and this is God and the religion, and (B) I can do these things with the aid of grace somewhere in the conversion train, yet (C) Though outwardly I can do/not do what the “law” says, inwardly I feel my heart desire the opposite…one must conclude either (1) God then must have abandoned me or I cannot reach up to perform, (2) there is no God, or maybe there is no God.

    If you look deeply enough into every atheist/agnostic coming out of a legal religion or that which pretends to be Christianity but is really nothing more than a “law” religion, in a moment of honesty you’ll find them state why they “fell away” and now hate it. Ellen Degeneres, for example, her famous comedic skit on Carson’s show years ago that lifted her to fame, well before her “outing”. She does this skit, she was raised some kind of Christian, of a prayer to God in the form of a telephone conversion recalling from her own experience. It was done under the guise of “comedy” but there was reality behind it. In it, keep in mind she’s not revealed her sexuality at this time in history, she’s asking “God are you there”. No answer. One can “hear” that logic going on, “Christianity is this law religion, this is suppose to be reality and the truth, I’m struggling, I feel it, I call on God for help, power…I don’t receive it…since A and B are false, the rest must be also”. Presto, a born again unbeliever.

    In this context and Tiger Wood’s context I think that’s a lot of the Christophobia out there, a “jesus” that is “the way, truth and life” as in law. Not a Jesus of grace.

    Not that we wouldn’t desire well for Tiger. How he fell any man could fall. But think about the context of Christ being used there. Tiger has had a tremendous moral fall. Instantly people begin to say, “He needs Jesus”. The implication meant or not is, “to clean up his act”. A moral Jesus, things will get better Jesus. If that’s all he needs maybe he needs to find Buddha or Moroni, or the disciplinary life of Epicurus himself.

    It would be very different if a public figure in an interview would indeed say that Tiger needs Christ. Then the follow up question might be, “What to improve his life?”. Answer, “No, to know he is forgiven.” Now that would probably draw blood from both the right and the left!

    Larry

  • Larry

    How do you account for the Christophobia that seems rampant everywhere today?
    I read the main linked article and Mahoney seem to lay out that it wasn’t so much against Christianity as it was “conservative values” in general and sexual issues in particular.

    I think he’s partially on to more than he realizes but not the way he’s thinking. If THAT’S why the public hates Christianity, conservative values and such (not that we’d want to project immorality), then clearly Christianity in the very broad sense of the term, is projecting the wrong message. It’s kind of like the debate we use to have in SBism over alcohol and “not hurting your witness”. I had more than one unbeliever tell me that “Christians don’t drink because that’s their religion”. It made me, back then, relook at what I thought was true Christianity. It’s kind of like going out to Utah and seeing someone not drink coffee or tea, that’s a particular of their false religion that begets the heart of it, works righteousness.

    Christianity is thus projected to be just another “law religion”. A lot of atheist and agnostic see through that. I did when I was one. Because for the most part having been raised early on a SB I was basically taught it was a law religion and Jesus provided the impetuous or example that could make one do it all. A protestant form of “infused grace” if you will. But it doesn’t take a person long to take (A) you say your religion is xyz laws and this is God and the religion, and (B) I can do these things with the aid of grace somewhere in the conversion train, yet (C) Though outwardly I can do/not do what the “law” says, inwardly I feel my heart desire the opposite…one must conclude either (1) God then must have abandoned me or I cannot reach up to perform, (2) there is no God, or maybe there is no God.

    If you look deeply enough into every atheist/agnostic coming out of a legal religion or that which pretends to be Christianity but is really nothing more than a “law” religion, in a moment of honesty you’ll find them state why they “fell away” and now hate it. Ellen Degeneres, for example, her famous comedic skit on Carson’s show years ago that lifted her to fame, well before her “outing”. She does this skit, she was raised some kind of Christian, of a prayer to God in the form of a telephone conversion recalling from her own experience. It was done under the guise of “comedy” but there was reality behind it. In it, keep in mind she’s not revealed her sexuality at this time in history, she’s asking “God are you there”. No answer. One can “hear” that logic going on, “Christianity is this law religion, this is suppose to be reality and the truth, I’m struggling, I feel it, I call on God for help, power…I don’t receive it…since A and B are false, the rest must be also”. Presto, a born again unbeliever.

    In this context and Tiger Wood’s context I think that’s a lot of the Christophobia out there, a “jesus” that is “the way, truth and life” as in law. Not a Jesus of grace.

    Not that we wouldn’t desire well for Tiger. How he fell any man could fall. But think about the context of Christ being used there. Tiger has had a tremendous moral fall. Instantly people begin to say, “He needs Jesus”. The implication meant or not is, “to clean up his act”. A moral Jesus, things will get better Jesus. If that’s all he needs maybe he needs to find Buddha or Moroni, or the disciplinary life of Epicurus himself.

    It would be very different if a public figure in an interview would indeed say that Tiger needs Christ. Then the follow up question might be, “What to improve his life?”. Answer, “No, to know he is forgiven.” Now that would probably draw blood from both the right and the left!

    Larry

  • http://farnham.tumblr.com Will

    Larry @ 8 makes a great point. Singling out individuals involved in public, easily recognizable sin as those who need Christ carries with it a great implication that Christ will change you (though, certainly He will) instead of, rather than in addition to, the fact that Christ will forgive you. Understood in these terms, one might easily arrive at the opinion that Matt @ 2 describes.

    In a way, this perception also results in a kind of prosperity religion: “Tiger, turn to Jesus, and he will make you not want to commit adultery anymore.” At this juncture, a lack of adultery and a favorable divorce settlement are the kind of prosperity Tiger is probably hoping for. It is very easy for many people to misunderstand acceptance of Christ in terms of what we get from it, rather than who He is, how He acts, and why His sacrifice is necessary.

  • http://farnham.tumblr.com Will

    Larry @ 8 makes a great point. Singling out individuals involved in public, easily recognizable sin as those who need Christ carries with it a great implication that Christ will change you (though, certainly He will) instead of, rather than in addition to, the fact that Christ will forgive you. Understood in these terms, one might easily arrive at the opinion that Matt @ 2 describes.

    In a way, this perception also results in a kind of prosperity religion: “Tiger, turn to Jesus, and he will make you not want to commit adultery anymore.” At this juncture, a lack of adultery and a favorable divorce settlement are the kind of prosperity Tiger is probably hoping for. It is very easy for many people to misunderstand acceptance of Christ in terms of what we get from it, rather than who He is, how He acts, and why His sacrifice is necessary.

  • Mike

    Like most white American Christians (particularly the males) I like nothing better than to feel sorry for myself and to believe that I’m victimized by everyone else. Even the movie “Avatar” is all about making me feel inferior. Yesterday there was a posting here about 1,260 Iraqi Christians who’ve been killed since ’03, but those guys at least didnt’ have to live in a country where the liberals make fun of Christ-exalting Fox News. That’s persecution straight out of Fox’s Books of Martyrs, if you’ll pardon the pun.

    But wait a minute. Hume didn’t say “Jesus Christ” or even mention the Lord. Rather, he told Woods on a news show (and Woods was not even there) to switch from Buddhism to Christianity. Why? Because Woods had sinned? No. So that Woods could make a “total recovery” and be an example to everyone else. I’m not sure that’s even the gospel, but Fox reports and I decide, and I decided it was close enough.

    Besides, Fox is the only truth-telling network, fair and balanced, so I guess it had to be close enough. I loved it when Hume when on O’Reilly’s show and complained about the criticism, though I kept waiting for him to tell O’Reilly to become a Christian. But when Hume was talking to Woods, I wish he had also turned to Wm Kristol and told him to drop Judaism. Same for Krauthammer. Maybe he will in time. Then you’ll hear the liberals yell. I love Fox News. It’s almost as good as TBN.

  • Mike

    Like most white American Christians (particularly the males) I like nothing better than to feel sorry for myself and to believe that I’m victimized by everyone else. Even the movie “Avatar” is all about making me feel inferior. Yesterday there was a posting here about 1,260 Iraqi Christians who’ve been killed since ’03, but those guys at least didnt’ have to live in a country where the liberals make fun of Christ-exalting Fox News. That’s persecution straight out of Fox’s Books of Martyrs, if you’ll pardon the pun.

    But wait a minute. Hume didn’t say “Jesus Christ” or even mention the Lord. Rather, he told Woods on a news show (and Woods was not even there) to switch from Buddhism to Christianity. Why? Because Woods had sinned? No. So that Woods could make a “total recovery” and be an example to everyone else. I’m not sure that’s even the gospel, but Fox reports and I decide, and I decided it was close enough.

    Besides, Fox is the only truth-telling network, fair and balanced, so I guess it had to be close enough. I loved it when Hume when on O’Reilly’s show and complained about the criticism, though I kept waiting for him to tell O’Reilly to become a Christian. But when Hume was talking to Woods, I wish he had also turned to Wm Kristol and told him to drop Judaism. Same for Krauthammer. Maybe he will in time. Then you’ll hear the liberals yell. I love Fox News. It’s almost as good as TBN.

  • Carl Vehse

    In a Brit Hume Interviewby Sarah Pulliam Bailey in Chrsitianity Today, Hume noted:

    “I don’t want to practice a faith that I’m afraid to proclaim. I don’t want to be a closet Christian. I’m not going to stand on the street with a megaphone. My principal responsibility at Fox News isn’t to proselytize. But occasionally a mention of faith seems to me to be appropriate. When those occasions come, I’ll do it.”

    “Christianity is a religion for sinners. Christianity is not about the salvation of perfect people. Christianity is a way for people who are not perfect to be saved.”

    Also this week another columnist, already under liberal wrath for her political views, also presented her position on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in her article, If you can find a better deal, take it!”, concluding:

    “With Christianity, your sins are forgiven, the slate is wiped clean and your eternal life is guaranteed through nothing you did yourself, even though you don’t deserve it. It’s the best deal in the universe.”

  • Carl Vehse

    In a Brit Hume Interviewby Sarah Pulliam Bailey in Chrsitianity Today, Hume noted:

    “I don’t want to practice a faith that I’m afraid to proclaim. I don’t want to be a closet Christian. I’m not going to stand on the street with a megaphone. My principal responsibility at Fox News isn’t to proselytize. But occasionally a mention of faith seems to me to be appropriate. When those occasions come, I’ll do it.”

    “Christianity is a religion for sinners. Christianity is not about the salvation of perfect people. Christianity is a way for people who are not perfect to be saved.”

    Also this week another columnist, already under liberal wrath for her political views, also presented her position on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in her article, If you can find a better deal, take it!”, concluding:

    “With Christianity, your sins are forgiven, the slate is wiped clean and your eternal life is guaranteed through nothing you did yourself, even though you don’t deserve it. It’s the best deal in the universe.”

  • Manxman

    “I am the way, the truth & the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

    Americans fear Jesus Christ because the idea that there is someone who claims His “truth” trumps all other forms of “truth” when it comes to access to God – especially when that’ truth demands their acceptance – is alarming and offensive.

  • Manxman

    “I am the way, the truth & the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

    Americans fear Jesus Christ because the idea that there is someone who claims His “truth” trumps all other forms of “truth” when it comes to access to God – especially when that’ truth demands their acceptance – is alarming and offensive.

  • J

    Is it just possible that Hume’s comments were not appropriate, given the venue? I mean, I have a job that requires me to do a lot of writing. What if I appended several verses from the gospels to everything I wrote for my employer? I would be asked to stop it. Is that persecution?
    I wasn’t watching the show when Hume made his comment, but was the gospel the topic? Or religious beliefs? Maybe much of the criticism is by people who don’t want to be reminded that there is such a thing as Christianity. I don’t know. But maybe a lot of it comes from folks who just don’t think what Hume said was appropriate for where he said it. As a Christian myself, I’m in that latter group.

  • J

    Is it just possible that Hume’s comments were not appropriate, given the venue? I mean, I have a job that requires me to do a lot of writing. What if I appended several verses from the gospels to everything I wrote for my employer? I would be asked to stop it. Is that persecution?
    I wasn’t watching the show when Hume made his comment, but was the gospel the topic? Or religious beliefs? Maybe much of the criticism is by people who don’t want to be reminded that there is such a thing as Christianity. I don’t know. But maybe a lot of it comes from folks who just don’t think what Hume said was appropriate for where he said it. As a Christian myself, I’m in that latter group.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Larry:It would be very different if a public figure in an interview would indeed say that Tiger needs Christ. Then the follow up question might be, “What to improve his life?”. Answer, “No, to know he is forgiven.” Now that would probably draw blood from both the right and the left!

    Actually, Brit Hume in his remarks On Fox News Sunday did say with a caring compassionate tone that Tiger Woods needs Christ, not to follow any law, but for forgiveness and redemption.

    Those who argue that the public has turned off on Christian conservatives such as Pres. Bush and Att’y. General Ashcroft ignore the fact that most secular liberals loathed and feared the orthodox Christianity of both these leaders from the beginning.

    The reality is that secular liberalism dominates the cultural heights of America including academia, the media, and the entertainment industry. Serious Christianity is regarded as déclassé. Brit Hume, a nominal Christian until ten years ago, is exceptional, having come seriously to Christ and the Cross, and courageously acknowledging this in public.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Larry:It would be very different if a public figure in an interview would indeed say that Tiger needs Christ. Then the follow up question might be, “What to improve his life?”. Answer, “No, to know he is forgiven.” Now that would probably draw blood from both the right and the left!

    Actually, Brit Hume in his remarks On Fox News Sunday did say with a caring compassionate tone that Tiger Woods needs Christ, not to follow any law, but for forgiveness and redemption.

    Those who argue that the public has turned off on Christian conservatives such as Pres. Bush and Att’y. General Ashcroft ignore the fact that most secular liberals loathed and feared the orthodox Christianity of both these leaders from the beginning.

    The reality is that secular liberalism dominates the cultural heights of America including academia, the media, and the entertainment industry. Serious Christianity is regarded as déclassé. Brit Hume, a nominal Christian until ten years ago, is exceptional, having come seriously to Christ and the Cross, and courageously acknowledging this in public.

  • DonS

    Well said, Peter.

    The critical parsing of Hume’s exact words, the wringing of the hands as to whether the forum was appropriate — how disturbing! Even the American CHRISTIAN community is stunned that a man in secular media would dare to utter the name of Christ, or to declare that Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross is the only way of redemption, and can be transformative in a sinner’s life. To where have we allowed ourselves to slip?

    “Prosperity gospel”? Does anyone here not believe that Christ’s power transforms lives? Is that “prosperity”? Yes, spiritual prosperity, which Christ clearly promises, but not material prosperity. Hume never implied nor stated that the result in Woods’ life would be a restoration of material prosperity. You Lutherans are reading that into his words because you have allowed yourselves to become so bitter about so-called “evangelical Christianity”. Take his words at face value and celebrate that he takes the Great Commission seriously and is willing to risk personal forfeit to declare where he stands with Christ.

    Inappropriate forum? Well, I guess according to the cultural elite, anywhere outside of a church building is an inappropriate forum these days. Moreover, the elite would prefer to zone churches out of their community (they’re inconvenient, don’t you know, because they generate traffic on Sundays and raise no tax revenue). Well guess what? Christ proclaimed the Gospel in many, many “inappropriate forums”. So did Paul, and the other apostles. And, so should we.

    Bravo, Brit Hume.

  • DonS

    Well said, Peter.

    The critical parsing of Hume’s exact words, the wringing of the hands as to whether the forum was appropriate — how disturbing! Even the American CHRISTIAN community is stunned that a man in secular media would dare to utter the name of Christ, or to declare that Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross is the only way of redemption, and can be transformative in a sinner’s life. To where have we allowed ourselves to slip?

    “Prosperity gospel”? Does anyone here not believe that Christ’s power transforms lives? Is that “prosperity”? Yes, spiritual prosperity, which Christ clearly promises, but not material prosperity. Hume never implied nor stated that the result in Woods’ life would be a restoration of material prosperity. You Lutherans are reading that into his words because you have allowed yourselves to become so bitter about so-called “evangelical Christianity”. Take his words at face value and celebrate that he takes the Great Commission seriously and is willing to risk personal forfeit to declare where he stands with Christ.

    Inappropriate forum? Well, I guess according to the cultural elite, anywhere outside of a church building is an inappropriate forum these days. Moreover, the elite would prefer to zone churches out of their community (they’re inconvenient, don’t you know, because they generate traffic on Sundays and raise no tax revenue). Well guess what? Christ proclaimed the Gospel in many, many “inappropriate forums”. So did Paul, and the other apostles. And, so should we.

    Bravo, Brit Hume.

  • J

    DonS -
    You’re fantasizing what Hume said, then congratulating him for giving the speech you say he gave, but didn’t.
    To say that venue is not appropriate is foolish and rather sanctimonious. If I call 911, I don’t want the operator to tell me to convert to Christianity, but to take the call and get help. Same for a newscast. Likewise, when I submit a written document that does not deal with the gospel, it should not contain the gospel.

  • J

    DonS -
    You’re fantasizing what Hume said, then congratulating him for giving the speech you say he gave, but didn’t.
    To say that venue is not appropriate is foolish and rather sanctimonious. If I call 911, I don’t want the operator to tell me to convert to Christianity, but to take the call and get help. Same for a newscast. Likewise, when I submit a written document that does not deal with the gospel, it should not contain the gospel.

  • DonS

    J:

    He didn’t give a “speech”. He made a statement. And the statement was 100% right.

    The forum was an opinion segment on a Sunday morning talk show. How is that not appropriate? And how does that related to a 911 call or a written business document, pray tell?

  • DonS

    J:

    He didn’t give a “speech”. He made a statement. And the statement was 100% right.

    The forum was an opinion segment on a Sunday morning talk show. How is that not appropriate? And how does that related to a 911 call or a written business document, pray tell?

  • J

    Yes, but the statement was not at all as you characterized it.

    With regard to the forum, you all but said no forum was inappropriate. My response was that there are in appropriate forums, and perhaps you agree.

    So the question is whether Hume’s program was the appropriate forum. It wasn’t, particularly because Woods was not there. Had he been, then Hume’s comment would have seemed less gratuitous, since it would have been directed at Woods himself. But it still would have been inappropriate. Why did Hume not, as one poster mentioned, turn to his fellow guests, or even to the audience, and urge them to turn to Christianity?

    I realize I’m talking past you and most folks here. The important thing is, Fox News has now got the religious right (its most devoted base) jacked up about ‘persecution’ and self pity.

    Bravo, Fox PR department.

  • J

    Yes, but the statement was not at all as you characterized it.

    With regard to the forum, you all but said no forum was inappropriate. My response was that there are in appropriate forums, and perhaps you agree.

    So the question is whether Hume’s program was the appropriate forum. It wasn’t, particularly because Woods was not there. Had he been, then Hume’s comment would have seemed less gratuitous, since it would have been directed at Woods himself. But it still would have been inappropriate. Why did Hume not, as one poster mentioned, turn to his fellow guests, or even to the audience, and urge them to turn to Christianity?

    I realize I’m talking past you and most folks here. The important thing is, Fox News has now got the religious right (its most devoted base) jacked up about ‘persecution’ and self pity.

    Bravo, Fox PR department.

  • Larry

    Peter,

    I have no problem with what Mr. Hume said that was not the point at all, I was answering the question asked, and my pretend situation was only hypothetical to make a point, of course I realized when I stated it that it was not a real likely scenario in an interview. I work around a LOT of unbelievers, mostly atheist the largest percentage of such are from ex-Christian background (all heterodox that I personally know, mostly ex RC, SB and Meth. In this area), it’s part and parcel with my profession pretty much and thus I talk and hear what they think a lot. If you wish to know what professing unbelievers think Christianity is, ask them, they will tell in a moment of honesty and non-confrontation. Don’t talk at them talk to them, they will honestly answer then. Most of the time it’s some form of law. That begets the general “message” they are hearing of what Christianity is.

    I’ve also found a sneaky way “Christianity” is made into a “law religion” or hidden works righteousness religion using “redemptive and grace” language. I’m not saying Mr. Hume meant this, I don’t know his mind, but I have heard the way some use that exact terminology, its sneaky leaven. It’s something like this: “Come to Christ were you can have redemption and grace.” Implication: It will clean you up after the fact, if it does not, grass and redemption didn’t take place. It’s the old evangelical “fine print”. The Gospel does not occur to serve the Law, the Law serves the Gospel. We are not saved with eye towards making us better in the future, we are saved purely, the unlovable, with no eye toward improvement out of the shear naked grace of God, for the sake of Christ.

    It’s the difference in seeing man’s problem (by extension Mr. Woods, as well as my own) as a need to improve one’s life (even morally) somewhere in the train of conversion versus forgiveness of sin end of story. If your “gospel” is basically “no change occurred no justification took place”, you have another gospel. In that context given the clarion events of Mr. Wood’s moral lapses it is communicated that he needed Christ to “get better”. Why Mr. Wood’s only need Christ AFTER the public fact of his moral lapses, did he not need forgiveness prior to having ever done anything at all? The timing of communicating Christ in a public forum ONLY when moral lapses of negative sins have transpired is to draw a false picture both of sin and of Christ’s redemption. It falsely communicates sin as mostly negative sins (not inward turning) leaving the false saint deluded, while only impugning the open (negative) sinner. Why not take a celebrity (an example for sake of argument) whose say another religion, but morally outstanding in a moment when he has done something wonderful for his wife and family and say, “He needs Christ.” That would be an alien message the world would really outcry with utter incredulity, “What in the blue blazes do you mean! He has not done anything wrong.”

    Of course Peter you have to realize that I would not agree that Pres. Bush and Att’y. General Ashcroft are not in fact in the orthodox Christian faith but in heterodox congregations (as far as I’m aware). So I don’t see that secular liberals loathe and fear only the orthodox confession but conservative heterodox confessions.

    Larry

  • Larry

    Peter,

    I have no problem with what Mr. Hume said that was not the point at all, I was answering the question asked, and my pretend situation was only hypothetical to make a point, of course I realized when I stated it that it was not a real likely scenario in an interview. I work around a LOT of unbelievers, mostly atheist the largest percentage of such are from ex-Christian background (all heterodox that I personally know, mostly ex RC, SB and Meth. In this area), it’s part and parcel with my profession pretty much and thus I talk and hear what they think a lot. If you wish to know what professing unbelievers think Christianity is, ask them, they will tell in a moment of honesty and non-confrontation. Don’t talk at them talk to them, they will honestly answer then. Most of the time it’s some form of law. That begets the general “message” they are hearing of what Christianity is.

    I’ve also found a sneaky way “Christianity” is made into a “law religion” or hidden works righteousness religion using “redemptive and grace” language. I’m not saying Mr. Hume meant this, I don’t know his mind, but I have heard the way some use that exact terminology, its sneaky leaven. It’s something like this: “Come to Christ were you can have redemption and grace.” Implication: It will clean you up after the fact, if it does not, grass and redemption didn’t take place. It’s the old evangelical “fine print”. The Gospel does not occur to serve the Law, the Law serves the Gospel. We are not saved with eye towards making us better in the future, we are saved purely, the unlovable, with no eye toward improvement out of the shear naked grace of God, for the sake of Christ.

    It’s the difference in seeing man’s problem (by extension Mr. Woods, as well as my own) as a need to improve one’s life (even morally) somewhere in the train of conversion versus forgiveness of sin end of story. If your “gospel” is basically “no change occurred no justification took place”, you have another gospel. In that context given the clarion events of Mr. Wood’s moral lapses it is communicated that he needed Christ to “get better”. Why Mr. Wood’s only need Christ AFTER the public fact of his moral lapses, did he not need forgiveness prior to having ever done anything at all? The timing of communicating Christ in a public forum ONLY when moral lapses of negative sins have transpired is to draw a false picture both of sin and of Christ’s redemption. It falsely communicates sin as mostly negative sins (not inward turning) leaving the false saint deluded, while only impugning the open (negative) sinner. Why not take a celebrity (an example for sake of argument) whose say another religion, but morally outstanding in a moment when he has done something wonderful for his wife and family and say, “He needs Christ.” That would be an alien message the world would really outcry with utter incredulity, “What in the blue blazes do you mean! He has not done anything wrong.”

    Of course Peter you have to realize that I would not agree that Pres. Bush and Att’y. General Ashcroft are not in fact in the orthodox Christian faith but in heterodox congregations (as far as I’m aware). So I don’t see that secular liberals loathe and fear only the orthodox confession but conservative heterodox confessions.

    Larry

  • Gregory DeVore

    Jesus promised we would be hated.The controversey over Brit Humes coments proves this is still the case. No we are not being killed off like they are in Iraq but we are indeed hated by the cultural elites. I am not that concerened about the reasons. You expose one reason and they will find another.
    What does interest me is the spiritual significance of this hatred. Biblically it is a token of God’s favor(Matt.5). It is almost a sacrament. That is it is an outward action to which God has attached promises of divine favor and reward.

  • Gregory DeVore

    Jesus promised we would be hated.The controversey over Brit Humes coments proves this is still the case. No we are not being killed off like they are in Iraq but we are indeed hated by the cultural elites. I am not that concerened about the reasons. You expose one reason and they will find another.
    What does interest me is the spiritual significance of this hatred. Biblically it is a token of God’s favor(Matt.5). It is almost a sacrament. That is it is an outward action to which God has attached promises of divine favor and reward.

  • J

    Mr. DeVore -
    While you said, “we are not being killed off… but…,” even to think of comparing the murders of Iraqi Christians to the rather sensible criticism of a Fox News talking head is outrageously narcisstic. What Hume is experiencing is not persecution, it’s a spike in ratings.

  • J

    Mr. DeVore -
    While you said, “we are not being killed off… but…,” even to think of comparing the murders of Iraqi Christians to the rather sensible criticism of a Fox News talking head is outrageously narcisstic. What Hume is experiencing is not persecution, it’s a spike in ratings.

  • Cincinnatus

    The argument in this thread is entirely missing the point. Working in academia, I can assure you that the words “Jesus Christ” in a non-obscene context can produce profound discomfort in a room full of eggheads and administrators.

    Content-neutrality in certain settings may be valid (saying “may Jesus Christ bless you” may not be the best choice for a Wal-Mart greeter in Dearborn, Michigan, or a generic commerical situation, for instance), but it is problematic if the words are deemed “offensive” in an opinion program or in an academic context.

  • Cincinnatus

    The argument in this thread is entirely missing the point. Working in academia, I can assure you that the words “Jesus Christ” in a non-obscene context can produce profound discomfort in a room full of eggheads and administrators.

    Content-neutrality in certain settings may be valid (saying “may Jesus Christ bless you” may not be the best choice for a Wal-Mart greeter in Dearborn, Michigan, or a generic commerical situation, for instance), but it is problematic if the words are deemed “offensive” in an opinion program or in an academic context.

  • Matt

    Cincy -

    While there’s disagreement here, I don’t think the posters were ‘entirely missing the point.’ I do quetion, however, the validity of your conclusion. Give us examples of where “Jesus Christ” was said in an non-obscene academic environment and describe the discomfort.

  • Matt

    Cincy -

    While there’s disagreement here, I don’t think the posters were ‘entirely missing the point.’ I do quetion, however, the validity of your conclusion. Give us examples of where “Jesus Christ” was said in an non-obscene academic environment and describe the discomfort.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Brit Hume’s key words were as follows:

    “He’s said to be a Buddhist. I don’t think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith,” Hume said. “So my message to Tiger would be, ‘Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.’”

    Would that more Christians could speak as truly and appropriately as Mr. Hume, especially on network television.

    Also, Brit Hume is far from trying to sneak law into his Christian religion. He has a sophisticated understanding of the distinction between law and forgiveness/ redemption.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Brit Hume’s key words were as follows:

    “He’s said to be a Buddhist. I don’t think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith,” Hume said. “So my message to Tiger would be, ‘Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.’”

    Would that more Christians could speak as truly and appropriately as Mr. Hume, especially on network television.

    Also, Brit Hume is far from trying to sneak law into his Christian religion. He has a sophisticated understanding of the distinction between law and forgiveness/ redemption.

  • Larry

    Pete,

    Again, I’m not impugning Mr. Hume’s words, I think there were genuine and correctly spoken and meant exactly as you say.

    I was answering the question “How do you account for the Christophobia that seems rampant everywhere today?”

    To that, the timing of such statements, only at low/moral defection moments, coupled with what most Christians have been taught the faith is (law, improvement). The statement is never made when Mr./Ms. Famous has done a wonderful work.

    Mr. Hume did not mean it that way, I realize, He meant it redemptively I’m sure, his statement is an innocent victim of what ex-christians and unbelievers are use to hearing and due to its timing (at a low point) could not be taken in any other way.

    Again, Mr. Woods did not need the redemption of Christianity any less decades before these chain of events and those leading up to them occurred. Mr. Woods needed the Cross, as we all do, even especially when he was in the “high times of a moral life”, not just post “the negative sin list”.

    Ex-christians from heterodoxy and non-believers (ever) are use to hearing the huff and puff of the moral majority religion disguised as Christian. There use to hearing so called conversion stories of “I use to be _______ (fill in the blank with a negative sin/problem), but the Lord took that away from”. Which could be a conversion story for any religion. I’ve heard hundreds of them from multiple religions.

    What they NEVER hear is, “You know I was a very moral guy, still am, rarely even got a speeding ticket and when I did rarely that fast and I dutifully paid it off. I was and still am ‘lilly white clean’ as to my moral fortitude and actions. And I am the GREATEST sinner in the world needing the forgiveness of my sins.” To see a man confess his good works is alien.

    Today the “nominal” Christian is viewed as the one who just goes to church, maybe less than he might ought, goes home and lives a rather normal drab life. Luther in his day describes the true nominal Christian, one that might not be really resting in Christ alone, as the one that attends the Word and Sacrament, then goes home busying himself up with all kinds of things attempting to sanctify his life more. This person has everything upside down.

    Larry

  • Larry

    Pete,

    Again, I’m not impugning Mr. Hume’s words, I think there were genuine and correctly spoken and meant exactly as you say.

    I was answering the question “How do you account for the Christophobia that seems rampant everywhere today?”

    To that, the timing of such statements, only at low/moral defection moments, coupled with what most Christians have been taught the faith is (law, improvement). The statement is never made when Mr./Ms. Famous has done a wonderful work.

    Mr. Hume did not mean it that way, I realize, He meant it redemptively I’m sure, his statement is an innocent victim of what ex-christians and unbelievers are use to hearing and due to its timing (at a low point) could not be taken in any other way.

    Again, Mr. Woods did not need the redemption of Christianity any less decades before these chain of events and those leading up to them occurred. Mr. Woods needed the Cross, as we all do, even especially when he was in the “high times of a moral life”, not just post “the negative sin list”.

    Ex-christians from heterodoxy and non-believers (ever) are use to hearing the huff and puff of the moral majority religion disguised as Christian. There use to hearing so called conversion stories of “I use to be _______ (fill in the blank with a negative sin/problem), but the Lord took that away from”. Which could be a conversion story for any religion. I’ve heard hundreds of them from multiple religions.

    What they NEVER hear is, “You know I was a very moral guy, still am, rarely even got a speeding ticket and when I did rarely that fast and I dutifully paid it off. I was and still am ‘lilly white clean’ as to my moral fortitude and actions. And I am the GREATEST sinner in the world needing the forgiveness of my sins.” To see a man confess his good works is alien.

    Today the “nominal” Christian is viewed as the one who just goes to church, maybe less than he might ought, goes home and lives a rather normal drab life. Luther in his day describes the true nominal Christian, one that might not be really resting in Christ alone, as the one that attends the Word and Sacrament, then goes home busying himself up with all kinds of things attempting to sanctify his life more. This person has everything upside down.

    Larry

  • http://wipfandstock.com/store/As_Though_It_Were_Actually_True_A_Christian_Apologetics_Primer Matt C.

    J @ 15,

    “Is it just possible that Hume’s comments were not appropriate, given the venue?”

    It is indeed possible and I’m sure many, such as yourself, see it that way. However, I don’t think its a tenable position in the long run for Christians. If you’re on the clock at your job and see a man bleeding to death, you show compassion even if its not in your job description. On the other hand, if, instead of working, you always go out looking for wounded and treating them, then it’s a violation of your vocation. There is, however, a difference between those two situations.

    Hume doesn’t exactly append Bible verses to every comment he makes on the air. As far as I know, this is the only time he’s done something like this. The topic was Tiger Woods, a man who it is quite obviously dying from his sin and in need of redemption. Hume took the opportunity to offer him something he desperately needs. Now, a non-Christian can object that Woods is in no such state or that Hume didn’t actually offer anything he needs. Christians can argue about the mechanical quality of Hume’s evangelism. However, what shouldn’t be argued is that compassion has to be compartmentalized when it comes to our jobs–even specifically Christian compassion. We have multiple vocations, and in real life their interaction cannot always be tidy.

    I’m fine with non-believers holding your position, but I am very uncomfortable with Christians holding it.

  • http://wipfandstock.com/store/As_Though_It_Were_Actually_True_A_Christian_Apologetics_Primer Matt C.

    J @ 15,

    “Is it just possible that Hume’s comments were not appropriate, given the venue?”

    It is indeed possible and I’m sure many, such as yourself, see it that way. However, I don’t think its a tenable position in the long run for Christians. If you’re on the clock at your job and see a man bleeding to death, you show compassion even if its not in your job description. On the other hand, if, instead of working, you always go out looking for wounded and treating them, then it’s a violation of your vocation. There is, however, a difference between those two situations.

    Hume doesn’t exactly append Bible verses to every comment he makes on the air. As far as I know, this is the only time he’s done something like this. The topic was Tiger Woods, a man who it is quite obviously dying from his sin and in need of redemption. Hume took the opportunity to offer him something he desperately needs. Now, a non-Christian can object that Woods is in no such state or that Hume didn’t actually offer anything he needs. Christians can argue about the mechanical quality of Hume’s evangelism. However, what shouldn’t be argued is that compassion has to be compartmentalized when it comes to our jobs–even specifically Christian compassion. We have multiple vocations, and in real life their interaction cannot always be tidy.

    I’m fine with non-believers holding your position, but I am very uncomfortable with Christians holding it.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I appreciate that America is less nominally Christian than it used to be, that people are more ignorant now of Christianity than they used to be, and that it informs our culture less than it used to.

    But I also think that American Christians love to think of themselves as “persecuted”, even while Christians in other countries have a rather more intense understanding of the term.

    I still don’t know what exactly constitutes the “mainstream media’s vitriolic reception” of Hume’s words. All I got last time I asked was a reference to two blog posts: one by some guy I’d never heard of on The Huffington Post and one by Andrew Sullivan. Is that it? Because, if so, it strikes me as even more “persecuted” posturing to call that, well, “mainstream” or “vitriolic”.

    I did see a clip on The Daily Show that touched on this. Which would make it the most high-profile “mainstream media” reference I’ve found so far. And while I don’t agree with everything it says, of course, I do think Aasif Mandvi makes some valid points as to whether Christians in this country can legitimately claim to be more persecuted than Muslims.

    I submit that equally as controversial — if not moreso — would have been for Hume to utter the two words “Allahu Akbar” after decrying Tiger’s faith. Certainly many here would be foaming at the mouth right now, as would most of the Fox News viewership. Liberal secularists would still be just as angry, too.

    I mean, good on Hume for giving an answer for the faith he has. He seems to have accepted the consequences knowingly. But portraying ourselves as victims — something conservatives usually decry when other people are doing it — isn’t likely to win any converts.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I appreciate that America is less nominally Christian than it used to be, that people are more ignorant now of Christianity than they used to be, and that it informs our culture less than it used to.

    But I also think that American Christians love to think of themselves as “persecuted”, even while Christians in other countries have a rather more intense understanding of the term.

    I still don’t know what exactly constitutes the “mainstream media’s vitriolic reception” of Hume’s words. All I got last time I asked was a reference to two blog posts: one by some guy I’d never heard of on The Huffington Post and one by Andrew Sullivan. Is that it? Because, if so, it strikes me as even more “persecuted” posturing to call that, well, “mainstream” or “vitriolic”.

    I did see a clip on The Daily Show that touched on this. Which would make it the most high-profile “mainstream media” reference I’ve found so far. And while I don’t agree with everything it says, of course, I do think Aasif Mandvi makes some valid points as to whether Christians in this country can legitimately claim to be more persecuted than Muslims.

    I submit that equally as controversial — if not moreso — would have been for Hume to utter the two words “Allahu Akbar” after decrying Tiger’s faith. Certainly many here would be foaming at the mouth right now, as would most of the Fox News viewership. Liberal secularists would still be just as angry, too.

    I mean, good on Hume for giving an answer for the faith he has. He seems to have accepted the consequences knowingly. But portraying ourselves as victims — something conservatives usually decry when other people are doing it — isn’t likely to win any converts.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Jonathan’s response (@3) is exemplary of what I’m talking about: “If Christianity weren’t true–and thus so offensive–why else do those outside concern themselves with attacking it, than say, Buddhism, or scientology?”

    Jonathan, are you seriously claiming that people don’t attack Scientology? Because they do. There’s a large Internet group called “Anonymous”, that declared a war on Scientology. And people here (and in many other places where Christians gather) routinely attack Islam.

    Does this mean Islam and Scientology are the truth? I don’t think so, and I seriously doubt you do, either. So does that mean that when Christians are attacked, it’s because of the truth? No, that’s not how that works, either. Christianity is true because, well, it is. And sometimes, Christians get attacked because they’re rude or ignorant. I don’t think that applies in Hume’s case, but I’d hate for Christians to go out there and think that being attacked is necessarily evidence that they’re doing the right thing.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Jonathan’s response (@3) is exemplary of what I’m talking about: “If Christianity weren’t true–and thus so offensive–why else do those outside concern themselves with attacking it, than say, Buddhism, or scientology?”

    Jonathan, are you seriously claiming that people don’t attack Scientology? Because they do. There’s a large Internet group called “Anonymous”, that declared a war on Scientology. And people here (and in many other places where Christians gather) routinely attack Islam.

    Does this mean Islam and Scientology are the truth? I don’t think so, and I seriously doubt you do, either. So does that mean that when Christians are attacked, it’s because of the truth? No, that’s not how that works, either. Christianity is true because, well, it is. And sometimes, Christians get attacked because they’re rude or ignorant. I don’t think that applies in Hume’s case, but I’d hate for Christians to go out there and think that being attacked is necessarily evidence that they’re doing the right thing.

  • J

    Matt C,

    I’m just as uncomfortable with Christians who reason as you do. If, as you do, we compare an unbeliever to someone bleeding to death, then what Hume did was step over the bodies of several other dying people (those on his panel) in order to show “compassion” to the one who actually was not even there – Woods.
    And if to Woods, why didn’t Hume show compassion to the rest of his audience and encourage every viewer, i.e. dying person, to turn to Christianity?
    By singling out Woods, Hume implied that Christianity is a religion to assauge the kind of public humiliation the mega-rich golf pro is going through. For such people, says Hume, Christianity promises total recovery, whatever that means. The restoration of Woods’ reputation?
    Why is Woods, as you say, so obviously dying in his sins any more than anyone else? Why does Woods so desperately need redemption, more so than the man working in the office next to me? Because Woods is losing millions in endorsements? Because his adulteries are public? Because Hume doesn’t normally encourage viewers to accept Christianity, it made no sense for him to start by singling out Woods at the end of a news program. How was this in any way an offer to Woods? Was Woods watching the show? Shouldn’t Hume have spoken first to him privately?
    Woods, I think, was used, and now Hume gets to play the martyr.

  • J

    Matt C,

    I’m just as uncomfortable with Christians who reason as you do. If, as you do, we compare an unbeliever to someone bleeding to death, then what Hume did was step over the bodies of several other dying people (those on his panel) in order to show “compassion” to the one who actually was not even there – Woods.
    And if to Woods, why didn’t Hume show compassion to the rest of his audience and encourage every viewer, i.e. dying person, to turn to Christianity?
    By singling out Woods, Hume implied that Christianity is a religion to assauge the kind of public humiliation the mega-rich golf pro is going through. For such people, says Hume, Christianity promises total recovery, whatever that means. The restoration of Woods’ reputation?
    Why is Woods, as you say, so obviously dying in his sins any more than anyone else? Why does Woods so desperately need redemption, more so than the man working in the office next to me? Because Woods is losing millions in endorsements? Because his adulteries are public? Because Hume doesn’t normally encourage viewers to accept Christianity, it made no sense for him to start by singling out Woods at the end of a news program. How was this in any way an offer to Woods? Was Woods watching the show? Shouldn’t Hume have spoken first to him privately?
    Woods, I think, was used, and now Hume gets to play the martyr.

  • http://wipfandstock.com/store/As_Though_It_Were_Actually_True_A_Christian_Apologetics_Primer Matt C.

    Oh, and for the record, many posters have mentioned the persecution complex that many conservative Christians in the U.S. have. Take it from a non-liberal: you REALLY need to hear the law on this one, guys. It is perceived by everyone else as whining because a lot of the time, that’s exactly what it is.

    When people see a painful event coming, they often react as though hurt before the pain actually starts. I think something similar is happening here.

  • http://wipfandstock.com/store/As_Though_It_Were_Actually_True_A_Christian_Apologetics_Primer Matt C.

    Oh, and for the record, many posters have mentioned the persecution complex that many conservative Christians in the U.S. have. Take it from a non-liberal: you REALLY need to hear the law on this one, guys. It is perceived by everyone else as whining because a lot of the time, that’s exactly what it is.

    When people see a painful event coming, they often react as though hurt before the pain actually starts. I think something similar is happening here.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd, Christians can observe realistically that many secular liberals loathe and are intolerant of orthodox Christianity without regarding themselves as persecuted.

    Underneath the intolerance of secular liberalism for orthodox religion is the civil religion and the worship of nature that goes back to Rousseau. Since the French Revolution, in part inspired by Rousseau, the West has dealt with an extremely intolerant anti-Christian ideology that has of late very much influenced liberals in America.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd, Christians can observe realistically that many secular liberals loathe and are intolerant of orthodox Christianity without regarding themselves as persecuted.

    Underneath the intolerance of secular liberalism for orthodox religion is the civil religion and the worship of nature that goes back to Rousseau. Since the French Revolution, in part inspired by Rousseau, the West has dealt with an extremely intolerant anti-Christian ideology that has of late very much influenced liberals in America.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Having watched Matt’s video (@2), though, I can say that I suppose that qualifies as “mainstream vitriol”, or, more accurately, it’s completely stupid. I’d never watched Rick Sanchez before, but I certainly don’t plan on doing so now. Also, I was rather disappointed that Matt was not speaking literally when he said that Sanchez “then spends the entire interview on a fishing expedition.”

    Also, Larry (@10, 21, 27) made some great points. I also like what Mike (@12) and J (@20) said.

    But Matt (@28), you said, “The topic was Tiger Woods, a man who is quite obviously dying from his sin and in need of redemption.” Um … to whom in the world does that sentence not apply? Just wondering. Does Hume speak up every time the topic is “a man who is quite obviously dying from his sin and in need of redemption”? Just wondering.

    Finally, and to my utter lack of surprise, there are always more vigorous discussion among conservatves about how “persecuted” Christians are in America than they are in foreign countries like Iraq.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Having watched Matt’s video (@2), though, I can say that I suppose that qualifies as “mainstream vitriol”, or, more accurately, it’s completely stupid. I’d never watched Rick Sanchez before, but I certainly don’t plan on doing so now. Also, I was rather disappointed that Matt was not speaking literally when he said that Sanchez “then spends the entire interview on a fishing expedition.”

    Also, Larry (@10, 21, 27) made some great points. I also like what Mike (@12) and J (@20) said.

    But Matt (@28), you said, “The topic was Tiger Woods, a man who is quite obviously dying from his sin and in need of redemption.” Um … to whom in the world does that sentence not apply? Just wondering. Does Hume speak up every time the topic is “a man who is quite obviously dying from his sin and in need of redemption”? Just wondering.

    Finally, and to my utter lack of surprise, there are always more vigorous discussion among conservatves about how “persecuted” Christians are in America than they are in foreign countries like Iraq.

  • http://wipfandstock.com/store/As_Though_It_Were_Actually_True_A_Christian_Apologetics_Primer Matt C.

    J @ 31,

    “If, as you do, we compare an unbeliever to someone bleeding to death, then what Hume did was step over the bodies of several other dying people (those on his panel) in order to show “compassion” to the one who actually was not even there – Woods.
    And if to Woods, why didn’t Hume show compassion to the rest of his audience and encourage every viewer, i.e. dying person, to turn to Christianity?”

    There is a single simple answer to all of these. Are the other panelists actually dying? I have no idea whether they are Christians or not. Do you? The audience? I have no idea who is who. Do you? The one person for whom it was very clear (because his sins are now a matter of public record as apparently is his religious affiliation) and who was the subject of conversation (which as you yourself note, makes a difference) was the one person to whom Hume spoke the Gospel. You know, the guy who has been hearing the Law from just about everybody for the past couple weeks and could use some Gospel. Your presumption of Hume’s motives is extremely uncharitable.

  • http://wipfandstock.com/store/As_Though_It_Were_Actually_True_A_Christian_Apologetics_Primer Matt C.

    J @ 31,

    “If, as you do, we compare an unbeliever to someone bleeding to death, then what Hume did was step over the bodies of several other dying people (those on his panel) in order to show “compassion” to the one who actually was not even there – Woods.
    And if to Woods, why didn’t Hume show compassion to the rest of his audience and encourage every viewer, i.e. dying person, to turn to Christianity?”

    There is a single simple answer to all of these. Are the other panelists actually dying? I have no idea whether they are Christians or not. Do you? The audience? I have no idea who is who. Do you? The one person for whom it was very clear (because his sins are now a matter of public record as apparently is his religious affiliation) and who was the subject of conversation (which as you yourself note, makes a difference) was the one person to whom Hume spoke the Gospel. You know, the guy who has been hearing the Law from just about everybody for the past couple weeks and could use some Gospel. Your presumption of Hume’s motives is extremely uncharitable.

  • http://wipfandstock.com/store/As_Though_It_Were_Actually_True_A_Christian_Apologetics_Primer Matt C.

    tODD @ 34,

    I think I answered your question in my last post to J.

  • http://wipfandstock.com/store/As_Though_It_Were_Actually_True_A_Christian_Apologetics_Primer Matt C.

    tODD @ 34,

    I think I answered your question in my last post to J.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    J (@31), more good points. But I couldn’t help but feel convicted, as the Baptists say, by your writing, “what Hume did was step over the bodies of several other dying people (those on his panel) in order to show ‘compassion’ to the one who actually was not even there – Woods. And if to Woods, why didn’t Hume show compassion to the rest of his audience and encourage every viewer, i.e. dying person, to turn to Christianity?”

    While Hume is in the dock here, as it were, aren’t we all equally guilty by what you write? Don’t we all, like Hume a week ago, apparently pass by dozens or hundreds of dying bodies daily, without even thinking about it, much less saying anything?

    In short, do you meet your own standard for what Hume should have done? I don’t. Thank God for forgiveness through Jesus.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    J (@31), more good points. But I couldn’t help but feel convicted, as the Baptists say, by your writing, “what Hume did was step over the bodies of several other dying people (those on his panel) in order to show ‘compassion’ to the one who actually was not even there – Woods. And if to Woods, why didn’t Hume show compassion to the rest of his audience and encourage every viewer, i.e. dying person, to turn to Christianity?”

    While Hume is in the dock here, as it were, aren’t we all equally guilty by what you write? Don’t we all, like Hume a week ago, apparently pass by dozens or hundreds of dying bodies daily, without even thinking about it, much less saying anything?

    In short, do you meet your own standard for what Hume should have done? I don’t. Thank God for forgiveness through Jesus.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Matt, only sort of. You said (@35), “Are the other panelists actually dying? I have no idea whether they are Christians or not. Do you?” But, regarding your statement that Woods is “quite obviously dying from his sin and in need of redemption,” I had asked, “to whom in the world does that sentence not apply?”

    That is, in answer to the first question I quoted from you: yes, all the other panelists are dying from their sins and in need of redemption. I don’t even need to know who they are to tell you that.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Matt, only sort of. You said (@35), “Are the other panelists actually dying? I have no idea whether they are Christians or not. Do you?” But, regarding your statement that Woods is “quite obviously dying from his sin and in need of redemption,” I had asked, “to whom in the world does that sentence not apply?”

    That is, in answer to the first question I quoted from you: yes, all the other panelists are dying from their sins and in need of redemption. I don’t even need to know who they are to tell you that.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter (@33), Christians can also observe that it’s not just “secular liberals” who “loathe and are intolerant of orthodox Christianity”. Why, I’ve even seen certain Christians themselves — even right here on this blog! — attack orthodox Christianity as niggling denominationalism, urging a more liberal understanding of Christianity, by which several plain teachings of the Bible can be done away with or at least ignored, all in the service of tolerance or unity. Can you believe it?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter (@33), Christians can also observe that it’s not just “secular liberals” who “loathe and are intolerant of orthodox Christianity”. Why, I’ve even seen certain Christians themselves — even right here on this blog! — attack orthodox Christianity as niggling denominationalism, urging a more liberal understanding of Christianity, by which several plain teachings of the Bible can be done away with or at least ignored, all in the service of tolerance or unity. Can you believe it?

  • DonS

    J @ 31: I don’t think it is fair to say that Hume “singled out Woods”, as if he was excluding everyone else. Remember, the topic was Woods. It was not Chris Wallace, or Charles Krauthammer, or whomever else was on the panel that day. So it is perfectly natural that he zeroed in on Woods. Perhaps it would have been better if he had said “as do we all” or some other such phrase, to make clear the universality of man’s sin and the redemption available through Christ. But, again, he was speaking extemporaneously. He said what he said, it was not theologically incorrect, and at least he spoke up. We should all be so bold. And probably a good deal less critical concerning the specific actions or words of those who are. The Holy Spirit was working as well, and no doubt convicted those who heard his words and were ready to hear and understand them.

  • DonS

    J @ 31: I don’t think it is fair to say that Hume “singled out Woods”, as if he was excluding everyone else. Remember, the topic was Woods. It was not Chris Wallace, or Charles Krauthammer, or whomever else was on the panel that day. So it is perfectly natural that he zeroed in on Woods. Perhaps it would have been better if he had said “as do we all” or some other such phrase, to make clear the universality of man’s sin and the redemption available through Christ. But, again, he was speaking extemporaneously. He said what he said, it was not theologically incorrect, and at least he spoke up. We should all be so bold. And probably a good deal less critical concerning the specific actions or words of those who are. The Holy Spirit was working as well, and no doubt convicted those who heard his words and were ready to hear and understand them.

  • Larry

    Just a point of clarification on what it means to be persecuted. This in no way is to lessen those in China or Islamic countries that do die for the faith, but for clarity.

    Persecution is much deeper than “just the point of the sword”. It does not always mean nor primarily mean “at the point of the sword”. Even when it is at the point of the sword its real effort is to dislodge faith from trusting in God’s Word. It’s just like war propaganda, “see how God has abandoned you seeing you are going to die for believing”. The point of the physical threat is to drive away and make the person feel that God has abandoned them. Its real effect is to drive faith deeper toward Christ, the devil’s persecution backfires.

    However, as Paul points out in Galatians persecution is primarily that word of the devil against the Word of God that is to have the same effect as the sword would. Ishmael persecuted Isaac says Paul. How so? He laughed at him. Paul calls this persecution. All false words be they secular atheist that say there is no God or heterodox doctrines that speak against the sacraments (the Gospel) challenge one’s faith, “Is it true”. Luther recognized this intense type of trial, “do you alone know”, as more fiery than any. Persecutions design by sword or by word by the devil is to kill faith, its use through the devil by God increases faith. To this Luther recognized well that the ultimate persecution to the church and to faith is no persecution at all. Digest that slowly, the WORSE persecution to the church and faith is NO persecution at all. Why? Because faith thrives on persecution, is driven to Christ, by sword (which carries behind it the persecuting word, “See God has abandoned you) or word (God is not true, baptism does not save you, no body no blood). No persecution is the greatest persecution because it persecutes in such a way as to kill faith and leave it nothing to little to thrive upon and thus be driven to Christ as the single hope. It becomes its own hellish fire, “why am I not being persecuted? Has God abandoned me because I’m not faithful enough?” One is in the end driven back to Christ in the Word and Sacrament because what else are there? All of these things rage and war against the believers faith, but the devil’s trick never works in the end.

    We see this on the Cross when though at the Cross Christ suffered immense pain and agony which was persecution, nothing so strikes Him as those evil words, “If you are the son of God come down off of that Cross, see God has abandoned Him.” That later suffering of the devil’s word strikes deeper in the soul than any sword can reach. Christians in America are deeply persecuted, not by the sword as in China or such, but by the false word of the devil that strikes against the Gospel one holds more dear than life itself.

    Beware of seeing persecution as meritorious, here or overseas.

    Larry

  • Larry

    Just a point of clarification on what it means to be persecuted. This in no way is to lessen those in China or Islamic countries that do die for the faith, but for clarity.

    Persecution is much deeper than “just the point of the sword”. It does not always mean nor primarily mean “at the point of the sword”. Even when it is at the point of the sword its real effort is to dislodge faith from trusting in God’s Word. It’s just like war propaganda, “see how God has abandoned you seeing you are going to die for believing”. The point of the physical threat is to drive away and make the person feel that God has abandoned them. Its real effect is to drive faith deeper toward Christ, the devil’s persecution backfires.

    However, as Paul points out in Galatians persecution is primarily that word of the devil against the Word of God that is to have the same effect as the sword would. Ishmael persecuted Isaac says Paul. How so? He laughed at him. Paul calls this persecution. All false words be they secular atheist that say there is no God or heterodox doctrines that speak against the sacraments (the Gospel) challenge one’s faith, “Is it true”. Luther recognized this intense type of trial, “do you alone know”, as more fiery than any. Persecutions design by sword or by word by the devil is to kill faith, its use through the devil by God increases faith. To this Luther recognized well that the ultimate persecution to the church and to faith is no persecution at all. Digest that slowly, the WORSE persecution to the church and faith is NO persecution at all. Why? Because faith thrives on persecution, is driven to Christ, by sword (which carries behind it the persecuting word, “See God has abandoned you) or word (God is not true, baptism does not save you, no body no blood). No persecution is the greatest persecution because it persecutes in such a way as to kill faith and leave it nothing to little to thrive upon and thus be driven to Christ as the single hope. It becomes its own hellish fire, “why am I not being persecuted? Has God abandoned me because I’m not faithful enough?” One is in the end driven back to Christ in the Word and Sacrament because what else are there? All of these things rage and war against the believers faith, but the devil’s trick never works in the end.

    We see this on the Cross when though at the Cross Christ suffered immense pain and agony which was persecution, nothing so strikes Him as those evil words, “If you are the son of God come down off of that Cross, see God has abandoned Him.” That later suffering of the devil’s word strikes deeper in the soul than any sword can reach. Christians in America are deeply persecuted, not by the sword as in China or such, but by the false word of the devil that strikes against the Gospel one holds more dear than life itself.

    Beware of seeing persecution as meritorious, here or overseas.

    Larry

  • Gregory DeVore

    J at #23 are you claiming that theologically conservative Christians are not hated by the culture elites that dominate the media and academy in America? Granted, they are not killing us and I did not use the persecution word. But we are hated and spoken evil of and sometimes mistreated for our faith. This is what Jesus prophesied and this is what we see in our society today. The culture elites feel very empowered now and thus are more transparent in their hatred of Christians. This will only grow unless something happens that disillusions and disempowers our elites.

  • Gregory DeVore

    J at #23 are you claiming that theologically conservative Christians are not hated by the culture elites that dominate the media and academy in America? Granted, they are not killing us and I did not use the persecution word. But we are hated and spoken evil of and sometimes mistreated for our faith. This is what Jesus prophesied and this is what we see in our society today. The culture elites feel very empowered now and thus are more transparent in their hatred of Christians. This will only grow unless something happens that disillusions and disempowers our elites.

  • Booklover

    I have to agree with John C when he said, “I think people turn away from Christianity if it starts to dominate the political culture.”

    There is a possibility that Jesus would have called Fox news et. al. a brood of vipors; that is if he wouldn’t have been interrupted.

    And I say that even though I am pro-life and totally do not agree with Obama on practically anything and have other “attributes” that Fox people purport to have.

  • Booklover

    I have to agree with John C when he said, “I think people turn away from Christianity if it starts to dominate the political culture.”

    There is a possibility that Jesus would have called Fox news et. al. a brood of vipors; that is if he wouldn’t have been interrupted.

    And I say that even though I am pro-life and totally do not agree with Obama on practically anything and have other “attributes” that Fox people purport to have.

  • Booklover

    What was Woods’ great sin to which Hume was referring? The breaking of the Sabbath with all of those golf tournaments?

    ;>

  • Booklover

    What was Woods’ great sin to which Hume was referring? The breaking of the Sabbath with all of those golf tournaments?

    ;>

  • Rose

    Many people don’t believe they are sinful. God offends them by pointing it out.

  • Rose

    Many people don’t believe they are sinful. God offends them by pointing it out.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd, at #39, you confuse provincial rearguard sectarianism with the Nicene Creed principle of We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. Probably the chief cause of Christian weakness in the face of the secular and Islamic threat is the egregious and sad division of Christendom.

    By the way, the topic of this thread happens to be Brit Hume’s remarks on Fox Sunday News. One notes that, characteristically, while bringing up trivial side points, you have yet to declare yourself on the merits of Brit Hume’s remarks.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd, at #39, you confuse provincial rearguard sectarianism with the Nicene Creed principle of We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. Probably the chief cause of Christian weakness in the face of the secular and Islamic threat is the egregious and sad division of Christendom.

    By the way, the topic of this thread happens to be Brit Hume’s remarks on Fox Sunday News. One notes that, characteristically, while bringing up trivial side points, you have yet to declare yourself on the merits of Brit Hume’s remarks.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter (@46), your first paragraph is, yes, an example of what I was talking about.

    You also refer to my “characteristically … bringing up trivial side points.” Sorry, Peter, but I was replying directly to something you wrote (@33). Try not to write about trivial side points, and then my replies will be more on topic. I also happen to think that orthodox Christianity is not “trivial”, nor a discussion of how people disdain Biblical teaching a “side point” in a thread on how Biblical Christianity is publically disdained.

    You also claimed that I “have yet to declare [my]self on the merits of Brit Hume’s remarks.” You know, I can’t really be blamed for your not paying attention. On the original thread (“Brit Hume evangelizes Tiger Wood”), I wrote in part (@8) that “Hume’s statement is ambiguous” — and you even replied to that comment. I also said in this thread (@29), “Good on Hume for giving an answer for the faith he has. He seems to have accepted the consequences knowingly.” Please at least give a skim to my comments before you say such things.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter (@46), your first paragraph is, yes, an example of what I was talking about.

    You also refer to my “characteristically … bringing up trivial side points.” Sorry, Peter, but I was replying directly to something you wrote (@33). Try not to write about trivial side points, and then my replies will be more on topic. I also happen to think that orthodox Christianity is not “trivial”, nor a discussion of how people disdain Biblical teaching a “side point” in a thread on how Biblical Christianity is publically disdained.

    You also claimed that I “have yet to declare [my]self on the merits of Brit Hume’s remarks.” You know, I can’t really be blamed for your not paying attention. On the original thread (“Brit Hume evangelizes Tiger Wood”), I wrote in part (@8) that “Hume’s statement is ambiguous” — and you even replied to that comment. I also said in this thread (@29), “Good on Hume for giving an answer for the faith he has. He seems to have accepted the consequences knowingly.” Please at least give a skim to my comments before you say such things.

  • fws

    Comment #42 Gregory DeVore said:
    J at #23 are you claiming that theologically conservative Christians are not hated by the culture elites that dominate the media and academy in America?

    since when is being “elite” an expletive? and what in the heck does the two word phrase “cultural-elite” mean? someone who is good at culture?

    I really think post-modernist manipulation of our language by conservatives is so very not conservative and so very not honest….

  • fws

    Comment #42 Gregory DeVore said:
    J at #23 are you claiming that theologically conservative Christians are not hated by the culture elites that dominate the media and academy in America?

    since when is being “elite” an expletive? and what in the heck does the two word phrase “cultural-elite” mean? someone who is good at culture?

    I really think post-modernist manipulation of our language by conservatives is so very not conservative and so very not honest….

  • fws

    we would not be having this spirited discussion if Brit Hume had said something like: “I am no better than Tiger, my lifestyle is just as messed up, as is the life of everyone sitting at this table. I know christianity accepts me as the messed up individual I remain, as it accepts everyone. I don´t think any other religion accepts people unless they commit to moral betterment.

    we would then have a great argument. and peter and don s would probably not like this line of thought.

  • fws

    we would not be having this spirited discussion if Brit Hume had said something like: “I am no better than Tiger, my lifestyle is just as messed up, as is the life of everyone sitting at this table. I know christianity accepts me as the messed up individual I remain, as it accepts everyone. I don´t think any other religion accepts people unless they commit to moral betterment.

    we would then have a great argument. and peter and don s would probably not like this line of thought.

  • Bethany

    To Matt @25 –
    I’m an academic as well. Believe me, say “Jesus Christ” in a non-obscene way in academic company and you will get a lot worse than discomfort. That’s not being dramatic; it’s just a fact of life in universities.

  • Bethany

    To Matt @25 –
    I’m an academic as well. Believe me, say “Jesus Christ” in a non-obscene way in academic company and you will get a lot worse than discomfort. That’s not being dramatic; it’s just a fact of life in universities.

  • Peter Leavitt

    FWS, though Brit Hume spoke mainly of the forgiveness and redemption of the Cross, very likely his life is far less messed up than that of Tiger Woods who probably has lost his wife and family life. While men and woman are equal in their capacity to sin, they are often unequal in the degree of their guilt. As I’ve mentioned to you before, the modern theologian to read on this point is Reinhold Niebuhr in his two-volume Nature and Destiny of Man.

  • Peter Leavitt

    FWS, though Brit Hume spoke mainly of the forgiveness and redemption of the Cross, very likely his life is far less messed up than that of Tiger Woods who probably has lost his wife and family life. While men and woman are equal in their capacity to sin, they are often unequal in the degree of their guilt. As I’ve mentioned to you before, the modern theologian to read on this point is Reinhold Niebuhr in his two-volume Nature and Destiny of Man.

  • http://wipfandstock.com/store/As_Though_It_Were_Actually_True_A_Christian_Apologetics_Primer Matt C.

    tODD @ 38,

    You wrote:

    “That is, in answer to the first question I quoted from you: yes, all the other panelists are dying from their sins and in need of redemption. I don’t even need to know who they are to tell you that.”

    Maybe we have different theologies then. I, for example, am not dying in my sin because I am baptized into the death of Christ. I have been forgiven of my sin because he died in my place. I need to constantly hear the gospel again because of the old man, and my own inclination to found my salvation in my own efforts, but the fact remains that I have been given life through faith in Christ alone. I am not under wrath. I am not subject to eternal damnation at the hands of the law. That is kind of the point of our religion, is it not?

    Christians are both saints and sinners. Unbelievers are only sinners. Christians need to hear the Gospel continuously, but we do not need to be evangelized. Unbelievers do need to be evangelized. I do not know who on the panel is a non-Christian in need of evangelism. That, along with the fact that Tiger was the subject of the conversation, is why I don’t see Hume stepping over anybody to get to Tiger.

  • http://wipfandstock.com/store/As_Though_It_Were_Actually_True_A_Christian_Apologetics_Primer Matt C.

    tODD @ 38,

    You wrote:

    “That is, in answer to the first question I quoted from you: yes, all the other panelists are dying from their sins and in need of redemption. I don’t even need to know who they are to tell you that.”

    Maybe we have different theologies then. I, for example, am not dying in my sin because I am baptized into the death of Christ. I have been forgiven of my sin because he died in my place. I need to constantly hear the gospel again because of the old man, and my own inclination to found my salvation in my own efforts, but the fact remains that I have been given life through faith in Christ alone. I am not under wrath. I am not subject to eternal damnation at the hands of the law. That is kind of the point of our religion, is it not?

    Christians are both saints and sinners. Unbelievers are only sinners. Christians need to hear the Gospel continuously, but we do not need to be evangelized. Unbelievers do need to be evangelized. I do not know who on the panel is a non-Christian in need of evangelism. That, along with the fact that Tiger was the subject of the conversation, is why I don’t see Hume stepping over anybody to get to Tiger.

  • Booklover

    As long as the average American church deacon has this topic of conversation to discuss–the adulterous act of his icon and idol–he doesn’t have to deal with it in the man in his own congregation.

    We love to discuss what is happening with our idol celebrities, and we don’t give a flip about the man down the street who has left his wife and family.

  • Booklover

    As long as the average American church deacon has this topic of conversation to discuss–the adulterous act of his icon and idol–he doesn’t have to deal with it in the man in his own congregation.

    We love to discuss what is happening with our idol celebrities, and we don’t give a flip about the man down the street who has left his wife and family.

  • Booklover

    “average American church deacon”

    Of course I meant “elder.” :-)

  • Booklover

    “average American church deacon”

    Of course I meant “elder.” :-)

  • Peter Leavitt

    Booklover, excellent point. This business of both men and women who lack the strength and faith to work their marriage problems and look for a shiny new model is a disgrace.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Booklover, excellent point. This business of both men and women who lack the strength and faith to work their marriage problems and look for a shiny new model is a disgrace.

  • fws

    Comment #52 Matt C. said:
    tODD @ 38,

    You wrote:

    Matt C said:
    “I…..am not dying in my sin because I am baptized into the death of Christ.”

    Martin Luther said:
    ” Life is mortification of the flesh”. “mortification”= a killing of the Old Adam.

    Martin Luther also said:
    Small Catechism, Baptism, Fourthly:

    “What does such baptizing with water indicate?

    It indicates that the Old Adam in us should by daily contrition and repentance be drowned and die with all sins and evil desires…

    St Paul said:
    …Romans…six: “We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death …” (Romans 6:4).”

    Matt C Said:
    “I have been forgiven of my sin because he died in my place.”

    Martin Luther said to this:
    “This is most certainly true!!”

    Matt C said:
    “I need to constantly hear the gospel again ”

    FWS says: What is this but evangelism, where The Holy Spirit creates/renews faith in your heart? You are so right, both you and unbelievers need to constantly hear the Gospel preached in exactly the SAME way.

    Matt C said:
    “because of the old man, and my own inclination to found my salvation in my own efforts,”

    FWS says: No Matt. Here, in the earthly kingdom, teh Old Adam in both you and your pagan neighbor need to hear the SAME Law preached in the same way. The Holy Spirit works in you thorugh the law to mortify your flesh to make you (and the old adam also in pagans) service-able to your neighbor in acts of Love, and to remove any notion that your outward righteousness is of any use to God, other than to serve your neighbor that is.

    Matt C said:
    “but the fact remains that I have been given life through faith in Christ alone. I am not under wrath. I am not subject to eternal damnation at the hands of the law. That is kind of the point of our religion, is it not?”

    Luther said:
    “Matt C this is most certainly true!”

    Matt C said:
    “Christians are both saints [New Adam] and sinners [Old Adam]. Unbelievers are only sinners [Old Adam].” []=insertion by FWS]

    Matt C said:
    “Christians need to hear the Gospel continuously, but we do not need to be evangelized.Unbelievers do need to be evangelized. ”

    FWS:
    What is the difference in the Gospel preached to a believer and an unbeliever Matt C?

    Matt C:
    “I do not know who on the panel is a non-Christian in need of evangelism.”

    FWS:
    Matt C, isn´t this all the more proof for the Lutheran teaching that the SAME Law and Gospel should be preached to both Christian and Pagan identically? Think of the full implications of the fact that you just stated.

  • fws

    Comment #52 Matt C. said:
    tODD @ 38,

    You wrote:

    Matt C said:
    “I…..am not dying in my sin because I am baptized into the death of Christ.”

    Martin Luther said:
    ” Life is mortification of the flesh”. “mortification”= a killing of the Old Adam.

    Martin Luther also said:
    Small Catechism, Baptism, Fourthly:

    “What does such baptizing with water indicate?

    It indicates that the Old Adam in us should by daily contrition and repentance be drowned and die with all sins and evil desires…

    St Paul said:
    …Romans…six: “We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death …” (Romans 6:4).”

    Matt C Said:
    “I have been forgiven of my sin because he died in my place.”

    Martin Luther said to this:
    “This is most certainly true!!”

    Matt C said:
    “I need to constantly hear the gospel again ”

    FWS says: What is this but evangelism, where The Holy Spirit creates/renews faith in your heart? You are so right, both you and unbelievers need to constantly hear the Gospel preached in exactly the SAME way.

    Matt C said:
    “because of the old man, and my own inclination to found my salvation in my own efforts,”

    FWS says: No Matt. Here, in the earthly kingdom, teh Old Adam in both you and your pagan neighbor need to hear the SAME Law preached in the same way. The Holy Spirit works in you thorugh the law to mortify your flesh to make you (and the old adam also in pagans) service-able to your neighbor in acts of Love, and to remove any notion that your outward righteousness is of any use to God, other than to serve your neighbor that is.

    Matt C said:
    “but the fact remains that I have been given life through faith in Christ alone. I am not under wrath. I am not subject to eternal damnation at the hands of the law. That is kind of the point of our religion, is it not?”

    Luther said:
    “Matt C this is most certainly true!”

    Matt C said:
    “Christians are both saints [New Adam] and sinners [Old Adam]. Unbelievers are only sinners [Old Adam].” []=insertion by FWS]

    Matt C said:
    “Christians need to hear the Gospel continuously, but we do not need to be evangelized.Unbelievers do need to be evangelized. ”

    FWS:
    What is the difference in the Gospel preached to a believer and an unbeliever Matt C?

    Matt C:
    “I do not know who on the panel is a non-Christian in need of evangelism.”

    FWS:
    Matt C, isn´t this all the more proof for the Lutheran teaching that the SAME Law and Gospel should be preached to both Christian and Pagan identically? Think of the full implications of the fact that you just stated.

  • fws

    #52 Matt C

    Matt:

    the law does not damn you.

    The law merely informs you of the truth that you are already damned because of who you are.

    even if you never did anything in thought word or deed (yes I know this hypothetical is impossible), you will STILL be damned because you are a sinner. you are an enemy (at enmity with ) of God. You hate him in your Old Adam.

    Most of all, it is what you are missing in your Old Adam that, apart from Christ, condemns you to eternal separation from God: you utterly lack fear love and trust in him above all other things. In your Old Adam is the exact opposite of those things towards God. defiance, hate, and self-relance/will-power/self-accountability.

  • fws

    #52 Matt C

    Matt:

    the law does not damn you.

    The law merely informs you of the truth that you are already damned because of who you are.

    even if you never did anything in thought word or deed (yes I know this hypothetical is impossible), you will STILL be damned because you are a sinner. you are an enemy (at enmity with ) of God. You hate him in your Old Adam.

    Most of all, it is what you are missing in your Old Adam that, apart from Christ, condemns you to eternal separation from God: you utterly lack fear love and trust in him above all other things. In your Old Adam is the exact opposite of those things towards God. defiance, hate, and self-relance/will-power/self-accountability.

  • fws

    Todd is right. some here are hearing what brit hume said with christian ears. he should be heard with the ears that pagans have to hear.

    A personal confession of sin from Brit that his life is NO tidier than tiger woods and then the Gospel that yet he is forgiven in Jesus Christ would have sparked what response?

  • fws

    Todd is right. some here are hearing what brit hume said with christian ears. he should be heard with the ears that pagans have to hear.

    A personal confession of sin from Brit that his life is NO tidier than tiger woods and then the Gospel that yet he is forgiven in Jesus Christ would have sparked what response?

  • http://somewebsite.somedomain.com Christian Soldier

    Brit Hume–GOOD on YOU—Oh that many other followers of CHRIST were as BOLD!!!!
    C-CS

  • http://somewebsite.somedomain.com Christian Soldier

    Brit Hume–GOOD on YOU—Oh that many other followers of CHRIST were as BOLD!!!!
    C-CS

  • Matt C.

    fws said:
    “You are so right, both you and unbelievers need to constantly hear the Gospel preached in exactly the SAME way.”

    fws also said:
    “some here are hearing what brit hume said with christian ears. he should be heard with the ears that pagans have to hear. ”

    I do believe you just stated that there is a difference between preaching the Gospel to a believer and an unbeliever. I might also note that one can communicate the same thing in different ways to different people.

  • Matt C.

    fws said:
    “You are so right, both you and unbelievers need to constantly hear the Gospel preached in exactly the SAME way.”

    fws also said:
    “some here are hearing what brit hume said with christian ears. he should be heard with the ears that pagans have to hear. ”

    I do believe you just stated that there is a difference between preaching the Gospel to a believer and an unbeliever. I might also note that one can communicate the same thing in different ways to different people.

  • Gregory DeVore

    Frank at @48 the culture elites are those with the power to shape culture. The term elite is used in a negative way by populists of both the right and the left. It is a word used by the powerless to describe the powerful who use their power in a way that is contrary to the intrests of those without power. Traditional, orthodox Christian people lack control of those institutions that shape culture. Those with power over culture use it to denigrate Chrisianity.

  • Gregory DeVore

    Frank at @48 the culture elites are those with the power to shape culture. The term elite is used in a negative way by populists of both the right and the left. It is a word used by the powerless to describe the powerful who use their power in a way that is contrary to the intrests of those without power. Traditional, orthodox Christian people lack control of those institutions that shape culture. Those with power over culture use it to denigrate Chrisianity.

  • John C

    I disagree Gregory. “Elites” is a term used by the Right to denigrate their critics. The inference to be drawn being ‘you can’t trust the elites: they do not speak on your behalf but you can trust us”. Without exception, those who publically critize the elites are members of the elite.

  • John C

    I disagree Gregory. “Elites” is a term used by the Right to denigrate their critics. The inference to be drawn being ‘you can’t trust the elites: they do not speak on your behalf but you can trust us”. Without exception, those who publically critize the elites are members of the elite.

  • fws

    #60

    “I do believe you just stated that there is a difference between preaching the Gospel to a believer and an unbeliever. ”

    That is not at all what I intended for you to hear Matt. How would the message be different? how would the law be preached differently? is there ANYTHING outwardly that a believer does that an unbeliever would never do?

  • fws

    #60

    “I do believe you just stated that there is a difference between preaching the Gospel to a believer and an unbeliever. ”

    That is not at all what I intended for you to hear Matt. How would the message be different? how would the law be preached differently? is there ANYTHING outwardly that a believer does that an unbeliever would never do?

  • Matt C.

    FWS,

    “How would the message be different?”
    The words/time/place/circumstances/people/etc used to express the same content.

    “how would the law be preached differently?”
    See above. There are as many answers to this as there are times/places/circumstances/people/etc.

    “is there ANYTHING outwardly that a believer does that an unbeliever would never do?”
    How is this question even relevant to the points I’ve been addressing?

    Just so that we’re on the same page, these are the points at question which I am interested in addressing in this thread:
    1)Whether it is categorically wrong for Brit Hume to have evangelized Tiger Woods on that program.
    2)This bizarre categorical imperative that seems to have sprung up in response to my arguments on 1 that if one opens his mouth to let the Gospel come out, he MUST tailor the message so that it is addressed ABSOLUTELY EQUALLY to everyone within earshot.

    Here’s what’s being thrown around which I’m not interested in (and thus haven’t addressed in any of my posts):
    1) Playing Monday morning quarterback on Brit Hume’s evangelistic technique. I have a hard time evangelizing, and it would be hypocritical of me to join the panel of judges rating his performance.
    2) Impugning Hume’s motives–a topic I know very little about and about which I am skeptical that anybody else here knows much more.

  • Matt C.

    FWS,

    “How would the message be different?”
    The words/time/place/circumstances/people/etc used to express the same content.

    “how would the law be preached differently?”
    See above. There are as many answers to this as there are times/places/circumstances/people/etc.

    “is there ANYTHING outwardly that a believer does that an unbeliever would never do?”
    How is this question even relevant to the points I’ve been addressing?

    Just so that we’re on the same page, these are the points at question which I am interested in addressing in this thread:
    1)Whether it is categorically wrong for Brit Hume to have evangelized Tiger Woods on that program.
    2)This bizarre categorical imperative that seems to have sprung up in response to my arguments on 1 that if one opens his mouth to let the Gospel come out, he MUST tailor the message so that it is addressed ABSOLUTELY EQUALLY to everyone within earshot.

    Here’s what’s being thrown around which I’m not interested in (and thus haven’t addressed in any of my posts):
    1) Playing Monday morning quarterback on Brit Hume’s evangelistic technique. I have a hard time evangelizing, and it would be hypocritical of me to join the panel of judges rating his performance.
    2) Impugning Hume’s motives–a topic I know very little about and about which I am skeptical that anybody else here knows much more.

  • Gregory DeVore

    John C @ 62- We really cannot trust these elites, they do not speak for us because they do not share our beliefs and values. This is seen in their uproar over Humes appeal to Tiger to convert.

  • Gregory DeVore

    John C @ 62- We really cannot trust these elites, they do not speak for us because they do not share our beliefs and values. This is seen in their uproar over Humes appeal to Tiger to convert.

  • Mark

    In a phone conversation today in which I referenced Tiger Woods, a fellow church member said maybe the outcry is not so much from “outrage but envy”. I think that was a clear Law observation. With that stated, maybe the Christophobia is not only over the naming of the Name publically but what the Name is the answer for: sin. And sin indicates the reality of absolute moral law. And yet relativism is rampant. And so the “media” has a double standard: relativism and yet an absolute standard when in comes to celebrity, but you can’t have it both ways. So the envy comes with the fact Woods went so long not getting caught! And the real problem is he was caught. And Mr. Hume presupposes an absolute moral authority to which the coming of the Christ is answer and both are severely problematic in the schizoid mind-set of current societal norms.
    FWIW…

  • Mark

    In a phone conversation today in which I referenced Tiger Woods, a fellow church member said maybe the outcry is not so much from “outrage but envy”. I think that was a clear Law observation. With that stated, maybe the Christophobia is not only over the naming of the Name publically but what the Name is the answer for: sin. And sin indicates the reality of absolute moral law. And yet relativism is rampant. And so the “media” has a double standard: relativism and yet an absolute standard when in comes to celebrity, but you can’t have it both ways. So the envy comes with the fact Woods went so long not getting caught! And the real problem is he was caught. And Mr. Hume presupposes an absolute moral authority to which the coming of the Christ is answer and both are severely problematic in the schizoid mind-set of current societal norms.
    FWIW…


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