Watch this clip and tell me if you’ve ever seen/heard a Pentecostal TV preacher who sounds so much like Peter Rollins. Then tell me which phrase got his show canceled. I’m guessing “the negation of the negation.”
If you follow the lunatic fringes of Pentecostal-evangelicalism, you’ve heard of Todd Bentley. A former child molester, Bentley is a YouTube star for screaming on stage, claiming to cure cancer, and claiming to cure that cancer by bashing old ladies’ heads on stage.
An evangelist preacher who has claimed he can cure people of their illnesses by hitting and kicking them has been banned from entering the UK by the Home Office.
Todd Bentley, a controversial revivalist healer based in the United States, had been due to hold a series of gatherings in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in the next few weeks. But the Home Office said Bentley, a Canadian citizen, was subject to an exclusion order and would not be permitted entry to the country.
“We can confirm that Mr Bentley has been excluded from the UK. The government makes no apologies for refusing people access to the UK if we believe they are not conducive to the public good. Coming here is a privilege that we refuse to extend to those who might seek to undermine our society,” the Home Office said.
Bentley, a 36-year-old former drug addict who at the age of 13 sexually assaulted a minor, reacted angrily to the decision, writing on his church’s Facebook page: “What about all the other celebrities, musicians and others with a more colorful past than me that are permitted into the UK for shows … Is this really about my past and fear of potential violence or Freedom of Religion and attack on Faith, God & Healing?” [via Revivalist preacher Todd Bentley refused entry to UK | World news | The Guardian]
So, kudos to our brothers and sisters in Great Britain for showing some common sense.
Jonathan Martin weighs on Real Marriage and the Driscoll interview:
To be clear, my reason for taking this on has nothing to do with Mark Driscoll personally, per se. I have been just as passionate about defending women in ministry inside my own tradition. (Those are other stories for another time—I just think its important to note that this is an issue dear to my heart in general that I have spoken to consistently, as opposed to just being a bandwagon critic of Driscoll’s. People within my tradition know my, um, reputation for speaking to these matters well enough) I am very aware of how my reformed brothers interpret some key texts on the role of women in the church differently than I do. The argument that Mark lays out implicitly here, however, is not so much from Scripture but his own culturally conditioned assessment of the role of women in leadership. I come from a very different cultural context that tells a very different story, so I will limit my remarks to that today (though the Biblical debate is one I would love to have anytime).
Lauren Winner, Phyllis Tickle, and Your Humble Correspondent
While at Fuller Seminary earlier this month, Lauren Winner, Phyllis Tickle, and I spoke at a public event in Fuller’s Travis Auditorium, put on by Fuller’s The Burner Blog. The topic was, “Emerging Spiritualities in the American Church,” and it began with each of us giving a few minutes of monologue. Then I was charged with hosting a bit of a panel discussion.
In her response to my question, Phyllis played to the crowd, mentioning the late Fuller theologian Ray Anderson’s book, An Emergent Theology for Emerging Churches. Therein, Anderson compares what’s happening between today’s conventional and emergent churches to the differences between the church in Jerusalem and Antioch in the first century. Phyllis likes that comparison, and so do I.
As a follow-up, I asked Lauren, whose PhD is in history, a question. I confessed that I am skeptical, bordering on worried, about the burgeoning Pentecostal movement in the Global South; I admitted that I find it theologically “thin” and that my tendency is to want to “save” them with my “better” theology. My question for Lauren: Am I simply a Jerusalem Christian, worried about the innovations in Antioch?