Rob Bell: A Symbol Of Every Evangelical Who’s Been Shunned For Asking Questions

Rob Bell: A Symbol Of Every Evangelical Who’s Been Shunned For Asking Questions December 17, 2014

pastor-and-author-rob-bell-is-seen-in-this-undated-facebook-profile-photoThe internet is abuzz again about Rob Bell in a way we haven’t seen since the release of his now infamous book, Love Wins. From Evangelical rock star to Evangelical reject, Rob has experienced the highest of highs and lowest of lows that an Evangelical can experience.

No longer pastor of mega-church Mars Hill, Rob has moved on with life in ways that don’t fit the standard trajectory many would have anticipated for a mega-church pastor. He’s spent the last few years laying relatively low, surfing the California waves, and writing a few books that made far less waves than Love Wins. Today, he’s partnered up with Oprah and is the host of his own television show called the Rob Bell Show (which launches this weekend), thus the new buzz around the internet.

While the Evangelical internet has been relatively quiet regarding Bell these last few years, Rob is once again an Evangelical discussion.

“Is Rob Bell still an Evangelical like us?”

“I wonder why Rob doesn’t go to an institutional/traditional church anymore?”

“I wonder why Rob Bell is teaming up with Oprah?”

They say there’s no such thing as a stupid question, but having listened to some Evangelicals ask questions about Rob lately, I have to disagree– a question is a stupid question if you already know the answer. And, Evangelicals do– they know precisely why Rob took a few years of space, spent some time quietly surfing, and now is moving on with life outside of the Evangelical establishment– he asked questions they didn’t think an Evangelical should ask.

And as it goes, Rob paid a high price for it– Evangelicalism quickly ushered him to the door and told him to get lost. This is precisely why I find questions surrounding “Is Rob Bell still an Evangelical?” somewhat amusing, because they’re the ones who told him to leave. It reminds me of the times when my child would feed her food to the dog under the table, and then would act all innocent and surprised that her plate was empty.

Folks can talk about Rob Bell’s departure from Evangelicalism all they want, but when I look at Rob, I don’t see someone who has left the building– I see someone who was wrongly pushed out to the church parking lot. The historical fact is, Rob was crucified on an Evangelical cross before his book had even seen a store shelf. Is it any wonder he’s gone off to take some space and is now once again learning to express his faith, share ideas, and ask questions– but outside of the Evangelical establishment?

It shouldn’t be. It’s what we’re all doing.

This is precisely why Rob Bell has and still does connect with so many of us– we may have different stories, but we all know what it is like to be taken out into the Evangelical church parking lot for asking the wrong questions.

For us “parking lot Christians” (a term from my forthcoming book, Christian Outsiders), Rob has come to symbolically represent so many of us who have experienced the deep pain of being told, “there’s no room for you in this inn.” We might not know what it’s like to surf California waves or to get a call from Oprah, but we sure do know what it’s like to be shunned for asking a few questions.

As I have gotten to know so many out there, from some of the bigger names to the average reader, the one trend I have noticed is this: we all have a very similar stories of pain, hurt, and loss that immediately followed our questions. Some are kicked out of churches, some out of seminaries, and many have real-world friendships stripped away from them– often over areas that are clearly “secondary” theology where there is room for charitable Christian disagreement.

What too many of us have painfully discovered is today’s evangelicalism doesn’t seem open to charitable disagreement (or even discussion) on secondary matters, because in today’s evangelicalism, there are no “secondary” matters. Instead, everything the establishment believes has been reclassified as a “Gospel” issue. Dare to question that? Well, now you’re questioning the Gospel itself, which means you can’t be an Evangelical anymore.

And so, a steady stream of us end up outside in the Evangelical parking lot. Like Rob Bell, we usually take some space from the Evangelical establishment and find an alternative path– which shouldn’t be a surprise. What do you expect us to do?

Yes, Rob may be a single person, but he represents every Evangelical who has ever been shunned for asking the wrong questions.

He represents those of us who have loved Evangelical Christianity– and still do– but dared to help shape it. As a result, we’ve had relationships stripped from us, been blacklisted by churches, and pushed to the margins of faith. It happens on a daily basis– and I can tell you from experience– it is a painful way to begin a new journey.

Those of us who lost with Rob now root for Rob, his life and his success, because in him we see a glimpse of ourselves.

What’s more, Rob isn’t simply a symbolic representation of our past painful Evangelical experiences– in Rob we see what we too hope to be on the other side of our journey. No, not partners with Oprah, but something even bigger:

Whole people again.

We long for the day when we too will be able to say that we’ve found a “close tribe of friends” to do a verb form of church with.

We long for the day when we will be as grace-filled as Rob appears to be– people who are not jaded or bitter. In this regard, Rob Bell represents not just the worst we’ve experienced but the best we might become.

Throughout the entire Love Wins ordeal, Rob handled himself with grace, dignity and love– and he still does. There were no return shots fired across the bow, no retaliatory smear campaigns, no “oh yeah? Well farewell you too!”… just love and gentleness.

Today, he seems every bit as full of life and the love of Christ as before. While we don’t know his heart, he certainly doesn’t seem jaded or negative as so many of us have a tendency to become– and that gives those of us who don’t always manage our hurt well (insert me), tremendous hope.

In Rob Bell, we see hope for ourselves because most of us aren’t there yet. We want to be whole again, have new relationships that aren’t conditional on theological agreement, and to be able to let go of the hurt and anger so that we can once again experience the joy of our faith holistically.

So, when you see him I hope you’ll join me in cheering him on and wishing him success, because he represents all of us…

Rob Bell represents every Evangelical who’s ever been shunned for asking questions, and we’re all on this journey together.

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  • Gordie LaChance

    I was removed from membership immediately for asking questions about my church’s stance on eschatology. I was asked if I believed in a future return of Christ, and I so “no”, that my understanding of the return was more in line with the Old Testament’s “comings” of God. Immediately, I was removed. No question on why I think that, or my journey to that point, or whether I believed it with my “head or heart” (LOL). So I understand this on a smaller scale.

    After Robin Williams committed suicide, I talked about how I thought I understood a lot of his struggles and that I felt compassion for him; and I was killed at church for saying so. WHAT?

    I think America is dumb. And American evangelicalism is even dumber. We’ve elevated Scripture and theological positions over humanity and empathy. In fact, this is the very thing that evangelicals complain about what’s wrong with the Catholic Church, yet they do the very same things.

    I’m comforted by people like Rob Bell and Frank Schaeffer, and Barbara Brown Taylor and Michael Dowd. And Rachel Held Evans. It restores my belief that it’s actually possible to believe in a creator and also be able to see people as people and not positions/labels.

    The church complains that science/evolution would reduce the idea of humanity to something insignificant, stripping away what makes us unique and special to God. And again, ironically, this is exactly what many of the churches I’ve been in do to their flock anyway. If you don’t have the right theological position and since I only see you as your theological position, you’re out of our club. Madness.

  • Matthew

    What I find disheartening is that many evangelicals cannot simply believe what they believe while accepting others in love who don´t agree with them. Hasn´t evangelicalism always prided itself on the motto “In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things peace among the brethren” (or something like that)?

    Whether Rob Bell is or isn´t an evangelical anymore, to me, is the lesser question compared to the question of how should believers (or everyone for that matter) be treating him as a fellow human being.

  • The established protestant church of today is becoming very similar to the Catholic church of yesterday. As a student of the great reformers of the past I see so many similarities. “Question us and your out” is the call from so many pulpits. I suppose if they thought it was politically correct they would burn dissenters at the stake. The St. Francis’s or St. Patrick’s of today have a very difficult road.

  • John Powell

    The problem is not that he asked hard questions, it’s that his answers to his questions are UNBIBLICAL! It today’s culture of tolerance, it is fashionable to ask questions, to think outside the box, to question orthodoxy and authority. That’s the fun part, gets you lots of attention, and is quite valid and welcomed in many places. He had that with much of his earlier writings, but eventually you have to take a position because just having lots of cool questions can still only get you so far. Now the answers are coming out and we see the real foundations of Rob Bell. I may not agree either with much of the responses towards him, but I totally understand the need to address his answers. I can consider his positions and disagree with him publically, and that is as it should be when there are serious questions of Biblical truth at stake. It seems too many people are more upset at how he is being treated (yes, wrongly), but there needs to be some serious examination of his answers as well. That process can be quite ugly, as much of church history can attest to when it comes to addressing deep issues.

  • FLRealist

    The problem is that from the outside, it’s the reaction to, and the treatment of, Rob Bell that makes an impression. It’s part of why I stepped away from organized church – if there is disagreement amongst people, then things get vicious. To me, that is not the “Christ-like” behavior I want to associate with.

  • Dwight McCormic

    Thanks for writing this. It makes me feel less alone.

  • Matthew

    One man´s UNBIBLICAL! is another man´s ORTHODOXY! Where does all this tit-for-tat get us anyway? There have always been disagreements throughout church history about questions of Christian doctrine often with both sides saying “My argument is also biblical”. As I have examined my beliefs over the years, as I have listened intently to the other side, I have discovered that evangelicalism — by definition — should leave room for a variety of beliefs on a variety of different theological topics. The main point is Jesus Christ and faith in Him.

  • Tim Rudd

    Nit-picking, but I would say Mars Hill Bible Church, so as to avoid confusion with Driscoll’s mega-church

  • Questions of “biblical truth at stake…” such as? I didn’t know questioning interpretation and application could make the Bible less true.

    You’ve just thrown around some vague generalities while sounding the alarm “the Bible is at risk! Man the battle stations!” and none of it supports the point you’re trying to make– and this is part of the problem with how the establishment reacts.

  • Gordie LaChance

    Exactly. In reality, modern evangelicalism simply has created a culture where their positions/views are defensible only using the variables within their culture. Example being inerrancy of scripture which is only proven by using scripture itself.

    Essentially, it boils down to a “well, clearly you’re not one of us or else you’d get it.” Like there’s special knowledge. And ironically, that’s the same problem evangelicals have with Mormonism and Scientology. I think if evangelicals would take an honest look at what they’ve created, they’ll see they are operating more like Scientology (or any so-called cult) than they are comfortable admitting.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Every day I am thankful that my parents raised me (in the Southern Baptist Church) to not be afraid to ask questions about the aspects of our faith. Even though the church in which I was raised fell prey to the expectations of lockstepped obedience and blindly following the pastor, at home I was encouraged to explore and understand for myself. For what good is my faith if I cannot hold it up to the light and examine it?

    (Side note – Mom was the church organist, and engaged in many a theological debate with the pastor.)

    While I was never “shunned’ from that church for questioning, (After all, I was Mona’s child, so it was expected…) I found my way away from the SBC on my own, and, as a result, perhaps I am less disheartened and disillusioned with the faith as those who were forcibly booted to the parking lot. Though, I do miss some of the tradition of that church experience. Some.

    The parking lot can be nicer, however, with its fresh air and sunshine.

  • That confused me. I didn’t know there was a difference.

  • I read once an explanation of why news/opinion media will ask questions in place of making statements. It’s because, when a reader remembers the question, the reader will infer an answer – but the writer can still protest innocence, because they were “just asking a question.” So, when a writer asks “is Obama a secret Muslim?” the answer they want you to imagine is “yes, he is.” When a writer asks “does George W. Bush have the lowest IQ of any president ever?” the implied answer is yes. In a similar manner, when a writer asks “is Rob Bell even an Evangelical any more?” (with the implication of “only Evangelicals are really Christian”), the implied answer is “no, he’s an apostate and bound for the Hell he doesn’t believe in.” And like I said, you don’t have to worry about giving your opinion too much support, because you’re “just asking a question.”

  • gimpi1

    “We’ve elevated Scripture and theological positions over humanity and empathy.”

    That is exactly what I see in many people who self-identify as Christian. I find it difficult to reconcile with the image I’m developing of Jesus, who this person was, what he cared about, what his priorities were. The need for both total agreement, the dismissal of honest questions and the valuing of “theological positions” over people doesn’t jibe with what the Christian church says it is, or what I think it wants to be.

  • Guy Norred

    That first sentence to your last paragraph–I have never heard that particular reason for dismissing science. With that reason, what I find ironic, is that our ability to learn and understand seems to be one of the essential reasons we are unique.

  • gimpi1

    Personally, I’m glad that “burning dissenters at the stake” is illegal. You may be able to cut someone dead socially over a theological dispute, but, unlike days gone by, you can’t actually cut someone dead. Just one of the great things about living in a secular democracy with no state religion. No state religion means no state policing of religious orthodoxy, and that’s a good thing.

  • Timothy L. Northrup Jr.

    thanks for this.

  • gimpi1

    Me neither.

  • gimpi1

    We can organize a tailgate party! I make great spareribs.

  • Matthew

    Great! What kind of BBQ sauce do you use?

  • gimpi1

    I make it with my homemade plum and pear sauces, crushed tomatoes, lots of garlic and ginger and a moderate amount of hot and sweet peppers. It rocks.

  • Bill Payne

    I am so tired of the anti-evangelical rancor that comes from many who leave evangelicalism. Evangelicalism may be a large tent (Reformed, Wesleyan, and Pentecostal/charismatic); still, it has a theological core and a lifestyle core. If one does not want to affirm that core, one does not have to self-identify as evangelical. If one who doesn’t affirm the core insists on calling oneself evangelical, other evangelicals may question the motives. “Are you trying to change the core and redefine the movement in terms of your perspective? If so, do not get upset if evangelicals who hold to the traditional core push back.” Knoll, Marsden, Hatch, and many other academic historians have documented the core. There is no doubt that Rob Bell has changed considerably and seems happy to push the envelope. Many evangelicals think he has pushed through the envelope. Should they be castigated for saying that? If Bell disagrees, he needs to explain why his views fit within the pale of normative evangelicalism. Personally, I think he does not want to be branded as an evangelical and that he uses the current debate with evangelicalism to market himself to the larger post-evangelical, anti-evangelical, and progressive crowd. Yes, it is still about him. It always was about him. I do not condemn him for thinking outside the box. He is free to do whatever he wants. However, I am not prepared to embrace him as the de facto voice of evangelical, radical discontent.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I’m not much of a fan of spareribs (or lobster or crab claws) because it’s a lot of fuss and a lot of mess for not a lot of meat.
    I’d rather pay an extra dollar for someone to give me the good stuff.

  • VisionaryJax

    Ben Corey, you are so loved! Don’t ever feel that rejection at the hands of evangelical brothers and sisters is ever anything but a temporary misunderstanding which will all come right in the light of eternity.

    And, the closer you come to Christ, the more you will see things from His perspective, and the less those wounds from friends will hurt — because you’ll begin to see yourself as healed and whole here and now … and you’ll even begin to see your angry brethren healed and whole and loved just as you are.

    It’s what happens to evangelicals who truly grow up until the love of Jesus, who dare trust in Him over what the Church has told you about Him…it’s what happens when we become rooted and grounded in love as the Scriptures say we will.

    Evangelicals love to say they’re just “speaking the truth in love” when they bash folks like you, or Rob Bell, but they forget the rest of the passage which says “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” (Ephesians 4:15-16).

    It’s that growing up in LOVE you’re experiencing, and that every Christian will experience if we continue to move closer and closer to Christ and don’t just stop at the party line of “the Bible tells me so,” etc. When you trust in love, you’ll find love, even for those who say they’re bashing you with the “truth in love”!

    Like any growing up process, it can be painful, but from the other side of it, you’ll begin to see your life before as the lark that it is and ought to be. Bah! This may not make any sense if your feelings are still hurt and your heart is still sore … but it will do, a few years from now. Stay close to Christ and know you are LOVED, that’s the main thing.

  • peterhamm

    A LITTLE bit in Evangelicalism’s defence, though… Rob ushered himself out in some ways, too. He worked very hard to say things in ways that were, it seemed, designed to piss people off.

    I found Love Wins to be full of proof-texting and intellectual bullying, making his argument far less than compelling.

    Love most everything else by him, though, still.

  • ChuckQueen101

    I appreciate very much the point you are making, but I am not sure Rob Bell is the best example of being pushed out to the parking lot. Sure, Rob Bell has provoked some of the evangelical elite, but he has also toured with Oprah as you point out. I’m sure Bell feels he is in a much better place. Of course, he did not know he would be getting a call from Oprah when he first published his book, Love Wins, and so I greatly champion his courage and integrity. I think Bell is the real deal. But a better example of being pushed out to the parking lot would be that Methodist or Baptist or evangelical pastor who just got fired because she publicly declared her support for full LGBT inclusion, or because he denounced the terrible notion of a torturing God, or for any other progressive view or position that dares challenge the conservative Christian establishment.

  • Julie Rodriguez Green

    I’m going to go out a teeny bit (well, maybe a *lot*) on a limb here….

    “Biblical truth” is not the be-all and end-all.

    It’s a book. Written by men. Inspired by God, or perhaps more correctly – inspired by man’s view of God, to be sure. Filled with wisdom, definitely!….but at the end of the day, it’s *still* a book, written by men. Nothing more. Which means, honestly, there’s nothing “at stake” either. God doesn’t live and die according to how the Christian bible is interpreted (although there sure are a lot of humans who do!!! How CRAZY is that??)

    The Christian bible is not God, and it’s not the mind of God. Only God has the mind of God. And even the bible itself says that we cannot know the mind of God. And it has been, and forever will be, wide open for interpretation, no matter what anyone says, or how hard and long anyone denies it.

    So to publicly challenge Bell’s particular interpretation – or his own personal experiences of God – isn’t productive or helpful. Better to question your own interpretation rather than simply assert you are correct and refuse to entertain the notion that you just might be wrong. And hey, Rob Bell could be wrong – absolutely! But you don’t really know that.

    I am pretty confident God knows the score, regardless of what it is, and that he will take care of it. He doesn’t need our help.

  • $128331872

    Love so passionately it makes religious people uncomfortable. Ruffle some pious feathers as you embrace the divine drifting of life and all the folks that come into your life along the way.

    I wasn’t kicked out like some, I was blessed or inspired rather to hightail it before it got worse. Out side the camp is where I aim to be in now. To be an outlaw like Jesus was.

  • As more and more of us leave the cave, the push back from the traditional church will grow louder and louder. The question is not how do we get millennials back into churches but how do we drag the established church out into the light of the world.

  • Perhaps ‘in the margins’ is not a bad place to be. I think perhaps I escaped a version of a world religion where Jesus, instead of resisting the temptation to bow down, made that deal w/ Satan. I saw that addiction to maintaining my control & security for the comfort of myself, family, and friends is just as dangerous & addictive as any drug. Addicts main purpose in life is to ‘guard their supply’.

  • Herm

    If I am so blinded in my “church” relationships that in order to please I will not question it is a co-dependent relationship. The worry I have in most “Christian” blogs is that most who participate try harder to please than challenge and question in Christlike love. This is not true here and the participation is much higher than most other Christian blogs, thank you Ben.

    I have been burnt and sacrificed for the over all good peace of churches by the authority of the protective owners. When I was in positions of authority inside churches I found most of my committee time was spent supporting other’s rights to challenge and question in love. While actually shaking the dust off my feet in the parking lot I found I was perfectly free to question God directly without divine repercussions. I would love to be able to leave it as their loss but even the self excluded are my loss.

    What can we do on the outside to cast a light on a real intimate relationship with God personally available to us and them, those inside each of those spiritually fragmenting church plants, equally? The blind leading the blind while making a concerted effort to protect their darkness from challenge simply cannot be an answer unto themselves. I pray that Rob and Oprah can pierce those walls that protect their ignorance from knowing what they do.

  • yep! & btw flipping burgers now after 20 years getting a seminary education, paying back student loans & being a youth/music minister would be quite depressing!

  • is it really all about money and fame? thanks for reminding me. the temptations are always there to keep me honest about when i am putting someone or something on a pedistal to worship.

  • wow! that sounds yummy but not on the topic.

  • my take away from what u just said is i am a whistleblower and so is rob bell. yes! evangelicalism is just another ‘ism’ getting it’s share of cash inna market place where the resting place of our eternal souls can be sold like a condo!

  • the process is ugly thats for sure! but if you are here admitting it that is good thing I think.

  • Gordie LaChance

    in reality, I think that’s what we need more of. Frank Schaeffer is the one, I think, who talks about how Franklin Graham was bragging to him about how Samaritan’s Purse bought him a new jet every year. Something like that. It’s sad that you can’t trust anyone anymore, especially evangelical pastors/leaders, but that’s also what will hopefully cause a revolution. Maybe my kids’ generation will be the one to say “we aren’t putting up with this bullshit anymore; if you say you follow Jesus, act like it.”

    There’s a sermon out there called “Thank God for the New Atheists” centered around this idea too, but coming from a different angle. Essentially saying that the New Atheists act more like Christ than most evangelicals, which in my personal experience has been true. Generally, in my experience, any group that gets persecuted by evangelicals (namely the LGBT and artists/creatives and atheists and Muslims) are usually the most loving, empathetic people I’ve ever met.

  • Ron McPherson

    Count me in : )

  • Niven Spence

    I started watching Rob’s videos about 8 years ago. They were compelling, interesting and creative. Soon, i started asking the authority figures in my life about some of the questions the videos raised in my heart. It was the total opposite of what i expected the reaction would be. I found Rob refreshing, honest and void of the typical inordinate sense of self importance. Their response was dismissive, condescending and littered with really sharp boundaries that i was being cautioned about. I still dont know how i stuck it out in that hyper authoritarian environment for about 4 years after that, or maybe i do… I loved being part of it, i was one of those on a trajectory to become a leader of a very large congregation and that seemed attractive then. Eventually the buble burst, i could not anymore and the questions thatbi thought , were invitations to conversations were interpreted as negative critisisms and “from the devil”. I had to leave , not because i couldnt handle the authority thing or the magnetic fundamentalist lense used to lift some scriptures to make a point, but because my soul was not well anymore in an environment that just sees change as disruptive. Thankfully i re-engaged my faith and i am part of a community who arent afraid of divergent views and makes room for discussion and questions. Im from a little coastal city in South Africa called Port Elizabeth and i think we are now starting to see the trickling down of new ways of seeing and being a Christian that has been pervasive in other parts of the world.

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    “I have to disagree– a question is a stupid question if you already know the answer.”

    you do realize that you just disagreed with every law school, law professor and lawyer in the world haven’t you? This is standard legal strategy so you can catch a person in a lie.

    It is also good strategy to see where a person stands on any issue or if they are feeding you a line of crap.

    Granted some churches over=react or misapply biblical teaching but in the case of Rob Bell and others like him, they are saying God lied and is incapable of communicating the truth to his followers.

    Of course such people need to be removed from the church if they do not accept the answers given to them. The church follows God not false or alternative thinking.

  • Matthew

    What is the “core” from your viewpoint Bill? Nicene Creed? Apostle´s Creed? What John Nelson Darby thinks? What Cyrus Scofield thinks? All the footnotes in the Scofield Bible? RC Sproul´s opinion? Tim Keller´s opinion? Bill Payne´s forum theology?

    I´m not trying to be arrogant or fresh … I would REALLY like to know.

  • Randolph Bragg

    Everything is UNBIBLICAL! Nearly any opinion can be construed as “unbiblical,” using other conflicting and contradictory parts of the Bible.

  • Bill Payne

    According to Marsden, evangelicalism includes
    all Christians that affirm the basic beliefs of the old 19th century
    evangelical consensus: the Reformation doctrine of the final authority of the
    Bible, the real historical character of God’s saving work recorded in
    Scripture, salvation to eternal life based on the redemptive work of Christ,
    the importance of evangelism and missions, and the importance of the
    spiritually transformed life (1991:4-5). That includes a high view of scripture, deep awareness of human depravity via the fall, the necessity of personal salvation, an emphasis on experiential religion, a Christian lifestyle that manifests the striving for social and personal holiness, and a belief in the second coming of Christ. The Apostle’s creed is assumed as normative orthodoxy even for those who are non-creedal. Each of the above distinctives is teased out in greater detail in my Social Movement Dynamics of Modern American Evangelicalism (Ashland Theological Journal 2003) and American Methodism: Past and Future Growth (Emeth Press 2013). I touch on the topic in John Wesley’s Missional Ecclesiology (Wesleyan Theological Journal 2014). You should not confuse dispensational Reformed theology as the core of evangelicalism. To better understand the core, ask this question: what do conservative Reformed, Wesleyan, and Pentecostal/Charismatics share in common.

  • gimpi1

    My original post, bragging about my ribs was a joke riffing on the idea that “the parking-lot” can sometimes be a more congenial place than inside the building of some churches. I suggested a tailgate party in said parking lot.

  • gimpi1

    You can bring the BBQ chicken:-)

  • don’t get yur tail inna knot! i was yankin’ it!

  • gimpi1

    No BBQ sauce for you, then!

  • kent

    The best thing I ever did was to give up “thinking biblically” from an evangelical standpoint. For the first time in my life, I was free to love others where they were in their journey with God; not where I thought they needed to be.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Alright! I also make a killer mac and cheese.

  • Matthew

    Let´s see …

    1. Final authority of the Bible — where in the Bible does it say the Bible is the final authority?

    2. Real historical character of God´s saving work as recorded in Scripture — CHECK

    3. Salvation to eternal life based on the redemptive work of Christ — CHECK

    4. Evangelism and missions — CHECK

    5. Spiritually transformed life — CHECK

    6. High view of Scripture — where in the Bible does it say one must have a “high view” of Scripture?

    7. Awareness of human depravity — CHECK

    8. Necessity of personal salvation — CHECK

    9. Emphasis on experiential religion — what on earth does this mean?

    10. Lifestyle that manifests the striving for personal and social holiness — CHECK

    11. Belief in the second coming — CHECK

    So Bill … it looks like numbers 1, 6, and 9 are giving me trouble. Where does that leave me? Also … I briefly checked the National Association of Evangelicals website. Their distinctives list and statement of faith were a bit different than your list, although you both did have some things in common. I guess there´s even arguments among evangelicals about what makes one an “evangelical”.

    I suppose my point is that although your list is compelling, I think what I have come to realize is that CHECKING off a list to be in a group (like the evangelicals for example) isn´t nearly as important as simply believing in and following our Lord.

    I certainly cannot speak for Rob Bell (I don´t know the man and have only read one of his books), but I wonder if he even cares anymore about this evangelical label that is so very important to so many.

  • Matthew

    WOW! Sounds fantastic! I would love to get my hands on the recipes for the plum and pear sauces …

  • Matthew

    It´s difficult for me to write what I´m about to write because if you don´t really believe the Bible to be true, then quoting from it makes no sense really … however … I´ll give it a shot:

    There are two places in Scripture that suggest the Bible is more than a mere human literary work written by men about their experiences with and views of God:

    2 Timothy 3:16.17 — All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

    2 Peter 1:20-21 — Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

    I would agree that the Bible itself is not God, but it seems to me that it is indeed more than a mere book. I also humbly admit that I might not have the context right regarding the above quoted verses.

  • Indeed. My stance (and the stance of my denomination) is that the Bible is inspired by God (in its writing and compiling, and in our prayerful reading of it), and reveals all things necessary for salvation, but it is not itself divine, nor inerrant. I fear many people treat the Bible as a sort of fourth person of the Trinity. It is more than “just a book,” but it is not God.

  • This party’s filling up fast! Find me a large cast-iron cauldron and I’ll whip up some Brunswick Stew.

    …just gotta get the recipe from the men’s group, first…

  • Re: a “high view” of Scripture – I’d also be curious about what does and what does not constitute a “high view.” It seems to me that there’s a wide spectrum of potential views about Scripture, ranging from “it’s a fairy tale” all the way to “every single word is literally true and written by God’s own hand.” What’s the cut-off for a “high view,” I have to wonder? If I think Scripture is inerrant vis-a-vis salvation but not biology, does that mean I have a “low view” of Scripture? If I read the poetic parts of Scripture allegorically, do I then have a “low view”? If I don’t literally gouge out my eye to prevent myself from sinning by it, do I have a “low view” of Scripture?

  • Herm

    The caution sign on the winding mountain road that tells me to control my vehicle’s momentum because there is a steep curve ahead is more divinely inspired to my survival than a series of entertaining signs selling Burma Shave. The Bible means more to me for pointing to the relationship I have ahead with God in the Holy Spirit than it could possibly be as a divinely inspired guidebook to Heaven, and it falls way short of that destination. The Bible is more like an expose of our journey than a handbook of dos and don’ts. Once past the warning sign my journey’s completion is directly dependent in relationship with the steep curve. Once inside a reciprocal relationship bonded by love with God in my heart and mind the Bible would be disposable if it were not for the travelers behind me who don’t yet know of the Spirit of Truth ahead.

  • Herm

    yes, but then again I’m having to look up to you.

  • Matthew

    Excellent questions …

  • “I loved being part of it” – Truth.
    That is the plank so often in my own eye. We love to be a part of the in-group, which often motivates us to act contrary to our conscience or to alienate those who are in the out-group.

  • I love the Mona you’ve described. I love the parking lot you’ve described. Let’s sit on the curb a while and have Church.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I kinda love the Mona I’ve described, too, and I dare say the reality of her isn’t that far off from my description. I was never so lucky as when she and Dad picked me out of the “FREE MONKEYS” box at the side of the highway and took me home.

  • Herm

    There are many who subscribe to the premise that it is better to remain in company with a known enemy than it is to leave in hopeful risk of finding an unknown friend they would have to struggle from the beginning to learn to relate with.

    It’s an even bigger risk to many to dare to nakedly petition an unknown Spirit of Truth to join in union with their hearts and minds than to remain blissfully in an intellectual spiritual relationship solely in step with their clergy whom they know.

    It is a big risk if I must hate the influential teachings I was born with and have become secure with of my family and self just to be able to accept solely the teaching of Jesus the Messiah … and then I still have to pick up the cross.

    I too love being part of it but, then, I did love being part of defending my nation from the dirty commie gook once, also. Espirit de corps can be a very hypnotic and addictive drug.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Ever since the ability to read became widespread and people could read and study the Bible for themselves, churches stopped being the one and only place believers could and should find answers for their theological ponderings. Expecting churchgoers to just “accept the answers given them” by church leaders is neither an egalitarian nor realistic expectation. Or else, we never would have had any of the writings and influence of Augustine, Martin, or heck – even Paul, amongst a score of others whose thoughts heavily influence the color of the Christian church of the last few millennia.

    Questioning one school of theological thought about our perception of God is not equivalent to saying God lied.

  • Acintyabedhabedhadasa

    Rob Bell is just another TV evangelist. Sure, he’s found a slightly different niche of followers, but what “high price” has he ever paid for anything?

  • Acintyabedhabedhadasa

    Then it’s your own fault for going to such a stupid church.

  • Acintyabedhabedhadasa

    I saw a couple of those videos. I thought they were manipulative and dishonest. I think *he* is manipulative and dishonest.

  • lou77

    To me you sound angry and confused about more than just rob
    bell. respectfully, if you would like to share your story I will hear
    you.

  • lou77

    I think so many are now on the threshold of this place you have so well articulated;

    ‘It’s an even bigger risk to many to dare to nakedly petition an unknown Spirit of Truth to join in union with their hearts and minds than to remain blissfully in an intellectual spiritual relationship solely in step with their clergy whom they know.’

    ppl coming out of denial have tremendous pain and confusion from the grief of complex grief & withdrawal from the drug of false security. their identities are warped. recovery comes w/ a willingness to change. what has to change? in a.a. we say everything has to change. it is soooo depressing!

  • lou77

    me too!

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    The problem isn’t with the questioning but with how the questioner handles the answers. If they reject the right answers for the false ones then proclaim those then yes, they are saying God lied.

    Bell did not accept the right answers and now he is saying God lied for he is preaching something other than what God said. Believers are to go to the truth regardless of their personal feelings

    Saying something different than God or saying that God said something he didn’t is not going for the truth but one’s personal desires.

  • Bill Payne

    Matthew, I did not know it was about you. I thought it was about Bell. More precisely, I thought you asked me an informational question about evangelicalism. To answer your concern, evangelicals use language about inspiration and final authority for faith and practice. We believe that the bible is the true word of God and that it witnesses to God’s character, God’s will, and God’s authority. It must be properly interpreted. Many evangelicals use “infallible” language when describing their high view. I know that you respect religious diversity. You believe that you would respect the beliefs and practices of a RC, a Muslim, a Buddhist, or an atheist. For the same reason, I feel no need to defend or argue what my faith tradition believes. Remember, Reformed evangelicals add a lot of points to their definition. Perhaps you have had an issue with them. I also oppose dispensationalism, cessationism, and the infallible language. My seminary is a self-styled evangelical school in the Anabaptist-Pietistic tradition. You might want to review our ethos statement. Good talking with you.

  • Herm

    Thank you! I believe those sufficiently uncomfortable who hear those of us peaceably and joyfully without an intercessor will risk to disrobe from their facade baring their hearts and minds openly to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The “Good News” is what we have been chartered by our Lord to share with the entire world. We were not commissioned to judge, condemn, intimidate, manipulate or build an exclusive club of salvation for us special few who know the secret codes. Luke 10:27 and Matthew 7:12 are non-denominational law. Luke 14:26,27 is denominational with Jesus the Christ as all the Lord, Teacher (Rabbi), High Priest and self sacrificing big Brother we will ever need beginning right now through the Advocate in our hearts and minds each.

    We come to God as little children and none of our other equal little siblings can successfully usurp our Lord’s and our Father’s authority.

    We just have to keep testifying to the reality of an actively working God who loves all who actually love in the example of Jesus the Messiah.

    Thanks, again. Love you!!!

  • Herm

    Go directly to God and He will direct us to where we are needed and where we can meet our needs. God has never let me down even when in the heat of the moment I was sure He had from my immature and limited perspective. Since I was 17 God has taken me around the world to serve and be served, sometimes under the umbrella of a church but more often not. I have even been taken to situations where several normally hostile denominations were, also, brought to solve a need none of us recognized until it was finished. Keep your heart and mind open to our Father in Heaven and trust the call you hear. Lately on many Sabbaths He and I have played cribbage with seniors who need His company. Who woulda’ thought God liked cribbage???

  • Jeff Preuss

    “If they reject the right answers for the false ones then proclaim those then yes, they are saying God lied.” According to YOU and YOUR interpretation of what are the “right” answers.

    The problem with strictly following a preacher or church’s teachings and not questioning and risking coming up with different answers is that your faith hinges entirely on accepting the preacher’s view of God. You’re not believing in God; you’re believing in what another person tells you God is. Your belief ultimately rests in that person, and is no faith at all.

    “Bell did not accept the right answers and now he is saying God lied for he is preaching something other than what God said. Believers are to go to the truth regardless of their personal feelings.” Again, this is YOUR interpretation of what constitutes the truth. If you think that there is only one crystal clear angle of the truth for the multitude of theological issues, then you might not have noticed the thousands of denominations — all Christian — who might see the truth differently than you do, yet still fervently and honestly follow the Lord. God is big enough for all of us.

  • Acintyabedhabedhadasa

    Sorry–I’m saving my story for Oprah, so I can bring in the big bucks.

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    in other words, you do not want to accept the right answers, you just want the ones that appeal to you.

  • Danny

    The most important pillar of all religions is the “don’t question” pillar. No religion can survive actuall scrutiny and that is why questions are so dangerous to them. They survive to the extent they are not questioned by the faithful. It is instructivly telling how vulnerable god’s churches are to a few precise questions.

  • lou77

    good luck w/ oprah then buddy!

  • ron_goodman

    The Bible is true because it says it’s true? You don’t see a problem with that line of reasoning?

  • Jeff Preuss

    “in other words, you do not want to accept the right answers, you just want the ones that appeal to you.”

    Nope, that’s just how you categorize it. I don’t look at all the Christian denominations that aren’t in perfect alignment with every detail I believe and accuse them of calling God a liar.

    You’ve elevated some bits of the Christian faith to a must-have doctrinal level, so you can criticize and cast out those who disagree with you.

    Your insistence of what is the “truth” and the “right answer” is a myopic way of following your faith, and is far too dependent on arrogance and condescension to really be considered evangelical in the truest sense of the word – sharing the Good News. What you share is Bad News. “Do as I say, or else!

  • I’ve never really understood why multiple churches would be named “Mars Hill.” I mean, yes, it’s the name of a place where Paul delivered a sermon (though the translations I read name it the Areopagus, not Mars Hill). But at the same time, it’s a place that is/was literally named after a Greco-Roman god. It’s like naming your church “Thor’s place” or something.

  • Falken

    That’s how you see it. I find it to be evident of pride when one determines that their answers are not only the right ones but are God’s answers as well. Truth be told, you do nothing more than subvert God’s authority when you determine that the free will he’s given everyone shouldn’t be exercised.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Well, that’s a nitpick, right? Would you rather they call it Mars Rock?

  • I don’t know what I’d rather; I just think it’s weird that these famous churches are named after a god that our religion holds to be false. I can see the logic, but it’s still weird.

  • Chris Dagostino

    I’ve come to realize how much damage the Evangelical movement has caused in recent months. In my case, the Gnostic approach to human sexuality put me into tremendous bondage for years. God set me free of it; here’s to hoping that others may have the distinction between mere religion and a relationship with God made manifest in their lives too.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I can understand it to an extent because of such a foundational relationship with Greek culture and location, but to me it’s odd to link a Christian church with the god of war. I guess maybe it’s better than Bacchanal Valley Church?

  • Guy Norred

    I remember instinctively thinking Sunday was named after the Son, not the Sun. There was no great theological or spiritual trauma associated with realizing I was wrong, but it did kind of surprise me that it survived like this through all these centuries of Christian dominance of European culture.

  • Yeah, that too. Though I think I’d prefer Bacchanal Valley Church, they sound like they’d be a fun crowd :-P

  • Jeff Preuss

    Do make sure to attend Debauchery Tuesdays! There will be fun drinking games for the kids!

  • Phil Mitchell

    This column and thread seem isolated from what goes on in a wider world. Yes, Evangelicals can be provincial, dogmatic, and resistant to challenges. But good grief, they don’t hold a candle to other venues. How about the academic community. Think there is freedom to question there? Try floating the idea that homosexuality is learned behavior, or that men and women have significant biological differences that explain their behavior, or that traditional marriage is clearly superior to non-traditional, or that minority economic dirth is explained in part by their own cultural shortcomings. Every Evangelical church I have ever studied, attended, or served, has more intellectual diversity than every social science department at every public(and most private) university in America. To chide Evangelicals at this point is to hold them to a different standard from everyone else.

  • Jerry Lynch

    Without your permission but with an appropriate cite, I have copied and pasted a few of your articles in this political forum I am in. My favorite response, and the nearly unanimous flavor of all comments, was: “Another commie liberal who doesn’t read the black parts on the pages of the Bible.” And this from mostly Christians.

    I had been fairly good friends, I thought, with at least three of the more pronounced Christians for almost a year until sharing your comments about the LGBT community and my basic agreement along with some supplemental comments–and was instantly not just ostracized but thoroughly excoriated in the vilest terms. Not one of those “friends” even gave me the courtesy of a pm and did not even address me personally but posted their comments to the members. It was not fun.

  • Shannon Menkveld

    If gimpi1’s tail is in a knot, and then you yank it, wouldn’t that make the knot harder to untie? And thus make it more difficult for gimpi1 to comply with your request?

    Seems sort of self-defeating.

    Kind of like the doctrine of Biblical Inerrancy…

    –Shannon

  • Falken

    I see. So because other venues aren’t open to ideas that have already been disproved or argued against and many times avoided like the plague they’re no worse than Evangelicals? Here’s the thing, here’s the true, honest point of it all. The world is actually better and mostly progressed everywhere but where you see hardcore fanaticism. Evangelicals are just one branch. And many times like to play the “we’re being persecuted” card. Thing is, every one of your arguments speaks volumes about why people turn away from Evangelical churches and sometimes churches in general. They preach this “we’re better because of this, that, or the other” statement. Their world of privilege blinds them to the possibility that minorities are often stuck in a system designed, hardwired, fully coded with the intent of not only creating disadvantages, but reinforcing stereotypes to keep the disadvantages coming. This in turn, leads to casual racism and casual homophobia trying to guise itself as “middle of the lane thinking”.

    What I find absolutely aggravating about Conservatives and Fundamentalists and even Evangelicals is something that seems so ordinarily understandable from a different viewpoint. A sort of hypocrisy that the people who used the Bible to defend slavery, to defend segregation, to counter Women’s Suffrage. Decades later, sometimes the same people who held those opinions – the dearly departed Billy Graham comes to mind – have pointed out they’re wrong. Thing is, I have the question: why? Why were they wrong then when many of them do what people like yourself do now and drag out scripture in their support? Many can’t argue that outside of “the Bible clearly says….” and want that to be the end of it just like the other defunct arguments. So, if one can’t explain why they were wrong then explain why you’re supposedly right now?

    Now lets go on to this “learned” behavior crap. Some of us, myself included, didn’t get the “Gay Starter Guide” or even some sort of magical fairy mentor. No we had to learn not only about our orientation through fearful realization but any sexual practices had to be carefully figured out through a bit of trial and error. Learning how to have sex is arguably a learned behavior but someone’s orientation is unfortunately something they get stuck with. Believe me, I did try. Believe some of my friends, one who gave himself quite a few nasty scars since his minor level of psychosis led him to believe that his faith needed a bit of blood, a bit of pain, a bit of suffering before God thought he wanted to change enough to change him.

    TL,DR Version: People react negatively to ideas rooted in stereotypical, privilege driven thinking that causes repression and serious damage – physically or psychologically – that the presenter just doesn’t have to deal with. People react negatively to ideas that others put actual time and effort into questioning and searching behind why they are. People react negatively when these individuals who live in some sort of echo chamber community leave and then expect everyone outside to resonate with it because “it’s just right”. I’ve yet to find a single Evangelical church with “intellectual diversity” since they seem to want you just to go along with what they say, so to your statement I simply say BS.

  • Shannon Menkveld

    Best way I’ve found to do BBQ chicken:

    1) Liberally apply your favorite dry rub to the chicken pieces.

    2) Marinate in Coca-Cola. Overnight is best, but starting in the morning for an afternoon cookout works darn well. Yes, I said Coke. The acids tenderize the meat, and the salt in the rub draws the Coke-and-rub solution into the chicken pieces. (The Mexican Coke works better, if you can get it where you live, because it’s less sweet and uses sugar instead of corn syrup, but regular Coke Classic is still great. For a slightly different flavor, Dr. Pepper also rocks. You can also add a bit of dark liquor, rum/brandy/bourbon, for even more flavor.)

    4) Rub chicken with fresh dry rub when it comes out of the marinade. Most of the old rub will have dissolved into the meat, and the fresh rub will make for a nice crust on the chicken.

    3) Grill as normal, apply BBQ sauce only in the last few minutes.I find that about 3-5 minutes on each side works well… you want the sauce to thicken up and carmelize a bit, but not burn.

    4) Stand back and bask in the kudos.

    –Shannon (the guy who doesn’t usually like chicken)

  • gimpi1

    Sounds wonderful!

  • Phil Mitchell

    Wow. I am sorry for your suffering and the abuse you have experienced at the hands of people who claim to speak for God. I can understand why that hypocrisy would be galling. The only point I am trying to make is that Evangelicals are people like anyone else. But hardcore Leftist hostility to everything they disagree with is real. We have both been victimized by bigotry. Different kinds of bigotry but bigotry just the same.

  • Falken

    I see. Tell me, how have you been affected by bigotry. See, I ask because every person I hear say “Leftist hostility” are often right winged and might passively be just a bit of a bigot themselves. One should check and see the source of the hostility. See if it’s not from people simply “stating” their viewpoints but beating someone over the head with their viewpoints, demonizing people who don’t agree, so on and so forth. So, do tell me what bigotry you’ve experienced.

  • I’m a former fundie too, but the last thing I would want to do is embrace Rob Bell. Benjamin paints with way too broad a brush, as if every self-professed conservative evangelical is afraid of questions and will shun anyone who dares to ask them. This has not been my experience at all in my 36 years of being a Christian. It’s too bad people actually experience such a narrow, fearful Christianity, but I guess it’s out there. But calling out Rob Bell for his heterodox views is not irrational. Liberal Christians have a very expansive notion of what a person can believe and still credibly claim to be a follower of Christ. Conservative Christians don’t. So to the liberal we must all believe as the liberal, and how illiberal is that!

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    the free will he gave everyone doesn’t mean we are free to disagree with God or the Bible.

    Again, you write like you do not want his answers but your own. How am I subverting God’s authority when I agree with God and the Bible?

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    there is a difference between minor disagreements and saying God did not create as he said in Genesis 1. So yes, if you claim God did something other than what he said in the Bible then you are calling God a liar.

    Nope, haven’t done that. Paul teaches us to put out from the church those who follow after sin until they repent. if you do not repent from your errors then don’t expect the church to welcome you with open arms.

    Again you are mistaken. I follow the HS to the truth as John 14 and 16 tells us to do. If you have problem with that then you have a problem with the truth and want your own ways not God’s.

    No, I bring the good news,and that is do as God says or else.

  • Jeff Preuss

    You are wrong on all counts. You don’t even know what I believe, and you’ve decided I choose what I want, instead of what God wants. My faith is my own, and it is God’s to judge, not yours.

    “No, I bring the good news,and that is do as God says or else.”
    If you think any of your communications have conveyed good news, as you actually (apparently sincerely) end your message with “do as God says or else,” then you are sorely mistaken. Representing an evangelical message as a threat is profoundly wrongheaded, and not how I perceive the truth of Christ.

    Have a great day – try not to get too swept up in tunnel vision.

  • lou77

    I have heard it said that if you have an ‘in’ in Jesus there is no liberal or conservative….just us monkeys!

  • lou77

    yeah that same thing happened to me w/ my alkie buddies when I stopped drinking and got into a recovery program.

  • Guy Norred

    By not leaving your heart and mind at least a little open to the possibility that your understanding of God’s will and of the Bible may simply be your best understanding but NOT necessarily actually be God’s will.

  • Guy Norred

    Actually, I would say that the most liberal would accept the conservatives’ claim to be followers of Christ at at least the face value of intent and acknowledge them as loved brothers and sisters with whom they have often stridently differing understandings.

  • Alana

    I definitely have to disagree with this. In my experience, at least, Evangelicals seem to be the ones who are most often on the offensive. They are the ones who have told me that I need to submit to whoever I marry, that I can’t be a minister because of my gender, and even that I am going to hell. It is hard not to get defensive when people are pretty much telling you that everything about your personality, career choices, and beliefs are utterly wrong.

  • seashell

    I may not know you, but I think I love you (and mac & cheese).

  • Alana

    Just curious, but how do you know where God is leading you? I am not trying to mock you– I actually, genuinely want to know. It seems like many Christians, including myself, have never really gotten any sort of message/feeling from God. It’s pretty hard to follow when you don’t know where you are supposed to go. ;-)

  • Maybe, but I’ve found most liberal commentators to be like Benjamin, angry and dismissive of conservatives.

  • Herm

    Thank you very much Alana! That is where coming to our Lord and big Brother as a little child is so very important. How did you know where you were suppose to go outside your home when you were a cognizant three year old child? I’m not mocking your very excellent question.

    You might have taken your mother’s hand to walk to the park. You might have been placed in the car and your dad drove you to grandma’s for Christmas. You might even have had your parents place you on an airplane that took you to Paris where a distant uncle and aunt took charge and you all took a taxi to their apartment. Could you have known where you were suppose to go before you got there in any of those hypothetical but possible situations?

    If asked I can give actual journeys to serve or be served that I was taken on that I had no way to know to have pursued on my own. This isn’t about me but it is about sharing the possibility that what I am testifying to is actually equally true for you also.

    In order to “keep your heart and mind open to our Father in Heaven and trust the call you hear” you must have the humility and trust (faith) of a loving and loved little child as you did with your guardians in your youth. I was lucky as a high school child to be very sure I could never be totally responsible to knowing where I was going and I did give this up to the lead of God. After that moment the proverbial opened and closed doors dynamically dictated where I ended up and provided the resources necessary all along the way.

    I am a 70 year (Earth time) old very little child in the Family of God and I have to brag that this divine Family really knows how to nurture through struggle, play and relationships of many different kinds to assure that I feel true peace and true joy and true love well before my carnal brain may have to give in to senile dementia. I am satisfied with the opportunity to have lived in the image of God and ask for no more. I am excited that there may be an eternal life of ever growing relationship within the Family that I couldn’t possibly quantify or qualify from my limited child’s perspective from a carnal Earth but I don’t need any more than I have been graced already.

    It is not a matter of knowing enough to where or how we’re suppose to go but is a matter of trusting the Guide to get you there and the Teacher to prepare you for when you get there.

    Did this help at all or did it seem only like an impossible fantasy of a worn out old man too hungry for respect?

    I don’t need respect because I have all the love I need in my heart and mind. I need to reciprocally share in learning with my siblings of all Earth ages what actually works to promote all life in the image of God and in the Family of God.

    There are intellectually (brain) committed Christians because Jesus taught us well in three years. There are heart and mind (both of our spiritual self along with strength and soul) active Christians in relationship with Jesus and the Father directly through the Advocate. All who are active and known by their fruits have the faith and humility of little spiritual children. It is our spiritual selves that are in the image of God, male and female, for that is what was breathed into the carbon base (dust and ashes) male and female mankind that distinguishes us from the rest of life on Earth.

    It is by our heart and mind led by the Holy Spirit that we know where we are suppose to go and be.

    I will risk to point to a really good example I know by his fruits that he trusts himself to be led by the Holy Spirit … Benjamin L. Corey.

    None of us are inerrant even when in direct relationship with the perfect inspiration of the Holy Spirit’s lead. We are all little children trusting in the possibility that at the very end of eternity we will finally master being correctly respected as inerrant.

    The Gospel (“Good News”) is that the Holy Spirit is alive, well and available to all who allow themselves to be groomed and ready as little children. Wouldn’t that be nice to share with ISIS and the fundamental intellectual Christian? Just a child’s question.

    Alana, I used your question to release a little pent up truth I’ve wanted an opportunity to share for a long time now. I hope you will forgive me. If you would like an actual, hopefully less long, story as best I remember it in God leading me to where He and I needed me to go I would be happy to share it and more as asked. Thank you for the chance to answer! Love you!!!

  • Ron McPherson

    For most of my Christian life, I would have been identified as conservative fundamentalist. I still hold to some core views that would be considered conservative or fundamental. From my perspective, as a group, I believe fundies for the most part are far more exclusive than liberal Christians as in “I’m a true Christian but they are not.”

  • Falken

    You write like God himself could come down and tell you that you’re wrong and you’ll argue back in his face.

  • Ron McPherson

    “…put out from the church those who follow after sin until they repent.”

    Does this include any and all sin, or just particular ones?

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    usually it means all the sins, the ones people are practicing and trying to bring into the church not just a one time thing.

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    so you do not have examples of how I am subverting God’s authority then?

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    i have already done that and found the truth. i do not have to keep doing it over and over because someone disagrees with the truth.

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    no i am not. i am merely going by your written words. nothing else.

    and your faith is not your own, for believers have the right to rebuke, discipline, omit, and so on false teaching. You can hold to whatever belief you desire but you need to allow others the same freedom and they have the right to exclude your beliefs from the congregation if they do not line up with God and his word.

    if you are refusing to repent of your sinful ways then I guess i haven’t brought good news to you. I haven’t made any threats but played off your own words.

    so far none of you have presented any verifiable divinely inspired manuscript record that supports your brand of belief.

    you seem to be disagreeing with me and the Bible simply because you do not like what you hear or read.

  • Ron McPherson

    “usually it means all the sins”

    Usually? Since “usually” allows for something less than always, under what circumstances can one sin and not be put out of the church?

    “…the ones people are practicing…not just a one time thing.”

    Given that you define “practicing” as being more than just “one time”, are you suggesting that no one in your church commits the same sin more than once?

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    That is up to the individual pastors and churches to decide with God’s help.

    no, i am saying that there is a difference between making a spiritual mistake and practicing sin like unrepentant sinners.

  • Jerry Lynch

    Ditto for me on that front, lou77.

  • Ron McPherson

    And again I’m trying to get an understanding, more than in vague and abstract terms, how “practicing sin” is to be defined. When it comes to kicking another out of the church, I trust you can see the danger of subjectivity here. Often, kicking them out means when one “sins” in ways that the church deems unacceptable, while simultaneously overlooking a host of sins in others. When this happens, it gives rise to the stench of hypocrisy.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I am disagreeing with you because your words are unkind and hypocritical. As you have set these rules, you are the only one who is apparently allowed to tell anyone else they are wrong. And anyone who disagrees with you is calling God a liar. As long as we understand these rules as you set forth in your world.

    Your condescension and “shaming” in God’s name is appalling. I wish you nothing but peace, but that starts with you and the effort you make. God bless you and goodnight.

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    so now you go to the insult because you can’t have your way. typical

  • Ron McPherson

    No, you are missing his point. Jeff is not demanding his way as you claim. He is taking exception to the fact that you are demanding yours.

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    the definition goes as God defines it and has labeled what is sin. obviously, more zealous people add their own personal preferences from time to time but then the pastor and elders need to nip that in the butt

    if you are accepting alternative beliefs, for example, saying God didn’t create like he said in Genesis or that homosexuality is okay and you do not repent from such sinful ideas then you are practicing the sin of false teaching as described in the Bible– you are bringing a different gospel thus you should be kicked out of the church for you are bringing lies into it.

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    I am not demanding anything. There is only one truth and you follow the HS to it. That means you do not disagree with the Bible, do not follow secular science, unbelievers and so on to popular ideologies.

    God is demanding that it be his way and his way is found in the Bible.

  • Ron McPherson

    And of course it always seems to come back to that one thing

  • lou77

    everything I needed to know that is practical about god
    and jesus I learned in a 12 step program.

  • Ron McPherson

    I agree that God’s way is found in His word. The problem is that you are demanding your interpretation to be the right one and apparently leave no room for discussing alternative points of view. You assert that those who do not agree with you, in turn, do not agree with God and thus are dismissive of His word. Hopefully you can see the danger in this.

  • lou77

    yeah they aren’t the only game in town. you or I don’t have to grovel or be second classed!

  • RealityChecker1

    If the authors and fans of this site spent less time demonstrating hatred for other Christians, you’d have more credibility. Spend less time hating those who don’t share your POLITICAL beliefs disguised as “religious” beliefs and you will be better able to see the errors of your ways.

  • lou77

    I suppose you have removed all the debris from yur own eyes first?

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    who else is qualified to define what sin is?

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    No, I am not promoting any interpretation. There is no biblical instruction for anyone to interpret. there is biblical instruction to follow the HS to the truth

    You are relying upon a non-biblical idea to provide you a safe haven for your alternative ideology. if you want to be biblical then follow biblical teaching

  • Ron McPherson

    I haven’t offered any “alternative ideology” but you assume I’m automatically in error because I allow that there are alternative points of view that may be valid. Let me ask this one thing of you. Do you believe it is possible that you could be wrong on anything related to biblical truth?

  • Jeff Preuss

    I haven’t insulted you. The only one who seems to be reacting as if one is not getting their way is you. You simply can’t be the authority on how everyone else believes in God that you seem to want to be, and you appear to be lashing out as a result.

    By the way, I’ve not presented any of the specifics of my beliefs to you, simply because I’m not uncomfortable with the “other” label so quickly tossed out by those who think they’ve the authority to shun and shame fellow Christians for not following their rules Also, I feel no need to justify my faith to you – I reiterate my faith in God is mine and you haven’t the power, authority, or right to regulate it or prevent it. I frankly don’t care if my way follows your rules, and they are your rules, not necessarily God’s.

    Toodles.

  • lou77

    I found a relationship by getting alone by myself and telling someone, as if they were present, that I want to know if it’s real that god exists and loves me. I got an answer right away; my whole life came apart! it was going to come apart anyway but I wouldn’t have god in my life to help me start a new life in recovery if I hadn’t asked to be introduced. btw at the time this all happened I had a friend who knew god and I had asked them not to speak to me about Jesus. but when my life turned to shit I had nothing but questions!

  • lou77

    not you or your ‘friends’.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Ben hasn’t shown any hatred for other Christians, or anyone at all from what I’ve read. Certainly, we could be seeing things differently.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I could swear I said that somewhere a time or two. ;)

  • Jeff Preuss

    Interestingly, I was also accused of ignoring the truth when I simply questioned about multiple denominations, all Christians, all believing varying things. Yet Dee Tee has yet to clearly delineate what IS truth to him/her.

    Which only sets us up to fail, and we can never succeed, and never be welcome in Dee Tee’s version of the Kingdom.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Well, I love you, too! I love everyone, even those who don’t care for me. And mac and cheese is amazing and should be devoured. It’s one of the only dishes I prepare at Thanksgiving every year…simply because I am not that great a cook. :{)

  • oholymike

    The assertion that Rob Bell was kicked to the curb by evangelicals for asking questions is absolutely absurd. Rob Bell was not “ushered out” for asking questions, or even for expressing honest doubts about his faith. He has been rejected as a Biblical teacher and leader (though not as a fellow sinner in need of grace) by evangelicals because he has declared to the world that he no longer believes in faith in Christ as necessary for salvation. This is a foundational claim of Christianity, and one which MUST be embraced to be “evangelical” (no matter how many deniers of core doctrines still claim that name). Evangelicals believe that salvation by faith (alone) in Christ (alone) IS the gospel. Rob Bell does not. Of course, Rob Bell is free to discard beliefs he no longer believes. He is free to deny the basic tenants of Christianity, to lead others to reject the tenants of Christianity, and to make his living denigrating stuck-in-the-mud Christians who refuse to abandon their faith in what the Bible so very plainly teaches and still believe that a being a part of an actual community of Jesus-followers who meet regularly for mutual encouragement and instruction is beneficial for those who seek to emulate Christ. I have no doubt he believes he is smarter than the millions of Christians who still believe those things and sees himself as a daring, no rules, no limits, captain-of-my-own-destiny kind of spiritual maverick to be praised and emulated. However, claiming to be an “evangelical” Christian, and telling the world that what he is teaching is evangelical Christianity, is just a lie. If Rob Bell wishes to teach that faith in Christ is unnecessary, that being part of a gathered fellowship of believers is unnecessary, that allowing the Bible rather than the culture to determine what’s acceptable moral behavior is unnecessary and that he’s a trail-blazer discovering some “truer” path to God than that which the Bible teaches, then he should throw off that dirty, tattered cloak of Biblical evangelicalism which he has so benefited from professionally and financially, and admit that he does not believe. But to dare claim he is still teaching Biblical Christianity is simply a lie.

  • seashell

    As in human made laws, there are three components to God’s word – the letter of the word, the spirit of the word and the application of the word.

    You think you have the first, the letter, all figured out. Maybe you do, but you can’t leave out the other two parts, because that only leaves you right, but not righteous. I don’t remember anything about Jesus saying that being right alone is what gets you to heaven.

    In your (apparently unceasing) quest to be faithful to words, you completely miss out on the Holy Spirit and I thinks that’s what this forum is trying to explain to you.

    I’m always open to being wrong, though, if that’s not what is being explained.

  • seashell

    My dogs run for the emergency exit should I happen to do more in the kitchen than make coffee. And Keurig makes that. :-)

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    where is the scripture to support your three components for God’s law? I see a lot of scripture telling people to obey and obedience is better than sacrifice but I do not see scripture detailing those other facets.

    it is not me missing out on the HS.

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    spoken like a true alternative believer who rejects God and creates his own god, faith and his own rules.

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    I thought I was once but God told me I wasn’t :)

    If you are automatically in error it is because you have chosen to accept and believe something God did not say in the Bible.

    I haven’t assumed anything but have gone by the words you have posted in response. n

    I believe the Bible and look to the HS to lead me to the truth. What do you believe and do?

  • Jerry Lynch

    Agreed x2!

  • Ron McPherson

    “I believe the Bible and look to the HS to lead me to the truth. What do you believe and do?”

    The same. But you didn’t answer my question.

  • Ron McPherson

    Think about what you are saying. It sounds as if you consider ALL of your biblical points of view to represent the truth, meaning that anyone in disagreement from you is in error. At least your statements so far seem to reflect that. If you allow that you may not be right 100% of the time, then you may want to acknowledge this to the rest of us. Otherwise, these discussions will go nowhere.

  • Matthew

    Interesting …

  • Matthew

    I started with internal evidence ron_goodman, yet I probably should have begun with external evidence for the Bible´s reliability and authority.

    Many books and articles have been written on the topic of biblical truth. You can certainly find them yourself online. I don´t have the desire to write a long essay on the topic now (an essay that probably won´t convince you anyway).

    I will end by saying that the Bible´s truth can probably be best substantiated not through internal or external evidence, but rather by the testimony of the many people of faith whose lives it has supernaturally changed for the better.

  • Matthew

    Thank so much Bill. Yeah … I get it … you oppose some “stuff”, but they uphold it (dispensationalists for example) and still call themselves evangelicals. It doesn´t look like the arguments within the evangelical family are ever going to end. I´m pretty much done with labels and yes I am much more tolerant than I used to be.

  • You also started by stating that you recognize that using the Bible as evidence of the Bible’s authority wasn’t going to cut it for people who don’t consider the Bible authoritative. I’m guessing Ron must’ve missed that.

    Seemed clear to me, at least, that you were making an “in-house” argument rather than an apologetic for “outsiders.”

  • Matthew

    You are SO right Snommelp. After I wrote the post and went offline I talked to my wife about it. Even with the disclaimer at the beginning, I should have noticed the weakness in my argument before I even typed my first letter. It makes no sense to argue for the truth of the Bible from an “insiders” perspective to someone who doesn´t accept the book as anything more than a piece of literature.

    In terms of an apologetic argument … I simply don´t have the desire to get into it now. There is plenty of credible information available online for those seeking answers about the reliability of the Scriptures.

  • I hope you don’t think that I was being critical (tone is so hard to convey in these text-only formats!). I was just offering you my interpretation of your original response, which was that you were responding to Julie as a fellow believer, rather than as a believer trying to convince a non-believer.

    Perhaps my interpretation was colored by my interpretation of Julie’s comment, which seemed to me to be written from someone who follows Christ but doesn’t give much authority to the Bible. Ron, on the other hand, appears to have interpreted your comment as one of a Christian attempting to convince a non-Christian. His comment makes sense for that interpretation, but it was very out-of-sync with how I’d interpreted your comment.

  • I really don’t see much anger or dismissiveness in Ben’s comments or articles (save when dealing with persistent trolls). But then, I also don’t really see him as overly “liberal” either; that is to say, on some issues he sides with what would be considered the “liberal” view, but on others, his opinion lines up with the “conservative” perspective.

  • Matthew

    No no … I didn´t think you were being critical (in a negative way) at all. You were right on target. It is difficult to convey tone in these forums. Also … I would love to know how all of us would talk to one another if we could all sit around a table and hash this “stuff” out? In my estimation the conversation would look and sound A LOT different :-).

  • I just figured out who you were– congratulations on getting back on the blog after being previously blocked. Very few people have accomplished such a feat.

  • Ron McPherson

    And by your words I believe you have assumed an authority reserved by only God (Matthew 13:24-30). You declare a professed believer in Christ to have rejected God. I fear this presumption on your part undergirds some of your other remarks, which may account for why you allow for no points of view that differ from your own. I feel I can speak to this because in retrospect i can see how spiritually arrogant I was before. By the grace of God I hope that much of my spiritual arrogance has eroded. There is still much work to be done in me though. Peace

  • Jeff Preuss

    Well, don’t keep us in suspense…who is it? :)

  • Ron McPherson

    Darn it. And to think I fell for it. Yikes : )

  • Falken

    Well, the sheer overwhelming stench of your self-righteous arrogance seems pretty subversive. I mean, I’m a prideful little so and so, but good lord the amount of certainty you have reminds me of those kids back in school who argued 2+2=5…..with the teacher.

  • Falken

    Actually I tend to have issues with those disguising their political beliefs and hatred as religious beliefs. In fact, most who want to claim being hated and persecuted are usually doing so because they don’t get free license to say… go on a radio, condemn an entire segment of the population to Hell and then get no backlash for it.

  • The person behind this blog (can’t remember the name he used last time): http://theologyarchaeology.wordpress.com/2014/12/14/an-update-3/

  • That’s incredibly ironic, given the rules that blog has for commenting, particularly the lines “YOU ARE NOT CHILDREN do not act like it and you will be fine” and “All posts must be in line with the rules and constructed to present your views and opinions in a manner that is constructive and not destructive.”

  • Falken

    Instead they’ll break the rules then claim that we’re not following those same rules and we’re magical hypocrites.

  • Phil Mitchell

    For nearly 25 years I was an instructor-level professor at a major, secular university. I am a political and theological conservative. My tenure there was protected by genuine liberals who felt my presence provided balance. There was a civil war in our department between “liberals” and “leftists.” (My labels) The winner who emerged was an angry gay man. He felt the department could not countenance someone with my religious views–he stated this explicitly–and refused to sign off on my teaching. (At our university the “signing-off” process was necessary to teach. So, my tenure was ended. I now teach at an Evangelical liberal arts college where I have far more academic freedom than before. My story would be repeated far more but there simply aren’t conservatives like myself left in public universities. (See Stanley Rothmans’s research, or even more recently, Jonathan Haidt on the state of social psychology.)

  • Alana

    Actually, I kind of see them as being a lot like hipsters, only instead of seeing outsiders as too mainstream, they see them as being too worldly.

  • Falken

    Interesting. You know, I remember the story of the the Thorn in the Lion’s Paw. I’m sure most know it but the basic summation is a lion got a thorn stuck in his paw, and appeared very vicious and mean and probably clawed a person or two or sixteen. A mouse pulled it out and basically led to us realizing that part of the “angry” act was being hurt. So, I figure this “angry” gay man was someone who’s heard your opinions from others and was not so much “angry” as he was “wounded”. I also apologize in advance for the incredibly long read that will probably be deleted.

    So, my question is, how were your views actually given. See, many give us a hostile load of bull then say they’re being rational and loving and we’re the ones being cruel. So, did you espouse your views on a regular basis – particularly the one given by many a homophobic, heteronormative, moderately sexist in individuals of homosexuality being learned – or was this someone who flipped after hearing it once. See, it’s hard to take it credibly that it was a one time issue that led to hot water because an angry gay man would need to find a way to get support for him getting you removed. Support can’t come if you’re known as rational and even handed. Support can come if you’re rabid or elitist or arrogant and many people just got tired of dealing with you so they jumped on board with whoever brought up the possibility of removing you. From there, one can simply convince themselves they’re the victim of discrimination.

    Generally, I for one and actually rather glad you lost tenure, I would have trouble being at a college that willingly employs a professor who gives credibility to a disproved theory on homosexuality being a learned behavior. I would have quite a few issues if someone espoused an opinion that was actually wrong and proven to be not only false but misinformation that contributed to people mistreating me. Especially when they’re pretty certain that the only people who would find their opinions repugnant are “lefties” who won’t allow room for “disagreements”.

    However, I should probably not go off on a tangent If you lost tenure, it’s not due to “leftist” conspiracies that have no room for “disagreement” or “dissent”. It actually may be due to fact several of the views – I’m going off the ones given as examples of dissent listed in your original comment – hold a heavy repugnant tone of “here we go again”. What I mean is, here we go again with someone that espouses opinions and thoughts that while they’ve convinced themselves are just differences of opinions but are often sources of the physical, psychological, and even legislative violence against such individuals. What you cite as “anger” and “hostility” is actually defensiveness as those opinions were not just once considered viable, but dominant and the only ones accepted and quite frankly people who’ve heard them over and over get tired of dealing with them and tired of the people who not only hold them but espouse these viewpoints as legitimate differences in opinion and worse yet claim victimization. As I noted to someone else, it seems people wish to have the capacity to stand in front of a class, get on television, or get on the radio and condemn a segment of the population to Hell, denounce them as flawed, or generally keep perpetrating ideals that have been proven false and want no blow back or backlash from it. In short, you haven’t been affected by bigotry, just coworkers tired of hearing your opinion expressed as truth even when it’s been proven not to be.

    [Edited purely because it just seemed too frickin long the first 3 times]

  • Ron McPherson

    I went to that link, his blog, but didn’t see his name. Does he condemn people to hell behind an alias?

  • Ron McPherson

    I seriously could eat Mac n cheese 3 times a day, 7 days a week

  • Ron McPherson

    Heard a guy once say that he drove by a church named Laodicea – dead serious

  • seashell

    Ron, go back to the linked site and scroll down till you get to #2B – Corey and his hate mail list. After you read that you can see where he made his criteria request here.

    The guy appears to be a martian – no offense to martians intended.

  • seashell

    Just finished some for dinner. Soooo good! :-) I was thinking about starting a change . org petition to see if mac & cheese can be reclassified as a vegetable so the healthy eating people will leave me alone. Are you in?

    And now I love you too.

  • Ron McPherson

    Yes I saw that, thanks. I was wondering if he ever gave his real name.

  • Ron McPherson

    Yes! Where do I sign? ; )

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    Knowing the truth gives us certainty. Obviously you do not have the truth

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    You forget Lk. 9:1; 10:19 & 24:49.

    I do not know if you are a believer or not. I said, and you should learn to not twist my words, ‘spoken like a’ which is vastly different from what you claim I said.

    Maybe you should stop misinterpreting other people’s comments and learn to clarify first so you do not leap to false conclusions or attack someone for things they did not say

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    Could be

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    But you see I have as Jesus said to follow the HS to the truth. I may not be right 100% of the time but I have Jesus and the HS to correct me and when I learn the truth then I inch closer to that 100%

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    Do you? How do you view Genesis 1, 2 and 6-8,10?

    How do you view homosexuality and same-sex marriage?

    I check before I speak to make sure that what I write is true and of God. it does me no good to do or say otherwise

  • Jeff Preuss

    I’m assuming his name is Dr. David Tee, based on the books available for sale on that linked site’s sister site (credited as being owned by the same people). He seems…interesting.

  • Jeff Preuss

    That is some painful irony.

  • seashell

    While we’re waiting on a reply, my 4¢**. First, I quite liked your “Longform” – not too frickin long and I agree all over the place.. Second, the tenure thing? While a non-tenured instructor might require approval signatures, a tenured professor is quite unlikely to be canned and un-tenured in such fashion.

    However, a tenured professor could be dismissed if found incompetent to teach. This would include teaching beliefs in the classroom such as … homosexuality is learned behavior, or that men and women have significant biological differences that explain their behavior, or that traditional marriage is clearly superior to non-traditional, or that minority economic dirth is explained in part by their own cultural shortcomings.

    A professor is required to teach based on facts and reality, not religion or opinion. If the beliefs listed above were taught in a class, then after appropriate warnings, due process etc. etc., it’s quite possible that a decision was made to can said professor for incompetence. Intellectual diversity has to include intelligence by definition, and there’s none involved here. If these beliefs were handed out by the coffee pot and offended only the ears of long-suffering colleagues, then probably no canning.

    Fourth, what’s a dirth?

    **Adjusted for inflation.

    ETA: Just figured out what a ‘dirth’ is. Facepalm.

    YETA: Oops. Just read a 115 page report by the Colorado AAUP on Prof. Mitchell’s firing from CU-Boulder. It’s clear he was wrongly fired, apparently for holding his beliefs but not for teaching them. As a committed liberal, I try to go for the truth, and it in this case it was a liberal History Dept that went way too far.

    What’s hard for me to wrap my head around though, is that the same person who wrote the nastiness listed above, is the same person I just read about in that report.
    The report is here, if interested.

  • ForItsOwnSake

    “If you lost tenure, it’s not due to ‘leftist’ conspiracies that have no room for ‘disagreement’ or ‘dissent'”–oh, but how do you know? Why can it be many other things (why don’t you need certainty here?), but not that one thing (why do you have certainty here?)?

    While it’s true that a person can misinterpret the import and happenings of such an event that they post online, or even make up such an event with such an import or happenings, it take an argument much more logically rigorous or evidentially proved than the one you have given to prove the case that “this just can’t be so.” If it is indeed the case that “this just can’t be so,” that indeed one [even a specific one] historically or especially currently warred upon (this accepting your narrative for the sake of argument) can’t then enter into error, then what we are in fact observing is another exalted orthodox-ical body, and, in fact, one that is so supremely orthodox-ical as to have an orthodoxy that trumps the orthodoxy of other orthodoxies! (Doesn’t the liberal political narrative at least somewhat suggest that an egregious reactionary turn is a) a possibility and b) egregious? For instance, we were attacked on 9/11, not necessarily for a fault of our own, or, if indeed for fault of our own, yet not on a scale and in a way that we deserved. And yet it was our response [per a liberal narrative, again], we who were somewhat aggrieved, to torture in reply. [Your fable is also strangely given: a “wounded” {thorn in paw, wounded?} lion’s killing of men is acceptable? My own disconnect is to why it was brought up, because it itself really justifies nothing, and only says that “ferocity can arise over less than quibbles.”)

    You are in fact making quite a doctrinal argument. You at best should make an abductive one, “I am inclined to disbelieve this narrative.”

    This is to say nothing of the fact that such campus restriction may even be an observed phenomenon: we have seen Condoleeza Rice and many others excluded from campuses due protest and what not.

    On another note, it needn’t be said but your presuppositions are of course heavily on a certain side of the ideological spectrum. You are arguing with certain proved things and extracting further positions from them–and sometimes these extractions can prove to strengthen the position that formed them. (For instance, it can be argued that homosexuals “can’t help” but be such, or have such a tendency innately. This itself strengthens the liberal proclivity for gay rights. That is fine and dandy for all of those who are foremost liberal. Some people who are foremost other things or foremost nothing and gay themselves may find this degrading. Such for instance may be why a prominent lesbian feminist wants or decides to think that she chose to be such [if she doesn’t otherwise know such]. It is again the abductive argument-form that best accounts for such people–by first allowing them.)

    These positions are arguably as fundamentalist as any Christian fundamentalism. A science realm absent a political realm–or a world wherein both were ideal–would probably not declare homosexuality a totally innate trait beyond all shadows of all doubts in this relatively early stage of research.

    To only quibble with the last part of your reply, I don’t think any more vocal religious element would actually think that they are “condemning” anyone to hell themselves–rather would they think that they are engaging the [already] condemned. These could even operating with more goodwill than you are, especially if you’d envy/deny a supposed Christian conservative professor his anecdote and his job.

  • ForItsOwnSake

    That’s a false definition of “on the offensive” though: tellings a and b are surely told in-house (they’re not the most marketable parts of fundamentalism, surely), and telling c must surely be told by those who believe it (how can you not be offended by someone who believes you are going to hell and doesn’t tell you? [and what would most offend a person in hell?] and don’t really evangelicals tell everyone this?) and believe they are commanded to tell it.

    (And on such a note, why should believing it be wrong? Many people believe that God so made this order [hell of course being an unnatural natural order], but yet say that such a thing is the one thing they would change if they could. Or, otherwise, as C.S. Lewis basically said, Augustine didn’t want to believe that unbaptized infants went to Hell–he just believed it!)

    Telling b is almost certainly also completely acceptable as an in-house telling: surely congregations can, if they think that they are founded on something like Scripture as a whole basis, think that an element of it (that they believe is there) is to determine an element of their own (if they think the correlation is direct). Telling a told in-house is arguably justifiable on such a basis as well (but is otherwise of course not very marketable, being even less marketable than telling b).

  • ForItsOwnSake

    How can “homosexuality is learned behavior” and “men and women have significant biological differences that explain their behavior” both be unacceptable teachings*? If homosexuality is not learned behavior, then it must be behavior accounted for elsewhere, and that really can only be in the biological realm or the genetic subset. But surely the generally distinguishable behavioral differences between distinct males and distinct females must arise or be created from a greater set of genetic or more meta-biological factors than the traits of homosexuality, right? If these are both examples of things that cannot be taught, then what they likely have in common is not [both] disconnect with the truth, but [both] the ability to offend the [one] same set of sensibilities. (One could I suppose instead suppose that all men’s and all women’s behavior is learned: why suppose that just to challenge a mathematical belief though?)

    Another thing is that these would rarely be simple inferences from any one study: these would likely be complex inferences and systematic beliefs made from simple and many inferences.

    The last one is also odd: why can’t a professor believe that “minority economic dirth is explained in part by their own cultural shortcomings”–it would require an extensive argument I would think that hasn’t before been seen (again, I would think) to ABSOLUTELY PRECLUDE the possibility of such a thing’s role. It seems to me that if such a (complex, again) view were to be cause for one’s dismissal, then it would very likely not be because the professor is stating that the earth is flat against all facts, but because he is asserting an assertion that is against all rooted opinion and sentiment.

  • seashell

    Look, I’m a heterosexual female and I have never in my life considered my heterosexuality to be a learned behavior. I was born heterosexual and it’s a part of me as much as my arms, legs and uterus are a part of me and who I am. I have no reason to believe, nor has it ever been shown, that gays and lesbians are any different in their sexual orientation. It’s a part of them and who they are, not something they picked up along the way like learning how to be a good party guest. If it was learned behavior, presumably we wouldn’t find a gay brother and a straight brother in the same family brought up in the same way.

    In other words, what you’re calling a behavior is what I call instinct or intrinsic or innate or elemental – pick a word – and part of my very being. I’m not a scientist, so getting all genetic about things with me is pretty wasted.

    Can you unlearn whatever orientation you are? Do you want to learn a new one? If not, why not? Because you think one is a moral sin or something is not an answer.

  • Ron McPherson

    “Spoken like a”

    Ok, if you were not asserting him to have rejected God, and I misinterpreted your words and leapt to “false conclusions”, then I ask for your forgiveness. I also assume by that that you allow he may indeed be a true believer and thus
    your brother in Christ. That’s encouraging.

  • Ron McPherson

    Why does the conversation always circle back to homosexuality?

  • ForItsOwnSake

    I’ll edit this comment later. I am willing to be won here, just so you know, but such editing will at best manifest itself in future comments. (Edits here will be for formulation of current arguments and thoughts.)

    Well it’s of course the case that very few (if any) are born especially sexual (if at all in the sense of actually seeking sex). Between the time of birth and the time that one exhibits sexuality, just how many events have taken place? Perhaps a million have in real terms, and a significant number have in grouped macro-terms, and perhaps that latter number can differ greatly between individuals, especially if individuals realize the beginnings of their sexuality at different ages. (“Genetics” and like terms are something of limiters, but then again “innateness” is as well: there is the study of epigenetics, for instance, or essentially complex gene expression.)

    It’s curious as to why you think that a gay brother and a straight brother occurring in the same family is less likely if sexuality is learned behavior. If sexuality is subject to environmental factors either contra or in addition to non-environmental biological factors, it either way is simply is subject to more factors. It’s much more to be expected.

    I think it’s very much the case that “new orientation” can be learned. This would simply be the episode of “deviation” (term mine, but I think it fits the concept) however, which doesn’t itself prove any “fundamentalist” position or policy of prescription. (Basically, if one, say, watches porn, even with the objective of viewing women initially, he may develop an interest in features of the male participant[s] involved. This is to say that heterosexuality can maybe even easily become “bisexuality” and not that “bisexuality” can become either heterosexuality or homosexuality.)

    This “deviant” position is actually easy and even natural (given certain factors) to slip into given that the first sex youth will learn to judge is their own. The easiest metric to judge oneself by is in fact the metric of the rest of the sex.

    It may be a leap from heterosexuality to what I’ll call “specialization” (the sexual favoring of either gender for different tasks), but it wouldn’t be a leap from deviation to such. If you think that every kiss you’ve had with a woman is more pleasant than those you’ve had with men, it might take only such a few more thoughts (I don’t need this aspect of sex, I don’t like that aspect) to attain the tendency to prefer sex with women.

    It’s almost impossible to say that such shaping elements can’t occur pre-sexually (that is to say, before a child’s sexuality has matured and evidenced itself) as well: it’s really too hard to state all of the things that may be a “shaping thought” especially as kids rarely concern themselves with the scientific matters of their own development for the scientific debates of adults.

    Again, this is only to argue that the debate is hard. However, your final questions are very interesting, and I certainly wish to engage with you.

    Let’s look at the matter of your final questions. I don’t know if you arranged them the way you did with their arrangement in mind. Let’s suppose you did, however. In that case, the first question is somewhat rightly in front of the second: it has the potential to lead into it. However, is it the question that should lead to the second?

    Couldn’t the question be “Can you learn a new orientation?” (I by the way think I could.) If homosexuals insist on marriage and Christians would give them marriage only on “traditional” terms, couldn’t the Christian then just insist that the homosexual expand his orientation, and then exercise within his new orientation the heterosexual directive? If you think about it, Christians insist on many things, like chastity and monogamy. Such insistence is arguably made absent actual desire on its hearers often enough. (This also raises the question of why “orientation” is discussed in such simple terms.)

    “Do you want to learn a new one” is an interesting question: it is exactly the question that liberals tend to rage against, precisely because they tend to answer “no” to the first question for the entire group. There have been many homosexuals who have said “yes” however, much to the fury (word strictly chosen) of dogmatic liberals.

    The liberal difficulty is again with arguing in such strict terms. An abductive argument would account and allow for a great many homosexuals who have so judged themselves, and could still insist that sexual orientation is predominately innate in most sexual beings. Why should it matter if 300 or 3000 homosexuals have such as an innate sexual tendency? The only factor that should matter is the actual innateness of the tendency, and not its predominance on the whole group. If such is yet a smaller group than it is characterized, it would only make “liberals” in ideals more liberal in actuality. (The nullity of such a group would of course make the nullity of liberals, however.)

  • Ron McPherson

    I’m not sure what your question is when you ask how I “view” these passages. I believe the Bible to be the inspired word of God.

  • Ron McPherson

    “I may not be right 100% of the time…”

    Exactly. Same goes for me and everyone else. So maybe you should not be so dogmatically assertive in your points and allow that other views may merit consideration.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Ron, you certainly weren’t twisting his words in any way, based on the number of times he’s stated that I’ve rejected God or whatnot. Perhaps he’s attempting to fall back on merely implying that as his defense, but he is the one twisting words. You’ve no reason to apologize.

  • Ron McPherson

    Thanks brother

  • Noah

    Explains another conversation a bit.

  • Noah

    The inside of my place is way nicer than outside! (Especially in the winter :)

  • Falken

    I still believe it’s too long >.> <.<

  • Falken

    Yes, actually, I would. I would deny anyone who’s thought process leads to the possibility of teaching the next generation ideas and thoughts and opinions that are rubbish. Quite frankly, any person who thinks being gay is something you choose is delusional. I would know, I deluded myself into thinking I not only chose but if I prayed, bargained, pleaded, even demanded God into making me not – mind you this went on for well over a decade – then I would be straight and my life would be golden. If you want to teach your religion, go to a religious college and apply to be one of their professors. Furthermore, don’t reply to a long post with word salad, hyper Fundamentalist talking points about some sort of conspiracy that doesn’t exist. People like you have to understand, when those who are on the middle of the road see mistreatment and can’t just rationalize it as “they deserved it for this sin or that sin” then they question not just the treatment but they question the ideas behind the treatment. To rabidly attack them for doing that and pretend you’re so noble means you’re just a fanatic who in all honesty has lost touch with the Son and honestly you shouldn’t get the right to call yourself a Christian. However, I don’t have the authority to declare who’s Christian or not, nor do I want it like the rabid Fundamentalists of your ilk seem to.

  • Falken

    Truth is a funny thing. Sometimes we get so caught up in believing we have it that we forget to seek it out. Plus, if you had such certainty, you probably would have responded when Allegro handed you your butt.

  • Falken

    I somewhat looked it up. I’m still researching but it seems like tenure requires a lot to be removed, and even then it takes a bit more to be outright canned. Can’t claim for sure since the only tenure procedures I’ve looked at are all for colleges and universities in the state.

    I’m searching for the report to read myself since so far other searches turn up things a bit disconcerting – such as Mr Mitchell’s primary appearance for the matter was on The O’Reilly Factor which unfortunately may color me a bit less than open but I’m still doing research. I’m also having trouble finding more information that isn’t colored a bit suspect since the various places reporting it are heavily right winged and do sort of overly frame it in a “persecution complex” but a few more neutral sources do make it seem wrong. And my thought on that part is, if that’s what happened then it’s no more right for Liberals to do it to Conservatives than when Conservatives do it to Liberals. Eye for an eye just leaves the whole world blind.

    I guess where I’m having trouble, though, is if he has all the makings for a wrongful termination suit why the crap hasn’t he filed one? I suppose my thought process would be to get started on that alongside the defamation suit and after the suit to reinstate him to his job failed. The only exceptions to a 1st Amendment case is if they can prove that it did disrupt the classroom if they can prove he said these things in class. I would think he would jump right on the fact he was given 3 different visits to his classroom to watch him in a single semester versus the original limit of 1 year. My question stems to both sides – the “Liberals are horrible and just want Christianity out of college” camp and the “you can’t espouse dehumanizing ideas” camp. That question is, what information is missing?

  • Herm

    You say;
    “If these are both examples of things that cannot be taught, then what they likely have in common is not [both] disconnect with the truth, but [both] the ability to offend the [one] same set of sensibilities.”

    Much of what you so elaborately illustrate has some “truthiness”. I believe you fell into the unitary misconception that there actually exists “the [one] same set of sensualities”. I submit that just as there are not any identical sets of either/or binary sexual or gender presentation within the body of mankind there is not a single same set of sensibilities identically shared among any one ruling body.

    That is to my mind the crux of the problem here. We individually gravitate toward supportive alliances with those who similarly agree with us eventually forming seemingly unbridgeable gaps from each grouping who appear uncomfortably dissimilar. Just sharing among those we deign “like us” would be like my right arm and hand uniting with my left arm and hand because each are more similar and understanding of one another than my leg and foot. Each senses that alone they would not be able to fend off the invasion of my right leg and foot in its attempt to force them to share support in carrying my body as I walk, to force teach my arms and hands to become legs and feet.

    What God can understand with omnipresence within so many different hearts and minds that we cannot from within only our own is that no two people are the same, never have been and never will be. We each have our own very special sensibilities to be responsible to in order that we may love our unique and merciful neighbor with the same quality and quantity of love we have for ourselves; empathetically, compassionately and forgivingly.

    There simply is no exactly the same sexuality, gender representation, physical trait or spiritual trait (heart, soul, strength or mind) shared with any other person within the body of mankind or the body of God. United we stand stronger and divided we fall out of weakness. United in our differences we are stronger … united only in our “similarities” us as mankind are weaker and will die.

    If ISIS had any clue how many merciful resources to mankind they were beheading solely because they didn’t share the same perspective as them they would then understand the atrocity of their spirit. If rather than pledging allegiance to a God they did not know they had an actual relationship with the Spirit of God in each of their hearts and minds they would understand the spirit of true love which seeks to unite and never seeks to divide. The only people on Earth who will not inherit eternal life according to Jesus the Messiah are those who cannot love their God with all their spiritual self and their merciful neighbor as themselves. The similarly shared sensibilities within ISIS clearly display allegiance to the first prerequisite, in spades, but show not any of the second.

    If fundamentalist Christians shared an actual relationship with the Holy Spirit rather than just an intellectually formal statement of Christian beliefs they would finally recognize in their hearts and minds all the merciful neighbors they have excluded in the name of God.

    From what I intellectually read of Jesus in the Bible, Old and New Testament, I can accept His perfection and divinity. From what I read in the entire Bible regarding all the patriarchs, prophets, disciples, apostles and early church leaders I can accept their imperfections not at all removed from my own of which I’m closely aware. From what I know in my heart and mind beginning with the first apostolic father of Rome, Clement, we have taken it upon ourselves to separate from the Advocate of God and have reinstituted the system of fundamental religiosity that Jesus in the authority as the Messiah railed against and was crucified for. Since then we have strayed even further and further away from the Spirit remnant as chronicled within the seven unique models of churches that John sent a letter.

    We’re all different and we are all indefinable by our own wit. God has the capability to know every unique physical hair on each of our unique heads. Why must we be so insistently afraid that we can’t submit to the truth that Galileo was right, nothing revolves around any one of us individually or around mankind collectively? If we want to speak for God wouldn’t we think that we first need to speak with God? If you absolutely don’t believe this is possible, especially if because you’ve been taught we are so fallen or back slid from God that this is impossible, then stop reading, please, because your sensibility will crucify me as a heretic.

    God tells me that if anyone is willing to work with me, as like a child playing and learning in a shared playground, I should not care if they are sinning or not. That is between God and them to work out. If sin is defined as separating from a love of another rather than uniting through compassion, empathy and tolerance then separately walled churches touting the name of Jesus the Rabbi on the same block in the same town are all sinning. If we with our own unity (?) of scientific research which is hugely progressed beyond Galileo cannot be absolutely certain as to whether the heterosexual, a-sexual, bi-sexual, intersexed, homosexual, transgendered, butch, effeminate, conservative, or liberal are natural conditions and attitudes from biological birth or are each learned attitudes from the nurture of our ghettos of birth then why can’t we leave what we don’t know for sure in trust up to He who does?

    If someone takes a swing at me I have the sensibility, pretty much shared by the surviving healthy like me who value life, to raise my arms in defense. If someone approaches respectfully with open arms in the universal request for a hug I drop all defenses and preconceived sensibilities to even risk capitulation by surrendering to a reciprocal hug, even with my enemy. This is not true for all, if not most, of my fellows of mankind and I honor their sensibility so we will work slower to break down the physical barriers to the uniting our spirits as children of God.

    It just cannot be said any clearer to a fundamentalist heterosexual Caucasian male Christian (or vice versa) love your merciful Gay Black female Muslim neighbor as yourself and we all will be stronger for it. Pick up the cross to love your enemy and the separating dogma instilled by pledging allegiances and creeds to impress and influence each other will fade away to be eventually replaced by a stronger and more productive mankind influenced by the direction of the Teacher through the Holy Spirit in each of our hearts and minds. All of us are different and all of us, but those who cannot love, can learn to unite with each other as one mankind. That’s the image of God.

  • Ron McPherson

    The fact that you consider others dismissive of God and His word merely because they don’t hold to the same opinions as you should be cause for concern. It’s ok to disagree, but when others do it you don’t try to understand their reading of scripture, but instead leap to the conclusion that they ignore God’s word or do not know the truth. Would you consider it fair if someone accused you of disagreeing with God’s word because you do not endorse Deuteronomy 21:18-21 (I assume you would disagree with a parent stoning their disobedient children). Surely you can see the problem here. You are allowed to use culture and context to explain away certain parts of scripture, but your comments throughout this thread gives evidence that you do not afford others this same opportunity when you disagree with their stance.

  • Falken

    Furthermore, the truth isn’t some club or whip to attack people with. Actual truth is like an antiseptic balm on a cut. It stings, it burns, it hurts indeed but also heals. After the pain subsides, there should be healing and a general part where you do feel better. If your truth does nothing but hurt and people should just accept that pain constantly, that’s no truth at all.

  • Falken

    The problem is, people like you pretend that no one has tried to learn a different orientation. Mine were hilariously disastrous. The problem is, the people posing this are people who really don’t live this situation. Instead of looking at actual science, they turn to junk science and claim it’s what’s suppressed by conspiracy. Instead of looking to people who struggled – some who still do – they tout these success stories that eventually come crashing down. I can’t be straight anymore than you can be gay. And if it is true that one can switch, you can change, then change back so the rest of us can learn.

  • Oh God, he has books?

    EDIT: Ah, so he does. Self-published. And in Comic Sans, says one website I found (no way I’m going to actually read the books).

  • Jeff Preuss

    Just because you are unwilling to accept the biblical truth of comic sans doesn’t mean you can make up your own font!

  • seashell

    Sorry about the bad link to the AAUP report in my last post. In case you’re still looking, here’s the link. It’s the actual report itself from AAUP.

    He wasn’t tenured. Apparently, very few at CU Boulder are, which is the case and cause of grievances in many colleges. But after 23 years and many awards for best teacher and amazing student evaluations, he was deserving of protections. It’s what I hate when this kind of nasty eye poking takes over and fulfills the letter of the law while it beats down the spirit of it. When I re-read what he wrote, he spoke of tenure as his time in office, not as tenured professor, I think.

    But all of that still leaves me warped as to what he wrote in this forum 2 days ago re learned behaviors, marriage superiority, etc. Makes my head hurt :-)

  • seashell

    This was just so well said, Herm. Beautifully, in fact. I just no longer harbor expectations that the heterosexual white fundamentalist Christians will take being righteous, loving and compassionate over their self perceived notions of being right, because Bible. Anyway, thank you.

  • Herm

    Thank you seashell, you have been very loving and well researched in your interactions with everyone. We are children each and even the bullies who risk to share deserve our respect … even if unilateral in our tolerance, compassion and forgiveness. Love you and your care!!!

  • What! is there a difference in ‘biblical christianity’ and just plain old christianity?

  • didn’t it need overhauling?

  • wow! i hear you!

  • oholymike

    No, there is no difference between ‘biblical Christianity’ and just plain old Christianity. Sadly, we must frequently use terms like ‘biblical Christianity’ to distinguish the original from the innumerable imposters, like self-help Christianity, get-rich-quick Christianity, no-rules-absolutely-anything-goes Christianity, etc.

  • i think the bible gets used as a symbol to oppress and control ppl. I have seen Christian entrepreneurs say their Interpretations, based on the bible, selling a product. what is the product?

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    I am allowing the possibility of both of you being true believers (Preuss and McPherson). You two have not said enough for me to conclude otherwise BUT from the context of your words, you make your position highly suspicious.

    I also accept inerrancy do you and Preuss?

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    I’m not. it is a well known issue easily used as a very good example to make one’s point.

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    Do you accept them as literal acts of God or do you opt for secular science instead?

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    Allow me to clarify– I am dogmatic on the points I know I have been taught the truth. The problem is people do not want the truth, they prefer discussion and their own point of view.

    I have dealt with enough scholars on this point to know that. The truth ends discussion and that means you have to decide what you want more, the truth or discussion

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    Who is allegro? I know where to seek out the truth and it isn’t found in alternatives to the Bible.

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    Well considering I have no problem with that passage…
    it is fair because I would want to know if I was in error on a given passage and would want to correct my mistake.

    Concerning culture– Jesus said we are the light unto a dark world. He did not say culture is a light unto God’s word.

    To use culture to determine what God said is placing secular ideas above God and say they are right and God is wrong. That idea is quite opposite to what God teaches in the Bible.

    It isn’t culture or context that set those rules, God did and there lies your problem. You take things from God and place them in the hands of humans when the laws or events were not of human origin

    To use culture and context one needs to place them in their right context and not make them an authority over God or his word.

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    The only hurt you are applying is of your own construction. I am presenting my position just like you and have not sought to use or employed the truth as a club or a whip.

    Maybe the problem is in that you interpret my words and place your own ideas upon them instead of clarifying first and understanding what is being said.

  • Veritas

    It is human nature to get comfortable with habit and routine. The traditional understanding of scripture and theology gets comfortable and routine and then we don’t have to think…. But Gods mystery is like the layers of,an onion that are peeled back to see another layer and another… Never ending, just as the mysteries of his creation are peeled back by science, to reveal ever increasing complexity. How can we expect the creation to be more complex than its creator….but assume that it is so simple, that it does not reflect His great mystery? So too with the written word of God. Not that it is wrong and an interpretation is right once but then wrong later, but that the depth of our understanding can grow… For example, the doctrine of the trinity… We must always ask questions and seek a deeper understanding if we are to grow a deeper understanding and love of God… But to dismiss people and their humanity in favor of the comfort of our doctrines and understanding is an error we all can fall prey to unless we see the deeper mystery of our creator in the challenge to “put out into the deep” to love more…

  • seashell

    Love you, too!! We are children each and even the bullies who risk to share deserve our respect… Sigh. I know, I try. Will try more. Thanks. Are you a mac & cheese aficionado by any chance?

  • seashell

    FiOS – have you ever met Occam’s razor? He’s a pretty sharp guy/principle: …of two competing theories, the simpler explanation of an entity is to be preferred. And that’s why orientation is discussed in simple terms. Because it is.

    When the proponents of gay conversion admit that it doesn’t work, hang a closed sign on the door and go home, it’s time to stop beating the dead therapy/hope and move on.

    The gays that have publicly come out within the last decade haven’t said that they want to change their orientation to straight, they have said that they are equal and worthy members of society, and deserving of the privileges and benefits of that society as well as its duties and responsibilities.

    If the fundamentalists and evangelicals and whoever else has the arrogant attitude that only their lifestyle is worthy could instead react with love, empathy, compassion and acceptance towards the still suffering gay members of their own flocks, those still suffering probably wouldn’t want to change either. What they hear though is that Jesus healed the leper but he’s sending them straight to hell unless they repent and change their orientation and give up loving intimacy forever. But try as they might, pray as they might, repent as they might, they ARE STILL GAY. They don’t even have to die to get to hell. They’re living it here on earth because the Bible.

    How you can find that defensible is a mystery.

  • seashell

    Win!

  • Ron McPherson

    You’ve descended into a blatant strawman argument by incorrectly stating my position. Very sad. I’m uncertain if you’re incapable of seeing my point, or are just purposely avoiding it.

  • Ron McPherson

    Yes, I accept biblical inerrancy. However, I believe I have brothers and sisters in Christ who do not. Further, it’s telling that you could not end your response after the first sentence, but just HAD to add a qualifying sentence that you were “highly suspicious” that Jeff and I are “true believers.” You’ve never met me, do not know about my walk with Christ, know nothing about me other than what little discussion (if you can call it that) we’ve had on Ben’s blog, never once asked my thoughts on Christ (who I believe to be the Son of God, my Lord and Savior) who died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead, who defines the greatest commandment to be to love God and our neighbors. Peace.

  • Ron McPherson

    Literal acts

  • Ron McPherson

    I suppose it would be what “point” one is trying to make.

  • Tip: he’s trying to find out if you’re a young earth creationist or not, since that’s apparently a standard of being a true believer.

  • Ron McPherson

    “The truth ends discussion…”

    Maybe between God and man, but not between man and man.

  • Ron McPherson

    “…people do not want the truth.”

    Ok, I want the truth. Are you a real “Dr.” or is it just a moniker?

  • Herm

    … with a crispy crust on top. I savor tastes that pop in my mouth and varieties of textures to bite into. Mac & cheese can do that for me and stays with me long after.

  • Herm

    David,

    “If you are automatically in error it is because you have chosen to accept and believe something God did not say” in your heart and mind. Are you so blind in desperate need to hold onto something that you have missed the “indwelling” (for Christian speak) of the Holy Spirit? Why do you seem to find so much joy by intentionally judging others as less worthy of our Father’s love than you, even the least of these? Jesus the Messiah did not! Relax Bro and go with the Spirit of the flow through to the end of eternity, first only as a little adorable sibling of Jesus our Lord.

    Love you,

    Herm

  • John

    The people are the product, Charles. The churches are the customers.

  • Herm

    To sell is to persuade someone of the merits of a service or a product and/or to join in a relationship.

  • What is the difference between selling a product and conducting a journey?

  • is it a ‘packaged’ deal?

  • Is rob bell oppressing you?

  • Ron McPherson

    Apparently so, because in some of his other comments he has alluded to the literal view of the Genesis creation account and the condemnation of homosexuality to be components of the gospel.

  • Herm

    The travelers have already been sold in faith on the Guide conducting the journey to where they’ve never been before!

  • The four pillars of Real True Evangelism:

    * Opposition to homosexuality
    * Opposition to evolution
    * Opposition to environmentalism
    * Opposition to abortion

    And loud support of torture, killing, corporate greed and making life miserable for foreigners and the poor.

    You know — Biblical principles.

  • Falken

    You forgot tentative acceptance of Separation of Church and State. Church can determine matters of State and State has to make exceptions to the laws for Church.

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    not avoiding it just waiting for you to stop being cryptic and just come right out and say where you actually stand.

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    Of course it is highly suspicious as it has taken a long time to drag out where you actually stand and your words do not indicate a confirmation of your statements.

    You can believe in inerrancy yet hold to the idea that only those words you deem to be ‘of God’ in the Bible are the inerrant ones while the rest are human sourced.

    You play close to the vest so if you are leaving doubt in my mind then the problem is not with me but with how you communicate to others.

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    Okay so what questions do you need to ask that gets you in trouble with the ‘church’ in general?

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    The point is since God doesn’t change then his OT views about homosexuality have not changed.

    I disagree with Michael Vines and his book and do not support any form of same-sex unions. The point is do you stand with God or do you do a little fudging because either culture wants you to or your personal views lead you that way?

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    Then you are saying that truth is subjective? That what one person who claims to have found the truth does not over-rule another person’s claim for a different truth?

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    I am a real doctor and have published many articles over the years and 4 books. You can find them at amazon under Dr. David Tee.

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    I am not judging anyone. You seem to misapply the wrong definition of the word ‘judging’. I simply try to find out what others believe so I know how to talk to them

    What you said in the last half of your post is not even scriptural

  • Ron McPherson

    Authoring books does not make one a doctor. Were they self published? Also, would you be so kind to tell us where you received your doctorate?

  • Ron McPherson

    Dang, you did it again. I never said truth is subjective. Man’s understanding of it can be though.

  • Ron McPherson

    Do you believe one’s view of homosexuality should serve as a litmus test for authentic Christian faith? In other words, do you consider it to be a core component of Jesus’ gospel?

  • Ron McPherson

    What church are you referring to?

  • Ron McPherson

    No, the problem is that you, at least for the third time, have misrepresented my views. You seem to have an almost insurmountable problem in not understanding the real issue here. It’s not about my views or yours. This is not about you or me.

  • Ron McPherson

    Since you have finally admitted you are unsure of where I “actually stand,” then I trust you will cease formulating my positions without knowing what they are.

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    That’s all you are going to get from me.

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    No I put it in the form of a question so if you are incapable of answering a question I think we have danced long enough

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    I do not believe one can be a homosexual and a Christian at the same time. Jesus’ redemptive work is described as ‘old things have passed away and you are a new creature.’

    Obviously, many homosexuals did not get the memo. It is an insult to Christ to call oneself a homosexual christian in light of NT teaching.

  • Ron McPherson

    ” I simply try to find out what others believe so I know how to talk to them.”

    By your own words I think you may have unwittingly just now articulated what some have been trying to get you to see. You “talk TO” people, not talk WITH them.

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    Christ’s church

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    Do you know what the word ‘misrepresented’ means? i have done no such thing. I hope you are not interpreting my words again.

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    I am not formulating anything, just trying to see where you actually stand . I feel that you are holding certain details back

    I have a feeling that you are a progressive christian but can’t be sure because it seems to be some secret with you

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    I thought I answered this already but if not here I go again:

    Not formulating anything but you seem to be holding back what you actually believe like it is some deep dark secret.

    If you are Progressive Christian I would not be surprised.

  • Ron McPherson

    If you can’t see it by now, then there’s likely nothing I can say to help you see it

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    Now you are splitting hairs. Your interpreting has gone out of whack and applied your own ideas to my words.

  • Ron McPherson

    It’s apparently important to you that the rest of us believe you are a doctor, otherwise why claim the title as part of your username. Further, to this point you have provided no credibility to the claim of your education other than to take your word for it. You had no problem whatsoever in telling us the title of your books which you apparently self published, as if that alone somehow provided credibility to your claim. You assert to know the truth with regards to scripture and the things of God, and yet will not share the truth about even yourself.

  • Ron McPherson

    Ok, then no. Truth is not subjective

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    I do not care if you believe it or not. I told the truth and if you do not believe it then that is your problem.

    You are making excuses to hide form the truth so I got my answer about you and what you truly are

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    Time for me to go. You have gone far from the topic that it is impossible to have a real discussion with you.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “I do not care if you believe it or not. I told the truth and if you do not believe it then that is your problem.”

    This statement can be flipped right back at you. You not accepting the truth of what we have been saying to you, and questioning the validity of our faiths, is your problem, not ours.

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    Your problem is you haven’t told me any truths or the truth and I question your faiths because you are not forthcoming with what you actually believe.

  • Jeff Preuss

    No, your problem is you presume you are owed these answers when you have been combative and condescending from the getgo.

    You aren’t. You’ve offered nothing to prove the validity or supremacy of your faith, save for your insistence it is so. Yet you grouse over us not giving you answers.

    You’ve come in here with an extreme lack of respect for anyone else here, though we engaged you at first as if you would potentially converse with us as equals. You have not done so, which earns you no leeway in complaining we didn’t cave to your demands.

    You’ve simply been monumentally childish, especially with Ron, who is one of the more respectful conversationalists on here. He gave you a lot of room to sincerely explain yourself. He gave you more respect than you were due, and you were flat-out rude to him.

    I’m sure you’ll chalk this up to me not seeing some mysterious “truth” you haven’t offered, but you can blather on all you want – I’m done listening to your nonsense.

  • Herm

    David,

    You wrote:

    “If you are automatically in error it is because you have chosen to accept and believe something God did not say in the Bible.”

    That is an example of judging someone. You decreed why Ron was in error when in fact you were in error but do not seem to see it. You seem blind to your faults and yet highlight everyone else as being in fault by your judgment and your interpretation of the Bible. As I researched you over the last two years this is not new and yet you want to keep telling people what they should be doing and what they should be thinking. Your four books seem to be an ego offering with insufficient education and experience to be considered helpful to anyone. I really hope that we can help you into an active relationship with the Holy Spirit.

    In your judgment you decreed to me that the last half of my comment to you was not scriptural.

    I wrote in the last half:

    “Why do you seem to find so much joy by intentionally judging others as less worthy of our Father’s love than you, even the least of these? Jesus the Messiah did not! Relax Bro and go with the Spirit of the flow through to the end of eternity, first only as a little adorable sibling of Jesus our Lord.”

    Which part might you be blind to the scriptural references?

    I cannot find in scripture where Jesus judged any as less worthy of His Father’s love than He. If you can show me I would like to learn from that scripture and would appreciate your help, please.

    I might be wrong but I assume we agree that Jesus is the Messiah and our Lord. Perhaps you don’t understand a relationship with the Spirit of God as being scriptural. If this is so I would be glad to help.

    Is it the “little sibling of Jesus our Lord” that you don’t see as scriptural?

    “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” Matthew 12:50 (NRSV)

    “Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.” Luke 10:25-28 (NRSV)

    “But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” Mark 10:14-15 (NRSV)

    But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12-13 (NRSV)

    But I have said these things to you so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you about them. “I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned. “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you. John 16:4-15 (NRSV)

    The Spirit of truth can guide you into all the truth.

    In English “sibling” means brother and/or sister and perhaps this does not translate scripturally in Korean but in my English Bible we who are children of God are sons and daughters in the same family as Jesus under the same authority and love of the same Father, albeit very little children adopted out of the image into the Family of God.

    I hope this helps you! Love you!

  • Ron McPherson

    Geez, you accused me of dancing around the topic by not answering your question. And then when I answer it you claim I’ve gone off topic. Bizarre

  • You too, eh? “Doctor” Dee got mad at me for continuing a conversation that he didn’t want to let go, also. I guess we both misunderstood; we thought Dee wanted a conversation, when really Dee wanted to have the last word and show us all how brilliant he is.

  • psst, I think you missed the closing code for your italics :-P

    You lasted longer than I’d’ve expected, and longer than I did. It’s funny, because you’re the one who introduced me to the killfile program, but you show yourself to be remarkably… dammit, what’s the word? Like “thick-skinned,” but without the potential negative connotations. Serene? Collected?

  • I find it peculiar that you should be so vehemently opposed to the idea of others “holding back… like it is some deep dark secret” while at the same time being so very adamant about refusing to say anything about your education beyond “I’m a doctor, and if you don’t believe me that’s your problem.” Ron says he’s a Christian, by your same logic it seems that should be enough. If you don’t believe him, that’s your problem.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Oops. Closing code. Heh! That’s what I get for responding on my phone. I should check for misspellings, too. [Fixed]

    I used the killfile on DT a few days back, but had interest in seeing where the conversation was going, mostly through reading responses to him. When I saw the kinds of reactions Ron was giving, I sensed the haughtiness had continued, so I unhid a few things. And, seeing this statement — “I do not care if you believe it or not. I told the truth and if you do not believe it then that is your problem.” — smacked of such amazing irony, I just had to call DT out on it.

    It is also a certain level of meta-irony that, at the end, DT was grumping about us not answering his questions in a manner he liked since his whole entry into this blog was taking Bell to task for not liking the answers he was getting when he asked questions.

    (And, it’s okay – “thick-skinned” is apropos. I killfile so I won’t jump in EVERY single time a particularly unkind troll says something awful, because a)I don’t have all day, and b)ultimately it’s counterproductive to moving the conversation forward. But, I doubt at this point that many would take DT’s words to be serious and sincere representations of Christ as Redeemer. DT has dug his own hole on that one.)

  • DrewTwoFish

    “Secular” science? There’s just science.

  • Jeff Preuss

    With some light Googling, I believe I’ve found more of DT’s writing:

    http://koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/opinon/2013/01/137_128183.html

    David Thiessen, writing opinion pieces for Korea Times. The email address (archaeologist@fastmail.fm), the attitude in what he writes, the tagline that he has taught English in Korea – it all fits. Funny, they don’t cite his doctor credentials at this news source.

    (There are also a number of blog posts elsewhere devoted just to calling him out, but I won’t link those here, since they do verge on personal attacks. Suffice it to say, he’s garnered a LOT of ire directed at himself over the years.)

  • Herm

    David, you seem to lack a working understanding of American English especially when faced with innuendo and nuance. Is this a problem for you?

    The accepted meaning of the word SCIENCE in the USA is very clear as a systematic study and organized body of knowledge on a particular subject. I have been graced with an above average formal education and many years of applied experiential research in the sciences of physical, social and spiritual. You apparently have written books in English where you have delved into the spiritual and possibly social sciences. By how you misuse and abuse the language of my birth in this forum I’m really not inclined to be drawn to read any of them, but thanks for the effort to offer me the opportunity. There are better systematic studies available to balance me in refutation which can apply linguistics much more intelligibly.

    Stick with us and learn! Love you!

  • Herm

    David Thiessen once wrote (thanks Jeff!):

    http://koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/opinon/2013/01/137_128183.html

    “God has given his creation free choice and if they reject him and his words, in favor of pursuing evil then evil is what people do. People would not like the idea of being God’s little robot who are told what to do and say every moment of the day. They would lament the lack of freedom, the lack of choice and so on.”

    In rebuttal I write from my heart and mind with references:

    Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, ‘You will be made free’?” Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you look for an opportunity to kill me, because there is no place in you for my word. I declare what I have seen in the Father’s presence; as for you, you should do what you have heard from the Father.” John 8:31-38 (NRSV)

    “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you. John 14:15-17 (NRSV)

    I have never been freer from acting in intimidation and manipulation as another’s robot than I am right now all because the Spirit of truth abides with and in me. Through Him I have learned to live abundantly my life, in everything, doing to all others as I would have all others do to me. I am a truly free and playful little child of God and my entire Family just loves to join in!

  • Falken

    Not entirely according to people of similar mind as “The Doctor” – Whovians don’t kill me. There’s secular science which is partially based on conspiracy to bully around faith and diminish it from existence by daring to ask questions, seek answers, and present proof that is somehow manufactured. Then there is a form of religious science that follows not just Creationism but the whole of Intelligent Design, stating that evolution doesn’t exist and things are how they’ve always been.

  • Guy Norred

    Agreed–I killfiled him days ago–though I have never figured out how to do that with my phone so I get caught off guard every once in while.

  • Jeff Preuss

    DOES NOT COMPUTE! EXTERMINATE!

  • Ron McPherson

    I fail to see how you not being forthcoming somehow means that I, and not you, am hiding from the truth. And the only response you can give is to judge my character as in “I got my answer about you and what you truly are.” My crime? Having the audacity to request that you verify the truth of your claims. You demand standards from others but become offended when others call you to those same standards. “Am I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth” (Galatians 4:16).

  • DrewTwoFish

    Well, radioactive decay, gravity, etc. don’t care whether or not “Dr” Tee believes in them or not.

  • Yup, same person. I banned him months ago. As the moderator, I can see the email address and IP address of everyone who comments, and all he did was change the email host, but is still the same user name and IP from same area.

  • ChuckQueen101

    The problem in evangelicalism is that “essentials” are changing. Teachers, thinkers, writers, like Bell are challenging the things that were once considered fundamental/essential to evangelicalism. The backlash is that some of the elite are saying you cannot give up these foundational things and still be called an evangelical, Personally, I think it is much simpler if people like Bell would simply say they moved away from evangelical Christianity into a more progressive kind. Of course, Bell hates all labels and will not self-identify with any group exclusively.

  • Ron McPherson

    Well considering that Christ Himself stated that He would build His church upon the foundation that He is the Son of God – Matt 16:16-18 – a belief to which I’ve already confessed, then I’m not sure where you’re cryptically trying to go with this.

  • Ron McPherson

    “The point is since God doesn’t change then his OT views about homosexuality have not changed.”

    By your logic then, I assume you believe the OT dietary laws continue to be in full force, animal sacrifice should continue, parents should condone the stoning of disobedient children, and adulterers should be put to death.

  • Ron McPherson

    I know I’ve probably gone way overboard in discussing this with you, and this will be the last time, but feel compelled to share just one last thing with you. For years I was taught this very same thing with regards to homosexuals. The people who taught me this were also the same well-meaning folks who taught that inter-racial marriage was a sin and that a believer who committed suicide bought themselves a one-way ticket to hell.

    To be honest, I just grew weary of being a hypocrite with respect to the few NT verses that speak to homosexuality (with the translation of the word itself even being debatable). My complete disdain for hypocritical thinking is why this hits so close to home for me. I just don’t want to be a part of it anymore. By the way, I’m straight, not gay.

    Even when I was being taught all gays automatically went to hell, I just could not reconcile in my mind why supposed Bible believers would take the few NT clobber verses and attempt to use them to, perhaps unwittingly, invalidate practically everything Jesus Himself said about how one actually inherits the kingdom.

    This past Sunday there was a young boy, maybe 10 or so, who was baptized in the church I attend. The Holy Spirit had filled our place of worship. The smiles and tears from so many, including the look of joy on the child’s face, provided such a wonderful worship experience. Hopefully you have experienced this type of atmosphere yourself. The love of Jesus just filled the place. And then for some reason, I immediately began to ponder – what if this child, a few years from now, comes to a realization that he is gay? I don’t know this child, but such a scenario would by no means be unusual. And in some strange way, at that very moment I began to feel a profound sadness. Tears of joy turned to tears of sadness. The volatility of my emotions at that point is hard to describe.

    For those who believe that being gay, in and of itself, automatically disqualifies one from the kingdom of God – based on lifting a few verses from the NT epistles at the expense of so many others in the word of God – I’m curious what they would tell this child if he came out gay a few years later. For those holding to this view, I suppose it would have to be: “Your experience with Christ was not authentic. It’s all been fake.” Would you Dee Tee, or David Tee, or David Thiessen, or whoever you are – just tell the kid that he “did not get the memo.”

    This will be the last time I respond to your comments. I think the best and proper thing to do, since we both claim Christ as Lord and Savior, would be to pray for one another. That both you and I would be open to growing in the grace of God and emulating the dear Savior’s commands to love one another.

    Peace.

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    Because I know you are not being forthcoming with everything you believe.

    If you support sin and want it part of the church then you are not of God.

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    You got your answer to your question honestly then you demanded more. If you are not satisfied with an honest answer then you will not be satisfied with more information.

    You just called me a liar by demanding more information. The problem lies with you not me.

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    it is none of your concern. if you cannot accept that I have earned degrees then the problem is with you.

    No claiming someone is a christian is a different thing for he may be a false teacher, holding to false views, distorted in his thinking and so on.

    The believer needs to get the right information not blindly accept the faith status of those who may not hold to biblical truth.

  • No claiming someone is a christian is a different thing for he may be a false teacher, holding to false views, distorted in his thinking and so on.

    Likewise, someone claiming to be a doctor may be a false teacher, holding to false views. Which is why we will not blindly accept the doctoral status of one who has yet to demonstrate that they earned said credentials. But thank you for making your hypocrisy even more apparent.

  • At least that’s more creativity than some others who manage to skirt around bans…

  • Jeff Preuss

    Yeah, I cannot make that work on my phone, and I’ll check conversations on there, and see a WHOLE lotta ugly.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Says Snommelp5418

  • You are refusing to hold yourself to a standard that you are demanding of others. That’s the textbook definition of hypocrisy. It’s not childish to call a spade a spade, nor is it “looking for excuses to ignore [your words].” Indeed, the people here have been much more respectful of engaging your words than you have been in engaging ours.

    Though considering how much you despise it when you believe people are misrepresenting you (oh wow, serious déjà vu here), there’s another example of your hypocrisy. And speaking of misrepresenting, I never called you a liar. Unless you’re saying you were calling Ron a liar. Because after all, David, I was using your words. Were you calling Ron a liar? Or are you making up accusations against me without evidence?

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    No I am not.

  • DrewTwoFish

    Nonsense. Science is a neutral tool for gathering information. Of course, in practice it can be misused or corrupted but the basic approach is amoral.

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    There is no such thing as a neutral tool as science and those in the field are not immune from the corruption and sin that entered the world at Adam’s sin. There is also God’s word– you are either for me or against me.

    No such thing as neutrality in God’s eyes.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Well, to be fair, Ron is the lyingest lying liarface that ever lied.

    Oh, except not.

  • DrewTwoFish

    Anti intellectualism: another gasp from a dying belief system.

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    yet Jesus never said to pursue intellectualism.

    he said to follow the HS to the truth

  • Herm

    heart and MIND!!!

  • Ron McPherson

    But it’s compulsive, pathological, and completely beyond my control. And that’s the TRUTH.

  • “Nicene Creed? What’s that? We follow Ken Ham’s Creed around here!”

  • Fun tangent: the Greek texts quote Jesus as saying “mind,” but “mind” is nowhere in the Hebrew text in Deuteronomy. The reason? In the ancient Hebrew understanding, your heart was the seat of both your emotions and your intellect (something we also see in ancient Egypt). So when Deuteronomy says to love God “with all your heart,” it truly does mean “with all your heart and mind.”

    **turns to the camera** Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

  • Why comment on a new topic? We have all revealed ourselves to be swine, so save your pearls.

  • DrewTwoFish

    I hope being a Christian doesn’t require a lobotomy.

  • DrewTwoFish

    I already said that science can be misused and that its practitioners can be corrupted.

    Of course there’s neutrality. Water can be used to drown somebody or quench their thirst. Gravity binds us to this life giving planet but can used to facilitate murder with a timely shove from a high balcony. You can use radioactive material to find and treat disease or to destroy life on a large scale. None of these things are inherently good or bad. They just are.

  • Falken

    Shouldn’t the truth be true regardless of methods?

  • gimpi1

    “There is a difference between minor disagreements and saying God did not create as he said in Genesis 1. So yes, if you claim God did something other than what he said in the Bible then you are calling God a liar.”

    How about understanding the evidence that tells us the earth (and our solar-system) coalesced out of stellar debris over millions of years, very gradually took its present form with large oceans, an atmosphere rich in oxygen and land-masses and that life evolved over billions of years, rather than a 6-day creation? Because, you know, we have evidence for all this. Good evidence.

    If you’re insisting on a literal interpretation of Genesis, you’re insisting on a lie.

  • Guy Norred

    THANKS!!!! I had noticed that it seemed added by Jesus and wondered about it. I assumed that there was probably Torah commentary around the Deuteronomy text and had been meaning to ask someone more knowledgeable about this and you did it without me even having to ask.

  • The truth of the Bible is that Jesus Christ, son of God, died to save all people. He took on all sin and killed it on the cross. He alone has the right to redeem any soul he chooses. You can believe however you choose to interpret the Bible. But you don’t get to dictate to Jesus who he can love and redeem. He is not offended by non-believers. He loved them more than his own life.

  • I attended The Evergreen State College–the most liberal college in the country. I came out a stronger Christian than I went in. My views were always respected; I was always listened to. I imagine had I brought up the beliefs you espouse above, I would’ve received lively, opposing and even aggressive debate. But I would’ve been listened to. And I would’ve listened to their opinions with an open heart. God speaks through non-believers if you have ears to listen.

  • You’re welcome! Another fun fact for you, the Hebrew word that gets translated as “soul” both does and doesn’t mean that. “Soul” is the best English word for it, but carries the baggage of Greek philosophy and mysticism (and traces of various early Christian heresies, e.g. Manichaeism), by which I mean an implied body/soul duality. There is no such duality in the Hebrew Scriptures (nor in the New Testament, actually). Rather, soul and body are understood to be inseparable. Hence all of the talk about the resurrection of the body.

  • ForItsOwnSake, can you explain how you learned your heterosexuality?

  • “Could be,” he says, while complaining that others are not forthcoming enough in their answers.

  • Herm

    Something that pleases me in your pointing out the Hebrew vocabulary, which here serves to highlight the inseparability of emotion and intellect, is that in my research and experience we of mankind cannot individually discern truth without heart and mind equally functioning to check and balance the other. The socially ill within mankind most often are so due to an imbalanced separation of the two not being able to work as one. Those Greek linguists really helped our social science counselors today because we can now define the two separately to assist to coordinate and unite the two back as one. I wonder what the Hebrew social scientists did?

    “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”

    It strikes me that “love” is not emotional nor intellectual but is a bond with which we are able to unite and value our hearts, souls, strengths and minds with the Lord our God and our merciful neighbor as our selves. If this is so does that not mean for me to love myself I have to unite and value my heart, my soul, my strength and my mind in the bond of love to be able to bond equally with my neighbor and to bond all of me with the Lord my God?

    I know the Holy Spirit in my heart and mind and from this budding relationship I can understand the unity between myself and God as held together by reciprocal love. My all is not even reason-ably close to comparable in my mind or in my heart to the Lord my God’s all.

    Thanks for feeding my heart and mind with another healthy snack to digest!

  • gimpi1

    Plate-tectonics, the fossil record, the lack of evidence in the geologic record for a world-wide flood in human existence… All valid no matter what you believe.

    I’m married to a geologist, could you tell?

  • gimpi1

    So the “truth” is not where the physical evidence leads? That’s some weird, alternate definition of “truth” you’re using.

  • gimpi1

    Frankly people like Dr. Dee Tee drive people like myself away. I know just enough about the scientific process and the evidence it collects to be unable to just turn my brain off and “believe” things that manifestly aren’t true. If that lobotomy is a requirement of membership, I’m not interested.

    Fortunately, plenty of other people have assured me that Dr. Dee Tee, Ken Ham et all are not the arbitrators of this. So my search continues unabated.

  • Of course, the stock response is that God set it all up this way (planting dinosaur bones and etc.) to test us. Which paints a very interesting and inconsistent image of God. The God who “so loved the world that He sent his only Son, that whosoever believes in Him may not perish” is apparently also capricious enough to lie to us, and then punish us for believing the lie? If God created such a major lie as the dinosaurs, the geological record, and so on, what else might God be lying to us about?

  • DrewTwoFish

    I hear ya. I’m no longer in the fold either. Unfortunately, it took me way too long to finally peel away. I guess my “faith” gave me something, or the promise/hope of something, enough to hang on for some time.

  • gimpi1

    So, the Christian God as Loki the Trickster? Interesting view….

  • gimpi1

    Well, perhaps people like the good Dr. truly want to drive us away. That way, they can have their “pure” church with out all those bothersome questions cluttering up the place. Sounds rather dull, though.

    Also pretty divorced from reality.

  • I’d rather say “the Evangelical Fundamentalist god,” since that’s obviously a very different depiction of the God of Israel than the one I know and have faith in.

    But speaking of Loki, I heard tell that the Norse myths weren’t written down until long after Christianity made its way to the Nordic peninsula, and you can see Christian influence in the tales as they are now known. I suspect Loki might have been influenced by the Christian depiction of Satan. Rather ironic that the Evangelical Fundamentalist god should remind you so much of Loki, no?

  • DrewTwoFish

    I don’t even think they really care. I’ve noticed this with other blinkered black and white Christians who worship the Bible, or to be more accurate, their understanding or interpretation of the Bible. Common sense, common courtesy, compassion, and caring all take a back seat to a slavish adherence to every syllable.

  • gimpi1

    Yes, the irony is strong with that view.

    The whole concept of a God who sets out to trick people into the “sin” of unbelief, who hates most of us, who is condemning and deceitful, I’m not seeing that as worthy of worship. Fortunately, that’s not the only view out there.

  • gimpi1

    “Wouldn’t more marriages be saved if adulterers were put to death? Think about it, it isn’t a bad law. Parents would love their children’s behavior as well.”

    (Thinks about it.) No, it’s a very bad law. Men can take multiple wives, rape their slaves, and women are killed if they are raped and don’t scream loud enough. No! No! Bad Law! (reaches for rolled up newspaper)

    Killing people because they aren’t faithful is (no pun intended) overkill. And forcing people to remain in marriages that have failed isn’t saving a marriage, it’s embalming its corpse.

  • Do you think the Catholic Church would keep Francis if he theologically “legalized” homosexuality?

    Actually, they would.

    I can say this with surety, because the laws of the Catholic Church are such that, in the absence of “special laws which have been enacted,” (canon 335), there is nobody on earth who has the authority to determine that the Pope can/should be removed from office. This applies even if the Pope is incapacitated (e.g. suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s). It most definitely also applies if the Pope makes an unpopular theological declaration. In addition, according to canon 1404, once the Pope makes a decision, it’s final. The First See is judged by no man. So if the Pope “legalized” homosexuality, then the Catholic Church would officially be in favor of gay marriage. Plain and simple. Anybody who didn’t like it would either have to deal with it, or leave. The only other option would be violent revolution, and I highly doubt anyone who attempted such a thing would be believed if they claimed to have God on their side.

  • gimpi1

    You may be right. Dr. Dee Tee certainly doesn’t display much in the way of compassion, empathy or courtesy. And don’t get me started on sense…

  • Ron McPherson

    I echo Guy’s sentiments. Thanks for the information. Very much appreciated.

  • gimpi1

    In what field did you get your PhD?

  • Ron McPherson

    When I read DDT’s posting above I was appalled. I thought of when the religionists brought the accused lady to Jesus for stoning. Of course Jesus points out their hypocrisy and they are forced to walk away. From DDT’s remarks, I find it odd how one claiming to follow God would seem to align himself with the condemnatory religionists, rather than the one he claims to follow.

    I’m a Christian, though DDT is “highly suspicious” of it, as he says. It gravely concerns me that people like him purport to speak for God when Jesus already has.

  • gimpi1

    You haven’t offered your credentials. You’ve simply stated that you have some. What is your PhD in? Where did you study? What was the topic of your dissertation? Do you teach? If so, where? If not, are you working in your field? Who published your books? Were they subjected to editorial review? Were they reviewed post-publishing? By who, and what did they have to say?

    Answering these questions would be presenting some of your credentials. You know, providing evidence rather than just making statements.

  • gimpi1

    It seems to me that some people (like the Dr.) who claim to follow Jesus actually don’t much like what he had to say. They are much more interested in condemning people for any disagreement. It’s much more fun, apparently.

  • I feel like all of the young-earth creationists are confused about how different genres of Holy literature work, but also refuse to be educated on the topic.

  • Herm

    Every parent has seen the depictions of how they are illustrated as stick figures in the infantile drawings of their kindergartener. Why must we keep assuming that once we’re accepted as disciples we begin as post-graduates from the University of Jesus the Rabbi?

    We through baptism by the Holy Spirit are little, little, little, … children of God. We have yet to graduate pre-school in the kingdom. If we are so anxious to get this all over so as to miraculously enjoy the prize for all eternity there is going to be one huge shock and awe moment when we know for sure we have risen to meet Jesus in the clouds. This journey of struggling to take each step to learn to relate to where we are continues to the end of eternity. That is the reward for our successful struggles (Luke 10:27). If we don’t like the efforts necessary on Earth to learn how better to chronicle and share our relationship in the Family of God we sure as hell aren’t going to like the eternal of the rest yet to come. Our disappointment will be salved a bit by the noticeable lack of intimidation, manipulation, coveting, greed, and, thank God, no more having to endure any more the “hell and damnation” pronouncements.

    Nothing would be any more of a hell to me than having to face sitting on a cloud and strumming a harp for more than an Earth equivalent of a century or two …. or …. kneeling with a few trillion+ other adoptees like myself worshipping and singing praises to Jesus and the Father for more than a week. If I’m not going to get time aimlessly strolling the beach with you, Jesus and/or our Father while we learn to savor the moment in anticipation of the future together I don’t want it, period.

    Since in relationship with the Holy Spirit I have read and been a part of writing ever Newer Testaments than what was so primitively portrayed in the Bible. The Word is risen, living, sharing and everlasting. I have yet to have read or have written any depiction of the God who I know in my heart and mind that portrays the divine Family any better yet than the spiritual equivalent of kindergarten stick figures.

    The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen. Revelation 22:21 (NRSV)

  • Herm

    He speaks for his reading of God and not from a relationship with God. He does not know he is yet deaf to God.

  • gimpi1

    They also refuse to be educated on the topics of geology, biology, astronomy or physics. I find that level of willful ignorance hard to cope with. I find being called “a hater of God” because I understand basic physical reality is really hard to cope with.

    Then, I remember that they not only don’t own the franchise on truth, they don’t even have a market-share. And, presto, I feel much better.

  • And the stoning of rebellious children? Is that law still in effect and are you following it?

  • gimpi1

    I haven’t seen Ben show any angry or dismissive behavior. What are you referring to?

  • gimpi1

    They did something almost as dramatic back in the middle-ages when they banned married priests, and broke up the marriages of priests, often selling the wives into slavery, declaring the children bastards and selling them as well.

    People act like ideas on this sort of thing have never changed. It’s changed radically. Many times. If you want an unchanging interpretation of anything, history is not your friend.

  • gimpi1

    What hate? Really, I haven’t seen it. Disagreement isn’t hate, unless you consider yourself hateful when you disagree. With the notable exception of Dr. Dee Tee, I haven’t seen any name-calling, outright dismissal or condemnation. What have you seen?

  • I don’t know Ben, so I’m sure you’re right. I read the piece over again and if there is anger there, it’s against the so called “Evangelical establishment.” I’m not sure what that is, but I don’t think any Christian who might make up such an establishment is “afraid of the wrong questions.” To me such a characterization smacks of condescension. Liberals, be they political, cultural, or religious, always do this. They are enlightened, broad minded, willing to challenge the narrow minded, benighted bigots, i.e. conservatives. No one is afraid of the “wrong questions.” It’s the answers that matter. Some of us just draw different lines as to what “theological agreement” is important. Everyone draws lines, my friend, everyone.

  • Herm

    You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t suspect that there is much more than “the topics of geology, biology, astronomy or physics.” When the Torah was compiled we were absolutely certain everything revolved around us. We knew God had to exist which not one of the other animals walking, flying or swimming the Earth prior to then or since even showed the slightest interest.

    I knew my parents had to exist beyond my range of view because I depended on that to be true because they were my providers. We begin know God has to exist beyond our range of view because we, too often subconsciously, know we’re being provided for beyond what we can provide for ourselves. No other animal cares to feel or project that far ahead.

    Isn’t it better to begin with what we can see, feel and trust before we venture into the unknown? Sort of like accepting that we must take each roll to crawl to step one at a time to eventually understand our parents rather than childishly attempting to leap right into being or even speaking for our parents. That’s why we, in the image of God, pursue to understand relationships scientifically.

    Every challenge of opportunity we can accept gifted us by God needs to be felt and thought out to the furthest so that we can relate fully to what it has to offer. The very first way we can relate our social dynamics with our spiritual God is to understand the social dynamics of my carnal family. This my intellect can accept because this is the example my Brother Jesus used to relate to our Father in Heaven. My heart was well ahead of my mind in accepting that as true and workable.

    Our physical, social and spiritual sciences in no way discredit Jesus’ teachings. In fact, in my lab studies I’m pretty sure I’ve proven, at least to myself, that our modern sciences today are far less the anti-Christ than are those who pledge strict adherence to a sound basis but very primitive Old Testament thesis. But then I do seek to emulate my Big Brother and realize that those same fundamentalist conservatives still have influence who would, also, crucify or behead me, if it were not illegal in the USA and Korea, as a heretic. I don’t, although, have any claim to being the king of the Protestants so that takes a little pressure off. Oops, I do claim to be a little son of God, pressures back on.

    As usual I love your input gimpi1! Thanks!

  • Jeff Preuss

    Archaeologist (DDT): “since evolution does not exist we will not be allowing any discussion about that false theory in this forum or website.”

  • gimpi1

    Well, I think it’s possible to disagree without being disagreeable. I have no problem with someone drawing lines, as long as they don’t claim to speak for God. We can all be mistaken, you, me, Ben, anyone. I, personally, try to remember that. (I don’t always succeed, but I try.) I would, however, point out that claiming that “Liberals… always do this.” is no more accurate than saying that all conservatives are bigoted. We’re all individuals.

    However, there’s a difference between discussing things that can be objectively proven and things that must, in this life be a matter of opinion or faith. I respect your beliefs. However, – as an example – if those beliefs lead you to decide, as a matter of virtue, that you have to champion the idea that the earth is only 6,000 years old – and you want that taught in the schools – then there’s a problem. You have no objective evidence for such a statement, and there’s mountains of evidence to the contrary. (Seriously, some of the evidence to the contrary are actual mountains.)

    I respect differences of opinion. I respect matters of belief. I can’t respect willful ignorance. Does that make sense?

  • gimpi1

    There may well be more than the physical sciences reveal, but the truth can’t contradict physical reality.

    Yes, there’s nothing in the physical sciences that discredits Jesus’ teachings. There’s a great deal in the physical sciences that discredits Ken Ham’s teachings.

  • gimpi1

    Oh, that’s just sad… Well, I’ll take my picked-up-by-osmosis geologic information and stay the heck away from his site. Wouldn’t want to risk contaminating it with any dirty facts, after all.

  • Totally! And I was being hyperbolic when I said “always.” It only feels that way sometimes. Liberalism is culturally dominant in our day, and I appreciate what that means in a lot of ways. But it’s not easy being the cultural punching bag all the time (ok, much of the time), given that academia/education, most of our media, and popular culture is overwhelmingly against and often hostile to conservative ideals, morality, perspectives, etc.

    I’m not a fan of any kind of absolutism, given as you say we’re all human and very finite. And we cannot escape our presuppositions. But some things are simply non-negotiable if Christianity is to say what it is, e.g. the Nicene Creed. J. Gresham Machen’s “Christianity and Liberalism” is a great book and written when it looked like so called liberal Christianity was going to win the day. We’ve seen much of mainline Christianity wither away, and Machen proved right. Unfortunately I’m seeing a bit of the same thing happen today in parts of evangelicalism.

  • gimpi1

    Well, if it’s any comfort, I can assure you that, to progressive people, it feels as though conservatism is culturally dominant. We feel like punching-bags, too. Perhaps that’s just part of being in a society where things like the anonymity of the internet makes it easy to be nasty to people, since we don’t see the reaction to our words.

  • Falken

    That “do as God says or else” makes the narrative of Him being “benevolent and loving” far harder to accept. It sounds more like we’re supposed to worship a being who, to an extent, is nothing more than a giant kid with a magnifying glass picking who to take out at high noon.

  • Falken

    Honestly, some of us are punching bags. There is a lot of conservative hate but part of the issue is, I don’t hear that voice of anti-conservatism often but from people where present, modern American conservatism hasn’t already shown a disdain towards them.

  • Interesting. Nasty is always bad. And the internet certainly doesn’t help things. That’s one reason I use my full real name. If I’m nasty or unfair, I don’t mind being called out on it. We’re not perfect, on which all people of good will should be able to agree. Merry Christmas!

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    How can you find the truth if you are pursuing and listening to lies or ignoring what God said he did and take the wrong turn down the wrong road, to look in the wrong places for the wrong answers?

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    So you are saying God lied, is too incompetent to tell his creatures the truth and then lets people who have rejected him find the truth which simultaneously insults all those people who have followed him for thousands of years?

    your option mentioned above is unverifiable and lacks evidence. You have no evidence, all you claim that supports your theory is read into what ever you want to read it into.

    God said to use faith– Hebrews 11– not physical evidence so you are disobeying God on numerous levels plus calling him something he is not while claiming you love him

    the problem isn’t with God.

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    God said to use faith not physical evidence and your supposed physical evidence is leading away from God not to him and the truth.

    Notice also Jesus said to follow the HS to the Truth not follow the physical evidence to the truth.

    The Bible also says do not follow the unbeliever for they are deceived. So no matter what you say, you are admitting your disobedience to God and deny the scriptures.

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    I will take God’s laws over your personal preferences any day of the week. You forget that men are told in the Bible to love their wives as Jesus loved the church. The problem is not with the Bible but humans who refuse to obey God.

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    you have a choice and do not have to accept his ways if you do not like them but if you choose to accept them then you must obey him.

    it is up to you. maybe you are just looking at things through the wrong lenses

    love is more than just a good feeling. it also disciplines, sets rules, warns, guides and so on, all to keep you from harm. Yes it does sound like a benevolent and loving God.

  • DrewTwoFish

    Zzzz……

  • Jeff Preuss

    WAKE UP! IT’S CHRISTMAS! (Okay, well, a few minutes off still.) :)

  • DrewTwoFish

    Ha ha. Yes, well, Merry Christmas.

  • Falken

    Happy Holidays

  • Falken

    Happy Holidays regardless

  • Okay. So God was wrong on that one. Got it.

  • Doctor Snommelp5418, if you please. :-P

  • Trev

    Though this hypothetical is impossible from a Catholic worldview in that the Pope is protected from a special case from officially teaching and declaring anything contrary to the faith. I must stress that this is in an official capacity, and not merely sharing an opinion but a teaching on what is to believed.

    A good example of this would be the furor over Pope Paul VI’s statement regarding pets in heaven that were attributed to Pope Francis. Not a teaching from the office, and does not need to be believed by the faithful.

    But yes, ex cathedra starements are binding dogma.

  • gimpi1

    Merry Christmas back at ya. Actually, mine was sort of a bummer. We were on a death-watch for my aunt, who was in the end-stages of Parkinson’s. Last night, she passed. It sort of put a damper on the season, if you know what I mean.

    I’ve taken a few days off work to help my cousin with the notifications and stuff. She was my aunt’s primary care-giver. We’re both glad that my aunt is free of a body that had become a resented prison, and sad that she’s gone, if that makes sense.

    But it sort of quashed the “merry” this season.

  • gimpi1

    I’m not addressing God. I’m addressing you. You appear to have difficulty telling the difference.

    There are mountains of evidence for plate-tectonics, a 4+billion-old-earth, a 12+billion-year- old universe and the common descent of life. I won’t bother to recount it, because you don’t care.

    For all this physical evidence (mountain-ranges that start on one continent and end on another, the ‘telescope problem’ in which we can see more than 6,000 light-years into space, the carbon-dating process, the similarity of DNA in all living things, the age and growth-patterns of geologic formations) to exist and not point to truth would require a trickster-God who does not tell the truth, but tries to hide it.

    If you feel insulted because people don’t simply accept everything you say without any evidence, that’s your problem. I can’t imagine a God that’s as testy, childish and capricious as that.

    The problem isn’t me. The problem isn’t God. The problem is you.

  • gimpi1

    Well, fortunately, you aren’t God. We don’t live in a theocracy. You can live as you choose, and so can I. It’s obvious that you live in so deep an echo-chamber that nothing can get through, so there’s no point in attempting dialog. Farewell.

  • Realist1234

    Excuse my ignorance, but what questions precisely did Rod Bell ask? And did he also answer them?

  • Guy Norred

    “embalming its corpse”–great image

  • gimpi1

    Ah shucks… (blushes)

  • Guy Norred

    My condolences to you and your aunt’s other loved ones.

  • Ron McPherson

    He had the audacity to question the traditional view of hell.

  • Dr. Dee Tee

    You can ignore the fact that God uses humans to tell you the truth all you want but that doesn’t mean God is not telling you to change your ways.

    There is no physical evidence for anything you have said. it is only declared evidence by a group of people who do not want to believe Genesis 1 or God. They have gone about constructing their own version of origins and then fabricated evidence for their false version.

    Remember they have no ultimate historical ancient document backing them up, their version is all made up by using their imaginations. Creation does have that document and you cannot remove that fact.

  • Realist1234

    Yes Ive now done a little reading. It seems he proffered the idea of universalism, ie ultimately everyone is saved, with the view that it would be nice if it was true. I suppose many of us would like it to be true too, but Im afraid it contradicts Jesus’ own words and warnings about eternity, which we cannot ignore. It seems clear that all will not be saved and that it really does matter whether or not you follow Jesus, as opposed to Mohammed, Buddah etc. There may be some words of truth in other religions but ultimately they do not recognise Jesus for who He is and what He has done and are therefore unable to bring us to God and spiritual reality. It also effectively ignores Jesus’ own suffering and death, as if , in the last analysis, they meant very little. Personally I would be ashamed to look into Jesus’ eyes if that was what I believed. With regards to Rob Bell, whilst this belief is not core to being a Christian, one could argue it is very much part of evangelical belief and if he has now rejected it and other beliefs, why pretend to be an evangelical Christian leader and teacher and continue to benefit from that support? Given Oprah’s public belief in universalism, it is not really surprising that Mr Bell has now teamed up with her.

  • Realist1234

    Indeed. I often find so-called ‘liberals’ to be the most intolerant of others who dare to disagree with their liberalism! Thankfully Ben does not appear to be a liberal, more a Christian who thinks alot, which is no bad thing.

  • Realist1234

    I wonder if that is an American experience? I dont get the same vibes in the UK.

  • Enoch

    I know I am late to this party, but I just gotta say, my problem is not with Rob’s questions but his conclusions. Questions are not orthodox or unorthodox, but conclusions are. Also, you suggest: “We want to be whole again, have new relationships that aren’t conditional on theological agreement…” How can a church possibly exist without theological agreement? What line would you actually draw? Can Christians commune with Muslims as those sharing the same faith? While you accuse historical evangelicals of making everything a make or break issue, you run the risk of denying that any historic Christian teaching is worth standing for and separating over. False teaching existed in the early church and it exists today. If we fail to point it out, we fail to obey God’s direct commands.

  • Sorry, which part of my comment was that meant to be in response to? Was that meant to be “no, I’m not calling Ron a liar,” or “no, I’m not accusing you without evidence because I am calling Ron a liar”?

  • Ron McPherson

    “How can a church possibly exist without theological agreement? What line would you actually draw?”

    I would suggest that the line drawn boils down to Peter’s confession: that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. That’s the foundation Jesus established. Other than that I’m not even sure anymore. Sometimes I feel like I know nothing but Christ, Him crucified, and Him risen.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Ooooo, for a moment, I was so tired, I read your signoff as “Falwell,” which would also be strangely appropriate.

  • i’m glad i found that guide finally.

  • Herm

    … and I’m truly glad for you, also, thank you!

  • who is’we’?

  • jesus offered to be my friend long long ago. i was a sad, lonely teen being bullied badly in middle school. i had no friends. then one day i was so desperate i opened one of those bibles the army issued to ppl during ww2. i can’t remember what i read I only a felt sense of someone who understood what I was going through.

  • Herm

    You joined in a relationship you can trust. He does understand what we are going through. I wish more could sense that understanding. Thanks for sharing!

  • you betcha! looking forward to more convos w/ ya!

  • Alana

    Sorry for the delay in responding, but I have yet to meet someone who was actually trying to warn me that I was Hell-bound. No, I could always tell from their smugness that they *wanted* me to go there, not to repent. It was pretty sick, really.

  • Wow. I looked to the comments for an engaging discussion on the subject matter, but instead I simply see the same fight that we had years ago over Mr. Bell. So he doesn’t believe the same way you do. Guess what? Nobody believes exactly the same. That’s the entire point of Mr. Corey’s article. Because of the rejection that Mr. Bell received, and is still receiving, Mr. Bell is now a symbol of what the church has done to others who didn’t fit whatever mold was enforced upon them. This entire commentary discussion is picking apart an issue that was discussed to death years ago, and cannot move on. Our inability to move on is why our churches are emptying.

  • The more I learn about Rob Bell the more I like. I have no problem with people who shun me due to questions. Whatever. That’s their problem. I think questions need to be addressed, need to be asked, and if there are evangelicals who cannot handle it, so be it.

  • In many ways I am very impressed with Rob Bell. His intelligence and the way

    he can take on different aspects of life amazes me. I am also impressed with his
    testimony, the high Christian way he conducts himself in the face of
    Evangelical Christians put him down in such an unchristian way.
    I haven’t read any of his books, but I follow him online as he pops up
    in interesting situations. There’s a group of so-called F.O.R.B
    (Friends of Rob Bell), mostly celebrities like Pete Owens and Aaron
    Rogers with whom he has such interesting conversations. I am sure he
    has helped many a questioning soul along the way.

    For all of that, he still hasn’t won me over. I still have (private to me)
    questions that he does not yet answer. So I am waiting to see how this all evolves.
    If interested, I have written a fictionalize account of how these things
    have worked out for me: http://www.ldwenzel.com