The Top Blog Posts of the Week

April 29, 2012

by the Contributing Editors of SBC Today

This is a list of recent blog posts which we found interesting.  That we found them interesting doesn’t mean we necessarily agree with or endorse the ideas presented in the posts, but that we found them to be intriguing and thought-provoking.  (They are listed in no particular order of interest). Please post your comments to discuss  any article that strikes your interest. If you have recent blog posts to nominate, please send the link to sbctoday@gmail.com.


App of the Week

  • The SBC Annual Meeting app – This is a free application for iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry users. It has helpful information about New Orleans and the convention. Download it at http://m.core-apps.com/sbc2012am from a smartphone or type “SBC Annual Meeting 2012” in the smartphone’s app store.

About Theology

About Issues in the SBC

About Ministry and Worship

About the Personal Devotional Life

About Christians and Society

  • My Faith-Based Retirement,” by Joe Nocera in the New York Times, reflecting on a situation that concerns many of us in the economic recession.
  • Young People’s Priorities,” by Joe Blow in the New York Times, with an intriguing poll of the priorities of young adults (18-29) done by Harvard’s Institute of Politics. It is a thorough survey, but in short the greatest concerns are job creation, terrorism, and Iran’s nuclear program, and the least is global warming.
  • A Generation in Transition: Religion, Values, and Politics among College-age Millennials,” a significant Public Religion Institute Research project by Robert Jones, Daniel Cox, and Thomas Banchoff, with important information about the current beliefs of millennials.
  • Debt, Gift, and Sacrifice in The Hunger Games,” by James Rogers in First Things, with a discussion of the book that is foundational for the intriguing movie The Hunger Games.

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Lydia

Thank you for including Alan Knox’ blog, The “assembling of the church”. I have so enjoyed reading his posts the last year or so!

Lydia

And I wish Jonathan Pritchett had a blog!

Debbie Kaufman

Jonathan Pritchett is so off the mark as to what Calvinists believe in this post that I can’t stand it. I don’t even know where to begin to refute it as it would take hours. I could hardly read the post it was so distorted and full of error concerning reformed theology.

    Lydia

    Deb, You are good at telling people they are wrong and cutting and pasting scripture but you never seem to be able to exegete or engage deeply. It is one thing to disagree but at least offer something besides “you are wrong” for a change. We have all read Romans many times…even studied it and do not come away with “Calvinism”.

    Eric got it right when he mapped Calvinism to Plato via Augustine. (Plutonious, too) Calvinism is a dark pit of depravity that a “Born Again” believer somehow cannot crawl out of except a few anointed ones who are to “lead us”. But a perfect “religion” for a church/state.

Les Puryear

Johnathan Pritchett is a godly young man who is right on the mark. Thank God for men like Johnathan.

Debbie Kaufman

Lydia: Let me ask you something. If I look up the scripture, knowing the passage that I am thinking of and cut and paste it, is it any less scripture? Scripture is scripture is it not? You are good at attempting to show where something like the giving of scripture is less if gotten from a site, but is it any less the Word of God? It’s still inspired scripture in my view. I am not trying to persuade anyone. I don’t mind if someone disagrees, but I would like it to be a disagreement on what reformers really believe, not a characture in order to dispute it. I find that to be a form of dishonesty. I know what I believe, being reformed, and to have people who think they know but do not try and dispute it and then tell me what I believe is frustrating.

I will also tell you that you are wrong in your assessment. But I am not interested in anyone who is not becoming Calvinist. Yes, I do believe it is the truth of scripture. I think Calvinism to be freeing in it’s doctrine. I nor can anyone thwart God’s perfect will, all things do work out for good as the Bible says. But it also means I cannot force someone into believing Calvinism doesn’t it? Just as you were wrong in how all Muslims are, you are wrong here as well.

    Lydia

    “If I look up the scripture, knowing the passage that I am thinking of and cut and paste it, is it any less scripture? Scripture is scripture is it not? ”

    Yes, in fact it is. It is one of the misuses that lead people down wrong paths and diminishes the Word. People do it all the time with favorites like 1 John 1 ignoring the rest of the book. Romans is one of the most abused by Calvinists because Paul is making a cumulative arguement to a specific audience. I do not think Calvinists can help but use the 16th century lens from which to interpret scripture.

    You cannot escape the fact that Calvinism teaches a determinist God. A God in the flesh that will look at someone and “love” them and yet, not impart irresistible grace to believe and unconditional election. It is insidious and makes God out to be a mocking angry tyrant. How despairing!

      Debbie Kaufman

      Lydia:I’ll cut to the chase here. Bologna. I assure you I am anything but ignorant, which seems to be your only argument without proofs or the use of scripture. All I can do is read scripture and form by theology by what it says. Book and all. I see the reformed view in the Bible. Everywhere. You don’t. No, you won’t change my mind. I refuse to be called ignorant or to resort to calling you ignorant etc. So yes, the conversation is fruitless.

Debbie Kaufman

Now let’s talk about Fundamentalism and control and the constant talk of sin. Talk about something you can’t crawl out of.

Debbie Kaufman

CJ Mahaney and Mark Driscoll to name two are not able to base their control and spiritual abuse of people on Calvinism or the Bible. That is not the basis of the reformed soteriology. They can base it on their need to control and abuse people just as people in the Fundamentalist category cannot base their control and abuse on the Bible. What they both do is sin. The worst kind of sin. I am grace based and New Covenant but I am deeply reformed in the five points. How someone can read Romans for example and not walk away with the reformed doctrine in those areas is beyond me. I am being honest. It’s there as plain as day. But I am certainly not going to force anyone.

    Lydia

    “CJ Mahaney and Mark Driscoll to name two are not able to base their control and spiritual abuse of people on Calvinism or the Bible.”

    Debbie, That is a fantasy. And shows a horrible ignorance of history. They are modeling Calvin’s doctrine of control. And since Calvin = the Gospel, what is the difference? After all, how could Calvin live any other way than what he believed, taught and wrote prolifically about? The real shocker are Calvinists who don’t model those things more prominently. One reason is that they live in a free country with seperation of church/state. (wink) But people have been tweaking it to fit their society for Centuries. From the Puritans who burned witches to the cognative dissonance of Abraham Kuyper’s more liberal church/state. What is the running theme? Specially anointed leaders that must lead the totally depraved believers. Both Matt Chandler and Mark Dever have remarked that they preach to totally depraved congregations. (Huh?) It is a running theme in Calvinism that thoses Born Again, New Creatures in Christ remain totally depraved. And if you disagree then they trot out this false dichotomy of sinless perfection or total depravity that only serves to take us into the room of smoke and mirrors. The Gnosticism.

    I think most people miss the true foundation or philosophy because they fail to see just how political is Calvin’s systematized theology. Calvin systematized a Platonic bent to Christianity that he got from Augustine. (I always find it interesting that Calvinists today ignore his “brilliant theologian” belief in sacraments as a means of Grace) It is basically a Platonic worldview with Christian makeup. The brilliance of Calvin is he undergirded it by claiming it is all God’s Sovereignty. That is the attribute that I think attracts a lot of people to take a look at it. Who can argue with that except for the fact that it basically ends up making God NOT Sovereign over His own Sovereignty OR a Tyrant God. Not a great choice. It is a hall of mirrors. Pure Gnosticism. And it makes Sovereignty all in all to the detriment of Justice, Mercy, Love, etc and we end up with a determinist God.

    Anyway, I certainly won’t change your mind so we might as well call it a day.

      Debbie Kaufman

      That’s you MO Lydia. You can have your say, but not listen to others. A horrible ignorance? Lydia, I can assure you that I am anything but ignorant. I could turn around and call you biased and getting facts from other sources than the reformers themselves. I think you need to be honest here in where you get your information from, not from the reformers writing themselves, but from anti-Calvinists. It doesn’t matter, it is not that way now, and the same can be said of many church leaders that are non-Calvinist. Most of what you have said however is far from true and what is true does not take away from the doctrine.

      Unless you have prove through scripture that the soteriology in reformed doctrine is wrong, we have nothing to talk about. Look at the history of anyone including SB’s. Baptists in general, Methodists, Catholics. That can be said of all in the beginning. It’s as we grow in knowledge and truth things change. You are spreading poison Lydia and that is what I object to.

      selahV-hariette

      Lydia, thanks for your input. I have been using your writings in the streams of thought and debate to help understand a lot of stuff going on. Your knowledge on various issues of late have been eye-opening and extremely beneficial. A person could learn alot from the comments you make on specific situations. Your experience with the mega-churches shines a light on some issues most of us were unaware of. At times I have not understood you at all…I’m glad I’m beginning to “track” you. Blessings…be yours and abound. selahV

Debbie Kaufman

In the words of A.W. Pink in “Sovereignty of God”, I simply do not believe that God is frustrated, disappointed nor can the Holy Spirit be defeated.

    Lydia

    Why are you attributing things to me I never said? This is just one of the reasons I find it impossible to converse with you.

    Take care

Debbie Kaufman

I also look at the gymnastics Mr. Pritchett uses to reinterpret the passages he gives and I literally find myself cringing. I don’t think it’s Calvinists who are adding to the Bible here, but Mr. Pritchett added so much the passage was unrecognizable when he was finished.

Debbie Kaufman

Lydia: I am easy to talk to when given actual facts. Calvin himself doesn’t write much about his conversion, and so much of what is being written in speculation. Calvin did not think Calvinism or reformed theology to be new, but a continuation of what he believed the apostles and the early church taught. You also tend to give Calvin much more power than he actually had. Stick to the truer facts and I am very easy to converse with. You can be against Reformed Theology all you want. But for me to read so many untrue statements and stay silent is something I won’t do. And yeah, that’s makes me somewhat hard to converse with.

A good source for what is Reformed Theology would be here:

http://reformedtheology.org/SiteFiles/WhatIsRT.html

    Randy Everist

    That’s a bit like saying “I’m agreeable when I agree, but disagreeable when I disagree.” ;)

      selahV-hariette

      I find this all sooo amusing…Debbie says Johnathan is wrong, Lydia’s wrong, (the whole world is wrong), but Debbie doesn’t have time to show where Pritchett is wrong because she can only cringe. Debbie is so disturbed by Pritchett’s “gymnastics” regarding the text at hand, that she can barely read it, and has no idea where to start to express fully her disagreement with Pritchett, but when Lydia lays it out for her what is wrong with her reformed view, then Debbie accuses her of running away from the conversation. But let’s pull out the normal answer to everything for Debbie, et al. a link. always a link. (wink).

      So for all you folks out there in blogland who cannot read Romans and recognize Calvinism for what it is and embrace the reformed view, well…just stop thinking…stop reading it…stop, stop, stop going around sharing your interpretations, and saying what you think it means. Stop writing blogposts on your opinion of it all. Stop writing comments with backflips and and somersaults…just stop it! You are wrong…don’t you know you are wrong? Well, you are! I know…cause debbie told me so.

        Debbie Kaufman

        Selah: No I don’t have time. And it’s been done over and over again by myself and others at different times to no avail. I think any thinking person can read it as I have and know where it is wrong both in the interpretation of the scripture and in the supposed representation of Calvinism. I am voicing my dissent at the article which is long and fraught with many errors concerning what I believe and what the reformed believe. I really don’t need to point them out they are that obvious. I am tired of it. Exhausted really.

        And you are right in that I do not see how one can read the book of Romans and not come away with what the Reformed believes in this area along with Ephesians, Galatians, the Corinthians etc. But to say the rest is just pure hate on your part SelahV. And that’s something I don’t get either. I think misrepresenting what I believe is one of the most hateful things you all can do. Yet you keep doing it.

        I would say keep reading Romans, not stop. Begin in chapter 1 and continue through the end of the book. Keep reading scripture, not stop. You and I have no love for each other SelahV, that is no secret, but to say some of the things you do is just beyond my thinking comprehension.

          selahV-hariette

          Debbie, praying God blesses your heart with peace and the kind of love you so richly deserve as a child of God. What is not obvious to me is that I hate anyone. So, I do pray for you. Far more often than you realize. And I know and God knows, I do not hate you, my dear. Nor are any of my words above or anywhere else spoken to you in hate. EVER. So sorry you are blinded by the anger you have for me as you have admitted you have no love for me. My heart grieves for your bitterness. May God open the door of your heart and make room for you to love people you do not agree with. selahV

      Debbie Kaufman

      Randy: I said exactly what I meant. If one can write the truth of what reformers or what I believe, I am very easy to converse with. But I can’t converse with hatred and libel. Hate just doesn’t think properly. They think with the brain of hate. Lies think with the brain of lies. I’m pretty hard to converse with given those to factors. Your comment pretty well proves my point. So thanks for that.

Debbie Kaufman

Unfortunately both Fundamentalist and some Reformed churches have insanity going on that concerns me much more than this pettiness. It’s the only word I know to describe it and it is in the SBC and outside the SBC. It has nothing to do with theology but it has everything to do with simply being crazy.

Debbie Kaufman

I do want to say to both SelahV and Lydia that you are both strong women who are speaking out about what you believe and what you are against and I not only admire this, even though we are on different sides most of the time on most issues, but I am glad you are speaking out as women. It’s good to see. I see more women speaking out than when I began blogging and being involved in the SBC six years ago.

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