I found one article amusing in a recent World Magazine. The article chronicles the lawsuit of Timothy Dumouchel against Charter Communications, his Wisconsin cable company. He is threatening to sue Charter Communications because, he says, “the company has turned his entire family into lazy channel surfers against their will.” He says he told them to discontinue the cable service, but they only stopped billing him. After repeated attempts to shut it down – as if he couldn’t just turn it off – he now says the resulting TV addiction has harmed his family. I quote, “I believe the reason I smoke and drink every day and my wife eats too much is because we watched TV every day for the last four years.” In other words, Charter made them addicted to TV. Now listen to this, he says he will, “drop the suit in exchange for free lifetime internet service from Charter” (In Stephen Davey’s sermon on Romans 8:26-27).
Posts Tagged ‘World Magazine’
Tags: Lawsuit, TV addiction, World Magazine
Tags: Al Mohler, D. A. Carson, Dave Miller, Justin Taylor, Kevin DeYoung, Ligon Duncan, Mark Dever, New Calvinism, Southern Baptist Voice, Tim Challies, Tim Keller, Together for the Gospel, World Magazine
This video discusses my topic in my next two posts: Where did New Calvinism come from. Dave Miller is the editor of the Southern Baptist Voice (SBC Voices) and as a Southern Baptist, Miller was greatly offended by Mohler’s comments on the video from Together for the Gospel called, “DeYoung, Duncan, Mohler: What’s New about the New Calvinism?”. In the dialogue, Mohler implied that Non-Calvinists are non-theological, not committed to the Gospel, etc. Here is Miller’s response:
I am a fan of Dr. Al Mohler! I am glad he is one of our leaders.
I am constantly amazed at Dr. Mohler’s ability to articulate his positions. His statement on homosexuality at the SBC Annual Meeting this year was one of the best, most concise and biblical statements of a Christian approach to the subject I’ve ever heard. I’ve seen Dr. Mohler on national programs and always have been impressed at his ability to express unpopular biblical ideas in a persuasive way. When he speaks, I listen. And usually I think he hits it out of the park!
In a video from 2010 that has recently been making the blog circuit, Dr. Mohler swung and missed. He is articulate and persuasive again. But what he said was unwise, unkind and unhelpful to the future of the SBC. The video is from Together for the Gospel and is called, “DeYoung, Duncan, Mohler: What’s New about the New Calvinism?” The key section starts at 6:25 of that video.
Al Mohler has every right to be a Calvinist and to advocate Calvinism. In fact, the Abstract of Principles at SBTS requires him to be such. No one should question his right to promote his beliefs. Calvinism is within the boundaries of the BF&M 2000 and is historically evident in SBC Life. But the statement he made in that T4G video is destructive to the promotion of unity in the SBC. Here is a transcript of his words on that video.
There’s another aspect of this, and that is, where else are they gonna go? I mean, what options are there? If you’re a theologically minded, deeply convictional young evangelical, if you’re committed to the gospel and you want to see the nations rejoice in the name of Christ, if you want to see gospel-built and structured and committed churches, your theology is just gonna end up basically being Reformed, basically being something like this New Calvinism or you’re gonna have to invent some other label for what’s just gonna be the same thing. There just are not options out there. And that’s something that I think frustrates some people. But when I am asked about the New Calvinism, I will say just basically, where else are they gonna go? Who else is gonna answer the questions? Where else will they find the resources they need? And where else are they gonna connect? This is a generation that understands, they want to say the same thing Paul said. They want to stand with the Apostles. They want to stand with old, dead people. And they know they are going to have to if they are going to preach and teach the truth.
Dr. Mohler has the right to believe and advocate Calvinism. But it is not right when he denigrates all non-Calvinists as his does here. His words are disrespectful and demeaning to those who do not share the Reformed or Calvinistic perspective. I have heard the wailings from my Calvinist circles when our views were demeaned and misrepresented by anti-Calvinists. But, my fellow Calvinists, can you understand how offensive these words are to anyone who does not share Calvinist soteriology?
- Non-Calvinists are not theologically-minded? Deeply convictional? Committed to the gospel? Want to see the nations rejoice in Christ?
- Non-Calvinists do not want to see gospel-built, structured and committed churches? The only churches that are real, valid gospel churches are Calvinistic?
- There are no (presumably reasonable, biblical) options out there?
- Non-Calvinists have no answers and no resources to offer?
- Non-Calvinists do not preach and teach the truth or stand with Paul and Apostles?
I’ve listened to the whole discussion (almost 13 minutes long) and it is hard for me to see a context under which we can argue that Mohler’s quote is not insulting to non-Calvinists. If he has corrected, revised or expanded on these comments since this year-old video, I would love to see that quote. If he has apologized, wonderful. But this kind of statement is divisive and destructive.
Mark Dever wrote that Non-Calvinists used to wrongly belittle Calvinists for not being evangelistic and that Calvinism would kill churches. It seems now that some think, like Dave Miller, that Calvinists are denigrating non-calvinists with similar accustations.
Two TGC founders, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Tim Keller and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School professor D.A. Carson, do not like the label, New Calvinism. These two men, who most would tag as New Calvinists, expressed to World Magazine, a more inclusive approach than Mohler:
“We’re not defining it in a way that unnecessarily makes people feel excluded,” Keller told me. “There are just too many folks who we know are with us who may not use exactly the same terms or labels. . . . Why should anybody have to label themselves to be a part of this? It’s Reformed, and people who are traditionally Reformed recognize it as Reformed. And yet we’ve got people who say, ‘I’m not a Calvinist,’ but still sign on to it because it’s just what they see the Bible teaching.”
In my next post, I will explore (on a more positive note) what Mark Dever, Justin Taylor, and Tim Challies say about the origin of New Calvinism.
Tags: Barnabas Piper, Brian McLaren, Chick-fil-A, Dan Cathy, Homosexuality, liberals and conservatives, Mike Huckabee, World Magazine
The recent Chick-fil-A battle with homosexual advocates (and activists who retaliated to the Appreciation Day with the “Kiss In”) is just one more skirmish in this long war. The clash, however, is not just between the secular and the sacred, but between alleged believers.
Here is what Emerging church leader, Brian McLaren said in a Leadership Journal blog about homosexuality:
Frankly, many of us don’t know what we should think about homosexuality. We’ve heard all sides but no position has yet won our confidence so that we can say “it seems good to the Holy Spirit and us.” That alienates us from both the liberals and conservatives who seem to know exactly what we should think. Even if we are convinced that all homosexual behavior is always sinful, we still want to treat gay and lesbian people with more dignity, gentleness, and respect than our colleagues do. If we think that there may actually be a legitimate context for some homosexual relationships, we know that the biblical arguments are nuanced and multilayered, and the pastoral ramifications are staggeringly complex. We aren’t sure if or where lines are to be drawn, nor do we know how to enforce with fairness whatever lines are drawn.
Perhaps we need a five-year moratorium on making pronouncements. In the meantime, we’ll practice prayerful Christian dialogue, listening respectfully, disagreeing agreeably. When decisions need to be made, they’ll be admittedly provisional. We’ll keep our ears attuned to scholars in biblical studies, theology, ethics, psychology, genetics, sociology, and related fields. Then in five years, if we have clarity, we’ll speak; if not, we’ll set another five years for ongoing reflection. After all, many important issues in church history took centuries to figure out. Maybe this moratorium would help us resist the “winds of doctrine” blowing furiously from the left and right, so we can patiently wait for the wind of the Spirit to set our course. 
Brian McLaren said we needed a five-year moratorium in order to consult scholars in different fields including ethics. Let’s examined what scholars in ethics have discovered about homosexuality. The problem with McLaren’s proposal of a five year moratorium is that the Word of God has not taken a neutral stance of this issue. I my next posts we will dig into the teaching of Scripture on homosexuality.
Barnabas Piper, son of John PIper, in World Magazine has taken another response to the open conflict between homosexuals and Christians:
Mike Huckabee, the conservative former governor of Arkansas and one-time presidential candidate, started a group on Facebook recently to declare Aug. 1 “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.” It is an effort to support the popular but currently beleaguered fast food chain in the face of the vitriolic criticism after public statements by Dan Cathy, the company’s president, regarding same-sex marriage. So far more than 452,000 people have committed to attend. (Some have called this a movement in support of free speech,but that isn’t what Huckabee writes on his own page.) I agree whole-heartedly with Dan Cathy’s comments (see here and here). I believe in the biblical definition of marriage. I think Christians in prominent positions speaking in a reasonable and level-headed way about their convictions is a good thing. On top of that I am a borderline addict of Chick-fil-A’s sandwiches, waffle fries, and sweet tea. But I will not be attending “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” on Wednesday. Here’s why.
Homosexuality is one of the most defining, contentious, and complex issues facing this generation of the church. We cannot sacrifice our biblical convictions but neither can we sacrifice the church’s ability to serve people of opposing viewpoints and lifestyles. The 452,000 people supporting Chick-fil-A are delivering more than one message, and the message the homosexual community and its supporters see is “us versus you.” The event also sends a message of separatism and territorialism in the “reclaiming” of those restaurants that are being boycotted, a collective action easily seen as a shaking of the for a wagging of the finger. Convictions, especially biblical ones, will divide people. That is inevitable, but not desirable. The separation of believers and unbelievers, when it happens, must be a last resort or an unavoidable result. Actions to the contrary, those that clearly promote an “us versus them” mentality, are most often unhelpful. There is a time for Christians to engage in boycotting, such as when a business deals in obviously immoral areas or is clearly unethical in its methods. But for a mass of Christians to descend upon Chick-fil-A restaurants across the country tomorrow to support the leadership’s view on this issue is, I believe, a bold mistake. So I stand with Dan Cathy in his biblical affirmation of family but I cannot stand with those making a movement out of his beliefs. I do not question the motives of Mike Huckabee or those thousands joining him, but what about the wider effects? How is the Kingdom of God served by this? Is Jesus represented well to the gay community and the politicians pandering to them? Marching on Chick-fil-A tomorrow like an army will produce nothing more than defined battle lines, and the result will be greater contention and fewer softened hearts. On both sides.
In my next posts, I want to examine the Biblical teaching on homosexuality and what the Christian response should be.
 Brian McLaren. “Brian McLaren on the Homosexual Question,” in “Out of Ur,” a Leadership Journal blog, http://blog.christianitytoday.com/outofur/archives/2006/01/brian_mclaren_o.html
Tags: Answers in Genesis, Doomsday on May 21, Harold Camping, Rapture on May 21 at 6:00 pm, Rapture Today, World Magazine
If you are into “Been there, done that, and got the t-shirt” I hope you purchased “I Survived the Judgment Day in 2011″t-shirt for $20.40 rather than the “Rapture Ready” t-shirt for $19.20.
The 6:00 deadline in New Zealand has come and gone with no world-wide earthquake and no rapture.
World Magazine reports: “We know the end will begin in New Zealand and will follow the sun and roll on from there,” said Garcia, a 39-year-old father of six. “That’s why God raised up all the technology and the satellites so everyone can see it happen at the same time.”
The Internet was alive with reaction in the hours past 6 p.m. Saturday in New Zealand.
“Harold Camping’s 21st May Doomsday prediction fails; No earthquake in New Zealand,” read one posting on Twitter.
Are you ready for Doomsday on May 21? I asked our waitress on Tuesday. My wife and I overheard our waitress and another waitress discussing the May 21 prediction as they watched one of the 5000 billboard (this one on wheels) roll by the Ruby Tuesday. In her conversation, she said, “There is a part of me that does not believe Saturday is the day of the rapture, but there is also a part of me worried.” I later had an opportunity to witness to her and set the record straight about date-setting.
This is not the first time Harold Camping has set a date. Back in 1994 he predicted in his book 1994 that Christ would return in September. Of course, Camping later said it was simply a miscalculation. This time he was confident. Here is his response in an interview with New York News & Feature:
The interviewer asked: “If six o’clock rolls around and there are no major earthquakes, are you going to start to get worried?
Camping replied: “It’s going to happen. It’s going to happen. I don’t even think about those kind of issues. The Bible is not — God is not playing games. I don’t even want to think about that question at all. It is going to happen.”
He is correct that the Bible is not playing games. But Camping is playing games with the Bible. His prediction is based on irrational interpretations of dates in the Bible. First, he claims that the flood occurred in 4990 B.C. and because Genesis 7:10-11 says “it came to pass after seven days the waters of the flood were upon the earth” Camping connects this verse to 2 Peter 3:8, which says “that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years.” From Camping’s website, he concludes:
Therefore, with the correct understanding that the seven days referred to in Genesis 7:4 can be understood as 7,000 years, we learn that when God told Noah there were seven days to escape worldwide destruction, He was also telling the world there would be exactly 7,000 years (one day is as 1,000 years) to escape the wrath of God that would come when He destroys the world on Judgment Day. Because the Holy Infinite God is all-knowing, He knows the end from the beginning. He knew how sinful the world would become.
There is no rhythm or reason to such hermeneutical hopscotch. Answers in Genesis puts the date of Noah’s Flood at 2304 B.C. How is Camping so certain on this date? Even if Camping had the flood date correct there is no justification for connecting it 2 Peter 3:8.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:17, the apostle Paul wrote one of the greatest statements on the coming of Christ. In his statement, Paul sets no dates. Paul set no dates because he did not know when Christ would return. Theologians refer to the doctrine of the imminent return of Christ i.e., the coming of Christ can occur any moment. There are no signs to be fulfilled. Paul thought the Lord could return in his life: “Then we (Paul included himself in this group anticipating the coming of Christ) who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). In 1 Thessalonians 5, Paul did say that Christ would come “as a thief in the night.” Again, no dates. No May 21st at 6:00 p.m.
We are to love His appearing as Paul testified just before his death (2 Timothy 4:8). If you know Christ as your Savior you can be at peace if Jesus comes today, or tomorrow or next year. Just as God sent Christ at His first coming “in the fullness of time” (Galatians 4:4), God will send His Son the next time and no date-setter will know the day nor hour.
Tags: C. S. Lewis, Erwin Lutzer, John Piper, Titanic, World Magazine
When my Mom’s alcoholic brother died, Mom looked in the casket as he lay in state, and wondered, “Where is Paul? Is he in Heaven or Hell?” But then she pondered, “If I died, where would I go? Heaven or Hell?” God used the death of her brother to bring her to Christ.
“Every deadly calamity is a merciful call from God for the living to repent” (John Piper in World Magazine. “Mercy for the Living”).
Job continues to grapple with the Problem of Evil.
1. God’s Suffering Believer in the Hands of Satan (Chapters 1 and 2). See Part One
2. God’s Suffering Believer in the Hands of Christian Critics (Chapters 3-37). See Part Two
3. God’s Suffering Believer in the Hands of God (38-42).
A. God questions Job about the physical earth that He created (38:1-21).
Finally God speaks out of a whirlwind. You recall it was a whirlwind that killed Job’s ten children. Thankfully, everyone one ends his arguments and counter arguments after three long cycles of debates. From God’s speech we learn that God does not have a “Hands Off” policy with nature. Nature is not a loose canon out of God’s control. God sends the rain on the just and the unjust. Paul in Colossians 1:18 assures us that by Jesus Christ “all things consist” or holds together including our universe and our personal lives.
1. God shows Job that He created the earth in 38:4-7.
2. God shows Job that He created the oceans in 38:8-11.
3. God shows Job that He created the sun in 38:12-15. Job had accused God of unjustly taking his wealth, family, and health in 19:7. God says, “They were never yours in the first place.”
One of the purposes of personal suffering and natural disaster is to produce repentence. Jesus held this view of suffering. In Luke 13:4-5, Jesus interpreted this current event: “Those eighteen, upon whom the tower of siloam fell, and slew them, do you think that they were sunners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, No: but, except you repent, you shall likewise perish.”
The unsaved should repent and trust Christ as Savior because they are going to die. C. S. Lewis made it clear that “natural disasters do not increase death, all of us will die.”
“Recall that when the Titanic sank, it went uner with 1522 people knowingly going to a watery greave. Even if we attribute the sinking to a series of human errors, God most assuredly was able to keep it from sinking without any violation of the human will. This is another reminder that the God who permits such unthinkable tragedies is one to fear. After the news of teh Titanic tragedy reached the world, the challenge was how to inform the relatives whether their loved one were among the dead or the living. At the White Star office in Liverpool, England, a huge sign was set up; one side read, “Known to Be Saved,” and the other, “known to Be Lost.” Hundreds of people gathered to watch the signs. When a messenger brought new information, the question was: To which side would he go? And whose name would he write on the cardboard? Although the travelers on the Titanic were disignated either first, second, or third class, after the ship went down there only two categories: the saved and the lost” (Erwin Lutzer, Ten Lies About God, page 115).
B. God questions Job about the heavens that He controls (38:22-38).
1. God controls the snow in 38:22-24. Job could not.
2. God controls the rain in 38:25-30. Job could not.
3. God controls the constellations in 38:31-33. Job could not.
4. God controls the weather in 38:34-38. Job could not. To embitterd Job, God was saying, “If I can control the machinery of the universe who are you to question my wisdom in controlling your life?”
C. God questions Job about His animal kingdom for which He Cares (38: 39-39:30). God chooses a wide variety of animals that He cares for. God does not destory His creation as Job had accused, but rather He cares for His for it.
D. Job repented not of a sin that brought on his suffering.
But Job repented of wrongfully responding to his suffering. Job used the exact words God used in 38: 2 to confess his sin. Job repented when he had no possessions, children, health, nor friends (42:1-6). Job proved Satan wrong. Job served God for “nought” (1:9).
When I was a freshman at Piedmont Bible College Dr. Harold Sightler preached in chapel and related how he was preaching in NC. His wife in Greenville SC drove to the store with their daughter in the back seat. She pulled into the middle lane to make a left turn when a speeding drunk driver crashed into the rear of her car and killed the daughter and almost killed Mrs. Sightler. Dr. Sightler was called to return home immediately that there had been a terrible accident. That night Dr. Sightler drove home from the hospital exhausted not knowing if his wife would live or not. He sort of tossed his Bible onto the dresser and said to God, “If this is the way you take care of your servant’s family while he is preaching all over the country for You, then I am going to stay home and take care of my own family if You are not.” Dr. Sightler fell off to sleep. The next morning his door bell rang and a well dressed man was at the door. “Are you Dr. Sightler” the man asked. “I am.” “I drove all night in order to see a man the Lord could turn the Devil loose on.” Dr. Sightler went back to his bedroom and got on his knees and repented.
Let’s go from the ash heap to the cross and think about problem of evil and personal suffering.
Like Job, Christ willingly physically. Like Job, Christ suffered socially.
Unlike Job, Christ willingly suffered spiritually and eternally for our sins and my sins not His.