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Sunday, July 03, 2005

D.R. Slaps Howie Around--And He Likes It!

D. R. and I have been engaged in a useful discussion over a recent post--Why Inerrancy Is Asinine and Demonic--and I would like to share some of it with you. Here's the latest from D.R. (a pretty sharp guy even if he does watch Tavis Smiley!): Oh, wait...Make sure you read my post first so that you can understand the context of D.R.'s comment. Besides that, it's flippin' brilliant!

"In the end, my complaint with your blog is not that you have not described the disease or have not indicated what problems continuing to ignore the disease will bring about, but rather I think you have called the disease by the wrong name and have prescribed the wrong treatment. " OK. Very good point here. The disease really is Fundamentalism. It manifests itself in many forms. Good call D.R.!

"I don't think we need to lower any Scripture or teach that it has errors. We don't need to ignore the Bible passages that we find "scary", but rather we need to preach and teach the whole counsel of God. We need to see the Bible as the revelation of God of as the history of God's redemption of His people. We need to teach and train, not ignore and call things demonic. I just think taking what we like from the Bible and giving back what we don't approve of does a disservice to the God who inspired it. People are depraved, people are sinful, and a great deal of people who say they are, ARE NOT indeed Christians." In a previous post, I jokingly pointed out that I believe the Bible is authoritative except for a few OT passages that scare my kids and me. For example, I often use Deut 21:18-21 to threaten my son! :) I never suggested teaching that the Bible has errors. I also pointed out that everybody picks and chooses verses. It's not right, but our sinful nature seems to urge us to do that.

"I think much of what you have highlighted is the "worst case scenario" issues, but what about the millions upon billions of Christians who have believed, taught, and defended the whole Bible to the praise and Glory of God throughout the nations? What about men like Tyndale and the followers of Wyclif who gave their lives so that we can read all of the Bible? We should cherish all of it and seek to use it to change our world." The purpose of this blog is to point out dangerous aspects of Christianity. I don't believe I've ever said all Christians do the things I've pointed out as bad. In fact, D.R. seems to be blessed with a huge amount of patience to have spent so much time diligence with me. My guess is that you're one of the good ones. Yes, one of the millions of good ones. In fact, I admit that I probably need to change the title of that post to --Why Inerrancy Is Dangerous--but I probably wouldn't have had as many hits. Maybe that's a wrong motivation, but I really think that in many, not all, cases inerrancy is demonic. Thanks for sharpening my iron D.R.!


At 4:34 PM, Blogger D.R. said...

Let me say first of all "Thank you" for allowing me to spar with you. As I wrote in my blog, I think God uses vigorous debate to stimulate His people in sanctification and in knowledge of Him (see I also believe that God uses His people to rebuke one another. As I quoted 2 Tim 3:16 before, I also mention Galatians 2 where Paul corrects Mr. Rock himself, Peter the apostle, for his anti-Gospel antics. So I think this forum can be good. I understand your desire to spark interest using certain phraseology, for I have done it as well. And I appreciate your willingness to correct yourself. I hope I will follow your example.

Having said all that (or as in the words of the great philosopher Eddie Stewart, "I said all that to say this"), I still disagree that "Fundamentalism" itself is the disease, for their have been some great and mighty fundies who have changed this nation. Martin Luther King likely would have considered himself a Fundie theologically. So would have many of our founding fathers. Billy Graham was considered an Evangelical by fundies, but later as the term changed, he would himself be considered a fundamentalist as well. So I don't think you can generalize the problem and say it is fundamentalism itself. However, what you are lamenting is definitively a product of fundamentalism and as such there must be a proper solution in that regard. I would like to point out some things that Christian conservatives (including myself) should have done and now should do even more seriously today in order to truly live out the Bible and the teachings of Jesus. But I don't feel that I should post a 5000 word comment, so I will do so God-willing very soon on my own blog and then post the URL here.

I would generally agree with your comments in the second paragraph, most people do indeed shy from certain passages and highlight others. The Reformers knew this very well. In regard to your third paragraph comments, I would say that if indeed the purpose of the blog is to point out dangerous aspects of Christianity", then you must point out things in both conservative and liberal camps. I think you did that well when you pointed to Bruce Prescott's distastful article on the SBC and Gay-Bashing. But, you might want to point out what not taking the Bible seriously could cause. For instance, not taking the Bible seriously might cause one to actually believe Tom Cruise when he says that one can be both a Christian and a Scientologist. Just a suggestion.

In the end, I think we both want the same thing -- for God to be Glorified and as you said to "Lift up Jesus". What we need is for all Christians to take the Bible seriously and to live in a state of comprehension of their own sin and to heed the words of Jesus in Matthew 7,

"Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye."

Let us remove our logs and our specks and proclaim Christ to a lost and dying world.

Thank you again for your kind words, though I am sure I do not deserve them. I, too, have gossipped, have incited others, have shown no compassion on those who hurt, have been quick to speak and slow to listen, and have spoken condemnation when I should have spoken peace. But God-willing we are being conformed to Christ. May God bless us all in our pursuit of His truth and our living out of it.


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