Waltke’s Woolly Headed Thinking

The following quote is written by a Biblical theologian and it shows. Honestly, I think this is not well thought out.

“Biblical theologians differ from dogmaticians in three ways. First, Biblical theologians primarily think as exegetes. not as logicians.”

(So exegesis is done non logically?)

“Secondly, they derive their organizational principles from the Biblical blocks of writings themselves rather than factors external to the text.”

(This is the old “we just let the text speak for itself saw.”)

“Third, their thinking is diachronic — that is, they track the development of theological themes in various blocks of writings. Systematic theologians think more synchronically — that is, they invest their energies on the church’s doctrines, not on the development of religious ideas within the Bible.”

(“We’re more Biblical than you are .. nah nah nah nah nah.”)

Bruce K. Waltke
An OT Theology — pg. 64

I’m not sure many Biblical theologians realize how dependent they are on systematic categories before they even come to the text.

Biblical theologians would not seem to be able to be presuppositionalists. They seem to contend that they just observe the unfolding facts of redemptive history while then allowing a philosophy of fact to emerge. However, Van til was right when he offered that there is no fact without a philosophy of fact.  We need to reiterate again that “Biblical theology” still uses presuppositions and constructs to order their study just like systematic or dogmatic theologians.

Topless Baristas & The Modern Gospel vs. Historic Christianity — A Conversation

Out on the West Coast, in Spokane, Washington topless women are serving up Coffee and breasts as the Nightline report above exposes. This reality drove a late night conversation between myself, a friend, and your garden variety Evangelical (minister?) who “leans Calvinist.” I post it here to demonstrate an apologetic encounter and to demonstrate where much of the contemporary Evangelical Church is today. Names have been changed to protect the identity of Zombies.

Dan Brannan

Being paid for sexual acts/displays is not the description of a barista. It is the description of a prostitute.

Christian Toddson

Just curious why you think (at least your comment appears as such) that serving coffee or pretty much doing anything in a bikini is prostitution? Is modeling prostitution? Is going to a pool, ocean, lake, river, etc… in a bikini, prostitution?

Dan Brannan

Yes, if a girl dresses in bikini (essentially underwear) for money, she is engaged in prostitution. A woman selling her body, and performing sexual exhibitionism is a prostitute.

On the other hand, a woman who dons a bikini (underwear) in public without pay, is not a prostitute. She’s merely a harlot.

Christian Toddson

Wow, Dan. Really? This is what you truly believe 100% dogmatically? Clearly your position is rooted in your religious faith. I’m Christian myself, though I don’t ascribe to legalism, but rather lean more heavily on grace and don’t judge by appearances I’d rather face God directly than anyone rooted in legalism on any issue. I would venture to say that at the deepest root of your aversion to bikinis and such, it has more to do with your own personal struggles rather than being substantiated in Christian doctrine.

Really? Prostitute? Wearing a bikini (or anything else, even being nude) selling coffee or anything else for that matter other than sex doesn’t define being a prostitute. Nor does it have anything to do with association to harlotry… other than perhaps within your own mental videos.

Dan Brannan

Christian, your mush-mouthed dissembling embarrasses me. You know that the whole motive of bikini baristas is sexual voyeurism and exhibitionism. And you know that by definition, paying for sex acts is prostitution.

Dan Brannan

Lying to yourself only tarnishes your witness.

Christian Toddson

Dan, though admittedly I say this somewhat with sarcasm, perhaps it would serve your legalistic leaning to relocate to an Islamic country where prescribing what females can wear is a culturally accepted practice?

The motive of having a coffee stand with bikini baristas is nothing more than a common marketing strategy. It is something entirely acceptable within our culture. Anyone who takes issue with it is expecting that all America (if not the globe) ought to conform with your perspective of Scripture. And that’s very unrealistic. It is fine for you to hold your position (though I would encourage you do some deeper study rooted in grace and choice), but to imagine that it’s acceptable to dictate what may be done by and for others based upon doctrine is highly problematic.

Perhaps you may take it upon yourself to visit these type of bikini coffee stands if you truly believe what you’ve shared here, and pass out Bible tracts and attempt to share the Gospel?

But I wouldn’t suggest you carry signs that say anything such as “God Hates Prostitutes!!”, or “Harlots Are Going To Hell!!.” You won’t make much impact other than defamation to Biblical Christianity, and give justifiable cause to most everyone who already despises institutionalized religion and it’s blind adherents.

Dan Brannan

Your doctrine, Christian, is “Do as thou wilt be the whole of the law.” That is the explicit plausibility structure  of Satanism. You cannot hold that view and be a Christian. What’s more, I think you know that.

Dan Brannan

Christian, you  wrote,

“The motive of having a coffee stand with bikini baristas is nothing more than a common marketing strategy. It is something entirely acceptable within our culture.”

^This is an admission that you simply don’t care about the reality of the matter. You want your titillation no matter what God’s word and the common definitions of words mean.

Dan Brannan

That ‘common marketing strategy’ you mention is selling sex. Which is to say, PROSTITUTION.

Christian Toddson

We live within a framework of ‘culture’ and within any such framework, the role of a Christian at best is to pray for your concerns, love others (not judge), and graciously, compassionately seek to build a bridge between the perceived “sinners” and the heart of Christ.  Your label slinging falls awfully short of those goals. You can go unto all the world sharing the good news, but when it’s done in a spirit of judgmental legalism rather than love, then your just clanging cymbals, Dan.

Dan Brannan

You’re peddling Satanism in the name of Christianity, Mr. Toddson.

You apparently don’t know the definition of legalism either. Legalism is defined as,

1) the belief that fallen men can be saved by perfectly keeping the law, or
2) that you are at liberty to add to or change the law.

By the second definition, it is you who are the legalist, not I.

Further Christian, the scripture nowhere instructs Christians not to judge. Matthew 7 instructs us to judge righteously. And St. Paul assures us that we must “judge all things” as we will even judge angels.

Christian Toddson,

Your label slinging falls awfully short of those goals. You can go unto all the world sharing the good news, but when it’s done in a spirit of judgmental legalism rather than love, then your just clanging cymbals, Dan. Sorry you see it that way, Dan. Though nothing of the sort. Your highly judgmental. Grace, Dan. Lack of Grace is what comes through loud and clear in what you’ve expressed. It would serve much of modern day Christendom well to devote itself to Grace, as Christ intended, rather than the legalism that He expended such great energy to rebuke.

Dan Brannan — You have no idea what you’re talking about.

Christian Toddson,

Dan, in my legalistic season, I utilized the very scriptures about ‘judging’ as you have demonstrated yourself here.

Dan Brannan

Stop judging me, Christian.

You say Christians aren’t to judge, so, I’m asking you to be true to that Satanic standard and desist judging me.

Christian Toddson,

Ok ok… Dan is right. Christians, Go ahead and smite the coffee stands with fire and brimstone, and stone the bikini donning, satan worshipping, “prostitute” and “harlot” baristas to death.

Dan Brannan

You can’t convince people that they need grace unless they know they are sinners. And we aren’t at liberty to revoke God’s standards.

Christian Toddson,

Teach Grace and the purpose of Grace, and your nets will catch more ‘fish’. Try it.

Dan Brannan — Grace is incommunicable without Law.  Please, give coherence a chance.

Bret L. McAtee

Christian is a legalist. He is insisting that his law that insists upon legalized voyeurism be forced upon all those who would rather not their sons and daughters be lured into this lifestyle and Christian does this all in the name of “grace.” Of course this is grace redefined as license.

Then what Christian does is to turn around and label Dan Brannan a “legalist” because Dan has a right understanding of the law that isn’t consistent with Christian’s own legalism.

Fascinating how the Libertarian are confused with Christians.

Christian Toddson,

Dan, Bret – You two ought to know that it ‘s of far greater appeal to share with “sinners” that God is for them and that He loves them, than to judge them harshly, condemn them, and tell them they are going to Hell. You will not scare any one into Heaven. Jesus didn’t approach the unknowing sinful that way, nor make appeal to you to do such a thing; so why are you?

Dan Brannan Just because your false gospel is more appealing to the world than the actual gospel, is no reason to abandon the genuine article, Christian.

Bret L. McAtee

How can I tell sinners (i.e. those in rebellion to Christ) that “God loves them,” when Scripture expressly teaches that “God hates workers of iniquity”? (Psalm 5:5)

Bret L. McAtee — And secondly, how dare you judge me Mr. Toddson. Where is the appeal in that?

Bret L. McAtee — Christian, I suggest you might read Romans 1 to see how God challenges recalcitrant sinners.

Dan Brannan

If you preach a form of grace that knows no law, you aren’t teaching grace at all, but as Bret said, you are teaching license and licentiousness.

Christian Toddson,

Dan, you said that, “Grace is incommunicable without Law.”

That’s a terribly sad way to think.

A very simple and endearing book about Grace is Chuck Smith’s 1994 book, “Why Grace Changes Everything”

You need to share an appealing message with those you feel are “sinners.” Not express condemnation. Introduce the sinner to Jesus… how about that?

Bret L. McAtee — Chuck Smith was a Heretic

Dan Brannan

When Paul asks rhetorically, “shall we sin the more that grace may abound?” he answers, “may it never be.” But you say of Paul’s argument that “that’s a terribly sad way to think.”

If you are introducing sinners to an antinomian Jesus, you are introducing them to a false Christ. Jesus kept the law perfectly and commanded men to repent.

Bret L. McAtee

And our Lord Christ said that he had not come to condemn the law but to fulfill it. Further, the Lord Christ told the Pharisees that they should have kept the slightest of the law found in tithing mint, dill, and cummin.

Dan Brannan

Right. Christ condemned the pharisees for neglecting God’s law and making up new laws in its place — just what Christian is doing.

Bret L. McAtee — Hence, proving, as I said, that Christian is the legalist here.

Christian Toddson

Do you guys wear Tefillins on your heads?

Carry a Torah attached to the end of a battle club, and mock Jesus with things like “He saved others, but He can’t save himself!” ?

Dan Brannan — No, we say that YOU should stop doing those sort of things.

Bret L. McAtee

Ephesians 4:17 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.

Christian Toddson

Bret, when the individuals you and Dan are judging are the bikini baristas, are you assuming they’re Christians or unsaved sinners?

If unsaved and ignorant of God’s grace, ‘sinners’ – are you at all concerned with making a compassionate, loving appeal t
o them as befits Christ? Or condemnation?

To the Christian we can speak in different terms than the unsaved.

You two come across as highly judgmental, un-compassionate, lacking love, very unappealing fundamentalists.

John Kevan,

Bottom line, if you think girls selling coffee in bikinis is wrong, then don’t go to that coffee stand — there are plenty of places to get coffee that don’t feature bikini clad baristas – – but there is most certainly no legitimate justification for government restrictions on such business.

Bret L. McAtee,

Mr. Toddson, the best thing I can do for the bikini baristas and all those who are in rebellion to God is to inform them that if they do not repent God may well turn them over to their rebellion. I also tell them that God has provided mercy in Christ upon repentance.

It would be sheer hatred for me to do anything else.

I find your judgmentalism against me very disconcerting. You are demonstrating a lack of love for me and are obviously unconcerned with the prospects of hurting my feelings. This makes me cry.

Bret L. McAtee

John, God’s law strikes me as a legitimate foundation for government restriction.

Libertarians … what a confused bunch.

Christian Toddson,

I see a clear, near identical likeness between the Statist and Institutionalized Christian. Statism is a religion, and Institutionalized Christianity is a law imposing, judgmental, condemnatory, punishment driven system of intimidation.

Dan Brannan … quoth Lucifer.

Bret L. McAtee

You’re the one doing all the condemning here partner.

And all States … All States codify their religion into law. Especially Libertarians.

Dan Brannan Yes, Libertarians believe in a Libertarian god, and they institute the law of Liber., and they do so rigidly.

John Kevan,

Bret, the only legitimate reason for government restriction is if I am doing something that harms another; it is legitimate for the government to restrict me from stealing from you or injuring or killing you. A girl selling coffee while wearing a bikini is harming nobody.

Dan Brannan — Wrong. Such prostitutes strike at the whole society.

Bret L. McAtee

John, the Libertarian Non Aggression Principle (NAP) is a myth.

Only God and His Law Word can provide the standard for what does and does not constitute aggression.

Dan Brannan — Amen.

Bret L. McAtee

NAP = Libertinism.

NAP = drug dealing Crack houses, whore houses, wife swapping, legalized sodomy … all because none of it is putatively “hurting anybody.”

Dan Brannan — NAP = open borders, predatory capitalism, etc., etc., etc.

The NAP is a Trojan horse which allows predatory forces to dismantle every aspect of genuine law and right from within our own gates.

Christian Toddson,

Dan, Bret – Between yourselves and me, who do you suppose could best build a bridge for the bikini baristas (if they don’t already know Him) to Jesus? You guys and your hell fire “repent or die!” approach, or my compassion driven, love based, appeal by Grace?

Of course all of it is the work of God, but what approach did you see Jesus take with the prostitute as opposed to those who were condemning her?

Dan Brannan — The trouble is, Christian, the bridge you’re trying to build leads not to Jesus, but to hell.

Bret L. McAtee

Psst … there is no building bridges to those who are dead dead dead in their sins. You act as if you’re just nice enough a dead person will respond. Dead people don’t respond Christian.

You’re a functional Arminian.

Second, when I see someone convicted of their sin, like “the prostitute” you mention it is obvious at that point that the law has already done its work and needs not to be stated again.

You have no idea what evangelism is Christian. Evangelism requires the soul shattering work of the law’s condemnation.

Christian Toddson

That’s an ignorant comment, Dan. You don’t know me. Nor have I anyplace here in our dialogue given free license to sin. I know that love is of far greater appeal than fear, and wins every time.

Dan Brannan

Jesus commanded that prostitutes and publicans must repent, Mr. Toddson. Your spewing B.S. Anti-Christ nonsense, Mr. Toddson.

Bret L. McAtee

Christian, are you actually trying to compare the repentant prostitute who wiped the feet of our Lord Christ with tears with the brazen bikini baristas in the video above? You’re not a wise man in the least.

Christian Toddson,

Dan, you noted that, “Jesus commanded that prostitutes and publicans must repent, Christian.”

I say to that Dan that, Jesus commanded that every one must repent.

Dan Brannan —  That’s the FIRST correct thing you’ve said so far, Christian.

Christian Toddson —  You guys need to abandon your love of law for the love of Christ, and for the sinner.

Bret L. McAtee,

Do you suppose that the brazen bikini baristas will agree that they must repent Christian?

I do agree that I need to repent and that my repentance even needs repenting over, inadequate as  it is.

Dan Brannan — and back you go to your anti-Christ schtick Christian

Bret L. McAtee,

You are the one who is hateful of the bikini baristas Mr. Toddson. You are a eminent hater by your theology as seen in your unwillingness to plead God’s Holiness.

Christian Toddson,

Bret – they won’t agree that they need to repent if they hear the message delivered with your tone and swagger.

Dan Brannan LOL.

Bret L. McAtee,

I can’t separate Christ from God’s law since Christ was the very incarnation of God’s law.

And I continue to see your Arminianism Christian. If I speak just the right nice way they will come to Jesus but if I tell them the truth they won’t. Is that it Christian?

Christian Toddson — Christ is the fulfillment of the law, Bret. Not you, not Dan, not me.

Bret L. McAtee,

Right Christian, and we are His champions and so we must set forth His legal character and let the law do its convicting work before we apply the balm of grace. To do what your advocating would damn the souls that, in love and compassion, we are seeking to woo.

Christian Toddson — I lean Calvinist actually, Bret.

Dan Brannan — No you don’t.

Bret L. McAtee — No you don’t. You’re a functional Arminian, and probably a Seminary grad to boot.

Christian Toddson — You are the two who speak in a manner demonstrating a works oriented salvation.

Dan Brannan — Exactly the opposite of the case.

Christian Toddson  — It’s true, Bret.  I’m dead on, Dan.

Bret L. McAtee

Nuh Uh. Neener neener neeener. I’m rubber. you’re glue. Whatever you say bounces of me and sticks on to you.

Dan Brannan

Mr. Toddson, far from the doctrines of grace, you preach licentiousness based upon Satanist nomology. Further,   you preach a works righteousness of “niceness” rather than grace.

Christian Toddson

Bret – how many churches have you left?

How many have you been asked to leave or told to leave?

Bret L. McAtee,

Zero and Zero.  How about you?

Besides being asked to leave a Church in this current zeitgeist is, more often then not, a badge of honor, Christian

Christian Toddson — Dan, I see you enjoy the pet usage of satan, and nomology. Neither of which I find value with.

Dan Brannan — And yet, you preach him.

Christian Toddson — Did Jesus condemn? If so, Who?

Bret L. McAtee — Jesus condemned people like you who were exercising their self righteousness.

Christian Toddson  — No self righteousness here guys. That would be ignorant.

Dan Brannan,

Christian, the Lord repetitiously condemned those doing as you are, Christian. Because you refuse His Lordship, and prefer to make up your own law to impose upon Him.

Christian Toddson,

Dan, He fulfilled the law for me, for you, for Bret, for all of us. It’s the two of you who are seeking to impose it.

Dan Brannan — We seek to obey Him. But you say obeying Him is the greatest crime.

Bret L. McAtee,

There is no way we can know that Christ fulfilled the law for those who refuse Christ. That is Arminian again.

Christian Toddson,

I would venture to say that Jesus is more concerned with how the two of you are behaving in His name than with the bikini baristas.

Bret L. McAtee — Of course you would say that. So say all Luciferians.

Dan Brannan — Because you hate His law and reject His Lordship.

Christian Toddson — That is a terribly condemnatory thing to say Bret.

Bret L. McAtee — Just how I would expect a Luciferian to respond.

Christian Toddson

No Dan, I abhor Pharisaical self righteousness and law imposing condemnation as Jesus Himself did.

Christian Toddson — That’s quite childish, Bret.

Bret L. McAtee,

And yet here you are condemning us with every post because we are not keeping your law. Talk about childish.

Christian Toddson —   Think of it more like a rebuke.

Bret L. McAtee — Psst …. its not working.

Christian Toddson — It will.

Bret L. McAtee — says you.

Dan Brannan — You’re rebuking Christ’s Lordship, Mr. Toddson. Anathema.

Christian Toddson —  Geez guys. do you two have any idea, even the least bit, how unappealing you make Christ and His message? What a repellent that you are?

There is no (expressed) love at all in you two and that concerns me both for the salvation of yourselves, and the damage you no doubt cause to the appeal of God for the unbelieving who already have plenty of reasons to despise institutionalized religion.

Dan Brannan,

^And thus they called for Him to be crucified. Jesus was not murdered for being a winsome lounge lizard.

Bret L. McAtee,

Christian, first off, I suspect your definition of love is not my definition of love. If Christ is the incarnation of God’s law then God’s law is also Love.

Second, you appeal to the idea of a Gospel that is appealing to sinners. Would you mind too terribly explaining by what standard you adjudicate a proper appeal?

Third, you’re actually surprised that people who hate Christ find plenty of reasons to despise the institutional religions that bears Christ’s name to the world?

Fourth, it is you who are doing the damage by condemning the use of God’s law that is intended to expose sin.

Bret L. McAtee — Christian, I have to ask. Are you a minister?

Bret L. McAtee

Christian, Is there a reason that Scriptures say that the Message is a stone that makes men stumble and a rock that makes men fall?

For Christian is seems the message is a bikini that makes men horny and a coffee that tastes good.

Dan Brannan — And God’s ethics are such a bummer, man.

Christian Toddson

Sure Bret, because the Jews couldn’t accept justification by faith, but believed it necessary for laboring at the works of the law. Jesus was/is their stumbling block.

A bit like you two… No?

Christian Toddson,  Dan – Your equating doing of the law, with ethics, or Godly principals?

Bret L. McAtee So you’re actually telling me that “justification by faith alone” obviates the causal connection with good works in relation to sanctification?

Antinomianism anyone?

Christ has set me free from the condemnation of the Law. I am not free to be disobedient Mr. Toddson.

Christian … are you a minister?

Dan Brannan

Jesus called the Pharisees to repent of their law and return to God’s Law … which presupposed from the beginning the atoning work of Christ and establishes the ethics of His universe.

Christian Toddson

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God”

Dan Brannan — Now just let that sink in, Christian.

Bret L. McAtee — Christian, are you a minister?

Christian Toddson — It’s sunken deep, Dan.

Dan Brannan — A sinister minister.

Bret L. McAtee — Shall we go on sinning that grace may abound Christian?  God forbid.

Bret L. McAtee

14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and hath not works? Can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you say unto them, “Depart in peace; be ye warmed and filled,” without giving them those things which are needful to the body, what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, “Thou hast faith, and I have works.” Show me thy faith apart from thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well. The devils also believe — and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Christian Toddson  — Of course, Bret.

Bret L. McAtee — 11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, 13 looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ,14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

Christian Toddson,

As regards the bikini baristas (back on point), What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church (if in fact they are)?

Bret L. McAtee  –Christian, are you a minister?

Christian Toddson — Bret, Aren’t we all?

Bret L. McAtee — No, we are not.

Christian Toddson — 1 Cor. 3

Bret L. McAtee — James 3:1

Bret L. McAtee,

Why did Paul judge the Athenians at Mars Hill since they were outside the Church? (Acts 17)

Dan Brannan,

Why does the 10 commandment insist that the covenant people impose God’s law on the stranger within thy gates?

How does the assumption that those outside the church need the gospel not amount to a judgment upon them?

Christian Toddson,

Bret, Why did Paul write the letters/epistles to the Corinthians? 1 Cor. 5:12?

Dan Brannan — To assume unbelievers need saving is to judge them.
Unlike · 2 · 8 hrs

Christian Toddson,

No Dan, we know that everyone needs saving. And that “there is none righteous, no, not one”, is a universal indictment.

Dan Brannan — Then you admit to judging unbelievers.

Christian Toddson,

No Dan. I mostly rest in not judging so that I won’t be judged, as per Matt. 7 Judging is not fun, nor is being judged. We humans are very very poor at it.

Dan Brannan — That’s a lie. You just issued judgement over unbelievers. That they are sinners and need salvation.

Bret L. McAtee — Yet here you are judging us all over the place Christian. Contradictions anyone?

Bret L. McAtee,

Christian,

Paul judged the unbelievers at Athens.

I Cor. 5 is in the context of Church discipline. The Church can’t bring discipline against those who have not closed with Christ. However, the Church must have the law do its work with those who are in rebellion against Christ.

Christian Toddson,  Bret – Paul made a bad decision in Athens and because of it, saw little success there.

Bret L. McAtee — LOL ^

Bret L. McAtee — ROFLOL ^

Dan Brannan — WTH?

Bret L. McAtee — ROFLMAO

Dan Brannan  — Now you’re judging Paul!

Bret L. McAtee — I’m sitting here falling off my chair cracking up

Dan Brannan — Same here.

Christian Toddson,

Paul gave it up as a bad job with regard to his approach with the Athenians. How is it you don’t know that?

Bret L. McAtee — I guessed I missed that day when they taught that in Sunday School.

Christian Toddson — You must have…. or else went to a poorly teaching church.

Dan Brannan — That must be in the Devil’s Bible I’ve heard so much about.

Bret L. McAtee,

So … Christian … do tell please. What other parts of the Bible are considered failures where not expressly pointed out in the text.

Bret L. McAtee,

Christian,

Seriously. Out of a compassion for you I plead with you to trust Christ and repent of your making a false Christ in your image to worship.

Dan Brannan.

Just to make sure I’m following … are you really judging Paul because he judged the athenians as a proof that we shouldn’t judge?

Bret L. McAtee — LOL ^

Christian Toddson,

Paul avoided mention of the cross in Athens, and the result was a meager harvest. After continuing on to Corinth is when he emphasized that he “resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”

Have you never read that, or was it never taught to you?

It’s not a secret that many have considered Paul to have been disappointed with his message in Athens.

After all, how many were saved in Athens?

Dan Brannan — So, your are judging Paul for judging the Athenians. How is this level of hypocrisy possible?

Bret L. McAtee,

Paul preaching at Athens Christian,

Acts 17:30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to to all by raising him from the dead.”

Now, how could have Christ had been resurrected if Christ had not been dead and buried?

Sounds like the Cross is clearly implied in Athens Christian.

Christian Toddson,

 Dan, Paul omitted mention of the cross to the Athenians and one woman was saved as a result of his message to the crowd. Then he placed heavy emphasis on the cross in Corinth and many were saved. Paul didn’t use the philosophical approach again after Athens.
Bret L. McAtee,

Are you ever going to quit digging that hole your standing in and let us help you out Christian?

All of this “failure of Paul in Athens” is clear only to you Christian. No orthodox Christian would ever say what your saying about Acts 17. In point of fact, two of the greatest Christian minds of the 20th century (Van Til and Bahnsen) both insisted that Acts 17 was a template for doing Evangelism and Apologetics.

http://www.providenceopc.org/article5.htm  — Van Til’s treatment of Acts 17
http://www.anthonyflood.com/bahnsensocratesorchrist05.htm — Partial look at Bahnsen’s work on Acts 17

Christian Toddson,

Folks – Paul left Athens disappointed, that is clear enough. His message to them wasn’t a “success” in terms of his listeners coming to salvation. He lost their ear, he left. He never taught in such a manner again.

Bret L. McAtee Folks,

Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit as He was, did not fail in Athens. The idea that you can measure the success of the message by counting the converts is heretical nonsense and the fact that Christian holds this demonstrates, perhaps better then anything else he has said, that his Gospel is pure existential pragmatism and not the Gospel belonging to Christianity.

Dan Brannan,

Yes. The notion that the divinely-enabled preaching of Paul could be condemned by Christians because it doesn’t fit the “church growth model” of emergent churchianity is a level of pharisaism unknown to me till tonight.

Further, I find the idea that Paul could be judged by modern apostates as a pretext to create a new law against judging people according to law absolutely hysterical.

To judge those who judge (even those divinely guided) according to a law which forbids law. New Age churchianity is like a giant web of zen koans — all self-contradictory.

Vineyard Ann Arbor Pastor Offers Third Way … The Offer Examined

The chap who wrote this is from Ann Arbor Michigan and Pastors a Vineyard (Pentecostal on steroids) church. I’m told that is an influential church and he is a influential man. Would that God would deliver us from influential Churches and Pastors. Be that as it may be, I thought it would be important to expose the severe failures in his reasoning.

The original piece can be found here,

What C.S. Lewis’ Marriage Can Tell Us About the Gay Marriage Controversy

A priest going against the grain

C.S. Lewis, author of the Chronicles of Narnia and the greatest apologist for the Christian faith in the 20th century, fell in love with a divorced woman, Joy Davidman. Her husband was an alcoholic (and not a Christian) and their marriage fell apart. Lewis had never been married. His beloved Church of England, hewing to the biblical teaching that marriage is between one man and one woman for life, refused to sanction this union on the grounds that in marrying Joy, Lewis would be marrying another man’s wife, making them both adulterers.

Deconstructing Ken Wilson (hereafter “DKW”)

1.) C. S. Lewis was not, by any consideration, the greatest apologist for the Christian faith in the 20th century. Indeed it is doubtful that he makes the top 10. I will concede that he was perhaps the most widely known Christian apologist in the 20th century.

2.) Let’s concede, for the sake of argument, that the Church got the marriage and divorce matter wrong. Clearly, according to the record Davidman’s husband (Wm. Lindsey Gresham) was an adulterer and a philanderer. If that is true, then clearly the Scriptures do allow for divorce despite what the Anglican Church pronounced. However, all because the Church has not been correct on some matters doesn’t mean that it is wrong on all matters. Just because the Church may have been wrong about the proper context for re-marriage doesn’t mean that it is wrong about forbidding sodomite marriage.

But there was one priest who was willing to go against the grain, Father Peter Bide. Lewis turned to Bide, a former pupil who had become an Anglican priest, after the bishop of Oxford refused to marry Lewis and Davidman. Bide knew that Lewis was asking for something that wasn’t consistent with the teaching of the Church of England. But this naïve priest prayed about it. That’s right. He asked Jesus what he should do. What a concept! As if Jesus were alive and might talk back! And he felt led by the Spirit to perform the wedding.

DKW

1.) Typical Vineyard hyper Pentecostalism with its notorious “word from the Lord” theology. Bide knew in his soul that he could do the marriage despite what the Church said. Too bad Bide didn’t just look in Scripture to find out that Jesus Himself said that divorce was an option in the case of porneia, of which Joy Davidmen’s husband was guilty. Vineyard “Pastor” Ken Wilson would have us believe that the Jesus who talks back in prayer is more to be consulted than the Jesus who speaks in Scripture.

2.) Why does Wilson seem to suppose that Pastors don’t pray about difficult matters? And honestly why should Pastors pray for wisdom about difficult matters when the Scripture speaks directly to the issue at hand. I don’t need to ask for additional wisdom from God when He has already given me the Wisdom I’m asking about in Scripture.

During the ceremony, which took place in the hospital room where the bride was battling cancer, he placed his hands on her and prayed for her healing. She went into an unexpected remission almost immediately and Lewis and Davidman had a blessed reprieve in which to enjoy their union. They had what so many of us long for, including people who are gay, lesbian, and transgender: someone to pair bond with, someone to cuddle with at night, someone committed to care for the other should the other — as so many of us eventually do — get sick and die.

Most evangelical churches have remarried leaders. No one speaks of loving these remarried people but hating their sin.

That was then, over 50 years ago. This is now. The most theologically conservative expressions of Christian faith in the 21st century — Roman Catholicism and evangelicalism — wouldn’t blink at the thought of blessing the union of C.S. Lewis and Joy Davidman. The Catholic Church would do so by annulling Davidman’s first marriage. Most evangelical churches would ask her a few questions (if that) and determine that God was surely blessing this new marriage.

DKW

1.) But God has called such “bonding,” “cuddling,” and “caring,” “sin” when it is done in the context of sodomy.In Romans 1, I Corinthians 6, Galatians 5, Jude 1 and others.

2.) Ken Wilson seems to take the position that human desire for reverted companionship trumps what Scripture has to say regarding the companionship He delights in.

3.) Evangelical Churches who have re-married leaders whose divorce was not Biblical and who have not repented because of their unbiblical divorce should continue to plead with those married leaders to repent. Wilson seems to take the position that two wrongs make a right. Since the Church has been wrong on re-married leaders, therefore they can be wrong also in approving sodomite Marriage.

4.) Is there no place in Wilson’s theology for hating sin?

5.) If, as the record states, that Davidman’s husband was unfaithful to his wife then Davidman had grounds for Biblical divorce. However, there are no Biblical grounds for sodomite marriage.

A third way for evangelicals on same-sex marriage

I studied the scriptures on divorce and remarriage extensively as a younger pastor. I studied the early church fathers and the Protestant Reformers. Their grounds for allowing remarriage were extremely strict, based on a plain reading of scripture. This older consensus held sway in the church — Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox — until it was flooded with remarried couples after World War II.

Today, most evangelical churches have remarried lay leaders and board members. Some have remarried pastors. No one speaks of loving these remarried people but hating their sin. Instead, they are fully accepted into the life of the church. A veritable cottage industry of evangelical books exists to help the conscientious Bible reader make sense of the biblical prohibitions in light of their historical context and apply their teaching in light of the experience of the remarried people we know, love, and often, are.

As I reflected on this issue, the thought hit me like a punch in the gut: if we gave the same considerate reading to the handful of texts condemning same-sex sexual practices that we give to passages on divorce (what did they mean in their historical context and how should we apply them today?), we would likely come up with a very different approach to gay, lesbian, and transgender people. We might even find a way to fully include them in the life of the church as we have done for so many remarried people.

DKW

1.) Wilson seems to suggest that the standard by which the Church really adjudicates right and wrong is by popular opinion. Many people were being remarried so the Church allowed re-marriage. Many people are sodomites so the Church should re-think sodomy. Now, it may be accurate that the Church determines right and wrong by polling but that doesn’t mean that such a technique is honoring to Christ.

2.) I’m sure we could read the texts in such a way so as to allow the LGBT crowd into the Church. I’m also sure we could read the Scriptures in such a way as to allow the Necrophiliacs, Bestiality crowd, and the Pedophilia crowd into the Church. We could read the Scriptures in such a way to prove that Jesus was a sodomite. We could read the Scriptures in such a way so as to prove that God hates heterosexuality. But really, Pastor Ken Wilson, what does that prove?

3.) If forced to choose between going back to a unduly harsh policy on remarriage or a unduly cultural Marxist reading of Scripture regarding sodomites, I much prefer to going back to over-protecting Heterosexual marriage.

“And I wondered: are we reluctant to consider this possibility because it’s virtually impossible to finance an evangelical congregation without remarried people, while it’s easy enough to do so without gay, lesbian, and transgender people simply because there are fewer of them?

Then, the knock-out blow occurred to me: how would that square with the good shepherd who leaves the 99 sheep to go after the one which has wandered from (or been driven out by) the rest of the flock?

With much trepidation and a sometimes paralyzing dose of fear, I opened myself to the possibility that my received tradition on this subject might be wrong. So I have proposed what I am calling a “third way” between the longstanding and polarized binary — either “love the sinner, hate the sin” or “open and affirming.”

DKW,

1.) So, is the point here of Pastor Ken Wilson that if we can finance a congregation via sodomite members that we should go ahead and do so? Is that Wilson’s standard of determining right and wrong?

2.) The good shepherd leaves the 99 to go gather the one who is part of the flock and has wandered away. Where is there any evidence that unrepentant Queer people are part of the flock? Wilson keeps setting up these emotional laden argument and never pauses to tell us how the Scripture is wrong when it explicitly teaches that sodomy is contrary to Nature.

I Cor. 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? [m]Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor wantons, nor buggerers, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified, in the [n]Name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Note that St. Paul says that formerly some of them were buggerers (1599 Geneva Bible) but now they no longer are and because they no longer are they are now part of the Church because they’ve been “washed,” “sanctified,” and “justified.”

Wilson, is merely another Pastor who in his moral cowardice is surrendering to the Zeitgeist.

“Why Christians can agree to disagree on gay marriage

Some have objected that this “third way” is just “open and affirming” in disguise. But I maintain that this “third way” — I call it “welcome and wanted” — is not equivalent to “open and affirming” for two important reasons.

First, it grounds the full acceptance of gay, lesbian, and transgender people in a much-ignored portion of scripture: Romans 14-15, in which Paul introduces a category he calls “disputable matters.” The upshot is this: the church in Rome was splitting over disputes about first order moral issues — like whether or not eating meat sacrificed to idols constituted idolatry (one could make the case!), or whether ignoring the command to rest on the seventh day was a sin against one of the Ten Commandments, even a sin against nature, since God himself rested on the seventh day in the Genesis creation account.

If how the biblical prohibitions of same-sex sexual practices apply to modern same-sex couples is an example of a “disputable matter,” then it follows that the church can “agree to disagree” on this question, while practicing full acceptance of gay, lesbian, and transgender people, not to mention full acceptance of those who disagree with whether such people sin by having sex with their covenanted partners.

DKW

1.) It would be fine that sodomy would be considered adiaphora (indifferent things) if the Scripture didn’t insist that it was not a matter of indifference.

24 [ao]Wherefore [ap]also God [aq]gave them up to their hearts lusts, unto uncleanness, to defile their own bodies between themselves: 25 Which turned the truth of God unto a lie, and worshipped and served the creature, forsaking the Creator which is blessed forever, Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up to vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. 27 And likewise also the men left the natural use of the woman, and burned in their lust one toward another, and man with man wrought filthiness, and received in themselves such [ar]recompense of their error, as was meet.

God does call sodomy a matter of indifference Rev. Ken Wilson or does he call it a matter of vile affections?

2.) Covenanted partners by whose standard? If God defines marriage as between a man and a woman how can it be suggested that it is possible to covenant with someone, in the context of marriage, who is of the same gender?

3.) The Church can not agree to disagree. Look what Jude says on this matter,

7 As Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them, which in like manner as they did, [l]committed fornication, and followed [m]strange flesh, are set forth for an example, and suffer the vengeance of eternal fire.

But let me guess Ken … you’re going to read this through some new lenses and discover that it does not say what it really says.

The biblical “ideal,” if there is such a thing, is not marriage, but celibacy.

DKW,

Ken arrives at this via a misreading of the text. Nowhere does the Scripture teach that the Biblical ideal in every context is celibacy.

I realize that in the current climate of intense controversy over this issue, that would be hard to pull off in many local churches, but that, too, seems to be Paul’s point: Jesus is more powerful than other lords (like Caesar) precisely because he is risen from the dead, and can empower those who follow him to do improbable things — like remain in a unity of the Spirit despite sharp disagreement over important questions. In fact, this demonstrates his resurrection power: he can do what mere religion can’t — keep people together who watch different cable news-entertainment networks.

DKW

1.) Note Wilson tries to reduce this issue down to the equivalency over people fighting over which cable News entertainment networks they should watch.

2.) Jesus does not look for Unity when the integral aspects of the Scriptures are being conveniently ignored. Ken Wilson would have the resurrected Jesus using His resurrection power to keep people together who highhandedly disobey God with people who think High-handed sin is dreadful and blasphemous.

Second, the “third way” questions why people who accept the gospel of Jesus Christ think they have any business assuming that our acceptance of one another “in Christ” is contingent on granting each other our moral approval. The “affirming” in “open and affirming” implies that the congregation so tagged offers its moral approval to gay couples. But what does that have to do with the gospel? Isn’t the whole point of the gospel that God accepts us thanks to the faithfulness of Jesus and not because he approves of all our moral choices? And that we are to do likewise with each other? Where does this insistence that our unity depends on granting each other moral approval come from?

In any event, the biblical “ideal,” if there is such a thing, is not marriage, but celibacy, according to the teachings of Jesus and Paul. Marriage, according to both, is a concession to human weakness. “If you can’t remain celibate, it’s better to marry than to burn,” said Paul. Hardly a ringing endorsement of marriage. This business of granting marriage some privileged moral status is far from the New Testament ideal.

DKW,

1.) Wilson’s first paragraph turns the Holy Love of God for His people into the love of a whore for her rotating Johns.

2.) By Wilson’s standards the Gospel wouldn’t be questioned if people fornicated during Sunday Worship service. After all, Isn’t the whole point of the gospel that God accepts us thanks to the faithfulness of Jesus and not because he approves of all our moral choices? And that we are to do likewise with each other? Where does this insistence that our unity depends on granting each other moral approval come from?

3.) According to Wilson a common faith has nothing to do with a shared orthopraxy. Can you say “anti-nomian.”

4.) When Paul says it is better to marry than burn he is speaking of a specific situation. He is not speaking of a Universal given. There was a situation in Corinth whereby Paul taught that given the circumstances in Corinth at the time it was better to be single though better to marry than burn.

5.) Wilson seems to be teaching that since heterosexual Marriage is not the ideal therefore sodomite marriage — also not being the ideal — is acceptable. That’s like saying that since losing two legs in an accident is not ideal therefore losing one leg is acceptable. Again, Wilson’s interpretation of the celibacy passages is not accurate.

Call me naïve, but I think there’s a third way for evangelicals in the gay marriage debate, and it’s a way that honors the Bible and the power of the gospel better than “love the sinner, hate the sin” or “open and affirming.” Whether or not it works is another matter. But I think it’s time to give it a try, especially if it could bear witness to a risen Lord better than the current rehashed moralism that we’re calling the gospel.

If you are an evangelical pastor who has felt the same troubled conscience that I have over your exclusion of gay, lesbian, and transgender people, you might try what the pastor who married C.S. Lewis and Joy Davidman did: ask Jesus what you should do and do that, come what may.

1.) Wilson disapproves of “rehashed moralism” and offers his own new hashed moralism as a substitute.

2.) “Come follow Jesus and be a better witness as you countenance what God clearly says is vile.” Sounds like a good marketing meme for a new Vineyard Church.

3.) Wilson ends with his hyper Pentecostal nonsense in tact. Just get Jesus to talk to you audibly and go with that. You can’t lose.

Biblical Theology Snippets

Genesis 3:15

When Israel was in Egypt the crowns of the Pharaohs had a serpent prominently displayed. So, as the representative of the seed of the serpent he battled with Israel, the seed of the woman. Via the individual seed of the woman (Moses) God crushes the head of the Egyptian serpent and drowns the seed of the Serpent in the Red Sea, just as the seed of the serpent intended to drown the seed of the women in the Nile when he gave instructions to the Hebrew Midwives. This drowning of the seed of the serpent is a recapitulation of God previously drowning the seed of the serpent in the flood.

Once delivered from Egypt Israel complained against God about many things including the lack of water, and so God provides water for them at Massah and Meribah (Ex. 17:1-7). God tells Moses,

“Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock,and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” (vs. 6).

The Psalmist, later singing this event (Ps. 78:15-20), may be inspired to understand that the struck Rock was God Himself.

“They remembered that God was their Rock (78:35).

Paul may well see the Lord Christ as a Christophanic Rock that was struck so that all might drink,

“And did all drink the same spiritual drink for they drank of the spiritual Rock that followed them: and the Rock was Christ.”

It is not a stretch to find a picture here of God standing before the rock, Moses striking the Rock, and God / Christ being identified with the Rock out of whom / which flowed streams of living water so that God’s people might drink and live. God is struck, at His own instruction, by the rod so that His people might live.

Such a understanding provides light for later passages in the Gospels where the Lord Christ calls people to Himself in order that He might provide waters of living water wherein they will be satisfied (John 4:10-14, 7:37-39).

Finally, when being struck the Lord Christ’s side flows with blood unto His enemies and water unto His people. The water and blood throughout the Scripture being both judgment and life to both the righteous and the wicked.

Genesis should be read as a record of the ongoing battle of the two seeds.

In the covenantal structure that Genesis gives its readers, people are either the seed of the serpent, on the side of the Covenant head snake in the garden, or seed of the woman, on the side of the Covenant keeping God and trusting in His promises.

In this structure one finds the Snake’s people opposing God’s people,

Cain vs. Abel
Ishmael vs. Isaac
Esau vs. Jacob
Son’s of Israel vs. Joseph

In this structure one finds also a battle being done between collective entities. The covenant people of the Serpent vs. the covenant people of God.

Pharaoh and Egypt vs. Abraham and Sarah
Kings of the World (Sodom) vs. Abraham & his household, Lot, Melchizedek
Abimelech & Philistines vs. Abraham & his people
Abimelech & Philistines vs. Isaac & his people
The men of Schechem vs. Simeon, Levi, & Israel (Dinah)
Sons of Israel vs. Joseph

Goodwin & McAtee — Adam & Christ … Fall & Redemption

“Adam’s fall, you know, was in the garden; Satan there encountered him, and overcame him, led him and all mankind into captivity to sin and death. God now singleth out the place where the great redeemer of the world, the second Adam, should first encounter with His Father’s wrath, to be in a garden, and that there he should be be bound and led away captive as Adam was… Because by a temptation let in at the ear man was condemned, therefore by hearing of the word men shall be saved. “Thou shalt eat thy bread in the sweat of thy brows” that was part of Adam’s curse; Christ he sweat drops of blood for this, it was the force of that curse that caused it. ‘The ground shall bring forth thorns to thee;’ Christ he was crucified with a crown of thorns. Adam his disobedience was acted in a garden; and Christ both his active and passive obedience also, much of it was garden; and at the last, as the first beginning of his humiliation was in a garden, so the last step was too; he was buried, though not in this, yet in another garden. Thus the type and the thing typified answer one another.”

Thomas Goodwin
Christ Set Forth (Works vol. 5, pg. 198

The cheap knock off version.

There in the Temple Garden, filled with the Presence of God, Adam fell to Satan’s fiat law word, and so brought upon all of his generations a captivity to sin and to death. In a recapitulation of the that first Temptation in the Garden — a garden that was characterized by the Father’s presence — the Lord Christ is tempted in a waste land Wilderness. But whereas the first Adam fell despite being supported by the Sanctuary Garden, the second Adam resisted the devil, despite a barren wilderness that announced God’s absence. The Greater Adam quoted God’s fiat word against the fiat word of the devil as he counterfeited God’s voice and so resisted the Devil. Also, it is of interest to note that as Adam fell to the Serpent’s wrath in the Garden so the Son first encountered the Father’s Wrath there in the Olive Press garden of Gethsemane. In each case both Adam’s are bound and led away as outlaws to the Father’s favor.

We find other parallels between the Fall and the Restoration. As Adam fell by the temptation of the false Word so man is restored by the hearing of the true Word. Whereas in the Sanctuary Garden Adam was cursed with the promise that “Thou shalt eat thy bread in the sweat of thy brow,” now in the Garden of Gethsemane, Christ, who is the bread from Heaven, bears Adam’s sweaty curse by sweating drops of blood. Note also that the consequential curse for Adam was the certain promise that ‘The ground shall bring forth thorns to thee’ while Christ bears on his brow a Crown of Thorns thus providing a poignant reminder that Christ is bearing Adam’s thorny curse come to full growth.

As Adam’s death barred him from the Tree of life because of his sin, so the tribe of Christ is restored by eating Christ whose tree of death has become to us a tree of life.

The Garden theme comes to play again as Christ’s humiliation reaches its apex as He is buried in the garden tomb. This humiliation apex though is answered by the beginning exaltation of the Lord Christ where He is vindicated there in the Garden by resurrection.