Nisbet and McAtee on the Professional Man of Knowledge

“Who, we are obliged to ask, looks with respect any longer to the professional man of knowledge: whether scientist or scholar?”

Robert Nisbet 
Twilight of Authority — pg. 110

Nisbet goes on to explain why this is so. This is so because the putative “wise men” for so many generations have disappointed and let us down. People have gotten wise to the con that the professional men of knowledge pulled for so long. For a couple generations, now these men have been all hat and no cattle.

In my environs, I see this most commonly among the clergy. The clergy was once accepted as the professional men of knowledge par excellent. This is rightfully no longer the case among and for those who are not simpletons or groupies.

The clergy has shown themselves too often to be vacuous hacks whose expertise is more akin to the kind of expertise one finds in those who have made a career of building McDonald and other fast food franchises.

Clergy as “Professional men of knowledge?” That is almost as incongruent and ridiculous as the idea of Psychologists as being “Healthcare providers for the mind,” or “Friends of the Court” as being “Friends of the family.”

And so, we must each, on our own, go to the well of knowledge, and labor to be our own “Professional men of knowledge,” because it is unlikely (though not impossible) that we are going to find Professional men of knowledge in this culture. We must become a culture of autodidacts, eschewing the popular outlets of knowledge such as University, and Pulpit.

Now, don’t mistake this commentary as the kind of anti-intellectualism found among what was known as the Fundamentalist movement that arose in response to the Liberalism of the early 20th century. If anything this is a plea for a return to a Biblically centered and grounded intellectualism. Everywhere we turn it seems as if Nisbet’s professional man of knowledge has been educated into imbecility. We are asked to believe the most outlandish contradictions and to embrace the most preposterous suppositions. In the Reformed Church alone we are presented with just ridiculous systems to believe in such as the New Perspective on Paul, Radical Two Kingdom “Theology,” “Reformed Catholicism,” “Federal Visionism,” and “Liberation ‘Theology,'” not to mention the usual Pietism that has infected the Reformed Church for so long.

The Professional man of knowledge, may well still exist, just as the Bornean orangutan or the Black-footed ferret exists but all and each is nigh unto extinction.  If you find a live professional man of knowledge still in his original habitat make sure you do all you can to protect him from predators. If you can’t find one, it is to the library you must go for only there does the professional man of knowledge still exist.

Reformed vs. Lutheran Preaching … A Brief Synopsis


Lutheran preaching uses the Law and Gospel hermeneutic. It will often begin with what God requires and man can not give (Law) and will finish with what God alone gives (Gospel). Like Lutheran theology, Lutheran preaching terminates on man.

Reformed preaching often likewise followed the Law and Gospel hermeneutic. Reformed preaching will also emphasize how the law leaves us guilty before God, with the same ringing announcement that God must do all.

The difference between Lutheran and Reformed preaching is that Lutherans saw Justification (the Gospel glad tidings in preaching) as being an end in itself. Once the announcement was made to man that God has done all that is the end. Not so the Reformed. The Reformed agreed with Lutherans on the wonder of Justification (the Gospel glad tidings in preaching) BUT the Reformed insisted that Justification was not an end but a means to a higher end — a higher end that could not be spoken of apart from the good news. The higher end of Justification was the answering of the question, “How shall we now live, as a Justified people, in order to glorify God.”

In brief the Reformed didn’t absolutize the antithesis between Law and Gospel. The Reformed in their preaching, following Scripture, saw the hermeneutical antithesis as between the seed of the Woman and the seed of the Serpent. The law does not function solely as negative in the lives of those who belong to Christ. The Reformed saw a harmony between the Gospel and the third use of the law with which Lutherans are not typically comfortable.

And so Reformed preaching goes on from Lutheran truncated Law Gospel to explain what it looks like now, in keeping with the third use of the law,  for a purified people who have been Redeemed by Christ from every lawless deed to now live as a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds (Titus 2:14)

Lutheran ears hear Reformed preaching and think that it fails their Law Gospel hermeneutic, and so is legalistic, but the point of the matter is, is that Lutherans have made the Gospel end upon man’s salvation (and so really is anthropocentric) while Reformed preaching understands that man’s salvation serves God’s glorification and so Reformed preaching, while announcing the same glad tidings as Lutheran preaching goes on to instruct God’s people that salvation means that we make it our goal to please Him and then spends time how it is that people who God is pleased with, for the sake of Christ’s atoning work, can live as children who please their Father in all their living. Thus Reformed preaching is Christocentric.

Subtle differences. Important differences.

Now, Reformed preaching can break down and where I have heard Reformed preaching break down is in the respect that it is often Law/Gospel/ and then the Law again as a means to earn God’s favor. It ends up sounding something like, “Yeah. Isn’t the good news good. OK. That’s enough of a break from the burden of the law. Now get back under there and start doing some “sanctified” law keeping.” To avoid falling back under the works of the law, we need to keep in mind the Heidelberg Catechism which teaches us that good works are,

Only those which are done
out of true faith,
in accordance with the law of God,
and to his glory,
and not those based
on our own opinion
or on precepts of men

We also need to keep in mind that we, as God’s Redeemed, never obey in order to attain an uncertain forgiveness, but we obey out of love and gratitude for a certain forgiveness granted. We do not obey to gain life.  We obey out of life already obtained. As such, our third use of the law, law respecting, is not a threat to justification by faith alone.

Next, we need to remember that the Holy Spirit has been given as a deposit guaranteeing that which is to come. Because we have been given the Holy Spirit we are a people thirsty to work out what God has worked within us. We are not a people who are obeying by lifting ourselves by our own bootstraps, seeking to curry an uncertain favor. Rather we are a people who are only living in ways that we are bent toward due to our possession of the Holy Spirit.

Finally, we need to keep before us that even when God is pleased to increase in His people sanctification that we still are only received by Him for the sake of the finished work of Jesus Christ. We remain unprofitable servants who have, even when we have done what we think is our “best,” only done what we ought (Luke 17:10). There is nothing in us or our performance that wins our salvation. Our salvation is anchored only in the performance of the Lord Christ on our behalf. This is a comfort to us when we begin to see that even our best of works are far from what they are called to be.

Requiescat in pace Miss Ethel Smith

Almost 27 years ago, I was called to my first charge as Minister to a Church in Longtown, South Carolina. Longtown was and remains a sign on Longtown road, announcing “Longtown,” Longtown Presbyterian Church, a small restaurant (the Windmill), a gas station-mom & pop convenience store, and a children’s park. That is the town of Longtown. It was and is so small that they don’t even give it a zip code, instead sharing a zip code with the metropolis of Ridgeway (population — 500) up the road. I served as the Pastor of the small rural Longtown Presbyterian church for 76 months.

The membership of the church was small and so there was little problem in getting to know those I would be serving. One of the fixtures of the congregation was Mrs. Ethel Smith. Miss Ethel, as my children came to affectionately know her, was a grandmotherly type for not only our children but for Jane and I as well.

Miss Ethel was 63 when we showed up in Longtown and had seen a good deal of life already. She grew up a Boulware in South Carolina during times that were so lean that “hardscrabble” hardly seems to do those times justice.  The hardness of those times and the simplicity of living they required was testified to by Miss Ethel’s residence. Ethel had the gift of hospitality and many were the times we would visit together in what most moderns would consider “a hovel” but what she found to be home and I found to be a glorious museum of a time I had only read about. In our visits, there by the old stove, she would bring out her knick knacks that reflected a different era and tell me a little of the history behind each knick knack. There in our times of mutual encouragement — times where I’m sure I learned more from her concerning the Christian faith than she learned from “Pastor Bret,” — she would show me her artistic endeavors with her ceramic doll making and adorning. Miss Ethel had artistic blood in her as seen by those ceramic dolls, sewing projects, crocheting ability and by the hand puppets she made upon my request to be used for children’s church — hand puppets that I still own today. Her concern was so great for us that after we left Longtown she crocheted several afghans to make sure the cold northern climate wouldn’t overwhelm us.

Miss Ethel, of course, had all the domestic skills and abilities that one would expect to find in a lady from the Southern yeoman class. She could cook “Southern” with the best of them and was one of the folks of Longtown who introduced Jane and I and the children to scrambled eggs, tomatoes and grits,  as prepared for our Sunday Morning Breakfasts, which took place once a month in the fellowship hall prior to church. Those domestic skills including canning. Jane tells the story of how Ethel and her sister Allie May would come over and help Jane can tomatoes from a garden that violated the Southern principle that “a man shall not plant more than a woman  is able to can.” Ethel, along with her sister Allie May would periodically babysit for Jane and I as we would get away for a “date night.” She loved our children and our children loved her.

The hardscrabble times that Miss. Ethel grew up in wrought in her a wonderful Christian character marked by charity and humility. Her charity and humility were seen in a host of way but not least in her “doing” for her family. One of Ethel’s daughters (Francis) lived right across the street and as Francis was a teacher up the road Ethel would help keep house for Francis and John David. Ethel’s disabled brother M. L. lived in a trailer on Ethel’s property and Ethel was constant in looking in on  and doing for M. L. him. Ethel’s sister “Allie May,” were constant companions and her affection for Francis, Lois, Susie, Ginger, Summer, and April and all her family was constant.

Miss Ethel, had not only a joyful disposition, she had the ability to be painfully direct in her speech when needs be. In conversing about matters important one was not required to have to read between the lines when speaking with Miss Ethel. She had no trouble making her mind known when that was required. This “plain speaking” was not overbearing but was characteristic when the nub of the matter needed addressed.

Miss Ethel delighted in attending Church and Bible study during our years in Longtown. Being the only one who could drive, she would often gather up Miss Allie May and Miss Nellie and Miss Rachel Gove from up the road and bring them to mid-week study.  She had the ability to make a very young minister believe that he really was dispensing pearls of wisdom. I can still  hear Buster pounding out “Beulah Land” on the piano in the Fellowship Hall and Miss Ethel singing at full voice. I can’t wait to hear that again.

I often describe the Longtown years to others as years of living in a land time forgot. The people of Longtown were comparatively untouched by what afflicts us as moderns. It remained a place where one could still hear a real southern accent, could experience genuine southern hospitality, could still attend a Southern turkey shoot or a pig roast or a community pig butchering. You could still meet people that actually still ate Possum and who would take you on a all night coon hunt. My elderly friends and flock from that time are almost all gone now. Gone are Miss Ethel, Miss Allie May, Miss Nellie, Miss Mary, Miss Janie May, Miss Betty, Miss Louise, Miss Rachel and  Ted & Janet Goodwin and Ralph and Jean Evans and Hoy and Dot Bundrick. Gone is Mister Buster and Mister Fisher. They taught me about the ministry and about life. They were the ones who first put flesh on the idea of the importance of kin with their forever talking about “their people” and asking me about “my people” — phrases I had never heard before that time. They taught me the helpful but then curious phrase of “I’ve been knowing him” instead of “I know him.” A phrase I’ve used many times as a sermon illustration for “knowing God.” Gone is the gloriously high pitched laughter of Miss Ethel and the sound elderly counsel of Buster and Hoy. Gone is the table fellowship with the McFaddens and Miss Mary and the Bundricks and Miss Louise. Each of them and all of them will ever remain my small rural “Jayber Crow” congregation.

And so with Miss Ethel’s death the circle is once again broken but we are reminded of a day coming when we will all join at the table of the great King where the circle will then be unbroken in that eternal land that time will have mercifully eternally forgotten.

From the Mailbag — Charlotte Pastor’s Chit Chat


To be honest with you there is no good fruit to come from the argument that will ensue if we continue this conversation. I used to enjoy apologetics in my early years in ministry. I have lost my taste for that and this invitation to pray was not intended to spark debate nor win in any argument anyway. I want to see the Kingdom of God come in our city. I will not convince you to ENCOUNTER Jesus in any way that you are not already expecting. And you will not convince me that what I EXPERIENCE is not valid. GREATER THEOLOGY IS NOT WHAT THE CHURCH NEEDS, what we need is Greater revelation of who Jesus is.


Rev. Sandy Andrews
Full Life Church
Charlotte Mich.

Dear Sandy,


1.) You want a “greater revelation of Jesus” but expect to have that greater revelation apart from a greater understanding of our undoubted catholic Christian faith and the doctrines and theology that convey that greater revelation? That is passing odd and demonstrates a false dichotomy on your part. There will be no greater revelation of Jesus apart from a greater theology.

2.) I appealed to Scripture. You appealed to experience and encounter. You do realize that your appeal is classical liberal theology right? Have you ever read or are your familiar with  Schleiermacher? I ask because you are channeling him right now Sandy.

3.) Honestly, I think I’m the only one with the different theology here. Inasmuch as y’all are coming together you express that you have a unity in theology.

4.) With all due regard, given your language, I will be praying that your vision and understanding of the Kingdom of God will be kept at bay.

A man with an argument is never at the mercy of a man with an experience.

I promise to pray for your repentance while I am praying for my repentance and while you are praying for “revival.”

How can two walk or pray together Sandy, unless they agree?

May the Lord Christ grant us grace to be His genuine under-shepherds,


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,


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,


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.  — Van Til’s treatment of Acts 17 — 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.