Sola Scriptura – Is it Scriptural?

The doctrine of Sola Scriptura was a foundational principle of the Reformation and is a view held very strongly by most Protestants and especially evangelicals.  Put simply the doctrine states that the Bible is the only inerrant authority for Christian faith and that it contains all knowledge necessary for salvation.  Evangelicals generally go further and state that scripture is clear to the rational reader, self-authenticating, “scripture interprets scripture” and that no doctrine is to be admitted that cannot be found in scripture.

This principle is ingrained in Evangelical thought, including Pentecostal theology.  It can be seen in the arguments on sites like this one, the constant question is “Is it Scriptural”.  If the idea, practice, doctrine etc. cannot be lined up with scripture then it is seen to be worthless, or indeed of the devil.  In general this is a very helpful way of critiquing many Christian doctrines and practices.

But are there problems with the doctrine of Sola Scriptura?   What is the authority for the doctrine of Sola Scriptura itself?  It does not appear to me to be stated clearly anywhere in the Bible.  2 Timothy says that all scripture is God-breathed and useful for correction and teaching but there is no statement excluding other authorities.   If Sola Scriptura is not in itself scriptural does it not contain a contradiction as it states that we should not follow any doctrine that is not in the Bible?

Another major problem is in defining the books that make up Scripture.  The Bible we have now is a collection of books that have been accepted through the ages by Christian communities as being inspired by God and that comprise the canon of scripture.  We must accept this only by the authority of Christian tradition, there is no book in the Bible which says “These are the books which make up scripture … Genesis, … etc. etc”.  Even if there was, there would have to be some authority for this table of contents, presumably another book which authenticated it as scripture, and so on ad infinitum.

The Protestant reformation has made us all individuals when it comes to our faith.  We are to discern the voice of God through the scriptures, ourselves, and we are not to be swayed by the weight of institutions and traditions.   But does this exclude the fact that we come to faith within communities and we need the faith and authority of others in community if we are to grow?


114 thoughts on “Sola Scriptura – Is it Scriptural?

  1. In the words of reformer Martin Luther, the doctrine of sola Scriptura means that “what is asserted without the Scriptures or proven revelation may be held as an opinion, but need not be believed.”

  2. So according to the doctrine of sola scriptura I need not believe sola scriptura and it is not a doctrine.

    Fair enough. 🙂

    Actually I am wrong. “Proven revelation” is included. That kind of unravels the whole concept don’t you think? 😦

  3. Wikipedia quote

    As Martin Luther said, “The true rule is this: God’s Word shall establish articles of faith, and no one else, not even an angel can do so.”

    I assume that by “articles of faith” Luther means (to us) doctrine.

    If Luther is referring to the literal word of God then this statement is self-evident because “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ”.

    If Luther is referring to scripture as Wikipedia suggests then this statement is clearly irrational since every scripture came through revelation to a man and the cannon of scripture was compiled by men (or worse – by committee).

    Or perhaps Luther is saying that divine revelation ceased with Jesus. That is a pretty big call.

  4. Reading the Wiki thing I am reminded why the Reformation took place – sacred tradition and the Episcopacy effectively became as the layers of the law the scribes and Pharisees heaped on the Jews – additional, unnecessary man made burdens.

    Strip it all back and what are we left with?

    God’s written Word – the Bible if you like.

    I’ve said this before on this blog but a wise man once said to me Scripture is 10% prescriptive and 90% descriptive – meaning there are a lot of things in there where it is simply not open to us to say – as frequently happens – look this verse says that, and it means this, and there is no deviation from this point….

    The quote from that august piece of distilled wisdom the Westminster Confession of Faith indicates supports this idea that we can’t understand it all or read it all the same way, at the same time as saying you can still work out the basics from Scripture.

    So what does this mean? Watch out for the window dressing and the added extras, because they are not essential.

    Paul says this in another way when talking about tongues – great in the right place, useless in the wrong place.

    Scripture doesn’t tell us everything – just what we need to know about God, which His Creation affirms anyway.

    I totally accept the principle of sola scriptura – as I’ve said before I believe in a God for whom it is not problem to maintain the integrity of what he wants us to know throughout the ages using a stand alone – and I use this word intentionally – empirical device – that is a book of writings.

    But I am not interested in commandeering it to build my little empire which now happens all the time, and was the reason Luther came up with sola scriptura in the first place – he wanted to lose all the crap, get rid of the white noise, and create an environs where we are better able to hear the voice of God speak through His word.

    Does it contain everything we need to live in this world? No – it does not deal with quantum mechanics.

    But it tells me what I need to know about God in this world and beyond.

  5. That’s a very interesting post, Wazza. Good questions.

    I suppose the issues you raise are why some branches of Christianity also refer to the faith of the early fathers, such as the Catholic church and the Orthodox churches. (They call them fathers, but we are to call no man father… hmmm..)

    People do feel that we ought not to simply abandon the thinking handed down to us via tradition. Of course, sometimes we end up with the traditions, and many people have no idea about the original thinking behind them.

    Each Protestant denomination, despite having their own layers of hierarchy and authority, has rejected at some point some other form of hierarchy and authority in order to exist. This is similar for the proliferation of Pente churches that grew up in the last century or so. Interesting.

    I accept the Bible as is, because its all we have, and I trust God to reveal to me the parts that are relevant and applicable to my life at any point in time. But I don’t believe its completely easy to understand; saying its obvious to the reader isn’t always true. I agree that its helpful to use scripture to interpret scripture, but our worldview also affects our understanding, and we can’t see where our worldview is wrong or needs to change, or it wouldn’t be our worldview. I trust that God over time changes our worldview, to accord better with His, if we are willing, and so hopefully over time, our understanding is corrected or grows deeper.

  6. I certainly would refer to Sola Scriptura so that for example the Rick Joyners of this world, should not be granted any authority to add to scripture.

    A great teacher may help us increase our understanding. However, leaning on anything else apart from scripture itself illuminated by the Holy Spirit, can lead to anywhere at all.

  7. Wikipedia quote

    Lutherans believe that the holy Bible of the Old and New Testaments is the only divinely inspired book and the only source of divinely revealed knowledge.

    The only source of divinely revealed knowledge? From a Father who reveals himself to our hearts? Clearly flawed logic.

  8. Yet another quote

    By contrast, the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox Churches teach that the Scriptures are not the only infallible source of Christian doctrine. For them Scripture is but one of three equal authorities; the other two being Sacred Tradition and the episcopacy. [a form of church governance which is hierarchical in structure with the chief authority over a local Christian church resting in a bishop]

    Well sola scriptura is better than this.

  9. I wasn’t saved through reading the Bible, and I didn’t understand much of it for a few years after that. God still revealed Himself to me almost daily. However in hindsight, He didn’t reveal anything that contradicted Scripture.

    Part of my journey to Christ was through reading various books. Were these books divinely inspired or simply divinely used? Is the Bible a book which is full of wisdoms and truth just divinely used, or does the fact that we can’t find anything wrong with it mean that it is perfect and divinely inspired?

  10. All of creation shouts out God’s divinely revealed knowledge, but I think scripture provides keys for unlocking and better understanding that knowledge.

  11. that’s right, everyone’s journey is a bit different, it’s personal, but yes experience (of the divine) and examining scripture is a good balance

  12. mn: “I totally accept the principle of sola scriptura … But I am not interested in commandeering it to build my little empire which now happens all the time, and was the reason Luther came up with sola scriptura in the first place”

    I was coming to the same conclusions about sola scriptura. It is a political statement more about what is not authoritative (sacred tradition and episcopacy) and in this respect I have to agree with it.

    As a theological law as per the Lutheran quote above it is totally dodgy. Yes scripture is authoritative but it is not the only form of revelation.

    1. Romans says revelation about Father is expressed in the creation.

    2. Father speaks to us directly in and through things bringing us revelation of himself in our relationship with him.

    3. Scripture itself is a record of revelation to specific people but is not revelation to us until Holy Spirit makes it so. If this were not so we would understand everything the first time we read it but we do not. Holy spirit reveals things to us through scripture over time so the actual revelation (revealing) to us personally is from Holy Spirit using scripture as RP alluded to above.

  13. I was listening to a teaching mp3 a while back and the preacher asked who in the room had been saved without the intervention of another person. Almost half the people put their hands up. So as you guys are saying divine revelation can come directly and apparently often does.

  14. Is this what sola scriptura is really about? Or are we talking about different things?

    In any case I don’t regard Wiki as the source of all knowledge.

    To be honest Heretic I am not really sure what you are saying – I think you are making it much harder than it needs to be.

    I think things are being mixed up unnecessarily here.

    Yes God clearly speaks to us and reveals things to us through the Holy Spirit – directly and indirectly – people, creation etc, AND the book.

    Yes faith comes through hearing the Word of Christ – both literal and through inspired word put together by the committee as the Holy Spirit brings it to bear on each of us.

    Scripture in the end becomes the ruler, the measuring stick against which we stack other things up against or check them out.

    I’ve got to say this concern over Scripture being tainted and not reliable because men wrote it by committee through the centuries is one colossal red herring and incredibly demeaning and unbelieving of an Almighty, All powerful, Omniscient, self existent God living outside our time/space continuum.

    Either God is behind it….or He is not.

    If not, toss it, and then where are we?

    If yes, what is its function and purpose?

    Back to the Westminster Confession of faith.

    Back to it being the single major revelation available to all people that tells us who God is, what He is like, what He wants for us, and to keep us all honest.

    Let’s face it. The reason a lot of you guys have walked out of your local mega-church was because of the failure of its leaders to match up the independent cross reference of the Bible.

    And ultimately you decisions in terms of your own experience, the leading of the Spirit, and your own experience to walk….

    Where would we be if Scripture siad – take every revelation your leader has as Gospel – pardon the pun.

    One of the reasons don’t like Scripture is precisely because of its independence and stand alone character, and because the underlying purpose and character of God shines through the committee and the centuries.

    Honestly why would we bother otherwise?

  15. I would agree with your last post Heretic, but I think what Luther did goes beyond mere politics.

    Hundreds of thousands of people died because of this.

  16. “…If not, toss it, and then where are we?…”

    Indeed. One personal consistency for me over my Christian life has been to turn back to scripture, rather than just listen to the various leaders justifications for throwing bits out. I always felt that if we threw away select bits, then there was little logical point to using the rest of the book. The Anglican church I used to be in tossed certain bits out, so after leaving them (for different reasons), I didn’t go back to that denomination; they had their reasons, which I disagreed with. My ex-church didn’t toss bits out, but used scripture in strange ways – in my opinion.

    So yes, I think you are right, MN. I have left churches, or failed to return to them, because of that failure in the leadership. But usually only when it was in my view a pretty important misuse or omission, because none of us have a perfect understanding including myself.

    All the more important that we stay genuinely humble. I like leaders who have that quality; it makes disagreement on various issues possible without the necessity for moving churches.

  17. “Where would we be if Scripture siad – take every revelation your leader has as Gospel – pardon the pun.”

    Yet there are churches who expect us to do this, or to come very close to doing so. Quite a few in fact. Particularly some of the ‘apostolic’ ones.

  18. mn we may well be talking at cross purposes. Whether I agree with a proposition or not depends on its definition and I used the wikipedia ones as I don’t have any others.

    About making things complicated I must not have been clear. Maybe this is clearer. Apparently (based on the quote) to Lutherans sola scriptura means there is no other source of divine revelation but the bible – if this is the definition of sola scriptura then it is wrong as there there are other sources of divine inspiration.

    But then we may be talking at cross purposes.

  19. “Where would we be if Scripture siad – take every revelation your leader has as Gospel – pardon the pun.”

    At CCC.

  20. Of course our leader said that he was anointed for leadership by the laying on of hands and as a result what he said was true and we must submit to it. This message was repeated to us by at least one high profile visiting pastor and seems to be the official line.

  21. mn: “The reason a lot of you guys have walked out of your local mega-church was because of the failure of its leaders to match up the independent cross reference of the Bible.”

    Not sure what you mean mn but this does not ring any bells for me.

    I left my “church” because I came to see that the churches are just clubs that have taken the name “church” and used it for their own benefit. There is nothing wrong with clubbing together to pool resources but there is nothing spiritual about such organisations either. The “covering” they provide is extra-biblical – sola scriptura would preclude it.

    It is the people that are the church not the organisations – as I am sure we all agree. The organisations contain no reality or purpose other than as a place for the church to meet and one can meet without such organisations.

    There is nothing wrong with attending one and there is nothing wrong with meeting in different ways.

  22. I however left the same church because I thought the pastor was distorting scripture too too much. It rang bells for me!

  23. mn “Back to it being the single major revelation available to all people that tells us who God is, what He is like, what He wants for us, and to keep us all honest.”

    The bible is certainly the main written revelation. It is a starting point. And it is a reference that we can kind of check our understanding against. Certainly if obviously obviously contradicts our point of view we are probably wrong.

    But it does not contain all of Father. You cannot read the bible and know Father. By reading scripture you can only know about him. To actually know Father he has to reveal himself to you. You have to have a relationship with him.

    A book is no substitute no matter how well you know it. “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God” John 17:3. So it is not “scripture only” or it would have read “This is eternal life, that they may know about You, the only true God” and I worry somewhat that this misreading is the modern implication of sola scriptura.

    Is the bible God-breathed? Yes. Is it the only revelation. No.

  24. RP wants me to say that I judge pretty much most things against scripture – which I do. When I say there is other revelation I mean what other people have said here – that people get revelation from Father and when they write it in books that is revelation too – which we judge against scripture.

  25. “RP wants me to say”….chuckle, chuckle

    Agree a book, any book is an inanimate object, and pretty much agree with wit your second last post.

    Concerning use of the word revelation – I think it is overused and misused – used to legitimise a whole bunch of stuff.

    When is having an honest discussion, working through issues, studying things for the very human purpose of understanding things….revelation?

  26. Wazza2

    We are to discern the voice of God through the scriptures, ourselves, and we are not to be swayed by the weight of institutions and traditions. But does this exclude the fact that we come to faith within communities and we need the faith and authority of others in community if we are to grow?

    Is it biblical that we need the faith and authority of others to grow? I am not (yet) saying it is not but I am not sure that it is and I suspect it is not.

  27. I think scripture is a “baseline” of what we should do ie: Love Thy Neighbour can mean different things to different people, depending on upbringing/temperament. Luckily with Jesus as an example we can try and align with His teachings. I have many Christian friends, some find it a struggle to love thy neighbour, some find it easy. I think God realises we all have different personalities, that’s why there’s the analogy of “the body”

  28. Wazza: “Is it biblical that we need the faith and authority of others to grow? I am not (yet) saying it is not but I am not sure that it is and I suspect it is not.”

    Probably the subject for another thread, but…

    My answer would be no – we have are responsible for ourselves towards God – we make our own choices and decisions and are held accountable for them, but the God’s intention for us is do so within a community.

    Think Father, Son and Holy Spirit – each have distinct role within the Godhead and the Divine community of three – and there is to my mind an authority structure which Jesus lived in faith to.

    We – at least I can’t anyway – think of God with one of these missing – it would no longer be the Christianity that I know, and believe the Bible teaches us about.

    Even if a person makes a decision in this life to be a hermit I would think this still applies.

    Individual is responsible for self and others – others are responsible differently for others and individuals.

    This is the pattern designed for us – I just struggle and fail to live it, that’s all.

  29. I believe our authority is God, but we are accountable to others ie: family, close friends then community. If you are close to people and have close relationships it makes you accountable and more transparent and if your a boss or a leader well, that’s a whole nother ballgame. Personally I couldn’t work for someone that was not ethical

  30. Heretic :

    Is it biblical that we need the faith and authority of others to grow?

    I am still working this out, but I think so. Dosent it say in Ephesians 4 :


    11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

    In 1 Thessalonians 5 :

    “11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

    It dosent say that these things are needed, they might just be a nice-to-have. But I dont think thats the case because they are mentioned so often.

    On the other hand is it scriptural that we are individually responsible for our own salvation?

    The bible says that teachers and pastors may be judged more severely because of the extra responsibility they have.

    The head of the family was assumed to have spiritual responsibility for the whole family. If he turned to Christ then the whole family was baptised. When Jesus visited Zacchaeus he said “Salvation has come to this house”, not to this man.

    Most of the letters in the New Testament are to Christian communities not individuals. So I dont think there is much of an emphasis on individual salvation.

    Did anyone really come to faith in Jesus without any contact with the church? I mean, did they just walk into a bookshop with no pre-conceptions, no history, and read the book from cover to cover and have faith in Jesus? I think most people had some contact with a Christian person or persons, saw something different in them and wanted to find out what it was.

  31. Alot of people, I believe, have contact without church. Not me but others through friends/work collegues/neighbours. If the church isn’t churning out alot of mature Christians, church is not the place, not a church that is grounded in untruths.

    I really think its mainly on your upbringing. At my former “megachurch” I knew a guy who had a family life devoid of Jesus, and love as well, which was sad, and they have taken ages to be converted (actually they’re still not quite converted)

    As a parent I believe its up to me to teach/show how one is to live, this is hard as they saw all aspects of you, my children are now grown, they’re not perfect, but people seem to like them, respect them, but we are not “showy Christians” not sprouting christainese, just being real, honest and when possible kind and compassionate, whats jewells lyrics “only kindness matters”

  32. I guess we all have our stories and views.

    I think God intends us to live in community, with Scripture as our number one set set of guidelines and information about who God is etc

    But we each to come to Christ differently.

    And the Holy Spirit will doubtless teach us and call to us in different ways, using whatever means He thinks fit.

    I think mostly we would be able to get some idea of whether that is God or not from Scripture, but sometimes if a person gets called out there’s not time or place to check the references.

    At that point it is what it is.

    I think that what God does with each one of us often goes back years though.

  33. I think that scripture is fairly clear that we are meant to be part of a community; I don’t think it prescribes what form the community has to take – people have become religious about most forms over time, but the form is variable. I do think there can be wilderness times, when we may lack a community, and God is with us in those times although we might not even feel that He is, however, He will provide a community for us again at some time, as that is part of His plan for us.

    Just as He provides all our other needs, so will he provide our community needs. Sometimes people lose their communities for a variety of reasons; in that situation, I don’t think it is God’s purpose for many of us to remain isolated. I think this is fairly clear from scripture.

    However – community ought not to replace our individual relationship with God, either, which can also happen, especially if meetings and other commitments take up almost all of our time.

  34. mn: “I think God intends us to live in community, with Scripture as our number one set set of guidelines and information about who God is etc”

    I am more convinced all the time that community is the pattern. I think of community as a result of what Father is doing in us, an outflowing rather than as a law of some kind.

    I think the scriptures are the community’s lingua franca (since we going latin on this post (I think “lingua franca” is latin)). A community needs a common language and the scriptures provide it if we don’t misappropriate them. By using the scriptures for our conceptual framework we can hopefully end up with the mindset that we to to repent (change one’s mind) to get.

    Wazza: “I am still working this out, but I think so. Doesn’t it say in Ephesians 4 …”

    I am still working this one out too. I understand that these people are gifts to us. That Father will bring us to the people we will need at the right time.

    Are they authorities over us – do we need authority over us to grow? I think these people are servants (the greatest are anyway). I think this talks about the mutual submission of the body. I think we emulate their faith.

    Even so it is important that we are Father’s workmanship. We have to be a little bit careful, I think, not to be someone else’s, or perhaps our own. To emulate the right people. Emulating Steve Munsey? Not such a great idea.

    I myself have been someone else’s workmanship and it was not pretty. They pushed me into Kenith Hagin’s stuff. They meant well but the results were not good. As mj points out the community can help – but the community are not necessarily in a position to help in the right way.

  35. RP: “However – community ought not to replace our individual relationship with God, either, which can also happen, especially if meetings and other commitments take up almost all of our time.”

    Yup.

  36. Heretic : “Are they authorities over us – do we need authority over us to grow?”

    Authority was probably the wrong word. Authority properly belongs to Christ, as he is the author of our faith. I meant it in the sense that some people may speak authoritatively about certain topics. It should always be questioned though.

  37. right then … just catching up with this thread … then half-way through I had the urge to respond … sorry for the impatience.

    The Bible:
    Is it inspired by the Holy Spirit? Yes
    Is it the only revelation of God we have access to? No
    Is it the yard-stick by which we measure all other divine revelation? YES!!!

    Quite simply, Luther tried to reform the catholic church by measuring the principles and practice of the roman church against scripture. He didn’t carry it on to it’s logical conclusion but he got rid of a lot of stuff.

    There is another reference to scripture in the new testament. Going from memory, Peter tells us that scripture is God breathed and Paul’s letters too.

    So Peter sent a letter affirming the letters of Paul. I think that’s terrific, especially after their very public argument.

    The only question mark therefore is around which letters were from Paul, which letters were from the other apostles and brothers of Jesus. We also don’t know who wrote Hebrews. Revelation is a very different form of writing and it is quite interesting that it was allowed into the canon of scripture at all.

    The letters of the early church fathers are also very interesting, we get to see what the early church thinking was before all the traditions muddied the waters.

    Also, you won’t find prosperity theology in there.

    Sola Scriptura is more than a safety valve. It is the reason people leave extreme churches. Once people get into the Bible, they don’t need their leaders anymore. They have the Bible and and such a wonderful understanding of our Father, that they just get to enjoy a Relationship with Almighty God.

    But just yesterday, I heard a sermon in my church that just left me feeling very angry and upset.

    The preacher has bought into the lie that the Devil knows doctrine and the Bible better than we do … so we should just go after spiritual gifts instead.

    (he may not have been saying that … but I did feel that I was being got at … I have been in his home group!)

    He seemed to be saying that we can’t do “it” without the Holy Spirit and it doesn’t matter what Bible knowledge you have.

    Well, when Jesus was tempted by Satan, as you know, Jesus simply blasted Satan to smithereens by concentrated blasts of Holy Spirit power … like He-Man.

    no … he quoted scripture right back at him.

    My church, at the moment, is a bit schizophrenic. The leaders want to be contemplative (they really like Rob Bell), while at the same time be charismatic (they were really into Lakeland … then when Todd got caught with his todger out it was as if it never happened), while at the same time not be too wacky and way out … we want the uni students to come and keep the old people coming to a church that used to be a bit reformed …

    Well, I felt like resigning my membership yesterday. That feeling hasn’t gone away.

    When the man in the pulpit quotes Timothy and says that we can go to whichever church that tells us what we want to hear … you know, the “itching ears” quote. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

    In the end … I suppose I will find out why God has just put me through such a spiritually traumatic day … eventually.

    I am just wondering how I am going to lead Home Group on Wednesday.

    In comparison to CCC, who do like scripture (even if wrongly interpreted at times … and with some dodgy ideas thrown in like prosperity theology and replacement theology) my church seems to have publicly thrown scripture out the door, in terms of its esteem.

    I can’t go along with that.

    My old home church seems to be a door that is now closed.

    Now what.

    Shalom.

    PS: I am too depressed for coffee. I’ll try a cup of tea.

  38. Good post Bull

    Sorry about your predicament.

    That sort of thing can really get to you.

    May the Holy Spirit lead you into that place that you and your family need to be and give you peace to that end.

    I heard a sermon yesterday that posited that Abram’s father may have got the original call to go to Israel but didn’t finish it, so Abram then got, and may have hung around for a while in Haran before getting with the program.

    Sounds very possible given human nature.

    The point being sometimes the Spirit’s leading can take a while to actually take.

    Cheers

  39. Thanks MN,

    Abram was 80 when he set out. True, his father may have had the call … but it doesn’t say that in the text.

    The promises were all to Abraham. Abraham became the father of great nations. We have been grafted in to the Jewish olive tree so Abraham is our father now too.

    A harmless addition to the scriptural account which can add a dimension to reality perhaps. However, adding things which aren’t there is not a good precedent.

    The other thing to note, of course, is that it’s 400 year old memory written down by Moses. It is very interesting that Abraham is portrayed “warts’n’all”. There is no obvious embellishment. He wins a battle. He is a successful sheep/cattle farmer. His one asset is that deep down, he trusted God totally.

    He lies through his teeth in Egypt for example. His nephew goes to live in the “immoral city” while he continues in the highlands.

    He relents when Sarah suggests he father a child with the maid.

    But it is the sacrifice of Isaac that is most revealing. He clearly loved his son more than his own life. So that is what God required of him. He was prepared to lose the one thing that was most dear to him … because God wanted to know if Abraham was the one who would father the chosen people.

    God doesn’t ask anything of us that He isn’t prepared to lose himself.

    That’s comforting … and challenging. Am I prepared to lose something in order to save it?

    I’ve had this going round my mind for the last few days. This might mean something to those who read it …

    “Many are Called … but few are Chosen” and the context is the Vision I had a couple months ago.

    Typically, I am washing dishes or some other task that allows my mind to float free when God speaks or plants a vision … and I remembered the vision of people winking in and out of existence in the worship time in C3.

    Ok, what does that mean?

    Shalom

  40. mind floating free … sounds very contemplative doesn’t it?

    However, unlike the McLarens and Bells of Evangelicaland, I do hold to the Authority of Scripture. That is my plumbline, and if I get anything which contradicts scripture then I can dismiss it quickly. If I get something supported by scripture I can go with it quickly. The rest … I look for confirmation from other physical voices … 😉

    Oh, and I have had a cup of tea and then a nice coffee too.

    Shalom

  41. Bull, there was a saying around a long time ago, to have “a cuppa tea, a bex and a good lie down” – sound good?

  42. mn: “I heard a sermon yesterday that posited that Abram’s father may have got the original call to go to Israel but didn’t finish it, so Abram then got, and may have hung around for a while in Haran before getting with the program.”

    This was the impression I got from the text. As Bull points out it is not written in the text but there is a hint.

    mn: “Sounds very possible given human nature.”

    Or perhaps the weakness of the flesh? If Abraham was 80 how old was his old man??

  43. Bull – ironically, you’ve reminded me of Chris Pringle, whom I remember a long time ago telling us how she used to pray while she was washing up the dishes. 🙂

    I think you made some good points about Sola Scriptura.

    I can relate at least a degree to how you are feeling about your church – I know the feeling of coming home and thinking of resigning your membership. We did that for a long time before we actually did resign. It’s not an easy decision to make, and not one to be made in the heat of the moment – obviously you aren’t doing that.

    Twice when I have left churches, its taken a while. The most recent, you know about. The time prior to that, when I changed churches, was after having a ‘niggling feeling’, and after a couple of months, I wondered if God was trying to tell me something. (In fact, the specific church I was to try attending – which I did, and never went back to my old church.) In the case of starting at PP’s church, I was going nowhere, prayed about it, and actually asked God for someone to invite me down to C3. Within a week, someone called me and invited me.

    So I do believe that God has places for us at particular times (including my current rather free situation), and He will certainly show us where those places are. Sometimes we take a while to catch on. I felt strongly before I left my last church, that initially, we weren’t to move on, despite our misgivings. We stayed until we did know it was the right time to go – in that time, we developed some new relationships which have been very valuable moving forwards.

    So if you feel you are to stay, even if its just for a time, no doubt God is using the situation for good in some fashion, even for your own good – not necessarily just for the good of those around you.

    I do hope you get some clarity on that vision. 🙂

    I’m off to bed now.

  44. Yes but his old man may have settled in Haran well earlier than that and just got comfortable instead of finishing the trek to Israel.

    And just think what an exercise in faith that this eventually was without any ‘sola scriptura’ to support him, in the middle of moon worshipping city, talking to the missus who must have been 75…..

    “You know luv, God told me that I am going the father of a nation and you will be it mother”.

    If the story is true, no wonder he took a while to work up to it.

    Anyway speculation.

    As far as we know the point is he did do it (Sarai/Sarah).

    And I guess the point is generally is that often it takes time to figure out OK is God speaking here, and then the second crunch part of “what am I gonna do about?”

    What was the word you were using?

    Revelation?

  45. RP: “So I do believe that God has places for us at particular times (including my current rather free situation)”

    Whoo hoo! Quite honestly I feel great being out of it. It has been more than a year and it just gets better all the time. (Hope no one minds my saying so).

  46. Bull: “The preacher has bought into the lie that the Devil knows doctrine and the Bible better than we do”

    Strong word there “lie”. You sound like you are pretty sure that this idea is wrong. Is the refutation in scripture somewhere?

    I would have thought that a being who has tens of thousands of years to study something is likely to know more about that thing than a being that has just their free time from a few decades no matter how diligent they are (a being with children even less time).

  47. Hmm …

    It should have been written this way …

    The preacher has bought into the lie that the Devil knows doctrine and the Bible better than we do so don’t bother relying on that … just have the Holy Spirit.

    Well … Spirit without Bible leads to … unrepentant serial adulterer Todd Bentley.

    Bible without Spirit leads to empty churches.

    Bible and Spirit together leads to maturity.

    I know the people involved … have known them for 20 years nearly. I would have trusted these chaps implicitly for most of that time, but now … I just think they have been naive while listening to wrong teaching.

    Way too much dodgy stuff on HellTV basically. (for the uninitiated … that’s God TV.)

    Oh and the whole church had to go through the Porpoise Driven Church about a year or so before we went back to Swansea.

    Greg didn’t answer my question from a week ago 😉 why did he want to know if I was in Swansea?

    I am totally fed up with the whole church thing at the moment. It seems completely pointless. I just have to remember what God said to Elijah “I have kept for myself 7000 who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”

    At least I have completely lost my rose tinted spectacles now.

    Shalom

  48. Bull: “The preacher has bought into the lie that the Devil knows doctrine and the Bible better than we do … so we should just go after spiritual gifts instead.”

    I thought what Bull was saying wasn’t so much about what the devil does or doesn’t but abandoning Scripture in favour of spiritual gifts.

    In line with Bull’s affirmation about Scripture being his plumbline, I would agree such a thesis is both nuts and dangerous.

  49. The pastor’s thesis that is.

    Bull, I know you’re pretty down on the UK at moment but what are your options locally?

  50. You’ll be in prayers Bull! You took the words right out of my mouth in this discussion on ‘Sola Scriptura’. Great post. You write better than me.

    I hope God comforts you in the time.

    And now that you have had an official bad church experience, you can really become an author here if you want!

    Now I feel like a cuppa!

    S&P

  51. well … most of the local churches have really tried to abandon doctrinal differences … I guess to usher in the promised “glorious end-times revival” ™ so that we can all be happy.

    Every week … someone in the pulpit is talking about having been to a leadership conference … presumably where all the dodgy theology is coming from.

    A snide comment here: I have to work for a living … I guess us common folks can’t afford to go to all these “leadership” conferences. Only the paid church staff can attend these shin-digs.

    Snide comment over.

    Options are limited, but I do have some good Christian friends. I am also aware that there is an urgent need for men to get some teaching. One person wants to know what his purpose or role in the church is.

    Well … I think we have all, at one time or another, bought into the idea that everything revolves around church. (the organisation that is)

    Actually the body exists to equip individuals in their ministry. Leaders aren’t there to rule, but to serve. Worship services are not their to bring attention to individuals but to give glory to God alone.

    Our current leader has been to more conferences in the past year than our former Pastor did in his entire ministry. (or it feels like it)

    grumble, grumble, whinge, whinge, whinge.

    I guess there are a couple of options … we’ll see.

    I’ll see out the academic year and look at the options then. Until then … I formally apologise for sharing my burdens and frustrations with you.

  52. The fact that there has been a change of leadership at some stage in your church is interesting. So the culture is now changing to wherever the new leader is going. That’s what happened in my recent ex-church, but it did take a few years. We concluded that some of the doctrines being taught that weren’t taught previously were a result of leaders’ conferences as well, especially since for me some of it was recognisable as being from PP’s church (having moved on from there some years before). Also, some of the doctrine was backed up by popular books – John Bevere has a lot to answer for.

    In these cirumstances, I don’t think people can be blamed for moving on if it doesn’t suit – otherwise it can be like having the rug pulled out from underneath you by stealth. Of course, people who don’t like the way things are changing get labelled in various ways at times, but thats OK. When you move on, none of that matters at all.

    Anyway, you may or may not move on. But it would be interesting to be able to hear those leadership conferences.

    It shows how helpful a group of elders recognised by the congregation could be in these situations – the role of elders was also reduced in my ex-church, and the pastor wanted to move to a board situation. Sometimes though, elders can only delay the process. Most would probably resign rather than oppose the direction of the senior pastor in the long run. (I’m only speculating here.)

    Bull, we saw quite a lot of families leave our church over a period of time due to the culture change or different aspects of that. Is that happening at your church? If it is then you know you are not alone. If not – then maybe you are out of synch completely! (I’m not saying that means you are wrong of course.)

    Happy to hear your frustrations here. It raises a lot of issues.

    Sometimes people leave in order to start their own thing. I’m wary of that – I agree with the view that you often end up duplicating what you left behind in some ways. Doing nothing can be very educational, I’m finding. (Impossible for some of us though 🙂 )

  53. I agree RP, when u leave a church it’s good to take time off to process everything. I just read the book of Matthew from the Bible (again after years listening to preachers) and thought wow Jesus was quite the radical, but loving and smart. I just completely sort of “signed” back over to Him.

    I attend a small local church (mixed denom) but when it suits I don’t attend and do things with my kids or just enjoy a day off.

  54. Bull: “It should have been written this way …”

    Ah. I understand.

    Bull: “The preacher has bought into the lie that the Devil knows doctrine and the Bible better than we do … so we should just go after spiritual gifts instead.”

    Yes it is kind of an anti sola scriptura. Null scriptura perhaps?

    I can kind of understand the thought process but it is not a complete one. It sounds like a pendulum swing has begun in someone’s journey …

    We can’t completely follow our own logical conclusions because:
    1. We only know in part so we don’t have the whole picture
    2. We don’t know the future so we can’t know the outcome of anything we start
    3. We stuff up

    But wait, Father knows all truth and the future as well! If we can only follow him and do exactly what he wants every minute of the day we will always do the right thing and never make a mistake!

    Sounds appealing in a way.

    But then the pendulum will swing again because:
    1. We don’t hear Father perfectly
    2. We don’t listen all the time
    3. We stuff up

    Then what? We did something wrong but we just don’t know what it is. I have seen where this goes – superstition. A strong pentecostal friend of mine went this way. I kid you not he would agonise about whether Holy Spirit wanted him to start crossing the road with his left foot or his right. I kid you not.

    The problem for me is that I see no pattern of continual contact with Father.

    With us always? Yes.

    Available always? Yes.

    Constant instructions? No. (Happy to be corrected here.)

    As usual I think the proscribed patterns are in the Garden. Adam and Eve work during the day and Father comes and talks to them on the breeze in the cool of the evening.

    They do the work themselves and learn the job themselves. There is no mention of Father instructing them telling them to do every little thing right. They are not puppets on a string.

    We learn the wisdoms Father has put into the world (in this case about cultivating and keeping the Garden) and then reflect on things with Father and others.

  55. Good post Heretic. I think you are right – God gave us a brain for a reason otherwise we’d have a permanent neural link or something.

    We’re not abandoned because we have the Spirit and the Word as well, but free will and all that…which the unction to make decisions!!!!!

  56. Great post Heretic!

    Would it help your analysis to know that they come from Brethren background … no Spiritual Gifts at all.

    Good Bible teaching (well … I have doctrinal issues with the the Brethren too but hey … no one is perfect!) which looks like its been rejected/abandoned as being too dry and not exciting and new and different and alive.

    In any case … I will have to have it out with the leaders this week. Had some Godly advice over a couple of beers last night … get my concerns out in the open, in private.

    Then I expect to be ignored.

    In a nutshell … the problem is a push into emergent/contemplative spirituality but without operating in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

    Now as you know, I have concerns about Bell/McLaren/et al.

    However, I can only comment on their public utterances and their writing and the reviews of critics of the contemplative literature. As such my concerns are not full blown or supported by enough knowledge to be fully mature.

    With regards to my own Church situation, it is clear. A lot of external influences have come in. Leaders have been led astray. And now, people who are like minded with me are being frozen out.

    I came back into a situation where there were two opposing camps. I didn’t want to be in anyone’s camp. Now, I am very agitated by what is being said from the platform. So clearly, I need to lance the boil.

    I guess Wednesday night will likely be the last Study I lead in the church I first attended upon conversion and in which I was married.

    That’s painful. I see no other option though but to have it out. Rather than go to his house, maybe I’ll invite him round.

    I’ll feel better in familiar surroundings.

    Shalom

  57. It will be interesting to see how your meeting goes. These things can go in different ways. Haven’t heard of too many good ones, but sometimes better understanding is achieved which is helpful. MN’s comment about neutral ground is probably a good idea if it is possible. Gives you both the option of leaving if you find you need to.

    I understand what it is like to be agitated by what is being said from the platform.

    Is it possible to be gentle, while being truthful about your concerns? Not always easy, I know. Hard to have such a meeting when you have such a history in the place. I hope your pastor respects your sincerity, and listens to your concerns. It will probably be difficult for him to do so without becoming defensive about it. If he can do that, then it would be a credit to him, and some evidence of fruit of the Spirit possibly.

  58. RP beat me to it. We have to accept the principal of sola caffeina. There is always at least one crappy coffee shop in any populated area suitable for use as neutral ground.

    But seriously it is a good idea. You can have one coffee and then walk away. Or they can walk away. No one “has the home advantage”. And you can pay which will make everyone feel better.

  59. BTW Bull how do you see the meeting progressing? What are your aims?

    People we talked to (plebs like us – sorry “laity”) seemed to consider a few approaches:
    1. Leave and never look back (“good riddance”)
    2. Stay and agitate for change (“trouble makers”)
    3. Become part of the leadership and influence (“vive la revolution”)

    We copped a little criticism for not “being part of the solution” from some friends but mostly people just did not really get where we were coming from but then we did not try to explain it much as we did not want to criticise people’s beliefs who would not benefit from the criticism.

    In the end when we had our chat with the anointed one we just wanted to clarify that what we were hearing was really what he was saying.

    We did not really try to persuade him of anything because it was plain that there would be no effect. The only exception was where I thought he was potentially storing up wrath for himself (because if we don’t warn people I recall that we bear part of the blame) but even that was put gently in the hope that it could be absorbed rather than rejected.

  60. The last convo I had, I was heard then dismissed.

    Still go to the same church, but decided taking my bat and ball home over the issue while important to me (and everyone else), wasn’t going to achieve anything.

    I think RP and Heretic are right.

    You need to focus on one or two key issues, figure out what these mean to you, and your possible responses given the range of responses you might get back.

    I suppose one thing you might consider is whether your pastor flat out disagrees with you upfront or otherwise, is there still room for a conversation/dialogue after that.

    If there’s no room for ongoing dialogue faced with likely disagreement, it really does put the ball back in your court about ‘where to’.

    May our all powerful and loving God bless you and your pastor in the conversations to come, and His Spirit lead you both into the place that He wants you to be.

    If it all goes awry from your point of view, may He give you the peace, grace and wisdom to work through it in a way that honours Him.

    Even better – Rom 8:

    And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

    What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died — more than that, who was raised to life — is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
    “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

    No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  61. Indeed, Heretic.

    What I will be looking to do is clarify the position he put forth.

    i.e. “Are you really saying that doctrine doesn’t matter?”

    “No …”

    “well then why did you say …. (transcript from the pod cast)?”

    then I will say this …

    Jesus is our example. Jesus did everything between the birth and the resurrection as Son of Man. He was filled with the Holy Spirit at His baptism and performed miracles as Son of Man, not Son of God, but filled with the Spirit. Which is why He used scripture to counter misquoted and misapplied scripture everywhere He went.

    It is incorrect to assume that You either have Scripture or the Holy Spirit. We need both.

    Of course, the danger in encouraging people to read the Bible for themselves is that they might actually disagree with you … or even worse, get to know the Bible better than you do.

    mm, perhaps a bit too snide.

    Shalom

  62. Well you know what you are doing Bull and what you want to achieve. If it is not too late to suggest it it may be that the relationship is more important than the outcome if that makes sense.

    BTW I can’t believe I forgot the other option:
    4. Put up with it – it does not really matter (“submit”)

    Who here would take that approach?

  63. Bull I believe we “should” be open and allowed to comment on what a “leader” has preached but if they think believe wholly in what they are preaching, it may be tricky. I left my last church for personal reasons but also the preaching half the time was not up to standard. Even when I watch current services I can still see the holes in the preaching, it’s so obvious. The other night the tithing segment preached that when one gets to heaven how will you explain not tithing to church etc etc. I don’t know if your preacher is as blatantly bad as that but well, good on you anyway. I wish I had the guts to go right up to a leader, well i did after a service and complained to a “head” pastor and i got bewildered looks and pat answers

  64. “The other night the tithing segment preached that when one gets to heaven how will you explain not tithing to church etc” – mj

    Ha! Very easily. And there really will be no need to explain; neither will we be condemned. What a classic guilt trip. But if they don’t get it, they just don’t get it. And they won’t, while they still think that guilt is OK as a way of motivating others.

  65. I must admit I find it amusing now that some preaching can be so bold and say these things, I just don’t get it?

    Of course, as Christians, we should be giving and compassionate whenever possible, and charity begins at home (actual home) not “house of God”

  66. Precisely, Greg.

    I love it when its so out in the open though. At least its so out there that there’s no ambiguity at all about their position on the issue. Makes it much easier to reject.

    The way they get the young pastors to preach on this subject ensures that by the time they become senior pastors, they’ve had time to completely squelch any conscience about the matter years ago. Seared thoroughly.

  67. Yes, the young ones don’t seem to harp on it, that’s true. Ah the seared conscience, is it spiritual or carnal, like say narcissism, interesting, i think it’s both maybe

  68. thanks all for your comments …

    I am leading a study tonight but subsequently will have to have this talk with the church elder.

    It will be tricky, because their is a relationship that goes back many, many years now. The difficulty for me is in not demolishing a relationship in the process of seeking clarification and eventually stating my position.

    (Swansea isn’t big on coffee shops but plenty of watering holes … not the best place to have a theological discussion.)

    The bottom line is, I need to know if what was stated was an absolute position … or was it only a contrast?

    A contrast I can accept “doctrine is important but we need the Holy Spirit” or something like that.

    An absolute statement (which is how it all sounded) is “forget the Bible, forget Doctrine, You need the Holy Spirit.” The difference is subtle actually … but critical.

    Coffee Time!

    Shalom

  69. On Tithing …

    emotional manipulation is not restricted to tithing doctrine … but is a key part of it. You can understand it … they believe that this is what God wants and so it is perfectly acceptable to make people feel guilty or embarrassed to get them to give.

    But they don’t make people feel bad about sin do they? Well, we just want people to be happy and coming to church and giving to the work.

    That is not what making disciples is all about. It’s not even making converts … it’s just about making regular attenders to a private members club … where people put money in the charitable fund to pay for the workers and some aid to Africa.

    oh … ranting again … I really should get that Coffee!

  70. “But they don’t make people feel bad about sin do they? ”

    That’s a good point, Bull. Can’t speak for your church, but many seeker sensitive megachurches do seem reluctant to emphasise feeling bad about sin (and I’m not saying that they should), yet seem to have little hesitation in attempting to make people feel bad for not tithing. It’s as though to them, not tithing is the one ‘sin’ that its OK to carry on about every week, no matter what.

    Your comment re watering holes reminded me… when I was in the UK many years ago, one of the big differences between London and Sydney was that there were far more pubs in London and around the UK when I travelled, and far more cafe style coffee shops in Sydney. I guess we take it for granted. The pubs in the UK were used differently than in Sydney, too – it was noticeable to me that many pubs were places you could take families, to eat for example, whereas in Sydney its mostly adults only, whatever the style of pubs.(With some occasional exceptions.)

  71. Yes, i don’t understand why the “family” style pub has not been so popular now except maybe the drinking culture after ww1 in Australia, closing at 6pm until 1955 for most states. Its a shame it was such a male domain for so long, now its entrenched but styled for adults. I live near Manly and there is nowhere for my friends and I to go with kids without it being difficult, oh well

  72. Thanks S&P for the tips in the area, its pretty cool actually all the specials, just wish they would have specials on drinks, I bought a vb at a cafe down Manly and I think it was $7.50 or something, jeez. But there is no beer garden between manly and dy, anyway, could be worse i guess :o)

  73. Heretic1 has been infested with the foul testosterone demon, otherwise known as Spirit of Beefcake to experienced demonologists.

  74. So I guess I should start calling Heretic “Thrud the Barbarian”?

    The meeting hasn’t happened … yet. I led Home Group on Wednesday and that seemed to go really well. When you are operating in your ministry gifting you get a superb sense of well being and satisfaction.

    Last night, I got hold of the main man over the phone but not the the Church leader. I need to speak to both of them at the same time … clear the whole thing up if we can.

    I hope to see them both tonight but if not, the chances of meeting up before Sunday are probably nil. At which point, we will probably have to talk after the service in the main office.

    Ah well. I know people are praying and that’s fantastic … thanks guys.

    Shalom.

  75. “Heretic1 has been infested with the foul testosterone demon, otherwise known as Spirit of Beefcake to experienced demonologists.”

    I might have to get Peter Wagner to write about this demon and how to remove it from Heretic strategically!

  76. Good thinking S&P. Wagner could write a book about it…. with a CD… all for the one low price!… and a spinoff series of seminars…

    But I actually have some secret knowledge about this. First you have to separate the victim from the demon’s favourite lurks, like the gym for example, where these foul spirits gain energy through the ancient pagan ritual of lifting things.

    Then, most importantly, you need to cleanse the house of whey powder and protein bars and burn them in the flames an open pit along with any copies of “Pumping Iron”.

    After that the demon needs to be shouted at, profusely, for a good long time amidst as much babbling and confusion as possible… (Note: Several sessions may be required, no care – no responsibility, eftpos available)

  77. errrr ohhhh.

    I guess I should ditch my weight lifting equipment then … oh I guess I did already, what with it gathering dust in the shed.

    I friend in work is trying out the get ripped in 30 days diet and exercise regime. If it works for him, I guess I will have to give it a go. Only I’ll save money by dusting off the weights.

    Expect me to become very unfriendly and pumped full of testosterone shortly.

    I’ve always wanted to be a misogynist … it’s just that my wife won’t let me.

    Shalom

  78. I’ll have to get Heretic to burn those Ultimate Fighting Championship videos that just keep lurking in dark and dusty boxes in the garage no matter how many times we move… that must be where it came from.

  79. Well then … that’s what conversations are for.

    We’ve cleared it all up. There is no news, All is well.

    Oh, and I have been invited to a conference next year.

    Shalom

  80. Hey Bull – glad you’ve cleared things up. I assume you were happy with their explanation, since all is well. Sounds like your questions were answered much better than ours were when we did a similar thing! As you say – that’s what conversations are for. It’s always good to clarify if there are any misunderstandings. Probably good for them to hear from you how they could have been misunderstood, too.

    And an invitation to a conference! Nice friendly result.

  81. Yup … there are further questions however, a topic for another thread perhaps.

    As it was, I was feeling pretty sick and indeed spent the next two days in bed. I didn’t feel I could postpone the meeting, however, as I had been the one to call it.

    All is well … for now. There are further questions that I need to raise and the church needs to deal with in terms of membership, how we organise ourselves as Church, what are the roles and responsibilities of members, and indeed how these responsibilities compliment the role of leaders and act as a check and balance on the leadership, as way of supporting them and protecting them.

    We need to encourage one another to be effective watchmen on the wall. We need to build one another up in faith, hope and love. We need to develop our individual gifting too, so that we may may bless one another collectively.

    Ultimately, if churches choose the Hillsong model of membership … which is essentially, appointed elders become members and the only ‘members’ are full time pastors/elders then decision making becomes incredibly streamlined, but denies the body a say in anything. This is an incredibly bad model for membership. All associate members have no real say in how the church is run, have no buy in, have no real reason to commit to anything as they have no ownership of what is happening.

    This is what I hope to avoid.

    It’s a big issue for some of us. I hope to make it something that opens up a meeting in the near future.

    Shalom.

    by the way … thanks for all the prayer support, and I am feeling much better now after my bout of man-flu.

  82. I heard this quote recently, “women have been liberated, now it’s men’s turn” from the book “stiffed”

  83. I’ve met Sean,

    he’s a real gem. He spoke at our Church last Sunday morning. Brilliant! I’ll be asking when he can come and speak again.

    He even managed to slag off GodTV … so I encouraged him after the service and told him that I didn’t like HellTV either.

    And he’s got a great bike!

    Cool.

    Shalom.

    (I’ll talk about men “needing to be liberated” later)

  84. Re the men needing to be liberated thing, would anyone be interested in a post with ‘Wild at Heart’ and Mark Driscoll’s views on manhood as a subject?

  85. OK – will get to it. It will require a bit of thought, so hopefully some time in the next week; this weekend is pretty busy! But there is some interesting material there…

  86. Oh God! Not “Wild at Heart”!
    Expect me to vehement about that book. I found it so… unintelligent.

  87. Some friends of mine quick like WaH so I felt I had to read it.

    I kept the list of irrational logic and shocking exegesis on my palmV. The file was so big I could not cut and paste it in one go.

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