Friday, December 08, 2006

Christianity and Liberalism

I am becomming more of a MacArthur fan the more I see him be bold with the Gospel in the face of the pluralist rhetoric. The most significant part of this I thought was the exchange between MacArthur and "Bishop" Talbert. This is a perfect example of Christianity and Liberalism.


Anonymous said...

wow. that was really interesting. i liked how much voice time larry king gave to all the christians. but that bishop guy was just trying to be way too inclusive. sounds like he didn't want to appear judgmental or exclusivist, but you have to draw a line in the sand between truth and falsehood.

natamllc said...


what do you do all day? feed babies?


that was a good sound and visual bite!

Doctor Talbert is RIGHT.

In fact they all are right.

My role, if I have been given one, is to PREACH THE WORD, TEACH THE WORD and let what follows come forth.

Jesus, of course, said it best:

Luk 10:1 After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.
Luk 10:2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborers into his harvest.
Luk 10:3 Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.
Luk 10:4 Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way.
Luk 10:5 And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house.
Luk 10:6 And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.
Luk 10:7 And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.
Luk 10:8 And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:
Luk 10:9 And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.
Luk 10:10 But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say,
Luk 10:11 Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.
Luk 10:12 But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.
Luk 10:13 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
Luk 10:14 But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you.
Luk 10:15 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.
Luk 10:16 He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.
Luk 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.

We ought to make it a vigilance to LIVE HERE IN THIS PLACE OF SUPREME POWER AND AUTHORITY, Christ's FAITH, Christ's LOVE, Christ's POWER and AUTHORITY and bring the fight to the FRONTLINES in the created heavens and on earth among men.

There of course are two battlefields, our flesh and principalities and powers of spiritual wickedness.

I believe these guys lay both battlefields out clearly.

Don't fall prey to divisiveness.

If your battleground is people, then deal with their flesh. If your battleground is the prince of the power of the air in the created heavens then fight in the might of His strength.

I say that as a specific CALLING not a rule.

The rule is we are all needy and need each other's specific calling.

Just reflect on Ephesians 4 and the Gifts to the Body. Each of those ministries are not stand alone works in need of no other. When the "Body" functions well, WE ALL ATTAIN TO THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH. And there is FREEDOM when you attain to TRUTH.

Eph 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:
Eph 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
Eph 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
Eph 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

I would say that it's easy these days to divide the CHURCH because of the GIFTS AND CALLINGS.


Because of the diversity and variety of people God calls to active warfare and service.

Both are real. Both bring destruction upon us.

Both need to be conquered and without Christ, there is no Glory, no Victory, no LIFE WITH GOD.

It's His Glory.
It's His Grace.
It's His Mercy.
It's His Word.
He is Lord.
To God be the Glory.


melissa b said...

Bob -- word to that. Bishop Talbert (and unfortunately many Methodists) are full of crap. I do wish MacArthur would have addressed God's desire for all nations to stream towards him, how he waits at the door and knocks.

And PS to Talbert, ISLAM believes it is the only way. So does Judaism. So does Buddhism. It's not looking so good that the Talbert doesn't have the gumption or belief in his own religion to be able to stand up for it. Shoot, Osama has more guts than that.

Anonymous said...

i thought you might find this quote from Tony Blair in today's "San Jose Mercury News" interesting:

"Our tolerance is part of what makes Britain, Britain. So conform to it- or don't come here."

Somehow, that doesn't sound like a very tolerant statement to me.

And I also have to wonder what tolerance Blair is referring to. Can he cite a long list of attitudes of tolerance displayed throughout Britain's history? Actions and morality that are so pervasive that they are what makes Britain, Britain?

I'm no historian, but I do remember the reason why the Pilgrims to America became Pilgrims- religious intolerance in England.

And, as far as I know, Britain hasn't shown a great history of tolerance in Northern Ireland. But, please, correct me if I'm wrong.

In any event, the article goes on to state that Blair said, "money allocated to religious groups would now be tightly controlled."

I am assuming he would control it based on how inclusive that religious group is of other viewpoints. In which case, British Christian groups could soon be in for serious financial hurt, unless they become more inclusive.

"He (Blair) also called on all religious schools to partner with institutions teaching a different religion."

This is clearly aimed at radical Islamist groups, but it makes you go, "hmmmm."

Anonymous said...

oops, bob-
i really didn't mean to write "booby"- it was a typo I overlooked- sorry.

Bob said...

Hey Marc!
Good to hear from you! Larry King seems to like MacArthur, because MacArthur is VERY upfront about what he thinks even if its in the words that automatically gets you pegged as "arrogant". Yeah "Bishop" Talbert is a perfect example of a type of Christianity that licks its finger and puts it in the air to see where the wind of culture is blowing and conforms to it. He is saying what every secular humanist wants to hear, "Christianity is true for me...but maybe not for you. And that's ok God accepts you."

You cited a quote from Tony Blair saying:

""Our tolerance is part of what makes Britain, Britain. So conform to it- or don't come here."

Somehow, that doesn't sound like a very tolerant statement to me."

Yeah, that's the funny thing about all this "tolerance" rhetoric, it never seems too tolerant! I said on the other thread that the word has been tossed around so much that people really don't even know what it means has come to mean (in the context of homosexuality) unchallanged acceptance. When really historically it means challanged acceptance.

I don't know all the ins and outs of what Blair is doing but from what I think I know, he is cutting funding to Christian schools (As Atheist Richard Dawkins has been advising) because they are well intolerant of other Religions and wont teach Islam as being just as true as Christianity. Bye bye money. Isn't this a double standard?

-your friend

Bob said...

Yeah I tend to agree, I think there is going to be a split in the United Methodist denomination soon. Half of the denomination think that the man pastor who decided to have a sex change into a women is ok to continue to lead. When things are that bad it's time to cut n run...or have a study group advise you on what to do...Lol.

But you are right, every religion by its nature makes exclusive claims. Now there are these pluralists who want to revamp all religions to be this sort of blah mush goopy warm Im ok your ok junk. I just don't understand why these guys insist on calling themselves Christians at this point! Just stop calling your church a church and call it a spiritual temple or something.

natamllc said...

Well, gather your stones because I am going to disagree with all of you hereon.

You all miss the point.

consider what was spoken to Joshua after you read this:::>

Jos 4:23 For the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over,
Jos 4:24 so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, that you may fear the LORD your God forever."

You all miss the reality in that Larry King thing. You all got caught and are doing exactly what Satan was all about.

Consider that Jesus sent Peter to go fishing and take the stater out of the first fish's mouth and go pay the poll tax SO AS NOT TO OFFEND THEM, pay the tax for BOTH Me and YOU.

Consider that Paul the Apostle on one occasion had a man circumcised and on another occasion did not but took a stand against the Law being observed. Ok, which is it?

Jesus uses who He choses. Be thankful He chose you or not?

Can you say with Paul:::>

Rom 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
Rom 10:5 For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them.
Rom 10:6 But the righteousness based on faith says, "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Christ down)
Rom 10:7 or "'Who will descend into the abyss?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
Rom 10:8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim);
Rom 10:9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Rom 10:10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
Rom 10:11 For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame."
Rom 10:12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.
Rom 10:13 For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

It's none of our business to make distinctions like each of you are making!

To all of you then, REPENT and PREACH THE GOSPEL if that is what you were CHOSEN TO DO,

REPENT and TEACH THE GOSPEL if that is what you were CHOSEN TO DO,

REPENT and pray that those God calls to Preach and Teach do so without any FEAR OF MAN.

Now, that is impossible, so REPENT.

Pray for Larry King.

Pray with thanksgiving and intercession and supplication for all men.

Eph 6:18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
Eph 6:19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel,
Eph 6:20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

1Ti 2:1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,
1Ti 2:2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
1Ti 2:3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,
1Ti 2:4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
1Ti 2:6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.
1Ti 2:7 For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
1Ti 2:8 I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;


Bob said...

I don't understand what it is that you are saying we have done wrong. I think that this Bishiop is not a Christian because he denies what the Bible says about Christ's exclusivity as Lord.

So when you said in your original comment that doctor Talbert is right I don't know in what sense this guy is right in anything. The guy is telling people who are dead in sins and trespasses that they are alright with God. I'm sorry but when someones Christianity has become so hollowed out that they can no longer make a distinction between saved and unsaved and define Christianities "truth" as being something relative to them (true for them but not for everyone) they really have NO MESSAGE for the world. They have no gospel.

Talbert has NO GOSPEL. All he has is the message of the spirit of the age.

natamllc said...


maybe I was listening to the wrong feed from Larry King?

Go back and listen to what comes out of his mouth.

He could not say those things he said in that discussion on Larry King without the Holy Ghost in him.

The Angel of the Lord said something similar as Dr. Talbert, the Methodist Pastor on the Larry King sound and visual bite.

As for sex changed people. All they will discover ONCE Christ comes alive in them is OOPS. I would not know covetousness until the Law came alive in me and I had my eyes opened to it. Sin is in my flesh. Now, thankfully, the Law of Righteousness has come alive in me , that is my flesh and I died, and now I get too, as a priviledge, die daily that I might come alive daily in Him and dwell in His KINGDOM. Oh wretched man that I am, the longer I go this side of Sinless Glory, the worse I become. The closer I am to Him, the more wretched I am TO ME. hmmmmm, a paradox maybe, but it's true.

I have had the priviledge and I believe you have too?, to work with Adam's race in our life time, those who made that mistake, the sex change mistake?

What is different with that mistake and adultery, murder, lying, being a thief?

There is a sin not unto death, a sex change operation is not one of them.

People do stupid stuff to their bodies all the time.

It's not what they do, it's what Jesus did for them that saves them from such stupid mistakes. Religion saves nobody.

What, now saved, shall they go back again? No, God's Grace, Mercy and Peace are sufficient even for them now bearing the marks of their mistake.

Can God use them? Of course. One brother observed by saying it like this: GOD CAN USE CROOKED STICKS TO GIVE SOME MIGHTY GOOD LICKS!

It's those of us that don't know the Love of God as deeply as He that makes this such an uncomfortable topic to our souls. How can God use a sinner to bring forth His PURE, UNDEFILED GOSPEL so that others might come out of darkness and into His marvelous LIGHT?

Mat 4:15 "The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles--
Mat 4:16 the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned."

When we died to self, we became, hopefully, fully Ministers of Reconciliation. Now the God of Peace can reconcile all men from their mistakes whether by themselves alone or by Satan's activities through the Blood of the Cross Christ! WOW WHAT HOPE WE OFFER ALL MANKIND! God is greater than our sins and our Adamic nature.

If you can "hear" me I like to point to it by observating that there were a full FIVE DAYS made before Adam and Eve, male and female creations, came to live and reflect God's life on planet earth.

Consider the hostility and evil lurking around the Garden of Eden when once God got to commanding Adam to conquer and subdue and "increase" the Perfect relationship between him and God which he had with God before the serpent got to Eve and then Adam rebelled!

Gen 1:28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

God said BE SOMETHING, hmmmmm? implying what? Could it be they might not be inclined to be? hmmmm?
God said to fill, hmmmmm? implying what?
God said subdue, hmmmm? implying what?
God said exercise dominion, hmmmm? implying what?

OVER EVERY LIVING THING! hmmmmm, Is not Satan a living being? Are not his angels such? hmmmmm?

God has sent the "LAST" Adam already. Yet the first adam still impregnants the wombs of Eve's daughters and right continually! Is Lisa pregnant again?

Talbert, I believe if you will listen to his words will find he was taking the Angel of the Lord's position. HE WAS NOT TAKING SIDES. He was making a distinction between the "OFFICE" HE HOLDS and his humanity.

All religion is HUMAN.

The OFFICES of the Body of Christ are other worldly, or to say, not of this world.

There is no dispute, Satan is the prince of the world. Jesus said that, calling Satan a prince.

Go back and read what the Angel spoke to Joshua that eventful day.

Jos 5:13 When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, "Are you for us, or for our adversaries?"
Jos 5:14 And he said, "No; but I am the commander of the army of the LORD. Now I have come." And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, "What does my lord say to his servant?"
Jos 5:15 And the commander of the LORD's army said to Joshua, "Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy." And Joshua did so.

To say Talbert is full of crap IS JUST CRAPPIE; Bobby, and I stand on my assertion that Melissa just does not know what the hell she is asserting.

To say the right thing is to SPEAK FOR THE LORD at all times.

How we doing with that?

Guys like you feeding back my words to me and vice versa HELPS us stay closer to Jesus.

Bless you and continue in your DEFENSE OF THE FAITH once delivered to the Saints.

I have been listening to some folks lately about "their FAITH". hmmmmm.

So when does "my FAITH" ever deliver me?

It's His FAITH, a gift given to me by an Eternal Sovereign Wisdom that equally is as eternal as GRACE, MERCY, PEACE, FAITH, SCRIPTURE, CHRIST THE MAN and for what?

Faithfulness does not save anyone.

There are many "faithful" DWELLING IN HELL RIGHT NOW AS I TYPE THIS.

It's not my word, but HIS WORD, not my FAITHFULNESS, but HIS FAITHFULNESS, not my WORK, but His Work of redemption that saved my wretched soul.


or not?

No, you were wrong siding with Marc and Melissa.

Just get over it unless it creeps in and defrauds you of Faith, Hope and Love, these three and the greatest of these is LOVE.

No, Dr. Talbert was the only one who spoke the Truth in Love.

Consider the verses the Holy Ghost "quickened" to me that I pointed to in my earlier response.

It's a Luther moment. I would pause and consider your brother's admonition.

I love you Bobby and your wife and children. I would die for you.

That's why I am so free to speak the Truth in Love to you.

bro. michael

Tim said...

There's certainly a place for MacArthur's critique, but the quote that I posted here from what Bishop Talbert said at the end of the video is true and follows the gospel of Jesus.

"Salvation in Jesus Christ is the way. And what I try to do as a Christian is to live that example. My responsibility is not to convert all other religions, but to live the Christian faith in the face of those religions."

Jesus calls us to love God and love others. He calls us to go forth and make disciples. We don't make disciples by criticism, intellectual debate, and preaching. We do it by following Jesus, being a "neighbor", by letting our light shine before men, by being Jesus to the least.

Talbert is right that it is God's place to judge others. If he condemns someone to hell by his words, he has made the road harder for that person to see the love that God has for that person. It is our calling to love, to follow the Christian faith. It is the fruit of that faith, God's pruning of us and harvesting of that fruit, that will be light to others. It is the God's Spirit who reveals judgment of their sins, not us.

Now I didn't see the whole show, only this clip. Talbert could have said a lot of foolish things. But what he said above, he got right. In that regard, the church could use a lot more action like Talbert's quote than MacArthur's ranting of scriptural "evidence."

Bob said...


Well, I stick by my guns I don't think the Jesus/God Talbert talks about is the God of the Bible. Talbert couches all his speach in relativistic terms...this is true for me...and its not my job to convert others.

Now Tim, I agree we are to live Christlike lives...however, living a loving life without the gospel to give to sinners is the failure of liberal theology. They focused so much on humanitarian works and doing the sermon on the mount that that became their gospel. There is not cross (in a salvific sense) in guys like Talbert's theology, that was just an example to live by...this really is modern day Pelagianism.

If we are going to believe the Bible Muslims are going to hell. And NO that's not my judgement its God's and its in the Bible. That's what gets me so hot about these liberal theologians, they use all these relativistic pluralistic phrases couched in Christianese and the unconverted lap it up like manna from heaven.

"Its not my job to convert other" Only a person who doesn't think that their neighbor is in danger of hell fire will say that. Now of course technically WE don't convert others the Spirit does but I don't think that's what Talbert meant...he meant Muslims are fine with God, Buddhists are fine with God so I don't feel any need to tell them they need to repent and come to Jesus for forgiveness.

I think that's what he means. This talk is just an echo of our pluralistic/relativistic culture.

natamllc said...


let me wack you again with just your last sentence.

Using the Sword of the Spirit let me let you in on a little secret.


We now are not of this world, period, unless????.

Everyone "God", Our God does not do this too is going to hell, even if their life is right in this CULTURE or not.

Your last sentence first:

I think that's what he means. This talk is just an echo of our pluralistic/relativistic culture.

There are only two cultures, one is the ETERNAL CULTURE Jesus IS and we are born again to become a stakeholder of and all other cultures. His culture is eternal in nature and all others temporal.

First to the narrow mind of CHRIST:

Mat 7:21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Mat 7:22 On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?'
Mat 7:23 And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'

THE GREEK WORD here for LAWLESSNESS is:::>ἀνομία
From G459; illegality, that is, violation of law or (generally) wickedness: - iniquity, X transgress (-ion of) the law, unrighteousness.

Now pray thee tell, who fits the bill here? EVERYONE PERHAPS?

The most important part of this definition to me is the word ILLEGALITY.

Jesus said of Satan that he was the prince of the world. This culture from the time of Adam's fall has been and continues to be ILLEGAL, period, NO IFS ANDS OR BUTS ABOUT IT.

EVERY RELIGION IS ILLEGAL while God, Our God is not, He's ETERNAL.

So the Word of God points to a GODLY "EVENT" that cuts me off from myself and my illegal lawless natural state of being inherited from my father Adam and by an "ACT OF HIS WILL" grafts me into an ETERNAL STATE OF BEING, "CHRIST".

This grafting in by GOD ALONE is what I believe I "hear" comes from Talbert's confession.

Here's the two verses and there are only two, one from Ephesians and the other from Colossians that points to this "event of God for me".

Eph. 2:5
Eph 2:5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved--
Col 2:13
Col 2:13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,

Consider the Greek word Paul uses in both verses:::>
From G4862 and G2227; to reanimate conjointly with (figuratively): - quicken together with.


to re-animate conjointly with, quicken together with.

It would take some time to develop this understanding hereon and really it's not that necessary.

Just talk to the Author, the Holy Ghost, as He can explain it better than this living epistle.

But suffice it to say, either you are conjoined to CHRIST and are now not your own, or NOT?

Does not matter whose name you use and the outcome of the events then, even Jesus' Name and have His results! hmmmmmm? No, does not matter. It's God alone by Grace alone through Faith alone with Christ alone and Scripture for the glory of God, period.

What matters is that ONE SINGULAR SOVEREIGN ACT OF GOD done, Who on His Own, selects and conjoins to Christ by the sanctification work of the Holy Ghost according to His Will.

It's a God thing, you might say.

Not to argue or strive hereon, but I too will just have to take my STAND and agree to disagree with you on this one my friend.


Tim said...

Bob, you said ...however, living a loving life without the gospel to give to sinners is the failure of liberal theology. Living a loving life IS the gospel, most concretely summed up by Francis of Assisi. The gospel is not preaching at people that Christianity is right and every thing else is wrong. No, the gospel is that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and our lives are to reflect the gospel in love.

I'm not trying to defend Talbert. I know nothing about him. I agree that we are not responsible for converting people. What we are called to do is indeed "live the Christian life", which is the gospel of Jesus, which includes picking up our cross, serving the least of our communities, being salt and light to the all men. It is not about telling people that they are wrong.

Let's look at it another way. Muslims think they are right and Christians are wrong, correct? They are faithful to their scriptures as we are discussing being faithful to ours. A intellectual debate of who's right and who's wrong is going to bring nothing but continued conflict. Heck, God prophecied that in Genesis in the story of Ishmael and Isaac.

My point is that the Church needs to stop it's preaching on people that their way is wrong, and start loving people as Jesus did, dine with them, bring them into their circles, and show Jesus to them. Here's a perfect example of how that is working today:

In the midst and aftermath of the Israeli/Hezbollah war, Lebanese Christians setup shelters in their churches and in their homes to take in a multitude of displaced Shi'ite Muslims. They dined with them, they slept on cots next to each other, they entertained each other. In a Christianity Today article entitled
"They Know We Are Christians"
, a Muslim father, who saw his child killed by an Israeli missile, asks his Christian host why they are taking all of them in. The Christian host retells Jesus' story of the Good Samaritan, and asks the father who is being a good neighbor in the story? The Muslim father replies, "The one who shows mercy." He continues, "We have many Christian friends, but I never knew that your faith had these kinds of teachings."

These hosts lived the Christian life of love, which includes the cross, losing their own selves, to show the mercy and grace of Jesus to their enemy, as both groups of people are still taught the other is the enemy in the public arena.

These Christians are living out the gospel. They are not preaching at them that they are wrong. They are not merely being "humanitarian." They are living out the gospel that Jesus preached and Jesus lived and died and lives still. Did that Muslim become a Christian? The article doesn't say. But one thing is clear, he did meet Jesus, and that's exactly what the gospel is about.

Bob said...

"Living a loving life IS the gospel, most concretely summed up by Francis of Assisi."

Yeah well he was wrong. The gospel is the proclaimed message that Jesus died for sinners and that by faith in His work we are reconciled to a holy God. The message should be accompannied by a living life, but a loving life doesn't save anyone. Liberal theologians make a false dillema (and nix proclamation), and it seems like you are too here. I am saying we should have both proclamation and example, but example alone does not save anybody, its just salt on the meat.

"It is not about telling people that they are wrong."

I wonder if Peter in his sermons in the book of Acts agrees with you Tim, I don't think so.

To call sinners to repentance WILL to some degree be adverserial...we do want to call people to repentance right? And I also just wonder why the world will hate us as Jesus and Paul said if all we are doing is doing humanitarian works and not telling people they need to turn from their idols to Christ?

"My point is that the Church needs to stop it's preaching on people that their way is wrong, and start loving people as Jesus did, dine with them, bring them into their circles, and show Jesus to them. "

I completely disagree. What you say sounds good and I agree with doing what you say But not without proclamation. Time this is why I have beef with the Emergent seems to be leading to the same error of liberalism just in a POMO package. God has ordained that the message of the gospel be spread through the proclamation of the death and resurrection of Jesus to sinners.

Paul insists that preaching is how people get saved:

" But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!"

But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?" So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ."
(Rom 10:14-17)

I would also argue that the "they shall know you are My disciple by your love" is not in the context of evangelism (people being converted by Christians "DOing the gospel" but that is really talking about how to discern true from false disciples. See the entire book of 1 John that is a major theme, true disciples love one another. The context is NOT primarily missional. So NO, NO, NO, this is NOT how the gospel is spread.

I think humanitarian works should accompany the proclamation, But they are not the message! Again faith comes by hearing.

Now Tim, The story you tell is great but I don't think it really serves the point you want to make of it. Note:

"The Christian host retells Jesus' story of the Good Samaritan, and asks the father who is being a good neighbor in the story?"

There is Proclamation here! That's my point. I don't think we need to be all confrontation all the time. But there is a message to proclaim with WORDS. And part of that message calls sinners to repentance, and that is in direct conflict with the fallen nature. And Tim if you believe the Bible you know that it teaches that without Christ no one will inherit the kingdom. If you don't want to tell people that are going to hell that there is a remedy for their disease to be in step with the "I'm ok your ok culture" then really you are out of step with the men who penned the Bible, because that's what they did.

I just don't understand what it is you are disagreeing with me about. You seem take by Talbert's PC rhetoric, I mean the guy flat out contradicted what you just said when you said that all other religions are "illegal". Talbert seems to think that all roads lead to God, and that one man's religion is just as good as his. Jesus is true for him but not for everyone and God is ok with that.

natamllc said...


granted I didn't have the "whole" Larry King thing on this Talbert guy. I only have what you posted to listen too, and it's a narrow sound bite at that. What I heard he said though, I have to agree with.

If you know something about his "deeper" gospel being is that what you say, then, you are right, I am on your page as what you say he believes is what it is, then he is living in error and I would agree with you.

You know me, I don't get far from the pot. Here's some Words, consider these:::>

Col 1:9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
Col 1:10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.


Bearing fruit in "every" good work and increasing in the Knowledge of God for you and me would be quite different than for Derek Scholl. He's not married with children.

Col 2:6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,
Col 2:7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
Col 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.




Col 3:4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

If you don't die and GO TO HEAVEN before you die, you won't go to HEAVEN.

As I pointed in the earlier post, SUZOOPOIEO means we are conjoined to Christ so you can "spiritually" realize that "wherever" Christ is or goes, we is and go!! So when Christ "finally" appears, guess what?, WE APPEAR WITH HIM IN HIS GLORY!

This certainly brings Our Heavenly Father the GLORY DUE HIS NAMES.

Col 3:12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,
Col 3:13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
Col 3:14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
Col 3:15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Col 3:17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.


Col 4:5 Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.
Col 4:6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

Yes? and Amen?

Yes and Amen

melissa b said...

Bob - as someone who works and lives among the disabled, I am curious as to how you understand inviting those with severe intellectual disabilities into the life of Christ. Would you say that because they are unable to "hear" the message of Jesus or to rationalize it that they are not saved? I'm wondering this because of what you've just shared about the necessity of hearing and, I am assuming, comprehending the Word of salvation.

And while we're here, I would be careful whenever using the words "all ____ will go to hell" (Muslims, Catholic, JWs, Mormons, whatever). If for no other reason than that God and only God will judge the hearts and thoughts of men, it's a good phrase to get out of the habit of saying.

Bob said...

Interesting point, nonetheless my point with Time is that there is an intelligible message that needs to be proclaimed about a Man called Jesus, we are to do MORE than just live lives of love. There are a lot of flase religions set on "living lives of love" the difference is that we have a gospel to go with our love.

Now the point isn't so much on audible hearing instruments bringing faith as the message heard. So for a deaf person we use whatever means possible to convey the gospel message to point was that there is a message that we need to get across, preach, to unbelievers. The gospel is a message NOT a lifestyle. The gospel will produce a loving lifestyle BUT the loving lifestyle is NOT the gospel. That was my beef with Tim, the Emergent movement and classic Liberal theology.

Now as for those who have no mental capabilities whatsoever to comprehend a message of any sort, I don't think they are hopeless or anything like that. I am a Calvinist so I don't think salvation is a decision we make out of mental assent to data. I believe in infant regeneration, and on the same token those who are mentally incapable of percieving the message can be regenerated by a soveriegn work of God, not human decision.

So how does the faith comes by hearing fit into what I just said? Well preaching the message that through death and resurrection of Jesus Christ we are reconciled to a holy God (whatever form), is the God ordained means for bringing about faith in sinners. God has ordained in His Providence that preaching would be the means by which He would save sinners.

People generally presuppose that if people are saved by hearing that means mental assent and decision. Well the Bible says that men preach and God opens hearts to recieve the things preached. (See Acts 13:48) So if regenration (opening of hearts) preceeds recieving (decision) then what hinders God from regenerating people incapable of mental comprehension (babies, or mentally handicapped)? Nothing.

That's a problem decisionistic regeneration has to wrestle with, and Arminians got all sorts of extra-Biblical loop holes to get around these problems (Like: age of accountability).

melissa b said...

Bob -- yeah, I didn't totally follow that. I definitely feel the tension on this one. I can't totally work it out myself except to say that the folks in l'Arche are my teachers and partners in faith even though their faith is often that of a child.

I've been thinking about the whole "gospel of love" bit a lot lately as I just preached a sermon from Mark. Mark is more of a "gospel of obedience" which I really appreciate. It's a contrast to say, John where there's a lot of love talk.

I think there needs to be a balance, but there is a great lesson for me in Mark's attention to obedience. It's practice BEFORE belief (which is a good Emergent theological point, I hear). You don't say the creed because you intellectually assent to the whole thing, but that one day, if you say them enough times, engage in the practices of the body of believers, come to church, submit to your neighbor and confess your sins, you will become a disciple. We say the creed because we can HARDLY believe it!

All this to say, I guess I'm still caught up on this question of "lifestyle." Aren't we just talking about discipleship in the life of Christ? I certainly hope that no one believes being a Christian means "doing good things." If they do, then there's no basis for even having a conversation, we are so far from a common base. But bearing the brokenhearted and binding the wounds of the sick as acts of mercy and love are our acts of obedience. Isn't acting in this way implicit in the Gospel-trained life of a believer?

Bob said...

Hey Melissa-
I'm not ignoring what you brought up, I just think it deserves a whole post. (the stuff on the Emergent church) I'll get too it soon.

Tim said...

I'm sorry that I've disappeared from this conversation for a week. I was on vacation. But I wanted to follow up some. First off, I'm glad that Michael and I seem to agree about what Talbert actually said in the sound bite. And like Michael, I was only agreeing with his sound bite because that's all I know about the bishop.

But Bob, I'm afraid that you are missing my central point. You seem to be stuck on the words - the speaking part of the gospel. And in that, you are missing the majority of the gospel, and most importantly a whole other level. Talk is cheap, and words fall on the floor daily without being heard.

My point is that proclamation of the gospel is all well and good in certain times and places. But those certain times and places have requirements like credibility, meaningfulness, and commonalities so that the one hearing can understand, interpret, or put together what is being spoken. But as Paul eloquently put it, without love it is just like a clanging gong.

In the world, which is pluralistic, a proclamation won't mean squat without either fool-proof logic, which the gospel of Jesus has not as Paul also pointed out in that it is the "foolishness of men," or you need to have credibility, meaningfulness, and commonalities. Those are all accomplished by love, not just any love, but the gospel love that Jesus lived, died, and lived again in calling us to follow.

Francis of Assisi said to preach the gospel at all times when necessary use words. That is indeed true today as it was then and before. Words are not required to preach the gospel. But love is. As John wrote Love is of God and everyone who is born of love is born of God. The context of this statement in his epistles is clearly still pointing to Jesus as being the true love of God, so please don't mistake me for being liberal again.

As for the reported story I included, this story does indeed fit my statements. The words of the Christian were received because of the love shown to the Muslim by the following of Christ. Those words may very well not have been received at all without first the love of God being shown to him. You cannot discount the call of Jesus to love our neighbors as something minor to the verbal proclamation or proselytizing of Jesus.

Finally, in as much love as I can express with typed words over the Internet, I would like ask that you try not to lump me with the Emergent crowd or teachings. I cannot say enough that I don't go to an Emergent church nor am I actively trying to suck in all of the Emergent teachings so I can follow them. That said, I'm also not necessarily trying to follow any particular denomination's teachings, for there are too many to choose from and just as importantly too many that don't agree.

So I am very carefully trying to follow Jesus, the God of the Bible, and trusting the Holy Spirit to guide my interpretations of the scriptures. I bounce what I am grasping around with other Christians, here being one of those places, and seeking to find a relatively permanent and local Christian community. I'm sure I've picked up things from my Bapist days, my Presbyterian days, my non-denominational days, my InterVarsity days, etc, etc, that get mixed in. But in the end, I'm trying to follow Jesus and His gospel, not push some Emergent or any denominational spin of it. Thanks.