Monday, December 04, 2006

Secular Humanist Deaconess Rosie O'Donnell Speaks Out...

What gets me the most is that this ridiculous statement was met with a round of applause.

22 comments:

~Deb said...

But it's so true! Look at these people who are radical Christians, protesting against the homosexuals with signs saying, "KILL FAGS!" Those are the radical Christians that Rosie speaks of.

Now, don't get me wrong, even though I'm gay, I really can't stand Rosie, and I am not sticking up for her because 'she's like me' or anything. It's just the facts.

Anything to the extreme is scary. I would applaud that as well.

Just my thoughts! Hope you don't mind! :)

natamllc said...

~deb

are you a practicing lesbian?

melissa b said...

I've got to agree with Deb here. There is some very crazy stuff going on with fundamentalist Christianity. God Hates Fags is one example. But groups that still promote racial segregation in schools or quote Scripture while dropping bombs are other good examples. I would be careful to not be offended every time someone says Christians are really messing things up. Often times we are. Hopefully we can deal gently and swiftly with the sin that binds the church. But I think Rosie may be a Balaam prophet here whether we like it or not.

Bob said...

Um, yeah.
Well the Fredd Phelps group (The God hates Fags guys) I would NOT classify as a genuinely evangelical Christian group, they frankly are a fringe cultish group like the JW's...or more historically in step with the Ku Klux Klan (which was supposedly "Christian"). Anyway to the heart of the matter, I don't think Rosie really had the Fred Phelps guys in her sights with this statement but guys like me who believe the Bible is the word of God, and that there is no salvation apart from faith in Christ alone.

I think this because of her reference to the "seperation of Church and State" (revisionist interpretation) she stammers out. Meaning that guys like me who say homosexuality is wrong are a threat to her "progressive" view of culture. I think that's really the issue. Not the random lunatics who do things in the name of God which the press for some reason feels the need to cover (to make Christianity look bad).

I am all for addressing bad practices coming out of the Church in our culture. I actually addressed the Fred Phelps group in a different thread, so it is frankly innaccurate and playing Freud to say I am getting upset everytime someone raises a critique of Christianity. I critique American Christianity all the time here!

My hang up with Rosie is that by "Radical Christians" she really means a guy like me. "Moderate" Christians now a days are people like Shelby Spong, and other blasphemous liberals who really don't believe the Bible. So I don't think Rosie is anything close to a Balaam but is just a mouth peice for the secular humanist rhetoric. These are the guys who when they get their way will see to it that I can't say from a pulpit that homosexuality is sin.

On a logical perspective Rosie's statement is a clear faulty comparison fallacy. In the Qur'an Muslims are really taught to kill Jews, Christ taught no such thing. Muslims really are killing people in the name of God and declaring holy war almost everyday, is there REALLY an equivellant to this here in American Evangelicalism? I don't think so. The fredd Phelps guys are wingnuts but I don't think that they are a)Evangelical or b)advocating a holy war against gays. They are just purposely offensive to gays and the families of dead soldiers.

What is a bummer to me is that people, particularly Christians, can't see throught all the BS tolerant/you Xian's are haters rhetoric.

melissa b said...

Christians have a lot of OT to wrestle with as well. Just like Islam there is interperative framework, the tradition and the scholarly body which dictate the meeting for the contemporary congregation. I certainly don't like it when people attack Christianity based on Levitical law. Christians who live by levitical law are fundamentalists. Just like Muslims who bomb the World Trade Center are fundamentalist Muslims. It is absolutely necessary for any future peace with the Middle East that this distinction is made.

I think you are right that Phelps was not who Rosie had in mind. But I would be careful about separation of church in state. God forbid our God should ever get watered down enough to be palpable to this nation. God forbid our children pray in schools to some noxious sham of a "one nation under god." Blech. Give me some separation of church in state, please!

Most of my non-Christian friends can't see through the hater language because the most visible Christian in their life is George Bush. As much as George Bush is a man of faith, I seriously question some of the speeches he makes where Scripture and hymns are used to by an evangelical audience. I was pretty upset with the evangelical community for voting for someone against abortion but who has seen the highest increase in abortions of any president, probably because he's done very little to prevent the situations of desperate poverty and of thoughtless super-wealth that lead to a culture of death. What is up with that?

Bob said...

Melissa, although I disagree with you I really do welcome your comments/critiques of my ideas.

Maybe you could clarify this statement:

"I certainly don't like it when people attack Christianity based on Levitical law. Christians who live by levitical law are fundamentalists."

I don't know what you are talking about when you refer to Christians who live by levitical law=fundamentalists.

Anyway though like many cultural words "fundamentalist" has become just an empty put down. Just like tolerance has become a hollow ethic to live by (being gutted of any philosophical foundation that supports it ethically and objectively) these have just become soundbites and buzz words divorced of any real meaning. Intolerant in our post-modern ethos has come to mean openly objecting to someone else's lifestyle (saying X is wrong). The real meaning of tolerance is being able to live next to people and tell them you disagree with them religiously/politically/morally etc and not feeling the need to forcibly threaten them to adopt your views...this is tolerance.

What we have in all the empty rhetoric really is intolerance towards Christianity couched in tolerant language (really a pretty clever manuaver for how hollow all the talk is) people are doing the very thing they are angry with Christians at...judging them!

This really ties into the seperation of Church and state issue as well. Again, as I said before the SOCS rhetoric is a revisionistic version of what SOCS originally meant. Now it means get religion out of the public square (you reffered to school prayer). Originally it meant keep the Gov't from regulating and controling religion. That's what happened in England with the Anglican church persecuting the non-conformists because they were the sanctioned state church. SOCS is not in the constitution nor any other founding documents it comes from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson, in which he garauntees that gov't will NOT govern church because there is a wall keeping gov't out of these affairs.

Now while I do agree that maybe schools shouldn't be calling kids who don't believe to IN WORD ONLY hail God. BUT I think kids should have the right to pray in schools and talk about their faith without threats of suspension. Teachers also should be allowed to speak of their faith and pray, what is going on is that instead of an Anglican church being sanctioned and non-conformists being persecuted we have a secular church being sanctioned and non-conformists bein punished.

Finally you said:

"Most of my non-Christian friends can't see through the hater language because the most visible Christian in their life is George Bush"

Well if they reject Christianity because George Bush is a loser then they need to rethink their epistemology. Bad Christian examples are a bummer and should be called out, but I think even without bad examples people will reject the Christian message, because the natural man is at enmity with God. I would just say don't look a G Dubya, looka at Jesus Christ, and ask: Who is this Man?

None333333 said...

Rosie and Elton get on my nerves. Maybe they'll marry each other some day and shut up.

Yes, Fred Phelps/GodHatesFags is an abhorrent sick group. What bugs me is that people will use Fred as an 'umbrella example' to demonize Bible believing Christians as 'bigots' and 'haters'. It's a manipulation tactic for shaming and silencing anyone who disagrees with their gay-OK dogma.

natamllc said...

Melissa b, you wrote:::>[[Christians have a lot of OT to wrestle with as well.]]


QM, you wrote:::> [[Rosie and Elton get on my nerves.]]

Melissa,

where in the Bible does it teach what you wrote?

Question,

How can dead men or women or children have any nerves?

I make my point this way seeing there can only come confusion from both your quotes above.

You both do not have a TRUE SENSE or CLARITY about God, Jesus or the Holy Ghost.

The "Kingdom of God" is at HAND.

The Kingdom of God brings FREEDOM, not confusion.

The King came and did all that we find impossible to do, ever!

There must be a possibility available to us also? What possibility is that? The same possibility that Satan took when he was Lucifer and separated himself from the LIFE OF GOD and now inculcates into the minds of Adam's race so that strongholds exist there, to wit Christ came and lived and died and rose again to destroy so that those He saves can stay in the impossible and not do the possible which Lucifer did, rebell against ETERNAL LIFE.

It's a free gift, this GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE.

Nowhere in Scripture does it teach us what you said that I quoted Melissa.

Nowhere in Scripture does it teach us to take the stand you said about yourself losing your nerve because of the "kind" of sinner Rosie and Elton are.

Are they any less totally depraved as we as the Bible teaches all of the human race is?

No, I think it is your old nature that has nerve Question.

Now I lay me down to sleep hopefully never never to rise again by baptism being buried with Him that as He was raised from the dead by the Glory of the Father so we too might "walk, talk and live" newness of Life in Him, which parenthetically is an impossibility for us but not for Him!

michael

melissa b. said...

michael -- the church has taught this since its inception. Jesus kingdom is not of this world. Stop putting your hope in earthly temples.

bob -- Christians who strictly follow levitical law = Muslims who blow up themselves and buildings. They are both aberration of accepted historical interpretation and tradition from the text in both traditions.

Fundamentalism is not an empty phrase or my folks. They grew up in fundamentalism. Science was bad (I we disagree on evolution but I don't want to get into that now), dating blacks was wrong, watching movies and listening to the Beatles were evil. It had nothing to do with tolerance or intolerance, simply following believing that every interpretation of the Bible outside their own was wrong.

I appreciate your comment on SOCS. But I would also add that the reverse of this has also been taken to be true by the Supreme Court. No religion regulating government. It is a tragedy when students can not share from the wellspring of their faith in public schools. But I do understand the desire for teachers not to use their religion as coercive. We would both hate for Geneva to be in a school where her teacher taught her "to thine own self be true" or had her involved in Buddhist meditation after recess.

On Jorge Bush: my friends will only see Christ in the church. After all the church is the body of Christ! If there is no salvation outside the church, I need them to enter into the fullness of both a relationship with Christ and into submission to the canon of church doctrine. I can't have them becoming Jehovahs Witnesses or Mormons. Both of these groups got started because they wanted to "just look at Jesus." There is no Jesus without those of us who witness him in the world. Gandhi is a great example. He knew the teachings of Christ, he knew the Bible front to back. He said he could never become a Christian because of other Christians.

myquestioningmind: dude. it's time to repent. Jesus would have embraced and gently called to repentence Rosie and Phelps. He would never have talked about his children with the words you used. love is an act of obedience and it's time to get obedient.

natamllc said...

melissa b

I do believe it's time for YOU TO REPENT.

You side stepped my question well though.

Now, where in any of the Bible are we to do what you imply in that quote Melissa?:::>[[ Christians have a lot of OT to wrestle with as well. ]]

Please quote a verse of Scripture where God teaches that?

But in any event let me quote a verse and ask you what God is asking of you?:::>

Mat 1:21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."


michael

melissa b. said...

oh goodness.

Lev 12.1-5

Lev 15.1-12

Lev 15.19-27

Lev 19.19

Lev. 19.23-25

Lev. 19.26

Lev. 19.27

Lev 19.28

Lev 20.2 (stone anyone to death lately?)

Lev 20.10 (how about for committing adultery?)

Lev 20.27

I could go on (and on and on) but that list should suffice. The point is that if Christians took these verses at face value, without an authoritative tradition of interpretation from the orthodox church, we would have a lot of fundamentalists (or extremist if you prefer) Christians trying to stone their divorced-remarried neighbor. Thankfully this is not the case. Thankfully the Lord sent his only begotten Son to take on the weight of the Law and to bear it on a cross. Thankfully he annointed the church to be the body of his holiness until he comes again to purify her and draw her to himself forever. That's the Gospel baby. Hallelujah.

Bob said...

Melissa-
I didn't really see what you were getting at with all the Levitical talk but I think I am starting to get the argument. Now we Reformed theologians see a distinction in the types of OT laws. What you cite were unanimously Ceremonial laws (laws which deal with cleanness/kosher) these really ONLY apply to the OT covenant b/c they are shadows of the ultimate fulfillment in Christ (ex: animal sacrifice, clothing made of fiber not mixed with other fiber [a picture of being unspotted from the world], or foods). These are fullfilled in Christ in that they were forshadows and Christ is the substance.

On the other hand there are the Moral laws. These are objective and are reflective of the moral character of God and are as unchanging as God. These are things like murder is wrong, stealing is wrong, fornication is wrong, etc.

Now people bring up this stuff generally in order to write off those pesky passages in Leviticus which declare homosexuality to be sin. What they say is that "Well we don't make sure we wear clothes made of the same fabric do we?! Well that's in the same book as homosexuality is wrong! Why do we hold to one and not the other?! That's ridiculous...therefore homosexuality is A-OK."

This sort of talk is clearly reflective of a complete innability to move from OC to NC (purposely I think). I have heard that sort of argument too often from liberal theologians. So I just gotta ask is that where you are going with all this Levitical Christian stuff? Do you think homosexuality and Christianity really are compatable?

If so I think A.J. Gordon is rolling in his grave.

I still really don't understand what a levitical Christian is. Is it just a Christian (like myself) who think Leviticus has application for today?

You said:
"Christians who strictly follow levitical law = Muslims who blow up themselves and buildings. They are both aberration of accepted historical interpretation and tradition from the text in both traditions."

Well I am still foggy on the levitical Christian stuff, but as for muslims blowing themselves up I don't think they are at all out of step with their worldview. We may call them radicals but really that's what the Qur'an teaches and the Hadith promises them 72 virgins who have not known a man if they "martyr" themselves. I actually have read the Qur'an so I am not just second sourcing this, it really does teach people to kill infidels and hate Jews.

Anyway I will only pick on you in one more area, you said:

"Jesus would have embraced and gently called to repentence Rosie and Phelps. He would never have talked about his children with the words you used. love is an act of obedience and it's time to get obedient."

Well I agree Jesus would have called Phelps and Rosie to repentence...I don't know how gently though. My main hangup though is this God's children talk, you seem to hint at universalism. Christ taught that people were of their father the Devil when they were claiming to be the children of God in John 8, this really flies in the face of the liberal theology talk that we are all God's children. The question then is who are God's children?

" Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved." (Eph 1:3-5)

"This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring." (Rom 9:8)

Those whom God has chosen are His children, there are particular people who are His and some who are not.

natamllc said...

Melissa b

again you craftily sided stepped my quiries.

You truly need to REPENT.

Now, pray thee, tell me what you understand repentance to be.

Here is a verse you will not be able to side step seeing it's God's Word:::>

Heb 6:1 Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
Heb 6:2 and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.
Heb 6:3 And this we will do if God permits.
Heb 6:4 For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit,
Heb 6:5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come,
Heb 6:6 if they then fall away, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.

Do you believe YOU are to do anything here about repentance?

What is God asking from you or expect of you with regard to these things you quote from Leviticus?

And rather, what about "your" Christianity? How you doing with that?

michael

melissa b said...

michael -- you've totally lost me. best to you.

bob -- Lisa and I have been in a Bible class or two which did helpfully deal with the three distinctions of the Law. However, Elaine Phillips was never able to secure for me questions about the law never passing away, not one iota. Or Paul's discussion of the Law being a gentle guide. And often times the distinction between types of laws is less than adequate. Muslim theology has distinctions of laws too (at least something like this). Muslims who don't are like Christians who try to stone their neighbors.

Wow, I am really digging back into Gordon College classes now! Either way, I don't find systematics like three distinctions particularly helpful as there is always a question like this which doesn't fit in the box. Often times I find people trying to change the size of the box instead of accepting that it just don't fit.

As for Rosie, Phelps, Elton, the Jesus I know from the Gospels would have invited them to dinner as he did tax collectors and prostitutes. There's nothing universalist about it -- this is the biblical God who loved the rich young ruler even when he walked away from the fold. This is the Lord of the prodigal son. All these were seen as precious in the eyes of the Lord. They are his creation, created in his image. si?

natamllc said...

Melissa

you are full of "GOOD WORKS".

You cannot see that.

Ok; so I lost you. hmmmmm. When did I become the Savior?

melissa b said...

bob -- an article by telford work at westmont which you might enjoy

http://www.westmont.edu/~work/articles/annunciation.html

Bob said...

Hey Melissa-
Thanks again for the responses and you willingness to speak your mind and well...get picked on a little. I checked out the article you pointed me to and here's my assesment in no particular order:

The article asserts that the fruit of the doctrine of election has:

"The doctrine's primary legacy in today's Reformed traditions (Anglicanism, Methodism, evangelicalism, and even Presbyterianism) seems to be endless bickering and polarization among Arminian and Calvinist true believers, and exhaustion and apathy in the middle. Where the debate has ended, it has ended by sheer attrition — an Elizabethan Settlement without reconciliation or resolution."

My response is: Why does that matter? The issue is whether or not it is true to scripture not the pragmatic effects it may have. That is simply irrelevent and well postmodern. The writer seems to feel bad that he/she was a division causer by holding to election. Well in my mind that is really irrelevant, because ALL truth divides.

He/She goes on and tries to throw a wrench in the gears with references to Israel saying that Reformed theology hasn't dealt with this. I find it hard to believe that this guy is trying to say he was a Calvinist but does not know ho Israel fits into Reformed theology. There really is so much wrong with how he is charicturizing Calvinism that a whole review of this would be in order to deal with this as it should be. I will be again somewhat random with what I cite and respond to here.

"Third, Augustinian and Calvinist doctrines of double-predestination have a symmetrical feel to them that is missing in the biblical accounts. If there are a decree of salvation and a decree of reprobation, they are not equal opposites. Rather, election's overriding concern is blessing."

This is just wrong. Most Reformed theologians will not describe reprobation as the opposite of election but rather the absence of it. And the classic scripture to support this is:

"though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad--in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call-- she was told, "The older will serve the younger." As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part?
By no means! For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy."
(Rom 9:11-16)

It's funny that he denies there is scriptural support for double predestination but then goes on to talk about the passages that teach it to show reprobation is in order to further salvation.

Anyway he goes on to give the generac rebuttle to explain how Romans 9 really is not about individuals but nations. And to a point I agree. BUT! Are not nations mad up of individuals? Are not Jacob and Esau individuals who existed in real time and space? One blessed (chosen) by God the other passed over? It's a nice way to side step the obvious to do the nations interpretation. But in Romans 9 Paul really is talking about individuals in the greater context of nations. The babes in the womb, Jacob, Esau, Pharaoh are all individual references and there is nothing to lead us to think that for Jacob paul really means...

I also think he sets up Barth as a straw man of Calvinism, Barth is far from being the hallmark poster boy of Reformed theology. This is why the Westminster and Old Princeton theologians distanced themselves from him. I really can't comment in detail because I do not know Barth as I should to give a fair response to this. But from what I DO know I don't think he is the best theologian to defend Calvinism after Calvin and Augustine...I think maybe Owen or Edwards.

Anyway, I am bothered by how gracious he really treats Pelagius throughout this diatribe. Pelagius' theology logically led him to deny substitutionary atonement and grace as an enabler. Human will became the center of savation...even Arminians detest this stuff. I guess I am mostly bothered by how he tries to link Pelagius and Mary together it seems saying Mary was really and example of a Pelagian response to calling. >:( Ridiculous, isogesis at best.

Oh and don't mind Michael, a lot of stuff he says I don't get the first read, but if you think about what he is saying it really is profound a lot of the time...kinda like a lot of Luther's writings.

natamllc said...

Melissa B

I whole heartedly agree with Bobby,

DON'T MIND ME, CAUSE IF YOU ARE MINDING ME, GUESS WHO YOU ARE NOT?

Yes, Lord Jesus, I will, I will, I will Mind you just as soon as I am able!

IMPOSSIBLE!

huh?

What do you mean Jesus!!! You are mean!

No, child, I am not mean, Michael is! and so are a lot of people I died for that they too will MIND ME.

Oh Melissa B, how wretched you are too!

Do you mind that I say that about you?

"mean mike!"

That's what a little boy told my Mom one day about fifty years ago tattle telling on me when she asked "WHICH MIKE did it"???

There were three of us that grew up in the same housing project together, there was, Mike, Good Mike and Mean Mike.

Guess who is writing this to you?

mm

But Melissa B, you do need to REPENT and let Jesus do the CHANGING OF YOUR WAYS and MINE, lol considering that I am asking you to change; seeing what He is asking you and me to do the impossible. He then parenthetically says to you and me and everyone who will Mind Him, IT'S IMPOSSIBLE FOR YOU TO CHANGE YOUR WAYS or the ways of any human. Leave that up to Me!

You just Mind Me!

One said it like this: LIVE TODAY AS THOUGH IT WERE YOUR LAST, SPEAK TO OTHERS AS THOUGH THEY WILL LIVE FOR ETERNITY for ill or for GOOD by your WORDS.

melissa b said...

Bob -- I'll only make one comment because it's at the heart of this and any theological conversation: all doctrine was a compromise between diverse camps. We'll just take the counsel of Jerusalem, the first eccelesial conference. That God has worked through these bickering and often fleshy debates to bring about truth is a testament to His patience.

To this end, there are many many Christians who don't hold to some of the more radical points of Calvinism. Many Calvinists don't. All this to say,

"Why does that matter? The issue is whether or not it is true to scripture not the pragmatic effects it may have. That is simply irrelevent and well postmodern. The writer seems to feel bad that he/she was a division causer by holding to election."

is somewhat arbitrary. The point of doctrine is to unite Christianity. That is it's pragmatic outcome. That doctrine is true (and let's face the fact that it is fluid, as we saw from arminian remaking of Augustine's election) is simply fact, not postmodern. In other words, you may not be right.

Sometimes I worry that your reading schools (Westminster, Calvinism) are so tight that they divorce you from many conversation like Telford's which are taking place in every other avenue of our church. I felt this choking at Gordon-Conwell. It was like there was no way to go forward, just in circles.

Everything of yours that I read that is not Westminster-esque turns out to be not only wrong but postmodern, liberal, anti-doctrine. It's demonized and therefore un-engageable. It's a genuine concern and I hope you won't take it as criticism. You have an intelligent and enquiring mind. I would hate to see it boxed in instead of creatively engaging with the wider body of our Church for the glory of the kingdom.

natamllc said...

Melissa B

seeing you have wished me all the best and Bobby has admonished you not to mind me, you won't mind then that I comment on your absurdity hereon?

Here's your post:::>[[To this end, there are many many Christians who don't hold to some of the more radical points of Calvinism. Many Calvinists don't. All this to say,

"Why does that matter? The issue is whether or not it is true to scripture not the pragmatic effects it may have. That is simply irrelevent and well postmodern. The writer seems to feel bad that he/she was a division causer by holding to election."

<...is somewhat arbitrary. The point of doctrine is to unite Christianity. That is it's pragmatic outcome. That doctrine is true (and let's face the fact that it is fluid, as we saw from arminian remaking of Augustine's election) is simply fact, not postmodern. In other words, you may not be right.]]

On the contrary, what you posted here is absolutely absured and I have to say, no, I want to say it: YOU MIGHT BE MORE FULL OF YOURSELF THAN JESUS INTENDED!

Explain this then seeing you made that assertion which I quoted above posted:::>

Luk 12:49 I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?
Luk 12:50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!
Luk 12:51 Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:

You do not know what the hell you are talking about!

Election has nothing to do with people God created. It has everything to do with the BLOODLINE.

That's God's business.

It's yours to Mind Him, which you clearly betray in your absurdity.

Am I making you mad?

GOOD, I HOPE I AM.

Maybe we can get down to the REAL ISSUES, if you are angry now?

michael

Bob said...

Melissa-
Thanks again for getting back, I truly do want other people's thoughts and it is quite all right to criticise my view on things. I want to be shown my error if I am wrong about stuff (And I no doubt am). Anyway, my hangup is the pragmatic view of doctrine, that its goal is to unite. I think there are strong emphasise on unity in scripture, but I think there is also a strong emphasis on Christ bringing a division. I have been working through John the last couple of years and I am astounded how often the phrase "So there was a division among the people because of Him." occurs.

Truth by its very nature is divisive and a unifier, so I think it is reductionistic to focus on one pragmatic effect and dismiss the other. I to a point agree and I do mourn the division in the body of Christ, for the most part over how the sacraments are to be administered.

Anyway I labelled Telford's remark as far as the pragmatic elements as postmodern because that really is part of the POMO ethos. We are concerned with what "works" in our age. When we treat theology as truth=what works we are in grave danger of putting ourselves in the place of God's revelation as arbiter os truth. In this case "works" is defined as what unites. Thus theology that unites (works) and is therefore true. I know this is an oversimplification but I am sure you get my drift.

Anyway, Thank you though Melissa I DO want to look at critiques of views I may hold.

melissa b said...

Bob - my understanding of the division Jesus speaks of is not in the church but between the world and the church, the true God and the false god. I believe Jesus longs for unity in the church and I pray for this unity every day. This doesn't mean the unity of theology is inclusive (it is EXclusive) but it invites all to join in communion. That election isn't working towards that end, I think, is what Telford is trying to say (by the way isn't Telford a rockin name?).

Maybe it's because I know Telford is not a postmodern (in fact he would say, like you, that theology's reach is beyond modernity and postmodernity) that I am questioning. Plus, theology is tricky business. It takes a lot of working out. I would also be loathe to say that because theology is divisive it is therefore accurate either. But theology has to work in some way. My impression of T.W. is that he is simply pointing out that the conversation about election needs a new rubric because it is no longer functional within the current framework, not that it needs to make everyone happy which undoubtably it won't.

I do appreciate your willingness to hear my concern about a boxed in worldview. I would enourage you to get into some other mainstream contemporary writers that most of us who have/are going through seminary are reading. These are orthodox, faithful writers, they just aren't Calvinists. They include Richard Hays, Stanley Hauerwas, Bill Cavanaugh, Charles Pinches, Ellen Davis, Amy Laura Hall, John Howard Yoder, Nancey Murphy, Walter Bruggeman, Will Willimon, Rowan Williams and Hans Reinders. I know this list is slanted towards Duke and virtue ethics, but heck, that was my school of discipleship. Just some suggestion. But really grappling with these folks is an important part of getting into the heart of theological enquiry that's broader than the Westminster school.

Thanks again for the ears to hear. I hope I have the same.