Monthly Archives: August 2014

Fundamentalism: Thinking Historically

I want to take a little passage from a book I read a good portion through (but haven’t finished yet) and put it down here. The book is, “The Sword of the Lord” written by Andrew Himes. As one reviewer stated:

“Andrew Himes is the grandson of famed evangelist John R. Rice. His father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, five nephews and many cousins are or were Baptist preachers. His mother was one of Rice’s six daughters. He had an insider’s view of the early days of independent Baptist fundamentalism and it wasn’t all pretty.”

So if anyone, I’d think, is capable of speaking on the subject (which goes further back than his own personal family history) it would be Himes. Hime’s voice on the topic is rather refreshing. It seems, most people can only offer a “negative apologetic” or negative criticism of a particular issue. Specifically, in this case, fundametalism. They work with what Mouw spoke of as a “hermeneutic of suspicion” rather than a “hermeneutic of charity.” It’s nice to see something that isn’t the same fan fare of brutal criticism but also offers something positive as well (Bruce Barron’s work on the faith movement and on Kingdom Now or The Reconstructionist Movement is notable in this regard).

In the beginning of, “The Sword of The Lord” Himes says this:

“In general, a fundamentalist outlook made a lot of sense in a world in which you needed to be certain where to stand in order to survive the next day and to defend the lives and welfare of your family. Fundamentalism was a rational, and emotional, response to a dangerous world where you needed to know who was a sheep and who was a goat, who was for you and who was against you, who might slip a blade between your ribs and who would love you back.”

Hopefully, the next time you hear some criticism or another of fundamentalism you keep this statement in mind. You keep in mind not to take any criticism of a movement that doesn’t take into consideration the complexity of the historical situation.

Mark Driscoll and Church Restoration

Read this in CT Mag

“From the Pastors

1. We, the elders of Mars Hill Church, love Pastor Mark and truly desire his full restoration to preaching Pastor of this church.

4. He will continue to receive his salary so long as he continues to cooperate with the restoration plan set before him by the elders of Mars Hill Church.

5. Dr. Tripp has agreed to serve us in a consulting role to oversee the restoration plan for Pastor Mark. We direct the BOAA to retain Dr. Tripp in this capacity, and in doing so also to agree that Pastor Mark only be restored when Dr. Tripp and all members of the BOAA and the Board of Elders believe that process to be complete.

From Mark Driscoll
2. I have requested a break for processing, healing, and growth for a minimum of six weeks while the leadership assigned by our bylaws conduct a thorough examination of accusations against me. I believe their review can best be performed without me being in the pulpit or the office, and they have agreed to this arrangement.

4. I will use this time to continue to seek the Lord about His plans for me and for this and the next season of life for Mars Hill. I will also use it to spend more time with God, my wife, and our children.

7. I have asked our Board of Advisors and Accountability to strengthen our board by adding members to it, and they are in the process of doing so with local members being our first choice. I have agreed to postpone the publication of my next book until a future season, to be determined.

8. I have begun meeting with a professional team of mature Christians who provide wise counsel to help further my personal development and maturity before God and men. I have never taken an extended focused break like this in my 18 years as your pastor, and it is not a vacation but rather a time to focus on deep work in my soul in the areas of processing, healing, and growing.”

I remember years ago Stanley Grenz talk about pastors who were involved in sexual misconduct in this book.

Some of the criticisms level were how the women involved in such affairs basically disappeared, “shunned” from the church while the pastor was “restored to ministry.” As matter of fact, that was the first and foremost goal–restore to ministry NOT restore to fellowship or relationship which is where the focus should be. OK. I haven’t really been following the whole Mark Driscoll fiasco, because frankly, I’m tired of these church games and the bullshit (yes, I know enough from the little I’ve read from CT Mag and on the internet). Let me say this, I don’t know what should be done with MD. I’m not close enough to the situation to really have an opinion or to really even care. However, just reading the points above from the two parties involved, it doesn’t even appear that there is ANY intention for MD of ever STAYING OUT of ministry. Maybe his sins don’t rise to the occasion of sexual sin but does it have to? And if Stanley Grenz is correct, then why the underlying belief in restoration-specifically to ministry? Wouldn’t it be OK if he NEVER returned to ministry? If he worked at McDonalds? Or is that beneath him. And this, it seems to me, is something American evangelicalism keeps shoving down our throats. We can’t seem to get enough of these personalities. Oh, he’s “stepping down” but let’s make a show of that too. Saw that with Jimmy Swaggart, “Ohhhhhh…forgive me for I have sinned.” Boo hoo hoo…save me the crocodile tears. Still kept on doing the same thing. Stepping down really wasn’t stepping down for him. It was all a mirage. I see the same with Driscoll. Stepping down but FOR SURE we’re going to “restore” him to ministry. What??? Why does he even need to? What a circus. Why can’t it be, “You know Mark? This has been too devastating to the church. Sorry, but we have decided that your leadership is detrimental to the health of individuals and the church as a whole. We’ll give you time and resources to transition into the next chapter of your journey.” But is that even a part of the equation? Nope. All I hear about is his taking a break and how he is postponing the publication of his next book. And it WILL be published. Why? Because by that time he will be “restored” and it wouldn’t make much sense to hear from a defunct pastor now would it? To me, if we were faced with a proposition to somehow have millions of dollars or have none, how many of us would even hint in the direction of going with the second. Somehow we will rationalize the decision and say that God somehow blessed us with it. How could it not be from God. The same with Driscoll. Somehow or another God not only wants him restored to fellowship and relationship but to minisrty. GOT to have that. Got to.

Why Libertarianism is Mistaken

I don’t remember how I came across this article, though it may have been while I was surfing for information on libertarianism. Anyhoo, I contacted the author and found him to be so polite to send me links to it as well as other articles he has written. This article is, in my opinion one of the best written online articles that analyzes the “first principles” of libertarianism and attempts to show why they are mistaken. Enjoy.

Why Libertarianism Is Mistaken

Israel and Hamas: Military Ethics with Regard to the Killing of Innocents

So I’m convinced that the reason that there is media bias against Israel and in favour of Palestinians is because it’s easier to eschew rockets “killing innocent people” as opposed to actually attempting to understand “just war theory” and the argument of proportionality in war–that under some circumstances there is nothing morally unjustifiable about killing innocent people. You can read my facebook friend Keith Pavelischek’s article on the topic here.