here I want to express something of a contrary view as to need; my
is to speak a pastoral word to brother Fred Phelps, and I hope to any
others of like mind.
God Bless you for your concern!
My concern, Fred, is that it is all too easy to assume that the
faith issues that trouble you are also troubling to most of those to
you minister as a missionary. While you might even have specific
of folks in mind for whom this is the case, I strongly suspect most of
those for whom you have pastoral responsibility have much more pressing
needs and concerns. Very effective physicians treat their patient's
with the medicine they understand while recognizing their limitations.
like manner, I believe it is important to humbly recognize that God
not expect any pastor, or missionary, to have all of the answers.
You are right on the mark. These controversies are rasied about once a
year in my ministry and are way, way down on the list of issues which
need to be dealt with. The problem is that when people do read Genesis
(which we must encourage!) they usually interpret things literally and
begin to make statements which are probably historically and
I would rather not have people believe, for example, that the Bible is
opposed to all significant evolution or that there was a worldwide
flood killing all but eight people and a handful of animals.
Does ANYONE out there believe that the Bible does not require that
there was a real flood or real tower of Babel? Is anyone willing to
publically state that these chapters are non-historical? Everyone
wants to say they are somewhat historical but that concordism is
hopeless. Is there a way to say that these chapters are "exaggereted
to make theological points" without using the word "exaggerated", so as
to maintain a high view of Scripture?