RE: [asa] Why couldn't you write your d*mn book more clearly?

From: Christine Smith <christine_mb_smith@yahoo.com>
Date: Tue Mar 18 2008 - 14:05:53 EDT

Hi John,

Just a couple of quick comments... you write: "I agree
with you that the mission of the church ought to be
about reaching and alleviating the suffering of the
less fortunate of the world"

Theologically speaking, this invites
clarification...the mission of the church (as I'm sure
you're aware) is to "make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son,
and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that
I have commanded you. . ." Of course, one of the ways
which we testify to the Gospel is through our good
works in serving the "least of these", but that in and
of itself is not our mission.

Likewise, you write: "There is a direct correlation
between what we believe here and whether some starving
kid in Africa gets a meal today or not. Why? Because
it takes the resources of the other rich educated
Westerners that haven't come into the church yet to
help us feed that kid in Africa. . ."

In defense of an Atheist friend of mine who spent his
Thanksgiving feeding the homeless, charity work is not
limited just to Christians or just to the church.

Anyway, my lunch break is over, so I best be off!
In Christ,
Christine (ASA member)

--- John Walley <john_walley@yahoo.com> wrote:

> David,
>
> I agree with you that the mission of the church
> ought to be about reaching
> and alleviating the suffering of the less fortunate
> of the world instead of
> soaking up our endless blessings and debating how
> many angels can fit on the
> head of a pin, but that is a different argument.
>
> At least for the rich, educated Westerners like you
> and me who have the
> privilege of even thinking about and debating these
> issues, we have the
> responsibility of getting it right, because the
> mission of the church above
> depends on it. There is a direct correlation between
> what we believe here
> and whether some starving kid in Africa gets a meal
> today or not. Why?
> Because it takes the resources of the other rich
> educated Westerners that
> haven't come into the church yet to help us feed
> that kid in Africa and they
> aren't coming in as long as we insist they take
> stupid lessons in order to
> become a Christian.
>
> Bottom line, I feel Protestantism is flawed because
> there is currently no
> mechanism to excommunicate people like Ellen White,
> Herbert Armstrong and
> Ken Ham and we have to let them tarnish the whole
> church and that actually
> becomes counter-productive to the mission of the
> church. Although we have
> seen abuses of a centralized control structure in
> the church before, I am
> not certain that the de-centralized Protestant
> church is any better off
> without one now. Hopefully though this whole new
> form of science/faith
> apologetics is the work of the Holy Spirit and will
> prove to make the church
> relevant again and we can recapture the role of
> honest and reality-based
> intellectual thought leadership we once had in our
> culture, and then there
> will be a consensus and a mechanism to dispatch the
> Ken Ham's and we can get
> on with feeding those kids in Africa in a bigger and
> better way.
>
> Thanks
>
> John
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: David Opderbeck [mailto:dopderbeck@gmail.com]
> Sent: Thursday, March 13, 2008 11:58 PM
> To: John Walley
> Cc: David F Siemens; gmurphy@raex.com;
> asa@calvin.edu
> Subject: Re: [asa] Why couldn't you write your d*mn
> book more clearly?
>
>
>
> No, it's not relativism. It's just that the world,
> the church, the gospel,
> are all so much bigger than this one concern. There
> are nearly 7 billion
> people alive in the world right now. About 1
> billion lack access to clean
> drinking water. About 1.6 billion have no access to
> electricty. About 3
> billion people live on less than two dollars a day,
> and about 30,000
> children die every day because of poverty. Think
> about this for a minute:
> by the end of this week, more children will die
> because of poverty than the
> total number of people who have ever visited the
> creation museum.
>
> Does that mean the creation museum is ok? Of course
> not. It makes it even
> more of a travesty to spend millions on such a
> thing. But you are taking a
> problem rich, educated Westerners like you and me
> have because we're so rich
> and so educated that we have time to worry about how
> Genesis relates to
> modern science, and you're making it into priority
> one when billions of
> starving, dying people don't give a crap about it.
>
> I want all my questions answered too, I want
> everyone to agree with me, and
> I want my faith to be simple, straightforward, and
> easy. I want to be able
> to beat the stuffing out of my unbelieving friends
> in apologetic arguments.
> I want my son to be perfectly healthy. I feel bad
> for myself, but it ain't
> gonna happen. Meanwhile, I have to pick myself up,
> stop blaming everyone
> else, and ask the Holy Spirit what his priorities
> are for me. No doubt some
> of that involves doing what I humbly can to promote
> good Christian
> scholarship and improve the life of the mind in the
> evangelical church --
> I'd say I feel that's part of my calling so long as
> I get to serve in
> academia. But I have to fight myself not to confuse
> my place on the pinky
> toe of the Body with the whole Body, and I have to
> fight myself to allow the
> Holy Spirit to show me all the varied areas in which
> the Kingdom of God
> needs to break in.
>
> On Thu, Mar 13, 2008 at 11:22 PM, John Walley
> <john_walley@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>
> But again David, this is the theological relativism
> I mentioned earlier in
> my opinion. Excusing YEC and other flawed doctrine
> is not the answer. Why
> would Jesus bother to warn us about false teaching
> then if it didn't matter?
> Truth does matter and we shouldn't excuse our church
> leaders for missing it.
> You recall my analogy before about the spiritual
> Arlingtons and I think it
> still holds.
>
> And as you know we have discussed before offline,
> these science/faith issues
> are not just obscure, internal doctrinal issues like
> infant baptism or
> speaking in tongues that the world doesn't know or
> care about, but it is in
> fact the very definition of objective reality at
> stake here and when it
> plays out in the courts and in the global media at
> the very nexus with the
> world that Jesus commanded us to make disciples of,
> I think we have more
> accountability than to just love everyone. We have
> to make sure our faith is
> grounded in reality as well and I really don't think
> that is too much to
> ask. The subject of this thread highlights the need
> for this and the gravity
> of the consequences of failing at it.
>
> Plus there are other very practical drivers to
> getting this right as well.
> This science/faith arena is the very battleground by
> which the enemy is
> using to marginalize and even criminalize Christian
> faith in our culture. We
> need to repent of our spiritual pride that has led
> to this deception In
> order to prevent engendering further contempt and
> scorn from those we are
> called to reach and to keep this from leading to
> something much worse.
>
> Thanks
>
>
> John
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: David Opderbeck [mailto:dopderbeck@gmail.com]
> Sent: Thursday, March 13, 2008 9:32 PM
> To: John Walley
> Cc: David F Siemens; gmurphy@raex.com;
> asa@calvin.edu
> Subject: Re: [asa] Why couldn't you write your d*mn
> book more clearly?
>
>
> John, I understand some of what you're feeling right
> now. I think, though,
> we ought to be a little more nuanced in what we say
> of how the church has
> handled itself. The church is big. In every period
> of history since the
> time of Christ, the church has been faithful in
> somethings and not so
> faithful in others. From our perspective the
> progress can be lurching,
> painful, and slow -- kind of like someone giving
> birth.
=== message truncated ===

To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Tue Mar 18 14:07:17 2008

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue Mar 18 2008 - 14:07:17 EDT