The following is the statement of belief from Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I thought it interesting and relevant to our discussion (HT: Darren Sapp)

We believe God inspired the authors of Scripture by his Spirit to speak to all generations of believers, including us today. God calls us to immerse ourselves in this authoritative narrative communally and individually to faithfully interpret and live out that story today as we are led by the Spirit of God.

In the beginning God created all things good. He was and always will be in a communal relationship with himself – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God created us to be relational as well andmarked us with an identity as his image bearers and amissional calling to serve, care for, and cultivate the earth. God created humans in his image to live in fellowship with him, one another, our inner self, and creation. The enemy tempted the first humans, and darkness and evil entered the story through human sin and are now a part of the world. This devastating event resulted in our relationships with God, others, ourselves, and creation being fractured and in desperate need of redeeming.

We believe God did not abandon his creation to destruction and decay; rather he promised to restore this broken world. As part of this purpose, God chose a people, Abraham and his descendants to represent him in the world. God promised to bless them as a nation so that through them all nations would be blessed. In time they became enslaved in Egypt and cried out to God because of their oppression. God heard their cry, liberated them from their oppressor, and brought them to Sinai where he gave them an identity and a mission as his treasured possession, a kingdom of priests, a holy people. Throughout the story of Israel, God refused to give up on his people despite their frequent acts of unfaithfulness to him.

God brought his people into the Promised Land. Their state of blessing from God was intimately bound to their calling to embody the living God to other nations. They made movement toward this missional calling, yet they disobeyed and allowed foreign gods into the land, overlooked the poor, and mistreated the foreigner. The prophetic voices that emerge from the Scriptures held the calling of Israel to the mirror of how they treated the oppressed and marginalized. Through the prophets, God’s heart for the poor was made known, and we believe that God cares deeply for the marginalized and oppressed among us today.

In Israel’s disobedience, they became indifferent and in turn irrelevant to the purposes to which God had called them. For a time, they were sent into exile; yet a hopeful remnant was always looking ahead with longing and hope to a renewed reign of God, where peace and justice would prevail.

We believe these longings found their fulfillment in Jesus the Messiah, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, mysteriously God having become flesh. Jesus came to preach good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted and set captives free, proclaiming a new arrival of the Kingdom of God, bringing about a New Exodus, and restoring our fractured world. He and his message were rejected by many as he confronted the oppressive nature of the religious elite and the empire of Rome. Yet his path of suffering, crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection has brought hope to all creation. Jesus is our only hope for bringing peace and reconciliation between God and humans. Through Jesus we have been forgiven and brought into right relationship with God. God is now reconciling us to each other, ourselves, and creation. The Spirit of God affirms as children of God all those who trust Jesus. The Spirit empowers us with gifts, convicts, guides, comforts, counsels, and leads us into truth through a communal life of worship and a missional expression of our faith. The church is rooted and grounded in Christ, practicing spiritual disciplines and celebrating baptism and the Lord’s Supper. The church is a global and local expression of living out the way of Jesus through love, peace, sacrifice, and healing as we embody the resurrected Christ, who lives in and through us, to a broken and hurting world.

We believe the day is coming when Jesus will return to judge the world, bringing an end to injustice and restoring all things to God’s original intent. God will reclaim this world and rule forever. The earth’s groaning will cease and God will dwell with us here in a restored creation. On that day we will beat swords into tools for cultivating the earth, the wolf will lie down with the lamb, there will be no more death and God will wipe away all our tears. Our relationships with God, others, ourselves, and creation will be whole. All will flourish as God intends. This is what we long for. This is what we hope for. And we are giving our lives to living out that future reality now.

While I am sure this will seem a little odd formatting to those used to more didactic means, with bullet points and direct scriptural references, this is a narrative form, which seems to be a much more refreshing restatement of truth in scripture than the norm.

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89 Comments(+Add)

1   clearly    http://seeingclearly.wordpress.com
December 11th, 2007 at 2:22 pm

I have problems with just the first line.

“We believe God inspired the authors of Scripture by his Spirit to speak to all generations of believers, including us today.”

Inspiration comes from the Greek word theopneustos. It means God-breathed. God did not breath out authors — He breathed out words (2 Timothy 3:16).

This may seem like a little thing, but there are many (not necessarily accusing Rob) who believe that inspiration is simply referring to the inspiration of a painter, for example, in constructing a masterpiece. The actual words of the Scripture were breathed out by God and the human authors were borne along by the Spirit in writing them down.

2   clearly    http://seeingclearly.wordpress.com
December 11th, 2007 at 2:23 pm

My comment shouldn’t be understood that the first line is my only problem…that’s as far as I got when I wrote that (on this reading; I have read this document previously). However, I will keep reading it again.

3   clearly    http://seeingclearly.wordpress.com
December 11th, 2007 at 2:32 pm

So Israel’s exile was due to a failure in regards to their missional calling? Hmm. I find it disturbing that this narrative would be so revisionists in its historical approach. The authors of the Scripture make it clear that the exile was due to, primarly (although not necessarily limited to) sin against God. They went whoring after other gods, i.e. idols. My problem with this view of sin going four directions is that it takes the emphasis off the primary direction of sin. Even sin against fellow-man is ultimately sin against God.

4   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 11th, 2007 at 2:37 pm

So Israel’s exile was due to a failure in regards to their missional calling?

From the statement

They made movement toward this missional calling, yet they disobeyed and allowed foreign gods into the land, overlooked the poor, and mistreated the foreigner.

The failure was both toward the missional calling (see Solomon enslaving people to build his projects, amassing chariots, etc.) and toward God (see idolatry, including Solomon’s intermarriage and bringing in the gods of his wives).

5   clearly    http://seeingclearly.wordpress.com
December 11th, 2007 at 2:44 pm

Chris, my point is that Rob emphasizes injustices towards others and de-emphasizes idolatry and sin against God. It’s a shift of focus that I think is not only unfortunate, but also non-biblical.

6   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 11th, 2007 at 2:48 pm

Dave,

It’s not an either-or, it is both – and both are mentioned.

When Jesus came on the scene, idolatry was no longer an issue, but marginalization was still a problem. Thus, the one scene of judgement Jesus gives us, with the sheep and goats, is over issues of margninalization, not idolatry.

Jesus mentions both (either directly or in indirect fashion, such as remez), but spends a lot more time on the marginalization issue, as well.

I guess he was unfortunately non-biblical in your view, as well?

7   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 11th, 2007 at 2:52 pm

The whole thing is a nice, non-specific narrative that doesn’t deal with the wages of sin and the atonement for that sin through Christ. It seems to be more concerned with righting the earth rather than dealing with the eternal destination of the righteous and the unrighteous.

Jesus was not the fulfillment of Israel’s longing for a reign of justice and peace, He was the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. I find that whole “statement of faith” as a nebulous narrative with some Biblical fringes but that misses the redemptive core.

8   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 11th, 2007 at 3:00 pm

Rick,

It does not spell out the penal atonement view, because MHBC is more in line with the Christus Victor view – the predominant view of the church for its first 1000 years, before the addition of the penal view by the RCC.

The Christus Victor view sees Christ’s blood as a ransom for mankind and his victory a total one, not just over individual sin and death. It does not contain the buzzwords you’re looking for because they are not common terminology, but rather “Christianese” to explain systematic understandings… The Penal view is only concerned with final judgement, whereas the CV view – as a more holistic one – is directly related to orthopraxy (which is in our control), while leaving the final judgement (the mechanics of which are not explained apart from those “in Christ” being saved from it) to God (which is not in our control).

9   Tim Reed    http://churchvoices.com
December 11th, 2007 at 3:02 pm

Gee, what a shock, MHBC doesn’t put out a power point style statement that uses Reformed buzzwords and watchdoggies get upset. Get over your vocabulary already.

10   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 11th, 2007 at 3:03 pm

doesn’t deal with the wages of sin

What about this?

The enemy tempted the first humans, and darkness and evil entered the story through human sin and are now a part of the world. This devastating event resulted in our relationships with God, others, ourselves, and creation being fractured and in desperate need of redeeming.

AND

doesn’t deal with the [...] atonement for that sin through Christ.

What about this?

Yet his path of suffering, crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection has brought hope to all creation. Jesus is our only hope for bringing peace and reconciliation between God and humans. Through Jesus we have been forgiven and brought into right relationship with God. God is now reconciling us to each other, ourselves, and creation.

Seems to me it’s just missing your buzzwords…

11   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 11th, 2007 at 3:09 pm

Tim – Even when someone like Dave comments on specific points of disagreement without rancor and with respect you resort to name calling and demean any view but your own by saying “get over your vocablulary”.

So only your vocabulary is legitimate, we must get over ours. That’s real discourse.

12   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
December 11th, 2007 at 3:11 pm

Someone from Mars Hill probably owes N.T. Wright for plagiarizing his ideas…

Seriously, though, it’s funny if you go read any of the books in Wright’s Christian Origins and the Question of God series, you quickly find out that the way ideas are presented at Mars Hill easily fall into place with his thoughts.

Personally, I find narrative theology much more compelling just because it is much easier to tell someone a story to get an idea across rather than go through a list of abstract ideas. It’s just more in line with the way people learn.

13   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 11th, 2007 at 3:13 pm

Rick,

The whole thing is a nice, non-specific narrative that doesn’t deal with the wages of sin and the atonement for that sin through Christ. It seems to be more concerned with righting the earth rather than dealing with the eternal destination of the righteous and the unrighteous.

I see that the Gospel right here:

Jesus is our only hope for bringing peace and reconciliation between God and humans. Through Jesus we have been forgiven and brought into right relationship with God. God is now reconciling us to each other, ourselves, and creation. The Spirit of God affirms as children of God all those who trust Jesus

I know he does not say certain “buzz words” but this phrase seems pretty clear as to Jesus being the only way to become Children of God which means having salvation.

iggy

14   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 11th, 2007 at 3:17 pm

I do not see spiritual death by sin, the blood, grace through faith, and I do not subscribe to be reconciled to creation, just the Creator. The description of the return of Jesus redefines in my opinion what the judgment of Christ is all about.

It remains very nebulous and doctrinally wanting. There are many new age people who believe in Jesus (I know some) who could agree with that whole narrative.

15   Kyle in WI    
December 11th, 2007 at 3:20 pm

i don’t think all people learn from stories, it though is one way people learn. How does one learn math. i remember learning about apples and oraganes for multipling(narritvie) but as i grew up equation, forms, theoroms, theories (abstract ideas) both are needed. I personally learn from “abstract ideas.” Although I would not call the doctrine of imputation absract. This is something that everyone can grasp and gain comfort from! Now some people do learn better from stories or narrtives others don’t. Just as long as they learn the bible correctly which ever way does not matter!

16   Tim Reed    http://churchvoices.com
December 11th, 2007 at 3:26 pm

Tim – Even when someone like Dave comments on specific points of disagreement without rancor and with respect you resort to name calling and demean any view but your own by saying “get over your vocablulary”.

So only your vocabulary is legitimate, we must get over ours. That’s real discourse.

First, I didn’t call him any names.

Second, yes the view that you have to use specific words that have come out of a specific theological tradition in order to be orthodox is wrong. Not just different, but absolutely and totally wrong.

My view is that each church, denomination, tradition, small group or other group of believer should be free to define their theology using the terms, and style they want to, without criticism for the terms and style used, but rather teh content of the statement, and it is the responsibility of the critic to grasp and understand what is being stated especially when the critic is separated by geogrpahy and culture.

And I will repeat myself. Get over your vocabulary, it isn’t scripture, it isn’t from God and isn’t the only vocabulary out there, and insisting that your vocabulary (whoever “your” may be) is the only way to describe orthodoxy is no different than those psycho KJV-onlyers.

17   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
December 11th, 2007 at 3:28 pm

I do not see spiritual death by sin, the blood, grace through faith, and I do not subscribe to be reconciled to creation, just the Creator. The description of the return of Jesus redefines in my opinion what the judgment of Christ is all about.

What’s this?

We believe God did not abandon his creation to destruction and decay; rather he promised to restore this broken world.

It seems that just speaking of redemption and restoration implies being rescued from death.

18   Kyle in WI    
December 11th, 2007 at 3:29 pm

I disagree if we change the meanings of words how do we communicate? If I change the meaning of plus to subtract in school and fail kids on there math test whose fault was it? Words have meaning when you try to deny or changing the meaning there is only confusion. What words are totally wrong?

19   Kyle in WI    
December 11th, 2007 at 3:35 pm

The penal view ws not made up a 1000 years later. It is in the NT. You are write to say that this is not the only things that the death of Christ does. We do have victory over sin, we can be santified because of His death. But to say that it is made up is wrong. Remember you want a holoistic view of the meaning of Christ death. You have victory over sin, a motivation to live a God pleasing life, and your sins have been paid for. You can not throw out penial sub is you are trying to gain this from the bible.

20   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 11th, 2007 at 3:36 pm

I believe watchdoggie is a name. The statement was posted with comments available but it did not say don’t comment if you disagree. I’ll be more careful in the future.. And everyone has their own buzzwords, that concept is not limited to any one group. I do not agree with the MH statement of faith or the view of Christ’s death.

21   Neil    
December 11th, 2007 at 3:37 pm

Two thoughts:
1) Tim was a bit harsh with his response.
2) The objections seem to be a bit petty (dare I say modernist)…most orbiting the sun of “They don’t use the right words…”

Neil

22   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
December 11th, 2007 at 3:40 pm

The thing that gets me about all this is that Mars Hill, from what I can tell, seems to be a church that is producing real fruit. Yet somehow, we have people from dead and dying church traditions (I’m meaning anyone personally here, I mean in a more general sense) come and rip on them for not using the right words in a statement of belief.

It would be one thing if we thought that their fruit was bad or questionable, but I just don’t see that as the case. At what point do we put our battles over words aside and realize that God can move despite our differences in definitions of certain words?

23   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 11th, 2007 at 3:40 pm

I second that, Neil. Having talked with Tim, I realize how he sounds when he says “get over ______”, which is not harsh or perjorative. However, when written, it does look awfully harsh… Thus the limiting nature of written communication between living souls vs. real-time conversation.

The objections seem to be a bit petty (dare I say modernist)…most orbiting the sun of “They don’t use the right words…”

Exactly…

24   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 11th, 2007 at 3:44 pm

By writing their statement of faith in their own words, as narrative, it also opens an avenue of natural discussion that isn’t normally there with the PowerPoint slides and the bullet-point lists (this coming from a guy that eats and breathes PP at work).

A story invites conversation and includes the listener in ways that didactic recitation does not… If your statement of faith is to prove to other churches that you know all the right words to use to keep them off your back, then MHBC’s statement probably fails.

If, however, your statement of faith is a way of engaging others – new believers, mature believers, unbelievers – in a conversation on how to follow the Way of Jesus, then I would say that it succeeds in ways that most fail…

25   Kyle in WI    
December 11th, 2007 at 3:52 pm

So Chris you admit that MHBC is not doctrinal accuracte? It is better to be slick with your words to get more people talking? I am sure you don’t mean that, but that is want I understand for that.

Why don’t they have any scripture references there? If I missed them I am sorry. Although I do like the lenght. Now days you get three sentence that anyone can believe! But where is the proof that this is correct from the bible so I can look it up and find out for myself. The old skool confession did this which is better than us. Not saying there style is better but that you can find it in the bible for each statement they make about God and see if it is true or not!

Does the Mormon chruch produce “good fruit.” They do a lot of donating to things and they overall act in a decent fashion right? Remember we need both an orthodoxy and orthpraxy. Zeal without knowledge is useless!

26   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 11th, 2007 at 3:58 pm

So Chris you admit that MHBC is not doctrinal accuracte? It is better to be slick with your words to get more people talking?

No, it is doctrinally accurate, but it uses common language, rather than a separate one that the church has created, primarily over the past 150 years, to describe faith.

This is not being “slick” with words. Rather, it is being genuine with your words to impart the concepts contained within the Bible, rather than using words which have no (or little) usage in the common lectionary. When you use the language of the common man, you have a much easier time engaging him (or her) in conversation and evangelizing – and they have an easier time understanding what you’re saying.

The gospel – literally “good news” – is simple, as we’ve been discussing here, but it seems that there are lots of folks who like keeping it complicated, which is primarily an elitist behavior…

27   clearly    http://seeingclearly.wordpress.com
December 11th, 2007 at 4:00 pm

This whole thing goes back to Rob Bell’s “a different kind of center” concerning the Bible. Would someone please address my initial post — the statement says that God inspired AUTHORS. Anyone with the theological training that Rob has (and he is trained in theology, Greek and Hebrew BTW), knows that when they say that the author is inspired, they mean something different than when they say that the Scriptures are inspired.

28   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
December 11th, 2007 at 4:04 pm

Kyle,
All you have to do is listen to one of Rob Bell’s sermons that are posted on Mars Hill’s website to find out how seriously they treat the Bible. Seriously, though, I don’t get this idea that they are accountable to you in any way, shape, or form though.

As far as Scripture references, do you really think an unbeliever is going to look up Scripture references? I’ve always found it quite odd that churches do that in more traditional statements of belief anyway. I mean if the purpose is to let a non-believer know what the church is about, is there any better way to confuse them than by including a list of words and terms that make no sense and include Scripture references?

29   Kyle in WI    
December 11th, 2007 at 4:04 pm

I don’t think it is elitist to use big words. I discuss this with my dad. I like to use words like propitation and imputation, which are in the bible, we I do jail ministry even with the young ones. My dad says I should use simpler words to communicate better. I feel the opposite i feel that the should learn these big words and find out the true depth of there meaning. like w/imputation I describe in simple terms saying it is God declaring “I’m putting your sin on Jesus and I’m putting Jesus righteousness on you.” Im putting and imputation are just a great way to learn it. Why not look to the past for doctrinal statements. The church has been doing it since 33ad all we have to do is update the language and expalin there meaning. I am not saying I disagree with the statement from MHBC just saying I like those big words I can handle them and so can everyone else. There is a beaut in words that can not be found else where!

30   clearly    http://seeingclearly.wordpress.com
December 11th, 2007 at 4:05 pm

Chris L,

You wrote, “It’s not an either-or, it is both – and both are mentioned.”

Go back and read my post again please — I am talking about a change in emphasis, not an either or. You have unintentionally created a straw man. While both are mentioned — the emphasis has always been on personal sin against God. Even after David had an affair with Bath. and had Uriah killed, he said “against You and You only have I sinned.”

31   clearly    http://seeingclearly.wordpress.com
December 11th, 2007 at 4:07 pm

“As far as Scripture references, do you really think an unbeliever is going to look up Scripture references?”

That shows a huge problem in your methodology. Do you really think unbelievers want to hear the gospel? Of course not! The Holy Spirit of God has to work in their hearts, drawing them to Himself or they will never desire God!

You make a good point. Generally, unbelievers are disinterested in the Bible.

32   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 11th, 2007 at 4:08 pm

Why don’t they have any scripture references there?

Because most unbelievers (at least the ones I know) don’t carry around Bibles with them, and chapter/verse identification came around a long time after the Bible was canonized.

But where is the proof that this is correct from the bible so I can look it up and find out for myself.

Is the Bible an encyclopedia where we look up bits of information here and there for “proof”, or is it a narrative work of God’s creation, that should be known and understood in the whole, not just the parts?

Is the lack of chapter/verse references preventing you from opening the pages and looking?

The old skool confession did this which is better than us. Not saying there style is better but that you can find it in the bible for each statement they make about God and see if it is true or not!

The creeds did not contain chapter/verse, either, so I’m not sure what “old skool” you’re referring to. My denomination doesn’t “do” creeds, anyway. If you want to learn what the Bible says, read it.

Does the Mormon chruch produce “good fruit.”

No, as good fruit is only produced in the name of Jesus, who is not just the Son of A God, but the Son of the ONLY God…

33   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
December 11th, 2007 at 4:11 pm

Dave,

Throughout the story of Israel, God refused to give up on his people despite their frequent acts of unfaithfulness to him.

How is that not talking about personal sin?

Also, you bring up David. As king, David’s personal sin affected the whole nation. There was not a big individual/community divide as there is today. Personal sin was dealt with collectively.

34   Kyle in WI    
December 11th, 2007 at 4:12 pm

I just feel that is a person is looking at churches and what they are about, saved or not, would have a serious time of looking at the bible for answers. So you want the unsaved to just rely on the words fo the church(any of them) instead of the bible because it is confusing to them. Most people are smart than that and what a deep understanding of God not of that one church.

also cleary is making a good point. It may seem small to you but the inspiriation of the bible is hughly important!

35   clearly    http://seeingclearly.wordpress.com
December 11th, 2007 at 4:14 pm

Chris,

You are being unfair with Kyle. Okay, so chapters and verses were added later. Fine. This document doesn’t even provide books (besides maybe Exodus). Give him a break on this one…the fact is this. We have Bibles with chapters and verse numbers.

36   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 11th, 2007 at 4:16 pm

I mean if the purpose is to let a non-believer know what the church is about, is there any better way to confuse them than by including a list of words and terms that make no sense and include Scripture references?

Phil,

Actually, if the primary “audience” you’re trying to attract is already a Christian (most likely just simply church-hopping), then it is important to have chapter/verse….

You have unintentionally created a straw man. While both are mentioned — the emphasis has always been on personal sin against God. Even after David had an affair with Bath. and had Uriah killed, he said “against You and You only have I sinned.”

Actually, the Babylonian Captivity was caused by corporate sin against God, not simply an individual’s sin. When we reach the NT, it is the corporate sin of the people of Israel, not individual sin, that Jesus is most vocal about… In the Exodus, it is the corporate nature of the oppression – not the individual – which God addresses.

In reality, within the church up until the time of the Renaissance, the focus of Christ’s atonement was a corporate one, which became more and more individualistic the more “enlightened” we became.

Just one additional note – the MHBC statement of faith posted above is not “postmodern”, as it is about truth as experienced by an entire community, not by the individual. In this regard, it is more congruous to the culture of the first century in which Jesus lived than postmodern America…

37   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
December 11th, 2007 at 4:17 pm

That shows a huge problem in your methodology. Do you really think unbelievers want to hear the gospel? Of course not! The Holy Spirit of God has to work in their hearts, drawing them to Himself or they will never desire God!

You make a good point. Generally, unbelievers are disinterested in the Bible.

You’re missing my point entirely. Is the purpose of this statement to prove to Christians that Mars Hill has all of its theological ducks in a row, or is it to let the average person know what the church is about? It’s clearly the latter.

I’m convinced that one of the main reasons non-believers aren’t interested in the Bible is that the Church has done a great job of convincing them it’s boring. I believe presenting the Biblical narrative in a format such as this is a great starting point for both non-believers and new Christians.

38   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 11th, 2007 at 4:18 pm

also cleary is making a good point. It may seem small to you but the inspiriation of the bible is hughly important!

Which is probably why they listed it first in the statement:

We believe God inspired the authors of Scripture by his Spirit to speak to all generations of believers, including us today. God calls us to immerse ourselves in this authoritative narrative communally and individually to faithfully interpret and live out that story today as we are led by the Spirit of God.

39   Kyle in WI    
December 11th, 2007 at 4:20 pm

old skool confession like Philly baptist Confession have chapters and division on everything pretty much. With scripture references. proof texting can be and is a huge problem. That is why a confessional should not be short sweet and to the point but it should emcompass the totallity of the bible. If someone is seeking after a church, just curious, remember that mean God is already working on them so they will want to know what the bible says. I never thought I would hear anyone say that the BIBLE SHOULD NOT BE USED FOR UNBELIEVER! Crazy?!?!?!?!

The early chruch before had confessions, although the where shorter to deal with there circumstances. Confession did not get big untill more and more false teachers arose and the church had to say no that is not what the bible teaches this is.

my point about he mormons still stands you need both a confession and a pratice not just one!

40   Kyle in WI    
December 11th, 2007 at 4:23 pm

i was refering to clearly’s point about what is inspired the bible or the wirters? It is a good one!

41   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 11th, 2007 at 4:24 pm

So you want the unsaved to just rely on the words fo the church(any of them) instead of the bible because it is confusing to them.

No… But now you’re drawing the assumption that what is in the statement of faith is the sum total of what MHBC teaches. Rather, it is a starting point for conversation.

So, if you’re a new believer and you want to know about the Bible, who do you ask (if you’re too timid to tackle it alone)? Probably someone at your church. MHBC has a whole lot of reference material available (at least they did when I visited) and it is covered heavily in their teaching (in its home churches, in its midweek classes on the Bible (including hermeneutics), and in the gathering sermon on Sunday morning). Additionally, in their services, they don’t just use chapter:verse, but they also refer to the page number in the Bibles they give out at the door, since most people who didn’t grow up in the church couldn’t tell you where Joel and Amos are located…

If this were the sum total of MHBC, yeah, I’d be worried. However, I listen to their weekly gathering sermons each Tuesday or Wednesday, and I have no concerns, whatsoever…

42   Neil    
December 11th, 2007 at 4:25 pm

One of the best hybrids I’ve seen – a hybrid of the traditional modernist doctrinal statement and a postmodernist narrative – is that of Vintage Church led by Dan Kimball.

43   Neil    
December 11th, 2007 at 4:28 pm

Clearly,

I agree that you interpretation of the opening lines is one of the possible interpretations of that sentence. Not necessarily the only interpretation, but a possible one.

Neil

44   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
December 11th, 2007 at 4:30 pm

This may seem like a little thing, but there are many (not necessarily accusing Rob) who believe that inspiration is simply referring to the inspiration of a painter, for example, in constructing a masterpiece. The actual words of the Scripture were breathed out by God and the human authors were borne along by the Spirit in writing them down.

This seems like a red herring to me. I don’t know that even the most conservative Christians would say that we can discount the actual author from the writing of Scripture. I mean if the words themselves are straight from God, why even have people write them? God wrote the 10 Commandments on stone, why didn’t He just do all of Scripture that way?

Also, it seems to me that if God wrote the actual words, then it makes harder to describe the minor differences present in the narratives of Scripture.   Take the Synoptic Gospels, for example.

45   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 11th, 2007 at 4:33 pm

I never thought I would hear anyone say that the BIBLE SHOULD NOT BE USED FOR UNBELIEVER! Crazy?!?!?!?!

That’s not what I said. The entire statement is based on the Bible, and will lead further into it. Unlike a creed, it is not assumed to be independent truth that is memorized for the purpose of orthodoxy, but rather as a tool for conversation. When you break it all up with (Luke 38:15; Mark 55:33; II Galatians 4:13; etc.) it certainly gives a modernist a place to go on his or her own. However, if this is to be used as a conversation between people and not just a self-study, then your people need to know the Bible, and not just a few prooftexted passages…

i was refering to clearly’s point about what is inspired the bible or the wirters? It is a good one!

Once again the question becomes, do you sacrifice the simple on the altar of the complex? If God is inspiring the writer of the narrative, and the narrative is authoritative, is it not inferred that the words therein are inspired, as well?

46   Neil    
December 11th, 2007 at 4:34 pm

Whether or not an unbeliever would look up the verse references is completely moot. The inclusion or exclusion of specific references is a matter of preference.

Neil

47   Kyle in WI    
December 11th, 2007 at 4:34 pm

I did not think that was all that they taught. i have heard his sermons, read his books, watched his videos a lot of what he says is good, although some I disagree with, and some other stuff is frankly a little loose or out there. I was just commetning on confessionals together with this one as the example. I think my chruch needs a bigger confessional to more clearly tell what we beleive. Why do we need long confessionals because there are so many heresies to combat. I feel not sure what you think this is a huge reason why confession grew. look at the apostles creed then look at the other ones threw out history they have grown the more that heresy has grown. here is my church web page nothing fancy http://gobaptist.org/ and statement of faith http://gobaptist.org/WeBelieve.html. it is pretty short! With no scpriture references! Although we do hold to the Philly Baptist Confession for some reason people seem to think that big words and long sentences scare people.

48   Kyle in WI    
December 11th, 2007 at 4:36 pm

I don’t think that the bible says that the people where inspired? Just scriputure is what Peter said. Because if the people where inspired would not there whole life be that way? How then could they say I am the cheifest of sinners? just some questions?

49   Neil    
December 11th, 2007 at 4:43 pm

Kyle,

You are right that the scriptures claim inspiration for themselves, not the authors. That is based on the literal meaning of the word that gets translated “inspiration.”

That said, I think one could say that Paul was inspired and still be orthodox – it just that you have to ask a follow-up question before you can make that determination.

Neil

50   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
December 11th, 2007 at 4:44 pm

This whole conversation is a bit odd to me. I mean saying the authors were inspired isn’t saying they were sinless. It just that God was using them to speak His message.

2 Peter 1:19-21 says,

And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

The prophets spoke what God told them to spoke, but they still used their own words. “Carried along” implies motivation and inspiration, not a pure dictation.

51   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 11th, 2007 at 4:46 pm

I don’t think that the bible says that the people where inspired?

In what they wrote that has been preserved as ’scripture’ (realizing that when Paul said that all scripture was God-breathed, he was referring to the Hebrew Scriptures – the Old Testament – since the NT didn’t yet exist, but that we have (correctly) extended this to mean the NT as well), we do believe that what they wrote was inspired, and therefore – in that writing – they were inspired, as well. It is the same with the prophets of the OT – when they spoke on God’s behalf, they were inspired by Him, but when they spoke for themselves, they were not. For the former, they had to be dead-on accurate, or they would just be dead-on…

When you look at the synoptic Gospels, it is obvious to most researchers that there was a common Hebrew or Aramaic document or oral history (sometimes called “Q”) behind them, but each one was written to a different audience, leading to differences in their use of language. John, on the other hand, was completely written in the Greek. So, did God inspire John when he was writing his gospel, or did John just sit there while God moved his hand? Seems to be a pointless debate if you just accept that the words that were passed down to us were the words God wanted us to have, whether John chose them or God dictated them…

I think my chruch needs a bigger confessional to more clearly tell what we beleive.

My church probably has the biggest creed of all. Some people refer to it as “the Bible”, but I just call it God’s word…

52   Kyle in WI    
December 11th, 2007 at 5:02 pm

Yes I understand that the Bible is the sole authority. Still there are issues that we can deal with in confesionals. Like the diety of Christ. It is plain in the bible that Christ is God. Confession just add it all together(the whole sumof the bible) so we can get a clear picture of the bible. They never usurp the authority of the bible!

And the NT was partially in exsitence when Paul wrote the letter. look to Peter he refers to Paul’s letter be distorted along with the rest of scripture. These guys knew they where writing a new testament for God. No they did not receive word an assistant does but can they(the person) be consider inspired in the same manner that the bible is.

Neil want translation do you use, just curious? i will hafta to do a little studing on the word or words used for “carried along.” This is an intresting phrase!?!?!

53   Tim Reed    http://churchvoices.com
December 11th, 2007 at 5:02 pm

Perhaps if you get to the point where you’re arguing over whether the words themselves were inspired or if the words are authoritative because the authors were inspired its time to simply say there isn’t much difference going on between the two groups arguing.

54   Kyle in WI    
December 11th, 2007 at 5:06 pm

Not arguing! thinking, talking, commuicating, discussing! i still have things to learn! The outcome is the same we all believe the bible is inspired, but how was it done?

55   Neil    
December 11th, 2007 at 5:10 pm

The point of the statement is critical. If the point is cover as many heresies as possible – then go for it. If the point is to convince a person what you believe is biblical – add a bunch of references. If your point is to simply say “Here’s what we believe” – fine say it and let ‘em deal with it…

Neil

56   Neil    
December 11th, 2007 at 5:12 pm

Kyle,

My primary translation would be the New American Standard. Secondary would be the NIV and the ESV.

Neil

57   Reverend Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
December 11th, 2007 at 5:15 pm

Man, you go to a no-internet conference for one day and you come back to find that Clearly has problems with something Mars Hill. I almost choked on my coke. Rick too!!! AND Kyle in Wisconsin. That’s the beauty of this, you don’t have to come to our church. I gurantee I’d probably work very very hard to stay out of your churches without saying your wrong, I just don’t think they’d be a good fit for me. Don’t like our Narrative Theology statement? (which by the way Rob didn’t write) that’s OK.
So now to Clearly, Kyle in WI, and Rick I say, “Blessings on you this day. Blessings and not curses. May you find that for which you seek, may God shine His face upon you and may you be lights to the darkness around you.”

58   Kyle in WI    
December 11th, 2007 at 5:27 pm

Sorry Rev

Was not saying anything bad about MH. Just talking about statements of faith, with this as an example. Talk to your buddies they are the one who give us the topics to talk about. Your attutide doesn’t seem christian. i think you would enjoy my church, although the styles are complete opposites. Was not commenting on Bell either except when I mention him by name. Most of the time one pastor does not qrite a statement it is normally a collective effort. Read what I say about the naritive style(the ones at the tops before we started talking other things) and you will see that there really is no problem just questions.

What are your thoughts about naritive vs. historic confessionals? Why is one better and one not? What are teh pros and cons of both sides? Thanx for your time Rev. hey if you ever do get to WI come visitand worship the Lord with us. I live in Eau Claire, WI.

59   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.brucegerencser.com/2007/12/11/religious-fundamentalism-part-2/
December 11th, 2007 at 5:27 pm

I find the narrative and others like it quite refreshing.

I remember (many moons ago) giving everyone in the Church a copy of the 1689 London Baptist Confession. 60 plus pages long. I declared “this we believe”

Over 7 years I don’t believe any one grasped the confession. Too complex. To wordy. A narrative statement would have been much better and would have been easily embraced by the Church.

I guess I could have had my own narrative. We are Calvinists. End of story :)

Bruce

60   Reverend Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
December 11th, 2007 at 5:33 pm

Kyle, I didn’t mean to come across as mean. I was just trying to be funny with the first part. I mean at some point doesn’t it become humorous to you that people keep coming back here to slam Rob and his church? They don’t like the church, I get that. Some of them accept the fruit they want to accept from other churches while discounting the fruit at my church, again their prerogative. Then some people come here and make an argument over the wording of our statement, certainly implying that they would not come to our church, I was trying to say that that is not a big deal. We all don’t have to go the same style of church.
As for not going to your church, I made a promise to myself a long time ago that I would actively seek out a certain style of worship and church. I can see how what I wrote was not complete enough.
As for the blessing, I was quite serious. We say blessings to each other around here and I find it helps me when I am dealing with people who do their thing.
Hope all of that makes sense.

61   Kyle in WI    
December 11th, 2007 at 5:42 pm

Yup np! I was just concerned with why you would try to avoid churches of a different persausion.

There is a point though in statements of faith where iwould have to not go(MH is not included). In fact the bible says not even to eat with so called brothers that are apostate. Otherwise any church and and denomations is fine as long as it is orthodxy and orthopraxy are in line with the bible. From everthing I can glean MH is exactly that . There are a few things that R.Bell teaches that I disagree but again this is a talk between brother and sisters not between christians and apstates. With those other people you see as attacking think of it this . The whole body of Christ. Why are the christian? what purpose do they serve in Christ body? What good do they do that other parts of the body are not gifted at?

Sorry i don’t know you guys or personalities so I don’t really get when you are joking ect…..

Why only one style of worship?

62   Rev. Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
December 11th, 2007 at 5:46 pm

Kyle,
Your last question is one I’d rather not answer here in this forum. I have my personal reasons and they are what they are. I know that’s a cheesy answer but it is what it is.
Peace

63   chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
December 11th, 2007 at 5:47 pm

Jeesh…I’ve been married for ten years and my wife and I still don’t understand each other all the time. We misunderstand each other, we confuse intent, and often we get mad for no apparent reason. So…

Why would we assume to understand complete intent of the written word? (MHBC statement not scripture…well maybe scripture also)

64   nc    
December 11th, 2007 at 6:55 pm

oy…there’s some nits…let’s get to pickin

65   tom m    
December 11th, 2007 at 7:00 pm

re: non-doctrinal statement

I’d be embarrased to let anybody see that myself.
—————————————————————-

“O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?”

66   Tim Reed    http://churchvoices.com
December 11th, 2007 at 7:02 pm

I’d imagine you would Tom, but that says more about you than it does the doctrinal statement.

67   Reverend Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
December 11th, 2007 at 7:02 pm

That’s OK Tom, Jesus still loves you.

68   nc    
December 11th, 2007 at 7:07 pm

It’s amazing how everyone pitches fits…
If you were meant to be the person responsible for the doctrinal purity of MHBC then you’d be a pastor or on the board…
jeeeesh….

I wonder how we would all do if people scrutinized our own communities?

You may have an “air tight” SOF…(which I doubt for anyone)…but there’s always something to point out…

69   Reverend Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
December 11th, 2007 at 7:25 pm

Now NC,
These guys just love Jesus and are contending for the faith, which Jude tells us to do. You shouldn’t question them. It’s their job to hold every church across America accountable to their belief system, which is the only truth one can have.

70   nc    
December 11th, 2007 at 7:48 pm

The Rev. says with tongue firmly planted in cheek…

71   chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
December 11th, 2007 at 8:47 pm

It’s their job to hold every church across America accountable to their belief system, which is the only truth one can have.

As I listed in the other post regarding MHBC; JMacs church really enjoys the autonomy of the local church. As evidenced in their doctrinal statement.

We teach the autonomy of the local church, free from any external
authority or control, with the right of self-government and freedom
from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations
(Titus 1:5). We teach that it is scriptural for true churches to
cooperate with each other for the presentation and propagation of
the faith. Each local church, however, through its elders and their
interpretation and application of Scripture, should be the sole judge
of the measure and method of its cooperation
.

72   Reverend Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
December 11th, 2007 at 9:57 pm

No, there you go getting all post-modern emergent on us.

73   tom m    
December 12th, 2007 at 2:35 am

coun·ter·feit –adjective 1. made in imitation so as to be passed off fraudulently or deceptively as genuine; not genuine; forged: counterfeit dollar bills.
2. pretended; unreal: counterfeit grief.
–noun

That ‘document’ is not even a good counterfeit.

The reality is that it is about as far from real Christianity as the north is from the south, and that’s the gospel truth.

——————————-
another gospel:

re: God created humans in his image to live in fellowship with him, one another, our inner self, and creation.

our inner self?

chapter/verse?
——————————————-
here’s some chapter/verse that state the truth of the gospel on this point, not the vain imagination of men who have rejected the cross.

1. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him…..

2. For he that is dead is freed from sin. (Rom. 6a,7):

’self’ is to be crucified, God has pronounced the death penalty on “Adam” aka ‘inner self’, aka the ‘old man’ which is to be ‘put off’. The self cannot be restored, remade, refurbished, rejuvenated,rescued….it is a vile rebel against God. Any belief system that contradicts this is false.

3. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (Rom. 8:7)

(enmity against….not ‘fellowship’ with, carnal mind/’inner self’, contrary to what your charter states. )

Flat out false gospel, no matter how loud or long anybody protests. It is a pseudo-christian new age one world religion faith which has rejected the cross of Christ, and you need to flee from it, and get your’self’ to the cross. The cross means the death of the “inner self”, not the reconciliation. This new religion is a blatant lie, but what is abundantly clear is that you really don’t know it.

anybody? recommend to start to learn what real Christianity is here:

Another Gospel (or, ‘cross-less Christianity’) Gal. 1:6-12
classic work by A.T. Pierson (1900)

http://www.feasite.org/Foundation/fbcanoth.htm
——————————————
Ephesians 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts

and that’s the gospel truth!

74   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 12th, 2007 at 2:45 am

Tom,

Since you keep posting inanity here, I will have to assume that “counterfeit” and “another gospel” are descriptions of the hyper-Calvinism you espouse, as your comments have no application to the subject at hand.

If you’re going to slander folks, please go elsewhere.

75   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 12th, 2007 at 3:07 am

Tom,

our inner self?

Ephesians 3: 16. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
17. so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
18. may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
19. and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

1 Peter 3

1. Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,
2. when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.
3. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.
4. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

So, what is your question?

iggy

76   chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
December 12th, 2007 at 8:34 am

Can someone please check out the IP address for Tom?

77   Mark    
December 12th, 2007 at 8:39 am

Phil Miller wrote:

>Someone from Mars Hill probably owes
>N.T. Wright for plagiarizing his ideas…

Phil, its clear from your post that you were joking but you bring up a huge issue for me. Why does the modern Christian world claim God’s ideas as their own intellectual property? I opened my Bible the other day and saw that there was a copyright notice inside the front cover. A copyright notice on the word of God? I found that to be Amazing.

Where can a person like me who doesn’t go to Church and doesn’t really like the breathtaking hypocrisy of Christians find the true words of God, not N.T. Wright’s words, not Mars Hill’s words and not the words that belong to the copyright owner of my bible?

78   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 12th, 2007 at 8:46 am

chris,

Tom’s IP is in Hawaii and doesn’t seem to be a sockpuppet of anyone else.

Mark,

The copyright is on the translation, not the Bible, itself. The “original texts” are in Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic, and multiple versions of each “text” is often available to translators to work with. There are some minor textual variations in some cases, where translators then defer (most often) to the earliest available translation. In some cases, like with the KJV, a translation was made prior to much older texts being found, and subsequent translations are more accurate…

79   Mark    
December 12th, 2007 at 8:50 am

Bruce Gerencser wrote:
>We are Calvinists. End of story

Christ is enough for me. I don’t need to follow Calvin.

80   Mark    
December 12th, 2007 at 8:57 am

Chris L wrote:
>The copyright is on the translation, not the Bible, itself.

In my view that doesn’t wash. If the translated bible I’m reading is the word of God then no human has the right to slap a copyright declaring it as their own intellectual property. If my bible is not the word of God (but rather just a book containing flawed human translations) then its not worth reading.

81   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
December 12th, 2007 at 8:58 am

Mark,
Your statement actually reminds of the little blurb on the back of Velvet Elvis that says, “God has spoken. Everything else is commentary”.

Seriously, though it seems that people have been struggling to discern what exactly “God’s ideas” are for millenia. I actually believe where churches and individuals get in trouble is when they start thinking and believing that their ideas are God’s ideas. Sometimes I wonder if God isn’t like, “sorry, I really don’t want any part in that…”.

I’m not saying that there isn’t truth that is pretty plainly revealed through Scripure. It just seems to me that as humans we try to take a truth and tie it up in a nice little package and put it in our pockets rather than let it mold and transform us.

82   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
December 12th, 2007 at 9:08 am

Mark said:

If the translated bible I’m reading is the word of God then no human has the right to slap a copyright declaring it as their own intellectual property.

Well, first off, the vast majority of translations were done by large teams of people from across the theological spectrum. They hardly represent one person’s “ideas”. The copyright, in my opinion, is meant ensure that the translation itself doesn’t get misrepresented somehow. It’s not necessarily to protect an author’s intellectual property as in other works.

Also, translating from one language into another is never an exact science. Different languages present ideas differently. A lot of times there is not a direct word-to-word correlation. So translators have to first decide what the original language is expressing, and then decide how best to present that in whatever language they’re translating to.

If you want read the “unadulterated” version of the Bible, I guess you’d really have to learn the original languages. Short of that, there are some really good commentaries that go into the text in depth.

83   Mark    
December 12th, 2007 at 9:31 am

Phil Miller wrote:
>Well, first off, the vast majority of translations
>were done by large teams of people from
>across the theological spectrum. They hardly
>represent one person’s “ideas”.

I see this as a complete non sequitur. One person or a group of people (it doesn’t matter) slapping a copy right on the word of God announces that its not really the word of God anymore but merely the intellectual property of the people who translated it.

>The copyright, in my opinion, is meant
>ensure that the translation itself doesn’t
>get misrepresented somehow.

So now I hear you saying that God doesn’t have the power to make sure his divine words are properly used but rather that God needs the power of the copyright laws to help him?

>Also, translating from one language into
>another is never an exact science.

But wouldn’t it be far better to hand that translation to the world and say “I believe these are the true words of God” instead of saying “its really my own personal translation so therefore I claim and retain legal property rights”?

>Different languages present ideas differently.
>A lot of times there is not a direct word-to-word
>correlation. So translators have to first decide
>what the original language is expressing,
>and then decide how best to present that
>in whatever language they’re translating to.

Gosh! That sounds exactly like what Rob Bell seems to be trying to do yet so many “Christians” are calling him a heretic.

84   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
December 12th, 2007 at 9:49 am

I see this as a complete non sequitur. One person or a group of people (it doesn’t matter) slapping a copy right on the word of God announces that its not really the word of God anymore but merely the intellectual property of the people who translated it.

I don’t think your quite understanding my point. I don’t think the copyright is necessarily protecting intellectual property in this case. No one is paid royalties or anything when Scripture is quoted. There was real academic work that went into the translations, though.

So now I hear you saying that God doesn’t have the power to make sure his divine words are properly used but rather that God needs the power of the copyright laws to help him?

Well people have done some pretty ugly and evil things by misrepresenting Scripture. I don’t blame God for that.

But wouldn’t it be far better to hand that translation to the world and say “I believe these are the true words of God” instead of saying “its really my own personal translation so therefore I claim and retain legal property rights”?

To me it would be an immediate red flag if someone released a translation saying, “these are the the true words of God”. I do believe the Holy Spirit guides translators for the most part, but they are still human beings. They are not inerrant.

Gosh! That sounds exactly like what Rob Bell seems to be trying to do yet so many “Christians” are calling him a heretic.

Exactly.

85   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
December 12th, 2007 at 10:21 am

Phil touched on this one a bit. A church doctrinal statement is NOT(IMHO) written for unbelievers it is written for believers. Just a short poll taken by myself with folks that I know, none of them looked up the doctrinal statement of a church they entered before the came to know Christ and many not even AFTER their conversion! It wasn’t until they reached a bit more mature state did they become aware of doctrinal statements.

On a more personal level neither my wife or myself did either. What did we know of orthodoxy or orthopraxy! I certainly didn’t know that a church made a point of making up doctrinal statements of what they believe. I thought a church was a church. AND the same was true for us as I stated in the previous paragraph….it wasn’t until we became more mature did we see the importance of the doctrinal statement. As Bruce said, I too have seen those 60 some pages of a doctrinal statement, MANY times!

I also liked what Joe said, and keeping in mind what I said about the doctrinal statement being for believers, if ya don’t like what it says, DON’T go there. I really don’t see need to harp about it! If one doesn’t like Rob Bell, that’s fine. I don’t see the need to nit pick or rag on about word usage.

Being the more mature Christian that I am, compared to when I first started this walk, the Mars Hill statement makes perfect sense in light of the knowledge that I now possess. Is it verse and chapter, no but the intent is all there……..

I seeing nothing more that tail chasing going on here.

86   tom m    
December 12th, 2007 at 7:00 pm

“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…”

Chris,

hello, for the record, just a concerned independent adding to the conversation…a voice of opposition, or are those not allowed? Yup, just label it ’slander’, it’s much easier that way.

you did have a typo in your reply though,

“Since you keep posting inanity here…”,

but i know you really meant to say “since you keep posting ’sanity’ here….” (go away because it’s making this stuff harder to sell)

but i’ll leave it alone, ciao

——————————————–

Yes, ‘n’ how many ways can a man narrate the Word,
Before it’s no longer true?
The doctrine, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind,
The doctrine is blowin’ in the wind.

87   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 12th, 2007 at 9:29 pm

hello, for the record, just a concerned independent adding to the conversation…a voice of opposition, or are those not allowed?

Certainly, but typically when you come to someone for “adding to the conversation”, you don’t consistently stick your thumb in their eye and expect nobody to notice.

As for “independent”, I’d say you’re about as “independent” as Hillary on a good day…

In terms of the crap you’re shoveling, though, it is slander. Plain and simple.

88   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 12th, 2007 at 9:51 pm

Tom,

(go away because it’s making this stuff harder to sell)

What stuff? Standing up to liars and slanderers? So far I have not been impressed with you are selling… in fact most the time I can’t even tell what it is… but I do think it has been out in the sun too long and stinks a bit.

Now, if you were adding to the conversation even a voice, one might find cohesion in your words… but all I get is gobbled bits of nonsense wrapped in pride.

Sorry if that sounds mean, but really even when we have agreed I have been wrong somehow… so I gave up with you.
And believe me that takes quite a bit!

iggy

89   tom m.    
December 13th, 2007 at 4:56 pm

Mr. Iggy

re: “Sorry if that sounds mean…”

Not really sure how to address that, it all depends on what you mean by ‘mean’. I’m not sure which definition of
the word i should insert if I’m to correctly interpret your narration.

Do you mean:

1. base, low, contemptible; or

2. average, or, intermediate; or

3. cruel

Do you know what i me…um…am trying to say? Oh well nevermind…it doesn’t matter, i might change my mind tomorrow.
——————————
Okay, all playing aside (just playing)

you said: “even when we have agreed ”

Here is the ‘crux’ of the matter. We have ‘no’ agreement in anyway whatsoever, nor can there ever be. The two positions are poles apart, north and south.

…and very truly, this is not a personal issue, it is much bigger. Again (for the third time), to all,

“for we wrestle not against flesh and blood”!

allow me to quote a ‘pre-modern’ voice from the past; A.T. Pierson, who has touched upon this:

(full article linked above in another post)

“There is a conflict ahead, and it is alike irrepressible and irreconcilable, and may as well be recognized as such. There are some believers that cannot and will not relinquish their faith in the eternal verities and certainties of the Word of God, in which they have been instructed. They know of whom they have learned them, and that Teacher is God Himself. Moreover, it has pleased God to reveal Christ in them, as well as to them, and they have the witness in themselves that the Word of God is an inspired and infallible guide in doctrine and duty. It has proved itself the Word of God, and all its utterances true, “as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times,” that is, proven by the seven-fold test of varied earthly or human experience (Psalm 12-.6).”

That’s very clear is it not?

re: There is a conflict ahead, and it is alike irrepressible and irreconcilable,

Here is the nature of the issues at hand….they are poles apart. This is no agreement. Period.

Has this day arrived?

Now, allow me another quote, this one from the apostle Paul, and you tell me which ‘pole’ is best described here:

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

Your doctrine, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind,
Your doctrine is blowin’ in the wind.

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“Buy the truth, and sell it not” (Pr.23:23)