This and That 08-11-12

Christian Bashing  – Brought to You By… Christians – I’m so glad that it was Jesus who met the Samaritan woman at the well and not the stereotypical Christian.” — Louie Giglio  This is what greeted me when I checked into Facebook this morning.  It’s been a while, but it’s time for a rant.  Give me a break from the hyper-sensitive, hipster evangelicals whose self-loathing and insane desire for some sense of superiority combines with an apparent high need to “connect” to the popular culture and gives us a constant stream of this kind of pathetic drivel. (Oh yeah, I’m back and I’m just getting started.)

Dialogue with Publisher About Mary Neal’s To Heaven and Back – I must respectfully disagree that this is “not a book of theology.” True, the book is not a theological treatise. It is not formal theology and is mostly a personal account. But a book that claims someone visited Heaven and recounts conversations with Christ and/or angels and shares with readers what the author learned in Heaven, from God, is certainly a book of theology. The theology may be good or bad, but it is in fact “theology” (which literally means, “words about God”).  I hear with increasing frequency the “but it isn’t theology” defense. When I met with the author of The Shack and pointed out a dozen places in the book that contradict Scripture, he assured me, “This isn’t a theology book, it’s just a novel.” But the book was full of theology and has shaped the theological convictions of countless readers. In fact, when the book was picked up by a Christian publisher and released at a booksellers’ convention I attended, a huge promotional sign visible a hundred feet away asked, “What is God like?” The answer—so they said—was found in The Shack. – Randy Alcorn

Is it crazy and hateful to suggest that gays can change? – Erin Burnett’s response was astonishing at one level and totally not surprising at another. It’s no surprise that she would be in favor of gay marriage. It is surprising, however, that she would be so overtly dismissive of basic Christian morality—as if it were completely outside the bounds of rational discourse. She couldn’t believe that a Christian would suggest that homosexuals can or would even need to “change.” In the course of her remarks, she told Mohler that his statements were “crazy” and “hateful.” As usual, Mohler did a fantastic job representing the gospel and parrying the push-back from a hostile host.  There is a key take-away from this exchange that Christians need not to miss. What Mohler contends for is something that all Christians will have to contend for if they wish to be faithful to Christ. The focus of this particular conversation is homosexuality, which everyone agrees to be a flashpoint in the larger culture war. But the implications of Burnett’s dismissal go beyond that single issue. Her incredulity calls into question what Christianity teaches about the nature of salvation. – Denny Burke

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