Friday, September 22, 2006


While the TNIV has received many insults hurled at it and those responsible for it, comments have mostly been over some the gender-inclusive (or gender-accurate, etc.) translation and not other changes.

The NIV has a glaring translation problem that has annoyed me for years now: the mistranslation of the Greek word for "sign" in John's Gospel. The NIV consistently translates this word "miraculous sign". However, it has been demonstrated (if you think that is too strong of a word, then how about "seriously cast doubt upon") that the word does not refer to the miraculous in John's Gospel. Praiseworthy is the TNIV for correcting this error and simply translating "sign" as "sign" and understanding John's use.

Now, regarding the gender-inclusive stuff ....

just kidding :)


Christianity Today just posted an article about a conversation Preston Jones (history professor at John Brown University) had with Bad Religion's (the punk band) Greg Gaffin, who apparently has a Ph.D. from Cornell. Gaffin is an atheist. Here is a quote:

"In those months of dialogue I also saw the devastation wrought by the passion for pseudo-scientific theories on natural history among some Christians. Many of my students believe that six-day creationism is an essential Christian belief—that if the first chapters of Genesis can't be taken literally, then the whole Bible is a fraud. What tragic nonsense!
Before Greg and I corresponded, I didn't care. "You wanna believe the earth was created six thousand years ago? Whatever." But Greg helped me see that this kind of gaping ignorance promotes the perception that theologically conservative Christians are the enemies of learning."

Christianity Today included this at the end of the article: "This article, as with all "Speaking Out" pieces, does not necessarily represent the views of Christianity Today." That's all and well, but this history teacher just got duped by an informed evolutionist. While there surely are many Christian's who use pseudo-scientific arguments against evolution, this man must not be very well read on some of the most recent Christian arguments against evolution.

What did I learn from this? Well, if a history teacher debates the issue of evolution with someone who has a Ph.D. in it, they will probably lose ... and be convinced. I wonder why CT would publish this? As an advertisement for this man's book, maybe?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Prosperity Gospel

Is it okay for a Christian to be rich? Well, Paul says in 1 Timothy 6:17-18, "Instruct those who are rich in this present world ..." now, if it wasn't okay to be rich, what would follow; something like "sell all and give to the poor," but Paul doesn't say that ... "not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share." Nothing about them being evil or in sin because they are rich.

However, the Prosperity Gospel goes from "it is okay to be rich" to "God has planned for all Christians to be rich". A logical jump of mammoth proportions!! Christianity Today online just reported about a recent Time magazine article and they included this about Rick Warren, a non-Prosperity Gospel preacher:

"This idea that God wants everybody to be wealthy?", [Rick] Warren snorts. "There is a word for that: baloney. It's creating a false idol. You don't measure your self-worth by your net worth. I can show you millions of faithful followers of Christ who live in poverty. Why isn't everyone in the church a millionaire?"

CT online says:
"It's smart for Time to make Warren the piece's chief critic of the Prosperity Gospel. (One of his favorite lines, "I don't think it is a sin to be rich. I think it is a sin to die rich," doesn't appear.)"

Go Rick Warren. That was the exact theological, technical word that I was thinking of regarding the Prosperity Gospel: baloney!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Jill Briscoe and CT online

Jill Briscoe answered a question about women in ministry at She is the executive editor of “Just Between Us,” a magazine for ministry wives and women in leadership. She also serves as Minister-at-Large at Elmbrook Church in Milwaukee.

Her presentation in this article was very superficial and her knowledge of this subject that obviously is close to her heart is somewhat disturbing. Her argumentation is weak, as the comments below are intended to show.

She said: “So, after becoming a Christian, imagine my dismay when I first joined a church where women weren't allowed to do any of the things in which I knew they excelled!”
Response: I’m sure there are churches like this, but it seems to me that the majority of churches that I’ve been a part of would say that women can’t teach MEN, not that they can’t teach. The Bible never says they can’t teach … just not over men.

She said: “It wasn't that those who challenged me thought I shouldn't be exercising my gifts—it was that they believed "God thought" I shouldn't! This went against the very root of my identity and calling.”
Response: So she must believe that God has called her to teach men … the very thing the Bible speaks against in 1 Timothy 2:12. So, what should we trust more: someone’s subjective experience in their relationship on God’s life OR what the Bible clearly (yes, 1 Tim 2:12 is clear) declares? The answer may seem obvious to some, but obviously not all. This is similar (though the example I’m about to give is a much worse situation) to when a man says that God told him to divorce his wife and marry his secretary … after all, God wants him to be happy, right?

She said: “They believe Paul felt that because Eve was deceived, women are gullible and therefore mustn't teach men.”
Response: Somewhat of a straw man. Actually, Paul gives two reasons for why women shouldn’t teach men. The first one she ignored because it is a nearly impossible argument to defeat … because Adam was created first. Thus, it is bound up in creation (not culture). Instead, she focused on the second argument that is: a) controversial, and b) not held by all who are complementarians. So, somewhat of a straw man: she mentioned what some would consider the weaker argument used by complementarians (those that say women should not teach nor have authority over men in the church) and she ignored the stronger, more often used, argument.

She said: “Others think Paul was addressing specific circumstances in Ephesus …”
Response: She can now make this argument since she ignored the argument from creation. So, she points to culture as the reason for Paul’s argument, ignoring the very reason he gave for the command of 1 Tim 2:12 (“for Adam was created first”).

She said: “Years ago, when I discovered I had gifts half the Christian church didn't think I should have …”
Response: For the record, I don’t deny (along with many, if not most, who hold my position) that women can be gifted in teaching. They can also be gifted in pastoring (if you believe in such a gift). That is NOT the issue. The issue is the USE of the gift. She very well may have the gift of teaching (I don’t deny this), however, if she is teaching men she is MIS-using that gift according to God’s clearly revealed Word.

She said: “I don't want to get to heaven and hear him say, ‘Half-done, thou half-faithful servant.’”
Response: Well, at least she didn’t try to manipulate emotions J

She said: “I don't believe women should bury their gifts or let anyone else bury them.”Response: We are in agreement. Don’t bury your gifts women; men, don’t force them to … however, use them appropriately. Just as with most gifts, there are appropriate and inappropriate uses for our spiritual gifts.