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A Little Something May 10, 2006

Posted by fajita in A Little Something.
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Here's a little something for CEO's – a must read! Thanks Jordon Cooper.

Sivin Kit' got a little something on why church exists. Sivin gives me hope.

Brian McLaren on The DaVinci Code. Here's a litle taste: "I don't think it has more harmful ideas in it than the Left Behind novels."

Uncle Phil's bloody experience.

Messy Christian wrestles with "the right thing to do" when it comes to hearing about friends losing their virginity.

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1. John Alan Turner - May 10, 2006

Brian McLaren said a foolish thing there. Differing over how the world is going to end is not the same as differing over the deity of Jesus. That’s just dumb and inflammatory.

2. fajita - May 10, 2006

Are the two mutually exclusive? Certainly they do not overlap tons, but what can someone know about the deity of Christ from Left Behind theology? Further, what wrong things can they know?

Dan Brown might turn people off to the deity of Christ by casting doubt through distortion, out and out falsities and so forth, but couldn’t as much or perhpas more damage be done by making the deity of Christ an overly frightening thing?

Which is worse, denying the deity of Christ or rejecting the deity who is the Christ?

3. John Alan Turner - May 10, 2006

Yes, the two are mutually exclusive: eschatology and christology are not on the same rung of the ladder.

Whatever misinformation one may learn from the Left Behind series, they will know that Jesus is divine and will one day return to “judge the quick and the dead and the sons of men”.

Apologies for any gender-exclusive language — just quoting from the Apostles’ Creed.

Dan Brown would have us believe that no one considered Jesus divine until 300 years after his death. He would have us believe that the Bible is inherently misogynistic (and that the Gnostic Gospels are liberating for women). He would have us believe that Jesus was remodeled into a divine being for political purposes.

Your last question is a false dichotomy. LaHaye and Jenkins may misrepresent Christ’s deity as you understand it (by the way, your postmodern denial of absolutes seems to have fled in this discussion), but I bet you agree with LaHaye and Jenkins when they say that Jesus is divine.

You can get into God’s kingdom in spite of bad eschatology.

You cannot get into God’s kingdom if you deny the deity of Jesus.

4. fajita - May 10, 2006

Let me explain, no, too long, let me summarize:

OK, let me ask the question again with different words and see if it is a different question to you or the same false dichotomy.

What’s worse: not believing in Jesus because you don’t accept that he is deity or not accepting Jesus because he is scary and bad and bent on destruction?

It seems to me that either way, whether Jesus is deity or not (in their minds), the Kingdom might be out of grasp for these people. The question of damage done might be better quantified by how many people Dan Brown gets to reject the deity of Christ vs. how many people Jenkins & LaHaye get to reject Jesus whether they believe He is deity or not.

And, for something totally different, your certainty about my insistance on a full embrace of postmodernity and rejection of any absolutes might be misguided.

This is fun/

5. John Alan Turner - May 10, 2006

Agreed.

On the “this is fun” part.

And I know you don’t fully embrace postmodernity. Nor do you fully reject any absolutes. You have to live, and it’s impossible to live postmodernly.

LaHaye and Jenkins may be distorting scripture, but they affirm the authority of Scripture as a measuring rod. If they could be shown how their interpretation of the Bible does not line up with the overarching message of the Bible, they’d concede.

Dan Brown denies the canonicity of the New Testament and argues, instead, for the inclusion of all these other ridiculous documents — which, if anybody bothered to read them, do not affirm femininity, nor do they reveal the humanity of Jesus.

6. fajita - May 10, 2006

Do you believe Dan Brown believes what he writes?

Do you believe Jenkins & LaHaye believe what they write?

Does it matter?

I feel safer in the Jenkins and LaHaye camp not on the basis of eschatological agreement, becuase there is little to be had (mainly because I don’t know what to make of eschatology), but rather because it is closer and more familiar to me. At the same time, if I get bound into having to believe an interpretation one way or the other with threats behind it, then I get a little nervous. But yes, if I were to have to land, I land with these guys because they affirm Christ and Dan Brown does less than such.

The good news is that I do not have only those two options from which to make my choices. And that is what can bust help undo the seduction of dualism. It’s not just Jenkins and Brown in a loser leave town cage match.

Bottom line, though, is that Dan Brown is not the enemy of anyone. He is a man made in God’s image. He may be influenced by falsities, greed, or whatever, but he is not my enemy. Agree?

7. John Alan Turner - May 10, 2006

Agree. In fact, I say that in the Introduction to my book: “Dan Brown is not the Antichrist. Nor is he part of some conspiracy to take over the world. After spending the last several months getting to know Dan Brown through his writings and interviews…, we’re not even sure he understands why Christians think his books are such a big deal.

“Maybe Dan Brown isn’t such a bad guy. But he is a voice, shouting loudly the war cries of an ideology set on destroying the faith of a generation characterized by uncertainty, insecurity and doubt…. What Dan Brown says he believes is fundamentally incompatible with history, orthodox Christianity.”

I would never say there are only two options: Dan Brown vs. LaHaye and Jenkins. What I began by saying is that Brian McLaren’s statement was foolish. Perhaps even dangerous. To equate eschatology (which is clearly not high in anyone’s doctrinal taxonomy) with christology tears at what is foundational in the Christian faith.

8. Sivin - May 10, 2006

Thanks for that encouraging phrase on “hope”… we need that and lots of humor too.


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