Posted by: judy | December 16, 2009

A Simple Response

It has been a busy couple of days. Many have visited and a few have left comments.  I wish we had the time to address every question, accusation, and misconception immediately — but we don’t and hopefully we will in future posts. However, I can offer a few brief and simple responses to Byron and others.

1.  There is an on-going challenge of communicating with Emergents — we use the same words with significantly different meanings. Before any constructive discussion/conversation can occur there needs to be an agreement on the definitions of several words and phrases: Biblical Christianity, orthodox, faithful theology, Christian responsibilities, “theologically odd”, and traditional theology to name a few. 

2.  Just Google ‘Andy Crouch’, Eugene Peterson, or ‘Brian McLaren’ and you will find many respected discernment ministries to address your challenges about our concerns. Also, our Archives have several posts and links on Andy Crouch — both of us read his book. Andy is very wise in his own eyes.

3.  CCO as evidenced by its leadership, teachings, emphasis, and speakers appears to be fully engaged with Dominion Theology/Kingdom Now Theology.

4. Scripture does not need to be re-written by Peterson or Seay/Mclaren. The beauty of Scripture is already there and is a glorious by-product of its Truth and Power to save us. The Voice and The Message are empty, misleading vessels. Did God give us his Word to entertain us like a good ‘story’? Or did He give us His Word to know Him, His Truth, His Salvation? Isaiah tells us that God’s Word will not return void. God’s Word not Peterson’s word, not Seay’s/McLaren’s word.

5. There are many battle grounds for Truth and the saddest one is within the Church. Non-believers are not the problem (our mission field, yes) most are very honest and transparent about their beliefs or non-beliefs. The leaders  and teachers within our churches or in Byron’s bookstore use double speak, write ‘orthodox’ statements of faith, and are deceptive about what they truly believe. Scripture gives us numerous guidance, warnings, and consequences for the false teachers and deceivers among us.

6.  Why do blogs belonging to CCO staff (past or present) have disclaimers that the ideas on their blogs may not be representative of CCO. Is this how CCO teaches to “live out their faith in every area of life”?

Lastly, why is there a greater desire to defend CCO/Jubilee than to defend God’s Truth as revealed in Scripture. Why does McLaren, Campolo, Miller (to name just a few) get a ‘free pass’ with their mishandling of Scripture and a couple of unknowns who raise serious concerns and questions about an organization are vigorously debated?

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Responses

  1. Excellent post!

  2. Amen & Amen!

    “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” Eph. 5:11

    “They are of this world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them.” 1 John 4:5

  3. Judy,

    You have raised many, many issues, and it is not my place to defend all the practices or teachings of various CCO staffers, their blogs, etc. I certainly not to speak for them or the CCO or Jubilee.

    There are a few very, very important things, though:

    1. You called them “admittedly” pro-Emergent. I asked you about that, suggested that it isn’t true, and now your accusation is being cited and quoted, at least by one of your fans.

    You have not clarified this. If you want to suggest that they have leanings in that direction, or they have booked some authors who may be emergent or that some CCO staff have blogged about emergent books, that would be fine to say. I don’t know how true any of that is unless you document it, of course, but it would be fair and reasonable for you to do so. However, you have not spoken with that kind of care or nuance. You made an brash and unqaulified accusation (they admitted to being Emergent) and I specifically said that, as far as I know, they have not admitted that.

    In other words, I have said you spoke falsely. You have been challenged to either clarify, and document your charge, or apologize. You have not yet shown that they are “admittedly” pro-Emergent. If you do not do so soon, we will have to dismiss you as an unreliable and dishonest spreader of false allegations. Your fan may post a comment saying it was “excellent” but don’t let that go to your head, sister. It was a sloppy post without evidence, documentation, proof. You have to do better if you are going to do this work.

    2. Even more concerning, you said previously that the Jubilee conference teaches that man can save the world. Such a view is fully opposition to what that conference has stood for over time. You are free to disagree with their slant or doctrine or emphasis, but to say they don’t teach Jesus’ justifying grace seen in His cross is crass and unfounded mis-statement. As I have said, I have observed Jubilee for decades now and am confident, through first hand conversations and listening to thousands of hours of tapes, that they desire nothing more than to have God get glory as Christ is lifted up as the Lord of creation. I beg you to recant that utterly untruthful accusation about Jubilee believing that man solves the world’s problems as it is utterly false.

    3. You accuse the CCO of “dominion theology.” That tradition, most typically tied to reconstructionists or theonomists like Rushdooney or Banson, are not at all what the CCO believes or stands for. I would suggest that 95% of current CCO staff have even heard of it. I’m not sure what you mean by “kingdom now” but I know for a fact that they repeatedly train their staff to understand what many theologians call the “already/not yet” view. That is, Jesus announced the presence of His Kingdom but insisted that it will not come in fullness until His second coming. They believe Jesus when he announced the coming of His reign, and yet understand with the orthodox believers of all time that there is a second coming and the restoration of all things will happen then and only then, through His Sovereign judgement when He returns. To say CCO believes in the “Dominion Theology” and “Kingdom Now” seems nearly bizarre. Again, to assert this is sloppy, very sloppy. I know you are busy, but you really shouldn’t spread such shoddy disinformation.

    (By the way, for clarification, isn’t there a strain of charismatic folks who talk about “dominion theology” that we used to hear about in the 80s? It was pretty off-base, too, but surely CCO doesn’t have any connection to that, since they’ve never been strongly influenced by any Pentecostals. It is reasonable–given their previous connections with folks like Sproul and Schaeffer–to think they may have some family resemblance to Rushdooney, et al, but I can assure you that that isn’t common at all in those circles. I can’t recall a “Dominion” type theologian being to Jubby in years and years. One year they had a debate between two Christian economists discussing idolatry. Maybe one of those might have had some theonomist tendencies…

    Anyway, again, your loose language and imprecise words—ironically, a point you yourself wisely started with–is causing confusion.

    Please clarify why you said the CCO is “admittedly” pro Emergent, or recant.

    Please denounce your utterly untruthful claim that Jubilee believes that man can save the world.

    Please be more careful in saying stuff about “dominion” theology.

    Lastly, you ask why the defense of CCO when other authors get a pass. Well, you don’t know who gets a “pass” from me. You have no idea what or how often I’ve written to Brian and Tony, for instance, but I can tell you that we have had some tough conversations about their positions. But that is between me and them, and you ought not surmise they get a pass.

    And, anyway, they are not attacking my friends as you have. They may or may not have confused theology and they may or may not say things in a way that is most faithful. Many have talked and written with them about that; there are whole books. But your dishonest mis-statements about the CCO aren’t a debate about theology, but about honesty. You have slandered my friends. They have not stood up for themselves. I am willing to give you the benefit of the doubt that you have been sloppy with your words or just misinformed. Now that you have been told, however, that you have spoken unfairly, it is up to you to show that I am wrong with documented evidence, clarify yourself, nuance your view or recant.

    It is fine and perhaps helpful if you, in precise and Biblical ways, state proper truths and call out those you fear are wrong. Go at it. But you simply cannot say things about others that are untrue. Do you agree?

    I await your reply.

    PS: You said we dined together once. When was that? It sure would be nice to know your last name so I can place who you are. I apologize for my terse tone, but your reply to my specific questions was very, very lacking.

    • 2 John 11:10-11

      “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching (see 2Jn:4-9), do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.”

      Byron, I am not avoiding your questions – when blogging tips the scale of priorities of being wife, mother, and a woman of God – I sometimes need to pull back and be quiet and still. I examine my pride and pray that what I am doing is God glorifying. I am pushing those boundaries.

      I will back down on the use of “admittedly” in the accusation of CCO being in the Emergent camp. Once upon a time I believed and hoped that CCO was a victim of deception – walking in a world of ideas, philosophies, and words – intelligently debating, enjoying the fellowship, engaging the culture, and “earning the right” to speak truth into students and unaware of moving down the slippery slope.

      But what I have discovered is that CCO is knowingly using Emergent-friendly books, teachings, and speakers. Being a very intentional organization and respecting the leadership qualities — I don’t think it is a little “Oops, we didn’t know he or she leaned-Emergent”. CCO demonstrates by word and action that they are very interested in being a part of the Emergent conversation. — not separate — not standing for Truth but entertaining the wisdom of “men”.

      Byron, I cared deeply for this ministry once, I have been greatly effected by CCO staff – their passion and selflessness. I have loved and cared for several of them. There is no joy in what I have said. But now more than ever I want their deception to stop. My daughter is at one of these colleges. Thankfully, she spots the problems – she texts them to me during class. We paid $2,000+ for her to sit through a class that focused on Andy Crouch’s Culture-Making. She debated her professor and thankfully in the spirit of academic exploration permitted her to disagree agreeably with him. I do respect that process in an academic setting.

      CCO tolerates and listens to Emergent ideas.

      I believe Scripture is clear that we are to have nothing to do with false doctrines. Byron, what percentage of falseness makes one a false teacher?

      “A half truth presented as if it were the whole truth is an untruth.” – John MacArthur.

      It is not my job to convince you of the error of CCO or even your own error as you live and move and breath in the world of words and ideas. If the Holy Spirit is not convicting you then I can’t either.

  4. Judy,

    Thanks for your willingness to change your word use. Honesty and integrity are important if we are to take one another seriously. I would press you for an apology, but will allow you to search your heart on that. SO, if anybody is reading, we can now at least stop repeating that: CCO is not “admittedly” pro-Emergent. Thanks.

    I sense your great concern for CCO and you said perhaps in another note to someone that you have supported CCO folks in the past. I can’t imagine the pain you feel thinking they have drifted from the truth of the gospel. I appreciate your concern and the tone of the paragraphs where you share your broken heart and frustration.

    I wonder if it would be helpful to consider that CCO is not really as intentional as you may think. Ever since I was on staff in the mid-70s they were diverse; some were mentored by Sproul, others by the neo-Calvinism of Kuyper; some emphasised “common grace” and others “the anti-thesis.” Some majored on the minor prophets, others loved Pauline leadership stuff. Some helped the sad and lonely students, others specialized in intellectual apologetics, debating evolutionists or whatever. I am not saying that “anything goes” but in an interdenominational coalition that is willing to work in a variety of places with a variety of staff partnering with a variety of institutions, without much money or time to train everybody, there has always been tons of diversity and staff are encourged to use their own gifts and passions—some do oodles of inductive Bible studies, some lead mission trips, some are prayer warriers, some encourage artists, some try hard to honor God by working on racial reconciliation in the name of Jesus. Some staff have been to Godly seminaries, some are pretty young believers themselves. Some have years of missionary work already, some are following their heart to try to serve God and are feeling so beat down and attacked by serious liberals and secularists; some in very hostile arenas. Of course the main organization has its statements and doctrinal standards, and they even have sadly dismissed folks for inappropriate beliefs or behavior. So they surely aren’t disinterested in being true to the faith. They are fairly inter-denominational and although you may not like their ecumenical approach, that is their strategy and conviction, and it always has been.

    I say this because it makes it hard to lay blame when you observe something you don’t like at a given campus. Of course at that campus there are student leaders mentored by their home churches which have nothing to do with CCO; there are young Christians lead to Christ by CCO evangelists who then are discipled by somebody else. And, within CCO there are many, many staff, scattered now over several large states. I’m not qualified to say who is in charge of making sure everybody is on target in everything they say, but it may be wise of you–it certainly would be charitable and fair-minded–to not make generalizations about the organization because of something some staff do. And you really mustn’t confuse the college you are concerned about and the CCO. I doubt if CCO trainers have anything to do with the hiring policies of the college or the department program. That Geneva used Andy Crouch’s book and that the CCO has allowed him to speak at Jubilee, and that I reviewed it favorably, all are instances of similar tendenacies and impulses but not technically or officially related. You know that don’t you? Don’t you?

    I hate to be blunt, but to blame CCO for a Geneva prof your daughter didn’t like is beyond silly, it is irreponsbile. Take your battle with Geneva up with them, and take your critique of Jubilee up with the Jubilee folks. To make these odd accusations in the same post, moving from one to another is confusing to readers and I belief an example of shoddy logic. YOU KNOW that they are two different organizations, so why do you pull this weird writing move that conflates them? You are either being very sloppy or you are allowing your frustration to cloud your analysis and integrity. Look, just be honest. Be mad and complain all you want if you feel you must, just don’t lie about stuff. Okay? If you aren’t up to doing this project with integrity and honesty, then maybe you should give it a rest.

    I wonder this, too: I wonder if you don’t really understand the theological history and tradition of the CCO. There may be some similarites between that and the emergent movement, and it may be that some staff use some emergent-friendly authors. (That was a helpful qualification on your part, that there are emergent friendly people. I’d put Rob Bell in that catagory. I don’t know if he ever has been to any emergent events, and although he has this hip aesthetic, he really isn’t into that circle of conversations, events, networks, publishing imprints, etc.)

    I don’t know everybody in CCO that buys and uses books, but it has been my very clear sense that very few CCO staff really use the seriously emergent books. You may not like the books they do use, but they aren’t affiliated with the emergent village or the ooze, etc. My instinct from close observation is that many don’t even know what those issues are, and don’t know those names or books.

    CCO and their historic concern about worldviews, somewhat influenced by early R.C. Sproul, Francis Schaeffer, Van Til, Dooyeweerd and other Dutch neo-Calvinist philosophers and Bible scholars give them a concern for the themes that Jubilee stands for: exalting Jesus in every zone of life, including the life of the mind, raising His Word as the principle for all scholarship, making His name and ways known to all, though Jesus, as we live out a way of life that is righteous and loving, even in work. I know the emergents talk about some of that a lot—rejecting the idols of autonomous Rationalism, affirming community, engaging culture—but it seems very clear to me that CCO “gets there” in a very different manner. They are not “post-evangelical” as Tony Jones might describe it. It is why some of the emergent guys have heard of Jubilee and sort of think it is close to what they hold up–cultural engagement, social justice, affirming the arts–but yet it is obvious hardly any of them, and none of their leaders, have ever been asked to Jubilee. (Again, to clarify, you may not like Donald Miller, but he isn’t involved in the emergent conversations, their converences or events, at least not as far as I can gather.)

    So, you may disagree with the CCO’s direction or perspectives, and you may also disagree with the understandably troubling views of some emergent authors. These two problems are not the same, and you ought not insist that CCO wants to be a part of the emergent conversation. I may be wrong, of course, since I am not in the center of their world, but I really have heard of very few CCO people going to the emergent churches, being involved in the national stuff, writing for their emergent blogs and so forth. Perhaps you know more than I do on this, but I know there is a lot of disinterest among many staff, and many don’t seem to know much about that whole movement. I know and serve staff from Columbus Ohio to Washington DC, from New York to here in York, PA. I don’t know how YOU seem to know what the organization stands for so well, and that they “want to” “enter” the emergent conversation. Doug Pagitt or Karen Ward or Brian or Tony Jones aren’t authors that CCO staff ever buy from me, that is for sure! Maybe you know more than I do about their intentions, that is possible. Or maybe you have just crossed the line and spoken, yet again, something you just can’t really document. I wonder if your lack of precision in your attacks means you are cavalier about truth, or just intellectually lazy. Do your homework, Judy, and don’t make broad generalizations about what “the CCO” “wants” to do. There are CCO people that would be appalled to be considered emergent. There are CCO people that read emergent stuff with some degree of appreciation, but discernment. There are some that think it is helpful. It is complex and your statements just don’t do justice to the situation on the ground.

    I again don’t want to sound defensive as if you dare not criticize the CCO. But when you do, you should be precise and true. I am not so sure that this theme that they want to be involved in the emergent stuff is all that precise (who is the “they: anyway?) or true. I’d counsel you to take this before the Lord and evaluate if your posts stand the test of being honest and true and fair and well documented.

    When did we meet? What CCO staff did you know? Who mostly has most frustrated you? You could write to me personally if your care to, although I understand this is a very, very busy time of year. Email me at read@heartsandmindsbooks.com if you want to talk privately. Thank you for your consideration.

  5. Judy,

    I’m a Geneva alumnus, now a graduate student and teaching assistant; I came upon this blog because it’s been making the rounds in alumni circles. I think Byron’s done an excellent job of addressing many of your more substantial concerns, but I’d like to take one thing up: the real and pervasive lack of respect (not to mention charity) evident in your discussion of Geneva.

    I have substantial theological disagreements with the majority of Geneva faculty, and none of them have ever been anything but kind and interested in honest discussion. I remain personal friends with many of them. They – like the CCO staff Byron mentions – come from a diverse array of backgrounds, but they all sacrifice to teach at Geneva. Many of them could easily have higher-paying jobs at secular institutions, but they stay where they are because they are committed to providing a real Christian education that is accessible to normal students. (While you may think that Geneva’s expensive, it’s actually relatively cheap for what it offers).

    While you and your daughter might disagree with these folks, it’s simply unchristian to treat their work as somehow insidious. Again, as Byron has said, talk to specific people about specific concerns – and know that if replies aren’t always timely from professors, it’s likely because they’re overworked, and not because they’re disinterested.

    What upsets me the most, though, is that you mention that your daughter “texts… me during class” – a class in which, as you describe it, the professor allows open disagreement and debate. While this professor is encouraging the exchange of ideas – that is, showing respect to your daughter’s ideas and perspective, even though he likely thinks she’s wrong – your daughter is openly disrespecting both his ideas and his position as a professor. (Texting during class is one of the most disrespectful things a student can do). Not only is she behaving this way, you’re encouraging it as if disrespect and lack of charity were admissible in the name of the furtherance of fundamentalist Protestantism.

    • Hi Adam,

      Thank you for commenting and very glad to find someone who does admit to “substantial theological disagreements” with Geneva. You did jump to some conclusions. I never said we approved of texting in class as you are not aware of the parenting discussions with our daughter (it was used as an example of her frustration) — I never said Geneva was expensive, I expressed frustration that we paid for our daughter to learn Andy Crouch’s philosophies on Culture — although I do think $2,000 is alot of money — and I hope I always think that $2,000 is alot of money.

      My only issue with Geneva — is be who you say that you are. In their mission statement: “Positively, this theology confesses that Jesus Christ is the Lord of all by virtue of His mediating and redeeming work. “For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells… and He (Christ) is head over all rule and authority ” (Col. 2:9). He alone reigns and thus teaches truth to human beings, and any view of the world which stands apart from Christ is “empty deception” (Col. 2:8). Any allegiance that has a claim to truth independent of God offers deception. In spite of the value of a variety of expressions of non-Christian thinking, their deception is based on their human independence. Non-Christian thinking is not neutral; it rests on a loyalty to the “elementary principles of this world” [and the] “traditions of men” (Col. 2:8).

      Adam, there is no overview of the dorm dicipler’s devotion content — I asked the question and that was the answer. I asked our admission’s counselor what he thought about Rob Bell. He loved him and was involved in a small group focused on his teachings – I gently suggested that he explore what Rob Bell truly believes and upon seeing him again gave his some information. Adam, many, many college students do not have developed fine-tuned discernement skills and when something is taught or recommended at a Christian College then students and parents believe that it is “Christian”. I respect a non-Christian school or person. They are often more honest and transparent. I am not afraid of discussions on theology or culture and theology — I truly enjoy them. But don’t claim orthodox and reformed theology and offer my child Rob Bell.

  6. Judy,

    Thanks for your response. I should make it clear, I think, that my theological disagreements with Geneva are very different than yours. Of course, that leads me to my next point, which is that there really is no Geneva program. As I said before, it’s a diverse school. The Bible department is required to adhere to the Westminster Confession of Faith, and all (or nearly all) of them, as far as I’m aware, would share your concerns about the emergent folk. (Several of them are concerned about me, as well).

    Discipleship is a different matter; it’s run by students, and the Geneva student body ranges from fundamentalist Protestants to Pentecostals to Presbyterians to Anglicans to Roman Catholics to Greek Orthodox. Given the potential diversity, I think the campus ministry department actually does a fairly good job of keeping dorm bible studies (not all of which have any sort of official relationship to the college) within any sort of boundaries.

    The real problem with what you propose – that Geneva be who they say they are – is that it’s not really possible for an institution to do that in the way you seem to want. Geneva tries quite hard to be a Reformed institution, and they’re at least successful enough about it that many non-Reformed students complain bitterly about the Reformed content in the curriculum. To try to maintain any sort of strict intellectual guidelines, to ensure that no class, no professor, no dormitory discipleship coordinator ever taught anything that the most conservative of parents found offensive would require an approach to academic work that is, in reality, stifling and conducive to fear. You can look, if you like, at schools that have tried, and see for yourself what the quality of their academic programs is.

    Your last point gets, I think, to the root of your concern, and it’s a common concern among a certain sort of fundamentalist Protestants: that you desire an environment where discernment is unnecessary. However, you should well know that there is no such environment – nor can there be, nor should there be. Remember that the Bereans were commended for exercising discernment regarding the teachings of the Apostle Paul. If they were commended for that, then students and parents should be exercising discernment even at a school that is the pinnacle of whatever you think is orthodoxy; if that’s the case, then there can be no school where it is acceptable for the parents or the students to accept their teaching as “Christian” simply at the professor’s word. If one is to be taught by anyone, one must always exercise discernment; if one cannot exercise discernment, one should not be taught.

    Lastly, let’s remember that you, personally, are not the arbiter of Christian orthodoxy, nor is your personal reading of the Scriptures the authoritative one. You hold a particular position, one that you think is the most correct, and, of course, I assume that you wouldn’t hold a position you thought to be heretical. However, when you persist in constructing some sort of opposition between the “Christian” position and the “CCO/Emergent/Geneva” position, it only muddies the discussion.

  7. “6. Why do blogs belonging to CCO staff (past or present) have disclaimers that the ideas on their blogs may not be representative of CCO. Is this how CCO teaches to ‘live out their faith in every area of life’?”

    This is regular practice of any organization. A CCO staff member on a particular campus does not speak for the organization as a whole. There’s nothing peculiar about this measure, it’s simply a matter of organizational integrity. A personal blog is just that, a personal blog, not an official spokesperson for an organization.

  8. Judy,

    I sort of hate to post this at the bottom of a complex thread. I know I posted something about your comments about Andy Crouch back on that page and something about the odd accusation, made by you and Yvonne, that Bible translations are somehow not God’s Word. Not Peterson’s Word, but God’s Word you said, seeming to suggest that God’s Word doesn’t need a human doing the work of translation or paraphrasing. God’s Word came to us in Hebrew and Greek, of course, so it sounds like you oppose, say, Luther’s German translation and Tyndale’s English translation, etc. I am eager to hear how you can explain this peculiar accusation you’ve made or help me understand what you really meant. I can’t imagine that you, like Muslims who think you have to read the Koran only in Arabic, think it is permissible only to read the Bible in the original languages. Do you think that? I know you are busy, and that can wait, but I am sure others wonder why you sound like you are so opposed to Bible translation, as such.

    ***
    BUT THIS IS THE MATTER THAT first got me writing to you, the thing I’m most concerned about, and the thing you have yet failed to reply to. This is what most concerns me, so I must write again, pleading with you for a reply.

    I declared in what I think was kind and fair detail, with utmost confidence based on 30+ years of careful observation that the Jubilee conference does not believe that man can save the world, that somehow mankind redeems things, that human action alone can solve our problems as you alleged. You know what you wrote and you know I insisted that you were confused about that, and that there is not a shred of evidence that I know of that would authorize you to say what you said. I begged you to recant.

    You have not stood up for your view, explained that large and very ugly accusation, even though you wrote about some other things. It may be unfair of me to speculate about the state of your soul but I suspect you are under conviction that you have spread a terrible mis-truth. You seem to have a high regard for the holiness of God, and for strict obedience to his direct commands. I hope you are praying about how to say it, or working up the courage to admit you are, again, wrong about a wild accusation you’ve made. You silence, though, is troubling, making me wonder what is going on inside you.

    You have been accused of spreading a lie. If you misunderstood the vision of the CCOs Jubilee and thought it is was calling for utter humanism, we are sorry, but that has never, ever, ever, been anyone’s intent. It is fully unreasonable to deduce any such intention on the part of Jubilee leadership since no one has ever implied anything like that. From the most conservative voices (Packer, Sproul, Colson, Goheen) to the more creative ones (Campolo, Claiborne) it is utterly clear and doubtless that nobody wants to give credit to anyone other than the Lord Jesus Christ. We affirm the historic creeds of the church, hope and pray and work diligently for the true salvation of young students, and desire God to be glorified as we point people to His mercy, shown in unmerited grace in the cross. His redemptive work is effective and He saves without our earning it or deserving it. The resurrection and ascension of Jesus allows us to proclaim with hope that, indeed, this is very good news. Death is defeated and the implications of that are creation-wide. God’s people, empowered by His Spirit and directed by His Word, serve as salt and light and leaven in a fallen world, hoping to witness to the realities of God’s Kingdom, living wisely before a hurting generation. We believe God might be pleased to use us to have His name known and his ways applied in every profession and sphere of culture, and we believe that today’s younger students are eager to live lives of service, love, and integrity, before God, for Jesus, in every zone of their personal lives and, where possible, in the public square as well.

    So, since we have affirmed these things consistently and, I think, usually pretty clearly, it makes no sense–no sense at all, my friend—for you to make such a way, way, off-based accusation.

    I have asked you twice to recant. We can disagree about tons of stuff, and you can think the CCO fails miserably at doing what they desire to do. You may think Jubilee is off-kilter in this call to develop the Christian mind and equipping young leaders to be faithful in their careers and callings. You may not think that their emphasis of worldview formation or cultural engagement is urgent or well done. You may not like that I sell books from a variety of perspectives and think college students should read widely, also in culture and theology. Fine. I am sure there is plenty Jubilee leaders could learn about being more Godly and wise in how they run this large event and I don’t mind you tweaking me and my wife and our work. Fair enough.

    But, again, to say the Jubilee planners–any of them, in past or present–believe this heresy that mankind can solve the world’s problems, let alone bring salvation, is worse than nonsense. It is dishonest and wrong. It is an untruth, and to the extent you do not admit it, you are in sin.

    You have not yet apologized. You have found time to put up silly little pictures and write odd rantings against people you don’t like. But you have failed to be faithful to what God demands of you in this situation: repentance.

    You have spoken seriously of a serious matter. You have written in public wrongly of another, testified falsely, maligned the work of people unfairly, said something that is utterly untrue, a serious and awful accusation. Jesus’ own reputation is at stake, as Jubilee, if it is anything, is a place to lift high the glory of Jesus, celebrate His work in the world, and honor him. You owe them an apology.

    The Bible is clear about this, and you, if we are to believe you are a follower of Jesus, guided not by your own opinions but submitted to His sacred text in plain English, you know what you must do. You must recant, apologize, be honest in admitting your failure of reporting untruth.

    I have given you my personal email address if you wanted to talk in private. I assume you have a believing husband or a pastor to whom you submit. Talk to somebody, if you need to, and do the right thing. Tell your fans and followers that Jubilee does not think that mankind saves the world.

    You have slandered fellow Christians (and if you do not think we are really saved, we are citizens, at least, neighbors who you are called to treat fairly.) You have spoken libel against them/us. You are in sin, and although God’s sweet mercy will surely cover this infraction, you owe it to your readers to come clean. Show us if you have integrity. Apologize for this one terrible offense of saying something about the Jubilee conference that you had no justification whatsoever for saying. I’m not asking, and would have no right to ask, for you to like Jubilee or say great things about it. But you simply may not get away saying such a fundamental untruth, spreading such a huge falsehood. Only Jesus saves. Nobody at Jubilee past or present believes otherwise.

    His grace can shine in this if you allow yourself to be humbled, if you admit your error in saying such a dumb thing, and let go of at least that one notion that you have spoken. And, I am sure, you will be forgiven, by God, and those who have been slandered by this. I do not know if the damage can be fully undone, but God will be glorified one way or another.

    The postmodern world may have influenced you, subtly allowing you to think that all truth is relative or something, that your perspective trumps real truth. But you are wrong. This is not a matter of interpretation. You have lied about the CCO’s Jubilee conference and you have not repented, even though you have been invited to do so. You are not in sync with reality on this, you are out of favor of God as you are holding on to your sinful statement. Your many readers are watching to see what kind of a disciple you are, what kind of a person you are. Do the right thing, Judy.

    • Byron,

      The CCO and Jubilee are involved in a very deceptive and dangerous business. They have one foot in Reformed, orthodox, evangelical theology (it worries me to use any of these words without defining . . .) and another foot solidly in the Emergent “conversation”. It is demonstrated by their speakers, the studies offered under their leadership on college campuses, their tolerance of Hearts & Minds Books as a main vendor, the profession of a student (D. Ketter) as written in his comment on the Geneva post.

      Do I believe that it is the intention of CCO staff to deceive others, no, I do not.
      Do I believe they desire to serve the Lord with all their heart and lives, yes, I do.
      Do I believe that they believe their ministry emphasis of a social gospel rests solely on man’s ability to save. Not at all. I believe most of CCO believe they are being very obedient and faithful to God. But believing something to be true does not make it true. Do you agree?

      Somewhere false teaching slipped in the door and/or were invited in the door when no one was watching and protecting these passionate young adults. I do not doubt their love for the Lord one bit. Leadership was not discerning and what started as a minor fissure is opening into a huge chasm — further and further from the authority of Scripture.

      And yes, the company one keeps does matter – and don’t jump to the “Jesus hung with the tax collectors and other lowly of lowlies” – that is not what I mean so don’t make it a diversion. You may believe that it is scholarly to ingest a variety of spiritual teachings but I don’t see where Scripture supports that idea. Infact quite the contrary.

      1Cor. 15:33—Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”
      Proverbs 13:20 – Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
      Ephesians 5:15-16 – Look carefully then how [we] walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

      Jesus didn’t tell us to go hang with the pagans because we might glean some truth. He wanted us to hang with the Pagans to know Him and His Salvation.

      Now, please consider answering my earlier question, what percentage of falseness makes a teacher false?

      • Judy:

        I rather resent being called part of anything “Emergent.” What I’ve written comes out the Dutch Calvinist tradition (Kuyper) and reformed epistemology (Wolterstorff, Platinga, Van Til, et al.), not from McLaren and the like. So now you are not only misrepresenting the views and convictions of Geneva College and the CCO, but you would broaden your offense by bringing me into it?

        I add my appeal to Byron’s: please reconsider the slanderous talk against Christian brothers and sisters. I will add my voice to Paul’s: Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” (Eph. 4:31). You clearly have studied the marks of false teachers, but in trying to seek them out, be careful, sister, that you do not become one yourself, having “an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions” (1 Tim. 6:4) and the praise of good Christian fellowship.

        I do not say this from a height of holiness, but from a place where I can only say I am the chief of sinners, and apart from grace, I could not stand. My plea comes from the mercy shown to me, the same mercy that is extended to you.

        In the Gospel,

        David
        2 Tim. 2:19

  9. Byron,

    I hope you don’t mind too terribly, but I think I understand what Judy is talking about when she says “God’s Word” and not “Peterson’s word.”

    The other Bibles are TRANSLATIONS whereas Peterson’s is a paraphrase. Therefore it will of necessity be more about Peterson’s ideas of what the Bible says vs what the Bible actually says. And I agree with that point, especially knowing the new age slant of much in “The Message.”

  10. Whew, I hope that is all she means. Of course Peterson knows Hebrew better than most and has studied koine (often called “working mans Greek) for his whole career. He’s gone to the holy land, studied the words and Aramaic, etc. But I don’t know Greek so I don’t know why he words things the way he does. I don’t know what is new age about it, but I can’t argue, since I’m not qualified. I just know that that is always the case, men take the ancient words, like Luther did, like King James team did, like Bruce Metzgar did, like the ESV team did, and they interpret what they think each word in the ancient manuscripts really mean and what word in modern language conveys that. I hope she doesn’t think that any one man is privileged in this, or think that somehow one translation is “the” way it came down from heaven. She says God’s Word doesn’t need to be re-written. I think that is just silly. I praise God for the those who risked life and limb to do just that, in Africa, China, on far-away islands and here in America. I have friends in Muslim counties even now who could be be-headed tomorrow if their work is known. I hope Judy wouldn’t say “God doesn’t need them to re-write the Bible.” God doesn’t need anything, of course, but he has commanded us to take his word to the peoples. Of course God wants His word to be known and understood, and in that sense it is needful to do that kind of creative work. Part of that is Bible translation and paraphrase and story telling (for children or slower adults or those cultures that don’t read) or even putting it into movies (like The Jesus Film) or skits. One can usually tell the spiritual temperature for someone, it seems to me, if they love God’s Word and want to get it out. I am glad for those that work hard at that, as I am sure you are. Thanks for your simple explanation. I hope that is it, that she just doesn’t like paraphrases. I wonder if she has ever used a Bible story book for a child, like Hurleburts or something. That is a “re-telling.” Would she condemn them, too? Maybe she reads first century Hebrew or Greek to first graders. I hope not.

    Once she even wrote that God doesn’t need anybody to explain the Word. Is that crazy, or what? What in the world would cause somebody to say something like that? The Bible says over and over that God calls leaders to teach the Word. From the law and the prophets, through Ezra (!) and the apostles, teachers are held accountable for making sure they teach properly. I thought you guys believed that, but then she says that, making her sound like she’s in some cult or something. In the reformation one of the sure marks of a proper church was sound Bible teaching. John Calvin set up an entire institution, a lay-people’s academy, to help explicate the Bible. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” Hosea 4:6 says. You have complimented this confused woman’s peculiar writing, and I think if you know or appreciate her you should tell her to stop writing such unBiblical nonsense.

  11. PS: Yay for bagpipes! Way to go with that!

  12. Byron,

    Well,I still say there is a heap of difference between true translations and the corruption Peterson came up with. That, I’m sure is Judy’s context. Of course people have to translate – that goes without saying.

    As for Judy’s statement about God not needing anyone to explain the Word, I’m pretty sure you have that out of context! I’d like to see it in context.

    • Thanks Glenn, you have captured my thoughts exactly — Based on 1Jn. 2:27 — “As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him. This does not negate the importance of gifted teachers but believers do not have to depend on human wisdom or opinions of men for the truth.” NASB, JMac Study Bible.

  13. Oh, and it really doesn’t matter how well Peterson knows the original languages – it he ignores what the words actually say in order to further his purpose, then the knowledge of the actual words has no bearing! I think William Barclay was a pretty good scholar in that regard, yet his commentaries demonstrate his disbelief in miracles.

  14. Judy,

    I now see that you have responded to my plea for clarification and repentance. Thank you very much. I am sorry I am posting down here after the little conversation about Bible paraphrasing, but I don’t know how to do a reply back up to your important post. I wish I could post this right up there after your remarks. Thanks for allowing me to write on your blog.

    Your care for CCO comes through here–it doesn’t always, it seems, and I have rebuked you for this on a few other spots on the blog—and I am so grateful for that. I am glad you believe that most of the staff do love God and are trying to serve well. They need to hear that from you, I’d think.

    I will answer two specific questions you asked me.

    But first: you said in a previous post, quit publicly for all to see and quote and pass on, that the Jubilee conference believes that man can save the world. I protested with many assurances that that has not been said, that has not been implied, that that is not, and never has been, the intention or tone of Jubilee. It took you a while to clarify this, and I am a bit miffed that you didn’t fully and promptly apologize for this egregious offense.

    NOW, you say you don’t believe that. Great! But you didn’t own up to saying something so very wrong, you just said you don’t quite believe that. I think you should do a special blog post on this asking your fans and groupies not to repeat it, not to pass it on, that it was a falsehood. You should repent and you should apologize. This gross mis-characterization of the Jubilee event is serious and your sweet words now, for which I am personally grateful, are not enough to undo the harm you have caused by your carelessness. I am glad that in this reply you nicely clarify that you don’t believe that CCO believes in humanism. I wish you would have also said you were sorry that you said otherwise previously. It seems you are avoiding the hard word of being forthright about your error.

    I will take you at your word, and be glad for this affirmation that, despite your grave misgivings, the Jubilee event is not about self-improvement or humanism or mankind saving the world. Thanks for saying that much, as least.

    Yet, even in this earnest claim that you don’t think they are knowingly promoting a view that is humanistic, you mis-characterize them yet again. You say the CCO Jubilee conference has a social gospel emphasis. Once again, you must stop using words so cavalierly. Surely you know what that phrase means, “the social gospel.” It was a movement of the late 19th and esp early 20th century that said that horizontal service to others WAS the gospel, with little “vertical” emphasis on God, the cross or personal salvation. They had slogans like “deeds not creeds” and “the brotherhood of man.” You have NEVER, ever heard that at Jubilee, and to accuse them of “a social gospel emphasis” is either playing fast and loose with the words or another gross and dishonest allegation.

    Now I have to ask you: do you really think the CCO holds to the classic definition of the social gospel? If so, how dare you say that without documentation and proof? I would suppose you are aware that those liberal denominations and congregations that DO hold to a (merely) social gospel will not work with CCO because the CCO insists on talking about Jesus, believe in evangelism, personal conversion, preaching that Christ alone is the mediator and savior, and that cultural reformation comes as we live out Biblical injunctions, Christ-exalting service, and a social agenda rooted in the evangelical tradition. These more liberal churches know that much of the training of the CCO comes from fairly conservative teachers, trained at places like Westminster Seminary or Gordon Conwell. From Chuck Colson to Ron Sider, from Abraham Kuyper to John Stott, from John Perkins to Marva Dawn, the social agenda of evangelicals is not at all the same thing as “the social gospel.” How dare you go public with yet another false accusation? How dare you insult us with such hogwash? How dare you be so sloppy with your facts? If you have anybody following you yet, I think they will increasingly realize you apparently just don’t know what you are talking about. In this case, again, you have utterly misconstrued what the Jubilee conference is and is about! Lies!!!

    Tell me what about Jubilee is the same as the 19th and 20th century social gospel? The reformational worldview drawing on authors like Al Wolters or Nancy Pearcey or Francis Schaeffer leads to uniquely Christian social ministries and cultural engagement, but it in no way is the same as the secularizing and theologically liberal social gospel. In the mix of dozens of speaker every year they bring in a few creative choices, and I cannot vouch for the integrity of every single small workshop leader from the past 30-plus years. But I insist with great confidence that the overall teaching, tone and vision, from the Bible studies that start each major session to the song-lyrics of the worship leaders, to, yes, the book announcements I make (that some have said are too preachy about Jesus and His Kingdom) that the crowd knows that it is a conference about making the world a better place BY EXALTING JESUS AS LORD, by growing in faith and discipleship, and by learning to think deeply and critically, relating their deepest convictions to their calling in their classrooms and careers. If anybody thinks it is the same thing as the social gospel, they are not paying attention. (Sure we have had workshops against sexual slavery or against abortion. Do you think this is wrong? Do you not want Christian students involved in fighting those great ills? I dare you to say that you think we should look the other way as other humans are raped and killed?)

    As you know, most of the workshops over the years have been about the integration of faith college classroom stuff, about the Bible and science, business, counseling, art, engineering, politics, medicine, law, sports, education, nursing, special education, sociology, history and such. A Biblical view of the workworld and the call to serve God in daily life has been the “bread and butter” of the conference. If you think this is social gospel, you are terribly misinformed about the meaning of the word and the content of the conference. I hate to say it, but this is such a false and rude and stupid claim, you simply must take it back. If even one of your readers passes it on as a false rumor, that would be dishonoring to Jesus Christ, as HE is the centerpiece of the conference. The name itself (as I am sure you know) comes not only from Leviticus 25 and that great social renewal that was promised on the day of atonement, but how Jesus used this as his first text for his first public sermons in Luke 4. Social gospel? No, no, a thousand times no.

    One final beef that I have to share. I am not usually so blunt and I feel led by God to be candid with you, which I do not like. This isn’t easy, and I am sorry to have to speak boldly. I sense you want that, though, as you don’t mince words, either.

    You say that false doctrine has infiltrated the CCO, that they have one foot in this camp and another foot in another camp. I do not sit in day in and day out with the various teams in the various parts of the several states in which they work. I don’t even know all the staff by name. SO I admit I have no birds-eye view of what “they” believe, what camp they are or aren’t in. But I wonder–and I think if you are saying this stuff in public for your readership, they have the right to know–HOW YOU KNOW THIS STUFF, anyway? How do you know so much about the organization? How many of their campuses do you have significant information on?

    You are writing as pretty anonyomous, which makes it difficult to judge your credentials or experience. (That in itself is a violation of the Scriptures, I think, but I’ll let that slide.) I don’t know if you are in a Mormon church or a cult-like house church. Your readers don’t know who you have talked to within the CCO and how extensive your research is. I believe you (I really do) that you once cared about this ministry, and it seems you know a little bit about it. I don’t have any reason (thus far) to believe you really know much about the workings of the organization at all., though, as you haven’t said anything to show that you know what you are talking about. I don’t say this to put you down or to be nasty. It is just a fair observation: you haven’t done the investigative journalism thing very well: there are statements and assertions spoken as if you care, but you don’t seem to care enough to say any names, tell us where you know this from, how you have this knowledge. Maybe you do. We just don’t know.

    So, when you complain about “them” having these feet in these camps, it just isn’t clear to most readers how this diversity of views is manifesting itself. That is, how many staff are in which camp? How prevalent is this tendency towards emergent speakers? (Not very, most would say) What does it mean to have a foot “solidly” in the emergent camp? Again, few would think that. The emergent village folks haven’t been notified of CCOs interest, I’m sure. How do you know all this? You make it sound like you’ve got some real scoop on this huge organization, and I suspect you are over-stating your knowledge. I wonder who all you’ve talked to to come up with these grand accusations?

    It seems you are basing it mostly–creating this huge assessment of the organization—on a speaker or two you didn’t like. Maybe it is more than that, but you don’t really say. Maybe you’d have the courtesy to tell us the full story.

    I think it is important to ask this, too: even if some of the guest speakers or staff leaders have been a bit “emergent friendly” how bad are the ones you don’t like that they have had? Paul did say, after all, that all things are lawful. Gamaliel did counsel not fretting, but waiting to see what comes of new ideas. Peter really did get stretched a bit and had to change his mind that some stuff he was sure was wrong maybe wasn’t so scary after all.

    There are some pretty strange ideas in some emergent circles, I’d say (and I do) but those folks have not been to any CCO events. That is just a fact. For an organization with one foot firmly in the emergent camp, you’d think at least one of their national leaders would have been invited to be with us. Hasn’t happened. (Instead, they invite Tim Keller and Ravi Zacharious and John Piper, although, granted, the last two men have never been able to do the February Jubilee schedule.) I hope any of your readers you follow you don’t take you seriously when you say CCO has “one foot firmly” in some emergent camp.

    There are these that may be “emergent friendly” (which is a vague accusation, but I think I understand your use of it.) For instance, you may find something about Rob Bell that you don’t like. But suppose he has one or two fantastic Nooma videos? There are some that do not have on iota of error! Does it make a ministry compromised to show that 10 minute video and talk about it? Is that that bad, if they pick one that is not at all controversial? Maybe you think it is, but it can be justified because the apostle Paul said, by the Holy Spirit, that he didn’t care why or by whom Christ is proclaimed (he didn’t like some of those who were teaching about the gospel in a manner he didn’t quite approve of) as long as they are proclaiming the gospel. Do you think it is forbidden to use something that even somebody who has some errors in some part of some other book, but has done some great stuff (like a Nooma, that young adults really can relate to and grapple with)? You may find it unwise, but is it an indication of heresy? That is a pretty stern and ham-fisted accusation!

    Or, similarly, suppose you don’t like Donald Miller’s church, or mistrust him, somehow. He spoke at Jubilee once, and I wonder if you found fault in anything he said at Jubilee? Anything at all? (Or the full experience of the conference that year when Chuck Colson spoke frankly against emergent tendencies from Jude right after Donald, creating a good balance, many thought.) (Way to go Jubilee planners, I’d say!) You seem to think that there is this friendliness to emergent thinkers, and I will not deny that some staff may appreciate some emergent themes, and that some have read the books (perhaps just because students have asked or are interested.) But does this constitute deception slipping in to the organization? I think not.

    I can summarize the above paragraphs simply: I don’t think you have backed up your accusations with facts. You don’t tell your readers who you are or how you know what you claim. I presume your fans believe you and that is a shame. You are making generalizations that just aren’t backed up with any documentation. Your asserting something as so just doesn’t make it so.

    By the way, I loved that John MacArthur quote you used. A half truth presented as a whole truth is an untruth. Judy, I cannot think of a better description of my concern about your approach and style regarding the CCO and Jubilee. Except saying you present “half truths” is unfair, as you don’t even present half truths. You present rumor and accusation that has no basis that you show in any facts on the ground. But presenting some grain of truth as a truth is, as brother MacArthur said, is an untruth!

    To the questions you asked me to reply to:

    1.You asked if believing something to be true makes it true. Of course not! That is the foundation of my exhortation to you. It seems you claim to be a woman of truth. Yet you make grand and damning claims that have not been proven. So, no, believing you are right doesn’t make it so. I hope you ponder that seriously and take it to heart! Your zeal for truth (which is commendable) has allowed you to get fuzzy with your description of the truth. It seems to be a fairly consistent mode of operations for you. That gives me great pause.

    By the way, though: you were asking this in the context of your allegations of the CCOs faults. The statement holds for (or against, as the case may be) them, too! If they have convictions that are sincere, but wrong, that doesn’t get them “off the hook.” It was gratifying to hear you say that their hardworking staff must truly love the Lord, and you don’t doubt that. You are kind to say that, and I believe you. But I agree that that alone doesn’t make them worthy ministers of the gospel. If they were ever clearly off base on something vital, I would be willing to offer whatever meager input I might have to them if I felt they were seriously wrong about something important.

    I think that several of their staff do that from time to time and from what I can gather from my perch, it looks as if they have several committees and teams and feedback loops and various ways to keep channels open for their internal faithfulness. I don’t know how all that works, but it is wrong to suppose they aren’t trying to keep strong in Christ, clear about the gospel, honest before their supporters and standing in the mainstream of historic orthodox Christianity. That the many, many staff who have come and gone over 40 years mostly think CCO has been very solid and reliable and faithful is telling. (I guess I should say I don’t know this for sure as I haven’t polled each and every one, most of whom I don’t know. But I have talked to their alumni organizers, and I have never heard any great complaints, of folks who have felt the CCO has fallen into false teaching.)

    I ask your readers to ask the students and staff and alumni and pastors that have worked with CCO staff and the various other ministries in the college mission field. Very, very few would even recognize your description of them. I think if they talked with others who are close up to the ministry in various places, they’d realize you are telling a very biased and eccentric story about who they are and what they believe.

    BUT, I agree with you: nonetheless, their earnestness is beside the point, and the general support they get from supporters and alumni is not an ultimate proof of anything. What matters is if they are Biblicalyl faithful, standing within the moderate and general center of evangelical faith., if they have refused to bow the knee to the idols of the age, and if their ministry bears God-glorifying fruit. If you say they are not faithful and do not bear good fruit, prove it. Otherwise, apologize for the false witness, confess to God your sin of violation of the commandments, and tame your tongue.

    You mention their speakers. I don’t know who you mean. I have been to nearly all of their staff training events of the past 20 years; not all, but many. I cannot think of any that were not led by pretty conservative evangelicals. (Well, once they had a Roman Catholic guy in to help us understand Catholic students. He understood that we were an evangelical group, and we wanted him to help us to know how to “reach” students in fair and healthy ways. Okay, he wasn’t an evangelical, but it was a great learning experience for us all. And it was clear he was speaking “to” us as an “outsider” to our tradition, helping us hear “from the horse’s mouth” what Roman Catholic friends do or don’t believe.) So, when you mention the speakers I’d like to know which ones you disapproved of. Name it or quite making these insinuations and drawing such vast conclusions from them. Care to elaborate what you know, who you have heard it from, what training books that they’ve used that you find faulty? Come on, come clean with what you know, or quit passing these insinuations and accusations.

    If you mean Jubilee speakers, I dare you to count up the speakers over the years. Get old brochures or websites or something–it would be daunting, I know—and list ’em. Find more than two or three out of hundreds that you would characterize as unorthodox. I know you don’t like Tony Campolo, but I have heard every one of his Jubilee talks (and it is notable that he hasn’t been there in quite a while) and I’ve listened to some of them again on audio. On occasion he words things in a way I would not. I don’t like one emphasis he has on “listening prayer” not because it is unorthodox, but because it is a bit too subjective. But then he goes right into a spiel about the Bible, and needing to counter our own imaginations with a Biblical picture of reality. I thought one of his lines was a bit off, once, in an otherwise fine sermon, and I told him. He pondered it a bit, I think. And he did an altar call that was fabulous (and, really, pretty standard fare for how these things are done in evangelistic meetings.) If you think this is an indication of the CCO going astray, so be it.

    I know you don’t like Chris Seay being at Jubilee this year. I don’t know what precisely you object to him, really, although you oddly called him a charlatan, based, I guess, on his having helped with a Bible paraphrase. In the old days, CCO and other para-church ministries used “The Living Bible” and most of us found it a little weak, but it surely didn’t divide the church or invite these huge accusations. By the way, from what I can tell, hardly no one at CCO uses “The Voice” and I haven’t sold it, myself, to anybody in CCO circles. It isn’t why Seay is coming to Jubilee, that’s for sure. (He is known for helping folks be discerning and insightful about popular entertainment, although I don’t know if that is what he’s speaking on.) But, again, if you are going to insist that CCO “has one foot solidly in the emergent camp” because they have a pop culture speaker doing a workshop who did a Bible paraphrase, I hope you know this is pretty meager stuff. Is THAT the basis of your assertions?

    You mention some studies offered by leaders. I just can’t imagine what speakers and leaders of the CCO that you refer to. What many, many, many Bible classes and small groups at their hundreds of campuses over months and months–this ends up being literally thousands and thousands of sessions–that you even know about. I get calls sometimes from CCO staff asking for accessible Bible study stuff. They are leading a group on Luke, you know, or Amos, or Romans. They need a commentary on Galations or a discussion guide on Genesis. Of course they are culturally savvy and working with this generation one must be. They study movies and rock songs and political projects. They lead missions trips and take students to prayer meetings. I don’t know which of these may small group leaders you found troublesome. You say they have “one foot in” this or that camp, and I just think you do not have the wherewithal to know this about this big organization. I know they have whole teams of leaders who supervise the many campuses. Maybe you found one or two staffers at one or two campuses that you don’t agree with. Okay, take up your beef with them. Or, if you feel called to go public, tell us who and what and why. Let’s put it in perspective instead of tarring the organization. Doesn’t that seem reasonable? Does my exhortation seem right at all regarding this unfairness of your method? Why or why not??

    2. You asked what percentage of falseness makes something false. That is a good question. I am not sure I can answer it simply, since it may vary in different situations. Just today we changed a recipe a little, and that little error didn’t matter much. Every human system is tainted by our sin and every human project, all books and sermons and theologies and websites and teaching times and radio ministers are distorted in one way or another. We all see through a glass dimly, Corinthians says, right? All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Our best deeds are as filthy rags… So the only thing that isn’t false is the Word of pure truth from God.

    But, of course, that Word must be understood properly, and our best efforts to do that, despite the promise of the Holy Spirit to led us into all truth, is tainted by our human sin and rebellion and cultural biases. We sometimes just read poorly or can’t understand the sentences. Or we’ve come to believe things that just aren’t in the text. (Ahh, how about that greek word, usually translated “inn” that really means a guest room. Luke used the ordinary word for a commercial establishment, an inn, in the Good Samaratian story. He used a different word in the Christmas story. Yet everybody mistranslates it. Am I wrong to carry children’s books that show Jesus in a barn? Yeah. I confess, it is a small bit of falsehood that I’m unwilling to go to the mat over. But the Greek word is “guest room” and not “inn.” Mangers, of course, were in people’s living rooms in peasant homes in that town. Some homes still have them today!

    So, only God’s Word is utterly true, but even that is complicated to translate and interpret, and all human doing so is “through a glass” and never can be made into an idol. Only God is God, and His Word is truth. Our readings and interpretations are approximations of truth, but always tainted by our human condition. One mustn’t take verses out of context or read them in ways that aren’t consistent or cite them poorly or live them wrongly. Ordinary folks have to study and meditate on the Word as it commands us to and we still don’t get it right in full. Our minds must be renewed etc etc. I’m sure you agree. So, who much falsehood makes something false? I don’t know, but everything we humans do and make and all our creeds and dogmas are, in one way or another, the fruits of finite folks. Dealing with degrees and measures of falsity and error and brokenenss and sin is fact of life. Praise God that God has saved us from ourselves, and called us to be humble in all our claims. Saying the Bible is true isn’t enough. We have to handle it well, allow Scripture to interpret Scripture, and use all the standard tools that Bible students do. And even then, we fail. We are advised in the Bible to gaurd our hearts (we have bad motivations, all of us) and to study the Scriptures to renew our minds and to be careful not to be “taken captive” by worldly ideologies. Yes, yes, there is plenty of error and we must always be diligent to seek truth.

    I guess what you mean to ask, though, is how false can something be before we protest, before it becomes notable and worth fighting over. Again, good question. In different settings, I would suppose that we have different levels of toleration for different sorts of mistakes or errors or falsehoods. I think some of what you’ve written on this blog is truly wrong-headed, and I know you think that of me. (You have even blamed me for some of the demise of the doctrinal purity of the CCO, a fascinating speculation!) But I don’t care to take you to task for every dumb thing you say, and I suppose you aren’t going to fight with me about every dumb thing I say, or every controversial book you don’t like that I may think worthy of a read. So I tolerate some stuff, in this context, since the context is “this is your blog” and it isn’t my job to convict you or instruct you or argue with you about everything I don’t agree with. I do care about the state of your soul, and the damage you may be doing to God’s Kingdom, in part because you said I sold you books that you found hurtful. So because we have that small bit of relationship, I feel it is worth writing to you about some things. So, you may have a large amount of what I think is falsehood, but I don’t have the interest in talking about it all; in one sense it is none of my business, it is your mission, here, so I don’t want to fight all your falsehoods. There are other things, though, that I think are reprehensible, so untrue, so unkind, so far off, that in the name of all that is true, I must protest and call you to repent. They are things that you’ve written about that I have some involvement with, that I care about so this matters to me; my own walk with God has led me to a point that I am willing to spend these hours talking to you about your remarks. I have named exactly what those few things are and have spent pages and pages and hours and hours building my case. Those are the things that a serious falsehood is too much

    So, you see, the question is tricky. What little bit of falsehood makes something false? Any bit of untruth makes it somewhat untrue, so we confess that all of human life and any human activity and any idea or doctrine or formulation or book or blog is going to be less than fully true. Yes, things are false out there. That is why those of us in the Reformed tradition (along with others, I hope) believe in that classic creed from the 16th century “the church always reforming.” We never get it quite right and in God’s providence, we are allowed to keep on having Him shape us back to fidelity and clarity, the best we can. This side of the New Earth we will never really get it right.

    The more productive question isn’t one that searches for some formula (what do you want me to say, 51% error makes something untruthful? 1%? All sin is hurtful and every human endeavor is by definition tainted by our broken humanness and sinful inclinations and misunderstandings and frailities and dyfucntions and idolatries etc etc etc.)

    Some untruths, though, can’t just be tolerated as differences of opinion, or only minor problems or small bumps along the way (although many errors are exactly that.) When do we call people out, when do we make a stink, when do “the gloves come off” as you have said? There are times. I like the motto (although it is a bit simplistic) of the Moravians who said “in essentials unity, in nonessentials diversity and in all things charity.” Of couurse the question is what are the essentials? Classic historic orthodoxy has tried to answer that, and the CCO and other reputable ministries have statement of faiths about such things.

    I suppose you are asking this (forgive me if I don’t recall precisely why) because you think I am mistaken to sell books that include doctrinal error in them. Or because you think Jubilee has some unacceptable theological diversity represented. And that is a fair question: how bad should something be before we are inclined to not want it to be read or heard?

    The Bible verses you gave are helpful reminders. I don’t think I want to “walk with” a confused or evil person (unless it is to build a trusting relationship of ministry in order to call them into God’s Kingdom.) The texts are clear about that, so we must be careful who we trust, who we most intimately associate with, who we build lasting partnerships with and who we look to for advise and guidance. I actually think that young Christians should be advised to be very careful about this stuff, and I affirm those verses.

    They are about who we “walk with” which, of course, doesn’t mean who we literally take steps alongside (how could you go to the grocery store or downtown parade or file into the tax office, if that is what it means??? Ha!) Obviously the texts warns us against falsehood and idolatry and associating with those who would influence us against God’s reign. I think too many young Christians are influenced by those who have bought into the American dream and the idols of our time. They walk way too much with the ways of the world. I hope Jubilee calls them away from being formed by those ideologies that they get on campus…don’t you?

    Does this mean we can’t read books or hear speakers or have panel discussions or go to a secular college or watch the news or read the newspaper or visit other churches? Most folks throughout church history have affirmed reading widely, reading the news, going to school; there is even a name for it from the early church “plundering the Egyptians; we can steal what we can to learn well from pagan culture.” You may think otherwise, and that is your right. But you would be standing against the best early church thinkers, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, the Puritans, Jonathan Edwards, Abe Kuyper, C.S. Lewis, Fran Schaeffer, Charles Colson, R.C. Sproul, John Piper…on and on…

    Jesus calls us to be “in but not of” and he calls us to “read the signs of the times” scolding those who don’t discern the spirit of the age, the event of the times. As I said in an earlier post, young Daniel read all kinds of weird stuff–in Chaldean!– and grew to be considered wise by his pagan rulers. Paul cited pagan poetry and literature more than once. Do you think he violated his own commands not to walk with sinners by reading pagan books? Of course not! At the end of his life, in jail in Rome, wishing he could get to Spain to preach Christ, he ordered books. And it wasn’t Christian literature, either. He clearly wanted the Hebrew manuscripts. And some other documents, it says. We don’t know what, but I think it is fair to presume it was pagan writings. He was familiar and made a habit of knowing what his audience knew (Acts 17.) If Paul can read widely, not only we “can” too, but we “must” too.

    There are two sorts of verses on this, those that counsel purity, and those that seem to counsel “relevance.” Some only want holiness without engagement, some want engagement without holiness. Neither if fully faithful. (Interestingly, it was the Pharisees and their punctilious holiness that Jesus most often did battle with.) In-but-not-of, that’s the proper view! City on a hill and leaven in the loaf. Pure and relevant, truthful and engaged, affirming the Bible and common insights from the culture. It is what I teach whenever I am with CCO staff and given an opportunity to teach (which isn’t much, but maybe one day a year.) I hope you agree that this is the proper Biblical view. It may or may not be prudent to read this or that book, and there may be certain untolerable theological error in this book or song or teaching. Knowing when to work carefully behind the scenes and when to expose the evil is a great matter needing prayer and wisdom. I assume you struggle with it daily, as do I.

    Interesting isn’t it, that we crossed paths once years ago and now cross paths again, here. You think the Jubilee conference has become intolerable. I think your critique is dishonest and unfair and therefore intolerable. You see, I too believe in exposing the unfruitful works of sin. We cannot to it always, but there are battle fronts God calls us to.

    Who is correct. I cannot persuade you to appreciate the CCO or to trust the Jubilee leadership, and, to be honest, that is not my goal. My goal is to request, begging you in the name of Jesus our Lord, to be careful what you say and to speak your concerns in ways that are truthful. You have very consistently failed to do this. I hope your readers hold you accoutable, starting asking you questions like “hey judy, when you say this, how do we know it is so?” Or, Hey Judy thanks for your passion for truth, but why do you call the CCO pro-emergent; does it make sense to say they are pro, just because they have one speaker talking about something else?” Or, “Hi Judy: why in the world do you say Jubilee is “social gospel? It sure doesn’t sound that way to me.”

    They mostly likely won’t say that, though. So some of us will. You have spoken falsely, made accusations that make no sense, that are not true to the facts of the matter. You have consistently failed to offer solid facts to prove your case. I think you are not being a good writer, saying this factually and fairly.

    I await your apology for that accusation about Jubilee being “social gospel” and for your saying the CCO has “one foot solidly in the emergent camp.” Both are just hogwash. Pony up and do the right things. Say you are sorry, admit your sloppiness and move on to substantive matters to debate. Nobody can take your concerns seriously if they are laden with error, partial truths, overstatemets and hooey. And so far, that’s what you’ve given. You mean well, but as you have said, that isn’t enough.

    I invite you to come this year and hear John Perkins, and hear how God changed him from a person who (understandably) hated white people (after being beat by white police in the early days of the civil rights movement.) You may know his story (he has been at Geneva and was influential in the shaping of the CCO.) He came to saving faith and returned to do a lifetime of work among the poor and rising leaders within the African American community. He has been long-time friends with Billy Graham and preaches salvation, Jesus and his radical call to racial reconciliation emerges from a fairly traditional doctrine of salvation and sanctification, holiness and service, guided by the Lordship of Christ as revealed in the Bible. John has been to Jubilee almost as many times as any major speaker, and is a great example of the sort of cultural and social activism the conference holds up as commendable.

    So, you asked me

  15. Sorry that that last partial sentence remained….thought I had edited that paragraph out. How dumb of me! And the final paragraph, about John Perkins and Jubilee belongs up with the portion about whether or not is is fair refer to Jubilee in “social gospel” terms. It wasn’t supposed to be at the end.

    It was (sorry) a long, long, post, and working in the little reply box got me confused as I was adding and deleting some stuff. So sorry this ends so oddly.

    Just ignore that last unfinished sentence, and move the John Perkins invite up a bit.

    Thanks.

  16. Judy,

    This is a no-brainer. As I went to great lengths to show, you have seriously mis-named the theology and spirit of the CCO and the Jubilee conference by saying it has a “social gospel” emphasis.

    Although others could have done it better, I have explained in no uncertain terms that the “social gospel” is commonly understood to mean a particular liberal theological tradition that has never, ever, influenced the CCO. It just hasn’t. There is no denying that CCO believes that Jesus’ Lordship demands faithfulness in all areas of life and Christian disciples will necessarily try to honor him in all their daily lives (Romans 12:1-2.) Jubilee has admittedly attempted to help student think through the public application of their convictions, relating faith and things like citizenship or resisting the evils of gross injustice. Our daily work is named by the Apostle Paul, as is “eating and drinking” or “whatever you do,” we are to do so as unto Christ, to God’s glory. John Piper, in “Don’t Waste Your Life” spells it out very clearly, esp in the chapter “Glorifying God in the 9-to-5.” This wide-as-life view of serving God in ordinary living simply is not “the social gospel.” It is not even a social gospel emphasis, as they would not emphasize that bankrupt theological tradition that tends to minimize the saving work of Jesus as “the social gospel” theology did/does.

    You maligned the Jubilee conference previously, by the wacky accusation that it teaches that mankind can save the planet, something so utterly implausible that it was stunning in its falsehood. Gratefully, in another post, you finally corrected yourself. It wasn’t a full-on apology, which it should have been, but at least you admitted it wasn’t accurate. This mistake is similar. And, again, dead wrong.

    One would think that you would want to show your loyalty to Godly character and truth-telling and humility before others and correct your false accusation. I would think you would do so promptly.

    (Or, I suppose, prove me wrong by documenting your claim. Since it is so utterly false though I am confident that that isn’t going to happen. The Pittsburgh Jubilee conference has not emphasized the views of the 19th century liberal social gospel movement.)

    That you have not done either, Judy, is very, very sad. I hope those reading this realize your inappropriate and unfair blogging practices and pray for your repentance, that you would cling to Christ’s mercy for this on-going, dishonest habit of yours.

    Why is it that we have to wring the truth from you, ask you to clarify, beg you to tell the truth? Judy, decent people–let alone Christians—don’t act like this.

    If a person says A about someone and others clearly and doubtlessly show that A is false, that person usually, if they are normal, show some remorse. They say they are sorry. They explain themselves and, if they are Christian, ask for forgiveness. Why don’t you play by those rules? I’ll bet there was a time in your life when you did. You weren’t always like this, dragging truth through the mud, and being slow and reluctant to come clean…

    If you want to write about things you don’t like about Jubilee or my role there, go at it. Just tell the truth.

    And admit a mistake when you fail. And do it promptly, showing that it matters. Christians are people who know that our forgiveness is in God’s hands, not our own, so we need not cover up or pretend that we have failings. It is wise, though, and fair, to make amends when you’ve wronged someone in public. Do you disagree? Your silence indicates that you must.

    Linking Jubilee to this dead-end theological movement from 100 years ago is just poppycock. I, naturally, wonder if you knew this and were just lazy with your words, or if you really don’t know the difference between the social gospel and the robust evangelical Biblical theology of the Jubilee.

    If it was a mistake, just say ooops and apologize. It isn’t that hard, you know.

    Please set the record straight, short and sweet. You were wrong to say what you said about Jubilee. It was inaccurate and false.

    I look forward to your response.

  17. Bryon,
    You are playing word-games. The Social Gospel does not just refer to that century-old movement, and I believe you should know that. The Social Gospel is alive and well, and found especially today in the Black Liberation Theology, such as taught by the likes of Obama’s favorite pastor. It’s all about bringing about social justice (or what they see as justice) in the name of Christianity. The Emergent movement is a lot about the social gospel, and if from the evidence Judy has brought forth it appears that CCO is becoming involved with emergent stuff, then they are indeed fostering social gospel messages, intentionally or not. The “ONE Campaign” and Rick Warren’s PEACE plan are all aspects of the social gospel as taught today. Liberal churchs such as the ELCA, PCUSA and Episcopal church are very much involved in so-called social justice and seeking more of a Marxist society and then they call it Christian because Christ said we should be helping the poor, etc.

    • Glenn, I don’t know where to start with your post. Like Judy, you seem to have a tendency to find a movement you don’t like, distill it to one essential fault, go looking for that fault in other movements, and then conflate them all into one conspiracy-like scheme. Your style of argument is something like saying “The Turks exterminated ethnic groups, and the Nazis exterminated ethnic groups, therefore the Turks believe in Aryan supremacy.” It just doesn’t follow, and it’s evidence of extreme intellectual carelessness. As Byron has said, there’s no problem with a legitimate, reasoned disagreement, but the accusations hurled around on this blog are pure slander, and really not worth the time that anyone is investing in discussing them.

  18. Sorry Byron, I made your name Bryon again. Sheesh! I have friends with both names!

  19. Adam, you sure like to build a strawman! With movements like the social gospel, emergent, contemplative spirituality, etc, there IS NO “one essential fault.” The whole system is faulty.

    If anyone claiming the name of Christ promotes any of these systems, then they must be exposed and avoided because they are promoting false teachings.

    My logic is not askewed as you claim. My logic is this: A= false teaching. B promotes false teaching. Ergo, B is participating in that same false teaching. Can’t be much plainer.

    Are the people Judy mentioned really false teachers? Miller, McLaren, Bell, Seay? Most certainly because they all promote emergent and contemplative spirituality and other mysticism.

    Does CCO and Geneva support these people? By bringing them in as speakers and promoting them, then they are indeed supporting them.

    Ergo, CCO and Geneva are participating in the false teaching. Plain as that.

    If you refuse to be objective about these men’s teachings either because you like them or because you agree with them, that doesn’t therefore make their teachings any less dangerous.

    • Glenn,
      Really. Your first problem – and the one I complain about – is one you repeat in this post. You lump things together – “emergent and contemplative spirituality.” Again, I’m not complaining that you think these things are heretical; I’m complaining that you’re treating them as if they were the same thing. It would be as if I referred to the “Arian and Nestorian heresy.” Both heresies, but not the same thing.

      You do the same with “CCO and Geneva.” When has Geneva ever brought one of these speakers in to speak anywhere? Name one time – just one time, ever – or retract your claim. (I’m sure you’ll pull out the “Geneva encourages students to go Jubilee” saw, but the fact is that Geneva encourages students to go to all sorts of conferences – some not even Christian, like the AAR – as a part of their formation as Christian thinkers).

      Now to your (rather ridiculous) syllogism. It appears that I’ll have to do this step-by-step.

      You say: “A= false teaching.”
      I say: Fine – that’s your position, and, for the sake of argument, I’ll grant that it’s a reasoned one (although I have my doubts about this).

      You say: “B promotes false teaching.”
      I say: As far as I know, that’s not on the table here; what’s on the table is engaging with someone who adheres to what you consider a false teaching. There are all sorts of reasons (many of which Byron has discussed) for engaging with someone who adheres to what you consider to be a false teaching. It may be, for example, that said teaching is peripheral to their main body of work – say, in the case of someone who is being brought in to teach you about organizing a soup kitchen ministry, but also happens to believe that we ought to worship on Saturday. It may be that you are seeking to engage with them critically – etc., etc. Byron has raised enough unaddressed points about the CCO’s motivation for bringing people to speak at Jubilee that it is, at this point, irresponsible and dishonest for you to be throwing this claim around.

      You say: Ergo, B is participating in that same false teaching.
      I say: Again, not that simple; for example, Geneva often brings in speakers who expressly disagree with the college’s theological position – even atheists – for the express purpose of spurring the students to engage critically. Invariably, they do; there is almost never a speaker (of any ideological persuasion) on campus who isn’t subjected to intense questioning and scrutiny by the student body. But, then, you wouldn’t know that, because you are making accusations on the basis of hearsay. There are words for that, you know: gossip and slander.

  20. Adam,
    I DID NOT say emergent and contemplative spirituality were the same. I just mentioned the two in one sentence. While one doesn’t have to be emergent to participate in contemplative spirituality, contemplative spirituality is part and parcel of the emergent movement.

    You and I will just have to disagree as to whether bringing in unorthodox teachers to a school is right and proper. Why give them an open forum for their teachings? Do you also think it is also okay for churches like Saddleback and Willow Creek (let alone the heretical church of Schuller) to bring in Islamic Imams?

    A school can do classroom study of false teachings to develop critical thinking without bringing in the teachers themselves. (I don’t know how I could have been studying false teachings for the past 35 years without actually talking to the authors – I guess my critical thinking skills are deficient because of that.)

    If you need someone to come in to teach about soup kitchen ministry, would you allow that someone to be a Mormon? Just because a person thinks we ought to worship on Saturday, that doesn’t mean he isn’t orthodox in every other aspect of his belief system. Now if is a member of the SDA, then there is much heretical in their system and I wouldn’t want them teaching me about soup kitchens any more than I would want a Mormon teaching me about soup kitchens (this is not about one-on-one personal level, rather the point is should a Christian school bring these sorts in to teach ANYTHING).

    I see no valid excuse for Geneva to bring in speakers for Jubilee if they are not orthodox in their teachings. Sort of reminds me of 2 John 10-11

    • Think you not that you are being ignorant and unstable, twisting the Scriptures to your own destruction? You have little understanding of what you are talking about…

      (1) Geneva doesn’t bring in speakers for Jubilee.
      (2) Geneva is a liberal arts school…that means we must engage with cultural material for that kind of education. If you want an education that only shares your fundamentalism, find a Bible College…

      By your current ways of working, were you in the first century, I’m quite sure you would have told Paul to not quote Aratus and Epimenides…or Jude not to quote Enoch. Yet, that is not how the Holy Spirit worked in them. Do you think that only utterly orthodox Christians (which I suppose you’ve defined in your statement of faith, right?) have words that should be heard? Think you that evil and falsehood are so pervasive and Christians so enlightened, that we can only go to orthodox Christians for an answer to questions?

      Is your doctor a fundamental Christian? Do you trust his/her advice? It’s called common grace, and its quite substantial, as it is in the nature of God to abound in grace and mercy towards His creation. Thank God for His patience, and I will pray that He grant me more of it….

      • David, David, David,

        My understanding is that Geneva is a Christian school, liberal arts or not. Quote from their home page: “Geneva College is a comprehensive Christian college…” So I guess I DO know what I’m talking about. If you call yourself Christian, then be Christian.

        I might have misspoke or misunderstood about Geneva’s relation to Jubilee. Geneva does send people to Jubilee, doesn’t it? At least that’s what I’m getting from the posts here. Jubilee is obviously playing with fire with the false teachers, so why should a Christian organization recommend it? (I have the same complaint about sending people to Promise Keepers).

        One does not have to invite the culture’s speakers to be able to engage the cultural teachings. As I said, I have never engaged a false teacher or an atheist, etc in my home, but I read their materials to understand them. When in my public ministry I do indeed engage them on the street in THEIR venue, rather than bringing them to mine.

        Paul quoted writings from the culture – he did not invite the authors to teach. I often cite Carl Sagan and many evolutionists when I deal with unbelievers who understand my analogies when using these citations. Or when I teach apologetics I cite false teachers to help people understand what they teach. This is the manner in which Paul used these citations – people were familiar with them and he used that familiarity to make his points. We often use movies as part of our discussions because the culture is familiar with them and we can use them as teaching points. That is not the same as bringing false teachers so as to “engage the culture.” Are the teachers being brought in so as to debate them to prove their errors?

        You inane statements about being unable to seek non-believers’ advice for anything including medicin are not worth discussion.

  21. Glenn,

    “Geneva does send people to Jubilee, doesn’t it? At least that’s what I’m getting from the posts here. Jubilee is obviously playing with fire with the false teachers, so why should a Christian organization recommend it?”

    You’re obviously not reading the things we write. I addressed this point above, but you aren’t engaging with it, which leads me to this:

    “(I don’t know how I could have been studying false teachings for the past 35 years without actually talking to the authors – I guess my critical thinking skills are deficient because of that.)”

    This is exactly what we’re saying.

    • Hi Glenn,

      You understand correctly! Geneva does have an official partnership with CCO. From the CCO website:

      Geneva College CCO staff members are committed to discipleship, evangelism, leadership development, and engaging society through service, justice, and racial righteousness. We work in wilderness ministry through the Pisgah Program, Residence Life, the Campus Ministries Office and Beaver Falls Coffee & Tea Company.

      Specifically, we are engaged in whole-life discipleship with students, including academic faithfulness. We promote involvement with the CCO’s annual Jubilee Conference and provide programs throughout the year which help students see the relationship of a Christian worldview with all areas of life.
      In addition, several CCO staff have created a year-long program for female students around the topic of sexuality. Geneva staff lead small groups of female students to discuss a holistic perspective of sexuality.

      Finally, each semester, CCO staff aid the Campus Ministries Office in providing Bible study training for Geneva students. Students meet with a trainer for an eight-week study focused on a particular book of the Bible and learn inductive Bible study and small-group facilitation skills. Students then lead these studies in their residence halls later in the week.

      (On other campuses CCO staff sometimes serve as Resident Directors.)

      There are posters around the campus advertising Jubilee. It is indeed “promoted”. REMOVED a sentence because I misunderstood the point David was trying to make)

      At Geneva College, we consciously and deliberately strive to integrate faith in Christ with all aspects of learning and living. That’s why faith plays a vital role in campus life. This section outlines different aspects of faith as part of a regular, daily walk. http://www.geneva.edu/page/faith

      Other Colleges and Universities who are “served” by CCO: http://www.ccojubilee.org/about-us/where-we-serve/all-schools/

      • An official partnership with an organization doesn’t make us any influence on the organization’s conference.

        And I never said that Geneva isn’t Christian. I wouldn’t have come to this Christ-loving institution otherwise (pursuing ministry rather limits your choices of education, wouldn’t you say?). But as a liberal arts institution, it means we have a style of education and a more wholistic understanding of the kosmos that is not shared by Bible colleges, which inaccurately teach dualism and promote an evident elitism and inclination towards ad hominem evangelism. If your only way to support your arguments is by trying to make me look stupid (“Fascinating that David doesn’t realize…”), the possible fruitfulness of this conversation really doesn’t exist and would be a sin to continue, in my opinion.Yahweh is God. Let him judge between us.

  22. Well, I’d say the lack of critical thinking is by you guys think its okay to allow false teachers a forum in a Christian school. Now, if Geneva drops the title “Christian” then who cares?

    • Last I checked, Christian meant someone who is devoted to Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, the Holy One of Israel…not someone who fits within a certain fundamentalist philosophical exclusivism.

  23. Last I checked, Christian meant not only devotion to Christ and faith in Him for salvation, but also one who adhered to orthodox doctrine as spelled out in Scripture. That’s why many who claim to be Christians are not. Or would you say Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses are Christian? Or what about Christian Scientists? Or the Unity School of Christianity? Or Unitarians?

    Exclusivism is the Christian way – Narrow is the gate. It has always been that way. And fundamentalism is the most sure version – that means we are following the fundamentals of the Christian doctrine. I certain would want a fundamentalist pilot flying my plane, wouldn’t your? I sure would want a fundamentalist air traffic controller, wouldn’t you? And I’d really like to have a fundamentalist heart surgeon. Too many people like to through “fundamentalist” out as a term of derision, but if one doesn’t adhere to the fundamentals of his craft or profession, then why trust him?

  24. Comments are closed.


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