Friday, June 30, 2017

TWW regular commenter does his angry/attacking thing

Be sure to read the last sentence "law prof" writes.  It says it all.

Preston Bennett here, fairly regular reader, very, very occasional poster, and happy member of Capitol Hill Baptist
Church for full disclosure, and my comments only pertain to my church.
Is it having a bookstall/store, or what it is stocked with, that is the concern?
CHBC is Calvinist/reformed, so finding author’s that are likewise really shouldn’t be a surprise ( although our bookstall does not exclusively stock only authors with Calvinist Theology, but a big majority). To say one doesn’t like something about the Theology of a particular person, and then say one doesn’t like some of the content of the books they author is redundant.
Secondly, I know for a fact that at CHBC the books are sold at cost from the publisher, without markup.
Thirdly, to the “what about the Bible?” Commenters, EVERY Sunday morning and evening, the service leader says something like “if you don’t have a Bible that you own that you can read, take the one in front of you as our gift to you”. (We have pew BIbles, and yes, they are ESV).
Fourth: I would find it hard to believe that anyone is gettting rich, or moderately wealthy, with booksales from these types of what I’ll broadly call Theology books; the more academic and narrow in topic then less likely. They just don’t have high numbers of sales. Exceptions might be more broadly written “Christian” books, for a wider readership. Furthermore, if a pastor or Theologian, or whomever, writes a book and profits from their labor, I don’t see the problem. I don’t think my pastor has a “scheme” to write dense Theology books and books on church polity with dollar signs in his eyes.
More broadly, after reading regularly for many years, although with special interest when CHBC and my pastor Mark Denver are mentioned, since I am a member, my take on TWW is that TWW disagrees with A: Calvinism B: complementarianism C: Formal church membership/covenants, or the type criticized over the years in posts as being heavy handed and authoritarian
When sins of an individual or a church body corporately are discovered, and those individuals or churches subscribe to A, B, or C, or all 3, that is seen as directly causative and the primary reason for the sin, and proof of the fatal flaw in A or B or C.
I would link the sin to the sin of Adam, and at times the sinful misuse of Calvinism, complementarianism, and church membership, rather than a primary flaw or error, and a large number of the posts are spurious to that disagreement. I don’t believe the “rate of incidence”, if you will, or type of the sins pointed out in TWW watch are higher or peculiar to churches or individuals espousing A/B/C, but are common to mankind, even professing Christians (although I have seen no study to back me up).
There is a lot of wealth to be made and being made by leaders within these groups. It’s not just book sales, it’s conference honoraria and various peaking fees, it’s church salaries that often reach into the six figures for larger congregations, it’s all the parks and various things, the love offerings, there are a great number of people living very affluent lives off of very little real work, and doing it all in the name of Jesus. I’ve seen the conference speakers on the circuit, been a member of a mega a good sight larger than John Piper’s mega, seen Piper himself in person more than once, been on paid staff of a church, I’ve seen the game played.
In my opinion, precious few of these people would have anything whatsoever to do with the “spread of the gospel” (as they put it–the spread of their brand and influence, as I typically put it) or full time ministry if they had to face anything like the Apostle Paul did: on again/off again poverty, hunger, beatings, humiliation, imprisonment, death.
NO way do you get me to go along. Leave now and run screaming.

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