Jesus lvs p.rn strs + ec news

Graphic1 4 get the thumbs down from the American Bible Society on their proposed New Testament front cover. These bibles are for handing out at Porn Industry Conventions. I wish i was young enough and radical enough to get my proposals blocked. Most of my ideas go through – maybe i am too conventional, suffering from old age and fear? More here and Scott Zeller has some thoughts on it.

Any publishers out there want to print 10,000 of these? Funders? Come on . . .

More news:

– Cliff College offers MA in Emerging Church

Kairos gets the website up. This is the brand new church out of St Thoms Sheffield where I preached a few weeks ago.

– The emerging network in Dublin get a blog online. Its called Journey.

– Mark Riddle finally gives up his unbiblical ways.

– Mark Driscoll gets interviewed by Adrian Warnock. “I am a theological misfit and have learned to be okay with that. We are missional, which offends fundamentalists. We hold to the fundamentals, which offends liberals. We are theologically charismatic, but not shake and bake holy rollers, which puts us in the middle of a big debate to be shot by both sides. We are reformed, but not old school, and don’t baptize babies, don’t hold to the regulative principle, and won’t die on the hill of Limited Atonement, but hold a more unlimited/limited position, which upsets both sides of the debate. In the end, I hold to a high view of inerrant Scripture and am trying to be biblical, even when it makes a mess of my systematics.” “Well said. Mark also has a great article (PDF) on Criswell Theological Review where he accepts and works with Stetzers 3 categories.

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Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • way out west says:

    Jesus loves Porn Stars…

    apparently the American Bible Society is at odds with XXXChurch over their proposed cover for bibles that they will be giving out at ‘Adult Industry’ conventions… maybe they (ABS) ought to look a little closer at some of their

  • Dag Selander says:

    About this Porn Project in LA and love by Christians I`m not a guy to have any local opinion other than this: CHRIST JESUS LOVES THE PEOPLE IN THE PORNOR. – But for all swedish speaking people :-))) I have a post with the head line: “Kristen pornografi?” [=Christian Pornography?”/ ] in order to provoke the modern-faith-theologians in The Swedish Christianity. //Dag Sr Res.: Raslatt in Jonkoping, Sweden

  • andrew jones says:

    in english, xxxchurch, or anything with that many x’s, is also provocative.
    when i first heard of, it took me 6 months to get the nerve to click on the link to see what they were about (i was expecting the worse).

  • Steve Jones says:

    Hi Andrew,
    I’ve emailed you at your Hotmail account.
    Hope all is well.

  • BIBLE: Here’s a version I wouldn’t have thought of

    … perhaps that’s why there’s an XXXChurch?

  • Micah says:

    Seriously, MySpace needs more intelligent threads and dialogue going on in their Religion and Philosophy forum. It’s a hate fest on anything Christian. It doesn’t help that there’s always a bunch of Turn or Burners dropping in, telling everyone they’re going to hell. The segregation of Christian and non-Christian discussion forums is NOT a good thing. Do your part and talk to a non-believer. It’s interesting, and real-world-practical to find out what the world really thinks of Christians. You’ll probably find that you share many of their concerns.

  • Mike Spreng says:

    Your not “reformed.”

  • Mike Spreng says:

    You are liberal, though. You are right about that. The fact that you would promote so-called evangelism on the rear of a very immodestly dressed girl proves that. You are also fundamental. The “message” on the girl and the “Jesus loves porn stars” proves that. People aren’t saved by a a few words, they are saved by an encounter of love – demonstrated love. But really, you should take that off of your post that you are “reformed.”

  • mike,
    this will be bad news for the reformed Presbyterian church in which i grew up and for my Presbyterian ministery who baptised me. but before i do as you say . . . could you please tell me why i cannot be reformed?

  • Mike Spreng says:

    Well…to be Reformed is to hold to the great traditions of the reformers. The reformers were not just about “justification,” but they were adamant about the actual Lord’s Day ceremony being conducted biblically. They fought the same kinds of things that the Emergent churches are now practicing; things like drama within worship and other forms of art that have no place in the service. Calvin insisted that if the people were too ignorant to learn from teaching, then we should teach them the languages. Even with the argument of using art for the ignorant, the Emergent has no ground. Most Emergents are far from being culturally ignorant.
    Being Reformed means that you hold to the historical teachings of the credible church fathers. You don’t like election, then step over to Luthers camp. But don’t try to claim some new sort of election that has nothing to do with the Reformed teachings. Emergents don’t agree with election. Election (specific atonement) is a core to God’s sovereignty. If you cannot grasp that then you are far from the Reformed teachings.
    Being Reformed means that you hold to the third use of the law (Calvin). This means that the law has a use for sanctification in the believer’s life. We are talking about the OT law. This means that even the way we dress is affected. Yes, many Reformed dress inappropriate, but they won’t (those that are not backslidden) advocate sleazy dress by teaching to print the name “Jesus” on the rear of a set of very immodest pair of pants.
    And, regarding the law, Reformed do not believe in moral relativism. There is an absolute truth to even things like worship. We may not have it completely right but we are not going to cave in to liberalism and say that “oh well, let’s just all do whatever.” And social ethics are of the same in the Reformed faith. Homosexuality is to be condemned! Abortion is to be condemned! People who practice such things are to be excommunicated from the church. If they are in a state of repentance, they will not be doing such things, but yes, they will be struggling with the desire to. This is where the church helps by taking them in and caring for them, daily! There is no room to just say “oh well, we are all sinners ya know.”
    Ceremony, history, law, and social order are vital subjects in the Reformed faith that the Emergents are not willing to embrace with us in the same way.
    And all this is such a serious disagreement that it breaches the innerancy of Scripture, which you guys say you hold to. There are no credible teachers of history that back you guys up, except maybe Charles Finney.

  • Gosh, Mike.
    Its a tall order to be reformed in the same way that our brothers and sisters were reformed back in the day.
    And in Scotland, where I now live, the reformation was especially severe. Even Christmas was banned in those days and Dec 25th only became a public holiday in the 1960’s.
    Must I take all the art off my walls to be truly reformed?
    Must I ignore Christmas? What about Easter?
    Whatever happened to semper reformer?
    But if its a case of conducting the Lord’s Day ceremony biblically, then it is possible that our house churches meeting around the love feast without a hierachical (papal) leadership structure might actually have the edge over many churches, even those professing to be reformed.
    what do you think?

  • Mike Spreng says:

    You pick the lesser of my argument, if even that. I don’t say that we must abandon all aspects of CHristian art and holiday. Those are nonessentials. But yes, when you we are referring to the very way that the law pans out (the cornerstone of all knowledge and righteousness), then we have a problem. Worshiping God on the Lrod’s day is all about the first table of the law. Worshiping him in everyday activity is about the second table of the law. When we begin to bring in the circus act to “worship” God we become very sinful. We know that the church of Acts and the early church DID NOT BRING THEATRE in to the worship.We know that the early church women dressed modestly. They did not wrap cloth around every curve of their body and hang their shirts off their shoulders. Paul excplicitly says that they are to be modest.
    So, when all is said and done, it’s about how we view the Law. Emergents have a completely different view of the Law, and this is serious.

  • Do they? what view is that?
    I know that many would say that we are no longer under law but under grace and that there is some freedom according to which days are more holy than other (Romans 14)
    and many would argue from the Scriptures about the legitimate use of multi-media in communicating God’s message. Ezekiel, for example, who followed God’s script.
    just curious, mike – when the sunday school at your church have presented to the congregation what they have been learning, have they ever used song, pictures or theatre?

  • Mike Spreng says:

    That is the classical view. Read Calvin’s Institutes or even a more contemporary piece like Istitutes of Biblical Law.
    You can atttempt to use an OT example of theatre but you will find no orthodox man in the whole New Covenant Church that advocated such things as theatre in the Lord’s service.
    No I know of no orthodox church that puts on skits and such from our children. I know that most of our Reformed churches (OPC, some PCA, RPCNA, RPUS, RPGA, RPC, CREC, etc.)in America do not do that during the Lord’s Ceremony.

  • andrew says:

    what about Jesus? On the road to Emmaus, Jesus ACTED like he was going further.
    mike, are you saying that children at reformed churches in USA never do role-play, act out passages of Scripture like the NATIVITY, and do not contain any costumes of any kind?
    Because if you are, then i am impressed how creative your sunday school teachers must be to creatively teach children by just pure bible reading and exposition.

  • Mike Spreng says:

    You’re kidding me. You think that the fact that Jesus was using wisdom when dealing with people comsitutes inserting theatre in the Lord’s Day ceremony. You sound like you do not believe that worshiping on the Lord’s Day is vital. If it is not, then why have a church? Why not just have ministry teams and cut out all sacraments and church discipline (anabaptist is what that is).
    Kids should be taught with art; kids. But teaching and having a Lord’s Day ceremony are two different things. This is another thing that probably seperates Emergents far from the Reformed camp. THe Lord’s Supper, Corporate prayer, teaching by ordained pastors, and singing of the psalms (Westminster Confession ch. 23?) consitutes a Lord’s Day ceremony.
    Entertainment and art is good but not in the ceremony. This is an Anglo problem. We Anglos have no regard to the riches of ceremony like the Easterners do (God used the Eastern church to form his standard). Yes, there will always be some sense of art in the ceremony, but when it takes PRECEDENCE over the sacraments, then we have problems. And even a child can affirm that. This is why we find churches hiring men and women for the “music ministry.” Where in the **** do find that gift or office in the Scripture? Music and theatre in general are taking precedence over the true avenues of grace! You know that this is true! You know it!

  • pj says:

    Wow – this is kind of fun. i’m a super free wheeling nondenominational guy, so it’s cool to watch you reformers get jiggy.
    My take?
    God is the creator – He is (still) creative. He hasn’t stopped creating. I’m created in His image. I can be godly and creative in a spiritual way both personally and among the congregation I am a part of.
    It’s a given that my congregation believes this too and I don’t get overly consumed with myself – I/art/song doesn’t take precedence over the intention of the worship community.

  • Mike Spreng says:

    So what makes the post-hippy society so special, or even this age in general, that God would suddenly begin to make all these changes (new Revelation, which is what the liberals believe)?
    Is this “the last days?”

  • Cordon says:

    I think that both have excellent views. The reformer actually is following a traditional view from Anglo men that have not truly followed Eastern practices. Well in a sense they do follow these Eastern practices because they are rooted in Greek Culture, which is really western thought. Also Eastern traditions come from eastern culture. The reformer is agruing against culture (present) with culture (past culture). The Lord uses such culture because He wills it. His culture is one of Grace, Mercy, Holiness, he infuses these along with whatever culture we happen to be born in. The emmergent feels that the reformer is telling him that he can’t worship God, because he isn’t doing it right. What we need here is True Worship, not squables over the practice of the worship. True worship is from the heart (wicked though it may be, but being renewed daily by the Lord). True Worship leads to correct worship, so if another man comes from an african background and worships God in tamborine or congo’s is that wrong? If a man worships God by singing a 500 year old hymn is that outdated/wrong ? No to both. They are both born in Christ. His Worship will live when both Culture and tradition pass. If the Reformer believes that this fight is a fight worth fighting he is sadly mistaken. He must encourage his brother (reformed or not) to continue chasing after the one who pulled him from the fire, and the Emergent ( if that is how he chooses to be called) must understand that the reformer as a westerner holds to western traditions passed on by greek forms of “theatre” as well. An example is the seating arrangement (and the service) at any typical american church or around the world for that matter. The Pastor is out in the front (teaching/ entertaining in most cases discussing the bulletin list and other issues also not biblical) then the church (audience) listening, with limited participation. The church is a living organism one in wich all participate (one brings a word another a hymn another a encouragement….) I see that the emergent must learn not to appear immoral and that the reformer must not think that his brother is immoral. We serve the Same Christ he is not divided! Learn to love one another for this is the only measure by which the world will know that we are his disciples. Do not throw your reformed knowledge around as a bully, use the knowledge of our Sovereign Lord to see past outward appearance. After all to his Master he will either stand or fall, and He will make him stand. Do not be entangled in trying to outwitt each other for these are the shcemes of Satan trying to keep us busy and away from the front lines where people still need to be saved and Gods Word spoken and edified. Not by our will but by His. If there would be no schisms the gates of hell would be trembling. How about using this energy to increase the kingdom of God. Reformer repent from following men (godly as they may be, you are a quoter of men not of scripture, have you become as the Romanizers who quote the saints or the cultist who quote their leaders?). learn to quote the master and His words, those are the ones that give life everlasting. The goal of the servant of Christ is to pass through this life as passing through a town glorifying Him the whole way through it, and that includes our posture (way we discuss things) and our attitude (intentionally loving). You may percieve a dislike towards yourself reformer (by christians and the world) almost a martyr like feeling, but its not because of Christ and His Holiness or Grace, its because of your culture. Even thought you don’t think you have one because your’e white, you do, and the world sees us as stuffy anti this anti that white men. They don’t see the savior or if they would they would either melt or want to crucify us along with him! Change your ways learn of the Christ of the bible not of Calvin (though he may have it right). Learn of him not through the filter of the OPC, PCA, RPCNA, RPUS, RPGA, RPC, CREC, etc. Go back to your first love. this is what the emergent thinks he has found. The Emergent only needs address the truthfulnes of scripture and be true to the Lord in Grace, Mercy and Holiness for this is the Culture of our God. Emergent God bless you in your continued knowledge of christ as you walk in this pilgrimage. reformer God bless you for he has given you so much wonderful and at times difficult truth, that you may grow in the stature of a Graceful man of God. Now both of you go and enjoy life!

  • Mike Spreng says:

    I’m sorry Cordon but the way that the apostles worshiped was not influenced by the Greeks but it was influenced by the Jewish Synagog (God’s people). You are sadly mistaken. Many of your arguments are not even worth chasing. My argument is biblical and historical. If you want details, please read a book such as The Songs of Zion, by Michael Bushell.

  • Cordon says:

    The Apostles worshiped as the Jews did (because they were Jews) as influenced by their culture and inspired and directed by God Himself. Still their culture influenced them. You worship as western thinkers did. The Greeks influenced the church setting tremendously. From the one Greek man leading a theatre giving a teaching on to play actors following a role. The same way the pastor leads a message and the rest perform for the audience (you in the pews). Even the setting is exactly the same. If you can’t see that then you are probably blinded by the Presbyterian Church’s way of Worship. Which by the way isn’t wrong it’s just the way your culture does it, as followed by the great European men of God. In shorter and clearer terms Jews worshiped as Jews and you certainly don’t worship as they did. You can’t tell me that the Jews in Peter’s time worshiped the way you do. You can’t, you don’t have any evidence for that. You do however know how European’s pre & post reformation worshiped and currently do. I think that you view what these great men of God like Luther and Calvin did and said on the same level as scripture. Mike they are not scripture, even the clearest confession isn’t scripture and should not be seen on the same level. You can’t get outside this Presbyterian (European model) of Worship or Church. You will though, because God will lead you to want a fuller life one that the coldness of Presbyterian life can’t give you. You long for the Lord and His truth and you won’t let cold religion get in the way of that. I’m not saying that the teachings of the Presbyterian Church are wrong, I’m just saying the way they lead service is not the better way. It has in its body the truth, but in its people a coldness. You know that is the truth. I’m sure you deal with it all the time. Just cause there may be a fire in you doesn’t mean that your system of worship has that same fire. There is a better way and it is living, reformed in the true sense not cookie cutter Christians that turn the world away not because of Christ but because of antiquated methods (Greek/Western Auditorium styles & lecture settings) of the past. Truth never changes, but the times do, we must be ready to be contemporary (which means-with the times). That means to be all things to all men (not engaging in sin with them). To engage the culture, and set newer and better standards of life and show the Joy in us from Christ. Much in the same way that caused the reformation. Mike Your ways were once revolutionary, now they are basics. We need them as tutorials and instructions as good truth for Doctrine, but as how to worship I see that Presbyterians are missing it. To lead this world to a new reformation one that will show Christ in all His glory, one that will show that His people aren’t relics. Much in the same way that Martin Luther showed the Roman Catholic Church and with his new inspired music changed the world. Mike you will not consider, you will not learn except what you’re comfortable with. Step out of your comfort and truly love those that you call brethren.

  • Mike Spreng says:

    Cordon, I’ve been involved in your style of ceremony. Its roots are in moral relativism and general liberalism.
    God had an actual theocratic culture in the inspired times of the Scriptures. He does not have a theocratic culture now. We are currently held captive by “Babylon.” God does not ask us to absorb the world’s culture, rather he requires that we take dominion over it through his moral and civil laws. I hate to say this, but you have it backwords. And as far as Medieval singing and culture, I nevver said I hold to their culture and song. I said that i hold to what the apostles practiced: they sang the Psalms. Do you have a problem with singing God’s Word? Don’t you think it is the biblical way to sing (Ephesians 5:19)?
    You keep mentioning “Greek…Greek…” but the nonbelieving culture of the apostles was a culture of theatre as well as Greek philosophy. They were probably bigger on theatre than we are now. The apostles did not bring ANY theatre into the worship, nor did any of their successors. The apostate church, in the 500’s to 1400’s (?) did bring theatre into the worship. This is a primary reason GOd raised up men like Calvin, to rebuke and correct the mess.
    I’m sorry, you prbably think I am some stiff and staunch legalist, but the truth is, I like Rock music, video, and a dose of cultural adrenaline, but not while I’m worshiping our Holy God.

  • Mike Spreng says:

    By the way, I do not advocate advancing culture with a law that is without the gospel (grace).
    It appears that we both have a different authority. I think we both believe the Scriptures to be our authority, but the way we prove this is very different. I believe that the apostolic culture is the manifestation of the Scriptures, and you believe the modern (current) culture is the manifestation of Scriptures.
    If you’d like to clearly and simply qualify that that will be fine. I won’t hang up on you…yet:)

  • andrew says:

    mike – i assume your comments are directed towards the previous commenters and not me
    what a pity that you like rock music and God doesnt. What a shame that you cant bring an offering of worship in your own music language to God because you believe he will reject it, being somehow enamoured with beats that are Jewish or German.
    Must be hard to live with that kind of dichotomy.

  • Cordon says:

    Moral relativism? How do you deduce that? I never stated that truth or worship are relative. I stated that God uses your culture, human culture. God transcends culture. Culture is a creature. I don’t think that the comprehension is kicking in just yet. I’m thinking that you may not be listening , but just preaching. follow me for a moment. I’ll keep it very simple and clear (short too) So far I agree with everything you say as far as having to do with doctrine and Law and Gospel, the only thing you don’t understand is that your “worship service” even though you sing psalms and hyms of the faith, its not akin to that of a Jewish practice. Do you understand that? The Watchtower folk say, “we sing the psalms” that’s not a litmus test of truth. You have all the wording (Biblically sound and right on doctrine), but the actual worship service is not Jewish in nature or practice? It is anglo and there is nothing wrong with it. That doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in right or wrong, its a non essential. You worship different than Pentacostals do, but they aren’t considered outside the pale of christianity are they? I’m sure you now understand that I’m not a relativist. I’m merely stating that your worship service is more like that of a traditional western practice (anglo in nature), by no means Jewish in practice. Do ya get my drift yet? don’t assume positons of liberalism. If you knew my positions you’d be very suprised that I may be more conservative than you, but I reject the appearance & argumentation style of legalism. Are you stating that the Presbyterian way is the only way to worship? Does that mean then that those who trusted in Christ before the reformation were wrong when they worshipped God? Please understand again, yes you sing psalms and Godly hymns, you read & Exposit Law and Gospel, but its not done in the Jewish manner that the Apostles did it, its closer to that of western practice. Listen don’t assume positions or just attack by re-playing a pre-recorded answer that dismisses. for example that’s like me telling you “oh, you’re just a narrow minded conservative white male. who doesn’t listen rather makes generalizations and incorrect presuppositions when not understanding how to deal with a particular argument.” “Aw, your just a hippy” do you think that actually works to establish truth?

  • Mike Spreng says:

    It’s clear that you have not studied early church worship.

  • Mike Spreng says:

    We can’t take this converstaion much further if are not looking to an acurate history. Yes, I do believe the Roman catholic Church, in the middle ages, was in complete sin – apostasy. That was the whole reason for the reformation. I still can’t believe you are telling me that psalm singing is from Western culture. Read the book I recomended (or one like it) and then we can continue.

  • Mike Spreng says:

    I can’t resist this last question. If you say that God uses modern culture for worship, then what would you say about a future generation that, say, wants to worship God while naked, dancing, and so forth…like the last Matrix movie?
    You see…there is a serious element of morality within worship. This is why God has used the apostles to set the limit. We can’t just continue to allow modernity – in all its perverseness – to dictate our worship.

  • Cordon says:

    Must I clarify at every point. I think you play a game much like cultists do. I have not at any point stated that psalm singing is western. I’m talking about the mode, they way in how you use the psalms in your service now. If Audio Adrenaline sing psalm 101 does that mean that it has not been westernized? Think it through mike. My point (which you are straying far from is very simple) You use the scriptures as your measure for worship, but your worship is not Jewish in nature. Therefore Mike, there must be one that is in origin, right? Yes, its just not yours. Understand. You can’t tell me that you like a cultist will turn around and turn my words around again for the third time and not understand. Please tell me that you will at least disagree with my assesment not make up arguments. Also when in all my writings did I say God uses “modern” worship. I never said that I said he uses culture.

  • Cordon says:

    by the way the acurate history point to Jewish worship as being the first christian model of worship.
    Presbyterian in America is far from that. Can you understand? or will you play like you don’t understand and head for a totally different point?

  • Mike Spreng says:

    I will not chase all of your argument because it is not debatable, not because I am using a cultic rehtoric.
    We don’t sing the Psalms like Audio Adrenaline, we sing them like the early church did: acappella. This is Jewish/early church in nature, and if you disagree, I would ask that you site a credible and published source for that.
    Also, I would identify more with your home church: The Sccottish Presbyterian, rather than most American.

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