Critiquing real-life ideas that are not legitimate New Testament ministry

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Critiquing real-life ideas that are not legitimate New Testament ministry

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Ironic Title of the Article

Ironic title to this article - "Not Even Close" because the author was "not even close" in making a logical or theological case for his premise.  By his line of reasoning, we shouldn't be using websites, blogs or printing presses.  Then I saw him promoting the book by Kent Brandenburg and.....everything. made. sense.

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Kent Brandenburg

DLCreed wrote:

Ironic title to this article - "Not Even Close" because the author was "not even close" in making a logical or theological case for his premise.  By his line of reasoning, we shouldn't be using websites, blogs or printing presses.  Then I saw him promoting the book by Kent Brandenburg and.....everything. made. sense.

My view of Kent Brandenburg:

  • I have areas of disagreement with him
  • But he is intelligent and a powerful spokesman for his view of Scripture.
  • He is passionate for evangelism
  • And I have always found him pleasant to interact with
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So?????

Jim...not going to disagree with your assessment of Kent...I have no history of him except what I've read that he has written.  However, none of those things add credibility to the article -- only context in relation to the fact that there is a connection between him and the author of the article.  That proved enlightening.

I would also note, as one who knew Jack Hyles....I would have/could have said the same things about him.  So, I'm confused as to why your views of Kent have anything to do with the validity of the article.
 

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I'm confused as well

DLCreed wrote:
 I'm confused as to why your views of Kent have anything to do with the validity of the article.

 

I'm confused as well. You are the one who raised the Kent association with "Then I saw him promoting the book by Kent Brandenburg and.....everything. made. sense."

I think it a stretch to view that he advocates eschewing​ "websites, blogs or printing presses". His target is "Let's build an ark!", comic books, movies, hip clothing and advertising slogans.

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You know, I guess I'm a

You know, I guess I'm a little confused as well. Personally, I don't think the ark is a good idea. In fact, I think it's mostly a waste of money and effort. So I'm not going to give any money toward it. However, I greatly appreciate the overall ministry of Ken Ham, and I think there are much bigger fish to fry than wasting my time and effort bashing Ken. If we are going to take the author of the article at his word, we must ask what he's doing writing a blog. After all, he says, "The message that New Testament churches preach and the methods they utilize to preach the message must be from the Lord as revealed and practiced in His Word." Of course, he conveniently defines what he's doing as "using tools." But it seems to me Ham could make the same argument. He's not changing the message, just the tools. There are times when substantive issues threaten the church from within, and then a firm stand must be taken. This isn't one of them.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

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Kent and Clarity

Jim wrote:

 

DLCreed wrote:

 I'm confused as to why your views of Kent have anything to do with the validity of the article.

 

 

 

 

I'm confused as well. You are the one who raised the Kent association with "Then I saw him promoting the book by Kent Brandenburg and.....everything. made. sense."

I think it a stretch to view that he advocates eschewing​ "websites, blogs or printing presses". His target is "Let's build an ark!", comic books, movies, hip clothing and advertising slogans.

Because it provides context.  The blog is all about "associations", so his association with Brandenburg tells me what I need to know contextually.  At the same time, I assume he is trying to make a case on his own and on that basis, I state that he has failed to make his case.  I do not believe it is a leap of logic to include such innovations as the pastoral blog and the creationist ark in the same vein.  They would each argue that they are teaching tools.  I haven't been to the Creationist Museum and will likely not visit the Ark, but neither seem to violate in Biblical injunction or philosophy.  The same with comics, "Fireproof" or T-Shirts.  I haven't participated in any of those forms of Christian media myself, but I don't see them as unBiblical....at most they are non-Biblical.

However, contextually -- with his association with Brandenburg -- one could readily draw a conclusion about the author's hyper-separatism and a corresponding penchant for criticizing others who might see or do things differently.

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A legitimate question

Hey we live in America where we have a lot of $$ and a lot of Christian leaders with entrepreneurial ideas.

I would go to the Creation Museum. I hope to attend some day. 

Individuals have to ask the question: is XXXX [could be the Ark or some other project] a legitimate form of gospel outreach. 

We ask because:

  • We ask whether we should support financially or not
  • We ask whether we should promote or not

 

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I get the point of the article, but..

The US is the intellectual center of the world in many ways. You don't have to agree that AIG needs to build an ark, but you do have to agree that creationism needs to be defended. This kind of argument is a cousin to the "missionaries should only be church planters" argument. It's not quite that simple.

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 If we are going to take the

 If we are going to take the author of the article at his word, we must ask what he's doing writing a blog. After all, he says, "The message that New Testament churches preach and the methods they utilize to preach the message must be from the Lord as revealed and practiced in His Word." Of course, he conveniently defines what he's doing as "using tools." But it seems to me Ham could make the same argument. He's not changing the message, just the tools. There are times when substantive issues threaten the church from within, and then a firm stand must be taken. This isn't one of them.

Certainly we can recognize a category difference between a written appeal (about the length of one of the shorter epistles) on a blog and a Billion Dollar Gospel Spectacle.

A blog (at least the way Pastor Mitchell uses it) is primarily a text medium, which media type has, obviously, been in use since the apostles' day.  He is making a rational appeal to scripture.  

This isn't a convenient but dubious distinction he makes.  The Ark project is more of a Bible theme park, a different thing entirely.  I'd like to see someone point to a corollary practiced by any orthodox believer prior to Finney.  This has more in common with goldfish swallowing, Gospel body building demonstrations, and giving new attendees gift certificates to Rue 21 than with preaching Christ crucified.

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DavidO,

DavidO,

I agree with much of the description you provide of the Ark Park. However, I still contend it is a convenient ruse for the author of the article to classify his methodologies which are not found in scripture (the blog is only one example, you could add in things like buying church property and supporting mission boards from the myriad ways modern churches have moved past the revealed and practiced methods of scripture to preach the Gospel) as tools while someone else's methodologies, which also faithfully spread the message of scripture, are denounced.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

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no ruse

Firstly, I'm familiar enough with the Brandenburg/Mitchell circle to be fairly confident in saying that they don't use mission boards.  Each church sends out their own missionaries, and other like-minded local bodies can help support the work.  It's direct local church partnership.

As for church buildings, that is a matter of convenience, or, to use a perhaps more familiar term, circumstance.  They could use the open air and hollar preach, or an air-conditioned room and preach over a sound system.  Are you calling those different methods?  Really, it's the same method different circumstances.

As for Pastor Mitchell's blog vs. the Ark itself, consider this.  Which of the two communications could be carried on behind a pulpit or on a streetcorner?  Only Pastor Mitchell's.  Whether he reads it aloud, say, in expanded sermon form, prints it and mails it to every pastor in the country, or posts online, it's really very similar.  And his point is that one is consistent with what Paul calls the foolishness of preaching, the other is not.  He's not indulging in some sort of obtuse Ludditism.

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Not exactly a fair comparison

DavidO wrote:

This has more in common with goldfish swallowing, Gospel body building demonstrations, and giving new attendees gift certificates to Rue 21 than with preaching Christ crucified.


Well, unless you are only thinking "spectacle value," which I would bet is far from the mind of Ken Ham, I think you are ignoring the category difference here as well. You can certainly make good arguments about the good stewardship of money, the visual/experiential vs. the written, or other similar arguments, but if you directly compare an exhibit that is attempting to accurately represent events in scripture with "goldfish swallowing" and "gift certificates" to attenders, you are definitely comparing apples with oranges. Yes, Ken Ham definitely wants to draw people in, but the "attraction" itself is in the visualization of the scriptural event rather than in something bizarre than only has attraction value rather than value in what it is actually portraying.

And while I'm also not really a big fan of an ark exhibit*, especially if it's supposed to be an attempt at "preaching Christ crucified," I think the main problem that Mitchell has with this exhibit is that it doesn't fit his view that *everything* para-church (i.e. any attempt at ministry outside the local church) is illegitimate. He would likely be against an AiG blog as well, if that blog (and indeed AiG) was not the direct ministry of a particular local church, and even then he wouldn't support it if the church wasn't exactly like those in his orbit.

*To be honest, though I wouldn't consider it a ministry, I'd really like to see someone float 8 people in a real ark, made to biblical specifications and only in ways accessible to people ~4500 years ago, on the open ocean for a year, with even just the weight of the proposed number of animals that were present. It would kind of be like those "biosphere" experiments or the ones where they are simulating a journey to Mars or something like that. That would be a great deal more powerful as "evidence" than a building the size of the ark that doesn't actually have to function at all.

Dave Barnhart

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You can certainly make good

You can certainly make good arguments about the good stewardship of money, the visual/experiential vs. the written, or other similar arguments . . .

I need not make any arguments, Moses and Paul have done a pretty good job.  Smile

 Ken Ham definitely wants to draw people in, but the "attraction" itself is in the visualization of the scriptural event . . .

Well, there will be those who come for the spectacle (I saw such when I visited the creation museum), even if there are some who are "seekers".

But that's somewhat beside the point.  The point of Pastor Mitchell's post is the propriety of 1) attracting people this way and 2) presenting the message this way.

Again, why is it there is no orthodox example (at least none I'm aware of) of approaching ministry this way prior to the last hundred years or so?

That would be a great deal more powerful as "evidence" than a building the size of the ark that doesn't actually have to function at all.

Would it?  After all, if they won't hear Moses, the Prophets, and Apostles . . .

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Hmmm...

DavidO wrote:

That would be a great deal more powerful as "evidence" than a building the size of the ark that doesn't actually have to function at all.

Would it?  After all, if they won't hear Moses, the Prophets, and Apostles . . .


Well, as I said, at the beginning of that section, I would like to see this, but not as a ministry, so I wasn't thinking of using such for evangelism... I agree that seeing such a thing would not convince people to be saved, and for the same reason you quoted. However, in quieting those who believe that such a thing is physically impossible, it would go a long way. I'm also a big fan of archaeological discoveries in the holy land. They also won't save people, but when things like the existence of the Hittites are proven true, it takes away one more objection to the historicity of the Bible, and I see that as good, even if it's not the same as ministry or evangelism.

And I already said I'm not convinced of the usefulness of the Ark exhibit as a ministry. I just don't believe it's comparable to swallowing goldfish. Clearly you do.

Dave Barnhart

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Well, closer to a Bible

Well, closer to a Bible themed bounce house than goldfish, but I see them in the same category, ultimately.

Smile