25 September 2005

Oh, it's a conversation? Huh? My two cents? Sure...

Here's 35 cents worth:

Phil's signature

66 comments:

Steve Weaver said...

Phil,

I'm offended! Are you making fun of me? Just kidding!

Steve said...

Phil: Today's blog helped me in a big way. You just made me realize how I can now "redeem" what used to be wasted time.

Every year or two, a deaf Christian friend who lives in Anchorage visits us for a few days here in the Pacific Northwest. He's a serious comic collector, and always asks me to take him to the local comic bookstores so he can browse the racks for an hour or two. I've always been glad to do this favor because, due to his severe eye problems, he can't drive, and thus seldom gets a chance to shop for comics. The only problem has been that while he has fun scouring the store, I would stand around rather bored, with nothing to do (I'm about as interested in comics as Emerging types are interested in absolute truth).

Phil, it suddenly dawned on me that my days of long and unproductive waits in the comic stores are over. Next time my friend visits (which is next month!), I'll ALSO scour the comic racks...thinking up possible sequel covers to your new Emerging Conversation series.

joethorn.net said...

Phil, truly funny people are best at making fun of themselves, or their own camp/people. I like your comic covers, but when will we see one poking fun at your own megachurch, or Masters Seminary type churches? There is a lot of good material out there for it.

Ann said...

Sunday? Isn't it still Saturday in our part of the world? Or are you posting from elsewhere, Phil? The days do fly by, but I don't recall missing any church services this morning...

TheBlueRaja said...

Where do you get these awesome graphics, Phil? How come it doesn't take a century to knock out those comic-book covers? I'm with joethorn, though -- I'd love to see Captain Discernment and the Dogma Police take on . . . everybody!

Phil Johnson said...

Joethorn: How soon people forget.

TheBlueRaja said...

Ha! Fantastic! Honestly, how do you create these pics? Is there a program that does it for you, or are these lovingly hand-crafted?

Steve said...

Phil, the book cover with your pic doesn't seem to be in the same category as your comic slams on everyone else. Don't you think?

Andrew Northern said...

Phil,

I've been reading your critique of emergent writing and they have recently been very harsh - particularly the post about McLaren's "A Generous Orthodoxy". Have you actually had informal dialogue with any of the "Emergent" leaders (Tony Jones, Doug Pagitt, Dan Kimball, Brian McLaren, etc.)?

Personally, I have been reading much of their writings recently, and the exercise has been beneficial. I am not convinced that the "Emergent conversation" (or church if you insist) has things entirely wrong or right. But, I am convinced that, approached properly, a dialogue with those writing and ministering under that "label" will prove beneficial. Are not your beliefs being strengthened by your interaction with the group, whether it is personal or impersonal? My experience is that my beliefs (as a 23-year-old) are growing and being pushed by my interaction with Emergent persons and writings. Not all of my beliefs are lining up with theirs, but I am able to grapple with my beliefs more fully.

All of this is meant to push you to reflect whether or not the volume of your rhetoric and comments should not be more loving. I hope that my comments are received in the desired manner. If I have offended, forgive me.

Phil Johnson said...

Steve McCoy: Phil, the book cover with your pic doesn't seem to be in the same category as your comic slams on everyone else. Don't you think?

No? How's this?

TheBlueRaja said...

Hillarious . . . I have a new wallpaper. Thanks for posting the link, Phil. Here's something a friend sent me that had me rolling.

Jeremy Weaver said...

I'm about tired of hearing that anyone who criticizes the emergent church hasn't read any books by them or 'dialogued' with them.
I can dialogue/debate Catholics because they at least believe in absolute truth, however wrong about what that truth is they may be. But it's hard to dialogue or debate with anyone who doesn't have some standard of truth and certainty.
My buddy Jeff Wright read a book by Tony Jones and gave reviewed it on his blog. There was a dialogue there, but the way they dialogue is by questioning truth. How can you dialogue with that?

Carla said...

Now that... was funny.

Habitans in Sicco said...

No, Phil, you just don't get it. It's not enough to be self-deprecating and good-natured. You're still too full of conviction and certitude.

What these guys are looking for is evidence that you are guilt-ridden and vaccillating. Humor directed at yourself isn't enough; it needs to be milksoppish, apologetic, and full of angst and self-doubt.

Get with the program.

Denise said...

I LOVE it!

Michael Spencer said...

For the interested, Phil didn't hack his way into the BHT. Even with his blog superpowers, he had to use the keys I loaned him a while back.

Thanks for the gift, Phil. I'll either hang it up, frame it and set it on my desk, or sell it on ebay.

You're welcome at our place anytime. If Van Til growls, toss a bowl of peanuts at him.

Jonathan Moorhead said...

Will this provoke another 100+ comments? Déjà vu (see the September 1st edition of the Deranged Tavern Monkeys)

joethorn.net said...

Phil, reading some of the comments here reminds me why I often refer to your comments section as a pooling of ignorance deep enough to drown in. Many of the regulars here are all wet man.

Anyway, thanks for pointing out the other comics. What I was driving at is that when others see the reformed brothers pointing out faults in our own churches/camps, it demonstrates that we believe in "semper reformanda" and are aware that we have not yet arrived. I believe it shows that we are seeking truth, and exalting Christ above ourselves. (example: Tom Ascol does this on his blog.)

Keep on bloggin man. But put a drain in this part of your blog.

Steve said...

andrew northern said:

"I am not convinced that the 'Emergent conversation' (or church if you insist) has things entirely wrong or right. But, I am convinced that, approached properly, a dialogue with those writing and ministering under that 'label' will prove beneficial."

I'm curious as to what you mean by "approached properly." So far, quite a lot of what I've read by Emergents constantly rebuffs those who express ANY level of concern for their perspectives or methodology. The only "proper approach" that Emergents seem to allow is for non-emergents to not voice their concerns at all.

The mere fact that Emerging Church proponents might have SOME things right does not give us any reason to let down our guard a little. We're to be equally diligent about pointing out error no matter whether it's over one issue or many. The writers of the New Testament epistles CONSTANTLY called their readers' attention to error, and did so in a firm manner. They didn't shy away in the name of finding points of agreement with those whom they disagreed.

As to "dialogue" with Emerging Church proponents being beneficial...have you considered that the reason so many are alarmed is because of the DETRIMENTAL effect the Emergent worldview is having on the church, as pointed out by Mohler, Challies, and Johnson, just to name a few?

Note that Jesus, Paul, Peter, and John didn't seek to "glean whatever good they could" from those who taught error. Rather, they were EXTREMELY earnest to ensure that error not gain a foothold in the church.

In Ephesians 5:25-27 and Revelation 1-3, we read of Christ's fervent passion for the purity of His church. We, as His followers, should exhibit the same passion.

It all comes down to which should be our greater priority: protecting the church from that which is detrimental, or seeking to benefit from those who are having a detrimental impact.

Ryan DeBarr said...

This thread is hilarious on a few different levels.

Jonathan Moorhead said...

Observation: The title to the joethorn.net webpage is “Words of Grace.”

Steve, that is a good word brother.

joethorn.net said...

See, Jonathan was funny! LOL.

I tried to be provacative without being too harsh. Are you suggesting I was too hard? As one that has read and sat to talk with leaders in the "emerging church" I generally see many of the issues differently than you do, though our confessions may be identicle.

**I have some of the same concerns about certain individuals in the ec,** but I have seen too many straw men beat up in here made from the scraps of thought from those who have actually read the books/had the conversations.

Student of History said...

I love the proper use of satire here, and the fact that you did not get offended by the Boar's Head comic cover. Good comedy is refreshing.

What left me gobsmacked was the audacious quote at the top of BHT: “The Protestant age is coming to an end. That means that the Reformed faith and Presbyterianism are also coming to an end.”
What! Are they kidding?! I have never been to the BHT before, not having the time to engage in all the netfray available to a reformed mother of five, but this takes the cake! If anything, I would say there is an upsurge in interest in Reformed theology, not disinterest. That is what I see in the homeschooling community anyway.

To BHT I would say, open your bibles, and read it with new eyes. God does not change one day to another.

Warmly,
Kate

Jonathan Moorhead said...

Joe, what is funny is that your Zodiac Year is “Rat.” Ha!

Seriously though, I think you have a point about fallacious argumentation that we all have fallen into. That is why I would personally like to see you contribute more.

joethorn.net said...

You had to go to the "Rat." Yeah, I remember sitting at the chinese restaurants growing up, looking at the placemats thinking, "Why couldn't I be the dragon, the tiger - heck, even the dog?"

I read Phil's blog regularly, but I typically don't even open the comments. Next time something catches my eye, I'll wade in. Thanks for the invite.

Michael Spencer said...

Kate...your partial quote from the BHT bannerhead is from reformed big dog James Jordan, not anyone at the Bht. Our banner quotes are strictly discussion starters. We've had an argument going about that one all day. There is a link in the quote to the entire essay its from on Jordan's site.

marc said...

I'm going to bed laughing...

BTW am I sensing some congeniality between imonk and Phil?

TheBlueRaja said...

Marc,

I'm not sure about congeniality, but if its "dialogue" we can know with post-post-modern certainty that the world has actually come to an end.

But that's just my interpretation.

Student of History said...

Mr. Spencer:

I realized I read you incorrectly when I responded to your note so my response would not have made any sense.

Thank you for your direction to the right place.

Warmly,
Kate

One Salient Oversight said...

I have never seen Phil or Michael in the same place together.

Could there be some sort of Bruce Wayne/Batman thing going on?

And if so... who's Robin?

C.H.H. said...

"I like your comic covers, but when will we see one poking fun at your own megachurch, or Masters Seminary type churches?"

Have things denigrated to the point where one can no longer legitimately poke fun at anybody else without doing so to themselves? "Here's some goos satire, but just so I don't offend anybody, I'll satirize myself."

If people want to see comic book covers making fun of Grace church or TMS, go make them, but in the meantime asking Phil for them is what's really funny.

Jerry Wragg said...

All this reminds me of when my kids were in the AYSO soccer league. "When we score a goal we must also cheer for the other team so they won't get their feelings hurt". Has debate about TRUTH become sissified? I've never once heard Phil even remotely whine about these discussions, nor has he asked for a softer approach--- more self-critical satire from his opponents. Who are these debate-police?

Michael Spencer said...

Seeing the word "debate police" on this blog has made my week.

Impacted Wisdom Truth said...

"The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn."

--Martin Luther

Ryan DeBarr said...

Phil,

This all could have been avoided if you had just put that < jn > in place of the price on the comic's cover.

Kim said...

The gorilla in that picture looks a lot like the one in the illustrations of my copy of The Last Battle.

joethorn.net said...

IWT, that was written by a man who drank a lot of beer. :)

If you read what I said about the point of such self-effacing humor you can see it is not about politeness, or sissified debating. Let's try and stay on topic with each other.

Or is this the M.O among some of you swimming here? Misrepresentation of visitors, not just pomo, emerging guys? lol

Phil Johnson said...

Depends on whom you ask, Joe. Someone recently posted something on another site that claims all the commenters here are mindless, high-fiving yes-men whose comments are probably computer-generated by a robot I created just to stoke my own ego.

LAST week, however, some tender soul said she would have to forebear ever reading any of the comments here, because all people ever do is disagree and bicker—and, she said, it seemed like I get more than the usual amount of critical comments, as if a lot of people were coming here just looking to pick a fight with me. She figured it wasn't good for her sanctification to read the comments, so she was going to stop.

Then right here in this very thread, SOMEONE—hmmm, let me try to remember.... Oh yes, it was you—made a nasty comment disparaging the intelligence of pretty much everyone who comments here.

But you're a newcomer here. So I apologize for my commenters. They DO sometimes tend to be less than kind to people who enter the fray spewing insults.

<joke>But, I'll tell you what. I'll send the two dumbest commenters I have over to your blog and ban them from here. That will increase the average IQ of both communities by at least 15 points. Deal?</joke>

candyinsierras said...

phil, your comic book cover was like, so wrong, and like, so funny. joe, i hope i fit in with your idea of commentors. by the way, i think the comic book is worth at least fiddy cents.

Phil Johnson said...

BlueRaja: "Honestly, how do you create these pics? Is there a program that does it for you, or are these lovingly hand-crafted?"

Those are vintage comic-book covers cleaned up and altered with Paint Shop Pro. I've been using Paint Shop Pro for Web graphics for 10 years, so I've gotten pretty competent with it, in an amateurish sort of way. It has a lot of features that make this sort of thing easy. It takes anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour to go from a raw .jpg of a scanned comic-book cover to the finished parody version. The original cover from which today's artwork was "borrowed" may be found at this site. It took me about 40 minutes to go from that to this. The only really hard part is writing text that will fit into the balloons and make the point I want to make.

Since someone is sure to raise the question of copyright infringement and challenge the ethics of altering comic-book art, please note:

1. Vintage artwork published without notice prior to 1978 is not protected under copyright law. I have not knowingly infringed anyone's legitimate copyright. If an original artist or publisher claims any artwork I have doctored is still under copyright protection, contact me and I will remove it, no questions asked. Or, if you prefer and can provide me with accurate information, I would be delighted to publish a notice giving full credit to the original artist.

2. Note, by the way, that copyright and trademark law do not necessarily apply to the use of images for caricature, farce, or parody. (That is why certain well-known magazines and comedy programs are free to lampoon brand-names and even imitate or alter trademarks.) The law, for the moment at least, is intended to protect commerce, and it cannot be invoked merely to silence opinion or squelch humor.

Ann: "Isn't it still Saturday in our part of the world?"

OK, you caught me cheating the clock. I generally set the clock on my posts at 12:01 AM, but I usually make each day's actual post early—usually sometime between 10:30 and 11:30 PM California time. This one, I completed around noon on Saturday, and it actually illustrated the point of Saturday's post, so I went ahead and posted it twelve hours early. I probably should've waited, because it killed the comments thread on Saturday's post, and that could have been an interesting thread. Instead, I spent most of last evening e-mailing Kleenex to people who are convinced humor and cruelty are the same thing.

Meanwhile, a thought occurred to me: What are we going to call the "emerging conversation" after it finishes emerging from whatever it's emerging from? It can't be perpetually emerging. Soon it will have emerged, and then it will need a proper name. Any ideas?

Talk amongst yourselves.

Impacted Wisdom Truth said...

IWT, that was written by a man who drank a lot of beer. :)

I do not see what drinking beer has to do with ridiculing the devil; that is simply argumentum ad hominem directed at Luther.

If you read what I said about the point of such self-effacing humor you can see it is not about politeness, or sissified debating. Let's try and stay on topic with each other. Or is this the M.O among some of you swimming here?

I read your remarks, but they were among many and I was not specifically responding to you. I do not believe the quote was off topic, given the many comments raising questions about the biting humor as manifested in Phil's use of comic book covers.

Misrepresentation of visitors, not just pomo, emerging guys? lol

Since posting the quote had nothing to do specifically with your remarks, it cannot be misrepresenting them.

I will add though, if one throws a rock into a pack of dogs, the one that gets hit is the one that yelps. In fact, the reply you directed to me is the very fulfillment of my purpose for posting the quote: to see who would respond if I posted it.

Sort of like yelling at a crowd, "HEY STUPID!" to see who turns their head in response.

Ryan DeBarr said...

I do not see what drinking beer has to do with ridiculing the devil; that is simply argumentum ad hominem directed at Luther.

I don't think Joe intended it as a slur.

ThirstyDavid said...

Phil, the EC is a caterpillar emerging from it's cocoon. When it does, it will be a moth, and we all know what moths are drawn to.

marc said...

Okay, once a building is built we still call it a building.

And a lot of people refer to the place where christians meet as a church, when its really just a building.

So I guess what I 'm saying is once the emergening church has emerged we should call it ahh...

err...

um...

a building?


Never mind, I thought I was onto something there for a minute.

Jeremy Weaver said...

'I'll tell you what. I'll send the two dumbest commenters I have over to your blog and ban them from here.'
Phil,
You're sending me to Joe Thorn's blog? I'll miss you!

Signed,
Disappointed

Jonathan Moorhead said...

Attempting to be fair and balanced (maybe it’s because I can’t think of anything funny to say), I would have to assume that the Emergents would answer Phil by saying the following:

The Emergent Church will never “emerge.” That is the point. Because the Spirit is guiding us into all truth, we can never claim that we have attained it. EC is truly reformed because is adheres to “semper reformanda.”

How did I do? HINT: This is where you all affirm me for answering a question that Phil already knew the answer to.

joethorn.net said...

Phil, I am new to commenting, but have been reading you for some time. I used to read the comments, but have long abstained for reasons cited. I was not busting on "pretty much everyone here," but a good number of commentors. I think others see the same problems I do (and no, not just the BHT guys, emerging guys, or whatever boogey men cannot be trusted).

IWT, You have supplied the evidence upon which I rest my case. Thanks!

But I'll make a promise (to myself really, since no one here knows me or rightly is interested in a return visit), if I wade back in, I will strive to be kind, to understand, give the benefit of the doubt and make any jokes, intentional overstatements and ironic statements extremely clear.

Impacted Wisdom Truth said...

Joe,

I do not see what the "evidence" that you refer to is, but whatever.

I directed the Luther quote to no one in particular.

So as for whom the Luther quote fits, with your reply, you volunteered yourself.

Christopher said...

"But, I'll tell you what. I'll send the two dumbest commenters I have over to your blog and ban them from here. That will increase the average IQ of both communities by at least 15 points. Deal?"

lol!

Phil, you are one of the funniest cats around! Whether it's the comic book covers or comments like the above, you never disappoint!

DOGpreacher said...

Kudos to Kjos!

As far as that "dialogue" stuff goes, you mean like John & the Gnostics?..."sit down fellas, let's talk about our differences...yada...yada...

TheBlueRaja said...

Thanks for the info Phil - impressive and very professional looking stuff.

Ryan DeBarr said...

IWT, scroll up. CHH said,
Have things denigrated to the point where one can no longer legitimately poke fun at anybody else without doing so to themselves? "Here's some goos satire, but just so I don't offend anybody, I'll satirize myself."

It seems more likely that Joe was to CHH, not your "rock" that was intended to "hit a dog" which you assumed to be yelping. You know, the same rock, which you assumed hit a yelping dog but was not really aimed at anyone in particular.

I'm going to bed.

Jim Crigler said...

What to call it after it has finished emerging?

(after much meditation)

We can't call it Post-Realist. They finished emerging out of realism long, long ago.

Robbymac said...

Caricatures are really funny. Because people can TELL that you're exaggerating. That way, people who view the caricature will realize that it's not 100% actual, documented fact.

Maybe John MacArthur should re-release some of his earlier books -- like Charistmatic Chaos -- as comic books. That way, people would more easily recognize that he's presenting caricatures.

Dan Paden said...

Not that I'm sufficiently intelligent or erudite to have a legitimately well-informed opinion, but one or two of the comments in this thread have reminded me of an old truth: there is nothing new under the sun.

It seems to puzzle some that many of us who are critical of post-modernism and/or the emergent church haven't read the greatest and latest by some of these movements' leaders. Having not done so, it is hinted, means that we cannot possibly properly understand those movements.

I don't think this is so, for a very simple reason: everything that we have read and heard from McLaren et al is so similar to material that's been read, digested, and rejected over the last two millennia that it's not really necessary to read relativistic thought's latest re-hashing. The post-moderns and emergents are still making Pilate's error (What is truth?), founding their arguments and rhetoric on the flimsy foundation that there is either no absolute truth or that, if there, it cannot be known. This foundation is nothing new and has taken such a beating over the centuries that the only way anyone can take it seriously is to forget its previous thrashings and dress it up in new rags for a new audience.

Post-modernism/emergent's critics know this well. What are we supposed to do? Pretend that we don't recognize the same old canards? Nod thoughtfully after reading Pilate's heirs, as though they were presenting something Pilate hadn't thought of? Or should we thrash relativistic thought like the red-headed philosophical stepchild that it is? I prefer the latter approach. I think it is more honest, and in the long run, kinder.

Broken Messenger said...

Someone recently posted something on another site that claims all the commenters here are mindless, high-fiving yes-men whose comments are probably computer-generated by a robot I created just to stoke my own ego.

This often appears more true than not, certainly nothing has changed in the past few months probably since you seem to encourage such an atmosphere.

They DO sometimes tend to be less than kind to people who enter the fray spewing insults.

Phil, unfortunately for you, your definition of an insult is plain, honest criticism. As for nastiness...it is extremely ironic for you to make such a statement.

Brad

Habitans in Sicco said...

Brad: "unfortunately for you, your definition of an insult is plain, honest criticism."

No, actually, what Phil referred to as an "insult" was Joe thorn's comment, "I often refer to your comments section as a pooling of ignorance deep enough to drown in."

The fact that you aped Joe's insult doesn't make it any less one.

Brad: "As for nastiness...it is extremely ironic for you to make such a statement."

Ditto.

TheBlueRaja said...

Came across a lovely quote in Vanhoozer's article found in the March 2005 issue of JETS:

"The temptation of conservative evangelicals is to play the propositional truth card in order to trump interpretation; the temptation of what we might call "emergent" evangelicals is to play the intepretation card to trump propositional truth. Neither move is ultimately satisfying, nor edifying."

A wise word from a thought-provoking article! If you've got access, it's a recommended read. Michael Bird at Euangellion has some reflections on the above referenced article as well -- scroll down or search the page for "Vanhoozer" after clicking here.

Phil Johnson said...

Broken Messenger, thanks for trying to set me and the regulars straight.

But I'm having a little trouble understanding your complaint. I looked for a thread anywhere in the past four months of my blog where the comments were pure high-fives and attaboys, and I can't seem to find a single one. Practically every post I make—no matter what I say—gets negative feedback, like clockwork. It's as if there were a bunch of vulture-commenters watching the blog, ready to pounce on anything they can find to accuse me with.

Ironically, a couple of the most vigorous dogpiles on Phil have been attached to short posts where I say next to nothing. In one case, I simply posted a link with the words, "No further comment necessary," and it unleashed a 30-comment debate sparked by people determined to disagree with me even though I had expressed no actual opinion.

Check the average number of dissenting-comments-per-post at your blog and tell me how it compares to what you find here. The truth is that your accusation holds no water. It's just mean-spirited and deliberately insulting—the very thing you profess to deplore.

In don't know of a theological blog anywhere in the blogosphere that provokes (and tolerates) more dissenting comments than this one. I've never turned off the comments on a single post; I've never deleted a comment merely because someone disagreed with me. In many cases, I simply let alternate points of view stand without further challenge. I don't have time to debate with commenters who are just determined to be contrary. I normally let them slide.

But in your case, I'll make an exception, because I don't recall that you have ever posted much of anything here but remarks that reflect this sort of snide contempt. And since what you are saying in this comment is patently and demonstrably untrue, I would really like to know: what, precisely, is your real complaint?

TheBlueRaja said...

I'm an idiot -- Wrong link. Try this one.

Broken Messenger said...

It's just mean-spirited and deliberately insulting—the very thing you profess to deplore.

Phil this has always been the very heart of my core complaint: you assume the heart and the intent of the poster without even considering the weight of the greater charge or criticism. I've never professed to be an effective communicator, and I apologize if I have come across this way, (it was certainly not my intent) but you do give the appearance of encouraging the "high-fiving" and divisiveness that is deeply pervasive within the church today – from all colors in the theological spectrum. From what I see, there is an air of arrogance based on the posts I read and see and the commenters here is disturbing and it comes across like a football game type of atmosphere where its rah-rahing a vein of theology (which ironically we in large part agree) for the sake of that theology regardless of other elements of the Gospel be trampled.

But in your case, I'll make an exception, because I don't recall that you have ever posted much of anything here but remarks that reflect this sort of snide contempt.

Phil, then you obviously haven't taken the time to read all of my comments on your blog. Several have in fact have been in direct support and encouragement of the points you have made in the past. I have also told you that on several occassions that we agree on much theologically. It appears that you only seem to remember my posts that you have disagreed with.

And I hold no contempt for you, Phil, rather the opposite. I am saddened by the wholesale lack of emphasis you place on humility and the amount of policing that goes into the commenters here to that end.

In don't know of a theological blog anywhere in the blogosphere that provokes (and tolerates) more dissenting comments than this one.

I acknowledge that you allow criticism to exist, but this seems to be the meat and potatoes of what drives your blog. The criticism seems to set the stage for you to tackle one strawman after another, while dancing around the core point of the commenter. You certainly do not appear to take a dissenting view to heart and I have yet to see you respond in a kind and considerate way to a dissent. In fact, you appear to revel in the controversy and encourage it. Is this meant as further insult? No, it's an observation from a concerned brother and it is intended in the same manner as my earlier post.

So in other words, when I read, for example, the words of the apostle Peter: "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." (1 Peter 3:15, emphasis mine) I cannot say that the name Phil Johnson instantly springs to mind. Particularly when posts such as the comic book spoof here appears to be expressly designed to evoke the kind of comments and atmosphere that lives here and continues to breed which seems incredibly bitter to me (or nasty if you prefer). You design your posts to be lightning rods for the sake of controversy and to illicit discussion to that end, do you not? But what purpose does that serve if you are not willing to address the points raised in a respectful way but rather instantly reach for assumptions about the heart of the commenter when they respond to such polarizing kinds of posts? If you don’t think any of this to be the case, I would highly encourage you to re-examine such a position before our Lord.

Brad

Phil Johnson said...

Brad, thanks for the more biblical admonition, and I do sincerely appreciate the spirit of that last post.

But I think if you yourself will (for just a moment) adopt the mind of humility you are rightly pleading for, you're going to have have to admit that the calm and reasonable way you expressed your concern just now is poles apart from the way you came into this thread, with an unqualified accusation that it "appears more true than not" that all the commenters here are mindless, high-fiving yes-men whose comments are probably computer-generated by a robot I created just to stoke my own ego.

As a matter of fact, your complaint in this recent post is a completely different complaint. Watching you shift ground like that does indeed make me wonder about what's driving your frequent grievances, but I'll take your word for it that you're not deliberately trying to be insulting and mean-spirited.

Broken Messenger said...

Phil, thanks for the response. Like I said, I don't consider myself to be an accomplished communicator and it is something I pray over and lament about daily.

But I think if you yourself will (for just a moment) adopt the mind of humility you are rightly pleading for, you're going to have have to admit that the calm and reasonable way you expressed your concern just now is poles apart from the way you came into this thread, with an unqualified accusation that it "appears more true than not" that all the commenters here are "mindless, high-fiving yes-men whose comments are probably computer-generated by a robot I created just to stoke my own ego."

Phil, I apologize. When I said that this "appears more true than not" I was trying to appeal to the overall environment that I just tried to clarify in my last comment, not that I actually believe that you generate comments from commenters for the express purposes of stroking your own ego, nor do I believe that the commenters here are “mindless.” You're right, however, I now see that I didn't distance myself from the flat insult it was and I unintentionally gave the appearance that my comment endorsed the insult. My apologies to you and all for my carelessness. I should not have used this excerpt from your comment to make my point, nor should I have assumed that anyone would have known what I was talking about by using it. I also should have took the time to write something along the lines of my last comment that probably would have saved everyone a bit of grief. Thank you again for the response.

Brad

Mike Morrell said...

Hi Phil,

Came over here by way of http://tallskinnykiwi.com

I am an emerging Baptist/Pentecostal/Calvinist mutt who's part of an intentional house church community, but I like comics and I like parody. Good job.

Mike

impossibleape said...

The Emergent conversation is making some sense out of the messiness of reality

God is the author of reality as much as He is of the Bible

the world isn't easy to understand or to navigate but it is real and absolutism is not of this world and will not be ours to grasp till we have laid our bones in the cold cold earth and emerged into the cool or hot side.


Loved your comic btw
Emergence isn't a dirty word.

Its just happening.

SHague said...

Phil, it will be an
Emergency! Emergency! Emergency!