Acquiescing to Ignorance

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Revmitchell, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. Revmitchell

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    Before beginning, all who read this ought to know that I have a great deal of respect for Lee Strobel and the work that he has done to spread the gospel and defend the Faith. Furthermore, I in no way believe myself to be smarter, a better Christian, or any other audacious adjective that one might ascribe to me after reading this rather critical article. Strobel has been a leader in the field of Christian apologetics for many years, and I am grateful for his labor.

    But leaders of Christianity are as apt to slip up as the rest of us, and Strobel’s subtle use of noun-swapping is setting a dangerous precedence that, until recently, I thought was to be found almost exclusively among emergent-leaning pastors.

    Speaking at the Southern Evangelical Seminary Apologetics Conference the last two years, Strobel has repeatedly referred to Jesus Christ as “my forgiver and leader.” I didn’t think much the first time I heard it, but repetition of the term “leader” in places where “Lord” has traditionally been used has piqued the curiosity of many.

    So, we sought an answer. Asked directly by a good friend of mine why he uses the term “leader” rather than “Lord,” Strobel said that people do not understand what “Lord” means. An associate of Strobel’s has noted that the term “Lord” conjures up images of knights and swords and castles, and that isn’t culturally relative.


    More Here
     
  2. gb93433

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    That is exactly what I first thought when I first heard a Christian mention, "Jesus is Lord."
     
  3. Tom Butler

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    Seems to me that the job of preachers and teachers is to help listeners understand what the Bible says and means.

    So how much trouble is it to simply explain what it means to us for Jesus to be Lord. It'll probably take 60 seconds out of a teaching or sermon. I'd venture to say that most of the people on the BB can do it. Paul did it by simply describing himself as a slave.

    A warning flag ought to go up every time we hear someone redefine terminology.
     
  4. Revmitchell

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    Especially when it falls this fall short of the original i.e. Lord v.leader. What a demotion. Such failures leaves a couple of interpretations open to the motivation behind such a tragedy.

    1. He is lacking in sound doctrine.

    2. He is spiritually immature and does not know any better.

    3. He is intentionally diminishing the gospel.

    So much harm is done to the gospel in the name of "culture" (which is really sub-culture) and evangelism.
     
  5. jcjordan

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    Stobel has always bugged me. I think what really bothers me is that he never mentions the power of the Holy Spirit in bringing people to faith. He seems to get the idea that if people just look at the facts, they will become a Christian. At least this is the idea that I've gotten from his tv show that used to be on. Also, this past week, he preached on the Hour of Power.
     
  6. gb93433

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    I do this by explaining what the cost was for being baptized in those days and talking about what it meant to name Jesus as Lord and who was the lord of the world in comparison. It gets rid of the sweet Jesus mentality.

    More church goers are offended than non-Christians by the use of strong language from the pulpit.
     
  7. gb93433

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    He is typically teaching and reaching people just like himself. Isn't that true of most of us? We tend to reach people just like us.
     
  8. Revmitchell

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    Problematic just the same
     
  9. gb93433

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    I seriously doubt that Strobel is dealing with cultural issues. He is reaching people in ways that they can understand. I am quite sure that he could use language that most likely the common regular church attender would not fully understand. If you do not believe me, just ask about ten people in church to explain the temporal and eternal aspect of the word used for "souls" in James 1:21. It is far more reaching than the single word in English.

    Have you ever noticed how Jesus spoke differently to the Sadducees than he did to the Pharisees. When he spoke with the Sadducees he only used the Torah and with the Pharisees he used the OT. Would you say that he did not know what he was doing when he only used the Torah with the Sadducees?

    If you asked a doctor to explain something to you, would you understand what he was talking about if he used the same medical language he uses among his professional friends or just the common ordinary everyday language? Which should he use when talking with his patients? If the doctor used everyday language with you would he be incorrect and diminish the message by doing so?
     
  10. Revmitchell

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    First we are not dealing with "cultural" issues. we are dealing with sub-cultural issues. There is a big difference. There are language barriers in different cultures. Not so much in sub-cultures.

    Even giving Strobel the benefit of the doubt his wording is problematic regardless of any perceived language barrier. It falls way short of reality and teaches an entirely different doctrine. False at that.
     
  11. gb93433

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    That is the reason for a diversity of gifts in the church. If you have ever listened to more than one person talk about how they were reached you will quickly find that there is never two people reached in exactly the same way.

    That is problematic?
     
  12. Revmitchell

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    YOu got to deal witht he actual issue to have a conversation. The issue is his use of the word "leader". It doesn't matter what culture you are trying to reach it is a false doctrine. It is like calling the Titanic a sailboat.
     
  13. Rippon

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    I don't think we should drop the word "Lord".The meaning needs to be fleshed-out especially to the non-churched.

    I see merits in both sides of this issue.Gb93433 has made some legitimate points.

    This is from Acts 5:31a :Then God put him in the place of honor at his right hand as Prince and Savior.(NLTse)

    I didn't do an exhaustive search.But the following versions have "Leader and Savior" Darby,ISV,NJB and ESV.Rotherham has "Princely-leader and Saviour".The NASU has "Prince" in the text,but the marginal note has "Or Leader".

    So "Leader" is acceptable at least once in the New Testament referencing Christ.Perhaps there are other passages of which I am not aware.
     
    #13 Rippon, Nov 21, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2008
  14. gb93433

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    When we use the words "following Christ" to describe what a Christian does, would that be any different than what Strobel does when he says Jesus is his leader? If I am following Christ is Jesus not my leader?

    The issues Jesus dealt with among the Sadducees and Pharisees were in the same language, same time, and same culture. He used different language and texts to talk with them.

    The issue Jesus dealt with was not as far apart as Strobel deals with.

    The message of Jesus being Lord is back in history about 2000 years in time. Jesus dealt with the immediate time, place, and culture.
     
  15. Rippon

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    It's too late to add this to my post #13.The NET Bible also has "Leader" in Acts 5:31.

    Hebrews 2:10b : and it was only right that he should make Jesus,through his suffering,a perfect leader,fit to bring them into their salvation.(NLTse)

    NJB : the leader
    NASU : [The text has "author".The marginal reading has:"Or leader".]
    Weymouth : the Prince Leader
    Darby : the leader
    Rotherham : the Princely Leader
     
  16. Jerome

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    Acts 5:31 RSV [from whence came the ESV] "Leader"

    The MESS has few Lords, often using "the Master" instead.
     
  17. OldRegular

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    Though I have neither read Strobel nor heard Strobel I can say definitively that there is a world of difference between Lord and leader. Some may consider use of the word "leader" a small deviation of the Gospel message. However, it is small deviations such as this which dilute the Gospel and eventually compromise the Gospel. Too much of that has been done already and we have a number of heretical groups passing themselves off as the body of Christ.

    If Christians were not so ignorant of Church History they might be aware of the implications of such small deviations. As I frequently have told those I have had the pleasure of teaching the Roman Catholic Church did not become so overnight but required the hundreds of years until Vatican II.

    I am not a King James only person but I believe the plethora of translations?/paraphrases on the market today is contributing to the compromise of the Gospel. A passage of Scripture indicates the difference between Lord and leader. What will be the next word or phrase compromised, the great I am of Scripture.

    1Corinthians 12:3 .... and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

    Those who are interested can see what Strong's has to say about the meaning of the Greek word translated Lord.
     
  18. gb93433

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    If Jesus is my Lord he is also my master and leader. I do not how anyone could get around that.
     
  19. Goldie

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    Oops......... Lee Strobel strongly endorses The Purpose Driven Heresy...... err........ I mean Life, otherwise known as "The left behind empire". What can I say? The Word of God tells us to test ALL THINGS. It's a clear commandment.
     
  20. Gold Dragon

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    I would agree that the word Lord communicates ideas in a modern ear that may not be in line with its intending meaning in scripture. It makes God sound like a British nobleman who has a snooty attitude to his servants and bad teeth.

    A similar example is the phrase Lord of hosts that probably sounds to modern ears like you are calling God the best Martha Stewart at entertaining guests.

    Words are meant to communicate ideas but what those words communicate change with time. When they no longer communicate the right ideas, different words should be used.
     

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