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Written by David Lamb Friday, 05 July 2013 00:00

“O, NO! I have to write a blog for tomorrow.  I don’t need this right now.  There is too much going on right now.”  I had just looked at my calendar to realize that I had yet another thing to do.  My instant reaction was panic.  My son was graduating tomorrow.  I had meetings all day and night.  Relatives were visiting.  Biblical’s graduation was Saturday.  I still needed to figure out loans and financial aid for college.  I was falling behind on my writing schedule. 

In a word, Stress

But then I remembered the psalm I read this morning. 


A Song of Ascents. Of David.

O LORD, my heart is not lifted up,

my eyes are not raised too high;

I do not occupy myself with things too great

and too marvelous for me.

2 But I have calmed and quieted my soul,

like a weaned child with its mother;

my soul is like the weaned child that is with me.

3 O Israel, hope in the LORD

from this time on and forevermore (Psalm 131 NRSV).


In a word, Calm

The psalms are prayers, and the author of this psalm begins by speaking directly to God and calling him by his personal name, YHWH (“O LORD”). 

The psalmist then explains to YHWH all about his humility.  (But is it humble to point out your humility?  I guess it’s OK when you’re talking to God.)  The psalmist’s heart and eyes aren’t too proud.  His focus is not on things too great or marvelous.  Currently, the psalmist’s focus is on God and not on the psalm (or blog?) he needs to write. 

What’s the result of the psalmist’s humble attitude?  He is like a weaned child with its mother.  Calm and secure, quiet and safe.    

If David wrote this (the Hebrew heading for this psalm could be translated “to David,” “for David,” or “of David”), it’s ironic to imagine a warrior like David as a child next to his mother’s side.   Ironic, but powerfully memorable

In ancient Israel, mothers typically nursed a child for two or three years.  A recently weaned child is no longer an infant, but is still not independent of its mother.  But hopefully, the weaned one will be less fussy.  At least the child in this psalm apparently isn’t in the midst of the “terrible twos.”   The child is content with mom.  Calm and secure, quiet and safe

The image of a weaned child is repeated twice in the same verse.  Let’s compare two translations of the end of verse 2: 

“My soul is like the weaned child that is with me” (NRSV).

“Like a weaned child is my soul within me” (ESV). 

I like literal translations, so I often prefer the usually more literal ESV, but here the NRSV is more literal.  The Hebrew here is literally, “Like the weaned child with me is my soul.”  Thus, the Hebrew supports the NRSV’s rendering. 

Why does it matter?  In the ESV, the psalmist is just making a comparison, but in the NRSV, the psalmist is speaking in the voice of a mother, from her perspective: “the weaned child that is with me.”  The image of a child and mother is brought one step closer to us as we hear the psalmist speak as a mother about the child on her lap.  Calm and secure, quiet and safe

How do we deal with the tension between the heading that associates the psalm with David and this verse which seems to speak in the voice of a mother?  We have three options.

  1. We assume that David wrote the whole thing, so he couldn’t have used a female voice (which is what several English translations appear to do).
  2. We assume David did not write it (perhaps the heading should read, “for David”?), so it could have been written by a woman.
  3. We decide there’s not enough textual evidence to decide definitively.

While I assume David wrote many psalms, people often base too much of their view of authorship on headings which are ambiguous at best.  I think it could have been written by a woman, many other biblical songs certainly were (Exo. 15:21; Judg. 5; 1 Sam. 2:1-10; Luke 1:46-55), but it is impossible to say definitively based on this half-verse. 

In any case, there’s nothing like a mom to bring calm in the midst of stress, except God and God’s word.  The psalmist therefore tells Israel to hope in God now and forever.  The psalmist’s final exhortation here is valid for any of us in the midst of stress: Hope in God forever. 

Reflecting on Psalm 131 not only reduced my stress in the moment, it also gave me a topic to blog upon. 

It calmed my soul.

Where do you find other examples of maternal imagery in Scripture and how does it help us connect to God? 


David Lamb is Associate Professor of Old Testament at Biblical. He’s the husband of Shannon, father of Nathan and Noah, and the author of God Behaving Badly: Is the God of the Old Testament Angry, Sexist and Racist?He blogs regularly at http://davidtlamb.com/. See also http://www.biblical.edu/index.php/david-lamb.

 

Written by Todd Mangum Wednesday, 03 July 2013 00:00

The most common (by far!) diagnostic the New Testament offers as to whether one really is a child of God in Christ is . . . the fruit test. Perhaps it all starts in the Old Testament with the Promised Land’s “fruit” being evidence that the “good land” God had pledged to them really was all He’d said it was (Number 13); or, perhaps it’s Psalm 1:3, in which “you can tell a righteous person” by their being “like a tree planted by streams of water, yielding its fruit in season” . . .

John the Baptist picks up the “fruit” theme in Matthew 3:8/Luke 3:8-9 — “don’t just TALK about repentance; bring forth fruit that DEMONSTRATES your repentance!” And then, the “fruit” test is really expanded by Jesus. He talks about being able to spot a phony by looking at the fruit (Matthew 7:16-18); and then, well, just look at how many of His parables point to fruit being a primary indicator of whether one is lip-service giver or a genuine Jesus-following, child of God: see Matthew 12:33/Luke 6:43-44; half a dozen of the parables in Matthew13/Mark 4/Luke 8; Luke 13:6-9; and then look at how pointed is Matthew 21:42-43. John 15, of course, is a classic “fruit-demonstrates-true-faith/abiding” passage, with the epistle of 1 John (especially chapter 3) following up and following through further with this theme.

The New Testament epistles then pick up with passages like Romans 7:4, and Galatians 5’s comparison of “fruit of the flesh” vs. “fruit of the Spirit.” That comparison is worth quoting in full:

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,  idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,  envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

My church is focusing on fruit of the Spirit (vs. fruit of the flesh) as our summer exercise of contemplation, examination, scrutinization, and accountability.  I’ve already benefited from it, and been convicted by it.  Here are the questions that were posed to us by the adult Sunday School teacher last week (and, no, it wasn’t me!): which “deeds of the flesh” do you find you struggle with most? What “fruit of the flesh” manifests itself most often?  What aspects of fruit of the Spirit do you find comes easiest to you?  Which do you find most difficult in cultivating?

It’s a great exercise — at least to get a basic, “first assessment” of how your walk with God is going, how the Spirit is clearly at work in your life, and where you still have a ways to go. . . .

And, I tell you what — I’ll make a deal with you; you tell me one of yours, I’ll tell you one of mine (from either “side” of the question list).  How’s that?  Fair enough? J


Todd Mangum is the Academic Dean and Professor of Theology at Biblical.  He is ordained by the Southern Baptist Convention.  Todd is the author of The Dispensational-Covenantal Rift, and of several articles seeking to bridge divides among Bible-believing Christians. He is married to Linda and they have three sons.  See also http://www.biblical.edu/index.php/todd-mangum.

   

Written by Todd Mangum Monday, 01 July 2013 00:00

 

For the last month or so, CNN has been running a story that lists famous people who have self-identified as “born again Christians” — see http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/31 /living/gallery/born-again-celebrities.  Some are no surprise (everyone knows of Kirk Cameron’s outspoken and very public Christian testimony; and most people know about the youngest Baldwin brother, Stephen, being a Christian). But some really do raise the eyebrows. Alice Cooper is a Christian?!! (OK, some readers are too young to know who that man — yes, man — even is; but those of us who do. . . . )  Bob Dylan’s conversion was pretty well publicized, but still piques my curiosity; same with Jane Fonda.  Mickey Rooney? . . .  Interesting.

American evangelical Christianity is fascinated by the celebrity culture, and is sucked in for good or bad by it; American evangelicalism also forms its own celebrity culture — often to the great embarrassment of the cause of Christ. Pride and ego end up getting nourished (rather than checked) by this, and little good can come of that. The exaggerated fascination of our culture with famous people is a problem. The paparazzi scourge is a symptom. Likewise, the Christian celebrity culture is worth its own analysis (a separate blog perhaps).

All that recognized, here are a couple of observations on CNN’s “Born Again Celebrities” list from a missional perspective:

  1. “These powerful people can really make a statement for Christ” is the wrong instinct. The power of Christianity lies in scores of “ordinary people” being transformed extraordinarily for Christ and by Christ. The testimony of hundreds of ordinary Christians showing up after the tornadoes to help feed, shelter, and clothe the victims and help them rebuild — before FEMA could even get the paperwork processed — is a more powerful testimony than an actor getting a Christian “zinger” in at his or her Emmy-award acceptance speech. The role of Christian celebrities is to participate faithfully in the Kingdom work of Christ, not carry it. 

  2. Look at how many of their testimonies describe conversions after a great loss, or after fading from the limelight (and finding the hype and hysteria at the height of their careers superficial, vain, and empty).  Ecclesiastes is true — and for many of these celebrities, they were given the grace to discover the truth before it was too late. Praise God. 
  3. In this vein, I observe that 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 is still true:

“For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;  but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong,  and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that He might nullify the things that are,  that no one should boast before God.”

     There are at least two implications that apply here:

  1. There are not “many” noble (skilled, famous, all-American, Emmy-winning, etc.) who will be Kingdom heirs . . . but there are a couple now and then.  Some of this, if I’m reading 1 Corinthians 1 right, is due to the plan and purposes of God — God prefers to do His work among the lowly, the non-descript, the common; such that the extraordinary works He does through such ordinary people is recognized as all the more extraordinary. Some of it is explained by other, broader biblical principles. Celebrities tend to be full of themselves, overachieving, selfishly-ambitious narcissists.  And God opposes the proud; and likewise, the proud resist submission to the Spirit of God.
  2. The temptations confronted by celebrity Christians must be enormous. These are people whose attention other “normal” people clamor for. These are people who are exceptionally good-looking, or talented, or otherwise simply superior to the vast majority of other human beings. The being catered to, the attention, the constant affirmation and being surrounded by people eager to please them represents a constant soul-corrupting challenge. It should not be a surprise to us when a “Christian celebrity” stumbles or even falls.  Not to make any excuse; but rather just to make the point: Christian celebrities we know and admire deserve our prayers.

I’m curious as to what your reflections might be.  Or what implications you might draw from CNN’s list of born-again celebrities (or your own list of same).

 

            Todd Mangum is the Academic Dean and Professor of Theology at Biblical.  He is ordained by the Southern Baptist Convention.  Todd is the author of The Dispensational-Covenantal Rift, and of several articles seeking to bridge divides among Bible-believing Christians. He is married to Linda and they have three sons.  See also http://www.biblical.edu/index.php/todd-mangum

   

Written by Todd Mangum Thursday, 27 June 2013 13:35

 

On June 26, 2013, in a highly contested ruling upheld by a narrow majority of justices, the U.S. Supreme Court essentially ruled against the constitutionality of enforcing heterosexuality as inherent to legally-protected marriage rights. In other words, states are now legally allowed to recognize same-sex marriages (though the decisions Wednesday stopped short of demanding states to recognize same-sex marriages).

Faithful Christians will doubtless be wrestling with what to do with this decision both for the short-term and long-term. Here are some initial observations and points of counsel for missional leaders seeking to be biblically faithful and culturally astute in our new context.

In the short-term:

  1. Recognize that the ground has indeed now shifted and the culture’s assumptions on what constitutes faithful, legitimate, life-long loving relationships and families have changed. The Supreme Court’s ruling is indicative of this (not the cause of it).
     
  2. Resist the temptation to rail against this legal ruling as indicative of our culture’s rebellion against God. Some good, Bible-believing Christians will want to embrace an us-versus-them mentality and use this Supreme Court ruling to portray a narrative of us pure, God-loving/God-loved Christians and our values being trampled by wanton, wicked, worldly pagans. This is not the way forward. If you choose to address this issue with your congregation this Sunday, emphasize the ministry challenge of reaching out and bringing God and His transforming, loving power to broken people.
     
  3. Take a breath. Meditate on Phil 4:5-8. Perhaps the better part of wisdom is to ensure that our hearts are right with the Lord and that we are engaging others with “gentleness.”

For the long-term:

Let us seek to develop in ourselves and in our communities of faith these qualities:

  1. Recognize and regularly communicate that we are all “on the way” (none of us has arrived). We are all broken, including in our sexuality.
     
  2. Value chastity and sexual purity and rebuke sexual promiscuity outside of marriage. Affirm those who are single, and commend those who are not married and are seeking to live faithful to God in sexual purity.
     
  3. Uphold the family, and affirm faithfulness and fidelity to those who are covenantally committed in marriage. Recognize that what families look like from now on will likely be different. With Jesus as our Guide, let us prepare ourselves and our congregations for welcoming families that represent a “new diversity.”
     
  4. It may be helpful to recall how men having multiple wives in the Ancient Near Eastern context must have broken God’s heart. Yet He was still willing to work within these cultures to uphold what was good and best in those ancient cultures.
     
  5. Especially with our young people, address same-sex attraction as one element regularly, commonly, and normally confronted as an aspect of our brokenness. Let us make our communities of faith a safe place for all who are challenged or harmed or continue to be tempted in areas of sexual brokenness. 
     
  6. Remind our congregations that our primary identity lies in our being a follower of Christ, a child of God. Our primary LOVE is for God and for one another as brothers and sisters in Christ (none of which is sexualized love or sexually-expressed love).

We are in new territory here.  That’s my short list of initial thoughts.  I’m interested in yours. 


Todd Mangum is the Academic Dean and Professor of Theology at Biblical.  He is ordained by the Southern Baptist Convention.  Todd is the author of The Dispensational-Covenantal Rift, and of several articles seeking to bridge divides among Bible-believing Christians. He is married to Linda and they have three sons.  See also http://www.biblical.edu/index.php/todd-mangum.

Other articles from our blog that might be of interest:

   

Written by Phil Monroe Friday, 21 June 2013 00:00

Tomorrow – June 22 -, Biblical Seminary will hold its 2013 graduation. Faculty, MA, MDiv, and DMin students will put on their funny-looking garb, discuss the meaning of the regalia, make sure their hats are on right, and then file in to the auditorium. Friends and family will take pictures and cheer as their loved one crosses the stage to receive a diploma. A select few will receive special awards. All will listen to student testimonies of how their education changed their life. All will listen to an invited speaker give a commencement address.

It is a glorious moment. But I suspect many feel that graduations are silly and meaningless. Speakers may talk too long and still not say much of value. The pomp and circumstance is a bit much, you think. The silly regalia harkens back to some era long since meaningless. In an hour or so, we’ll put it all away and go back to everyday life.

So, what is so important about graduation?

  1. It is an opportunity to celebrate. If you are the graduate, you get a few hours to celebrate with your peers the completion of years of hard work, tears, and successes. Even better, you get to celebrate those who sacrificed much so you could get that degree. Just as weddings aren’t really about the bride and groom, so graduations ought to be more about those who made your degree possible. If you are family of the graduate, then it is an opportunity to cheer this new graduate on in the next phase of life.
  2. It is an opportunity to remember. Graduates cram lots of information in their heads over the course of a degree program. Most graduate students want to learn, even more want to get good grades. Thus, the focus can become about completing assignments and finishing well. But graduation ceremonies remind us that good grades are FAR from the most important part of education. The ceremonies remind us why we entered the program in the first place. We remember our ministry goals. We remember our callings. We remember how our character has been refined. We remember that millions in the world have never had this opportunity and so we rejoice in God’s kindness to us. That diploma on your wall? It is a “stone of remembrance” that God parted the waters for you to walk through to the other side.
  3. It is an opportunity to evaluate. Celebrations take a pause from everyday life. Graduation celebrations provide an opportunity to review what priorities may need to change. What did you stop doing for the season of graduate school that now needs to be restarted? What bad habits might need some attention? What neglected relationships might need some repair? What arrogances did you develop along with your increased knowledge? In one month (hey, maybe even in one day!) you won’t remember what the speaker had to say at graduation. But, if you forget to look in mirror (James 1), you may be in danger of damaging important relationships.

Sadly, I will miss this year’s graduation due to a conflict with an airline ticket to Rwanda. I will miss celebrating with my counseling students the completion of a very rigorous two years of study. I will miss sharing those last goodbyes and a final discussion about the path God appears to be leading them on. But, somewhere over Ethiopia, I will be celebrating, along with a great cloud of witnesses, the race marked out for my students!


Phil Monroe is Professor of Counseling & Psychologyand Director of the Masters of Arts in Counseling Program at Biblical. He also directs Biblical’s new trauma recovery project. You can find his personal blog at www.wisecounsel.wordpress.com.

   

Written by The Entire Biblical Staff and Faculty Friday, 14 June 2013 14:29

After 27 years, Dr. David G. Dunbar is handing the reins of the presidency to Dr. Frank James on July 1, 2013. Dr. James will become Biblical’s fourth president.

Dave’s relationship with Biblical dates back to the school’s beginning. Having completed two years at Faith Seminary, he transferred to Biblical the year the school opened in 1971, graduating with the first class of nine students in 1972.

After earning his PhD at Drew University, he joined the faculty of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL in 1980. Six years later, he was invited to become president of Biblical, a school not yet accredited. In fact, the initial evaluation team from the Middle States Association advised Dave that Biblical was not prepared even to pursue accreditation. Their opinion was sobering: “It will take a miracle for Biblical to receive accreditation.”

Dave and the board of trustees accepted their assessment as a challenge from the Lord. Through hard work, determination, and consistent prayer, Biblical was accredited in March 1990!

Dave’s greatest contribution to Biblical and to the larger church has been his patient, persistent determination to help Biblical expand beyond its “Reformed fundamentalist” roots toward a generous orthodoxy. This shift has produced a community rich in diversity, on a trajectory of growth, and with a resolute focus on the missional heart of God. The percentage of female students at Biblical has more than tripled, and there has been dramatic growth among African-American, Asian, and Latino students. In addition, Biblical has added an urban location in North Philadelphia to complement the academic and residential campuses in Hatfield. (The residential campus was acquired in 1995.)

In the words of Dr. James, “Because of Dave’s leadership, Biblical is unlike any seminary I have ever known. Carolyn and I want to be a part of this.” On behalf of the board of trustees, faculty, staff, and the nearly 1,700 graduates, “Thank you, President Dunbar!”

Please leave a note for Dr. Dunbar in the comments section below.

   

Written by David Dunbar Wednesday, 12 June 2013 00:00

 I am not a movement kind of guy, whether we are talking about religious movements, or political movements, or . . . whatever. I have numerous reasons. 

  1.  I find that most movements attract a certain number of followers with wacky ideas.  These wacky ideas quickly get associated with the major tenets of the movement and subsequently attributed to all the followers. Count me out.
  2. Zealotry also becomes a problem. The cause advocated by the group tends to become all-important and all-consuming in a way that leads to excess.  Part of a healthy life (including a healthy spiritual life) is balance, and joining a movement is a strong encouragement to imbalance . . . not always, but you get my drift.
  3. One particular manifestation of this excess is the move toward certainty. Movements frequently develop cultures that drift increasingly from dialogue to dogmatism.  The opinions of the group are no longer debatable—they are affirmations of absolute truth which no right-thinking person would question. Those outside the movement frequently perceive this dogmatic stance as arrogance; however, for those inside, it is merely a deep commitment to that which self-evidently the TRUTH.
  4. Certainty leads easily to the assumption that there are two kinds of people in the world: those who know the TRUTH of the movement and those who don’t; those who are right and those who are wrong; those who care and those who don’t; etc. In other words, there is frequently a lack of nuance.
  5. The previous characteristics contribute to a further dynamic which is the reason for this blog.  I would call it “circling the wagons.”  This is a defensive maneuver frequently deployed anytime a representative of the movement comes under criticism, even if the criticism is one not directly related to the tenets of the group. The psychology of this response seems to be something like this:  Any member of our group is obviously on the side of the angels—they surely see and adhere to the TRUTH as do we. Therefore, it is highly unlikely--not impossible perhaps--but HIGHLY unlikely that any criticism of our ideas, character, or behavior has any merit.  It may in fact be just an effort by the opposition to destroy the credibility of our movement.

This brings me to the recent response of some high profile Neo-Reformed leaders to the civil case filed against Sovereign Grace Ministries and a number of its leaders, particularly C.J. Mahaney a founder and until recently president of the denomination.  The civil suit alleges a pattern of abuse, including some cases of child sexual abuse, endemic to SGM churches. Much of the abuse is alleged to have occurred in connection with Covenant Life Church in Gaitherburg, Maryland, where Mahaney served as senior pastor for 27 years. Key SGM leaders, including Mahaney, have been charged with covering up the problems. The civil case was recently dismissed on the grounds that under Maryland’s statute of limitations nine of the eleven plaintiffs waited too long to report the alleged abuse; the remaining two cases were dismissed because they centered in another state.  The court’s decision is under appeal. It may also be followed by a criminal suit.

Now for those of you who haven’t been following the story and don’t know the players, C.J. Mahaney is a passionate preacher and a council member of the Neo-Reformed group called “The Gospel Coalition.” He is also one of the four founding members of “Together for the Gospel”—another arm of the Reformed movement.  Over the last year pressure has mounted on both organizations to offer some comment on the SGM suit and the alleged involvement of Mahaney.  Both groups released statements following the dismissal of the civil suit. (You can read them here and here.)

The statements expressed support for Mahaney and generally read the dismissal of the civil suit as a vindication of SGM and their friend.  This prompted a storm of protest in the blog world where both statements were seen as attempts to whitewash a deeply dysfunctional church culture. Boz Tchvidjian, the founder of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) has written powerfully about the silence of evangelical leaders regarding the case and the lack of concern evidenced in these statements for those who have been victimized for years. 

My concern in this blog is to explore the way in which “movement thinking” may have negatively impacted the statements of T4G and The Gospel Coalition. I should first say that both responses build off the authors’ deep friendship with C.J. Mahaney. It is appropriate that friends should stand by one another, especially in times of distress, loss, and opposition. What sort of friend would not do this? On the other hand, those we love can make mistakes--sometimes appalling mistakes, and if they do, even friends need to ask hard questions. 

Did Mahaney’s friends ask the hard questions?  I don’t know. They did remain silent publicly until the lawsuit was dismissed. And unfortunately, now that they have spoken, the statements come off as highly biased and even misleading. Consider this statement from “Together for the Gospel”: 

A Christian leader, charged with any credible, serious, and direct wrongdoing, would usually be well advised to step down from public ministry. No such accusation of direct wrongdoing was ever made against C. J. Mahaney. Instead, he was charged with founding a ministry and for teaching doctrines and principles that are held to be true by vast millions of American evangelicals.1 For this reason, we, along with many others, refused to step away from C. J. in any way. 

This is a strange interpretation, since Mahaney has been accused in the lawsuit of failure to report child sexual abuse and conspiracy to cover up the crimes.  He was not charged with “founding a ministry and for teaching doctrines and principles that are held to be true by vast millions of American evangelicals.” This awkward statement suggests that Mahaney is being persecuted for simply doing what good Christian leaders do—plant churches and teach the truth. Is the point that because he has done these good things, he cannot have done what the plaintiffs allege? I am confused. 

The statement from The Gospel Coalition is more nuanced, but still tendentious. The authors point out that the suit was a civil rather than a criminal case. They leave us with the impression that the plaintiffs may be concerned more with money than with justice:  “And note that this was a civil suit, not a criminal complaint. While they [the plaintiffs] certainly believe crimes were committed, this lawsuit itself was only seeking monetary damages.” It is difficult not to read this as a variation of a “blame-the-victim” argument, although I don’t think that was the intention. 

The authors express the opinion that “the entire legal strategy was dependent on a theory of conspiracy that was more hearsay than anything like reasonable demonstration of culpability.” Of course “hearsay” comes close to suggesting that most of this disturbing case is just mean-spirited gossip by disaffected church members. 

But perhaps most troubling is the default to the secular courts to decide whether this case merited further consideration:  “We deemed it wiser to let an impartial judge rule on whether the case should be considered, making a determination based on all the facts available.” The authors believe that discerning the truth is ultimately impossible:  “Can anyone say with certainty who is innocent and who is guilty in these multiple allegations spanning several decades?” Well, no, not with certainty, but how about with probability? Are there not highly competent Christians trained to recognize and deal with various types of abuse who could and would give help to SGM to sort out this mess?  And wouldn’t it be good for the friends of C.J. Mahaney to advocate for a transparent audit of SGM by an independent Christian agency? 

At this point, none of his friends have asked for such an audit. This seems more than a case of friends supporting friends. The movement is speaking. The wagons have circled.

1. Some time after the initial posting, this paragraph was changed.  The two sentences I have italicized were replaced by the sentence:  “We believe this lawsuit failed that test.”

Dave Dunbar is president of Biblical Seminary. He has been married to Sharon for (almost) 44 years. They have four grown children and seven grandchildren.

   

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