Thinking Out Loud

May 1, 2010

Pyromaniacs: Don’t Tease Your Readers and Call It Serious Discussion

I’m not sure what to make of Thursday’s post by Dan Phillips at Team Pyro.   On the surface of it, it looks like a major concession for a conservative reformer to make:  “Women Must Preach in Church.”  (The use of must is probably the giveaway.)

But the (entire) text of the post says, “…on one occasion.”   And guess what, gang?  Despite the timing, he ain’t talkin’ Mother’s Day.

The text is also a link which takes you to:

For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.  ~ I Cor 11: 26 ESV

(Well c’mon… if you know anything about that blog, you know it’s gonna be ESV)

So immediately, readers take the bait.

So then, after a bit of discussion about the role of women in the church, he reins it in:

OK, an ANNOUNCEMENT. I’d like to take this back to the topic of the post: the proclamation that is the Lord’s Supper.

I’m going to be pretty firm on this. My one regret about the last meta was not enforcing my call, after the first comment, to get back to the topic. So let’s stick with the topic.

So finally on topic, there’s some good discussion about this that you can read for yourself.  For those who don’t it’s basically about whether or not what some of us call “communion” is an act of worship or an act of proclamation or testimony.   And if it’s what others call “the Lord’s Supper” is a form of proclamation, who are we proclaiming it to?  (Especially when in some quarters this is often a separate, closed service only attended by believers in the first place.)

The problem here is that Pyromaniacs is widely read, and like I wrote a few days ago on the subject of prayer, every church’s — and every individual’s — understanding and expression of what yet others call “the Eucharist” is quite different.

So it’s a fair discussion on a worthwhile topic, and being good reformers, a few of the 160+ comments toss in the phrase, “the heart of the Gospel” just for good measure.

But I still say you shouldn’t bait your readers with what appears to be topic “A” when you really want to discuss topic “B.”

And don’t bring up topic “A” at all if you feel it just opens up a can of worms.   Because I think this time around, your readers thought topic “A” was equally worthy of discussion.

1 Comment »

  1. Me again.

    My concern about “the heart of the gospel” will come up in another post sometime in the next month or so.

    Over the last few years, I’ve been aware that one particular segment of Christ followers has chosen to spend great amounts of energy answering the question “What is the Gospel?” In the meantime, everyone else has been busy living the gospel and sharing the gospel.

    Words, words, words.

    Blah, blah, blah.

    I believe the Spirit of God will cause the unbeliever to know the gospel is the gospel when they hear it. Or see it lived out.

    It’s like the people who get upset whenever somebody says Jonah was swallowed by a whale and they feel the need to correct them and say, “great fish.”

    It may have some zoological relevance but it totally misses the point.

    But that’s not what this about, and like I said, it’s a post for another week.

    Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — May 1, 2010 @ 11:22 am

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