J Walking

J Walking


Darrell Bock takes on Ann Coulter

posted by David Kuo

Yesterday I have an email forwarded to me from someone who says they want to take up my “challenge” about Christians and Ann Coulter. The “someone” is Darrell Bock. For those who might now know him:

Darrell Bock is Research Professor of New Testament Studies and Professor of Spiritual Development and Culture at Dallas Theological Seminary. The author of over 20 books, including a New York Times Best seller, his specialties includes study of the historical Jesus, as he was a Humboldt scholar at the University of Tübingen in Germany and is editor at large for Christianity Today. He has made numerous appearances on national television about issues related to Christianity.

Here are his thoughts on Coulter and Christians:

Godless Author Needs to Think Again–And So Do We
As a theologian I have been watching with interest for some time the tone of some of our political discourse. In sum, it often resembles what one might expect to hear on an elementary school playground. So maybe some straight talk to five year olds is in order. The only problem is that it is not just the two families that are being invoked but the entire community of our body politic. There is a genuine need for a respectful engagement on the real issues of our time, not a polemicizing, self-promoting, mocking handling of opponents. Nothing has made that more apparent than the “work” and approach of Ann Coulter.
She needs to be called out for hiding behind an argument that “they do it, too.” This sounds exactly like something a five year old would say. It actually reflects very poorly on the cause she attempts to defend. More than that, she needs to be rebuked for arguing about how godless others are when the moral level of her own discourse relies on making fun of others using not so veiled personal attacks. Listeners clearly see such remarks as what they are–tasteless–while she attempts to say she really was not addressing the person directly. In my business, that is called a lie. It is a godless thing to do. If conservatives are going to try to argue for the high ground, they need to see that her type of argument cuts the ground from underneath them, as it smells of being hypocritical. Yes, it stinks to high heaven.
The connection some make between conservative causes and the Christian faith is also clouded by such tactics. Although Jesus could and did confront starkly (see his remarks about Pharisees), he also hung out with them (as well as others) and did regularly engage them in substantive issues and respectful dialogue. Interestingly, Jesus was often hardly on those supposedly on the “inside” versus those he actively sought who were often perceived as being on the other side of righteousness. Moreover, his call to love one’s enemies, even to the point of praying for his executioners as he hung on the cross, sets a decidedly different standard for those of faith in how they engage opponents. When Christians embrace godless tactics in the name of God and country (or the other way around), they deny the pedigree they so passionate seek to affirm.
Making fun of the tragic death of a child, teasing about sexual orientation, or joking about wanting to see a terrorist at work against someone is wrong, whether it comes from the left or the right.
Her attacks on John Edwards and her dismissal of his wife Elizabeth’s attempts to politely ask in a very Southern way for her to stop was not an attempt to get her to stop talking as she claimed. Her suggestion that John should have made the call was a ruse to avoid facing up to the issue she has helped to sustain and, even worse, promote. Her claim that the real goal was to keep her from talking at all was the type of exaggeration that showed no sensitivity to the very real point being made to her. Conservatives who care should say enough and not support her in anyway as long as she insists on traveling this road. Yes, disavow such tactics. They do not help anyone on either side of our debates.
Now let me defend Ann at one point. Her claim is that the other side does it too. She is right on this one. Anyone who has watched political satire knows that both sides are guilty here. But how does it advance the moral standard of our debates to say that the standard is if they do it, then we can do it too? If a teacher were on the playground during such a spat, she would simply say to both children, “Stop it.”
The godless author needs to clean up her act, or, as my Mom used to say, take some soup to your mouth, because if you cannot say it well or nicely, it may indicate that in fact your position is shallower than you let on. Humor, at least the type we are seeing her (and others) use, may actually suggest weakness rather than strength. “If I can’t make a case, then I will put my opponent down and belittle them.”
Democracy deserves better, the serious issues of our body politic require more.
Most importantly, for those who wish for a high moral standard to our country’s community life, someone who claims the high moral ground on issues need not and cannot stoop so low and truly advance the causes they advocate. In fact no matter which side of the left-right fence you are on (or even if you are straddling it), no one can or should condone five year old behavior in what should be a very mature discussion. When it comes to the tone of our political discourse, we all may need to grow up. So let’s pick our models carefully.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(26)
post a comment
Donny

posted June 29, 2007 at 12:06 pm


Mr. Bock,
How do I know you are not just trying to increase the sales/circulation of CT?
Jesus did not straddle the fence. Neither did any of the Apostels. In fact, we both know what happens to the lukewarm do we not?
There is real evil in this world Mr. Bock. It does, as it always has, bear a name. In fact many names. While Truth has but One.
If you “test all things” in light of scripture, it is impossible to see what Liberals are promoting as in any way compatible with the Christian culture and community of the Apostolic mission. “Do what thou wilt . . .” is akin to Wicca. Not the Gospel.
I see you have no problem naming Ann Coulter outright. Who is right about Liberals/Progressives far more than she is insulting. But I see you generalize the Liberals and Progressives into a camp of just a bunch of people we should deal with warm and fuzzy. Try Mel White on for size. He “claims” to “be a Christian” as well. Yet, his actins, words and behaviors testify against his assertion.
But I’m thinking that CT desires NOT to be tormented by Soul Force protesters ranting and “shouting down” your intolerance of desiring to follow the Gospel and not the party-goers.
While people die and suffer by following the absolute lies of Godless Liberal and Progressive ideology with its demonstrable evil so evident, “you” remain silent. Start with same-gender sexual acts becoming something other than immorality by the people over at Sojouners/God’s politics. They are promoting what the Apostles and Christ Jesus taught not to embrace. Offenses will come but WOE to those that bring them. We’ve both heard that threat somewhere right?
Look squarely into the Liberals’ eyes as they promote and encourage sodomy be embraced by five-year old children – which they are doing in Massachusetts – and preach the Gospel. Can you?
While you search for neologism to find the words to incorporate the acceptance of abomination in the name of Diversity and Tolerance (new names for two old gods) people are dying and suffering at a rate that staggers the mind.
And then there is the never-ending drive of a “certain political” class of people to tax us all into Marxist (godless) submission. Democrats and Liberals one and all.
And the “Christian” says . . . . . . . . . . . .?
Sir, it looks as if you are firmly planting your feet on top of a not to cool and not to hot fence.



report abuse
 

l'etranger

posted June 29, 2007 at 12:12 pm


David
thanks for linking to this – an encouraging and God-honoring response. I wait for Professor Bock to be libeled, as you and others have been, as a traitor and not really a christian, for having the temerity to challenge wickedness.
Keep up your excellent work



report abuse
 

l'etranger

posted June 29, 2007 at 12:15 pm


Sorry just to point out that I started to respond before the previous post was published.



report abuse
 

Kathy

posted June 29, 2007 at 12:22 pm


Darrel I do understand your point of view but in our political climate of hate from the democrats we need someone outspoken to bring things to light. Yes she is harsh at times but she gets the attention and brings to light the subjects that most hide from. Now talk radio is going to be attacked by the democrats because they bring to the people knowledge that the democrats don want us to know. Talk about Godless look how they are using God for a vote and where is the attack on them? So Shut everyone up who disagrees with the liberal way is the American way??? Next they will tackle the computer where I get most of my information anyway. I was a democrat until 1/07 when I changed to independent status due to the hateful behavior of the democrats toward our President and lack of support for the war on Terror. The war is in the state it is because of the partisonship and need for power and greed. The terrorist are watching and reacting hoping we will leave so they will take over. You don’t have to agree but you don’t have to promote hate. The fall of the Roman Empire is going repeat with the fall of America if we keep on this track. GOD BLESS AMERICA and I pray the American Citizens get their head out of the sand and realize yes the terrorist can attack again.



report abuse
 

Brian

posted June 29, 2007 at 12:47 pm


Donny,
I don’t believe Dr. Bock was suggesting anyone ought to straddle the fence or be lukewarm about the issues that make up our national discourse. As you note, some of those issues are spoken to directly by the Scripture.
Dr. Bock is challenging us to to address those issues with directness and kindness.
In responding to Dr. Bock, you provided an example of precisely what he has suggested is inappropriate for a Christian. For instance, is it standing for the truth to suggest that Dr. Bock is acting for pecuniary motives? Would it not be common courtesy (not to mention Christlike; 1 Cor. 13:7) to assume that he speaks because he is truly concerned about this topic?
The remainder of your post similarly fails to interact substantively with Dr. Bock. You raise a number of issues which Dr. Bock did not address in this post: the existence of evil, Wicca, Mel White, Soul Force, Sojourners, sodomy, diversity, tolerance, Marxism, and the Democrats. Your post implies that you believe Dr. Bock supports or fails to oppose these ills. But Dr. Bock nowhere in his post supports these issues/people/groups, nor does he suggest that opposition to them is off-limits. He simply asks that we engage these issues substantively.
Do your words match the tone of Scripture?
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (ESV).
This kind of love takes discernment to practice: Philippians 1:9-11 “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent,”
But the stakes are high: “and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”
Resist the temptation to dismiss these passages because of the Bible’s emphasis on defending the truth. The Bible does not pit truth and love against one another. It is possible to stand boldly as a warrior for the truth and to do so with a heart overflowing with love toward the lost with whom you are speaking.
Ephesians 4:15 “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.”
Brian



report abuse
 

Andrea

posted June 29, 2007 at 12:57 pm


We are playing right into what both the right and the left want. We are politicizing God and Jesus. People, The Father, The Son,and The Holy Ghost are not political entities. God will not be mocked. Ann Coulter may call herself a Christian but her personal behavior doesn’t say it. Jesus said, “You will know them by their fruits”. Well, her fruit is rotten. I don’t care about her politics, she is simply not a good representation of what a Christian should be. What would Jesus do, indeed. I know I’ll be demonized for this post, but I don’t care. She doesn’t care about real Christian behavior, just keeping her name in the news.



report abuse
 

Doug

posted June 29, 2007 at 2:29 pm


At the very least, those who engage in childish namecalling should not then claim that the response is anti-Christian.



report abuse
 

Denny Burk

posted June 29, 2007 at 2:46 pm


I am a Christian, and I am conservative both theologically and politically. But I do not approve of Ann Coulter’s acerbic tongue. Some people think that it doesn’t matter how you say it as long as your are right. Christians know better than that.
Proverbs 15:1-2 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, But the mouth of fools spouts folly.”
Colossians 4:6 “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person.”
w w w . d e n n y b u r k . c o m



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted June 29, 2007 at 4:36 pm


David:
Thanks you for posting Dr. Bock’s comments. I was especially struck by this:
“Although Jesus could and did confront starkly (see his remarks about Pharisees), he also hung out with them (as well as others) and did regularly engage them in substantive issues and respectful dialogue.”
This passage reminded me of a prayer:
“Lord, I thank thee that I am not as other men; extortioners, unjust, or even as this publican.”
The Pharasee’s prayer (from the parable of the pharisee and the publican) sounds like much of what passes for political commentary throughout the political spectrum. Wouldn’t it be far better if we asked for God’s mercy as we tried, however imperfectly, to humble ourselves to His will?



report abuse
 

Donny

posted June 30, 2007 at 12:17 am


Brian,
What an impressive word “pecuniary.” It’s one of those two-dollar words you find a professional columnist using to impress his equals. The laity just cruises by it thinking its about food.
But Brian, a liar knows you are calling him/her a liar even if you are being nice about it. Jesus was both nice and insultingly direct to saint and sinner alike. Jesus was not executed for being tolerant and for promoting diversity. It was His absolutes that got Him killed.
You were perceptive in cutting me off at the pass with “contending” for the faith versus being warm and fuzzy towards any and all perspectives. My point is always directed at the wolves in sheeps clothing, the weeds in the grass, the chaff from the wheat. I am not an evangelist. I am more like the guy the shepard hires to drive away the predators from the flock.
When Bock uses an analogy like not teasing peope about their sexual proclivities, the enemies of Christians, ubiquitous throughout the Gay/Lesbian culture and community, see his words as a ringing endorsement for sodomy reclassified as civil rights to be defended by new laws. Christians should make every attempt at supporting the Gospel and the faith that so many of the early Christians were killed for, against those without moral worth. Many Christians of Roman times were killed by the same kinds of people that follow liberal and progressive ideology and theology in 2007.
My response was delivered to Mr. Bock as my experience in life guides me to give him the advice I think he needs to hear (see). It is a precarious thing to be nice to our enemies without them thinking and truly celebrating the fact that you just gave them a ringing endorsement to not only continue unabated in their immorality, but also to encourage others to join them. In the case with people like Mel White, like the typical Leftist/Liberal/Progressive, if you do not submit to his heresy and abomination, he and his hordes see it as you committing a crime against them.
It reminds me of Jude’s advice to Christians as he was seeing through time:
A call to persevere
But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
\\\
Jude, like the other writers of the New Testament were speaking as much to us in our day, as they were to the Christians of the early Church. Don’t buy the Liberal lie about the ages. Some things were never meant to change or be changed. Like marriage for example.
Brian,
Even though I am a sinner as typical as anyone, should I help pomote and encourage others to sin? Or, like a man that is drowning in a bad boat, shouldn’t I warn others not to buy the boat I did? Or do I lie and tell them the ship is sound if they choose it?
If a Christian the likes of Mr. Bock weighs in and admonishes Mzzzzz. Coulter, about her behavior, the enemies of Christians (unimagineably numerous in scope) see it as him supporting their side. To me its just that simple, because of the use of cause and effect.
If you support those that support abomination and revel in gross evil, isn’t that also un-Christian?



report abuse
 

Darrell Bock

posted June 30, 2007 at 12:44 am


Donny:
I am not sure of your ability to read my motives by just reading what I write. So let me try to make myself clear, in case the misunderstanding stems from my not being clear the first time. I am well aware of Bill Maher (and many others) on the other side who are as guilty as Ann Coulter (and noted such without naming them in the original post), but I believe you missed my key point. When Ann Coulter claims to speak for conservatives but resorts to the type of tone she consistently does without apology, then she undercuts her own message and her goals and damages the case for all of us. My point was decidedly not to endorse the “other” side or its arguments. When Ann Coulter speaks insensitively about a child’s tragic death as she did with the Edwards’ child, she has crossed a line and she should be rebuked by those of us who care about the case we wish to make with others.
I read your own citation of Jude with interest. How is what Coulter does “showing mercy” to her enemies but with fear? When we rebuke we are to look to ourselves to be sure we are not guilty of the same kind of error (Gal 6:1). My hope is that all of us can learn from what our faith calls us to be.
Darrell Bock



report abuse
 

Donny

posted June 30, 2007 at 8:58 am


Mr. Bock,
Thank you for your reply.
Let’s look at this:
“You’re obese,” says the good Doctor to his patient.
How rude. How “insensitive” it appears that the good doctor is. Yet, the accurate word for the ailment “a wake-up call” is called for when the ill person refuses reality. Jesus was harsh many, many times was He not? Ceratinly he would be critical towards Ms. Coulter. But what about the filth that Liberals cover up with deception and malice?
From Ann Coulter on her blog about the Edwards situation: http://www.anncoulter.com/cgi-local/welcome.cgi
So for those of you who haven’t read any of my five best-selling books:
Here is my full sentence on “Good Morning America,” which the media deceptively truncated, referring to a joke I told about Edwards six months ago that made liberals cry: “But about the same time, you know, Bill Maher was not joking and saying he wished Dick Cheney had been killed in a terrorist attack — so I’ve learned my lesson: If I’m going to say anything about John Edwards in the future, I’ll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot.”
\\\
I have suffered the same fate as Mr. and Mrs. Edwards. In fact more accurately, my son did. PLEASE do not offer me your condolence. I’m not fishing for that. Nor can any be offered in reality. NO ONE can know the feeling inside a parent that loses a child. It is such intense agony that I cringe to even mention it here on this blog.
Now, do I wish that Ann Coulter change her tone?
Yes. But Liberals will not allow for dissent in any way, shape, or form. They want complete and total submission of all. They know it and so do we. We are up against liars that lie without conscience or care. Abortion is the PERFECT example. Taxation is another. Marriage and decency more examples.
Do I agree that Liberalism – in the very real sense of the word – is driven by Satanic powers? It sure looks like it when compared to the words written by the Apostles. Which include the quotes of Christ Jesus. Which I do not alter for my politics, or, for my sins to go away. I have backed that up with scripture. I invite anyone to test my position BY scripture. You cannot deal with the powers and principalites driving the issues surrounding politics with hugs and kisses.
I believe Jude is not talking about those that willing chose the fire, to be snatched out, but those drawn near to them. How do you tell someone not to be around Liberals and Progressives and not draw some ire from the Liberal or Progressive? Is that not backed up by scripture? They, like Liberalism, are seeking those others for a purpose and by a reason. Really, seriously, do you think that the ideology of modern-day Liberalism and Progressive thought is Angelic? Godly? Decent ot pure? Their “progress” is taking us backwards to Rome and Sodom. Now how do you contend for the faith against that with warm and fuzzy hugs?
2007 Liberalism does not align itself with the Gospel. It aligns itself with Marxism or Greek-Roman hedonism. The proof is on the street and in the populace. That is why I refer to Liberals as Re-Romans. Now, do I ever demand that non and Anti-Christians become Christians? No. I follow the Gospel on that. But when people come along and put the mantle of Christian identity on their words and deeds, it my duty to those that I love and am supposed to love, to test them.
Coulter is “showing mercy” no differently than the doctor that uses harsh language and/or accurate words to desribe the condition of the person that can quite possibly die from what they ingest. Is smoking, taking drugs, promiscuity and porking out until YOU are the pig, “nice” things to talk about? Let alone TO the person indulging in said “bad things?” How do you tell a fat person that it is their fault for being fat? No one wants to hear about their culpability anymore. Why? Liberalism gives an excuse for everything. Certainly we should not tease people that engage in sexual immorality of same-gender sex acts, but if we, “as Christians,” do not speak the truth about sexual immorality, we encourage THEM to encourage others. The Apostles made that immutably clear. I mean what’s next since divorce is as common as a cup of coffee, same-gender marriage? Oops too late huh?
Christians are thought of as idiots, ignorant and uneducated twits because we haven’t stood up to the bullies that have corralled us into to our ghetto existence. How many Christians come from the world that Liberals willing still live in? I know I’m one.
I fault the wimpy stance of many authors/writers the likes of which I read in my subscription to Christianity Today, for the power acheived by Liberals, Progressives and the Democrat political power machine. Keep the GOP accountable for their big business sins, but the Republicans do not openly revile Christians and legislate our demise. Democrats do.
Ann Coulter may need to tone down her language as a courtesy to her brothers in sisters that she claims she is part of. But notice that no one is demanding that of the degenerates “on the Left” that attack her day in and day out.
She should not be faulted for slipping up while fighting alone. Where are her brothers and sisters defending her?



report abuse
 

Darrell Bock

posted June 30, 2007 at 9:16 am


Donny:
Thank you for your patience with me. Again. you need to be urged to read carefully and not just react. The fourth from last paragraph in the post does say that blame goes on both sides (and that Ann was right about something). The illustration at the end has the teacher rebuke both sides. The point about Coulter was she should know better. (As for your reading of Jude, that is far less than clear).
As to your doctor illustration, it is one thing to say this is what you are in danger of because you do X or Y or the scale says you weigh X number of pounds. (perfectly OK to raise), it is another to cast a personal slur at someone. That is the difference between a substantive challenge and a remark that crosses the line. One is fair; the other is a foul.
But I will not complain as you do acknowledge that her act needs taming. She can be defended when her tone matches her claimed position. Until then making the distinction is crucial because she ends up not representing what she stands for well.



report abuse
 

Marlene

posted June 30, 2007 at 3:45 pm


I should have listened to David and just not read Donny’s column, but when I saw that Darrell Bock graciously responded, I felt that I had to read it. I will be brief. Donny has certain pet issues that he calls sin — “abominations and gross evils.” Strangely and tellingly, they are not the issues with which Jesus seems mostly to be concerned, e.g., hypocrisy, injustice, selfishness, faithlessness, etc., etc. Wouldn’t it make sense for a follower of Jesus to actually follow Jesus’ example?
By the way, I can just imagine the “good doctor” illustration had it been written by Ann Coulter; “You fat slob (with chubby legs!) get off your behind and lay off the Big Macs.”



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted July 1, 2007 at 9:19 am


The problem with Ann Coulter is that she is quickly becoming the mainstream of conservative thought. When was the last time Bill Maher gave the keynote to the liberal equivalent of CPAC? What position does Rosie O’Donnell hold in the DNC? When you point out Ann’s vileness to a “card-carrying conservative Republican”, they always try to defend her…. I know very few Democrats who defend the others, at least in the South, where I’m from, or even acknowledge they have a seat at the table of the Democratic Party.
Ann Coulter doesn’t really bring too much to the table, she’s just mean to people and smirks at them when they try to call her on it……..



report abuse
 

Donny

posted July 1, 2007 at 9:28 am


My use of Jude: “. . . hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.” Shows the connection of the “Apostolic age” is and was no different than ours today.
Anyone thinking that The New Testament is outdated (for other ages) should work in an Emergency Room of any Hospitial or State Prison in the western world.
The Apostles were writing for the Church family until the end of the world. What is called Liberalism and Progressive ideology today is hardly anything new. It is just the same hedonism and decadance repackaged and edited in Microsoft word. Human behavior hasn’t changed since Cain and Abel, Sodom and Gomorrah. New York 2007, Rome AD 70 . . . no difference.
What we seem to forget during all the mudslinging, is that there are people in America, MOSTLY from the Democrat, Liberal, Progressive camp, that are very much enemies of Christians, in every sense of the charge.
Jesus was quoted by the Disciples/Apostles in the Gospels saying many, many things about the correct way of following God. Certainly when tested, the Liberal, Progressive, Democrat actions and behaviors and overall statements of beliefs do not align with what the Christians in the New Testament – including Christ Jesus Himself – set down for followers of “The Way.” “The Way” being a label for “Christians” that followed what we have come to know as Christian life.
“You will know them by their fruits . . .”
Abominations and gross evils, the very things that concerned the Christians that wrote the New Testament include the things that Liberals, Progressives and Democrats truly believe we should propagate, encourage and support “by law.” Well, OK fine. For Baal and Molech worshippers, but Christians were taught by Christ Jesus and the Apostles to not join these kinds of people.
But the taxing of the family (father, mother and children) by Leftist/Liberal/Progressive/Democrat legislation into a communistic state of being; abortion for the convenience of continued promiscuity (immorality to the Apostles); re-defining decency and marriage (which Jesis taught against) for a group of individuals to flaunt their sexual proclivities in public at the cost of a sensible society; and the personal accountability denying agenda of the Left . . ., gives any Christian reason to avoid the Democrat political party like the plague it truly is. Please compare Liberal ideology and theology with the New Testament version of the same.
This is not a game of one-upsmanship. Reemeber that Christians were thought of by the Romans during Nero’s persecutions, as hating the human race. What’s changed? Liberals still have the same opion of Christians that do not submit to Liberal’s behaviors and beliefs.
Christians are in the same situation they have always been in. Facing a populace desiring to implement their worldy and decadent demands on the Church. 2007 Democrat idelogy, fairly represented “now” by Ann Coulter, may have been, once upon a time, something decent. Now it is not. The only thing that Liberals have in common with Christians is “speech” about the poor. What Liberals want done to the poor is anything but Christian. Feeding, clothing and debauchery are not Christian ideals to be connected.
That “some” nice people in the Democrat party are offended (also) by Ann Coulter, should serve as a wake-up call for them to look at and examine themeselves (also). Like Christians are doing with her as we write.
And on war, Liberals are disgusting to say the least. Look at how many human beings are slaughtered daily, monthly and yearly by just Muslim Jihadists, without Liberals marching in large crowds of protesters anywhere in “Islamic” lands against them.
Even Jesus recognized the need for self defense when He warned the disciples to carry a couple of swords as they went through the lands. See Luke chapter 22.
Yes, certainly we Christians should ask, and even demand of our sister Ann Coulter, to stop being rude and vitrioloic towards Liberals. Let them dwell as they do, so comfortably in that world. But we should never forget that the foundations of her accusations and charges against Liberals:
Progressives/Leftists/Humanists/Secularists/Democrats etc., etc., et al . . .,
are valid.
“Test all things, and hold on firmly to the truth.”



report abuse
 

Elisa

posted July 2, 2007 at 1:33 pm


Donny:
It is ironic that you focus on the liberal side and talk about the New Testament being timeless (which it is), but then do not acknowledge that Jesus rebuked both the conservatives (the Pharisees) and the liberals (the Romans, the Saducees, etc.) of his day. You talk a lot about sexual sin (abortion, homosexuality), but do not mention how Jesus addresses the woman caught in adultery and the Samaritan woman at the well. He treated both with decency and kindness—he could have had the adulterous woman stoned or cut down the Samaritan woman with his words. He did neither; he talked to them gently, and both left transformed spiritually.
So many times we, as Christians, believe that we have to make people change by pointing out their errors. It isn’t our wagging fingers that lead to spiritual change; it is God working in the hearts of those who have fallen away. God is sovereign, and He will work in the hearts of those people to change them and help them see what needs to change—just as He continues to do for the believers in His flock. Why do we, as humans, think that it is our role to condemn? What good are we? Who are we to cast the first stone? If anything, it leads us into becoming like the Pharisees of the day—high and mighty hypocrites—whom Jesus chastized, and it means that the only things the people being condemned hear from us are anger and bitterness, neither of which Jesus conveyed in his ministry. The lost will tune out our words and just focus on the manner in which the message was delivered. This is what is going on right now with the recent remarks by Ann Coulter and has been going on with many of the controversial politcal commentators on both the liberal and conservative side.
If we truly want to see lives transformed by God, we have to let Him do the talking. We can still converse about complicated, complex issues, but we need to do so in a manner befitting the God we represent and in a way that maximizes the impact of the message we are trying to pass along. The rest (the conviction and the change of heart) is up to our Master in Heaven.



report abuse
 

Wienigma

posted July 2, 2007 at 3:12 pm


What did Paul, Jude, Ann, Donny, David, Elisa, XYZ, say or do? “He made a SCOURGE, He DROVE them all out, and POURED OUT the changers’ money, and OVERTHREW the tables” “THE ZEAL OF THINE HOUSE HATH EATEN ME UP” The fig tree withered up after He CURSED it. “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies” No enemies in Heaven-must mean here on earth, doesn’t sound like the enemies are invited to share in my bounty. He DESTROYED Sodom and Gomorrah (men, women, babies). LIFE IS A CHOICE, BLESSINGS OR CURSINGS!!!!!



report abuse
 

Bitner

posted July 2, 2007 at 3:13 pm


“Do what thou wilt . . .” is akin to Wicca.
Donny, if you insist on quoting, at least use the whole quote. “And it harm none, do what thou wilt. Love is the law, love under will.”
And the above sentiment is more akin to what Jesus taught than the, ahem, stuff that comes out of your mouth.
To Mr. Bock,
Nicely put, Sir. If more people were like you, I don’t think the world would have as many problems as it does today.



report abuse
 

Jillian

posted July 2, 2007 at 5:15 pm


Yikes. Strangely enough, I worked in an ER for several years. I am not quite sure what supposition of the New Testament is being referred to; to me, the need for mercy and charity- and firmness- to the worst off and lost isn’t one I find only in that book.
The world has changed greatly since 70 A.D. Women, children, and slaves are generally no longer possessions/property. Ethnic tribes are fading away. People are permitted- in fact encouraged- to do jobs and crafts different from those of their parents, as castes start fading away. Agrarian/herder fertility cultism and seed fetishism is fading away, though it leaves us residues like fighting about contraception and abortion. Belief in demonic possession and traditionalistic superstitions and orthopraxies is fading- though it leaves us residues of scientifically unsustainable beliefs about psychiatric illness and homosexuality. The world has enormously more wealth and stability and materially creative power now- a smaller proportion of people dies of famines and plagues, wars, and natural disasters, most of which we now have the power to prevent (though we, sadly, often do not choose to exercise that power). Likewise, we have the material power to collectively poison, burn, or otherwise destroy all meaningful living things on the planet. Anthropology and individual experience has proven that human nature and religion and social structure are highly adaptive and yet extremely stable entities. Science has greatly pushed back the occultisms and occultic perversions of religion that filled public life in Roman times and the Middle Ages. In our time and place, ‘conservative’ Christianity is the significant vehicle of that rejected tradition of gnosticisms.
Spiritually, more revelation of the Divine has taken place and been recorded over the past 2000 years, and more ancient scriptures and teachings preceding or contemporary to those of Jesus of Nazareth are widely accessible now as well. Religious groups which deny the continuity of Divine concern and revelation, or pretend to own it, and therefore discourage the humble search for and embrace of them in prayer and deed, seem to invariably wither and fade in bitterness and bigotry- clinging to their tradition and regressive dogmatisms, fallacies, misreadings of their Scriptures, corruptions, and false prophets. Many such groups are characterized by idealizing and seeking out their own physical destruction- and that of others.



report abuse
 

Timothy

posted July 3, 2007 at 12:36 pm


Dr. Bock,
That is the best post on Ann Coulter I have read as of yet. It really has given me something to think about because what she does is appeal to our fleshly nature, that tendency in us to strike back when Christ calls us to turn the other cheek. Thanks for the reminder.
Blessings
Timothy



report abuse
 

Larry N

posted July 5, 2007 at 2:28 pm


1.With all due respect, professor Bock, you talk like you don’t know what you’re talking about. But, that is a natural and predictable result of getting information from Mainstream Media sources.
Ann Coulter’s jabs were not aimed at “the tragic death of a child…, sexual orientation (I assume you mean “sodomy”), or … wanting to see a terrorist at work against someone.” No matter how many times you repeat these fallacies, Coulter’s sarcasm was directed at 1) John Edward’s repeated invocation of his own son’s tragic death for political gain, 2) the Political Correctness regime that classifies speech-code heretics as in need of therapy (Coulter’s allusion was to a TV actor who, for using the word “faggot” was browbeaten into undergoing therapy, then fired from his job anyway), and 3) the contrast between the Media outrage over her joke about Political Correctness, made at the expense of the preening, Metro-sexual Edwards, and the kid gloves response of the “sensitivity” crowd to Liberal commentator, Bill Mahr’s on-air, non-joking lament at the failure of an actual terrorist attack in Afghanistan, directed at VP Dick Cheney (OK, let’s accept your point that Mahr was what-if-ing, not endorsing the wish that Cheney had been killed. So, Coulter’s premise about Bill Mahr was erroneous, but she was still NOT joking about someone being killed by terrorists, as you claim, but about the double-standard applied to her remarks).
If some first or second-hand consumers of Ann Coulter’s commentary are too ignorant or misinformed to get the point of her humor, she can hardly answer for that. Since you have taken upon yourself to correct Coulter, you should at least address her remarks as they are, rather than as a lazy and/or hostile News Media misreports them.
2.As for Elizabeth Edwards’ phone call to MSNBC’s Hardball program. There is nothing polite (or “Southern” either, for that matter) about the ambush stunt that Chris Matthews and Elizabeth Edwards pulled on Ann Coulter. The attempt to trap Coulter betrayed the insincerity (except to the chronically credulous) of the request to stop picking on Mr. Edwards, and Coulter rightly refused to take the ploy at face value, instead addressing the real purpose of Mrs. Edwards’ tactic, namely to silence an effective critic of her husband’s Presidential candidacy. Nor was there anything godly about Mrs. Edwards confronting Coulter publicly over the claimed offense, rather than first telling Coulter her fault privately to try to reconcile (re: Matthew 18:15). Anyone who actually believes that interested parties, Chris Matthews and Elizabeth Edwards, concocted that awkward moment for Coulter in order to elevate the tone of American political discourse is painfully, perhaps hopelessly gullible.
3.You write that: “Humor, at least the type we are seeing [Coulter] (and others) use, may actually suggest weakness rather than strength. “If I can’t make a case, then I will put my opponent down and belittle them.” Correct me if I’m wrong, but it sounds to me again like you are getting your impressions of Coulter’s polemics second-hand. Leftists don’t hate Ann Coulter because she’s ineffective at making her case.
4.The validity of Coulter’s analysis, in “Godless,” of Liberalism as a secular religion, is unaffected by her own behavior (right or wrong). The book is an expose of what makes Liberalism tick, not a call to holiness. I don’t always like the way Ann Coulter — or Christianity Today, for that matter — chooses to make a point, but with Leftist Secular Humanists coming in like a flood to eradicate our God-given freedoms, I’d rather keep my guns trained on the enemy than take aim at those fighting alongside me who get carried away in the heat of battle.
5.Ann Coulter is a bare-knuckles brawler in the arena of ideas. Not everyone has the appetite or the stomach for that style of argument, but if you prefer the Marquis of Queensberry style to debate the great issues of our day, you may have a hard time getting through passages like Matthew 23:15, 27-28, Galatians 5:12, 19-21, or Isaiah 44:15-20 (to name a few), or worse yet you may forget that Biblical Christianity is much more about TRUTH than it is about niceness, and not even notice when niceness-trumps-truth terms like “sexual orientation” creep into your vocabulary.



report abuse
 

Darrell Bock

posted July 7, 2007 at 4:35 am


Larry:
I am sure that was a bare knuckles Jesus up there on the cross when he asked God to forgive those who crucified him. I believe our calling is to seek to be light and invite people to share in what Christ offers in the gospel, including turning the other cheek, something Coulter’s approach seems not to include. I’d line up the number of passages that urge us to love over the confrontive passages any day (and I did note those in the post)
I also wonder if people reads posts carefully or just react. As I noted in the post, the double standard Ann complains about it true. I said she was right on that point.
As for why Leftists complain, it is because her type of rhetoric poisons the atmosphere, just as some rhetoric on the other side does.
I listen to my children (not to mention many 20 somethings I teach) get frustrated with politics and one of the reasons why is because people do not have conversations about substance but simply trade angry charges (and make arguments one way when it is their guy and another when it is not- I’ll let you all figure out the allusions here). We can do better I am sure. It is not only important to make the right case, but to do so in the right way. The former without the latter is a shell of a real argument. That is why in the end such “humor” is destructive and beneath the view it argues for.
By the way, Coulter actually claimed she did not speak directly about Edwards as you claimed. I actually think you are right about her target being Edwards, but that was my point about her non-denial denial. It was not credible, despite what she said.
Sorry, Larry, but I felt your comment needed to be addressed directly. No bare knuckles here, just a little effort at setting the record straight in a response that ignored the fact that it was not media reports I was dealing with but actual video from the participants.



report abuse
 

Marlene

posted July 7, 2007 at 1:03 pm


I just checked back to see if Larry’s post elicited a response from Darrell Bock. Once again, gracious and kind rather than strident in tone, he defended his position with facts rather than emotionally loaded words. As I re-read Larry’s post I noticed his assertion, “…you may forget that Biblical Christianity is much more about TRUTH than it is about niceness…”
Unfortunately, many folks substitute what THEY believe to be the truth for the real TRUTH (often ‘cherry-picking’ Scripture to suit their particular bias).
Actually, our faith is mostly about LOVE. When Jesus said he was the “Way, the Truth, and the Life,” we need to remember that each of those concepts is grounded in love. “For God so loved…, love one another…” etc.
And furthermore, the final judgment in Matthew 25 is based on how we loved (cared for) the “least of these” and each other, rather than our ability to hurl invective and accusations in trying to get our views across.
God knows our hearts and deepest thoughts. God and God alone will be our judge — thank God!!



report abuse
 

Paul Pettit

posted July 12, 2007 at 12:24 pm


Thanks, Dr. Bock. I appreciate your articulation of this fine line. As a Christ-follower I understand that all of my speech should be “seasoned, as it were, with salt,” and that my utterances should seek to lift up and not tear down. Thanks for weighing in on this timely topic.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted February 27, 2009 at 9:41 am


I realize I’m a little late to the party, having only just stumbled on this blog. But what I see in many of these posts is a situation that has long concerned me.
There are far too many who define their Christian ideals through their political party. This holds true for Republicans and Democrats, but given the nature of the responses here, I focus primarily on Republican Christians. Which defines which–are you primarily Christian, or primarily Republican? I see too many Christians who allow the Republican party define for them what it is to be a Christian.



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting J Walking . This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: Inspiration Report Happy Reading!!!

posted 9:36:25am Jul. 06, 2012 | read full post »

Dancing... or drinking through life
I am not even sure that I know how to do a link anymore. I'm giving it a shot though so, three readers, please forgive me if I mess this up. So Rod Dreher's sister is battling cancer. It is nasty. Their faith is extraordinary. Here's his latest post (I think) There are 8 comments on it. As I scrolle

posted 3:05:22pm Mar. 02, 2010 | read full post »

Back...
I'm back here at JWalking after a bit of time because I just want someplace to record thoughts from time to time. I doubt that many of the thoughts will be political - there are plenty upon plenty of people offering their opinions on everything political and I doubt that I have much to add that will

posted 10:44:56pm Mar. 01, 2010 | read full post »

Learning to tell a story
For the last ten months or so I've been engaged in a completely different world - the world of screenwriting. It began as a writing project - probably the 21st Century version of a yen to write the great American novel - a shot at a screenplay. I knew that I knew nothing about the art but was inspir

posted 8:01:41pm Feb. 28, 2010 | read full post »

And just one more
I have, I think, just one more round of chemo left. When I go through my pill popping regimen tomorrow morning it will be the last time for this particular round of drugs. Twenty-three rounds, it seems, is enough. What comes next? We'll go back to what we did after the surgery. We'll watch and measu

posted 11:38:45pm Nov. 18, 2008 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.