Monday, August 22, 2005



Blogger Adam said...

Sorry, but I love it.

I did my name too. Just got me all pissed off.

Maybe that means we're both doing something good? ;)

9:55 AM  
Blogger Sivin Kit said...

ah you are blogging even before the special date you mentioned :-)

I enjoyed the comments between both of you. Looks like it will turn out well.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Bill Arnold said...

I commend you for responding to this guy. Hope some good comes of it.

10:43 AM  
Blogger EL MOL said...

you are off the charts solipsistic . . .

11:50 AM  
Blogger EL MOL said...

"Finally, I have never found blogs to be a particularly healthy place to debate significant theological issues."


11:54 AM  
Blogger EL MOL said...

I pick up poop every day


In other words, I’m not the antichrist

11:58 AM  
Blogger Caroline said...

interesting to read. i went through the same discussion with another person. never reached any sort of resolution. . . . how can prayers that have been so formative in my own spiritual development be considered paganistic?

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Rhett Smith said...


Good stuff. I used your book at a church the same reaction from some people who were only looking to pick a fight....and challenge anything that was outside of their understanding of modern evangelicalism....

btw....Danielle Hample was my intern a few years ago...tell her hi for me.

Rhett Smith

2:55 PM  
Blogger Don said...

Tony, great reply. Probably the best reply I've seen to those kind of attacks.

After getting to the end, I couldn't control myself and had to add my two cents, which I tried to render, ever-so gently.

I too appreciated the picking up poop stuff... with my wife being pregant, I'm scooping poop (from our cat's litter) all the time... so I too am not the antichrist!

8:47 PM  
Blogger Friar Tuck said...

All I have to say is...thank God I am not there anymore.

My last church I had a pastor who condemned labrynth stuff as a pagan practice.

It is probably you don't put the people who are complaining about you from EMERGING SIDEWAYS BLOG and this guy together. They may just kill one another.

9:00 AM  
Blogger Jared Moore said...

no intention of making anyone angry. The goal was to diminish untruth, and exalt truth. What scriptural basis is there for these things you practice? Is the door open for anything... to Christianize any practice? There must be a line somewhere... where do you draw it? Or do you think that anything is game, concerning prayer practices and methods for worship?--I'm just trying to understand the movement...

12:16 PM  
Blogger The Confessor said...

I normally just watch the electronic jousting...
But I just a question to understand your "quest to understand"...

Are you comfortable with Christmas Trees, American flags and patriotic singing during worship services, using the word "Easter" to refer to the commemoration of the Lord's resurrection, and do you ever blink at a preacher who shares "what the Lord laid on his/her heart"?

Just wondering to what degree you hold to the principle of Sola Scriptura?


3:41 PM  
Blogger Jared Moore said...

I hold to something called the Regulative Principle. Here is its definition according to the Westminster Confession.
"The light of nature showeth that there is a God, who hath lordship and sovereignty over all, is good, and doth good unto all, and is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted in, and served, with all the heart, and with all the soul, and with all the might.[1] But the acceptable way of worshiping the true God is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshiped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scripture."

It hinges on total depravity... that man is incapable of understanding how almighty God wants to be worshipped. The creature only knows what has been revealed by the Creator. The finite can only understand what the infinite has revealed. etc.

8:17 PM  
Blogger Jared Moore said...

If you guys hold to something different, then that's fine... but, only if it’s backed by Scripture... if anything is allowed in worship, what's to keep a group of people from defecating together, claiming that they are worshipping God corporately and it's honoring to Him? If there is no Scripture to stand on... then, who are you to say that the Holy Spirit hasn't told them it's ok?

8:33 PM  
Anonymous partial observer said...

So Jared, am I to understand that your definition of worship within the bounds of Sola Scriptura is based on an extrabiblical source?

8:44 PM  
Blogger Jared Moore said...

partial observer,
do you want me to show you in the Bible? I would be more than happy to...

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Jamie Arpin-Ricci said...


I am glad that you stated your adherence to the Regulative Principle, as it brings a greater understanding of your perspective. However, as it is practiced very differently by people/churches/traditions, I am curious as to what it specifically means for you.

For example, do you celebrate Christmas differently than those outside your tradition? Are contemporary music style allowed in worship?

Another question I have, more out of curiousity of this concept than anything, is this: How do you reconcide the Regulative Principle with Paul's diverse and context specific instructions to Gentile believers? How do you differentiate what, in the Old Testament, is no longer required of us in worship?

The fact is, I could never adhere to the Regulative Principle in good conscience. With this difference in presupposition, the issue of the prayer suddenly becomes secondary.

Thanks for taking the time to explain.


8:49 PM  
Blogger Jared Moore said...

please elaborate... what specific examples are you using?

You said,
"How do you reconcile the Regulative Principle with Paul's diverse and context specific instructions to Gentile believers?"

8:52 PM  
Anonymous partial observer said...

Jared - I understand that the principle and confession that you quote are based on biblical ideas. I don't need to play my concordance can beat up your concordance. What I am pointing out is that you cannot have "Scripture alone!" as a battle cry and then quote something other than scripture to justify it.
To have a principle defined by a confession that is based on the Bible is no different than what Tony and others are doing by holding to practices from Christian tradition that are based in the Bible.
Enough out of me. I told myself I wasn't doing this anymore.
"Everytime I think I'm out they keep pulling me back in."

9:11 PM  
Blogger Jared Moore said...

partial observer... I just didn't want to re-invent the wheel... I don't believe it because the Confession says it... I believe because Scripture teaches it... what Tony and them are doing from tradition is not based on the Bible... show me.

9:15 PM  
Blogger Friar Tuck said...

Scriptural justification of worship practices in Tony's book:

Does it fulfillThe Great Commandment?

Does it produce Fruit of the Spirit?

Does it lift up Jesus as Lord?

The practices in Soul Shaper have done that historically for many in the Christian community. The have more solid grounds scripturally and historically than things like praise music, having a quiet time, or having a Sunday School.

If anybody wants to continue this arguement email me at or ambush my blog. Will be glad to hear from you.

9:22 PM  
Anonymous partial observer said...

Jared - In the continued interest of not reinventing said wheel I will just add my encouragement to that of Tony and others. Read his book for yourself and then decide. I think you will be surprised.

9:23 PM  
Blogger Bryan said...


I happen to come from a Pentecostal background - a tradition in which many members believe in Glossolalia - or "speaking in tongues." Although Tony didn't write about this particular practice, this is also an ancient spiritual practice of the church (and is also practiced among various Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox churches, by the way) and I can show you references in the Bible that support this practice (namely Acts 2:4). (You can view my own thoughts on these matters here - pardon the shameless plug.)

Yet, I have heard Bible-quoting Christians time after time call this practice "unbiblical" or say that it was "taken out of context." I have no issue with Christians who don't ahere to this practice. And I am not trying to add "Glossolalia" to the list of debatable topics on Theoblogy. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on biblical interpretation on these issues. Does this make Pentecostals "Buddhists" or "unbiblical" based on their view of scripture.

Again, not a debate. Just curious.

7:50 AM  
Blogger The Confessor said...

Thanks for your answer about the Regulative Principle. I am aware of the concept.

I still would like to understand the "degree" to which you apply the principle.

I'm not trying to "catch" you or anything...I just desire to understand if you draw any lines in your application of the RP.

Here's my original question:
Are you comfortable with Christmas Trees, American flags and patriotic singing during worship services, using the word "Easter" to refer to the commemoration of the Lord's resurrection, and do you ever blink at a preacher who shares "what the Lord laid on his/her heart"?


8:30 AM  
Blogger Jared Moore said...

I hold to that tongues has ceased (1 Corinthians 13:8). That it was mainly a sign of validation (Rom. 15:19, 2 Cor. 12:12, Heb. 2:3-4, John 20:30,31, John 11:42, John 11:15) The prophets and apostles spoke for God and these validated their authority to start the church on Christ, the chief cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20). Many instances of those speaking in tongues will tell someone to have an interpreter, of course this is biblical... but, what I don't understand is... why do these people always check His Word concerning speaking in tongues? They will test what has been spoken and validate it by the Word of God... if the answer is in the Scriptures, then why is tongues necessary? If the Scripture has been validated by miracles... why is it necessary to have the same miracles today? Did the apostles do miracles to validate what the prophets said? No, they did for what they themselves taught. Good questions...

8:35 AM  
Blogger Jared Moore said...

good questions...
Christmas trees- Christmas is a national holiday... I think we should continually thank God for Jesus' birth, and celebrate it by a changed lifestyle that He is continually producing through us. The Bible doesn't tell us to celebrate it... so, we don't have to... I mainly hang out with the family during that time...

American flags... patriotic songs... nope, don't like this at all... has no place in corporate worship

Using the word easter... don't like this at all either...

what the Lord laid on his/her heart... when a preacher says this, a red flag goes up in my head. Though... I do believe that the Spirit guides you to obedience. It's amazing how when God "lays" something on a preacher's heart, that it's always something that he has previously studied... never something... like audibly "GO TO DEUT. 22:18" and preach this...

I hope these have loosely answered your questions.

8:45 AM  
Blogger Bryan said...


I guess that's the difference between you and me (along with probably most everyone else who has commented on this post).

I would have to leave it at the opinion that I agree with how Mr. Jackson (or Henry Blackaby for that matter) responded to your email: "God speaks through the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church...” (even though I realize you do not agree with this).

For the record, I do sincerely apologize if I came across as argumentative. I think for now I will agree to disagree with your conclusions. My purpose is not to argue with you. As your brother in Christ (with differing opinions and interpretations, although I think we can all agree that we have our faith in Christ in common), I affirm you and the work you are doing with your students - and I want to be an agent of peace and not restless argument. Peace and blessings to you.

9:01 AM  
Blogger Jared Moore said...

thank you for your time. I do however feel I am doing what I've been commanded from Scripture: Test all things... hold fast that which is good (1 Thess. 5:20,21)... also...1 Peter 3:15... be ready to give a defense for the hope that is in you... also, 2 Timothy 4:2-5... reprove, rebuke, exhort with complete patience and teaching, etc.
-I agree to disagree as well.

9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Google Talk is up, running, more open and as clear as Skype...
As you can see, the Windows client is pretty basic, but functional. It is necessary to have a gmail account to sign up for the service - " by invitation it sounds like.
My Acne Recourses site, covers Acne Recourses related stuff.

10:46 AM  
Blogger Jenell said...

I don't know your e-mail, so hopefully you'll find this buried in the comments. DO you know the word for the monastic schedule? I've seen a chart of a Benedictine 24-hour-schedule, and there was a word for it. (The place I heard about it was in a lecture for a class I co-taught, and I can't remember what the other prof said!). If you have an idea of what i'm talking about, will you let me know?

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gaza disengagement coverage splintered by factional views online
"What happened last week can only be described as horrific, and all who were there have been painfully altered by the psychological trauma and are experiencing emotional aftershocks.
Hey, you have a outstanding blog here! I will certainly recommend your blog to my colleagues ! I have an cholesterol medication articles site. It just about handles everything that relates to cholesterol medication articles material. If you can make the time, please come and check it out.

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Silence From Mayor on Blog
Nonetheless, Williams decided to do a cannonball dive into the new world of blogs.
Learn about satellite dishes, programming, installation, and multi-room systems at Directtv Washington. Select the best Directtv Washington Satellite TV System for your needs.

11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have bookmarked you for future reference. Please check out this
page too!

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed your blog.

I have a site about horse racing betting

check it out if you want

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Silence From Mayor on Blog
Nonetheless, Williams decided to do a cannonball dive into the new world of blogs.
My business debt relief blog site, covers business debt relief blog related stuff.

11:59 AM  
Blogger David M said...

I know I'm posting late . . .

So Jared doesn't like Tony's book nor his applauding of centering prayer. So what.

So he doesn't like what has been helpful to many over the years. So he thinks it's "Eastern" and doesn't actually know the history of centering prayer nor the scope of "Eastern" (either in general or as in "Eastern Orthodox"). So he'd probably love the guys that really put words to centering prayer. So he thinks "sola scripture" is Biblical. So he quotes non-scriptural works.

So he's at a different place and doesn't like your place.

To quote a wise old man: treat a fool like a fool and you'll get a fool's response, treat a fool better than a fool and you may pull him from harm, or you may make him think he's wiser than he is.

[this cuts both ways]

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Ephrem Christopher Walborn said...

Jared, I'm getting a bit of deja vu here. You had said on your blog that you were done with the conversation -- "agreeing to disagree". Since it seems you're still open to sharing your views I'll reask the question that I previously asked several times on your blog:

What is the basis for your particular epistemology -- for your particular interpretive exegeses? It's not really a difficult question. Put in other words it is this: how do you arrive at the interpretations you arrive at, and how do you justify your particular theological understanding over and against other theological understandings.

There is no wrong answer here except for no answer at all -- I'm after your epistemology, so the right answer is your answer. Once you've given your answer then we can discuss how it is that different groups of Christians arrive at different interpretations, and if everyone remains humble about the process, we all just might benefit.

7:54 AM  
Anonymous Ephrem Christopher Walborn said...

By the way... I would point out again that even the New Testament, taken at face value and not plunging in deeply for additional layers of meaning, contraindicates Sola Scriptura:

Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle. 2 Thessalonians 2:15

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you have too much time on your hands Jared.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Jared Moore said...

I haven't posted on here in several days... I may have it mixed up, but I don't believe that I've posted on here since I posted the last time on my blog...

Here's the answer to your question:

You said, "What is the basis for your particular epistemology -- for your particular interpretive exegeses?"

My interpretive exegesis is based on approaching the Bible as a divinely inspired form of literature. It is God's revelation to man; therefore, the infinite has revealed Himself to the finite. I approach it according to the genre that God inspired it in. If it's poetry, then I approach it as such, if it's a parable, then I approach it as such, etc.

You said:
"Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle. 2 Thessalonians 2:15"

Once again, this is a difference in presuppositions... you believe that tradition has equal value or more value than the Scriptures... while I believe in the Scriptures alone; therefore, we approach this verse differently... Paul was in Thessalonica teaching... and thus, the "traditions" are what he taught while he was there, and the epistle is the letter that we have... 1 Thessalonians... My question is:

1. What do you do with verses like: 2 Timothy 3:16,17; the Word of God makes man complete or perfect... why do you need tradition?

I'm curious as to why you say you value tradition so much so, but you seem to value some tradition above others... how do you guage that? If tradition is as valuable as you believe, then doesn't that mean if some outwardly godly Christians held to it, then you can't dismiss it? Or, do you just pick and chose what you want to take in? My second question is:

2. If you stand on tradition, then why are you coming against my view, for it is part of Christian tradition as well... it is self- contradictory to come against my view, is it not?

3. Thirdly, please explain your epistemology...

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Ephrem Christopher Walborn said...

Jared wrote:
"I haven't posted on here in several days... I may have it mixed up, but I don't believe that I've posted on here since I posted the last time on my blog..."

My mistake... I failed to notice that there is no dates provided for the comments, only times. In most applications content with times only were originated "today"... not so with blogger apparently. My apologies.

"Once again, this is a difference in presuppositions..."

Epistemology applies to presuppositions -- what is the basis for any given presupposition, how is it arrived at, supported, etc. Given a presupposition how does it deal with opposing presuppositions? You believe in Sola Scriptura and scriptural innerancy -- I suppose these are your starting points, and that you take them on faith as self-justifying/self-evident. Perhaps not, and you can correct me. At any rate I'll just state what you probably already realize, that I mistrust foundationalism, but I'll leave this for now.

At any rate, neither of those things preclude differences in interpretation, and so I wonder how you approach differences in interpretation -- why you believe your interpretation is superior to another, and this is what I've been wanting to know.

" believe that tradition has equal value or more value than the Scriptures"

Well, I'd rather state it that the scriptures are a part of the tradions given to us by God, the holy men which he inspired, and the community of God within which they existed.

"...and thus, the 'traditions' are what he taught while he was there, and the epistle is the letter that we have..."

The real point of that particular verse is that Paul is telling the Thessalonicans to "stand fast and hold" to his teachings -- whether spoken or written. St. John the Theologian tells us that if all that Christ did and said were written down there would be no end to the writings. So, obviously there was much that Christ said -- just as with the apostles, as well -- that wasn't formalized into the accounts we have in the Gospels. But why should we assume that these teachings that weren't written down weren't still maintained by the community of Christ -- the Church? Tradition is a matter of historical continuity -- the specific words may be lost, but the teachings of Christ and the apostles have been maintained by the Church in it's very way of life.

"What do you do with verses like: 2 Timothy 3:16,17..."

As I stated before on your blog, I believe that the scriptures are inspired writings, and authoritative. But they can be both of those things without being inerrant.

"...the Word of God makes man complete or perfect... why do you need tradition?"

Tradition -- I think this word is becoming an obstacle -- is the teaching of the church about the Word of God, i.e. Jesus Christ. The Truth is a Person, Jesus Christ. He is the Word of God. All words of God have their being in God. Jesus Christ is the logos -- nice one of St. John the Theologian to go outside of Judaism and borrow a technical term from Greek theology and fill it with new meaning, while also having an association for the Jews to Sophia, Wisdom (sorry, don't know the Hebrew... and sorry for the tangent... I just love the prologue of the Gospel of John :) ). Logos, being the reason of God as related through the spoken word. If the Truth is a Person, He can only be know Relationally, and not as a rational, intellectual fact. Tradition is, if you will, the family atmosphere of the Church, the continuity from now to the beginning and back again.

" seem to value some tradition above others... how do you guage that?"

Well, I'm Orthodox. So I give the teaching of Orthodoxy both ears and as much of my heart as possible. But since it's not a matter of infallibility/inerrancy with me, but more of a matter of what is profitable I *am* able to value traditions other than my own without feeling threatened by them. In fact, it's when I *am* feeling threatened that I have to be especially attentive and figure out what bit of pride or doubt is eating at me. Overall, it gives me great leeway to respectfully disagree, and yet still to pay attention, listen, and see if there isn't something that can be learned from those who disagree with me. Even those who hold to the solas and The Regulative Principle. :)

"Or, do you just pick and chose what you want to take in?"

Only on my bad days. honestly, we all do this from time to time. But that is what self-examination is all about -- rooting out the strongholds of our prideful ignorance.

"If you stand on tradition, then why are you coming against my view..."

I'm not really coming against inerrancy. I don't believe that a doctrine of inerrancy is in itself harmful. I am coming against your statement that you don't rely on any traditions, but on "Scripture only". It's impossible not to have traditions. You subscribe to a set of theological traditions -- maybe not because you view them as authoritative as traditions, but because you find they make sense to you, they resonate with your personal view of Scripture -- in which case you become the authority, rather than some Church or set of traditions. But I suspect -- perhaps wrongly -- that you will insist that it is the Holy Spirit who is your authority and who gives you eyes and ears and a heart to understand what is before you. But Orthodox will say the same thing. And since we disagree is one of us wrong and one of us right? How do we determine which is right? Or perhaps we are both wrong insofar as we are incapable of perfect understanding. In which case we cannot afford to simply close ourselves off from those with whom we disagree.

"...please explain your epistemology..."

I have said many things regarding my epistemology, though I have not set it out systematically. And frankly, I don't care to. My epistemology is to be found in the voluminous exchanges I've had with you. But I'll end with a good quote from Evagrius of Pontus:

If you are a theologian you truly pray, if you truly pray you are a theologian.

12:08 AM  
Anonymous Jared Moore said...

do you accept all tradition? What do you do with tradition that goes against Scripture? Do you still accept it? Which wins out, whenever the Scripture says one thing, but tradition says another?

7:20 AM  
Anonymous Ephrem Christopher Walborn said...

Jared Moore said...

Tradition and Scripture don't refute each other. That's not to say that there aren't aspects which are hazy or seemingly conflict. But the conflict is usually only apparent and due to our predispositions and not a true conflict. Some common "conflicts" that fundamentalists -- using this term as a descriptor, not an epithet -- bring up frequently are pretty easily dealt with are things like "call no man father," iconography, misunderstandings of the difference between veneration and worship, etc.

9:18 AM  
Anonymous Ephrem Christopher Walborn said...

Woops... forgot to edit out "Jared Moore said." Apologies.

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Jared Moore said...

Ok... let me ask you this... Go to this website . This is a homosexual church. Are they rightly dividing the Word of Truth (2 Tim. 2:15)? Or, is this a legitimate interpretation... or tradition that we can follow?

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Ephrem Christopher Walborn said...

I didn't visit the website. About homosexuality, my position will remain within the understanding of the Orthodox Church. At the same time the Church is for sinners -- it's the sick that need a doctor and a hospital (the church is often referred to as a hospital). If sinners couldn't go to church I'd never be there. Nor would you or anyone else.

But what's the motivation for the question? If I condemn homosexuality as contrary to God's will for man I gain a point, and if I make excuses or straight out say it's a-ok I lose? I hope it's more honest than that, and unless you say otherwise I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

Comparing conclusions in order to determine whether the process is acceptible is a dangerous road to travel. So lets back up a bit and I'll state my basic question in a different way.

What's your authority for your particular interpretation of the Bible?

My authority -- and as I hope I've made clear, authority is not dictatorial, but relational and does not operate primarily in absolutes, though it may at times -- my authority is the mind of the church, the "one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church," as it gives witness to the Trinity by the power of the Holy Spirit. You can disagree with me and it's not going to offend me. But given that authority does not act in terms of absolute knowledge, and given that as people are naturally of many minds, it is essential to root one's self in an understanding which is catholic, that is to say universal. The alternative is to root one's self in what seems fitting for himself. *Both* are prone to error. But just as God expresses himself in a Triune community of love, so the Church is also a community of love. Does this make any sense?

I guess what I'm saying is that life is dangerous, knowledge is dangerous, ignorance is dangerous, but there is hope in a community the purpose of which is establishing the Kingdom of God both here and now and in eternity.

There have been many times when the gospel has been diverted and the confessors of the church have acted with great force and powerful polemics as a witness to orthodoxy. This has been appropriate at times. At other times perhaps it has been excessive. It's more important to be humble and loving than to be "right". Because humility, mercy, and love express rightness of spirit and union with God, while rigtness of conviction alone is no real proof of sanctity.

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Jared Moore said...

the Bible is clear about homosexuality... this was the point I had hoped to make. Things that the Bible is definately, without a doubt, clear about... so much so, that there is only one logical interpretation... do you not stand on these things? Do you not stand against what the Bible clearly stands against? Homosexuality directly goes against Scripture... but, should I somehow embrace it due to tradition? Should people a thousand years from now embrace it due to the homosexual "churches"?

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Ephrem Christopher Walborn said...

Jared, I have to wonder, did you actually read what I wrote?

About homosexuality, my position will remain within the understanding of the Orthodox Church. At the same time the Church is for sinners -- it's the sick that need a doctor and a hospital (the church is often referred to as a hospital). If sinners couldn't go to church I'd never be there. Nor would you or anyone else.

This says two things: that I believe homosexuality is a sin; that sinners need God and His Church (Physician and Clinic). Church isn't just for the nice, straight, registered Republican W.A.S.P. folks.

Let me share a story with you from the Orthodixie blog by Fr Joseph Huneycutt.

A priest once told about a man who came to see him about becoming Orthodox. The priest said, “Okay, we’ll need to discuss who Christ is, the Church, the Sacraments ....” The man interrupted him saying, “I’m gay.” The priest said, “Okay. But if you want to become Orthodox, we’ll need to discuss who Christ is, the Church, the Sacraments ....” “Dang it! Didn’t you hear me? I said, I’m gay!” “I heard you,” said the priest, “but if you want to become Orthodox, we’ll need to talk about who Christ is, the Church, the Sacraments ....” Crying, the man told the priest that other pastors had either told him it didn’t matter, or to get out! It took the man a couple years to become Orthodox, but another 10 years to become celibate. He claims he could never have made it without the benefit of Christ, the Church, and the Sacraments.

The Church – our Spiritual Hospital – must be open to all. We’re all sick with the disease of sin. We cannot be healed, really healed, without receiving the Body and Blood of Christ. We must never turn our backs on someone just because they’re a sinner or their sin’s not ours. God forbid! This is the mission of the Church, to save sinners! But, by the same token, it is not within our power to state that a sin is no longer a sin. God alone forgives. God alone is the judge. He has revealed Himself and His will to us in the Scriptures, within the Church.

Now. We need to get off of this blog -- no one else is engaging with us and we're looking like a couple of yahoos just going at it on someone else's blog. I'd be more than happy to correspond with you so that we can continue to talk. I'd like that, actually. So, email me: I hope you will. We have plenty to say and it's always good to have friends who see things from such different perspectives.

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Jared Moore said...

I'm emailing you now.

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Jared Moore said...

For a critique of Tony's book: "Read, Think, Live, Pray". go here:

A buddy of mine, Jeff Wright, who I'm closer theologically with than anyone I know, has read and critiqued Tony's book. Please feel free to go read it and leave your feedback...

10:34 AM  
Anonymous Ephrem Christopher Walborn said...

copying the comment I made at Jeff Wright's blog -- the one Jared linked -- since at least a part of it could possibly have a healthy consideration here. Also a disclaimer: I have not read Tony's book, and wouldn't begin to evaluate it based on such a review as Mr. Wright's.

It is very hard for me to respond to this review. There is so much that I would say, so many arguments I would raise. But honestly, I cannot do so in a spirit of charity and love, and so I will have to leave off doing so. Instead I will offer some observations which do not directly engage Mr. Wright or the positions he takes in this review.

If there is one overwhelming difficulty with such books it is that they are formed at something of a distance from the heart of the Tradition from which the practices which they describe have taken form. I think it a very good thing that protestants are rediscovering what the Orthodox and Catholic churches have never lost — it is in many ways for their benefit, and I pray that what comes with it in time is an increased awareness of the witness to Christ that exists in the works of the saints. The warning, though, is that practices engaged in at a distance from their spiritual roots leave greater room for confusion and misunderstanding. In the Eastern Orthodox tradition, at least — and it is likely so for Roman Catholic as well — engagement in mystical prayer is guided by Christians of maturity and discernment, in such a way as to help the practitioner avoid the common pitfalls.

Also, I would add, that never is Lectio Divina — or any other system of prayer and Bible study — suggested as replacement for other types of prayer and Bible study. It is a supplement. In all prayer and study, the sole purpose is to draw us into closer relationship with our Savior. Additionally, in the catholic traditions, it is necessary to submit one’s spiritual/theological “insights” to the teaching of the Church as a whole. This is, in particular, where the potential danger in any kind of prayer and Bible study — indeed the whole life of the Christian — most readily presents itself: alienation from the community of the church, which is universal and eternal in scope, easily leads to delusion and spiritual pride. This is as true for rationalist, positivist intellectual practice as it is for “mystical” practice.

All I have left to say is this prayer:

May God have mercy on us, sinners all.

Ephrem Christopher Walborn

2:07 PM  
Blogger All About Debt Consolidation said...

Hi, you have an excellent blog here! I'm definitely going to check in again!

Debt Consolidation Tips

3:22 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home