Another Christian Artist “Comes Out,” Promotes Gay Christianity

I’ll admit that I have never heard of Jennifer Knapp until today. Apparently she was a fairly successful Christian artist who took a seven year hiatus, recently returning with a secular album. Oh, and she’s gay.

You can read the Christianity Today interview with Knapp for yourself. I read it. She has the proper gay Christian talking points in her arsenal. When asked about her thoughts concerning what Scripture says on the topic of homosexuality, she answered:

Knapp: The Bible has literally saved my life. I find myself between a rock and a hard place—between the conservative evangelical who uses what most people refer to as the “clobber verses” to refer to this loving relationship as an abomination, while they’re eating shellfish and wearing clothes of five different fabrics, and various other Scriptures we could argue about. I’m not capable of getting into the theological argument as to whether or not we should or shouldn’t allow homosexuals within our church. There’s a spirit that overrides that for me, and what I’ve been gravitating to in Christ and why I became a Christian in the first place.

Knapp, who admits that she is “not capable of getting into the theological argument” concerning homosexuals being allowed in the church, refers to “clobber verse” and Levitical law about shellfish and clothing made of multiple fabrics. She’s able to refute the church’s interpretation of Levitical law. She is also able to imply hypocrisy on the part of Christians who do not affirm gays. But not capable of a theological discussion on the topic!

To trivialize the dire importance of the church’s stance on homosexuality by references to shellfish and multiple fabrics betrays less than a full grasp of the situation and confirms that indeed Knapp is not capable of leading the theological conversation. And yet, she is surely making a theological, doctrinal statement.

Jennifer Knapp Comes Out | Christianity Today.

The Comprehension Gulf

The Comprehension Gulf is the argument that God, if He exists, is infinite, and man, being finite, cannot possibly recognize or know Him. 1

This argument is easily dismissed but let’s give the atheists and agnostics a chance to explain.

The atheist Carl Van Doren (1885-1950) wrote:

There is no trustworthy evidence as to a god’s absolute existence. . . . Nor does the thing called revelation, as I see it, carry the proof further. . . . If belief in a god has to proceed from the assumption that he exists, belief in revelation has first to proceed from the assumption that a god exists and then to go further to the assumption that he communicates his will to certain men. But both are mere assumptions. Neither is, in the present state of knowledge, at all capable of proof. Suppose a god did exist, and suppose he did communicate his will to any of his creatures. What man among them could comprehend that language? What man could take that dictation? 2

Atheist Geoffrey Berg writes:

I suppose some people might like to counter this objection by insisting that it is an essential characteristic of a monotheistic God that he can be known by us and can communicate with us. However I think, that given it is impossible for the mortal to be sure of the immortal and for the finite to be sure of the infinite, that would be asking for the impossible. Yet it is generally not supposed to be one of God’s characteristics that he accomplishes what is logically impossible. 3

Both of these writers are willing to suspend their disbelief for a little while and imagine that if God existed He would be infinite or at least be as God should be in order to qualify as God. If He existed, then He would do so as the God He would have to be in order to be God. He would be “that than which no greater thing can be thought (Anselm).”4 Or as William of Ockham put it, “that than which nothing is more noble and more perfect.”5 But, according to the Comprehension Gulf argument, man, because he is finite, would never be able to discover, recognize, or know this infinite God.

Doren and Berg prove that they are capable of imagining what God would be like if He existed. But for some reason they have trouble going one step further in their imaginations, allowing for this infinite God to be so perfect and knowledgeable that He is capable of devising a way to speak to and communicate with finite man. The question becomes, “Could an infinite, all powerful, all knowing God find a way to reveal Himself to humanity if He wanted to?” If you say “No!” then you have not imagined God big enough. In fact, if I can imagine it, He is greater still! So, if one can imagine God big enough, he should also be able to imagine a God who could cross the gulf and communicate effectively to His creation.

Let’s go a little further. If an infinite God did span the gulf and communicate to His creation, how might He do that? Through His audible voice? By making an appearance? Perhaps He would send an emissary. Maybe He would come in a disguise so as not to scare us off before we could understand the revelation. Perhaps once He established communication with someone He would ask that person to share what was revealed with others by speaking to them or even writing it down. Hmm…imagine that?!

Berg makes a curious statement (seen above) when he writes: “Yet it is generally not supposed to be one of God’s characteristics that he accomplishes what is logically impossible.”6 Of course such a characterization of God is amazingly opposite to the truth. Doing the impossible is what God specializes in! Why? Because He is God! Because He is the only One who can and because it is one of His ways of bridging the gap between finite mankind and Himself. The Apostle Paul said it well when he described God as “the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were (Romans 4:17).”

When she was just a little girl (4 or 5), my daughter Katie would imagine that she was the proprietor of a candy store. Of course, then, I would be one of her customers. I remember the first time we played that game. I ordered a certain candy and she said, “Sorry, we don’t have that kind of candy.” “Hold on a minute, ” I would say, “This is an imaginary candy store, why can’t you imagine the kind of candy I want?” She wouldn’t budge! She simply refused to imagine the kind of candy I wanted!

If one wants to disqualify the idea of the existence of God through various other arguments, OK. We can talk about those ideas as well. But one should not make the mistake of disqualifying God simply because his or her imagination is not big enough. Paul knew this:

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen (Ephesians 3:20-21, NIV).

NOTES 

1 Geoffrey Berg, The Six Ways Of Atheism, (Self-published: 2009), 50.

2 Carl Van Doren, “Why I Am an Unbeliever,” published in, The Portable Atheist, Christopher Hitchens (Da Capo Press, 2007), 139-140.

3 Berg, 56.

4 Alister McGrath, ed., The Christian Theology Reader, Third Edition (Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing, 2007), 12.

5 Ibid., 23.

6 Berg, The Six Ways of Atheism, 56.

Beckelfest at Socrates in the City

Socrates in the City or Beckelfest?

Originally slated to feature Cal Thomas and his new book, What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America, last night’s Socrates in the City (SITC)event turned into a Bob Beckel therapy session. Now that may be a little strong, but the event was definitely different than normal.

SITC is an event masterminded by Eric Metaxas (author of Bonhoeffer, daily commentator on Breakpoint). The event is a sophisticated evening of wine, cheese, intellectual discussion, book promotions, and, of course, Metaxas’s wit and humor. A truly enjoyable experience.

Something different happened this time. Oh, the refreshments were there, the books, and the humor. I am not sure how intellectual it was. But the evening was different. Metaxas called it historical because it is customary at SITC to feature only one guest. A feature whose value was reinforced at last night’s event.

So, here’s the deal. Thomas wanted Beckel there because they are friends, so he invited him to come along. They are working together under the guise of having somehow demonstrated that they have found common ground on issues such as welfare, term limits, even school vouchers. But for the most part, Beckel just did what Beckel always does: he slammed the Republican Party, the tea Party, the war in Iraq (that old chestnut), all the while treating us with his course language and his homespun rambling. He even declared that Hillary Clinton was not a liberal! (It’s amazing how conservative people can look after six years of Obama!)

Did Beckel Fall Asleep?

The fact is, Beckel kind of hi-jacked the event. He spoke the most, rambled quite a bit, and I could have sworn (if I were a swearing man) that he had fallen asleep! I’m not kidding! About three quarters of the way through the event I began to hear regular breathing. I looked at Beckel and his eyes were closed and he was very still.

A few times, Metaxas looked as though he was not sure what he had gotten himself into. He had given a humorous but sort of Don Rickles-style introduction of the two men. Once they came to the platform a bit of an insult war erupted. It was tongue in cheek but still a little uncomfortable. No matter how hard he tried, Metaxas could not get Thomas and Beckel to share some of their common ground solutions to America’s problems. No less than five times he had to prompt them for solutions instead of definitions of the problem.

As for solutions, both men were able to gather applause for some of their sentiments. Thomas waxed bold on behalf of traditional American values and Beckel for his passionate concern for those less fortunate. But for the most part they raged against the machine.

After what can only be described as a “testimony” given by Beckel, in which he owned up to his dark days and his turn to faith due to the influence of Thomas, Thomas said that we would all leave with a different opinion about Beckel. He commended Beckel’s great heart and their very close friendship. At one point Beckel did, in passing, say he was a Christian. I was glad for that.

All in all, the two men were both a little salty, low on solutions, and seemed to have been a handful for Metaxas. It wasn’t what I expected it to be. I don’t it was what Metaxas thought it would be either!

Let’s Talk About Metaxas

Regardless of the uniqueness of last night’s Beckel-fest invasion of SITC, it remains a must attend event. It is worth all the time and effort you have to expend in order to be there. I took it as an opportunity to enjoy some time in Manhattan before I made my way to the Union League Club where it was held.

As for Metaxas, he was as sharp as ever, though he found himself dealing with a less than delicate personality. It was good practice for the future talk show he wants to host!

When SITC hosted Dr. Stephen C. Meyer, Metaxas said, “I want to ask you about your book, do you mind? Because we have a lot of copies here, we’ve gotta move some product.” It was classic Metaxas humor. (You can watch the video and catch that funny moment 31:40 into the interview). While he was at least semi-joking, make no mistake: the product being moved at SITC is Eric Metaxas himself! As he promotes others he is also indirectly promoting himself. I don’t think that is a negative thing! In fact, I think it is a rather good way to do it! It must be working because he seems to be everywhere these days. So, if you’d like to hobnob with him for only $35, you should do it while you can and be in attendance at the next Socrates in the City event. But you’d better hurry! I don’t know how much longer he will be able to fit it into his schedule!

 

 

What Would Make You Believe?

I found this article very interesting. It was written, of course, by an atheist but should be of great interest to thinking Christians. So, I would ask Christians, what brought you to belief in Christ? Is it reasonable to demand that God reveal Himself on our terms? Is there something to the Augustinian precept of “believing that we may understand”? Read the article and respond here to my questions or begin a dialogue with atheist John Zande.

upsidedown The always-artful Ark has been doing a splendid series of articles ( here , here , and here ), asking Christians a very simple question: Why? Why are you a Christian?

The answers, perhaps predictably, have been less than convincing; each ultimately falling back on the cultural bedrock of childhood indoctrination, as opposed to any rational or verifiable evidence acquired in adulthood. Simple indoctrination, though, is proving a disastrous policy for the religious as “faith” (unjustified belief) cannot win in the marketplace of ideas. In his book, The Great Evangelical Recession, John S. Dickerson, notes: “260,000 [US] evangelical young people walk away from Christianity each year.” Those numbers are far higher in every other advanced country on the planet where reason has already supplanted superstition.

Following on from Ark’s investigation, I’ll ask the naturally accompanying question: What would you, the atheist, need to believe? What would convince you of…

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School Districts Alter Pledge of Allegiance – Christian News Blog

It is amazing how far we will go just to appease a small fraction of the population! In this case, a school doesn’t want to offend atheists so they doctor the Pledge of Allegiance. How many atheists are in this school? One? Two? Ninety-two percent of Americans believe in God and yet we would ask them to be quiet about it so that we do not disturb the 7% who don’t and the 1% who have no opinion! Honestly, how many more ways will we find to reject God? How long will God continue to hold back judgement from a nation that has so eloquently denied Him?

Interestingly, a Lifeway poll says it found that 25% of Americans feel that forcing kids to say “under God” violates their rights. That’s just the thing: no one is forced to say “under God.” The real issue is that they feel they have a right not to hear the word God! There are a lot of things I would like not to hear but there is a matter of free speech (or there was back when we were a nation under God!).

You can’t make this stuff up! (Well, you could, but in America you don’t have to!)

School Districts Alter Pledge of Allegiance – Christian News Blog.