Last Stand

This'll be the last post on the conflict with Campi, and Steve is welcome to have the last word. To denote the seriousness with which I take this as a final post, there are no editorial cartoons.

Steve posted a list of 5 objections over at TeamPyro's comments about his view of the Chan video, and I'm responding here. BTW, I am at fault for not linking you to it as we discuss it, so here it is.

What I find interesting at this point is that the original set of objections we had on the table – that this video has an unbalanced view of the love of God – seem to have changed to this set of much more harsh accusations.

Steve said this:
IMHO, here are the problems with this video:

1. There is no mentioning or explanation of repentance from sin (Luke 24:46-47)

2. There is no mentioning or explanation of what it means to saved by grace through faith in Christ alone - justification by faith (Romans 3:21-26)
On its face, let’s suppose this is true – that somehow this TMC grad has somehow forgotten that people need to repent of their sins or forgotten to mention it, and that he has given even a cursory pass to sola fide and sola gratia.

Is the Gospel preached in 1Cor 15:1-4? Where are these in there?

Below, Steve, you want to make the point that Pastor Chan is in fact a pastor, and how can he do such a thing if he’s a pastor. I’ll deal with that down there – but isn’t it pastoral to present the good news of Jesus Christ to start someone on their path in a new life in Christ and then disciple them?

Gosh! Have we gotten to the place where we must catechize before we even present the Gospel? Philip gave the good news of Christ based on 4 verses of the OT to the Ethiopian Eunich – and it doesn’t say that Philip gave this man all 5 solas.

To see this video as the “all” of evangelism is wrong, no question. Evangelism is a process of discipleship, as Mark Dever makes clear in his 9Marks/Deliberate Church model. But this presentation is 100 times more useful in presenting the Gospel than, for example, berating someone at the coffee machine or over lunch about whether they have ever lied or not, whether they have ever stolen or hated. It demonstrates the good will evident in the Gospel.

In that, let me offer some more excerpts from this video. Chan says, “It’s either guilty or innocent, and we are all going to be found guilty. The thing is that same God is saying, ‘I don’t want to punish you. I want to forgive you. I want a relationship with you.’ What I’m talking about isn’t a religion. It’s not about joining some cult. It’s about talking tom your creator and having a relationship with Him. … He says He’ll forgive you as far as the East is from the West … just get on your knees or just go, get alone with God and just say to your creator, ‘look: I love you. I know that I’ve messed up, but now I understand that your son paid for that. That blows my mind. I want to spend eternity with you, I want to follow you. But don’t just say, ‘OK God: I want to follow you’, because there are people all across America right now that say, ‘yeah, I believe in God, yeah I follow him,’ then you look at their lives and it doesn’t show. Jesus said, if you really knew me, you would obey my commands.”

Let’s not pretend that Pastor Chan has given a come-to-the-front-and-you’re-done presentation here. He’s talking about a change of life in accepting God’s offer of forgiveness. Just because he doesn’t use the accepted Christianese doesn’t mean he doesn’t convey core concepts.
3. There is no mentioning or explanation of the Lordship of Christ; our submission to Him as Lord; or our confession of Him as Lord unto salvation (Acts 2:36-40; Romans 10:9-10)
Well, I say that’s not true based on the previous transcripted portion of the video, but here’s what comes after that: “It’s a matter of trust. I trust this guy. He’s done everything for my good. He’s given me life, He’s given me His laws, He’s given me forgiveness, and so I believe His commands are going to be for my good. See: that’ll show by your lifestyle.”

That’s lordship, Steve: I do what God commands because of who God is and what He has done for me.
4. There is no mentioning or explanation of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Cor. 15:3-4; 12-18)
Oh please. So now all books, all the blog entries, all the conversations which omit the resurrection are now problematic? He didn’t take the resurrection and refute it; he didn’t somehow dismiss it. He was talking about the problem of sin and the solution in Christ. I agree that the resurrection is ultimately the foundation of saying that we can have assurance of these things, and I agree that without it we are the most pitable of men. But listen: Chan was totally after the matter of eternal life with God. He was after the judgment before God. Those events imply the resurrection. The resurrection is necessary for them to happen.

Can we complain that any post you make, Steve, which omits the resurrection was not Gospel centered? Then we cannot do that for a 15-minute video.
5. There was not one mentioning of any Bible verse specifically in the entire video. A non-Christian who would watch this would have no idea where to look in a Bible to see if what Chan was saying was true. Chan used the language of "Jesus says..." or "God says..." or the "bible says..." But, he never told them where those things are said; and when he was trying to quote it himself, he usually misquoted it. (2 Tim. 4:1-5)
I’m going to do the legwork on this on, Steve, to show you something – that you are viewing this video with a bias against it. I'll dig out the references in the first half of the video if you will kindly demonstrate how these have been misused in these sections.
2:55 Rom 1:19-20
3:20 Deu 8:18; Ps 68:35; Is 42:5; Jer 5:24;
John 3:16; John 6:33; Rom 4:17; 1Cor 15:57
3:48 Deu 6:1-3; Ps 119; Mt 5:17-20; Rom 2:14-15;
Rom 7:12
4:35 Rom 2:1-2 5:05 Rom 2:12-16; 2Cor 5:10
6:48 Gen 1+2; John 1:1-4; Rom 1 & 2
7:50 John 3:16-17; John 1:4-5, 14-17
If the verse numbers have become part of the inspired truth of God’s word, I’m going to have trouble staying an inerrantist. The demand to cite every biblical truth by chapter and verse is excessive. And let’s remember something here: this isn’t a sermon. It’s an introductory video, an invitation, a plea to be reconciled with God. I am ceratin that anyone can take this video, if he is discipled even briefly, and walk anyone through all the details Steve is concerned about. The question is if that much is necessary to declare the Good News the first time.
And remember Frank, this is a pastor of a church purposely NOT saying these things.
I said I'd deal with this down here, and here's what I think about that: thank God there is a pastor who is willing to make a video in which he's not so worried about being bare-fotted on the beach that he can't speak to the lost about their sin and Christ's love for sinners.

Anything else would veer into snark.
This video does not present a sufficient gospel that saves and it certainly is not the gospel according to Jesus, the Apostles, or the great divines of the 15th-19th centuries. By one this one thing of leaving out the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, this video presents no gospel at all.
That's a far cry from your original open-handedness, Steve, and I'm sorry you think that's true. Think about it again after re-reading your original willingness to be generous, and then I;'d like to see what you have to say.
IOW, Charles Finney would endorse, be proud of, and really love this video.

But hey, it looked great.
Let me say that, with all the mistakes you made about this video, Steve, this was the worst one because it does two things:

[1] It slanders Pastor Chan. The collected works of Finney are found here, but the reader should compare the Chan video to this concluding remark from Finney from the sermon “breaking up the fallow ground”:
It will do no good to preach to you while your hearts are in this hardened, and waste, and fallow state. The farmer might just as well sow his grain on the rock. It will bring forth no fruit. This is the reason why there are so many fruitless ministers in the Church, and why there is so much organization and so little deep-toned feeling. Look at the Sunday school, for instance, and see many tools there are and how little of the power of godliness. If you go on in this way the Word of God will continue to harden you, and you will grow worse and worse, just as the rain and snow on an old fallow field make the turf thicker and the clods stronger.
[2] It contradicts the premise of your original objections by putting Pastor Chan in a class of men who are frankly reprehensible in their disregard for doctrinal truth. Finney’s errors are well-attested to, and his frank disregard for authority and for orthodoxy in teaching is well-known. If you can find any of that in this video, you are a far more astute viewer than I am.

Steve, I say this in good faith, and as a loving brother: you are trying to avoid saying you are wrong here. You are hung up on what you think the video didn’t do, and I say to you that it’s only 15 minutes long: there aren’t 15 minutes of any sermon or message you have ever delivered that covers every jot and tittle of Christian theology. I certainly have never done that – I don’t think I could.

However, here’s my olive branch on this matter: can you find another evangelism video of this caliber which lasts 15 minutes (or less) which does everything you are demanding this video ought to do? If you don’t want to take that challenge, will you retract your accusation of “Finneyism” from this video, given that it takes a far better view of the Gospel than Finney ever did?

It is fine to offer critiques and exhortations: it is another to be on the warpath against the messengers of the Gospel. I pray that neither of us is ever in the latter group.