Category Archives: Controversy

DEAR PASTOR JOHN MACARTHUR

I imagine many of you are aware of the recent unpleasantries (yes, a mild word!) between Beth Moore and John MacArthur.  I thought you might find my letter to Pastor MacArthur of interest:

Dear Pastor MacArthur,

I heard you preach in person right after Christmas 1977. I was with fifteen friends. We were on our way to a Campus Crusade for Christ conference in southern California. I was a young convert to Christianity. Your message clarified that my faith in Christ was real. Thank you!

In my twenties and early thirties, I was the director of Campus Crusade for Christ at Stanford University. I went through some deep waters of doubt during that time. During one of my lowest moments I heard you deliver a message over the airwaves. It was a great encouragement to me. I wrote you a letter saying so. To my surprise, you wrote back…a personal letter. I still have that letter. Thank you!

In my late thirties and early forties, I had a radio show here in Austin. Most of the time I interviewed authors and leaders of various backgrounds. You were one of my guests and stayed for the entire hour. That alone is quite a commitment, but my show was on Saturday afternoons. Since Sunday is a big day of ministry for you, I was impressed you would give me the entire hour. Thank you!

Most recently, I met one of your sons. Business brought him to Austin. We had breakfast together. I couldn’t believe how much he looks like you! I thought I was looking at the man I heard preach when I was that three-month old Christian. Your son said you are the real deal: a great dad who is uncomfortable with the praise of men. I was tremendously encouraged to hear all that. Thank you!

My own convictions about men and women in the home fall roughly in the complementarian camp, though I might be one of the “softer” types that seems to be a non-category for you. I won’t get into the hermeneutical weeds on that issue because this a short letter not a theological treatise.

I humbly ask you to reconsider the tone of what you said about Beth Moore. For the record, I’ve had my own concerns about her teaching as well. However, your tone came across dismissive and condescending. At the very least, it seems one of you should have mentioned to the chortles of the crowd that this was no laughing matter. Instead, it seemed that you, Todd Friel, and Phil Johnson had no problem with the loud laughter of those gathered that day.

I am now sixty-one and the beneficiary of over forty years of your ministry. From listening to you over the years, I have every confidence that you will seriously consider what I say in light of Scripture. Thank you!

In Christ,

David (George) Moore

DISAGREEMENT AND FRIENDSHIP

A friend asked me how Chesterton and H.G. Wells could respect each other so much when their disagreements were so stark.

Here’s the quote about Chesterton and Wells:

“Despite their creative goading, Chesterton, in his Autobiography, completed just weeks before his death, wrote movingly of their relationship: ‘I have argued with him [Wells] on almost every subject in the world, and we have always been on opposite sides, without affectation or animosity. . . . It is necessary to disagree with him as much as I do, in order to admire him as I do; and I am proud of him as a foe even more than as a friend.'”

And here is my response:

I was doing some work on the forthcoming “Stepping into Controversy” seminar this morning when your note came. 
Reviewing my research to various books I’ve read it seems that it is hard to downplay the role of technology, esp. social media.
One of the books I read is written by two Catholic scholars: A Mind at Peace: Reclaiming an Ordered Soul in the Age of Distraction.  The best part of the book in my estimation is where they show how technology robs us of our “face.”
 
Tribes today can be nasty because you can so easily hide your face.  In contrast to this, we need to cultivate being WITH people.  I like to say that “proximity produces perspective.”  If you are not close to anyone who has a different view than you, it is easy to be nasty and detached from the need to be gracious in disagreements.  Chesterton and Wells had a more difficult time hiding from one another!

FREE DINNER AND TEACHING

RSVP to me here: davidgemoore@gmail.com

Where: Hill House, a ministry to the UT community, but open to the public.

2104 Nueces St. Austin, TX 78705

Parking may be had across the street from the front door of Hill House in the Callaway House parking garage, on the street, and in other parking garages nearby. 

When: 6 p.m. for Dinner and 7-8 for Teaching and Discussion

Seven Wednesday Nights from June 5-July 17

Feel free to come to one or all sessions.  Each one covers different material all on the broad topic below.

Description:

Engaging Controversy, Exhibiting Courage, and Exemplifying Christ-Like Character: Is it Possible in Today’s Climate?

We live in turbulent and divisive times.  Many Christians tell me that they can’t talk about political differences…with their best friends!  How much hope is there then to discuss controversial matters with those we don’t know?  Most are pessimistic about the prospect.

I believe we can do much better.  The tools to do so are available.

For many years, I’ve been thinking and writing about how people ought to engage on issues that they vehemently disagree on.  I’ve decided it is high time to speak on it.

 

 

MARTIN LUTHER KING

Want a riveting read?  Well, this book certainly qualifies.

As a young Christian, I read a collection of King’s sermons titled Strength to Love.  In college, I took a rhetoric class where our professor regularly reminded us that King was the “greatest speaker he ever heard.”

Rosenbloom’s book chronicles the final 31 hours of King’s life.  And what a life it is.  The author does not paper over King’s adultery, but clearly thinks King was a great man.

King challenges us to live focused life with courage and compassion.

The publisher is to be thanked for making a beautiful book at a reasonable cost…a rarity in our day!

ROMAN CATHOLIC SEX ABUSE SCANDAL

There are many reasons I am not a Roman Catholic, but one certainly is the pervasive, historic, and systemic secrecy. Many examples could be offered. For example, the secrecy of the curia coupled with the condescending clericalism I’ve seen firsthand from priests in spite of what Vatican II says about learning from the laity are just a few.

It stretches credulity to think the Roman Catholic church can properly handle the ongoing (that word is key) sex abuse given the Roman Catholic’s long and problematic history.

And for the record, I taught in Poland and know many dynamic Christians who are in the Roman Catholic church. I just think the overall system is badly broken and lacks the proper theology in doctrine, leadership, and praxis to make things right.

There are similar, but not identical reasons that I’m not Baptist.  Though I am sympathetic to Baptist theology, and though the Southern Baptist Convention is not as secretive as the curia, there is much that still gives me concern.