conservative, list

10 Christian Opinions that Fail to Stir My Interest

I have a previous post on “Media Opinions on Christianity or Religion that Fail to Stir My Interest” and in the interest of fairness, I also have a list of Christians or Christian places that I tend to avoid. Essentially, I find they have little interesting to talk about, are often uncritical of themselves, and repeat mantras or maxims as if they’re faith itself and in quantities that rival Hare Krishnas. I also find that the questions I care about are normally peripheral questions, no matter how much I argue them to be recognized as vital and important. The inverse seems to be true as well, I don’t care for Arminianism vs Calvinism debates, among other theological bogs. I feel quite happy to not have used words like supralapsarianism for quite some time.

Now, this does not mean I will not talk to you if you are one of those people, and in fact, I find I end up engaging such people quite often, while trying to be loving. However, and this is the essential criteria for this list, often I find that these conversations drain me, rather than energize. Such a “discussion” that drains people, kills people inside.

1. Christian non-profit groups from Colorado Springs.

2. 700 Club

3. Bruce Wilkinson and his little books (the prayer of Jabez is one of them).

4. Purposed Driven _______ .

5. Most any church with a tv station (which probably means its a mega church as well).

6. John Piper/Wayne Grudemn/Millard Erickson/John Eldredge/John MacArthur

7. Piper fans and this neo-reformed movement (which includes Mark Driscoll if you’re confused what I’m talking about).

8. Metaphysical arguments about the existence of or proof for God.

9. Dispensationalism, i.e. John Hagee.

10. Godtube.com

10 + 1. Joel Osteen

Have I missed any?

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14 thoughts on “10 Christian Opinions that Fail to Stir My Interest

  1. Well, I must admit myself to be a fan of Piper’s preaching, though I have not been exposed to much. However, I am not much a fan of the folks you’ve grouped him with, and no great fan of Driscoll, so meh.

    Along the lines of #4, “Doing church . . . ”

    And where do I stick Spong et al, this post or the previous?

  2. I’ve done more reading of Piper than listening to his preaching. I’ve had prolonged exposure of a couple weeks of taking him quite seriously. And then there are Piper fans who take his maxims and recite them like mantras over and over. I’m unsure one is truly a fan if one isn’t saying from the pulpit every week, “God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in him.”

    As for Spong? He can at least stir my interest. Granted I may find it tiresome, but I think it stirs quicker than, say, Wayne Grudemn.

  3. Dave says:

    The neo-reformed movement is one that really drains me, as well as the machismo stuff from people like Eldredge. I agree with the rest of your list, but those are movements/opinions that I seem to encounter a lot, because I have some dear friends who are greatly influenced by them.

    I don’t want it to sound like I want to be hostile towards my friends or these leaders. I guess it’s mostly an attitude of indifference on my part. Sure, I disagree with them for the most part, but really its just that I don’t want to engage the arguments.

  4. Yeah, I think of this more as a warning light, rather than outright hostility. A call for exchanging questions or something. Nothing will move forward if its insanely boring or annoying to talk, to the point of indifference or that conversations are draining in a seemingly unhealthy way. At the very least, the method through which we communicate is important.

  5. Michael Westmoreland-White says:

    Also, the “sweaty, he-man” theology/patriarchy of Promise Keepers and their ilk.

    All dispensationalists and especially Hagee, Parsley and the “Christian Zionists.” They get on my LAST nerve.

    ANYTHING connected to Al Mohler. (BTW, I doubt Mohler really believes half the crap he says. He was a flaming liberal until he realized the fundamentalists would win the Southern Baptist struggle and he switched sides so he could gain power. A complete tool.)

    On the liberal side, I have zero use for Spong or for those who try to revive Gnosticism (Pagels and co.) or Rita Nakashima Brock.

    No interest at all in the so-called “Creation Spirituality.”

  6. Bruce says:

    How could you forget Matthew Fox and creation spirituality? Also you should consider yourself lucky you don’t have parents who are fans of John McArthur and Christian Zionism. Or perhaps you do have. But then your response would be a little edgier than boredom

  7. Oh, don’t be too sure Bruce. I’ve had earfuls from Abraham Lincoln… er, I mean Ken Ham and the magazine Ex Nihilo. As well as, “Oh, wows, they’re trying to breed a red heifer so the sacrifices can start again. Then well be in the end times for sure! We’re totally prophetic now!” I just figured mentioning the 700 club and Dispensationalism would’ve covered that and then some.

    Also, this isn’t so much about boredom, but what drains the energy out of you when you’re talking with them. Its like one’s life gets sucked right out. Gotta love it eh?

  8. I wish I could say that all the things on your list fail to stir my interest, but I do occasionally enjoy poking fun at them on the internet or doing a little Mystery Science Theatre 3000 with the Trinity Broadcasting Network. Some things are just too ridiculous not to laugh at, like Benny Hinn for example.

  9. Steve says:

    The tone of this post and its comments is depressing. “Interesting” is not the same as “important,” and “fun to discuss” is not the same as “relevant.” Does it help anyone to list your least favorite ideas and gripe about how tiresome they are? If you dismiss these groups and ideas with a handwave, won’t they do the same to you?

  10. Well I never said it was about bored, exhausted comes close. This has more to do with theologies that drain people, or just me. A conversation that drains people is an irresponsible way of talking theology and it perpetuates bad ways of conversation and relationships. I also wonder what it means, when a conversation is draining, what that speaks of this God we talk about?

  11. Pingback: 5 Theological Word Plays that Annoy Me « flying.farther

  12. Tyler says:

    “ANYTHING connected to Al Mohler. (BTW, I doubt Mohler really believes half the crap he says. He was a flaming liberal until he realized the fundamentalists would win the Southern Baptist struggle and he switched sides so he could gain power. A complete tool.)”

    Mr. Westmoreland-White, what kind of spirit does that come from? A complete tool, you say? The man’s not perfect, but trust me, his conservatism is genuine. And he wasn’t a “flaming liberal”. He was considerably moderate on many things (primarily inerrancy/inspiration and gender roles) and became conservative slowly during his doctoral studies as he began to interact with Carl Henry specifically, but also Cornelius Van Til. Also, as he stepped into doctoral-level classrooms, the veil was lifted and he began to see what his professors truly believed and some of this shook his confidence in his own moderate stances.

    As someone who actually knows the man, I can attest to his sincerity. Mind you, he’s one of the most brilliant public theologians of our time. He’s a freak, he’s forgotten more than most of us will ever know. He’s hardly perfect, but he’s hardly a tool. I don’t agree with him all the time (in fact, I REALLY don’t see eye to eye with him in some places), but he’s earned my respect. I don’t see where he’s earned the half-baked insults of a blog warrior (few people truly earn such a plague, in my opinion).

    I understand we’ve all got our tastes and certain movements/theologians we don’t sympathize with, but it’s too easy to lapse into mean-spirited assaults on others because they’re not like us. That’s being a xenophobe. Let’s strive for Christlikeness instead, no? Maybe that way, we’ll have substantive disagreements rather than emotionalism.

    And in so doing, we can go ahead and forget most of what Peter Rollins has written (since it’s self-referentially incoherent, as are all appeals to ineffability; cf. Augustine, On Christian Doctrine). ;)

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