Friday, February 17, 2006

"I don't know the mind of God on every issue. I know it on some."

If you thought Pat Robertson was apologetic over his statements about Hugo Chavez and Ariel Sharon, you'll want to read Marvin Olasky's interview of him. I've been anticipating this article since I heard it was in the works. I expected some conciliatory meekness. I was wrong. This is more like appalling brazenness with an unhealthy dose of denial. Olasky lets Robertson speak in this piece, and he digs his own grave.

This was my favorite section:
Mr. Robertson explains, "It's not conceited. We ask for leading . . . God did speak to me directly concerning this university, and it was real simple. He said, 'I want you to buy the land and build a school for My glory.'. . . This is the heritage of every Christian believer. If some people haven't had that blessing, I'm sorry, but I have. . . . You read Jeremiah. He said, 'The word of the Lord came to me.'. . . You read the Torah, 'the word of the Lord came to Moses,' 'The Lord said to Moses, tell the people.' The Lord spoke to Joshua. The Lord spoke to David."

Asked how he's certain that it's God speaking to him, Mr. Robertson proclaimed, "The apostle Paul said, the peace of God be an umpire in your heart. Well, the peace of God is the way God speaks to us. That peace lifts when we're doing something wrong. . . . Over the years, and I've walked with God for years and years and years and years, you get your senses exercised." [ellipses Olasky's]
The conclusion is inescapable to me that the traditional Baptist view of divining God's will has little if any qualitative difference from what Robertson describes. That ought to frighten us.


Dave said...

Not to quibble, but "tradition Baptist way of divining God's will" is probably not an accurate label. What you are really talking about is pietism, and that shows up in almost every strand of Christianity. This is not peculiar to Baptists as Baptists. This is the influence of pietism.

There have been and are significant pockets of non-pietistic approaches among Baptists.

Sojourner said...

For an example of a non-pietistic approach, I usually pick my next book to preach through by counting commentaries. Whichever book I have the least in, I preach that one so I can get new commentaries.

Ben said...


I'm not arguing that it's peculiar to Baptists. I do know that just about every Baptist whom I have heard advocate a departure from this pietistic approach has taken harsh criticism for it. Perhaps my experience is an anomaly. Regardless, I don't know anyone who claims to be a Pietist. I have heard plenty of Baptist who profess the cessation of sign gifts and take shots at charismatics but seem strangely blind to the implications of their own ideas or, at best, phraseology.

So I call it the traditional Baptist view admittedly not to imply that it is unique to Baptists, but because I presume that baptistic folks are my primary audience and because they are often the harshest critics of continuationism.


That sounds like a wise plan. Did the idea come to you in a vision?