good morning Ed Dobson

Two weeks ago I mentioned Ed Dobson’s interview in the Grand Rapids Press and compared his comments on Obama with what Al Mohler said on his blog.  The Press article was picked up by U.S.A. Today, and last Sunday Ed was interviewed on ABC’s Good Morning America.  You can watch the 3 minute interview here:


A few observations:


1. Ed has the Midas touch when it comes to media attention.  Perhaps it’s the lingering glow of having worked for Jerry Falwell, but the man could sneeze and get on television.  Good for him.


2. Ed was a maverick before Sarah Palin was cool (and remains one now that she isn’t).  Although he has enjoyed much worldly success, there is a little boy inside Ed who enjoys tweaking the establishment.  Doubly good for him.


3. That being said, Ed’s project for the past year seems rather silly.  While it is a good thing to read frequently through the gospels and spend time with the less fortunate, I doubt that “living like Jesus” means that we should attempt to live like ethnic Jews.  If Jesus were to return today, would he still eat kosher, keep the Jewish Sabbath, and sport an Amish beard?  The Book of Hebrews and Acts (see especially Peter’s vision in chapter 10) indicate that Ed’s project comes 2,000 years too late.


4. As Vice President for Spiritual Formation, Ed’s national admission that he frequently had beers in pubs blows a big hole through Cornerstone University’s lifestyle statement (the one which prohibits anyone who is not a board member or an adult continuing education teacher and student from consuming alcohol).  There is obviously a bit of hypocrisy here already—including those conservative churches who permit their people to drink alcohol but cluck their tongues at Cornerstone for even considering extending the same freedom to their employees—and it will be interesting to see whether any changes come from this.


5. I wish Ed hadn’t said that he voted for Obama because his policies were closest to the teachings of Jesus.  Didn’t his book with Cal Thomas, Blinded By Might, warn us against just this sort of thing—identifying Jesus with any religious party?  I’m glad that Ed made clear that he’s not saying that every Christian should vote for Obama or even that Jesus would have, but his statement seems intended to tweak rather than a logical consequence of his quest to live like Jesus.  If Jesus would not necessarily have voted for Obama, then why even bring it up in an interview on living like Jesus?  Especially considering Obama’s un-Jesus-like votes on abortion—including the partial birth kind—I wish that Ed had kept his vote to himself, or at least not blamed Jesus for it.


6. I like Ed a lot, as do all who know him.  I’m going to enjoy having him around our school, as he will likely keep things interesting.  We should all continue to pray for him as he grapples with ALS.


7. I don’t have a seventh point, but it seemed a shame to end so close to the number of completion.  Please take this moment to reflect on my first 6 points.



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36 responses to “good morning Ed Dobson”

  1. 1. Awesome!

    2. Awesome!

    3. It seems to me that calling this silly is silly. I am sure that someone of Pastor Dobson’s theological knowledge and experience knows that “living like Jesus” is deeper than keeping kosher and not shaving. I really don’t believe that Dobson’s “project” was meant for anything more than a personal religious experience. It may seem silly and pointless to us, but the point is that he wanted to attempt to live like a first-century Palestinian Jew for a year. Who are we to argue?

    4. While I understand the need for Christians to hold ourselves to a higher standard and calling than those that follow the world, I disagree with this policy and policies like it. Indeed, it will be interesting to see what fallout, if any, results from this.

    5a. I agree. Christian morality transcends any political party. Although I think I understand the point Dobson was attempting to make, I get squeamish and awkward any time someone claims that a political party is more “Christian” than another one.

    5b. I can also see the ill-informed talking head simply finding that little factoid interesting because evangelicals always vote conservative, and perhaps making more of it than Dobson intended.

    6. He is literally a walking miracle, a living testimony. I praise God for his witnessing, and pray that he will continue as long as physically possible.

    7. So close, yet so far away!


  2. Justin

    I am a bit concerned about all the attention that has been paid to Dobson’s living like Jesus, and wonder if it doesn’t miss the point. Isn’t Christianity fundamentally about what Jesus did in history, not about how we ought to live today? Isn’t this the very distinction J. Gresham Machen was making in Christianity and Liberalism? Has the media focused in on something that resonates within American society at large at the expense of the true message of the gospel of Jesus Christ?

    I do not wish to marginalize the efforts Ed Dobson made, both in his own life and in the attention this endeavor has attracted. I certainly do not believe it is his intent to misrepresent the gospel! And I appreciate the “moral sweat” Dobson has exerted in this journey. Indeed, all Christians should strive to live as Jesus would live today (accepting the observation made in point 3). Furthermore, I appreciate Dobson’s comments that this trek to live as Jesus has shown him how short he truly falls of God’s perfect standard. But should we not seek to more clearly articulate that living life like Jesus is the outworking of God’s work of regeneration in the individual…that such a life is a consequence of the gospel, not the gospel itself?

    Am I off base in my perception of what is being reported? Is this message coming across clearly? Or is Dobson’s message really coming across in more moralistic than theological tones?

  3. Let me begin by saying that I love Ed Dobson and have a tremendous amount of respect for him. Every time I have heard him speak, I have gone away with much to contemplate and a with an energized passion for living my faith in practical ways.

    However, I too find this whole experiment a bit silly. Attempting to live like a 1st Century Jew in 21st Century America is not going to give one an accurate understanding of what life was like for Jesus. I am wondering if there is any aspect of the whole experiment that transcends time and culture in such a way that would give a person an authentic understanding of what it means to “live like Jesus.”

    Since Jesus was no different in his daily living than other Jews of his day (as far as we know), wouldn’t it be more appropriate to think of ourselves as already “living like Jesus” since we too live our day-to-day lives just like everyone else around us? We eat the same foods, we dress in the same clothes, etc. The only difference is in how we love God, one another, and God’s creation.

    I do not care for the Cornerstone prohibition of drinking, but I am disappointed to hear that Ed Dobson violated this known rule for staff. It is not an issue of whether the rule should exist. It is an issue of integrity. He agreed to the Cornerstone Confession in order to be a staff person at the school. If he agreed to the Confession, he should have honored it, regardless of whether he thought the rule should exist or not. If he thought the rule needed changed, he could have worked to get it changed while honoring it until it was.

  4. mikewittmer


    Good thoughts and helpful insights. Regarding the issue of integrity, the abstinence from alcohol is not in the Confession but in a lifestyle statement that all employees sign. And since Ed is not a paid employee of Cornerstone (he is on disability), it may be that he did not sign it. But you still have a point.


    Wouldn’t you say that the gospel is both about what Jesus did in history and how we should live today? We need both right doctrine and right practice. Agreed that Ed’s project focused on the latter, but this is still a vital part of the gospel.

  5. Yooper

    When it comes to the point that I sense the VP of Spiritual Formation would undermine how my wife and I raised our children, and I would want to exempt my child from chapel – why bother with a “christian” college/university? We are raising our children to confront the culture for Jesus Christ – not to become a part of it. I feel a great peace about sending them to a secular university where they can make a difference.

    Thank you, Ed Dobson!

  6. mikewittmer


    What do you think is being undermined here? The fact that Ed had a beer with sinners in a bar or voted for a Democrat doesn’t make him or his actions unChristian.

  7. “Ed was a maverick before Sarah Palin was cool (and remains one now that she isn’t)”

    [breathes in deeply, holds it for a second, and lets it out]
    Ahhhhh, my afternoon cup of Wittmer.

    BTW, I agree about the discontinuity b/w Blinded By Might and the tenor of this interview…

  8. Okay, I just finished watching the rest of the interview, and I’m afraid this is going to contribute to law/gospel confusion! WHY THE HECK wouldn’t he have used that national platform to talk (even a little) about WHAT JESUS DID DO?? (i.e. the cross). Especially when asked “Final bottom line: what should others think about going forward in 2009?” His answer was ALL LAW. I’ve heard Ed give some of the most powerful presentations of the Gospel. What happened here?

  9. Oh, good grief–I’m commenting for the third consecutive time to the same post… I just wanted to mention that if Ed drank alcohol during that year, I will bet green money (is that against the lifestyle statement?) that he didn’t sign the document.

    Me, on the other hand… I was a student of Cornerstone College, University, and GRTS from 1996-2005 and if you laid end-to-end the butts from all the cigars I smoked during that time, they’d reach from Beltline and Leonard all the way to where I sit in my church study in Lansing. I guess I’m in no position to cast the first stone.

  10. mikewittmer

    Z. Bartels:

    That’s a lot of cigars, especially for someone who had so little to celebrate. Interesting insight about Law. I wonder if that dovetails with the point that Justin was making? If so, does my response to Justin defend Ed here as well? Bottom line, you can’t say everything in an interview, but I acknowledge your point that the gospel was not shared.

    On a related issue, I was surprised with Kurt Warner after last weekend’s playoff victory. He answered the interviewer’s football questions without once thanking Jesus for his victory. What is this world coming to?

  11. Yooper

    “What do you think is being undermined here? The fact that Ed had a beer with sinners in a bar or voted for a Democrat doesn’t make him or his actions unChristian.”

    That is exactly the dialogue that I do not have the patience for if I am paying the tuition, especially those that push the envelope in a “christian” environment. Shoot, I don’t have the patience even if they get full tuition paid scholarships!

  12. mikewittmer


    Maybe God is trying to teach you patience?

  13. Yooper

    The Gospel was missed on the front page article of the 12/25/2008 Grand Rapids Press as well. It was sad that on the day set aside to celebrate the birth of a child, we read about a spiritual leader who voted for one who is very pro-abortion. I agree, he ought to have kept silent about who he voted for. But then there wouldn’t have been a story for the media, would there?

  14. Yooper

    We thankfully have the freedom to choose our battles.

  15. There’s a major difference b/w a jock not thanking Jesus in an interview and a pastor on a show to talk about Jesus giving props to Obama but not mentioning the cross even once.

    Ed was talking about living like Jesus, but living like Jesus is not enough (I recently read that somewhere).

    Looking back at Justin’s comments, yeah, that’s pretty much what I”m saying too. As to your response to Justin, do you really mean to identify my response (by way of holy living) as part of the Gospel? It seems to me that Calvin and Luther went to great lengths to rightly divide Law (the imperative, what God commands us to do) and Gospel (the indicative, what Christ did for us). If they were right, then Ed didn’t mention any bit of the Gospel. He didn’t even mention how that year showed him that it’s IMPOSSIBLE for any of us to live as Jesus did (sinless) and use that to point the viewer to the cross.

    I’m not judging the guy–he’s a hero of the faith in my book and always will be. And, hey, who knows WHAT I’d wind up saying with all the lights and cameras and just one shot to say everything in a concise and accurate way. I have zero doubt about his heart. I’m not judging him at all– just disappointed at a missed opportunity.

  16. Justin

    I very much appreciate the comment by Z. Bartels on the law/gospel distinction. I suppose in response to your question, I want to ask, how is “right practice” good news? How is “this is how you ought to live:” the gospel? Would such teaching conform to the teaching of the New Testament? Machen addresses this question quite directly.

    “What is it that forms the content of that primitive teaching [of the church]? Is it a general principle of the fatherliness of God or the brotherliness of man? Is it a vague admiration for the character of Jesus such as that which prevails in the modern Church? Nothing could be further from the fact. “Christ died for our sins,” said the primitive disciples, “according to the Scriptures; he was buried; he has been raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” From the beginning, the Christian gospel, as indeed the name “gospel” or “good news” implies, consisted in an account of something that had happened. And from the beginning, the meaning of the happening was set forth; and when the meaning of the happening was set forth then there was Christian doctrine. “Christ died”–that is history; “Christ died for our sins”–that is doctrine. Without these two elements, joined in an absolutely indissoluble union, there is no Christianity.” From J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism, page 27.

    It seems to me that the exhortations to right living in the New Testament are founded upon the gospel, but not part of its essence. Don’t get me wrong: I whole heartedly believe that right living is an essential part of the whole Christian experience. The gospel is the reason for recycling, feeding the poor, housing the homelss, loving our neighbors, giving generously to our local church and other ministries…it is what drives us to put off the old self and put on the new self. Even more, it is the means God uses to enable us to do so! But I don’t see how the gospel is those things.

    Going back to Z Bartels’ observation about the final question of the interview, why not say something like, “Trying to follow Jesus’ life showed me, above all, the importance of his death, burial, and resurrection. I believe that we all need to live like Jesus, but in the end, we must acknowledge the impossibility of this task, and rest in the fact that while we ought to try to live as he did, ultimately it is he who lived the life we should!”?

  17. mikewittmer

    Z and Justin:

    Good points all. I was using “gospel” in a broader, looser sense–that there is no good news if it doesn’t change the way we live. But you are dead-on with your analysis, and I thank you for it.

  18. Yooper

    It has been hinted at and I’ll ask the question – doesn’t Dobson’s behavior seem a bit emergent, with a pre-modern twist?

  19. I recall several Cornerstone athletes (particularly in the basketball program) disciplined for breaking policy rules and forfeiting scholarships…tough lessons for 19 year old kids…so my assumption is Dr. Dobson will be treated in a similar fashion…unless of course he is somehow above or beyond the rules.

  20. It is funny how I blogged this months ago and now my blog is blowing up from all the media attention. Great post btw.

  21. Wow, there’s a lot here, and I know that I’m joining the conversation a bit late, but just a few things…

    I’m in full agreement with Mike on 1 & 2. I’ve only met Ed Dobson once and it was in a classroom setting, but I’ve always wished I could spend a bit more time with him.

    With regard to 3, however, I have to agree with The Wingnut. It seems a bit silly to take Ed Dobson to task for trying to live like Jesus for a year. From what I read and heard I don’t think Ed would argue that if Jesus were to return today he would still eat kosher, keep the Jewish Sabbath, and sport an Amish beard. Certainly he is aware of The Book of Hebrews and Acts, and more than likely wouldn’t want to be affiliated with the Judaizers. What bothers me, though, is that, perhaps unknowingly, you’ve [Mike] equivocated on this point. For Ed, “living like Jesus” meant a sort of experiment where he, like the author of the popular book, tried to live as Jesus lived, and not because he thought that Jesus would live that way today, or because he thinks that this is the call of the Gospel, but again, as a sort of experiment in seeing things from yet another perspective/life context. In point 3, however, the meaning of the phrase “living like Jesus” shifts ever so subtly to a sense of oughtness right about here: “…means that we should attempt…”. Nowhere does Ed say that we should, only that he [Ed] did.

    4, given your later response to Tim, seems a bit unfair as whether or not he even signed the statement is in question. With regard to the issue of integrity we are so quick to measure ourselves and others against standards of our choosing, and this is problematic for at least three reasons: First, all have sinned and fall short. This is not to say that we are not to live holy lives, but none of us do (apart from grace), and sometimes we seem to forget that. Second, much like voting (ironically enough), we all have our 2 or 3 issues which we elevate, and by which we judge. We’re quick to judge someone for not abiding by a statement they signed (which is in this case a bit unclear), but judge others as men of integrity who, even perhaps unknowingly, neglect their families while they “give their all” to the church, violate the speed limit, eat too much, or are in general uncharitable or any number of other things. Third, and this flows naturally out of the first two, with all the talk about Dobson preaching law it would seem that we would be a bit more cautious in setting up standards by which we judge personal holiness. It sounds a bit like legalism. Wait a minute…that’s because it is. Hiding behind the “integrity” argument (as valid as it may be in and of itself) is legalism by another name. We’ve set up standards, which the Bible says nothing of (though it has plenty to say of drunkeness and gluttony for that matter), forced anyone who wants to be a part of the community to sign off, and then we police the community in the name of integrity and holiness, but we’ve missed the point. We’re still living under the law, and one of our own making. For more along these lines, I heartily recommend Dick Staub’s Too Christian Too Pagan where he argues that Jesus was always too Christian for his pagan friends and too pagan for his Christian ones. It would seem as though this discussion is a perfect illustration of Staub’s thesis.

    With regard to 5, what is he guilty of that we aren’t? Don’t we all vote for the candidate who, in our minds, best represents the teachings of Jesus. He more than qualified himself. Give him the benefit of the doubt. And here again, voting isn’t as easy as asking who’s for abortion and who’s against it. I found it difficult to choose this last time, because of the unbearable lightness of being. On the one hand, we cannot know every implication of voting for a candidate. They’re fallen and will no doubt make decisions, whether knowingly or unknowingly, that are unGodly. Thus, the decision is paralyzing because either option is foggy. Yet, choosing a candidate arbitrarily, or based upon one or two points, which seems just as arbitrary (How do we identify these points? Which points have priority? Etc.) seems pointless. How do we move forward? By doing the best we can. Examining the Scriptures, praying about our decision, and voting for who we think best represents the teachings of Jesus, and the whole of Scripture for that matter, and that’s exactly what Dobson did. Here again, I fail to see the point.

    Just two more things…

    With regard to him not mentioning any bit of the Gospel [Bartels], this seems to miss a basic feature of human conversation. We’re finite. As finite creatures, we can only say one thing at a time, and implicit in this is the fact that many things could be said. Saying one of those things doesn’t necessarily make the claim to say all things (though we often make this mistake), and so the important thing is to realize which part of the conversation we’re having, to have that part, and then to acknowledge that it was just one part, moving on to have the other parts. Ed Dobson was having one part of the conversation, and we’re criticizing him for not having had another part, or perhaps the whole thing. For my part, recommending that we read the Bible seems like a pretty good part of the conversation to have. If we’re all about the Story, how can we take issue with someone who encourages the world to read it (or upon reading it to live like Jesus…maybe not the only, but certainly a necessary component of the Christian life – Eph.2:10). Perhaps you acknowledge this, but wish that he had chosen another part (i.e., Redemption), but perhaps it is we who need to learn patience…in telling the Story, and letting God do His work. He is after all the one who waters. I’ve never understood why we always feel like we have to tell the whole Story, or the climax of the Story all the time, every time. It’s like people who fast forward through the bulk of Handel’s Messiah to hear the Hallelujah chorus, and miss the journey that makes it what it is. There is value in starting at the beginning, and if one is to read the Bible, they’re bound to find Genesis 1:1.

    Second, there seems to be some confusion regarding law/works. Dallas Willard is helpful here. In his work, The Spirit of the Disciplines (38ff. amongst other places), he distinguishes between works, a natural part of faith, and meritorious works. The former are the disciplines of the Christian life, the outworking of right belief (see Don’t Stop Belieiving), the latter a misunderstanding of the grace of God. Living like Jesus isn’t works based salvation, but the result of salvation.

    Sorry to be so long winded, but I thought it might bring a bit of clarity to the conversation. I didn’t mean to offend, only discuss. I trust you will give me the benefit of the doubt as you read and respond.

  22. Two things, maybe three:
    1. In regards to sports athletes, just once I’d like to see a losing “christian” player say that they lost because God wanted him to lose so he could learn to be a more gracious loser. If it happens I’ll buy Zach a Monte Cristo.
    2. Does anyone know when Dr. Dobson hit the bars? (I had to put it that way for fun). I mean, if he was only employed half of the year, it is possible that he was talking about before he was hired, right?
    Lastly, I’ve not heard anyone address his reason for hitting the bar.

  23. My 2 cents…

    1st Cent: How or why did Dobson’s “living like Jesus become public? Didn’t Jesus talk about not doing our religous exercises in a way that brings inordinate attention to ourselves; things like praying on the street corner instead of in our closet, or flagrantly flashing the big wad of greenbacks before polping them in the offering plate? I’m not going to say Dobson is a “pharisee” for doing the interviews, but the question still remains why and for what purpose did he do the interviews? ….and how was his doing so consistent with “living like Jesus”?

    2nd Cent: Just because a politician uses “compassion speak” and “help the poor speak” dosen’t mean said politician really has true compassion for the poor, or that said politician’s policies will really help the poor. Such kind of speak is cheap and often without a whole lot of substance. …and yes, Dobson’s comments, as presented, imply “said candidate” holds a higher moral ground then the other candidate, at least in Dobson’s conscience. But a secular media will not distingush between Dobson’s consciense as a believer and my consciense as a believer. For all we know Jesus might have voted for Ron Paul… Or maybe Jesus would not have been an American citizen at all… After all, the one nation existing today that best represents what the 1st century Roman empire might have been like is China.

    I’m tempted to asy more but I’ve spent all my pennies…


  24. Yooper

    Joe, the following are Dobson’s words from the interview, “I would often go down to the bar, sit up at the counter, drink a beer and talk about God, which Jesus was accused of being a glutton and a drunkard.”

    The issue was that there were those who looked down on the people or company that Jesus kept, and the point was missed by Dobson. It wasn’t about Jesus having a beer (or drink of water), and besides Jesus offered His salvation to tax collectors, prostitutes, members of the sanhedrin… as well.

  25. Yooper

    Once again, if Dobson had left out his having a beer during his visits to the bar it would have lost a bit of the kick that the media wanted. If there are things that I may do that could be considered questionable when in the company of the unsaved, does that mean that I should broadcast it to the nation?

  26. Just Some Guy

    Mike, I think you’ll find that all is well in Kurt Warner’s world if you watch this video of him drawing a picture of God:

    Key quote: “So, I was drawing a picture of God, but it came out more like Jesus. So why don’t we stick with that being Jesus.”

  27. mikewittmer

    Thanks for your thoughts, Chris. Regarding a couple of your points (numbered like yours),

    3. I think that reading the gospels and spending time with the poor is a terrific thing that Ed did. The part that struck me as “silly” was observing a Jewish Sabbath, eating kosher, and growing a beard. I respect Ed for being mavericky enough to do it, but I think that it does convey some theological confusion–especially to readers and viewers who don’t know Hebrews and Acts as well as Ed. Also note the fact that he didn’t go very far in living like a first century Jesus, as he likely rode around in cars, wore suits, and ate at Chile’s. Finally, if the point was merely to “see life from a different perspective,” then I suppose he could just as well have spent the year “living like Josephus.” Once you make it about Jesus, it’s hard to keep the religion out of it.

    4. I think that as vice president of CU there are integrity issues, whether or not a statement was signed. Put yourself in the shoes of a conscientious teetolling staff member here and you’ll understand what I mean. However, my “hypocrisy” comment was aimed a the larger picture rather than Ed himself (see how it immediately follows my comment that some, such as the board members at CU, are not obligated to keep the same rules as the rest of us). And to be clear, I’m on Ed’s side on this one. Abstaining from alcohol is a legalistic leftover from the days of prohibition. Very few churches, if any, in Grand Rapids still maintain it. It is time for that rule to go.

    5. I don’t have a problem with Ed voting for Obama, and I even understand why he would. I question the wisdom and the rationale for publicly associating that vote with Jesus. It’s the sort of thing he rightly warned us against doing in “Blinded by Might.”

  28. mikewittmer

    Just some guy:

    For an old quarterback, that Kurt Warner is sneaky!

  29. Yooper

    The veil was torn, we are not under the law! Mark 15:38

  30. c.brewer,
    “One part of the conversation?” A community standard of holiness “is legalism?” Oh, boy. Break out the fauxhawks, the incense, and the imported beer. We’re using similar words but speaking different languages.

    And I’m afraid that, without the dying on the cross bit of the story, the big long beard bit is meaningless.

  31. Ray


    Thank you for writing such succient comments and sharing your observations about Ed Dobson’s latest spiritual journey and Jewish emulation.

    I, too, like Ed and highly respect him. But I believe that he has done an injustice to the Christian community that is already confused and fragmented with so many other “things” and numerous theological diversions.

    Jesus was the end of the law. Why promote its keeping as if it is more glorious than the freedom we have in Christ through the blood He shed?

  32. Yooper

    “…the big long beard bit is meaningless.”

    Put a guitar in his hands and you have an aging member of ZZ Top.

  33. Mike, thanks for the response…points well taken. I’m sure that we’re closer on this than my comments may have led you to believe. I just didn’t feel like the overall conversation was giving him a fair shake.

    Z. Bartels, I didn’t follow your comment, but thanks if it was a compliment, and sorry if I did something to offend. As for your last comment…again, straying from the conversation…not particularly helpful.

    Certainly, growing a beard isn’t preaching the gospel. But failing to mention the cross while encouraging the world to read the BIble which does doesn’t seem that far off, especially if you believe, as I do, that the Gospel is the Story, and all of its parts.

  34. Jpdie

    I`m a little late reading this, at least he`s trying to live like Jesus as “crazy” as it might seem.

    It seems to me that most spend time defending what one thinks instead of getting up, going outside of ones comfort zone, and helping others. Everyone should strive to be more selfless.
    Your words are empty.

    Ed is golden.

  35. Jpdie,

    There are several on this blog post that wrote in agreement with Michael Wittmer (discerning the good and the not so good) that are living like Jesus,,,, that are, as you say, going outside of ones comfort zone and helping others in a radical way. David Drake (poop emerges) has been living among and serving the urban poor for 10 years pastoring Crosswinds Church. He is not spending most of his time defending what he thinks, although at times he will defend the gospel when it is compromised. The church that Z. Bartels pastors in Lansing has a clothing ministry that has served some 24,000 needy people (mostly at-risk kids and teens) since its inception. These two pastors are not sitting on the side lines, but are active participants in “living like Jesus” but without all of the unnecessary kosher activities that Ed did. You assume way too much about the author of this blog site and some that are in agreement with him.

  36. formerzygote

    The Gospel: Natural man is under God’s judgment and condemnation (John 3:18). The remedy (Good News) is that Jesus took our punishment when we have faith (trust) in what he did (Romans 5:1, Ephesians 2:8-9). The good works we do are those God has prepared for us (Ephesians 2:10).
    To ask the unregenerate to “Live like Jesus” would be akin to asking a dead person to comb their hair. Their condition doesn’t change!

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