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July 16, 2006



We had a sermon this past Sunday on the topic of fear. We looked at 2 Timothy 1:8-18. Paul is writing to Timothy from prison and basically telling him not to be afraid. To preach the word. Here is Paul sitting in prison about to be beheaded and he's telling Timothy not to be afraid.

Anytime we are doing (or not doing) something out of fear, we have lost (temporarily) our faith in God and his power.

I pray that you will fearlessly and wisely express your opinion and beliefs, even when I don't agree with them.


Darn it, Ken, I was gonna look all smart and grounded but you stole my post!!


Greg McR

Why these men were more afraid of Dobson than that they might not be faithful to their calling, tells me more about them than it does about James Dobson.


I would speculate that they are afraid of Dobson because of his inordinate amount of power over evangelical parents. They're the ones who will help decide where their children will go to college, after all!

I wouldn't assume that they are letting their fear affect their faithfulness to their calling, but fear is unfortunately a big factor among evangelicals. It is a weapon that I have seen evangelicals wield more and more and I think that's reprehensible.

Greg McR

Odd that Dobson usually gets attacked for his abortion stance but Balmer takes issue on the divorce question where Dobson's focus on the family also places a great deal of emphasis. It seems like no matter what he says, he's an easy target and can't win. I don't always agree with his strategy of political engagement but I'm not sure the criticism above was exactly fair either.

If those men were focused on their faithfulness instead of building bigger reputations for themselves and their institutions then they would not care one bit about James Dobson. Dobson is big, but he is not as big as God. He's the one they should fear.


I don't think that it is an attack on Dobson in any way. It is more of an 'attack' on those that would lift him up to that status in their minds. I don't believe that Dobson went looking for or even uses his power intentionally. The fact of the matter is that when a group of christians rely that heavily on the word of a man, they have lost sight of God. It is unfortunate that others then feel hesitant to get on that person's bad side, which is then acting out of fear.



You wrote: "If those men were focused on their faithfulness instead of building bigger reputations for themselves and their institutions then they would not care one bit about James Dobson."

Your assumptions about what those people are thinking are unfair. Are you saying college presidents shouldn't care how many people come to their school?

Having said that, I think we're agreeing that fear of what a powerful person thinks or says should not ultimately govern their decisions. The point I was originally trying to make is that this type of fear should not cause us to censor what we say. I also think that Christian leaders and organizations have to be careful about how they wield the power they have.


Ken, thanks for your comment. I would just question this part of what you said:

"I don't believe that Dobson...uses his power intentionally."

I wrote about my concern for the way Dobson uses his power intentionally here.

You're right, though. The point overall is that fear is all too often a motivator behind people remaining silent when they have valid criticisms and/or questions.

I think the man has done a lot of good for the education of parents, but I disagree with some of his views on gender. I have to admit that I enjoyed attacking him in a "back-handed" way. (Does that make me a bad person?)


Bill, I followed your link and it just links back to this article that we are commenting on now. Should it have pointed somewhere else where you specifically discuss Dobson's use of his power?


Whoops! It was actually a link to my "Politics category." I fixed it so that it links directly to the post I'm talkig about. Thanks for pointing that out!


Hey, I was trying to be nice. :-)
Figured I would give it a try. (jkg)


Ken, you try to be nice and I will punish you for it every time! ;-)

Greg McR

Bill, Perhaps I am being unfair but I do think that if a college president focuses on faithfulness, the numbers will take care of themselves.


I think we're agreeing that this faithfulness you speak of should be to God.

As I said at the end of my post, "My prayer is that many Christians, including myself, will be able to overcome fear, ask hard questions, posit difficult solutions, and speak the truth in love."


I agree many Christians are afraid to be who they turely are because of what others in authority might think or to please the majority. Christians vote republican because they think they might upset the "religous right" or those in religous authority, etc. Fear is a very strong factor. I think it is time for Christians not have fear when it comes to who they truly are. Do not be ashamed to stand up for what you truely believe.

I enjoyed your comments on Scot McKnights blog.

I enjoyed reading your blog.
I hope Christians everywhere will enjoy the freedom that they have in Christ and not be fearful of the "relgious right", "religous dogmatic authority figures."

Thank you again so much for your post.


Thanks, Preacherman.

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