Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The First Ever Ruling Elder Blog Contest!

I have decided to have a contest.

Here's how it works: below, I have posted a video clip of a portion of a "talk" (I won't call it a sermon) that I watched today. To participate in the contest, you must watch the video (the clip is only about 10 minutes long), and leave a comment on this blog post with a critique of the talk. The best critique (as chosen by me, and me alone) will win and I will send the winner a book of some sort (I'm not sure what just yet, but most likely something by a Puritan). My advice to all who enter is to be precise and concise. No need to write a dissertation on this!

Contest will end in 1 week (no comments posted after Wednesday, October 6 will be accepted for consideration), at which time I'll announce a winner. All who wish to participate may do so.

Here is the video. Watch, comment, and may the best critique win!


  1. Substantive point 1: this is a very clear Enlightenment-driven divorce between fact and experience.

    Substantive point 2: the text, message and focus of this false teaching is a donut instead of Jesus Christ. He preaches the donut instead of the Word. This happens because he substituted an illustration for the sermon text.

    Substantive point 3: he claims personal direct revelation from the Holy Spirit.

    Substantive point 4: he substitutes the kingdom of this world for the kingdom of God.

    What follows is my expression of his devotion.

    Our Cream, which art in mouth, hallowed by thy name Krispy. Thy kingdom of taste come, thy will of hole-i-ness come, on earth as it certainly will be in heaven. Give us this day our daily Krispy, and forgive us our lack of devotion to Krispy Kreme, as we forgive others who lack this devotion. Lead us not into donutlessness, but deliver us into the temptation of partaking of you. For thine is the money, the intoxicatingly divine taste, and the hole-i-ness forever. Amen.

  2. "...for about two hours they all cried out with one voice, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”


  4. I like what Lane said...but keep in mind he's a Teaching Elder ;)

    I learned so much about Krispy-Kreme and so little about Christ.

    He actually uses the pulpit as a place to praise and bring glory to Krispy Kreme...a place that is reserved for Christ.

    The pulpit is a place for gravity not humor. His jocularity was inappropriate given that he was to proclaim God's holy word in reverence.

    He creates a false dichotomy in which information about Jesus is divorced from an experience with Jesus. The bottom line is that you can't have an experience with Jesus without learning the truth about Him. You don't need to know the truth about what's in a donut to experience it, but you do need to know the truth about Jesus to experience Him.

    He claimed the Spirit of God told him to take a donut. This shows more irreverence for God and puts Him on the same level as Ronald McDonald as being a spokesperson for a food product.

    He paints a picture of a hedonistic Heaven in which our fleshly desires (like for donuts) are gratified. Rather, both in Heaven and on earth we are to be gratified by Christ.

    He sets a bad example of breaking the Sabbath in that the Krispy Creme donuts were most likely purchased just prior to that Sunday service.

    Calling the donut "king of all donuts" and paralleling it to Christ does great disservice to Christ, and once again shows a complete lack of reverence.

    He didn't even thank the Lord for the donut before eating it.

  5. It is unclear whether this is a sermon or a talk; I hope it is the latter, but suspect it may be the former. A critique of this video would differ based on the nature of this message, whether a talk or a sermon, e.g. his lack of reverence. It is also somewhat more difficult to be discerning or critical with just an excerpt. But that is the task at hand, so here goes.

    It is unfortunate that I am watching this in the morning, and now may have to go out and find some Krispy Kreme doughnuts (I am in Atlanta so that won’t be a problem). He obviously is a able communicator. He convinced me that I need to have one… now.

    He failed to mention that Krispy Kreme has shops throughout the Southeast which make the doughnuts there and have a sign that says “hot doughnuts now” whenever they are fresh out of the oven. You have never really had a Krispy Kreme doughnut, or a real doughnut at all, until you have had a fresh, hot one right there in the store. There is nothing like it. His failure to mention this is a significant weakness.

    He starts by reading Scripture. That is a good sign, and it is missing from many “messages.” At least he reads the Word of God (Isaiah 55:11).

    I won’t go into whether it is a good idea to tell such a lengthy story to make a point (doubtful). Nor his failure to exposit Scripture (which may actually happen during the “message” but is missing from this clip). He also takes some liberties about heaven and the Holy Spirit which I hope he means, and the audience understands, to be jokes.

    As to the point that he is making, which I understand to be a comparison between knowing about Jesus and encountering Jesus, with the latter being his aim, it is again unclear from the clip where he is going with this, but it is pretty easy to guess. It is true that isolated knowledge about Jesus is not enough; even the demons know about Jesus (James 2:19). You must be regenerated by the Holy Spirit, have a new heart, be born again, have faith, believe, and what should follow is a new life in Christ. This we all know.

    I am not sure that the alternative to knowing about Jesus is an “encounter” with Jesus. This is an incorrect comparison. But maybe he will clarify this later. There are extreme dangers in this comparison. First of all, what is an encounter without knowledge? How can we encounter Jesus if we don’t know something about him? What are we going to do, bump into him? How can we have a relationship without knowledge of the other person? The gospel is words, proclamation, a message based in and communicated by human language. It is propositional truth, which necessarily involves knowledge (Rom. 10:17). If you separate some kind of emotional experience or encounter from true knowledge, then it could lead you anywhere.

    We encounter Jesus through his Spirit-illuminated Word. That involves language and knowledge. Even Paul’s encounter with Jesus involved knowledge, words, from Jesus to Paul. With the disciples on the road to Emmaus, Jesus opened up the Scriptures and explained it to them. We encounter Jesus through the means of grace: Word, prayer, and sacraments, which are the Word made visible and tangible to us. John Calvin said that Jesus comes to us through our minds to our hearts.

    This is an excellent example of what R. Scott Clark calls the Quest for Illegitimate Religious Experience (QIRE). He is appealing to that desire for an emotional encounter and experience of Jesus, unfortunately unmediated by the Word and God’s ordained means of grace. That, I believe, is the heart of what is wrong with this message.

  6. The key take-away points:

    1. Those who haven't had Krispy Kreme donuts need prayer and intervention.

    2. Krispy Kreme is the best.

    3. The headquarters of KK is Winston-Salem, NC. Call them 1-800-4-KRISPY. Please call them.

    4. 1937 God made KK.

    5. KK will be in heaven.

    6. There are different kinds of people: plain, chocolate, sprinkles, etc. But the best is plain glazed. It is the King of Donuts.

    7. The KK sign instills happiness.

    8. The KK promise: KK will continue to make the best tasting, highest quality products because that's what you deserve.

    9. The KK T-shirt makes you popular with your pastor.

    10. The Pastor should eat donuts during his sermon. (Our pastor is sooo cool!)

    11. Encountering the donut is more important than knowledge of it. You need an encounter with Jesus.

    12. The biblical Gospel message is irrelevant.

  7. Well, honestly, it was definitely enjoyable on some level, though I kept waiting to hear him direct everyone to look under their seat for a free Krispy Kreme doughnut with coffee, kept fresh in a special little warming tray – the listener is worthy of his wages, after all. Still, while commenting, I’d like to discount myself from competition, whether the prise a Puritan book or equally delicious box of diabetic kryptonite.

    The day after miraculously feeding five thousand, perceiving the crowd wanted to take Him by force and make Him king, and having them follow in boats across the lake in pursuit of Him (His disciples having left without Him, though He having walked out to join them in their boat), as the people, catching up to Jesus, after some preliminaries about food and work and signs and belief, next ask, “What then do You do for a sign, so that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘HE GAVE THEM BREAD OUT OF HEAVEN TO EAT.’” And Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” They reply, “Lord, always give us this bread.” Jesus then describes Himself as “the bread of life” (John 6, NASB).

    I’ve never heard it alluded that a sure title of Jesus is King Krispy Kreme, nor that perhaps there’s an ancient Masonic or Illuminati conspiracy behind Vernon Rudolph and the secret yeast-raised doughnut recipe from some mysterious New Orleans French chef. Still, I credit God with our gift of humour, though no doubt Satan makes ill use of it (or the lack thereof)among comedians and Puritans alike, and I’ve heard an abundance of what I personally would critique as poor pastoral humour and parable illustration. It indeed sounds strange to call God jovial, where Jove is the Roman king of the gods, and where Hadrian built a temple to him over the destroyed Temple in Jerusalem, but as God is love He certainly is the Source of joy and happiness (blessedness).

    I’m not one to in any way suggest that Moses or Jesus or Paul may have faired better with Krispy Kreme doughnuts in their respective wildernesses and provisions for the people. Deuteronomy 8 (esp. v. 16-20) tells us the manna of forty years was given to humble and test our worship of God away from reliance in our own strength for salvation, to tactilely encounter God’s provision, and from generation to generation to factually convey both the knowledge and encounter through faith. Jesus Himself was no foe to parable and illustration using common associations, often even without full explanation to the general public. I’ll purposely further avoid Communion comparisons between unleavened bread and doughnuts, or what makes for real wine or blood – all parables have their limitations, even where taste is concerned. It sounds to me though, for the provided 10-minute clip sample, like our “First Ever Ruling Elder Blog Contest!” of critique has as an aim to appropriately assess an almost completely dough-filled ‘talk’.

    As much as I so often differ from R. Scott Clark, by way of critique I so far like best the last little bit that Patrick posts. Having a talk so humorously filled with an appeal to emotive experience has drawbacks of disingenuous encounter. It can be dangerous to philosophically compare our encounter with God in epicurean or hedonistic fashion. Certainly we may eat ‘King Jesus Krispy Kreme’, but spending the better part of a talk sensationalising it, while dramatically delightfully delicious, doesn’t carry us very far toward the genuine encounter it’s meant to illustrate. I’m hard-pressed to find Saul becoming Paul in a seeing struck-blind encounter, a doughnut moment, even if it does involve Bread.

    - grit

  8. Oh, and I'm glad he wasn't preaching from a pulpit or wearing a robe or being reverent (grave). At least this way he doesn't bear any of the signs of a legitimate Minister of the Word of God, exercising his divinely-appointed obligation to stand as a representative of God Himself to Preach God's Word to God's people.

  9. Dude, this video is wack, yo!