Phoenix Preacher. The blog we love to hate to love. To hate.

Or something.

Generally a very… interesting blog; I have in the past on simplemindedpreacher tongue-in-cheekedly called it The Blog Of Which We Do Not Speak (the word “bitter” is the color red), I have lurked there for just over two years now, for a variety of reasons. It began as a sort of morbid fascination thing, roughly akin to watching a train wreck in progress. However, over the course of these two years, I’ve watched as Mike Newnham, the mods (most of them all of them), and many of the participants grew in grace and slogged through the actually real issues that many have been dealing with.

Calvary Chapel is a great movement to be a part of, and I am in many respects a Chuck Smith dittohead, but let’s face it; there are no perfect movements or denominations or churches, and even in the best, with the best of intentions, people get hurt.

It complicates the issue even more when bad men within the movement cause that hurt.

Phoenix Preacher has been a place of often extremely amusing venting by some really… angry people (must…not…say…bitter…) …but it’s also been a place of real outreach and communication and healing for many who have actually and legitimately been hurt by some truly unsavory people within the Calvary Chapel movement.

So it has served an overall very good purpose, and just as Mike and the mods (most of them all of them) have grown over the course of these two years, so have I as I’ve read, and considered, and prayed.

Mike Newnham has his issues (he’s a stark raving pinko commie Calvinist for one – much like one of my personal heroes, Mark “blankety-blank” Driscoll), but he’s no Doug Gilliland, with whom I’ve butted heads waaaaaay in the past when his “CC FUAQ” was still up. Newnham has serious issues with CC, but doesn’t seem to be a rabid “Chuck Smith is the Devil” type like some I’ve read and interacted with.

Oy, vey.


I said on another blog that I neither recommend Phoenix Preacher, or not recommend it; it is what it is. The blog certainly isn’t for the faint of heart, or for those who aren’t already well-grounded in what they believe, or for those who are uncomfortable questioning and/or challenging their worldview. I read it precisely because I disagree rather sharply with most of the things said and conclusions drawn – and so it keeps me thinking and considering from a perspective I wouldn’t naturally look.

Enter today’s post, “Sewing A New Wineskin.” Well-balanced, and overall quite good and thought-provoking. When I have time (being a bivoc that’s really a good joke… get it? When I have time? Heh… heh… whimper… cry…) I’d like to unpack it a bit, but let’s say I largely disagree with Mike’s conclusions… and somewhat agree.

But regardless, it’s an interesting, thought-provoking post.