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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Dr. Campolo Speaks

Yesterday I went and heard Dr. Tony Campolo speak at Iowa Wesleyan College (local college here in Pleasantville). I've heard him before and was kind of interested to see him in person. He was a great, very articulate speaker. He made his points clear and easy to understand, yet spoke with a high level of intelligence.

I was already formulating in my mind exactly what great things I was going to say about him until he said he would take one more question from the floor and a man stood and asked "Dr. Campolo, with the recent tsunami in the east, the atheists are having a hay day saying there is no God because God would never let this happen. Or, if there is a God, he must be weak. How would you respond to these accusations?"

Great question! I sat back ready for a great answer... which never came.

The answer given was that God, who is powerful has given up his power in exchange for love. You can not have both love and power at the same time. He stated that when God came to earth in the form of man, he gave up his power because he came as a servant (translated from the Greek, it says servant) Because of this, he was showing us that he was relinquishing his power. Of course he'll come back full of power some day for his second coming, but at this point.... no power.

I learned a hard lesson years ago when I thought I knew it all and challenged then Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders in front of a group of college students and was quickly put in my place by her superior intellect. Of course if you remember her and her topic of choice, you may understand why. As a result I was not going to even think about asking the question that was screaming inside my head. I will share it with you however.

"When Acts 2 speaks of receiving power from the Holy Spirit (as much God as Jesus is) how does that equate to God not having power?" Acts 2 occurred after Jesus came to earth as a servant. The power has to be given if we are going to receive and the one giving has to have it to give it. Even if you don't believe that Acts 2 is for today, which as an American Baptist Dr. Campolo does not - I think his exact words were to the effect of "I don't believe in speaking in Tongues... I don't even believe in kissing in tongues" - you still have to believe that power was given to the disciples on the day of pentecost, which deflates his argument that God quit having power when Jesus came to earth. Even deflates the argument that God has power, but quit using it when Jesus came to earth.

Dr. Campolo, sorry, but I can't say much good about you after hearing that lame answer.