Tuesday, December 02, 2014

The Ten Commandments of Progressive Racialism

Sadly, racialism in America is producing a widening divide in our country and it would appear that many politicians, along with the mainstream media, enthusiastically promulgate this disease. The reader should note that by using the term racialism I am speaking of an idea that is far more specific than racism. If you are unfamiliar with the distinction between these terms, let me offer a summary, but with this important qualification: both concepts of racialism and racism run contrary to the clear teaching of Scripture (also see this article: All Men are Created Equal?). Both concepts of racialism and racism are related ideas based upon the faulty, contemporary notion that men can be distinguished and categorized by superficial distinctions. Current uses of these terms fail to recognize that the word race speaks of the concept of genealogy. In the case of the term racialism (or scientific racialism), we find a contemporary connotation which seeks to offer scientific classifications of human “races” based upon skin color and facial features, rather than genealogy. Thus, when people speak of a person’s race in view of their skin color, they demonstrate much of the confusion surrounding the word’s historic denotation. Thus, racism is an ideology which begins with the false presupposition of scientific racialism, but continues with an assumption of a natural hierarchy of the races (some races are more favorable than others). Because of this, racism is deeply flawed and contrary to all teachings of Scripture, as well as contemporary scientific analyses of the unitary nature of the human race. Despite all this, our society continues to speak, erroneously, of skin color as being the primary indicator of one’s “race. What I wish to remind the reader of is this central matter: the Bible clearly refutes the contrived concepts of racialism and racism seeing that nothing - not skin color, eye color, hair color, nor one’s genealogical background – can either augment or diminish a person’s value as a human being. Scripture is quite clear: all men were created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27) and all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23, 5:12), therefore, all men – without distinction - need the Lord Jesus Christ. Contrary to this, the teaching of racialism is a Gospel destroying philosophy that must never be tolerated by the followers of Christ.

What is sad to see amidst all the discussions of “race relations” here in America is the absence of the Bible’s emphasis on our shared humanity, no matter what our skin color. Such discussions of “race” rip us away from the precious message of the Gospel and it is for this reason that I have called racialism and racism a “Gospel destroying philosophy.” As such, it is a demonic doctrine that is relentlessly propagated by many in our nation today and it must be refuted with all vigor. In this post, I would like to describe the current manner in which such racism is being promoted within our society, to the end that we would refute this pernicious influence by the authority of Scripture. Yes, the recent events surrounding Mike Brown, Darren Wilson, and the ongoing riots in Ferguson MO have triggered this post, but I can assure the reader that what follows has been on my mind for many, many years. In doing this, I will be issuing my refutation in a slightly unique manner. I will first present The Ten Commandments of Progressive Racialism, promoting it as the Devil’s advocate. Then, we will dissect and critique this Demonic Decalogue with Scripture in order to reveal just how Gospel-destroying this philosophy is. Obviously, my Devil’s advocacy is merely rhetorical for the sake of our discussion, and my use of the name “Devil” is not hyperbolic: racialism is the Devil’s own doctrine. In the end, the following Ten Commandments are never admitted by those who use them, but rest assured, they exist and are utilized faithfully by the power brokers of racialism:

The Ten Commandments of Progressive Racialism: Whenever there is an unsubstantiated claim of racism, please remember to observe the following Ten Commandments of Progressive Racialism:

1st Commandment – Remember that Power is More Important than Truth: If an unconfirmed charge of racism arises, be sure to assess the situation’s potential for political influence, societal persuasion, and control over other people groups. If the situation supplies no such advantages, then the matter is to be ignored at all costs. If the situation does supply such advantages, then the matter is to be pursued at all costs. Before matters can be confirmed by forensic evidence, legal proceedings, and the testimony of witnesses, be sure to broadcast a narrative that will support your message. Remember that an immediate response is essential if public opinion is to be swayed prior to the disclosure of the facts of the case. As well, only use officially sanctioned words and expressions as found within The Racialist’s Rules of Etiquette. Compel others to comply with these standards without compromise. Those who violate these standards must be shamed as racists without further consideration of the context or intent of the speaker. This is the foremost commandment and, by it, many have been silenced with little effort at all. You must remember: power is more important than truth.

2nd Commandment - Give Voice to Approved Representatives Only: Before a claim of racism can be confirmed by witnesses, be sure to seek out only sanctioned spokespersons as defined by the mainstream media. Additionally, only qualifying minorities can be deemed as victims of racism and only qualifying minorities can speak publicly about racism. All unapproved spokespersons are to be shunned as ignorant, irrelevant, or even racist if necessary.

3rd Commandment – Remember that Emotionalism Trumps all Facts: Before a claim of racism can be confirmed by witnesses, be sure to make your expressions of grievance loud, persistent, and even violent if necessary. Remember: you never want a serious crisis to go to waste. The more emotional your response is the less attention there will be given to the facts and evidence of the case itself. Those who question your emotionalism should be shunned as ignorant racists through the use of rules 1 & 2 above.

4th Commandment - Observe All Sanctioned Double Standards: Remember that, in ordinary circumstances, the use of mob violence, death threats, along with the publication of personal information that can jeopardize the safety of others, is normally deemed as uncivil activity; however, all claimants of victimization, whether real or perceived, are free from all such standards of civility.

5th Commandment – Always Blame others for Your Problems: Be sure to blame those in the present day for the racism of others from the past. Such shaming of others is sanctioned conduct and can serve as crucial tools in societal manipulation. Guilt-by-association, normally seen as a faulty argumentative method, is acceptable in your case. This method of argumentation must be employed relentlessly despite all reasoned objections. It is crucial to understand that people are easily made to feel guilty concerning matters for which they bear no personal responsibility, and such guilt is a powerful means of control.

6th Commandment - Use Religion as Cover for the Cause: Another powerful tool of manipulation is Religion. Biblical texts, abused and misquoted, can help garner sympathy for your cause while inducing further guilt in others who may disagree with you.

7th Commandment - Remember that all Slander is the Purview of the Claimants of Victimhood: Though slander and bearing false witness against others is normally deemed as wicked activity, all such standards vanish for the claimants of victimhood. Through slander and unsubstantiated claims, you must advance your narrative of victimhood with anyone who will hear you while you still have the opportunity to sway public opinion. It is crucial that you destroy the reputation of others before further facts of a case are made available to the public.

8th Commandment - Remember that Violence is the Purview of the Claimants of Victimhood: Though violence against others and their property is normally deemed as wicked activity, it should be remembered that it is justified under rule #7 since the shift from violent speech to violent actions is marginal, predictable, and, ultimately, needful for the cause.

9th Commandment - Remember to Silence the Opposition: By utilizing all of the previous rules above, it is important to remember that your goal is to shut down dialogue with others. Public discourse is not our goal, but absolute domination is. It is in this sense that these Rules for Racialists are derivatives of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and must be fully obeyed in order to bring about a radical transformation of our society.

10th Commandment - Above All, Never Let the Truth Prevail in the Public Narrative: Should you find yourself to be on the wrong side of the facts, once the evidence and witnesses have been revealed, be sure to preserve and maintain your narrative of racialism as a means of preserving the cause. Repentance, capitulation, and correction are never an option and would only serve to undermine our mission. Remember the foremost commandment: power is more important than truth.

Now let us evaluate this aforementioned Demonic Decalogue in view what Scripture teaches:

1st Commandment – Remember that Power is More Important than Truth: Lucifer fell from Heaven because of his pride and sinful desire to grasp the very power of God Himself (Isaiah 14:12-14). He could only do this by supplanting the truth that no one is like God (Psalm 86:8, Exodus 15:11). In many respects, the template and image of Satan is seen among the realm of fallen humanity. Since the fall of man, the pursuit of power over truth has plagued the human race. This very temptation and sin is at the heart of all kinds of corruption, and racism is just one manifestation of such wickedness. When men believe that they are superior to others, they entitle themselves to the Satanic delusion of power. The 1st Commandment of Progressive Racialism offers no progress to humanity at all: it is the ancient sin of men and demons, and it is all worthy of the condemnation of God Himself. God’s truth will always prevail over the “power” of men.

2nd Commandment - Give Voice to Approved Representatives Only: No one should be exempted from the important discussion about human prejudice. The moment we begin to exclude others from this important discussion, based upon their skin color, we give credence to the corruption of racist thinking itself. As believers, we need to consider what Scripture has to teach us about heralding the Gospel in a world of ethnic divide. While the believer must be careful to avoid unnecessary offense when speaking to various people groups, we must first acknowledge that we are all made of the same, stock of fallen humanity. Our differing ethnicities, skin color, eye color, hair color, facial features, and other physical distinctions among us change nothing about our shared humanity. In the end we must acknowledge that the Gospel is inherently offensive to the natural man, no matter what his background may be. Our encounters with others should be grounded in love and concern for them, but it must never be governed by a fear of man. If we are faithful to proclaiming God’s truth, then we must also accept the reality that we will end up offending some people. When Paul was in Athens, he addressed a deeply ethnocentric group of people who believed themselves to be the supreme descendants of Erechtheus – the mythological progeny of Gaia and Hephaestus who was raised by the Goddess Athena. The thought of a Jew instructing a company of proud Greek intellectuals concerning the origin of creation and the nations would have been deeply offensive and seemingly presumptuous. Despite this Paul proceeded to inform them that the one God who made the heavens and the earth is “not served by human hands as if He needed anything” and that He “made from one man every nation of mankind.” Amazingly, Paul boldly decimated the Athenians’ view of theology, creationism, polytheism, and racialism with a handful of carefully crafted statements. Paul wasn’t looking for personal popularity with his audience, nor did he worship at the altar of political correctness. Instead, he was there to tell them the lie-destroying truth (2 Corinthians 10:4-5) for the sake of their souls despite the racial and ethnic differences that stood between him and his Gentile audience.

3rd Commandment - Emotionalism Trumps all Facts: Displays of emotion and passion do nothing to change the truth. Despite this reality, we live in a world that has been using public grievances in order to advance false narratives and lies since the fall of man. It is simply not true that “the one who complains the loudest wins” in the contest over truth. Paul’s preaching of the Gospel offended the residents of Ephesus because he was informing them that “gods made with hands are no gods at all” (Acts 19:26). His preaching, along with their recognition that he was not a Greek but a Jew (Acts 19:34), stirred the city into a state of hostility such that for about two hours they cried out: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians.” Paul was an alien in every way in view of his message and ethnicity, and the inhabitants of the city let him know it, but none of this changed anything. Men can stir up all the passion and anger that they wish, but man’s emotions never change facts and reality. This is true in every aspect of life.

4th Commandment - Observe All Sanctioned Double Standards: God’s laws and commandments are universal for all mankind. It is not the case that “you shall not steal” or “you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” applies to some, but doesn’t apply to others. Yet, despite this, many believe that victimhood justifies the transgression of the law: whether of God or of men. This is nothing more than a poorly reasoned form of anarchy and it is sadly promoted among those who deem themselves as victims. The great darkness and sin that we see exhibited in Israel’s ancient period of the Judges is well summarized in Judges 21:25 “…everyone did what was right in his own eyes” – this is the very definition of anarchy.

5th Commandment - Blame Society for all Your Problems: Many in our society are drowning in the slough of blame and false victimhood. The self-esteem generation of the 60’s has managed to produce scores of introspective, narcissistic individuals who have no interest in taking personal responsibility for their own lives. This is a disease that transcends all cultural and socio-economic classes of mankind. The sins of America’s historic racialism and slavery have scarred our nation significantly, but I can assure the reader that those scars will never be healed through a reversed racism in the modern day. The propagation of philosophies which seek to shame members of society today for the sins of others in the past only serves to increase the divide between men. Every generation must account for its own actions and choices. If this were not the case, the needed reforms of black civil rights would never have come into existence. In order to move forward as a people, we must learn from the past, rather than live in it, while seeking to treat one another as equals as we should have from the beginning, acknowledging that all men are created equal by the Creator. Such a thought as this fosters the much-needed understanding of a man’s personal responsibility before God who is the Creator of everything. One of the central truths of the Gospel is that men have a personal responsibility to answer to God (Jeremiah 31:30, Ezekiel 18:20-21). A father who commits a crime does not thereby make his son guilty – no matter what his skin color is. All sinners who repent and turn to the Lord will find life in Him (Ezekiel 18:21-23, Matthew 11:28). The Gospel is God’s gracious and merciful appeal to a world of lost sinners, and each individual who hears the Gospel is responsible to turn to God in view of His call to all men to believe in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:16).

6th Commandment - Use Religion as Cover for the Cause: Men have been using religion as a cover for their ulterior agendas from the very beginning – this is not new. But true religion sees humanity as God sees it: created in God’s image, fallen in sin, worthy of condemnation, and desperately in need of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, rather than using false arguments of racialism in order to divide men, the Christian seeks to proclaim the Gospel of peace in order to unite all men in the risen Savior.

7th Commandment - Remember that all Slander is the Purview of the Claimants of Victimhood: Our society has learned to vilify anyone who is believed to be a racist, whether that belief is valid or not. For that matter, merely an accusation of racism can result in public shunning whether it is deserved or not. It is interesting to note that one of the great double standards of modern American racist witch hunts is that they often entail an abundance of slander, rumors, and false accusations. Prejudice against others is indeed a sin, for God Himself does not show partiality (Acts 10:34, 1 Peter 1:17). But slander, rumors, and false accusations are things that the Lord also hates: “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord…” Proverbs 12:22. When race-baiters are deeply invested in a narrative of presumption, slander, and false accusation against others, the presentation of forensic evidence and eye-witness testimony will rarely change their mindset. This is a grave and fearful sin.

8th Commandment - Remember that Violence is the Purview of the Claimants of Victimhood: According to Scripture, slander is an expression of hatred which reveals a heart of murder: Proverbs 6:16–19: 16 There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: 17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, 19 A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers [italics mine]. It doesn’t take much for a riotous mob to go from shouting to bloodshed – it is a mere shift of communication from the mouth to the hand and it is all wicked.

9th Commandment - Remember to Silence the Opposition: A society that is unwilling to listen to opposing views is a dangerous place to live. When Paul addressed the Athenians in Acts 17, he did so within a forum that invited open discourse [Acts 17:21]. In his address, he didn’t threaten to convert them by force for one simple reason: this is never an option for the followers of Christ. Unlike some religions and political philosophies, the followers of Christ are called to engage those who are deemed as enemies of the cross for the purpose of relating and explaining the message of the Gospel. Such interaction can be messy and even difficult – but it is the means by which the believer loves others through the Gospel. However, from the standpoint of this dark world, dialogue is merely optional. In the worst of all cases, silence from one’s opponent is to be secured by public vilification, arrest, or even bloodshed.

10th Commandment - Above All, Never Let the Truth Prevail in the Public Narrative: “Power is more important than truth.” Though men may never confess this with their lips, it is their true religion of the heart and the idol they serve faithfully. Any philosophy or methodology that brings worldly gain (whether real or perceived) to the individual is to be maintained without repentance. Even a well constructed lie will be protected by its creators if they believe that it will help their ultimate cause. Again – power is more important than truth.

Though you will never see these “commandments” printed or advertised in any formal capacity, I can assure you that mankind has employed these wicked decrees for ages. Will those who use and apply these aforementioned Ten Commandments of Progressive Racialism ever be held to account for their abuses of others? In the end, the answer is yes. This truth Paul proclaimed to his Athenian audience:

Acts 17:30–31: 30 “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

Though men may never relent of their slander and malicious gossip in this life, all such matters will be dealt with in the courtroom of God’s final and eternal judgment. As for finding justice in this life, it would be nice to see but our society’s trajectory seems to be pointing away from such an end. Instead, it would appear that we can all prepare for the next racialistic controversy, which will most likely be bigger and charged with more slander and violence. We can hope and pray that this will not be the case, however, the present trajectory of our nation does not instill much hope. Whatever else we can say or think about America’s downgrade into a new era of racialism, one thing is for certain: our only hope is Christ. By nature, we are all bigots and haters of men and of God. Without a transformation of the heart, mankind will continue to march on, relentlessly, in its parade of prejudice against others. The sins of the past find no solutions in the inventions of man. Moreover, black-on-white racism does not cancel the sins of white-on-black racism. The only way out of this is the narrow pathway of God’s word whereby we are illumined to see that the Lord is good, and we are not; that He alone can save us from our sins, and that we cannot save ourselves; that Christ died for sinners so that all those who believe in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.

Indeed, He is our only hope.

May God have mercy on America.

All Men are Created Equal? from The Armoury Ministries on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

TAMB: Jude’s Prophetic Woe–Cain (Jude 11)

Jude’s historic warnings to the church are gripping, serious, and desperately needed for the modern day. With much gravity, Jude issues a prophetic woe against men whose wickedness and rebellion bears a likeness to that of Cain, Balaam, and Korah. His indictment of such men is brief, however a careful perusal of his instruction brings us through an important “hall of shame” within biblical history. In this message, we consider the nature of Cain’s corruption and treachery as humanity’s first false religionist and murderer.

Friday, October 24, 2014

TAMB: Equal Protection for Gay Marriage

In a recent interview with The New Yorker, President Barack Obama revealed his “evolving” position on gay marriage, indicating that the “…Equal Protection Clause does guarantee same-sex marriage in all fifty states.” Though this is not surprising, Christians must think scripturally about their approach to this controversial subject. From Matthew Vines’ book, God and the Gay Christian, to the President’s recent stipulations, this program addresses the biblical response concerning these important matters. Download the program here, or just listen:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

TAMB: The Dreamers of Modern Day “Prophecy”

Jude 8 supplies very important warnings about those who claim to have visions, dreams, and prophetic revelations from God. This program reviews some of Jude’s concerns in light of many of the claimants of modern day prophecy like Beth Moore, Mark Driscoll, and John Piper. Download the program here, or just listen:

Monday, October 20, 2014

TAMB: The Joy of Fearing God

[TAMB 43.1 October 20th, 2014] Message from October 5th: The Joy of Fearing God, Jude and selected passages. Download the program here, or just listen:

Thursday, October 16, 2014

TAMB: Doug Wilson, J.R.R. Tolkien, G.K. Chesterton, & C.S. Lewis, Part II

Were J.R.R. Tolkien, G.K. Chesterton, and C.S. Lewis saved? Doug Wilson (pastor of Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho) was recently asked this question and many of his answers reveal the troubling implications of his “Federal Vision” theology. This program addresses Wilson’s answers to this question – Doug Wilson, J.R.R. Tolkien, G.K. Chesterton, & C.S. Lewis, Part II. Download the program here, or just listen:

TAMB: Doug Wilson, J.R.R. Tolkien, G.K. Chesterton, & C.S. Lewis, Part I

Were J.R.R. Tolkien, G.K. Chesterton, and C.S. Lewis saved? Doug Wilson (pastor of Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho) was recently asked this question and many of his answers reveal the troubling implications of his “Federal Vision” theology. This program addresses Wilson’s answers to this question – Doug Wilson, J.R.R. Tolkien, G.K. Chesterton, & C.S. Lewis, Part I. Download the program here, or just listen:

TAMB: The Armoury Ministries Broadcast–Inaugural Program

In this inaugural program of The Armoury Ministries Broadcast, I introduce the theme hymn of The Armoury Ministries: The Sands of Time are Sinking. This hymn’s lyrics, rich history, and beautiful tune are surveyed in this program. Download the program here, or just listen:



The Sands of Time are Sinking is masterfully performed by the Altar of Praise Chorale.

Monday, September 29, 2014

An Open Letter to Kirk Cameron along with Glenn Beck, Dave Dwyer, and all their Respective Employees and Listening Audiences

Update:  Related interview with WorldView Weekend (mp3)
Dear Kirk Cameron –

At the outset let me mention that I celebrated your excellent labors with respect to the movie, Fireproof, when it was released. As a husband, father of six children, and pastor, I rejoiced when this work of yours was made public. Gospel-rich and Gospel-centered productions, of significant quality, have become as rare as summer snow in our generation,

Friday, September 26, 2014

True Marriage: A Covenant of Love

Quaint and pithy sayings are often mistaken for genuine wisdom, especially when they are given to us from historical figures or men of renown. Great danger comes when the hearer becomes passive with such "wisdom" by failing to measure everything by the standard of Holy Writ. No man can match the ancient wisdom of God's Word.[1] Consider the following counsel offered by Dietrich Bonhoeffer to a young couple about to be married:

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Lewis’ and Piper’s Transitive Influences on Evangelicalism

I. LEWIS’ & PIPER’S TROUBLING AFFIRMATIONS OF HEDONISM
II. LEWIS’ & PIPER’S TRANSITIVE INFLUENCES ON EVANGELICALISM
III. THE BAD LEGACY OF MYSTICISM, SUBJECTIVISM, AND SECULARISM
IV. THE GRAVE NEED FOR REAL LIGHT IN A WORLD OF REAL DARKNESS

II. Lewis’ and Piper’s Transitive Influences on Evangelicalism: In a previous column, I examined Lewis’ and Piper’s troubling affirmations of hedonism. In that piece, special notice was given concerning Piper’s troubling praise of atheist Ayn Rand: “I think she [Ayn Rand] points to truth and to Jesus ultimately: she esteemed reason, individualism, and hedonism - and so do I..."[1]

Friday, September 19, 2014

Lewis’ & Piper’s Troubling Affirmations of Hedonism

The following article is also featured at Worldview Weekend (here).

For more background information on the legacy of C.S. Lewis: ataul.thearmoury.org

As a follow up to my September 10th article (Victoria Osteen & John Piper’s “Christian Hedonism”: What’s The Difference?) and my related interview with Brannon Howse on September 11th, I wanted to offer a series of columns addressing the continuing influences of C.S. Lewis’, as promoted through John Piper’s teaching on Christian Hedonism.[1] Originally, this entire discussion was triggered by the following tweet from the Desiring God Ministry on September 4th:

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Altar to an Unknown Love: Rob Bell, C.S. Lewis, and the Legacy of the Art and Thought of Man

 

eBook and paperback - available at amazon.com. For more information about this book, go to: ataul.thearmoury.org. For more information about The Armoury Ministries, go to: www.thearmouryministries.org

2 Timothy 3:1,4: "In the last days...men will be...lovers of hedonism [φιλήδονοι]..."

Friday, September 05, 2014

Victoria Osteen and “Christian Hedonism”

Victoria Osteen’s dark moment of honesty before a watching world has generated much buzz and discussion lately. However, one must wonder why there is so much surprise in this – she has simply admitted to the very core of her theology. Her version of “Christianity” is an idolatrous cauldron of hedonistic pleasure. In her world, self reigns supreme – and the name of Christ is simply a nametag that she attaches in an attempt to provide cover for her heresy. Those who didn’t already know of the Osteen’s theology either haven’t been paying attention, or perhaps they have never heard of the bizarre spectacle of their “ministry.”

Thursday, September 04, 2014

The Bitter-Sweet Lessons of Divine Providence

mjbatwhbcnowredeemerbiblechurchLast month I stumbled upon some sad and difficult news, the likes of which I will not describe in detail, but will only say that it involves a church in the northern Midwest. I heard about this news via a Christian podcast which aired shortly after the crisis in question. When I heard this news, I couldn’t help but to recall to mind several memories concerning one of the most difficult experiences that I have gone through in the ministry. The memories and experiences that I will share will be nameless recollections from the past. To be frank they are difficult memories and past anxieties that I have entrusted to God, lest my own heart be corrupted with a root of bitterness. Yet, these distant memories also bear forth a bounty of important life lessons. Whenever I do think of them, I am immediately drawn to the reflection of God’s kind and faithful tutelage

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Does Paul “Invite” or “Anticipate” Human Reason?

One of the most interesting aspects of the Apostle Paul’s pedagogical methodology is his frequent use of staged questions which come from the vantage point of human reasoning. The book of Romans is filled with such a trail of staged questions, and this trail is established early on in the epistle:

Romans 3:1–8: 1 Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit of circumcision? 2 Great in every respect. First of all, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God. 3 What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it? 4 May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, “THAT YOU MAY BE JUSTIFIED IN YOUR WORDS, AND PREVAIL WHEN YOU ARE JUDGED.” 5 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is He? (I am speaking in human terms.) 6 May it never be! For otherwise, how will God judge the world? 7 But if through my lie the truth of God abounded to His glory, why am I also still being judged as a sinner? 8 And why not say (as we are slanderously reported and as some claim that we say), “Let us do evil that good may come”? Their condemnation is just.

The Apostle purposefully jousts with a nameless opponent in order to demonstrate the dangerous dead end of human reasoning (i.e., speaking according to men - κατὰ ἄνθρωπον λέγω).

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A Note of Background: The Fallible Prophets of New Calvinism

I am thankful to the Lord for the continued distribution and use of the book, The Fallible Prophets of New Calvinism. Whether you have read the book already, or are trying to discern whether or not you should get it, the reader should know that this book is the culmination of several years of my own concern regarding the contemporary doctrine of fallible prophecy.

Editorial Note & Update on The Fallible Prophets of New Calvinism:

It should be noted that The Fallible Prophets of New Calvinism has undergone a small editorial adjustment in the third chapter: The Case of Agabus. In this chapter there is frequent mention of Rome’s stringent anti-riot laws. The most prominent mention of this is found in a brief citation from the words of Justinian:

“If a man on arrival excites a crowd and incites it to an unlawful object by his shouts or by any act such as making accusations against someone or even by arousing pity, and if damage is committed as a result of his malicious incitement, he will be liable, even if he did not originally have the intent of getting the crowd together… when a person gathers a crowd together himself and beats a slave in front of the crowd in order to do him an unlawful injury rather than with intent to cause loss, the Edict will apply.”

With or without such external sources, the reality of Roman anti-riot laws is inferentially evident in texts like Acts 19:40. However, the broader sphere of Roman law is mentioned in The Fallible Prophets of New Calvinism in order to strengthen the reader’s understanding of the profound pressures that fell upon Paul when “all Jerusalem was in confusion” (Acts 21:31). As mentioned in the book, the longstanding history of Rome’s strictures against riotous conduct and treason goes back to its earlier era as a Roman Republic and is evident in legal structures stemming from Rome’s Senatus Consultum de re Publica Defendenda. However, in the autocratic era of the Roman Empire, the legal strictures against treason and riots became more centralized in the sole authority of the reigning Caesar. Simply put, the evolutionary history of Roman law is extensive. Some of this history is helpful when considering Paul’s Roman arrest, however, an exhaustive perusal of Roman law is far more extensive than what is needed for the argument of The Fallible Prophets of New Calvinism. Because of this, some of this background information supplied in the earliest version of the book has been simplified for the sake of clarity. One such change deals with the mention of the Senatus Consultum de re Publica Defendenda. Though historically relevant to the evolution of laws protecting Roman rule, its repeated mention in the book is simply unnecessary and has therefore been relegated to one brief footnote. Beyond this, the overall content, structure, and argument of chapter 3 remains completely unchanged.

Soli Deo Gloria

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Christ, the Centerpiece of Everything

         “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.”
         — Romans 3:31

“When the believer is adopted into the Lord’s family, his relationship to old Adam and the law ceases at once; but then he is under a new rule, and a new covenant. Believer, you are God’s child; it is your first duty to obey your heavenly Father. A servile spirit you have nothing to do with: you are not a slave, but a child; and now, inasmuch as you are a beloved child, you are bound to obey your Father’s faintest wish, the least intimation of his will. Does he bid you fulfil a sacred ordinance? It is at your peril that you neglect it, for you will be disobeying your Father. Does he command you to seek the image of Jesus? Is it not your joy to do so? Does Jesus tell you, “Be ye perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect”? Then not because the law commands, but because your Saviour enjoins, you will labour to be perfect in holiness. Does he bid his saints love one another? Do it, not because the law says, “Love thy neighbour,” but because Jesus says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments;” and this is the commandment that he has given unto you, “that ye love one another.” Are you told to distribute to the poor? Do it, not because charity is a burden which you dare not shirk, but because Jesus teaches, “Give to him that asketh of thee.” Does the Word say, “Love God with all your heart”? Look at the commandment and reply, “Ah! commandment, Christ hath fulfilled thee already—I have no need, therefore, to fulfil thee for my salvation, but I rejoice to yield obedience to thee because God is my Father now and he has a claim upon me, which I would not dispute.” May the Holy Ghost make your heart obedient to the constraining power of Christ’s love, that your prayer may be, “Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.” Grace is the mother and nurse of holiness, and not the apologist of sin.” 

Spurgeon, C. H. (2006). Morning and evening: Daily readings (Complete and unabridged; New modern edition.). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Fallible Prophets of New Calvinism–Available in Deutsch, Español, & English

We are grateful for the Lord’s provision such that The Fallible Prophets of New Calvinism is now available in German (Deutsch) and Spanish (Español) versions. Additionally, paperback editions are now available in English and Spanish (links below). Supplied below are book descriptions of The Fallible Prophets of New Calvinism in German, Spanish, and English:

deutschDeutsch - Die fehlbaren Propheten des Neuen Calvinismus: Analyse, Kritik und Ermahnung in Bezug auf die aktuelle Lehre der "fehlbaren Prophetie" (Kapitel 2: Fehlbare Prophetie - Lexikalische Vorbehalte):

Die fehlbaren Propheten des Neuen Calvinismus: Analyse, Kritik und Ermahnung in Bezug auf die aktuelle Lehre der "fehlbaren Prophetie" (Kapitel 2: Fehlbare Prophetie - Lexikalische Vorbehalte):  Dieses Buch untersucht Dr. Wayne Grudems kontroverse Lehre der fehlbaren Prophetie und seine Analyse auf lexikalischer, exegetischer und historischer Grundlage. Es beschäftigt sich ferner mit der Popularität und der Verbreitung dieser Lehre durch die vielen Charismatiker in der Bewegung des Neuen Calvinismus. Die Lehre der fehlbaren Prophetie ist weder ungefährlich noch harmlos, sondern sie ist vielmehr ein beunruhigendes fremdes Feuer im Leib Christi und findet durch die Empfehlung von populären Vertretern der Lehre des Nichtcessationismus wie Wayne Grudem, D. A. Carson, John Piper und Mark Driscoll weitere Verbreitung. Diese Ausgabe des Buches enthält Kapitel 2: Fehlbare Prophetie – Lexikalische Vorbehalte: Bei seiner Beweisführung für die Auffassung einer “fehlbaren Prophetie” argumentiert Grudem, dass sich der neutestamentliche Begriffsinhalt des Wortes “Prophet” von der autoritativen Bedeutung entfernte, den das Wort einst hatte. Folglich, so Grudem, bezeichnete Christus seine Jünger nicht als Propheten, weil „… das griechische Wort prophetes (‘Prophet’) in neutestamentlicher Zeit … nicht die Bedeutung hatte, dass ‘jemand Gottes eigene Worte aussprach.’” Die Vorstellungen von fehlbarer Prophetie gehen jedoch weit darüber hinaus, lediglich die Bedeutung der Prophetie nach dem Maßstab alttestamentlicher Offenbarung zu verändern – sie stellen das Wesen der Prophetie gänzlich auf den Kopf. Laut Denksystem der Vertreter fehlbarer Prophetie ist der moderne Prophet nicht unfehlbar, sondern er wird nun als fehlbar betrachtet. Das lexikalische Argument für diese Schlussfolgerung steht auf der Grundlage äußerst extremer Anwendungen des Wortes aus dem Profangriechischen sowie anderer außerbiblischer Quellen. Folglich argumentieren die Vertreter fehlbarer Prophetie, dass die Leser des Neuen Testaments im 1. Jahrhundert das Wort Prophetie ganz selbstverständlich in dem Sinne auffassten, dass Prophetie im Alten Testament (unfehlbar) und im Neuen Testament (fehlbar) eine genau entgegensetzte Bedeutung hatte. Indem die Bedeutung und Definition eines solch zentralen Begriffs wie Prophetie umdefiniert wird, kommt es im Zuge der Lehre fehlbarer Prophetie in der Gemeinde zu einer Vielzahl lehrmäßiger Probleme sowie verwirrender Schlüsse, die Fragen über das Wesen Gottes aufwerfen, der verheißen hat, dass sein geoffenbartes Wort nicht leer zu ihm zurückkehren wird, ohne auszuführen, was ihm gefällt (Jes 55,11).

Gary E. Gilley, Pastor-Lehrer, Southern View Chapel: “Da Grudem der führende neo-calvinistische Theologe ist, der versucht, die Auffassung fehlbarer Prophetie darzulegen und zu verteidigen, setzt sich Beasley in erster Linie mit seinen Werken auseinander. Fehlbare Prophetie bringt nicht nur keinen wirklichen Nutzen, sie ist gefährlich und kann den Leichtgläubigen dazu verleiten, sehr bedauernswerte Handlungen zu vollziehen. Beasley hat der Gemeinde einen wunderbaren Dienst erwiesen, indem er dieses Buch geschrieben hat. Meine Hoffnung ist, dass viele es lesen und den Inhalt annehmen werden.”

Available at Amazon.com and Amazon.de in Kindle format.

espaniolEspañol - Los Profetas Falibles de Nuevo Calvinismo: Un Análisis, Crítica y Exhortación a la Doctrina Contemporánea de la "Profecía Falible":

Este libro examina la controversial enseñanza del Dr. Wayne Grudem sobre la profecía falible considerando los diversos puntos de análisis léxicos, exegéticos e históricos. También se ocupa de la popularidad de la enseñanza y su progreso continuo a través de muchos carismáticos dentro del movimiento del “Nuevo Calvinismo.” La doctrina de la profecía falible no es ni benigna ni inofensiva, sino que más bien constituye un fuego extraño inquietante para el cuerpo de Cristo y continúa propagándose a través de la promoción hecha por los continuistas populares como Wayne Grudem, D.A. Carson, John Piper, y Mark Driscoll. Al reestructurar el significado y la definición de un concepto tan central como la profecía, la enseñanza de la profecía falible crea una serie de problemas doctrinales y puntos de confusión dentro de la iglesia, que plantea interrogantes sobre la naturaleza de Aquel que promete que Su palabra revelada no volverá a Él vacía sin haber realizado lo que Él desea ( Isaías 55:11 ).
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"La profecía falible no solo carece de algún valor real, es peligrosa y puede llevar a los incautos a tomar acciones muy desafortunadas….puesto que Grudem es un teólogo Neo-Calvinista que encabeza el intento de desarrollar y defender la posición de la profecía falible, Beasley interactúa principalmente con sus escritos…. Beasley ha hecho a la iglesia un maravilloso servicio mediante la producción de este volumen. Mi esperanza es que muchos lo lean y absorban su contenido.”
Gary E. Gilley , pastor – maestro de Southern View Chapel en Springfield, IL.
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Michael John Beasley ha servido en el ministerio pastoral desde 1991 y es el autor del Altar a Un Amor Desconocido , La Primera Institución, Todos los Pueblos Bajo Dios , En Realidad lo Dijo Pablo?, Y Los Profetas Falibles de Nueva Calvinismo.

Available at Amazon.com in paperback, Kindle.

englishEnglish – The Fallible Prophets of New Calvinism - An Analysis, Critique, and Exhortation Concerning the Contemporary Doctrine of "Fallible Prophecy":

This book examines Dr. Wayne Grudem's controversial teaching on fallible prophecy in view of various lexical, exegetical, and historical points of analysis. It also addresses the teaching's popularity and continuing advancement through many charismatics within the "New Calvinism" (Neo-Calvinism) movement. The doctrine of fallible prophecy is neither benign nor harmless, rather it constitutes a troubling strange fire for the body of Christ and continues to spread through the advocacy of popular continuationists like Wayne Grudem, D.A. Carson, John Piper, and Mark Driscoll. By retooling the meaning and definition of such a central concept as prophecy, the doctrine of fallible prophecy creates a host of theological problems and points of confusion within the church which challenge the very nature of  the One who promises that His revealed word will not return to Him empty without accomplishing what He desires (Isaiah 55:11).

“Not only does fallible prophecy have no real value, it is dangerous and can lead the gullible to take very unfortunate actions...since Grudem is the Neo-Calvinist theologian leading the charge in attempting to develop and defend the position of fallible prophecy, Beasley primarily interacts with his writings. His carefully presented argument leads to the conclusion that Grudem is reasoning from both ignorance of New Testament times, as well as from silence. Beasley has done the church a wonderful service by producing this volume.  My hope is that many will read it and absorb its contents."

Gary E. Gilley, Pastor-teacher, Southern View Chapel
Springfield, Il.

Available at Amazon.com in paperback, Kindle.