Friday, November 15, 2019

Last Thomas Ross Post on Baptist Evangelism -- Retraction, Apology

This is Kent Brandenburg, the blog owner.  Thomas Ross got his Bob Grays messed up.  They used essentially the same evangelism, but Thomas wasn't careful in getting the correct Bob Gray.  I removed his post.  I had just seen it and I removed it immediately.  His general point was correct, but his Bob Gray was wrong.  The one in Texas did not, and I repeat did not, do what the one in Florida did.  The post is removed and it won't be put back up ever.  My apologies to the one in Texas for the inaccuracy.  I don't think it's the first time it's happened.  They are both with essentially the same first and last name.  Anyone who knows what is going on knows that Thomas Ross was messed up on the identities of the two different Bob Grays, the one in Florida, who was guilty of despicable deeds, and the one in Texas, who was not.  I apologize again.

The post was about Baptist evangelism and Thomas Ross was using Bob Gray in Texas as an example of a different modern Baptist evangelism compared to the historic Baptist evangelism, but when he tried to show the consequences of wrong evangelism, he used Bob Gray of Florida with a picture of the Bob Gray of Florida.  He was wrong.  The two are not the same.  He's got to be more careful, especially with such a bad situation.  But again, I'm sure that this mix-up has occurred before, because of the two names.  I myself have heard, Bob Gray, and I think they are talking Texas, and they are talking Florida.  I'll leave this up for awhile so that everyone can know that we apologize for the mistake, have removed the post with an apology.  The fact that the picture was obviously not Texas Bob Gray would help.  The two did not, do not, look like each other.  If you in fact read the post, then you know that Thomas Ross didn't say that Bob Gray of Texas did anything like Bob Gray of Florida did to get arrested, but it would be easy to mix up, since he included the picture of Bob Gray of Florida with comments about Bob Gray of Texas.

By the way, I wish that all the lies that are still posted online on the world wide web about me would get a retraction and apology like I immediately did here. I'm not expecting it though, nor do I think I have received it even as close to as bad as others have received bad treatment.  I'm sure Thomas Ross didn't mean this mistake, because you've got two guys with the same methodology with the same name.  Our goal is to argue true positions, not a strawman.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Virtual Christian Living or Your Christian Brain in a Vat: The Avoidance or Corruption of Biblical Sanctification

Listen to my session from the 2019 Word of Truth Conference. As an addenda to that one, listen to this session from James Bronsveld and this one from Thomas Ross.


**********************
Imagine a Christian life you don't actually live.  Jesus lives it for you.  You can't please Him yourself.  Impossible.  Instead then, just access the life that Jesus lived by faith or by preaching the gospel fluently to yourself (part of the lingo).  This supposedly honors God and Jesus more because He's the one who does it.  It's virtual Christian living where you just click on the faith button, the equivalent of your Christian brain in a vat wired into a Christian matrix.

This false view of sanctification reminds me of the "think system" of Professor Harold Hill in the musical, the Music Man.  Why do the hard thing of learning an instrument and how to read music, when someone can just use the think system?  The music is as good as being played, even if it is not.  Parents all over America have no need to sacrifice for music lessons or to do the hard work at enforcing the practice of an instrument.  Even if the child doesn't want to play, he can just rely on Jesus to have played for him, and feel no guilt for not practicing or improving.

This avoidance or corruption of biblical and historical sanctification takes the doctrine of imputation to a new and different level.  It isn't just positional righteousness imputed to you, which is biblical, but your whole practical righteousness too, which isn't.  Instead of doing the hard thing, the struggle, the beating your body into subjection, pressing toward the mark, fighting the good fight, and mortifying the deeds of the flesh, you just contemplate the cross and imagine that life you couldn't live to be already lived.  Done.

What I'm describing is very convenient.  It really does take all the pressure off you to obey all those imperatives of the New Testament. No expectations.  No worries about judgment.  No need for approval.  That was already settled at justification and it remains settled.  You just tell yourself it's already done.

With the hypergrace view, I don't need to care for my elderly parents, my alzheimer's-ridden father.  I'm not bothered by any compunction for their needs.  Jesus settled that.  I don't have to feel judged by anyone in some form of guilt ridden anxiety as they waste away.  I can just enjoy my life.  I can reduce my work to the equivalent of clicking a like button and adding a few hearts or emojis under a social network posting.

There is no use feeling guilty about disobeying or dishonoring parents, ghosting them, a wife not submitting to her husband, or even for not practicing the Great Commission, because Jesus paid it all.  Satiate in that like a Christian brain in a vat.   You preach that to yourself and the guilt is gone.  Instead you can go binge watch a season of Handmaid's Tale, as if it were a virtuous activity.  Jesus was checked in, while you were checked out.  Apparently, this is true freedom, unchained from the expectations of good works for sanctification.

Biblical Sanctification

James in his epistle explains this dead or demon faith in the second chapter.  Rather than feeling the obligation of actual service to someone cold and needy, just say, be warmed and filled, and you have that base covered.  James though says, no.  No, faith without works is dead.  Works?  Yes, works.  You, that's you, have to do good works.  The good works of sanctification don't count through justification -- just the opposite.

The New Testament is filled with imperatives Christians are commanded to do, things to avoid, activities to abstain, qualities to be, such as "be patient," "be holy," "be merciful," and "be glad."  You can't just turn those over to Jesus to live and then jump in your car to catch a rock concert for you.  Paul said he had to struggle to do what he should and not do what he shouldn't.  That struggle isn't necessary with "let go and let God."

Young people today want approval without the actual fulfillment of acceptable behavior.  They want to experience fleshly lust and the allurements of the world and not be judged for lapping those up.  With this system, God always gives them approval, because they're in Christ and God always approves of His Son.  They didn't think this system up.  Peter says that false teachers 'through covetousness with feigned words have made merchandise of them.'

Jesus did everything the Father wanted Him to do, and in John 17, He prayed that believers would be sanctified in the same way that He was, sanctified by the truth.  That sanctification doesn't come by His doing everything He was supposed to do and then our just trusting in everything that He was supposed to do, getting credit for living the Christian life because He did it for us.  Nope.  The Bible doesn't teach anything like that.  That is a monumental lie.

Justification and Sanctification

Justification is by grace alone through faith alone through Christ alone and apart from works.  We don't do good works for justification.  We receive positional righteousness by faith.  We then stand before God as righteous.  We don't have to prove anything, earn anything, or owe anything.  The price was paid by Jesus on the cross, His righteousness was imputed to us, and our sins were forgiven, past/present/future.

Is sanctification also by faith alone?  No.  It isn't.  Human effort is required for sanctification.  Sanctification is by faith and good works.  Is that new?  No, it is the biblical and historic doctrine of sanctification.  It's worth looking at a few places, even though there are hundreds of them.  A major portion of the New Testament teaches sanctification by works.  Sure, we do these good works through the power of the Holy Spirit and by the Word of God, but they are our works.  We do them.  God is working through us, sure, but we are still doing the works.  There are 1,050 commands in the New Testament and for an actual reason, not a virtual one. Those justified by faith are to do and will do good works.  God is also judging believers as to whether they are doing good works.  They will give an account to Him at the judgment seat of Christ for whether they lived them.

There are many verses that teach our part in sanctification, but consider Romans 8:13
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
Who mortifies, puts to death in a continuous sense, the deeds of the body?  "Ye do."  The believer is responsible for mortification.  This reminds me of the previous chapter, when Paul wrote in Romans 7:21:
I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
Paul would do good.  God is working in Him to do good (Philippians 2:12-13), but it is Paul doing good.  Faith is not alone for a Christian (read James).  A man may say he has faith, but that faith is dead if it is not accompanied by good works (James 2:14-21).  John said that a man may say he knows God, but without doing good works, keeping God's commandments, he is a liar (1 John 2:3-4).

This perversion of which I write eliminates biblical sanctification and stretches out justification all the way to glorification.  Someone isn't required to do anything in sanctification, except "speak the gospel fluently into his life."  The idea here is that you can't please God, that's impossible (this is a kind of voluntary humility, a humble brag), but Jesus does please the Father, so he can access it just by believing it.  Justification is moved into the sanctification slot.  With true sanctification, through the Spirit and the Word of God, the believer, who has a new nature, can and does do good works.  If he doesn't, that indicates he isn't a new person.

We are not sanctified by believing.  We are sanctified by working (and believing).  You won't work if you don't believe, but the sanctification comes by things like "mortification."  It's hard work.  It's a struggle.  You are doing this work, like Paul said, to be accepted of the Father (2 Corinthians 5:9).  We've already been accepted for justification.  That's settled.  We look for acceptance in our post justification works.  Someone can have greater fruit and receive greater rewards (1 Cor 3, 2 Cor 4-5). In Roman 12:1, we present our bodies a living sacrifice, and the consideration for us is that presentation, acceptable to God.  If so, it won't conform to this world (Romans 12:2).

"Gospel fluency," "contemplating the cross," or "let go and let God" do not represent biblical or historical sanctification.  They are another, modern iteration of turning the grace of God the lasciviousness, the apostasy of 2 Peter 2 and Jude.  They take away responsibility to obey the commands of the New Testament, fulfill the law of Christ, and turn it over to Jesus.  It just isn't true.  The New Testament doesn't teach it.

I call on anyone who has received or obtained or borrowed this false view of sanctification to repent.  Leave it behind.  Forsake it.  It is a cultic view formulated to allure its adherents as prey.  Sanctification is the second phase of ultimate salvation, the first justification, and the third glorification.  Your acceptance of an utterly corrupt, false view of sanctification does not bode well for your justification or your glorification.  If you don't like the kingdom of Jesus Christ now, living it out on earth in your sanctification, why would you think you would enjoy it in the future?  You love this present world, not the future one.

Monday, November 11, 2019

The Question of the Christianity of Kanye West

In the kitchen of our church building today I watched a toddler girl stick her hand into the trash, pull out a piece of soggy food, and bite into it before her mother could stop her.  I'm sure there was something nutritional to that bite.  Maybe it was a decent leftover that had just hit the top of the heap.  Even though I laughed, I understood her mom's disapproval.  It's not acceptable to pick through the garbage for food.  That's also how it is to find something good in the Kanye West, Jesus Is King, album.  Whatever good nibbles are in there, and there are a few, are ruined by everything around them.  They do not testify to the heart and life of a saved person, which is reinforced by what Kanye said in interviews in the weeks around the release of the album.

Considering all the lyrics and their medium, they're common and profane.  They aren't worshipful, solemn, or reverent, requirements for biblical worship.  They are not holy or acceptable unto God.  They are conformed to this world.  They're not good either.  They are lustful, childish, silly, and inappropriate.  They are on the level of Dr. Seuss, Green Eggs and Ham, which isn't even right for children's literature, except as a joke.  They are not transcendent, substantial, or beautiful.  They are trite and trashy.

Kanye writes:
What have you been hearin' from the Christians?
They'll be the first one to judge me
Make it feel like nobody love me
They'll be the first one to judge me
Feelin' like nobody love me
Told people God was my mission
What have you been hearin' from the Christians?
They'll be the first one to judge me
Make it feel like nobody love me
I'm going to use the second person often through the rest of this piece.  We love you Kanye.  Paul wrote the church at Thessalonica, "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."  Your album is not good.  That's what you be hearin' from this Christian.  If Christians do say your album is bad, and Brad Pitt, Katy Perry, and David Letterman say it is good, you should pay attention to the Christians.  Don't expect Christians to give approval to false worship and continued sin.

Leave the public eye like the Apostle did after he was converted on the road to Damascus, if you are really converted.  Follow the description of repentance in 2 Corinthians 7:10-11 and the example of Zaccheus in Luke 19.  Spend time first getting distance from your former life.  Move off of the entire licentious, pornographic scene. Stop promoting yourself.  Learn your Bible and what it teaches first.  You don't know it.  Your theology is bad.  Much of what you say is unbiblical, but it's also disrespectful as a proclamation of worship.

Rap is more than just another genre, unlike your "pastor" told you.  You were much closer to the truth, when you told him, "Rap is of the devil."  It isn't fitting as worship of God.  God doesn't receive it.  It isn't lovely.  Stop saying things like the following in Jesus the King:
I've been tellin' y'all since '05
The greatest artist restin' or alive
That's on L.A. Reid, that's on Clive
That's no Jive, that's on God
Off the 350s He supplied
The IRS want they fifty plus our tithe
Man, that's over half of the pie
I felt dry, that's on God
That's why I charge the prices that I charge
I can't be out here dancin' with the stars
No, I cannot let my family starve
I go hard, that's on God
To start, who complains about the IRS in a worship song?  God has more power than the Internal Revenue Service of the United States.  More so, the "on God" concept of your lyrics, Kanye, is blasphemous.  Jesus said in Matthew 5:33-37 in His Sermon on the Mount:
33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:  34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: 35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. 36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.  37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
This is a flippant use of God's name, that is, God's name in vain.  Not only are you not "the greatest artist restin' or alive," but it's proud to say it.  Just saying these things you do and enunciating the name of God along side of them is profane.  Consider the following verses of scripture:
1 Chronicles 16:25 says, "For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared above all gods."
Psalm 48:1, "Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness."
Psalm 145:3, "Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable."
Your music isn't great, Kanye.  It isn't appropriate for God.  It isn't holy.  It isn't sacred.  It isn't even gospel, like you and others claim, even though "gospel music" itself is not historic, biblical worship.  It arose in the late 19th century as a means of manipulation and pandering to a fleshly crowd under the guise of promoting the gospel.  The gospel is to be preached, not sung to an audience, like what you are doing.

Somebody who is saved has all the power of the universe within him.  Scripture doesn't teach like your choir sings:  "Sing till the power of the Lord comes down."  The believer yields to the Holy Spirit, Who, as God, has all power.  Singing won't bring the power of the Lord down.  This is a perversion of the power of God.  This is "second blessing" experience promoted by the same charismaticism that originated from the same source as "gospel music."  The way your choir Kanye swings its hips fits more into this ecstatic charismatic "worship," then true biblical worship, acceptable to God.

Watching a young man give Kanye an only positive review on youtube, he brought forth the idea espoused by Charlie Pride that there are "three basic ingredients in American music:  country, gospel, and the blues" -- which isn't true.  Country, gospel, and the blues are not sacred and sacred music exists in America, is truly the original music of the American people.  Perhaps someone could say those other three are the foundation of wicked, worldly pop music, but those are not the basis of sacred music, which isn't popular music.  Those three and all the genres proceeding from them are not sacred and not fitting of the nature of God.

The music of the Pilgrims wasn't country, gospel, or the blues.  It was sacred.  The churches of early America sang sacred music, hymns and psalms.  The very first book published in the entirety of British North America was the Bay Psalm Book, first printed in 1640 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  The title page reads:
Whereunto is prefixed a discourse
declaring not only the lawfullness, but also
the necessity of the heavenly Ordinance
of singing Scripture Psalmes in
the Churches of God.
The churches of God in early America sang Psalms.  Someone filled with the Spirit will sing to God psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:18-19, Colossians 3:16-17).  Jesus the King does not fit that teaching.  It doesn't read like anything close to the music God's people have used to worship Him.

Something gospel is also not, as the Apostle Paul wrote, "greedy of filthy lucre," and as Peter taught, "making merchandise of you."  But as Rolling Stone reported:
At Coachella this year, you could buy $50 socks emblazoned with the phrase “Jesus Walks.” At four Jesus Is King: A Kanye West Experience events held in Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York, in honor of an album that missed two release dates, he sold Christian-inspired sweaters for $140. 
This isn't about -- "I can't let my family starve."  Laced through your lyrics and in your interviews is a prosperity theology in which you declare that being a Christian is a way to greater monetary gain, when Jesus called it, "Deny thyself, take thy cross, and follow me."  Nobody begrudges a Christian of earning a living.  He should earn a living, but no one should profit off of God.  God isn't a commodity.  The Apostle Paul said it confuses the gospel.

In the positive review of Kanye I referenced earlier, the deceived or rebellious young man said Kanye will bring unity to the country with his Jesus Is King.  Radio host Glenn Beck said with complete seriousness that he thinks that Jesus Is King might be the start of another Great Awakening.  No and no.

Unity and great awakening arise from the truth of scripture practiced in a biblical manner.  They will start with being poor in spirit, mourning over sin, and yielding to the control of the Lordship of Christ.  Unity includes biblical separation, because Jesus came not to bring peace, but to bring a sword.  When God destroyed the earth with a flood, eight people only were in unity, and that was all the unity, the only unity God would accept.  He killed everyone else.  God has chosen the foolishness of preaching to save them who believe.  That is the way to unity.  So much is lacking and mostly contradictory to biblical unity and spiritual life coming from Kanye West.

Friday, November 08, 2019

Jessie Penn-Lewis: Binding Satan (part 14 of 22)




Penn-Lewis recounts how the Higher Life practitioner is to bind Satan:
In Matthew 12:29 the Lord said, “First bind the strong man,” and then “spoil his goods.” . . . The Church must learn this “binding” power of prayer for it is written, “Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven” (Mat. 18:18).  And what can this “binding” mean except restraining the working of the enemy by appealing to the conquering power of Him who was “manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil”? . . . Christians . . . [should] t[ake] Christ at His word, and aloud, with united hearts and voices . . . “bind” the adversary.[1]
While, since her articles and books were received by inspiration, Penn-Lewis might appeal to her own authority as a prophetess and her experience as one who knew of the deep things of Satan to validate her doctrine of “binding the strong man,” she certainly could not appeal to anything in the Bible to support it, as neither Matthew 12:29, nor Matthew 18:18, nor any other text of Scripture supports her contention.[2]  In Matthew 12, Christ proved that He as the Messiah (v. 23) and the Son of God, by the Spirit of God was casting out devils that had possessed men, thus validating that He was stronger than Satan, the “strong man,” and all his fallen angels (v. 29), because He could “enter . . . [Satan’s] house” or kingdom and free those Satan had kept captive, “spoil his house,” by casting out demons.  While it is perfectly appropriate for believers to pray that Satan and his devils would be hindered in their attempts to stop the work of God, Matthew 12 is specifically about Christ casting out demons and so validating His Messianic claims, not about the work of God going forward in a general sense, or an alleged “‘binding’ power of prayer.”  None of the hundreds of prayers in Scripture mention believers binding Satan to advance the work of God in some general sense, nor, for that matter, is there the least hint that any Christian in the Bible thought that he was to bind Satan in prayer or in any other way at all.  In fact, Scripture is very clear that when the Millennial kingdom begins “an angel [will] come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he [will lay] hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and b[i]nd him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled” (Revelation 20:1-3; cf. Revelation 9:14).[3]  Satan is not bound now (1 Peter 5:8; Job 2:2), and when he will be bound in the Millennium, a powerful angel, not a Christian, will bind him, and cast Satan into the bottomless pit.  A Christian, who is far weaker than Satan, should also consider if it is wise to seek to bind that mighty angel when the devil is far more powerful than any fallen man—especially since he will not have the blessing of the Spirit in his endeavor, since God has never stated that men are to bind the devil in the dispensation of grace.  The Lord Jesus, by contrast, both with His inherent power as God and the power of the omnipotent Spirit working in Him without measure as the Messiah and God-Man, has every right and ability to bind Satan according to His will.  Furthermore, unless a Christian is praying for the coming of the Millennial kingdom when he prays for Satan to be bound, he is asking for something that is not going to happen, and if a Christian claims, or a group of Christians claim, that they can bind Satan, they are actually opening themselves up for Satanic delusion—at least if one goes only by the Bible, rather than by the inspired writings of Jessie Penn-Lewis.  The fact that Christians cannot bind Satan explains why, although countless Pentecostals, Word of Faith advocates, and practitioners of Keswick continuationism claim, all over the world, to bind Satan all the time, so that every minute of the day someone somewhere in the world is praying that Satan would be bound, Satan remains the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4) and is as unbound and active as ever.  The radical change that will take place in the world when Satan actually is bound—and stays bound—in the Millennial kingdom (Revelation 20:1-3) stands in the sharpest contrast with the total absence of any such change when Pentecostals follow Jessie Penn-Lewis and claim to bind Satan, since he somehow is loosed from their “binding” and as active as ever the second after they make their prayer, and even while, deluded by his lies, they are praying it.



-TDR


The following are the parts of this series:

Jessie Penn-Lewis: Keswick and Welsh Revivalist, Quaker and Freemason (part 1 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Conversion (?) and Higher Life (part 2 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Spirit-Baptized Woman Preacher (part 3 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Keswick Faith Healer (part 4 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: the Christ-Life and Quietism (part 5 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Her Inspired Writings (part 6 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Inspired Woman Preacher (part 7 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: her mystical false god (part 8 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Worldwide Keswick Impact  (part 9 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Welsh Revival and Pentecostal Preparation (part 10 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: War on the Saints (part 11 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Christians Demon Possessed (part 12 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Warfare Prayer and the 1914 partial Rapture (part 13 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Binding Satan (part 14 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Binding and Loosing (part 15 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: “My Demon Possession Key to My Keswick Teaching” (part 16 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Inspired “Truth” on Demon Possession (part 17 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Throne Life / Power and the Higher Life (part 18 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Soul Force, Only the Human Spirit Regenerated, And Other Bizarre Foolishness (part 19)
Jessie Penn-Lewis and Evan Roberts: Applications From Their Lives and Doctrines, I (part 20 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis and Evan Roberts: Applications From Their Lives and Doctrines, II (part 21 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis and Evan Roberts: Applications From Their Lives and Doctrines, III (part 22 of 22)






[1]            Pg. 374, “How to Pray for Missionaries,” Jessie Penn-Lewis, The Alliance Weekly, 72:24, June 12, 1937, 373-375, & 72:26, June 26, 1937, 406-407.  Italics in original.  While Scripture does not bear out Mrs. Penn-Lewis’s contentions, she affirms that a meeting of atheists was broken up by binding Satan in this fashion, one of “many . . . proofs” from experience for her Satanic binding and loosing doctrine.  By binding Satan, Mrs. Penn-Lewis affirms, the many “thousands of God’s people” who are possessed by demons like those of Mark 9:17-18 can be delivered (pg. 374, Ibid).  In her article, she ties her doctrine of binding Satan into the throne-power teaching developed at more length by John MacMillan.
[2]           Taking out of context another verse, Evan Roberts wrote:  “The power of Revelation 12:10 should be received by faith” (pg. 213, An Instrument of Revival, Jones), but it is very difficult to see how a verse about Satan having great power on earth during the Tribulation period when he is cast permanently out of heaven has the slightest relevance to Keswick advocates or Pentecostals attempting to bind Satan in the church age. 
[3]           Mrs. Penn-Lewis allegorizes Revelation 20 as follows:  “There is a systematic warfare of prayer possible against the kingdom of darkness, which would mean co-operation with the Spirit of God in the liberation of the Church, and hasten the ultimate binding of the great serpent, and casting him down to the pit. (Rev. 20:1). A material ‘chain’ could not bind a supernatural being, and it may be that ‘the great strong angel’ typifies the mystical ‘Christ’; consisting of the Head and members—the ‘Man-Child’ caught up to the Throne—when the members will have been liberated from the power of the enemy, and then commissioned to lay hold of the Deceiver to cast him into the abyss, and shut him up for the thousand years” (Chapter 11, War on the Saints).  Anyone who finds such an allegory convincing in the least is not likely to be concerned about literal interpretation or the actual meaning of Revelation 20, nor will he be especially worried that no passage in Revelation actually mentions “the great strong angel,” or that the only passage in the book that mentions a “strong angel” specifically contrasts this angel with the Lord Jesus (Revelation 5:1-6).

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

The Tragedy and Hatefulness of People Who Ghost

I'd never heard the word, ghost, until a few days ago. Well, no.  I heard "Holy Ghost" in the King James Version, and Casper the friendly ghost.  I've heard the term, ghost, used in varied other ways, and I wouldn't have made this up.  I went to RealClearPolitics, and read "The Conflict Avoidance Generation" by Noah Rothman at Commentary.  The subtitle is "Comfort First."  Here are the first three paragraphs:
My two young children adored their babysitter. For about eight months, she watched them when my wife and I couldn’t, and she was good at her job. A recently enrolled student in a local community college, her schedule didn’t always include time to work for us. But when it did, she was punctual and professional, and her services were well compensated. And then one day, she disappeared. 
It occurred to us only after several weeks of radio silence that falling off the face of the earth might have been her way of severing our professional relationship. In retrospect, this maneuver was, perhaps, in character. Her preferred method of declining the opportunity to sit for our children when her schedule did not permit it was just not to take our call. So, resolved to find a new sitter, my wife and I conducted a handful of interviews and settled on a replacement relatively quickly. We introduced the new sitter to our children and established a prospective starting date in about two weeks. That was the last we saw or heard from her. Once again, we were “ghosted.” 
Our experience appears increasingly typical for employers seeking talent among young professionals entering the workforce. “Ghosting,” in the popular vernacular, is the practice of closing off all communication without any forewarning or explanation. This discourteous practice was once exclusive to the dating world, but it is now being applied to all sorts of interpersonal relationships, including those that are entirely professional.
"Ghosting" is defined as "the practice of closing off all communication without any forewarning or explanation" (this article lays out what it is too very well).  As you continue to read, you'll see that "ghosting" has become a regular practice by a surprising high percentage of "Generation Z" (22 and below) -- 43% just vanish when they don't want the job anymore.  In addition, 25% of millennials (23-38) bail on their employers.  What is going on here?

Some have studied this new trend, and Rothman calls it "an ideological obsession with avoiding all forms of trauma and distress—even the emotional sort."  He further describes:
The path of least resistance is to avoid potentially conflictual interpersonal engagements. Compulsive conflict avoidance is, however, not only rude but unproductive and unhealthy. “Ghosting” isn’t just ignoring a problem in the hope that it will go away or changing the subject; it’s a complete cognitive and emotional shutdown.
Rothman references an article in The Atlantic that turned into a book of the same title:  "The Coddling of the American Mind," which has this sentence in the subheading:  "In the name of emotional well-being, college students are increasingly demanding protection from words and ideas they don’t like."  The article is worth reading.  I give both articles a full disclaimer, but I have both seen and experienced "ghosting" numerous times.

"Ghosting" disobeys the frequent biblical command to "love thy neighbor as thyself."  No one wants someone with whom he relates to just "drop off the face of the earth" with almost no warning and with no opportunity at reconciliation or mediation.  If you do this to someone, you are wrong.  Jesus says this is as much as murdering someone (cf. Matt 5:21-26).

Social media provides the practice or pattern of ghosting.  Someone makes an even moderately negative comment, perhaps just unaccepting, and it is deleted immediately, the person blocked permanently.   A non-affirming relationship is rejected.  This is. not. Christian.  I see this as the norm in social networking and then it becomes a pattern for behavior in the real world.

Someone ghosting is practicing an unscriptural form of separation, separation in the worst, most harsh, hateful way.  It doesn't try to keep a relationship going.  It doesn't care about the person it ghosts.  I hear the generation Z and millennials talk about unity, especially since there is so much division in the country, but they do not understand unity.  Unity isn't the absence of conflict.  Jesus did not come to bring peace, but a sword, and no one brings unity more than Jesus.  They practice this nuclear form of separation that scorches the earth all around its object, like Rome with Carthage.

"Freedom" isn't the ability to say or do what you want without rejection.  Real freedom gives confidence to face adversity.  The truly free person can stand up to scrutiny.  It's even part of being an adult, which is one reason I see this being the behavior of young people.  It's also because they have been coddled, like the article says.

When a conflict arises in a relationship, scripture teaches reconciliation, and mediation if necessary.  Tough conversations must be had.  This is love.  Pushing the eject button isn't love.  It is selfishness.  Ghosting is "vindictive" a word used four times in the Atlantic article.  He calls it "vindictive protectiveness," followed by this sentence:  "It is creating a culture in which everyone must think twice before speaking up, lest they face charges of insensitivity, aggression, or worse."

Don't get me wrong, generation Z and millennials don't think they've been coddled (overly protected). They think they've been abused.  They've "had life very hard" -- not.  This is the generation where dodge ball, the teeter totter, and the monkey bars went extinct.  Two words:  hand sanitizer.  Almost everyone in my generation of parents over served their children.  They gave them too much, protected them from too much. They had life too easy.  They don't think so.  They think they had it hard, but no generation of people had it as easy as those 35 and younger.  More coddling isn't the solution to their problem.  The future looks already very dim, but if this doesn't stop, that trajectory downward will be even worse.

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Word of Truth Conference 2019: The Biblical Doctrine of Sanctification

2019 WORD OF TRUTH CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
November 6-10, Wednesday-Sunday
Sanctification (part one), Bethel Baptist Church, El Sobrante, CA

DATE AND TIME     EVENT/THEME     SPEAKER
11/6, Wed, 7:00pm     1st Sermon     Chris Teale
11/6, Wed, 7:50pm     2nd Sermon     James Bronsveld
11/7, Thurs, 9:30am     Salvation and Sanctification     David Warner
11/7, Thurs, 10:35am     Evangelism and Sanctification     Kent Brandenburg
11/7, Thurs, 11:40am     The Means of Sanctification     Thomas Ross
11/7, Thurs, 7:00pm     1st Sermon     Dave Mallinak
11/7, Thurs, 7:50pm     2nd Sermon     James Bronsveld
11/8, Fri, 9:30am     Sanctification and the Work of the Holy Spirit     David Sutton
11/8, Fri, 10:35am     Scripture and Sanctification     Chris Teale
11/8, Fri, 11:40am     Good Works and Sanctification     Kent Brandenburg
11/8, Fri, 7:00pm     Sermon     Dave Mallinak
11/9, Sat, 9:30am     The Church and Sanctification      James Bronsveld
11/9, Sat, 10:35am     The Effects of Sanctification     Thomas Ross
11/9, Sat, 11:40am     Antinomianism     James Bronsveld
11/11, Sun, 9:45am     Revivalism     Thomas Ross
11/11, Sun, 11:00am     Sermon     Kent Brandenburg
11/11, Sun, 2:30pm   Panel Discussion    Brandenburg, Ross, Sutton, Warner

The audio for the meeting will be at https://www.wordoftruthconference.com

The video for the meeting will be at https://www.youtube.com/user/BethelElSobrante

Saturday, November 02, 2019

Having a Quote Used Out of Context: Normal from the Left, Illustrated in The Oxford Handbook of the Bible in America

Oxford reads and quotes Thou Shalt Keep Them, our book on the biblical theology of the perfect preservation of scripture.  Someone alerted me that The Oxford Handbook of the Bible in America quoted me, and upon review in an unfavorable manner.  Our book appears in the bibliography and a chapter I wrote in particular is supposedly "quoted" -- exactly three words.  I'll get to those.

I am said to be quoted in a chapter by Jason A. Hentschel, the senior pastor of the Wyoming Baptist Church in Wyoming, OH.  As a little tip, if you go to the church website, the most recent sermon came from Dr. Emily Hill.  It is an American Baptist Church.  His chapter, however, is entitled, "The King James Only Movement."  The first page of the chapter starts with an illustration of a "Reverend Martin Luther Hux" lighting a Revised Standard Version on fire in the bed of his pick up truck in North Carolina.  Almost every possible advocate of the King James Version (KJV) is lumped in with the burning RSV.  Showing his absolute lack of a grasp of the issue, he traces blame to evangelical J. I. Packer.

Hentschel bemoans the underlying presupposition of certainty among the proponents of the KJV or the textus receptus Greek text behind the KJV New Testament.  He says these evangelicals, who support the KJV, must save it from history or escape from history to take their position.  A tell-tale sentence from Hentschel reads:
Of course, we must ask at this point why it is assumed we must have certainty of faith, why we must be certain that what we know to be true is really true.
Overall, whatever his problem with a KJV only position and even what that means to him (because he doesn't explain it), his real problem is with the idea that professing Christians are either certain of the Bible or they receive certainty from it.  His view of faith is one in which God retains a mystery unfettered by the bounds of a book.  The definition of faith itself depends on uncertainty, so that one's view of God transmogrifies amoeba-like just out of touch of anything concrete in the imagination.  This isn't the God of the Bible, which makes the Bible always a problem for one with God as comfortable abstraction.

The "quote of me" comes within the following portion of a paragraph:
For these in the King James Only movement, to chase after ancient texts or to pretend that scholars can piece together lost autographs with any measure of certainty is a fool's errand, the unmistakable mark of an unbeliever.  As Edward Hills contends, if God has left his word so vulnerable, then the Christian faith and Christian orthodoxy "would always be wavering."  Or, as another follower put it, there would be nothing left but "despair and doubt."
Okay.  Hentschel says those last three words are a quote of me from Thou Shalt Keep Them, the chapter titled, "First Century Textual Attack."  Apparently, I get one less word than his quote of Edward Hills's, "would always be wavering."  First, "despair and doubt" are three words on page 150, which is not in my chapter on first century textual attack.  Nope.  It's in the following chapter by Thomas Corkish, titled "Pure Words of God."  I apologize to Dr. Corkish for no mention for writing those three words.  I'm sure most people are not going to check the accuracy of his endnotes.  I didn't write them though.

In the chapter written by Corkish, not by me, Hentschel is quoting from the last sentence of a section of the chapter:
All Christians must take hope in a preserved and infallible Word, or despair and doubt will fill their hearts.
This sentence ends a paragraph that references Psalm 12 and its promise to the poor and needy there.  The words are like a contract. God refers to the surety of His words like He does the surety of His promise to the poor and needy.  If the words are unsure, the contract is, and not anything on which to depend.  In the very passage, God makes the fulfillment of His promise dependent on the surety of the words.

If God's words cannot be trusted, how can God be trusted?  This is not to say that scripture is bigger than God.  Even if scripture is lesser than the greater, the actual fulfillment of God's promise, then despair and doubt do proceed from the untrustworthiness of scripture.  This point can be made from the text.  It's either true or it isn't.  If it isn't, isn't that attributable to God?  God Himself is saying that it is attributable to Him.  He is saying that if we cannot trust His Word, then we cannot trust Him.  Yet, we can trust Him and His Word.

Hentschel doesn't deal with the point of the quote in its context.  I've found this to be normal for all manner of the left, including the theological left.

Friday, November 01, 2019

Missionaries, Preachers and Everyone Else Who Travels: ATMs Free Worldwide and No Foreign Transaction Fees

If you travel within the United States, it is nice to be able to use an ATM without having to pay any fees.  If you travel internationally, being able to use any ATM you want without having to pay ATM fees or foreign transaction fees sounds almost too good to be true--for not only do you save a 3% foreign transaction fee and the fee from the ATM, but you also avoid the poor exchange rates that are offered at the airport (especially) and also at other places where money changing goes on--instead, you just pay the actual conversion rate into the foreign currency.  If one is frequently in foreign countries--whether as a missionary, a pastor who watches over those missionaries sent out of his church, or simply as a person who goes outside of the United States, the savings can definitely add up.  There are numbers of banks that I know of that give ATM refunds within the United States, but very few also do the same internationally.  There are two ways to get the above valuable benefits that I am aware of, and one of them is currently offering a very good deal, so I thought it would be a good time to write a blog post about this.

SoFi--Everything Free & Make $50 or $150 or More in

About 5 Minutes


SoFi Money has a brokerage account that offers the benefits above.  That is:

  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • No direct deposit required
  • Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements worldwide (they give you a Visa debit card for use with your account)
  • No foreign transaction fees worldwide
  • High interest rate
  • No hard pull on your credit report--no negative effects whatsoever on your credit score

Furthermore, right now they are offering you $50 for signing up for SoFi Money and depositing $100 (which you can take out again whenever you like).  You can possibly sign up in less time than it takes to read this post and get $50.  The bonus is posting very quickly as well--it shows up within a few days in my experience.  Furthermore, you can get a referral link from within their app and get $100 if you refer someone else, $200 if you refer two people, $300 for three people, and so on.  So if you sign up, then refer your spouse, you will get $50 (you sign up) + $100 (referral bonus for spouse) + $50 (spouse signs up) = $200 very easily.  If you have a lot of siblings you can get a lot of money for an account that is worth having.  You can leave $1 in there and then put money in the account whenever you travel, use the travel benefits, and then go back to leaving $1 in there, or you can actually use SoFi for the various things that they want you to use them for if you find their products attractive.  I signed up and then I referred my wife.

You can use my referral link by clicking here to get $50 and a worthwhile account.  You don't have to use my referral link, of course, but if you do I will also be benefited financially, and I would appreciate that because we just had to buy some expensive equipment to help with our online classes and video ministry, and we would rejoice if God provided for us while also helping others get a valuable account that can save them a lot when they travel.

I know that advertisements always tell you to "buy RIGHT NOW" and stuff like that, but this is a very good deal with people signing up all over the place, and I don't think they are going to keep offering it for a long time, so I would suggest signing up quickly before they end the promotion if you want to get the opening and referral bonus(es).

SoFi also makes loans, and you can find out more about them with my referral link about that by clicking here.  I have not looked into their loans much because I don't need a loan, but if you absolutely cannot avoid debt (it is far better to lend than to need a loan) you can get information about SoFi loans here.

There are advantages SoFi Money has over the Schwab account below--a higher interest rate and a very easy $50 or possibly $200 or more if you sign up now, and no hard pull on your credit report. There are also some advantages to Schwab; I will discuss those below.

Schwab Checking Account--similar benefits

Charles Schwab has a checking account that offers:
  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • No direct deposit required
  • Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements worldwide (they give you a Visa debit card for use with your account)
  • No foreign transaction fees worldwide
I have had a Charles Schwab checking account for years and am very glad to have been able to avoid ATM fees and foreign transaction fees when we have travelled to Kenya, various parts of Europe, the Philippines, etc.  (When the ATM charges you a fee Schwab refunds it.) We don't use our Schwab checking account that much except if we are not local--then we transfer some money into the account (both with SoFi and with Charles Schwab it is very easy to link another bank account) and use the Schwab account while we are away from home.

The Schwab checking account does not have nearly as high an interest rate as SoFi Money, and getting one involves a hard pull on your credit report, just like opening a credit card or applying for a home mortgage, etc.  On the other hand, Schwab is a very well-known and reputable brokerage firm so you can invest with them as well as bank.  I have found their customer service over the years to be excellent.  Furthermore, you can sign up for God-honoring Christian-based mutual funds through Schwab, since they carry them along with many, many other types of investments.  I do not yet know whether that is possible with SoFi Money because my account with them is very new and I wanted to get this post out before the SoFi Money promo ended.  Also, with Schwab you can get paper bank statements; I am not sure if SoFi offers those or not.  Finally, Schwab's checking account is FDIC insured.  SoFi moves your money into FDIC insured bank accounts, utilizing six banks so it is FDIC insured up to $1.5 million, but if they were to go bust in the one day or two or whatever between when you deposited your money and when it got swept into an FDIC insured account, it might be a less than ideal situation for that particular deposit.  I have no concerns about depositing $100 in SoFi or even thousands of dollars in SoFi, but if I were a millionaire I would be more likely to keep my money with Schwab and I would do a lot more with their brokerage than with SoFi's brokerage.

If you sign up with this link, you should be able to get $100 from Schwab's refer-a-friend program.  I do not make anything from this program, but you get $100.  I am not sure if the link I just supplied for Schwab will work for more than the first person who tries it, unlike the SoFi money bonus which should work for as long as they offer the promo for as many people as click on it and sign up.  If you can deposit thousands and thousands of dollars, you can get more than $100 from Schwab--a certain level gives you $200 and if you deposit over $100,000 you get $500, but most people are probably not going to do that.

I have signed up for both SoFi Money and Schwab, and would suggest that you think about getting one or both of these accounts if you ever travel where your local bank does not give you ATM refunds, and especially if you ever leave the USA.

-TDR

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Answering "Conservative Christianity and the Authorized Version," part three

Part One     Part Two

In the third post in his series (one, two, three), Michael Riley at Religious Affections Ministries (RAM) argues that the degradation of the English language at its present state does not stop the modern versions from being conservative in consistency with being a conservative church with conservative worship like RAM teaches.  It seems that pastors in the UK when Scott Aniol visited there brought this as an argument against, that a translation into modern English conflicted with conservatism, unlike the King James Version.  Riley to his credit sympathizes with the argument and shows understanding of it for the first five and a half paragraphs before disavowing it.

I don't know what arguments the UK conservative pastors bring about the inability of the present English language to represent the original text of the Bible.  I have my own thoughts about it that are not what I would consider to be akin to very poor and even false KJV only style arguments.  I've written a lot about it recently because of the new book by Mark Ward, where he argues that the English of the KJV is unable to communicate sufficiently to a contemporary English audience -- they won't get most of it because of various reasons, especially what Ward calls "false friends," words or phrases that people do not understand anymore, yet that they think they do understand.

Riley agrees that English has degraded.  The almost entirely English audience that reads English has also taken a major decline with a steep trajectory downward.  Linguists with no skin in the issue of the translation of scripture have agreed that modern English has lost the ability of past English to communicate a formal social standard -- a particular structure, seriousness, and governing of rules of discourse.  Is the English of today a craft that can transmit adequately or appropriately the content of scripture?  Is there an interchange in priority from God to man, a diminishing of divine character by a casualness and commonality past suitability?  Even if the modern English hasn't become incongruous with the Word of God, is it so close to being so, should the godly of the culture put on the brakes to further erosion?

The new translations have not arisen from church agreement to the degree that a standard, single Bible could come from the unified effort, proceeding with reverence, respect, and holy motives.  In the opinion of many, they have reeked of pragmatism and pandering.  Do those doing the work not see the damage done by producing multitudinous translations?  Is all the variation and the plausible subjectivity of it an even worse friend than the apparent false friends?

Lawyers still understand the need for the precision of formality, that functions according to certain codes that do seem to proceed from natural or moral law.  We still follow the same Constitution of the United States without calls of updates.  We don't modernize the Declaration of Independence.  If we do change the Constitution, add an amendment, it is very difficult and so also very seldom.  Amendments read like the original, keeping it in the same spirit with a similar tone.

The Bible is a document of exponentially greater value than any other book or literature.  It deserves the veneration of scarce change.  Modern versions don't give it that.  Modern translators fiddle and fiddle as if they were Nero and Rome burned.  They scamper through the graveyard across the burial plots of sorts.  It contributes to lack of respect like we see in almost every institution.  If we can't take scripture seriously, when God is of highest value, then everything else will be lost as well.  This all flies in the face of conservatism.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Answering "Conservative Christianity and the Authorized Version," part two

Part One

I agree with almost all of what Religious Affections Ministries (RAM) and Scott Aniol, its general director, write and then say about worship.  I'm also very sympathetic with the concept of "conservative churches."  However, to be conservative, it's important to be consistent in that position.

A few weeks ago, one of the writers at RAM, a pastor of a Baptist church in Michigan, Michael Riley, started a series in which he defends the critical text and modern versions (CT/MV) as consistent with conservatism (now three parts:  one, two, three).  I'm glad Riley is giving it a shot, because it says that inconsistency is on the radar of RAM.  As I pointed out in my part one, Riley reports that Aniol heard from conservative evangelical churches in the UK, while he was there on a sabbatical, that his conservative position on worship clashed with his support of CT/MV (I had already written about that point, linked in part one).

In my part one of a rebuttal to Riley, I introduced four principles or propositions that especially show why a critical text/modern version belief and practice clashes with conservatism.  I will be referring to that list as I analyze and expose his presentation, maybe also bringing others to those four.

Riley starts his part two by asserting that a critical text position on the preservation of scripture doesn't conflict with conservatism.  Even though he is a critical text advocate and uses a modern version in his church, he understands the textual receptus (ecclesiastical text, ET) position is a good argument and defensible.  He's not arguing against the ET, just that it doesn't mean that holding CT/MV negates conservatism.  His first argument is that CT/MV better reflects apostolic writing, which I'm assuming he means, the New Testament.  He begins his next paragraph stating his "core argument":
My core argument is this: our chief task in textual criticism is to discern (by whatever methods we believe best) what the text of Scripture said when originally penned under the inspiration of the Spirit.
Riley then parallels for several paragraphs an advocacy of ET with one of paedobaptism.  He says that both might fit better in church history, but they clash with scripture, and a truly conservative position will proceed from the Bible.  He concludes:
[T]he goal of textual criticism is to discern what the text of Scripture originally said. That is a flatly conservative position: to discard innovations that have accumulated in the church, to hold to that which was handed down in the beginning.
I applaud Riley for admitting that CT/MV is not historical.  Although he doesn't write this, it would also be to say that the ET position arises from a totally apostate bibliology.  The church for centuries strayed from scripture, only to be returned by CT/MV.  Is that true?  In addition, does scripture show that a true doctrine could be ahistorical?  On biblical grounds, I reject ahistorical doctrine.  The true church has never been in the majority, but it continued, the gates of hell not prevailing against it (Matthew 16:18).

The Bible is still and always sole or final authority, so I agree that to overturn historical doctrine, someone better show some excellent exegetical basis.  I don't see that at all with CT/MV.  It doesn't proceed from history or exegesis.  A tell-tale part of Riley's core argument is in the parenthesis, " by whatever methods we believe best."  ET contends that the method itself must proceed from biblical grounds.  The methods themselves matter and this stands at the root too of conservatism.

Let's say that someone believed that to find the correct text, he should use dowsing, also known as the divining rod, a superstitious means of finding ground water, which arose, it seems, in the 16th century.  That was a method people believed for finding water, but not an acceptable one.  Methods matter, and "whatever methods we believe best" isn't the standard.

The actual means God gives for recognizing His Words is the church, the accepted means also of the canonization of the twenty seven books of the New Testament.   Just like God uses a confluence of divine and human for inspiration and even sanctification, He uses the same in canonization.  This is not human authority standing over scripture, but a divine means of recognition of what God inspired.  The rejection of a multiplicity of non-canonical books occurred by means of the church.  Canonicity of books follows from a biblical teaching of a canonicity of words -- the lesser, books, surely following from the greater, words.

The biblical means of preservation also should follow a biblical expectation.  Paedobaptism isn't biblical.  We know how this unscriptural practice arose in history.  Infant sprinkling always had those rejecting it in the true church.  CT/MV parallel more with paedobaptism, because neither comes from that "excellent exegetical basis" that I mentioned above, when it arose in church history as an innovation.  CT/MV is truly the innovation, because it relies on a naturalistic and unreliable means for the recognition of scripture.  Its results do not match a biblical expectation of a settled, authoritative, and available text.

CT/MV assumes neutrality to modern textual criticism, not a conservative assumption.  The method of identifying the true text springs from God, just like moral law and transcendent beauty.  It bypasses man's lying eyes and trampled crime scene for faith, which emerges from the pure mother's milk (1 Peter 2:2) of God's Word.  CT/MV is a leap from the dark.  It is the apostle Paul's, "wisdom of this world" and of "the wise men of the flesh" and the "noble" (1 Corinthians 1).  The "foolishness of God is wiser than men," so that "no flesh should glory in his presence" (also 1 Corinthians 1).  A temporal, humanistic, naturalistic means should be rejected in light of a scriptural method.

If no method were given, as is very often asserted falsely by CT/MV, I would consider the "whatever methods we believe best" as a kind of Christian liberty or adiaphora.  Those "reformed" people of whom Riley speaks were not holding their position in a vacuum though, like they were on paedobaptism.  They were standing, immersed in scripture.  Their grounds for their method were scriptural.  The work of God toward an authoritative text didn't end with inspiration.  The Bible also teaches a work of the Holy Spirit in canonicity and in preservation.

A striking characteristic of CT/MV is its paucity of biblical underpinning.  In essence, it's founders are unbelievers, who reject orthodox bibliology.  Not until recently have CT/MV advocates gone searching in hindsight for some biblical basis for what they do.  It's the wrong order.  Most of the same advocates for CT support a translation philosophy (MV) that contradicts scriptural principles.  Like with the text, its proponents have only recently began digging to find their "presuppositions" in the Bible, inventing new doctrines in the history of the church.  I read this as a transparent attempt to persuade those who needed scriptural grounds for change and then to bludgeon opponents for sinning if they won't change in response to first-time scriptural arguments.

The presuppositions for CT/MV versus ET especially distinguish the conservative ET position from the non-conservative CT/MV.  The same category of presuppositions spoils most worship of CT/MV churches.  Both lack in transcendence.  The same debased foundation produces their bibliology and their worship.  This is why RAM is such an outlier with the contradiction between and bifurcation of the two.  RAM attempts to straddle the unstraddlable.