Friday, June 29, 2018

Evan Roberts & the Welsh Revival of 1904-1905: False Conversions, Part 9 of 22


            It was important for Roberts to have supernatural abilities to discern true and false conversion, since the methodology he employed in the Welsh holiness revival to produce regeneration was not, as in the Bible, bold, powerful, and clear preaching of the gospel (Romans 10:17; 1 Peter 1:23-25), but getting people to stand up.[1]  Those who stood up were assumed to have been converted.  Roberts would “walk up and down the isles,” look at specific people, and ask them, “Are you ready to stand up now and confess Christ?”[2]  People would think, “Why can’t I?  I am religious!” and then “stand up to confess” when Roberts asked them to.[3]  Roberts would, at times, call on “[a]ll who love Jesus to stand,” as well as “all church members” and “[a]ll who love Christ more than anything else,”[4] and was able to get great crowds to stand up in this way.[5]  In  an atmosphere charged with extreme emotion, but little careful preaching, Roberts called on unsaved people to stand,” and then “men [would] . . . rise up and confes[s] Christ.”[6]  “[A]midst prayers and exhortations in Welsh and English,” people “rose one by one” and were assumed to be converted because they did so, while the “press circulated stories about Evan Roberts’s irreverence, hysteria, mesmerism, and improper pressures upon impressionable females.”[7]
            Roberts’s coworkers described scenes of “feverish emotionalism” where “the air was electrical” as “young men, nerved by the sympathetic atmosphere . . . r[ose], from floor and gallery [of a chapel meeting house, and] followed the formula set by the first, ‘I get up to confess Christ.’”[8]  Large groups would go to the front of church buildings, and, in the words of one of Roberts’s converts, be “asked . . . to confess Jesus Christ as our Saviour. . . . I did not understand it . . . [t]he thing was entirely new to me . . . but I accepted everything from him because I looked up to him . . . [by this confession] we had an interest in heaven.”[9]  If not enough people stood up, Roberts would ask again.  For example, “at the meeting in Van Road, Caerphilly . . . Evan asked, ‘Will everyone who will confess Christ rise?’  When only forty responded, Evan professed to be astonished.  ‘What!  Is this the number?’ he cried. . . . So the people were challenged again. They realized that they had not come to be entertained but to ‘show their side.’”[10]  Sometimes, however, getting up one time would not work, and one would need to stand up more than once to go to heaven; for example, one man stood up twice because a spirit being told him in a vision that he had lost his salvation:
I could stand up to confess since I had been faithful to all the chapel meetings and was morally upright . . . I did stand up to confess Christ . . . [but a few days later] I saw . . . I felt Jesus coming to me and I was going to him . . . and as He came towards me—He was on the cross—He moved His hand and pushed me away.  “If God has deserted me,” [I thought], “only a lost state awaits me.”[11]
The man therefore stood up a second time and said, “Dear friends, God has departed from me; I have no hope; only total loss awaits me; pray for me.”  People responded, “[I]f you are lost, where are we others?”[12]
            At another meeting, Roberts exercised his supernatural powers to predict that “everybody present in that meeting was going to ‘come to Christ’ that day,”[13] indicating that all present, including ministers and Roberts himself, were unconverted and were going to be saved that day by standing up, or that equating standing up with conversion produces incredible confusion and many false professions—unless the prophecy was to be taken allegorically.  However, at the end of the day, “all . . . had stood up to declare themselves followers of Christ,”[14] so it appears that Roberts’s prophecy was not simply an allegory.  A very sympathetic eyewitness described Roberts’s procedure of producing conversions by putting pressure on people to stand up:
Mr. Evan Roberts, toward the close of the meeting, asks all who from their hearts believe and confess their Saviour to rise.  At the meetings at which I was present nearly everybody was standing.  Then for the sitting remnant the storm of prayer rises to the mercy seat.  When one after another rises to his feet, glad strains of jubilant song burst from the watching multitude.[15]
Getting people to stand up, repeating such calls to stand when not enough do so, putting pressure on the unconverted to stand up by having everyone watch them, and getting people to think that all who do not stand at Mr. Roberts’s call are at that instant claiming to be openly and actively against Christ is radically different from Biblical evangelistic methodology and a horrible recipe for producing spurious salvation decisions.  Indeed, it was even immediately apparent that often people would stand and “confess Chris[t] to escape notice” that would come on them were they to stay seated.[16]  Therefore, one must be a firm believer in Evan Roberts’s supernatural powers to accept the validity of such a procedure.  Only the authority of the marvels surrounding Roberts’s work could validate what would otherwise be a very clearly anti-supernatural, fleshly, and devilish rejection of truly supernatural regeneration for the natural work of arising from a chair.  For unless Roberts could do what no other man could, and see into everyone else’s heart, the overwhelming majority of people whom he deceived into thinking that standing up is a sure sign of supernatural conversion and the new birth were in fearful danger of remaining unconverted, being deceived, and being eternally damned, while churches would end up filled with religious but unregenerate people, to the destruction of Christianity and the glory of the devil.  Supernatural conversion by the miraculous power of the Spirit through the preached Word would be replaced with supernatural marvels performed by Evan Roberts and a merely natural outward response erroneously equated with regeneration. 
Roberts, however, was able to use his supernatural powers to detect when people stood up but were not born again on that account:
[On] one occasion Roberts refused to leave the building, when the service had been declared closed by the ministers, because he said that one man in an indicated gallery, a Welshman, he was certain had not confessed Christ as he ought to have done.  The minister in charge of that gallery “tested” the people and reported that every one had confessed Christ.  Roberts was not satisfied:  six times was the appeal made during the next 25 minutes and not until the sixth test did a man come forward and admit that he had not been sincere in professing as a convert with the rest.  Roberts directed the minister to speak to the man, and after a short talk he too gave in.[17]
In such a manner, false professions apparently could be avoided.  Furthermore, visions from the spirit world confirmed that people had indeed been truly saved through the ministry of Evan Roberts.  A man who became an evangelist after professing conversion through Roberts’s ministry recounted that he had felt “petrified . . . tossed about . . . puzzled . . . crushed . . . disturbed . . . and . . . mobbed,” but then saw “a panoramic vision of Jesus moving through a crowd and a blind, beseeching beggar, whom he recognized as himself, pleading, ‘Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.’”  The man related, “A sweet voice spoke within my spirit so clearly, unmistakably, [and] audibly, that the voices of all creation could never succeed in drowning its message:  ‘Be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee.’  Heaven came into my heart that very moment.”[18]  Ministers also claimed to be converted because of visions.  For instance, an elder testified:  “I was led up to the great white throne, where the Father was seated in his eternal glory. The Holy Spirit came to me and dressed me in the Son’s righteousness.  When He had clothed me in white raiment He introduced me to the Father.  ‘Here he is for you,’ said He to the Father, ‘what do you think of him in the Son’s righteousness?’ . . . Thanks be to Him!”[19] 




[1]              Sometimes those who stood up would also come to a “big seat” at the front of a church building.  For example, one person who professed conversion “had a vision,” and consequently “went to the big seat to tell [the congregation] . . . [‘]Jesus Christ has forgiven my sin[.’]” (pg. 32, cf. 72-73, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones).  Another example of the methodology of standing up to be born again is found on pg. 147, Voices From the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.
                The practice of equating standing up with conversion was present in Keswick and Higher Life circles from the origin of the movement; for example, at the Brighton Convention a Quaker leader reported that “manifest converting power” was present, evidenced by “some hundreds [who] rose to witness that they were recipients of salvation” (pg. 399, Record of the Convention for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness Held at Brighton, May 29th to June 7th, 1875. Brighton: W. J. Smith, 1875; pg. 462, The Friends’ Quarterly Examiner, 9:23-26.  London:  Barrett, Sons & Co, 1875).
[2]              Pg. 34, An Instrument of Revival, Jones; cf. pg. 182, “The Revival in Wales,” A. T. Fryer.
[3]              Pg. 30, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.
[4]              Pg. 49, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.
[5]              E. g., pgs. 60-61, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.
[6]              Pg. 52, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.  Compare pg. 44, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.
[7]              Pg. 81, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[8]              Pgs. 70-71, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.
[9]              Pgs. 32-33, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.
[10]            Pg. 60, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[11]            Pgs. 29-30, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.
[12]            Pgs. 29-30, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.
[13]            Pg. 121, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 19 (December 1905).
[14]            Pg. 122, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 19 (December 1905).
[15]            Pg. 32, Revival in the West, W. T. Stead.
[16]            Pg. 60, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[17]          Pgs. 90, 120-121, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 19 (December 1905).  “211 had already accepted Christ” by standing up or raising their hands that night, and the Welshman was number 212.
[18]            Pg. 185, Voices From the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.
[19]            Pg. 189, Voices From the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones. In the Apostle John’s vision, in Revelation 20:11-15, Jesus Christ, not the Father, is the One on the great white throne, and only the damned are going to be judged there, since the resurrection of the just is already past (20:4-5).  The Apostle’s vision contradicts the vision of this minister in the Welsh holiness revival.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

A Dust Storm of Evangelism

For those interested and read here, sermons are starting to go back up at our church website again at this address (click on link to get to the page).  It is from 2013, but there are over 700 sermons there and more are coming now.


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In our world right now, evangelism is one of the hardest activities to do.  I'm pretty sure that almost no one envies it.  Very few are doing it and especially in a scriptural fashion.  Because of the difficulty, we need to have our motivation or purpose of and for evangelism down.  We need to know why and what we are doing in evangelism.  This has become much less easy as well because of a dust storm around the motivation and purpose of evangelism.  It's hard to see through the cloud of sand what evangelism is about.  This precipitates sitting on our hands in indecision with lips pressed together, then looking for something else to do while maybe we'll figure it out.

One of the statements you often here about evangelism is that it doesn't work.  New methods for church growth occur because evangelism itself doesn't work.  I've heard that many times.  In our area right here right now, I've watched something curious.  The two largest evangelical churches, which are not large compared to those in other parts of the country, don't do evangelism.  Both of them are into modern church growth methods, which I know results in their churches expanding in numbers with more unsaved people.  Their churches are full of unsaved people.  I know this by talking to numbers of the members of their church.  The gospel isn't clear to their people.

As a whole, the people in these two churches don't evangelize.  They don't even talk about the gospel.  They talk about how much they like their churches, because of all the stuff their churches have for them. Something is happening though.  Both of the churches are less than about 40 years old with one of them about that old or a little older.  The founding pastor is still the pastor in the older one.  He is a Dallas Theological Seminary graduate.  The church is an evangelical church that uses modern church growth methodology.   The emphasis isn't on doctrine, but on making people feel welcome.

The second church has a younger pastor, a Trinity Evangelical Seminary grad in his forties, and he is using the same methodology as the first, except he pushes the envelope much further.  He started doing this about ten to fifteen years ago.  By my observation, the first one is shrinking in numbers, losing people, many of them, especially young ones, to the second evangelical church.  This is a concern to the membership of the first.  Their methods aren't working, because they are competing with the other church, using the same means.  It's all about getting bigger numbers.  The strategy is obviously even to pull from all the other churches in the area by attracting the most worldly people.  Neither has taken one person from our church.  Both of these churches would say that evangelism doesn't work and neither of them are evangelizing our area.  People don't hear the gospel from them and when they do, it's watered down to make it palatable to a lost person.  I believe this is normal today.

Both of the churches I describe above would justify what they do by the notion that evangelism itself doesn't work, so they don't evangelize.  Some of their members, when we encounter them in person, congratulate our church for doing what we are doing in evangelism.  They think it's "nice."  They are happy that "we" are doing it.  Their churches are built, however, on their not doing it themselves.

In my inbox, I get emails from Steven Anderson's online company, Framing the World.  He's got his own videographer that is pushing his brand of false Christianity.  I didn't subscribe, but he culled me or us in some way online.  He is trying to pull from many other churches into his movement.  Steven Anderson does not emulate everything that Jack Hyles did, but he does in evangelism.  I perceive him to be identical to Jack Hyles when it comes to "soulwinning," including using that term predominately for evangelism.  Anderson and his people are doing that a lot.  They are doing a lot of this "soulwinning," as he terms it.  He and his movement are growing in part from his method of soulwinning very much like the Jehovah's Witnesses have grown.

I get something about every other day from Anderson's company in my box and usually I just immediately delete.  Yesterday, I didn't delete, because it was a promotion, what Framing the World called a "teaser," to watch a little clip or sample of a seminar Anderson was doing on soulwinning in the Detroit area.  It seems that Anderson just rented a hotel meeting room, advertised that he was going to have this seminar, and then showed up to give it.  It was not sponsored by any church in the area.  However, in that assembly area, there were about 75-100 people or maybe a little more in their listening to his teaching on this subject.

In his little clip, Anderson talks about why soulwinning is relevant in 2018.  He's not as dynamic as Hyles, but he is attracting people in great numbers compared to most.  It's easy to see.  In his presentation, first Anderson says that it's relevant because of the numbers in his meeting, including that they had seen already over "60 saved" there.  I guarantee you that Anderson and his people did not see 60 saved in the meeting.  This is the Hyles methodology, the 1-2-3 pray with me.  Anderson uses that, copies what Hyles did.  You might know that Anderson does not believe in repentance.  He preaches that repentance comes after someone is saved, not in order for someone to be saved.  Salvation is praying the prayer with him.

When Anderson says "soulwinning works," even though it is more difficult in some areas than others, he is saying that you see professions, prayers prayed everywhere and always.  His basis for that is experience and then he quotes Psalm 126:6 as a guarantee.
He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
That verse is a guarantee of physical blessing for Israel in its future, based on the promises of God, actual real crops growing, like my other promises in the Old Testament.  It is not about evangelism, but it is a common one for those like Anderson.

Anderson is attempting to motivate people to do what he believes and does and he speaks with great conviction.  What he's saying is false, but he understands that motivation is important in this.  His second point is that we can and will see great work today, much harvest today, that this is promised.  He quotes John 4 with the woman at the well as a present tense guarantee of a great harvest (John 4:35).
Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.
Anderson takes that passage out of context.  The disciples could see the Samaritan men coming down toward them, as a result of the witness of the woman at the well.  It was present tense, but it's not a guarantee of those present results.  This is typical of fundamentalist sermons, however, that I would hear about motivation of evangelism.

Anderson says that in the old days, the "glory days," soulwinning was a more effective means for building a church than it is today.  This exposes his false doctrine of salvation or his false gospel, same thing.  People who "get saved" with Anderson's method don't necessarily end up in church and in a major way, he doesn't care.  He says, "Maybe it doesn't work to build the church, but . . . it does work for, to get people saved."  He continues, "If they keep going to the same church, so be it.  If they don't end up going to church, so be it."  If someone stays in his Catholic church after he's been "saved," or he doesn't even go to church, then he really hasn't been saved.  Anderson is motivating his followers or adherents to go out and preach a false gospel, and he calls it soulwinning, but it's really motivating them to go out and make people twice the child of hell that they once were (Mt 23:15).  Anderson's followers are not really evangelizing and part of it relates again to motivation and then what evangelism is.

What Anderson proposes to people and pushes them to do under the guise of actual soulwinning or some kind of work of God, which it isn't and is actually a complete perversion, makes it easier for them to do this thing.  Motivation is at the forefront.  They can do this and see great things happen.  They can do it, because it's just getting people to pray prayers, which is much easier than actual evangelism.  They can do it, because they'll see results, which will make them happy, feel like they did something eternal.  People want that included in their lives.  Both are lies from Anderson, but they are lies in the realm of motivation of people, to get them to do what he suggests.

The dust storm of evangelism about which I write here is about the motivation to evangelize and the biblical understanding of evangelism.  Evangelism is occurring little because people don't understand what evangelism is and what motivates it.  Churches have stopped doing it because they don't know what it is or why they should do it.  If churches are not evangelizing, then they are missing one of the major points of their existence.

Jonah Goldberg and Jordan Peterson: Two Recent Articles Mirroring What I Wrote in Criticism

Jonah Goldberg wrote Suicide of the West, and I criticized his premise in this post.  Douglas Wilson read the book and did so with this post.

Since he burst on the scene, I've watched, less than most but a lot, of Jordan Peterson online.  I've ducked into his presentation of the Bible.  I've seen his answers to questions about Jesus, the resurrection, and the authority of scripture.  I wrote about his take on Christianity here in this post.  Then I just read last night this post by Liam Warner at National Review that says something close to what I was thinking on Peterson.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Certain Unscriptural Positions of Bibliology Worth Separating Over: Considering Mark Ward's Call to Separation at FBFI

Mark Ward spoke at the last FBFI (now called Foundations Baptist Fellowship International) conference at Mike Harding's church in Troy, Michigan, and he writes on his blog about what he said, including providing a link to the audio.  To cut to the chase, he called the FBFI to separation from KJVO men or churches.  That was number one on his list.

I'm open to calls to separation.  I'm interested in what the Bible says I'm supposed to separate from, therefore, I'm also interested in what men are teaching about what I'm supposed to separate from.  There is a lot that one could say men should separate from.  For instance, let's say a church refuses to practice church discipline.  Do you separate from that church?  That wasn't number one on Mark's list.  It didn't come up.  That's just an example.

If I've got him right, and I'm trying to get him right, not misrepresent him, Mark is saying that KJVO men and churches deserve separation because of the following.  I want to get it all and I think I can in two points.  They are using an English translation with words that their audience will no longer understand, so these men and churches inhibit their people from understanding and, therefore, living all of the Word of God.  More so, and second, these men and churches influence or cause other people to use a translation that won't allow people to understand and, therefore, live all the Word of God, because the King James Version is no longer intelligible.

Mark says his argument comes from 1 Corinthians 14 in that edification requires intelligibility.  I think there are two possibilities as to the origin of Mark's argument.  One, he doesn't like KJVO and he went to the Bible to see if he could get an argument against it.  From what I've read of him, I think I could prove that's what he did.  I'm open to his showing me how this is wrong.  Two, he studied his Bible, came to 1 Corinthians 14 in that study, and it exposed KJVO as violating scripture.  It would be great if critical text men started with the Bible.  I'd love that.  I'd love if they wanted the Bible to be believed and practiced and their historic doctrine causes them to act.  I haven't noticed that about critical text men.  They start with the non-biblical and then go looking for a way to use the Bible to argue it.  This is like a lot of sermons I heard through the years in fundamentalism, where men have a point and then go searching for a verse to back it up.

Mark's separating doctrine is not a historic doctrine.  I've never heard it before.  I'm not discounting it because I've never heard it.  If it's in the Bible, then it's in the Bible.  We should deal with it.  However, there is other bibliological doctrine that has been on the table for centuries, written by giants in theology and passed down to us today, and those don't seem of interest to critical text men.  They ignore them.  I haven't noticed them caring about certain historic and biblical doctrines of bibliology.  They ignore some of those, and never once of course would bring them up to separation.

Why does KJVO merit a conversation in the FBFI about separation?  Again, I'm for separation.  It is a biblical doctrine, but if you are going to be credible and authoritative in a belief and practice of separation, then you need to be following the Bible in that belief and practice.  You can't pick out a certain pet doctrine or practice that in particular that you don't like and then separate from violators in a unique fashion.  You've got to be consistent with that principle and make sure that you do all the separating you are supposed to do.  This is where fundamentalism, or maybe it needs to be called foundationalism now, comes up way short.

Anyone should be confused about FBFI separation belief and practice.  I've thought it was supposed to be about fundamentals or foundations.  I've also thought it was supposed to be about gospel issues.  Could same sex marriage acceptance be included?  But is that a fundamental or a gospel issue?  What about music?  Is worldly music in church fashionable for separation?  What about nudity?  What about continuationism?  Do you see what I mean?  It's impossible, I think, to understand their position. I do get how that the KJVO throws red meat to a lot of Bob Jones University styled fundamentalists.  I get that.  I've called it the third rail of fundamentalist politics.  But how is that scriptural?  If you do not start with scripture on separation, then you are going to get it wrong.  They get it monumentally wrong always.  I'm not exaggerating that.

Mark is saying that the FBFI is required by the Bible to separate over men who violate his particular application of 1 Corinthians 14.  They are disobeying Paul's teaching in 1 Corinthians 14 and they need to act on it, and this, according to Mark, is the number one problem in the FBFI.  Number one.  Men have stated their appreciation of Mark's talk about this problem.  Churches that use only the KJV and their leaders deserve separation over their violation of 1 Corinthians 14.  Their translation is not sufficiently edifying.  If they don't get at least another translation, separation from them should occur.  This isn't even a Romans 14 issue.  This is not doubtful.  It's new, but it's not doubtful.  It's not found as an application in historical theology, but it is a separation issue.

I've noticed FBFI type and associated men harping about the idea of fundamentalism and separating over gospel issues.  Now what is happening, not just in the FBFI, but I see it now in the gospel coalition, is taking pet issues and turning them into gospel issues.  KJVO can be spun into a gospel issue if you stretch out the number of premises.  If you have an non-intelligble Bible, men won't understand the gospel, and the KJV is unintelligble, so this is a gospel issue -- so there.  At the gospel coalition, it is lack of racial reconciliation shows lack of repentance and repentance is part of the gospel, and so on.  You can work it if you want to.

I think that fundamentalists have bigger problems than what Mark says is number one.  They have many other issues over which they should separate.  They should separate over a false gospel in a consistent way and be clear on the gospel.  They should separate over false views of sanctification.  They should join me in separating over those.  No, the number one issue, as presented by Mark, is the lack of using a sufficiently edifying translation of the Bible.

Separation is according to scripture a church issue.  Churches separate, not big parachurch and extra-biblical coalitions like the FBFI.  Those have zero authority.  It's like the model airplane operators of America talking about separation.  No, churches separate for many reasons according to scripture, including the protection of the truth and their church.  On this very narrow issue that Mark addresses, our church separates based upon one reason:  the biblical doctrine of preservation.  We separate over an established, historical, and biblical doctrine of preservation of scripture.  Separation started with what the Bible taught and then fleshed out the practice, not in reverse order.  You start with what the Bible teaches, studying the Bible, getting your doctrine and practice from the Bible, and then acting accordingly.  That's the biblical order.  If you don't do it that way, then you're going to separate on whims and on political winds.

Jesus said we're sanctified by the truth, so the truth is where sanctification starts.  Sanctification is separation.  You separate the biblical from the unbiblical in doctrine and practice.  It's how sanctification occurs.

The reversal of the order -- what does the Bible teach and then, second, what have Christians believed through history, before, and I mean, before you get to your position -- is what causes constant new edicts on separation arising from the FBFI.  The FBFI has an announcement and now proposes what it shall do about Promise Keepers and hencewith seals in wax what it shall deem an acceptable practice.  To know how to practice separation, you subscribe to the latest list of propositions.

Separation should start with what the Bible says.  The dividing line is scripture.  History should be consulted.  You might doubt the doctrine if it's new.  A biblical doctrine of preservation causes our church to separate from those who deny the biblical doctrine in at least two ways.  There are two different iterations of denial of the perfect preservation of scripture,  both in response to naturalism and rationalism.  They believe their lying eyes instead of believing what scripture says about itself.  In both cases, they can't get past the existence of textual variants in the original language text.

The first iteration is a large swath of KJVO.  That's right, I separate from KJVO.  Our church will not fellowship with Ruckmanites, English preservationists, men who believe that God either reinspired or preserved His Word in the English.  The English to them is the final authority for faith and practice and they correct the Greek original with the English.  There are many of these.  They don't believe in the biblical doctrine of preservation.  They don't believe God preserved His Words in the language in which He inspired them and they were written.  They deny that biblical doctrine and they react to that by taking a kind of cultic view of the English Bible.  Our church will separate from these people, when we know they are taking this position.  I would say this is over half of KJVO and maybe even a larger percentage.

These KJVO don't believe God preserved His Words in the original languages, and so they take a preservation view that depends on twisting certain passages of scripture.  For instance, in many cases they take Psalm 12:6-7 and when they say God purified His Words seven times, they believe that this means that apparently the seventh English translation is God's pure Words.  That is their "biblical" basis.  This is a new interpretation or application and a new doctrine.  One might call it tin-foil-hat hermeneutics. These KJVO advocates also do things like take 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and say that "is given by inspiration" is present tense, so it means that God is still inspiring scripture.  Ironically, the "is" is in the translation, not in the original languages.  They say inspiration didn't stop in the past, but it is ongoing because of the present tense of "is."  This is when people have a position and then go to scripture to find a basis for the position.

The second iteration, that includes Mark Ward and those in the FBFI like him, is almost identical to the above KJVO.  They deny perfect preservation in the original languages.  Before I move on with this point, however, I want to take a moment to support the last statement.  They deny preservation in the original languages.  Many of them, like the KJVO of the first iteration, will reject that assertion.  They would say that they believe that all the words are somewhere in the preponderance of the manuscripts, so they really are "preserved."  They just don't know what they are.  This is a new position on preservation that doesn't match the biblical and historical doctrine, and yet it is also one that they deny themselves.  For instance, I don't know a single critical text person, who believes there is a manuscript available with the correct words of 1 Samuel 13:1 -- any manuscript.  They don't, upon a little closer scrutiny, believe their own preponderance of the manuscripts position.  The ongoing existence of textual criticism says they don't know what the words are, they don't whether they possess all of them.  They don't take a biblical or historical position on the preservation of scripture.  They don't start with the Bible to come to their position.

The two iterations of denial of perfect preservation take the same position on preservation, but deal with it in two different ways.  The KJVO say that the English is perfection and then go to scripture to conform passages to work for that.  The critical text go to scripture to conform passages to fit the existence of textual variants.  There was no established biblical position that began or buttressed either iteration of the denial of the preservation of scripture.

Our church separates over unbiblical doctrine and practice.  We separate from most KJVO and then critical text deniers of the preservation of scripture.  Both iterations doubt God.  Both change and twist passages of scripture to support their false doctrine.  Separating over the established doctrine is the only way to believe and practice separation in a consistent manner.  It's also living by faith, which pleases God.

I can explain how that separating over the biblical doctrine of preservation results in the church preserving scripture, like God intends. God uses the church to keep His Words.  What is Mark Ward getting out of his separation?  I have hard time understanding it.  As I view it, his people won't have to put up with something they don't like.  They don't like KJVO, don't like the ramifications of association with it, especially among the cool evangelicals, and this will rid them of that.  They have their own sweet little club based on all their pet lists of separating issues.  Are they really delivering churches from the monumental issue of non edification due to non intelligibility?  No way.

Fundamentalist churches have a bigger problem, which stems from bad hermeneutics proceeding from revivalism, that results in faulty interpretations in much greater ways than the misunderstanding of some KJV words that are out of common usage.  Why can't that get into Mark's list of three?  Nope.  That doesn't make the list.  I think it's bad when KJVO types find a text to match their hobby horse.  However, if you are someone who relies on the original language to get your interpretation of a text, how is that not going to edify?  Can you separate from a man who actually gets the explanation right, or is that not good enough?  The separation Mark Ward calls for seems to be another convenient commandeering of separation, a weaponization of separation, for the accomplishment of a particular task.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

A Few Wrap-Ups of Our Trip to Europe -- number one

My wife, two daughters, and I have returned from Europe.  We're back.  I'm not going to write this whole series, as anticipated. It's fine.  I couldn't write it for several reasons.  There is no script or no auditions for a Europe trip one has never taken.  My normal vacation is in fact a vacation, not so much activity:  sleeping in, leisurely pace, a little sightseeing here or there.  This was a total outlier.

Perhaps you've had weeks where you planned on a Saturday trip with a big agenda, and you return home completely wiped out, but it's only one day.  A trip like this does this every day for 24 straight days.  It's not like a vacation.  It energizes you in a certain way, but it stacks one huge day after another.   Then it isn't ideal for writing.  I didn't bring my computer, because we didn't put any baggage under the plane.  I decided to bring a tablet, the one I use for preaching, with a crummy keyboard.  It is very difficult to hit the right keys unless you have tiny hands and fingers.  The last place we stayed, five days, had no internet, so I couldn't post anything for those days anyway, so here we are.

This post will not get into too many of the details of the trip.  I will just make a few specific and general observations.  First, I want to finish something I ended with the last post, the English breakfast.  I didn't talk about how great English tea is.  We were riding back on the bus from our underground station after eating our first one and a woman was listening to the commentary and mentioned how bad American tea was.  When you talk about tea and Britain, I can't help but think of the great event in early American history, the Boston tea party.  Tea is a big deal in the UK.  They do very well with tea.  I love their whole tea thing.  Their tea tastes better overall -- maybe it's the brand, maybe it's the methodology they use, I don't know, but it's just better, so kudos to the English on their tea.  This lady on the bus begrudged American tea and bragged on the English tea.  She couldn't vouch for blood pudding, but I joined her in the appreciation for her country's tea.

While I'm on English food, let me talk about Alnwick Castle and the yorkshire pudding and bangers and mash.  We went to York and the little town of Thirsk for a couple of days.  I'm not going to say much about it.  It was great those two days.  We had taken a train from King's Crossing in London to York, rented a car, drove to Thirsk, visited the James Herriott museum there, attended Wednesday night church in Ripon, and then spent the next day in York.  We continued by train to Alnmouth, which is very close to Alnwick.  It is pronounced, annick.  The Duke of Northumberland and his wife still live in this gigantic, important castle.  We toured it and the gardens, and they had a food service.

There's much to say about the food service, the little restaurant and cafe at the castle, the residence of this duke.  It's a great tour that presents a great understanding of a medieval castle and how it worked back in the day and then in its conversion to a modern household and family business.  A rarity on such a trip, the meal was reasonably priced.  My speculation is that it was because an onsite college was helping to run the food service.  St. Cloud State college students, I think, work there as part of studying abroad program.  It's an off-the-wall idea, but they offer it to their students, and they get to live in a castle and study in the far north of England.  It seemed to me to be a great stretch in order for a castle to break even or turn a profit.

I wanted yorkshire pudding while in England.  I also wanted bangers and mash.  You can get bangers and mash served in yorkshire pudding.  The key is the gravy, but the combination is fantastic.  I loved it.  Thank you England for that combination:  a yorkshire pudding with bangers and mash, slathered with gravy.  Impeccable.  Mash is just mashed potatoes.  We don't call that "mash" in the U. S., but I guess that England needs to give its different styles of potato service different names for variation on English food.  "This is mash."  "Isn't it just mashed potatoes?"  "No, we call non-mashed potatoes, potatoes, and mashes potatoes, well, mash."

I might say a little more about the food on the trip to give you my take on food in the UK, Italy, and then France.  The three differ greatly.  But first let me talk about the churches we attended.  I said something about the first church, a strict Baptist church in the Kensington part of London.  On the first Sunday morning, we attended the famous Metropolitan Tabernacle, Spurgeon's church.  

We took public transportation to "the Tabernacle," even as there is a station right there, the Elephant and Castle station.  Those are not two streets.  It's the name of an old inn, and the station took the name of that inn.  You come out of the underground and you can see the building from there.  It's impressive, looking like some kind of ancient Roman structure with giant pillars in the front.  It looks old.  Lower portions of the whole building, what is the basement, are original from Spurgeon's day.

My family and I arrived a little early to church, so we got a coffee, sat a little while, and then entered about ten minutes before the service.  They have an 11am church service, something like a 2:30 or 3:00 Sunday School time, and then a 6:30pm or so evangelistic service on Sunday night.  You go right into a Sunday morning service, which is different to us, which are accustomed to 9:45am Sunday School followed by an 11:00am morning service.

In the vestibule, the lobby area, you are greeted in a very friendly and concerned way.  You are given free pamphlets written by the pastor.  You are encouraged in a spiritual way.  You look around and it isn't superficial.

The interior of the Metropolitan Tabernacle (MT) looks old too with a bottom seating portion and a balcony that circles above that entire floor.  It is an old style of church auditorium, looking historic.  It was all full.  People are dressed in what someone might call Sunday best.  A majority are dressed up in a respectful way.  An usher walked us right down to the front row, which was fine with me.  I sat right next to the man who gave the announcements, one of the elders, I think.  Peter Masters sits alone on the platform.  He enters and sits in a meditative fashion.  Everyone is warned with a sign at the entrance to stay quiet in the auditorium, so you don't hear talking before the morning service.  It is quiet.  People are in a different mood than almost anywhere that you might go to church today.  I loved that.

Thy hymnbooks for MT have no notation, no music.  This is typical of similar churches all over the UK.  Four of the places we attended had similar hymnbooks.  It's like you are in the early to mid 19th century with that.  They contain a full psalter.  At MT, Peter Masters stands, introduces the number, and then the organ plays an introduction while people are seated.  They stand without cue at that moment, which makes a loud noise with the arising of the whole congregation at once.  It's nice. The organ plays another chord with everyone silent, and then people sing.  They have only words, no music, but it is loud, joyous, reverent, slow singing.  Very slow.  They are not whipping through these songs.  They go slow.  Everyone is involved.  Peter Masters just sings.  He doesn't wave his arms.  He doesn't attempt to whip people up.  Everyone participates in a solemn, serious, yet fulfilling, worshipful way.  It represents God.  It was great.

You sing every verse of every psalm or hymn.  Every one is the same fashion.  There are about four prayers in the service.  They are long.  They are not touchy feely, but again worshipful.  They take up an offering in velvet sacks that are attached to wooden sticks.  They do two long scripture readings, one Old Testament and one New Testament, done slowly and with great diction and solemnity.  Then Peter Masters steps to the pulpit and preaches.  He uses the King James Version.

I don't have notes sitting in front of me and this was now almost three weeks ago, but Masters preached from John 4 and it was a sermon essentially on witnessing, breaking down the witness of the woman at the well and of Jesus.  It was very good, well done.  I have two critiques though.  One, his last point was based upon allegorization, essentially speaking of the spiritual fever that some people have that Jesus can heal.  That is read into the text.  Two, I think he would have done better not to have put the woman and the well and the nobleman's son into the same sermon.  He fit them together in a way that was forced, I thought.  That sounds like I didn't like it.  I really liked his sermon. I'm just giving an honest take.  It was a powerful sermon that really encouraged people to witness like the woman used her witness to bring people to Jesus.  You can understand with such preaching there, that Metropolitan Tabernacle is so evangelistic.

I never met Masters afterwards.  I probably could have, but he disappears into a side room while the whole congregation remains silent for about a minute.  The extent of the invitation is that you could, if you wanted, go and meet him there.  We were invited by a deacon over for lunch, which was very gracious and they were very kind.  He talked to us right away, so we didn't try to meet the pastor afterwards.  However, Master's daughter is married to the deacon, who was a trauma doctor in London, and they have three daughters.  My two daughters and they were able to interact in a nice way about school -- they were about the same age.   It was a nice time together and a wonderful lunch.  They all served a short time later in the afternoon Sunday School program.

We had a great meal and time together there and they showed us some old volumes hand written by elders or deacons from Spurgeon's day of salvation testimonies of those coming for membership at Spurgeon's church.  We read these hand written accounts, that were then read by Spurgeon, who wrote his own comments.  His own comments, written by his own hand, were amazing.  I recommend the books with a lot of these testimonies in them.  It is actually amazing how protective Spurgeon was of his membership.  He would not accept members if he was at all shaky about their conversion.  This deacon's wife, Master's daughter, has edited these testimonies into a wonderful little volume that you can purchase from their church publisher.  We were able to read some straight from the old leather covered manuscripts with Spurgeon's own ink and signature.

That evening, we went to a Baptist church on Uxbridge Road, much smaller, but a man who had been mentored by Masters.  This was close to our flat.  They held their church service on Sunday night and their evangelism service on Sunday morning, but the order of service and style were exactly the same, including the kind of hymnal.  There were far fewer people there, but that was in part, I believe, because the neighborhood, according to the pastor, was 60% Moslem.  This is where we stayed, and that's something a subject of its own, that I might address later.  It's like you're living in a different country than England.

On Wednesday night we were in Ripon, UK, and it was a little Evangelical Baptist Church.  Evangelical means something different in the UK.  Almost every evangelical church in the United States is worldly and panders in some way to its crowd.   This was a gathering of about 15 people on a Wednesday night.  We sang, we prayed, and the preaching was a substantive dealing from a section of Ephesians.  I thought it was well done.  

The next Sunday we visited Jon Gleason.  You may know Jon from comments here at What Is Truth.  He pastors a Baptist church in Glenrothes, what is called a Free Baptist Church, "free" being a meaningful word in Scotland.  Jon is being faithful there in that small town a little north of Edinburgh.  We attended their one service on Sunday, a 10:45am service.  I rented a car that I picked up at the airport after taking public transportation from our flat in Leith in Edinburgh.  Jon has his family and a good little group of faithful believers in Glenrothes.  He is doing an outstanding job of evangelizing and doing God's work there.

I enjoyed Jon's preaching in a series he is starting in John 17.  Jon is careful with the text and centers on God's Word.  He cares about his people.  It was very gracious of he and his family to invite us to lunch afterwards.  Brother Gleason is a tent maker.  He works with computer programming or the like and pastors both.  We need more people like him.  His family is involved there in the ministry with him.

The Gleasons didn't have a Sunday evening service, so we took a nice drive, where we saw Stirling Castle and the famous battlefield of Bannockburn, where Scotland got independence from England with Robert the Bruce.  We attended Leith Free Church on Sunday evening.  It was very close to where we were staying.  They had about 50 or so in a very old building in Leith and the service was almost identical on a Sunday night to the Metropolitan Tabernacle service in every way, except one aspect, no instruments.   They don't believe in musical instruments, which isn't far off from Metroplitan's solitary use of the organ.

The hymnal in Leith was all words, no music, and we sang every verse.  The people sang with a loud voice and reverent manner.  Their hearts were in it.  The sermon was on the passage of Elijah, the widow, and replenishing her oil and grain, 1 Kings 17.  Colin Macleod did a great job with the text and it was fascinating to hear the lilting, poetic Scottish brogue, spinning that story together.  He was a former tank commander in the Scottish military, man's man kind of person.

What I'm saying is that you had a serious group with a true gospel, preached in a bold way, with reverent sacred worship and preaching with biblical exegesis and scriptural application.  There are no gimmicks for church growth.  You can barely find this in the United States today even though there are some doctrinal differences between us and these churches.  I'd rather attend there on the road than the typical American independent Baptist church.

More to Come

Friday, June 22, 2018

Trinitarianism College Course Now Complete on YouTube

I am pleased to let readers of What is Truth? know that the college or seminary level course on Trinitarianism that I taught at the Mukwonago Baptist Bible Institute a few years ago now has all of its lectures available on Youtube, just as they were already available on my website.  Many independent Baptists, even in positions of leadership, are woefully ignorant of the Trinity.  They do not understand basic facts about the Trinity that would have been taught to children in centuries past.  They have no idea how the Trinity is at the foundation of all Christian piety; rather, Trinitarianism is simply a doctrine to hold to in one's head that has no practical effect in life.  I would encourage all Christians to consider taking the time to listen to these lectures, and encourage everyone to study them who is involved in preaching or teaching the Bible, unless you have already gained an equivalent or better understanding of the glorious character of the Triune God in another manner.  If you want YouTube to have these lectures rank highly, please consider hitting "like" on the lectures and posting a comment or two.

-TDR

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Blogging Our Europe Trip: Day Seven, Part Two

On Saturday, early evening, my wife and I came back to the hub of our public transportation, Shepherd's Bush station, with our two youngest daughters, and left them at a very big British mall.  I've noticed that malls are still making it in Europe.  From my vantage point, malls are a thing of the past in the United States, but for reasons I can't decipher, Europeans like them.  For instance, the next Friday, my wife and I walked from our flat in the Leif neighborhood of Edinburgh, Scotland to look at the Britannia, which was in harbor there, and found that an entire enormous three story mall was blocking it from view.  The mall was themed to an ocean liner in all of its design.  The Westfield mall at Shepherd's Bush was of that nature as well.

In general in society, I don't think it is a good practice for single women to roam around freely without protection.  One component to our trip here in Europe has been to purchase European cell phone sim cards from a local London company that are good through Europe at least to text and phone between our four phones, and include 5gb of data.  This was very helpful for using the phone for the gps, which made life exponentially better.  I'll talk more about this, but you don't have to know the language so much if you can make it around without finding an English speaker, when none is available.  We could stay in constant contact with them, and they live in a very diverse metropolitan area, where the oldest of the two has ridden public transportation all three years of university.  She knows how to handle herself. Actually both of them do.

My wife and I went downtown into London again on the underground, and rode first to the British library.  The British museum was closed.  While we rode, we wrote postcards to people back home, and were so caught up, that we missed our stop.  We exited one too late and walked to the other track, but that packed-out train wouldn't move.  The engineer announced that the train couldn't go to the next stop, because of a security issue.  A security issue had occurred at the station where we would have disembarked, and then we couldn't go back there.  An hour later, we saw it in the news, and it was a knife wielding man, who was subdued by the police before he could do damage.  Because we couldn't get back there, we decided to use a taxi, which is unique in London, because the taxi drivers are so well trained and driving usually in distinctive styled cars.

Our taxi driver lived in Kent.  Kent, my name, comes from that region of England, ancestors of my paternal grandmother.  He was very talkative with a lot of opinions, one of which is that he liked our president.  He liked Trump.  It was a short drive to the library.  With so much of England being old and traditional in appearance, the British library is modern and ugly.  It's sad that it shelters in such a modernistic or even postmodern structure the very old books it does.

There is an exhibition in a large, guarded, secure side room of some of the most important books in history and especially English history.  They are displayed under glass, but you look at in no necessary order, all original, first edition:  Gutenberg Bible, Wycliffe Bible, Tyndale NT, King James Version, apparently Sinaiticus, and the Magna Carta. There are many other hand written originals there in English literature of well-known English authors.  The library also had displays of original scores:  the original of Handel's Messiah, Bach, Mozart, etc.  There was as we viewed the exhibition, a special large display of original Karl Marx, which included his library card at the British library.

After our short visit to the library, my wife and I went to mail our postcards and then find someplace to eat an English breakfast (for Supper) and we traced a place on our phone called The Breakfast Club with good ratings as a kind of small chain that offers the English breakfast.  However, we didn't really know London well enough to understand how bad Piccadilly Circus was.  The Breakfast Club was at that station, so when we arose from the underground and saw it, we knew it was akin to Broadway or Times Square in New York City.  It's very lascivious territory with wickedness all around.  It's as bad or worse in parts of the San Francisco Bay Area.  We found the breakfast place and ordered the first of two of these breakfasts that we ate while in the UK.

My assessment of the traditional English breakfast is that it isn't the same as the American in quality or content.  You get eggs, but they really don't do them the same. At this place, our waiter, a grungy yet talkative character, asked if we wanted our eggs fried on both sides.  We said, yes, and this was a bad move.  The yokes were not intact and the egg took on the nature of a bit of a crispy, rubbery hockey puck.  They fry the bread in oil.  It's not like something toasted.  The meat is a banger.  I ate bangers at least three times on the trip, this the first, and it is a very plump sausage, which at face value looks very good, but the taste is something of the nature of our bologna, extremely bland.  No banger has the spicy sausage taste of American sausage.  Our sausage, my friend, is much better than the banger.  The American sausage link, Jimmy Dean style, stands alone.

Then we come to the odd items of the English breakfast:  baked beans, warm tomatoe, and black pudding.  Baked beans are baked beans.  They even eat Heinz brand, our brand, but they were both times baked beans.  I imagined the tomatoe as salsa, which is nice with eggs, especially in an omelet in the U. S., but this is a slice of tomato or what we call stewed tomatoes, also warm, if you want those instead.  I like beans and tomatoes, but they both seem incongruous with breakfast to an American. The oddity here is black pudding, which is also called blood pudding.

Blood pudding is an item of food that would seem to be included only as a tradition for a culture.  I can't surmise it to be something worthy of invention as food.  Who would think of blood pudding?  It looks the color of dark blood with clots in it, which are, I guess pieces of organ meat.  Pudding then isn't pudding, which in this case one can be thankful.  Pudding is never pudding, so if you order it, expect some kind of crispy bread with a softer interior.  This is the size of an English muffin, except almost black and tastes like no other food I've ever tasted.  I ate both of my blood puddings, both the same color, size, and shape.  I could eat them.  No gag reflex ensued, but it was curious as to its place in this ensemble.  There's got to be a story here that I do not know or it's something like mom making you eat your castor oil, and your chest sticks up a little over having done it again, having eaten this food item.  Did it again!  But why?

Friday, June 15, 2018

Evan Roberts & the Welsh Revival of 1904-1905: Mrs. Jones of Islawrffordd, Part 8 of 22


The “subject which has perhaps caused more excitement in the public mind than any other feature of the Revival” were the “mysterious lights . . . associated with the name of Mrs. Jones of Islawrffordd,” a woman preacher and a “homely farmer’s wife”[1] in the holiness revival.[2]  With “Wales worked up to a state of religious frenzy by the revival fervour of Evan Roberts . . . Mrs. Mary Jones . . . [g]reatly impressed by the work which Evan Roberts was doing in the South of Wales . . . lifted up her voice in public prayer for the first time, and broke down hopelessly.”  Soon she had a vision,[3] read “Sheldon’s book, In His Steps,”[4] and “being much moved by it . . . she began her ministry early in December 1904” as an “evangelist” among the “Calvinistic Methodists” and others, receiving confirmation of her call to a preaching ministry “after seeing a strange light on her way from Islaw’r Ffordd to Egryn chapel.”[5]  She affirmed that she had seen “quickly vibrating lights, as though full of eyes.  She had seen light hovering over some hilltops.  The light . . . frequently accompanied her, leading the way as she went.”[6]  Witnesses stated that she “is attended by lights of various kinds wherever she goes,” which were well attested and seen by a great number of people.  These lights are “tokens of heavenly approval of Mrs. Jones and the Revival.”  Indeed, “Mrs. Jones solemnly stated . . . that [the planet] Venus . . . was a new star, had only appeared since the Revival, and was situated a short distance above her house.”  One man saw a mysterious light “from the beginning of the Revival [in his area] six weeks ago.  Sometimes it appears like a motor-car lamp flashing and going out . . . other times like two lamps and tongues of fire all round . . . other times a quick flash and going out immediately, and when the fire goes out a vapour of smoke comes in its place; also a rainbow of vapour and a very bright star.”  Lights were seen both by those professedly converted in the Revival and those who were not, “Chapel members and non-members alike.”  Another entire family saw lights “hovering above a certain farmhouse . . . as three lamps about three yards apart, in the shape of a Prince of Wales’s feathers, very brilliant and dazzling, moving and jumping like a sea-wave . . . continu[ing] so for ten minutes.”  Others, “a few minutes afte[r] Mrs. Jones . . . pass[ed], on the main road, . . . [saw] a brilliant light twice, tinged with blue.”  A woman “saw two very bright lights . . . one a big white light, the other smaller and red in colour.  The latter flashed backwards and forwards, and finally seemed to become merged in the other.”  Another saw a large light “and in the middle of it something like [a] bottle or black person, also some little lights scattering around the large light in many colours.  Last of all the whole thing came to a large piece of fog, out of sight.”  Another person saw a “pillar of fire, quite perpendicular, about two feet wide and three yards in height.”  Others saw “a cross and two other crosses [of light] . . . [t]he two crosses came nearer . . . and stood not far [away], and dozens of small balls of fire [were dancing back and fro behind the crosses . . . [while they] heard a voice singing.”  A “medical man” saw “a globe of light about the size of a cheese plate, or nearly the apparent diameter of the moon, over the chapel where Mrs. Jones was that evening preaching. . . . Mrs. Jones . . . declared that she had also seen it, but from within the chapel.”  At another meeting where Mrs. Jones was preaching and many were “very much affected . . . religious fervour was intense and the service lasted until 1 a. m.,” people present saw “a ball of light about the size of the moon,” with a “slight mist over it.  The stars began to shoot out around it, [and] the light rose higher and grew brighter but smaller.”  Others saw a “block of fire” rising “from the mountain side and moving along for about 200 or 300 yards.  It went upwards, a star” then “shot out to meet it, and they clapped together and formed into a ball of fire,” the appearance changing into “something like the helm of a ship.”  Others present saw “a ball of fire, white, silvery, vibrating, stationary.”  From the ball “two streamers of gray mist [were] emanating . . . in the space between them a number of stars.”  A “meeting of the Salvation Army” in the same location was visited by “a black cloud from which emerged first a white light, then a yellow, and finally a brilliantly red triangle.”[7]  Thus, Evan Roberts was very far from the only one experiencing marvels in the Welsh holiness revival.
Indeed, “the revival in Wales under Evan Roberts” not only “produced [these] psychological and physical abnormalities” among others in Wales, but “sparked them also in other countries,” leading to “speaking in tongues and similar phenomena as a renewal of the gifts of Pentecost and powerful evidence of the working of the Holy Spirit” that produced the Pentecostal and charismatic movement.[8]  While such “tokens of heavenly approval” of women preachers and Keswick revivalism are radically different in character from Biblical miracles, possessing far greater similarity to pagan marvels and the marvels of medieval Romanism, they certainly proved that the religious excitement was not merely the work of men, but that the spirit world was powerfully at work in the Welsh holiness revival.



[1]              Pg. 179, “The Revival in Wales.”  The East and the West:  A Quarterly Review for the Study of Missions. (1905) 174-188.
[2]              Similar lights were also testified to in the Pentecostal works in India and Los Angeles that arose under the influence of the Welsh holiness revival.
[3]              Pg. 10, Daily Mirror, 2/10/1905.
[4]              As already noted above, the Social Gospel advocate and heretic Sheldon influenced Evan Roberts very strongly, as well.
[5]              Pg. 184, Voices From the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.
[6]              Pg. 137, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan.
[7]              Pgs. 97-107, 145-161, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 19 (December 1905).  Fryer documents many other marvels not reproduced here.  Of course, not every minister or revival proponent endorsed every one of these marvels as divine, or even investigated all of them carefully; however, Biblical cessationism was hardly in great evidence in the Welsh holiness revival.  Fryer simply documents the marvels that appear to be well attested.
[8]              Pg. 159, Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 4: Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation, Bavinck.  An illustration of the Higher Life theology moving into Pentecostalism is found on pgs. 178-179, Theological Roots of Pentecostalism, Dayton.