Monday, April 30, 2018

Darkness Hating Light Practices a Kind of Separation Different Than What God Requires

Separation occurs for many reasons. Thirteen men pick up ten players to run full court basketball with three left on the sidelines.  Susie is socially awkward so she isn't invited to the party.  No one asks Dan to sign their yearbook.  Forty seven play, but only five finalists are chosen for the concerto competition.  Less than one percent of applicants are accepted at Stanford.  Jesus said darkness hates light because its deeds are evil.  On the other hand, Paul wrote, have no fellowship with unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.  One of these is the doctrine of biblical separation.

Very often today hating light serves as separation within evangelicalism and fundamentalism.  It's a different kind of separation, but it is separation.  Darkness that hates light, I've found, separates too, but it's different than the doctrine of biblical separation.  Darkness is repelled by light, the movement being away from light.  Light must be scripture.

Biblical separation starts with pointing something out, attempting to change or reconcile, before separation occurs.  It's pursuing something productive.  It might not end well, but it's a process required in scripture.

Hating light has no obligation to light.  Darkness is self indulgent.  Light is a problem for it.  It has no productive interest for the light.  At worst, it wishes light to disappear and at best it retreats.

Even though hating light separates darkness from light, it doesn't take the same biblical proceeding.  It takes a course antithetical to biblical separation.  I've witnessed one of several directions in its flight from light.

It ignores -- the equivalent of turning to avoid painful squinting.  Light doesn't do this.  Darkness does.  I've called it the cold shoulder treatment.  No form of biblical separation jumps to ignorance.  Darkness doesn't want anything to do with light, so it ignores light.

The hating of light also manifests in some kind of destruction of light. It's not welcoming light.  It wants light to disappear or become part of darkness.

You can know light by what it does to darkness.  When light shines on light, it's accepted.  When it shines on darkness, it's not. 

My experience with evangelicalism completely and most of fundamentalism has been something in the realm of darkness as it relates to separation.  I confront with light and the reaction is like that of darkness, not light.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Evan Roberts & the Welsh Revival of 1904-1905: Visions, Voices, and Hysteria, Part 5 of 22

The content of this post is now available in the study of:

1.) Evan Roberts

2.) The Welsh Revival of 1904-1905

3.) Jessie Penn-Lewis

on the website. Please click on the people above to view the study.  On the FaithSaves website the PDF files may be easiest to read.


You are also encouraged to learn more about Keswick theology and its errors, as well as the Biblical doctrine of salvation, at the soteriology page at Faithsaves.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

2 John 7-11: Case Study or Comprehensive?

Between truth and hospitality, truth is the priority.  Hospitality is essentially unity.  You are welcoming.  Come on in.  Be with us.  Stay with us.  Cooperate with us.  Associate with us.

You can't have love without the truth.  Love is the truth.  Love is walking in the truth toward God and other people.  It is fulfilling God's law toward God and other people.  God couldn't love us if He was contaminated by falsehood or error.  You can't bear someone else's burden before you bear your own.  Before you restore, you consider yourself.  When you consider yourself, you aren't comparing yourself to others, but to the truth.

Since love wasn't happening without the truth, the truth was priority.  That meant you couldn't show acceptance to whom?  As people look at John's example in 2 John, I've noticed that they get very specific at where the lines are drawn.  Is that what John meant for us to do, when we look at all of 2 John and 2 John in the context of Johanine writings?

When you read the first six verses of 2 John, it's about the truth.  We should assume all the truth, especially when we read what Jesus taught John in John 14-17.  Jesus said all His words, commandments, and sayings.  When Jesus said we were sanctified by the truth, was it just the truth about His nature, that He was God come in the flesh?  No.  That's also contradictory to many other passages on separation and unity.

Is it only very specific truths that form a boundary line for the limitations John bring in 2 John 7-11?  Here are those verses:
7  For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. 9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
John rejoiced that the household to which he wrote was walking in the truth, which was walking in the Lord's commandments.  That was love.  He didn't want that to change because of the influence of teachers they would welcome without limitation.  John wanted limitation.

The world of the apostle John, the Hellenized and Roman world, affected by Babylonian mysticism, denied certain teachings that clashed with its views, positions that contradicted the truth.   Docetism was a unique problem that the elder lady and her children were facing.  John gives this specific example.  Is it a case study or comprehensive?  Is it only docetists or a little broader, people proclaiming a wrong Christology, that would set in motion the actions that John prescribes in 2 John 10-11?  Do churches receive not only and bid not Godspeed only those who are messed up in a very narrow category of false doctrine, or is it those who deny any biblical truth, this one just the one he highlighted as a contemporary concern?

John wanted those children walking in the truth.  Anyone who comes along and tells lies he didn't want to abide.  I'm saying he's giving a specific example of false teaching, not limiting to that.  If we were being limited only to shunning docetism, we have many other New Testament texts that mention many other falsehoods from which to separate.

It's clear false doctrine about Christ should set in motion the shunning of 2 John 10-11.  However, anyone who allows for any error becomes a partaker in that error when he will not separate over it.  The principle works the same.  Read verse 11.  It's axiomatic.  You are a partaker of the false teaching, whatever it is, when it is false, not just false doctrine about Christ.

Almost all evangelicals don't even practice the specific case study of 2 John 7-11, let alone the overall teaching about treatment of doctrinal and practical errors or lies.  Fundamentalists are being very narrow now too about what they might separate over, if anything.  I don't believe that was John's point though. He wanted all the truth protected and the people protected, whom error would harm. 

All lies, all falsehoods harm.  They are contradictory to God, Who is Truth.  John was providing a case study for what to do when lies came along.  Truth trumped hospitality.  When Paul said in 1 Timothy 1:3 to "teach no other doctrine," he wasn't being selective and ranking doctrines.  He said "no other doctrine."  No false doctrine should be allowed in a church.  Specific false doctrine about Christ was merely a case study, not comprehensive, that is, the only doctrine to merit the treatment that John prescribes.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Ann Taylor, Wear the Pants Campaign: The World Gets It, Just Like It Gets Rock Music

I don't know women's clothing brands, but a friend texted this ad.  The world knows what pants mean, just like Dockers in its "Wear the Pants" campaign in 2009.  The only people who deny that pants mean anything are professing Christians.  Pants are the male symbol, just like the skirt or dress is female.

The ad says, pants are power.  Will we hear evangelicals and fundamentalists attacking the ad?  They should, to be consistent.  They should go after these morons at Ann Taylor.   Pants mean nothing.  Unfortunately, evangelicals and fundamentalists can't tell us what anything means anymore.  They've been neutered on the subject of meaning.  They don't wear the pants on what anything means. But that would mean that pants mean something, so I take that back.

About the same time as evangelicals (and now fundamentalists) stopped saying they knew what pants meant, they couldn't tell you what music meant.  All music was amoral.  That they knew.  Only the words mattered.  The world doesn't care that its music is sexy, so the world says it's sexy.   The world doesn't care.

Who is supposed to understand meaning?  Christians.  Not only did Christians in general stop contributing to anything helpful in the world, but they stopped comprehending the meaning of anything, which includes music and dress.  Why should anyone listen to them?  They don't know anything.  They decided pandering was more important, excusing it as an evangelistic tool, which is worse, but worth it to them to perceive relevance.  Whenever a celebrity comes along and hints at something close to the truth, they spasm and seize into a muscle contraction -- second best, a near-to-not-Christian becomes a fourth tier celebrity, the same burning in the bosom experience.

Evangelicals and fundamentalists both know.  They also know that their capitulation is same sex relations and "marriage" today.  They know.  They prefer what they think they have in their churches to representing the truth.  Rather than believe and practice the truth, they reduce it to the least common denominator for fake unity.   Their unity isn't unity and their love isn't love.  They offend the God, the only God, the God of truth, who created the sexes.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Modest & Gender Distinct Swimwear

Not that long ago, my wife and I had the opportunity to visit Jamaica, where we enjoyed the beauty of God's creation and were refreshed in the middle of our long Wisconsin winter. We recognize that there is no basis whatsoever for saying that God's standards of modesty change when one is near a body of water. What resources are available for modest and gender-distinct swimwear?

We were very happy to find some good quality sources for modest and gender-distinct swimwear. A company in Israel, Modli, sells modest swimwear, and we got my wife a four-piece extra-long swimset with full-length tights. They state that their "swimsuit reaches the knee of a very tall woman (over 5' 11''), and will cover the knee of an average woman," and it has tights beneath it that cover the entire leg.  It is modest and stylish, and we are glad we got it.  (The picture below is from the Modli website; it is not my wife wearing the product.)

Our only negative about it was that, while it had free shipping, it took a long time to get to Wisconsin from Israel.  If you are planning an event where you would want something like this, order early. (The company refunded us some of the price because of the shipping delay, so they actually had good customer service with the longer shipping time.)  I recommend this product for people who care about Biblical modesty.

I also got my wife a long black swim skirt with a zipper, as well as full-length tights from a company called Undercover Waterwear.

(Again, the picture is from the website; it is not my wife.)  This product also was very good for swimming in Jamaica. It dried fast, the zipper on the side was useful for certain types of swim strokes, and the long tights underneath the long skirt kept everything very modest.

I purchased for myself a skinsuit from LesiurePro that covered the entire body (and did not cost very much).  It was on the tight side so I wore normal swim trunks over it, and in this way could swim very well and be totally modest.  Men should be modest when they are in or near water, just like women should be modest.

We rejoiced that we were able to dress in such a way that we could honor the Lord Jesus Christ and be a good testimony to the world while enjoying God's beautiful creation in Jamaica (and also not get sunburned, bitten by insects, etc. because there just wasn't a lot of skin to burn or bite).  If you are looking for modest swimwear, perhaps these resources will be a blessing to you as well.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

God-Given Rights: A Crucial Denial of a Foundation of Conservatism at National Review

At National Review, a self-professing bastion of conservatism, Jonah Goldberg, one of its most well known, talented, and prominent contributors, writes of the Suicide of the West, beginning with these two paragraphs:
Let’s begin with some somewhat unusual assertions for these pages. 
Capitalism is unnatural. Democracy is unnatural. Human rights are unnatural. God didn’t give us these things, or anything else. We stumbled into modernity accidentally, not by any divine plan.
Goldberg offers suicide as an antidote for suicide.  One of the six canons of conservatism in Russell Kirk's, The Conservative Mind, a sort of manual or authority for conservatism is the
belief that a divine intent rules society as well as conscience, forging an eternal chain of duty and right, which links great and obscure, living and dead. Political problems, at bottom, are religious and moral problems.
Goldberg says, no, it's an accident.  Thank our lucky stars.  He says further, apparently warding away the suicide of the West:
Humans are animals. We evolved from other animals, who evolved from ever more embarrassing animals, and before that from a humiliating sea of primitive critters in the primordial stew. Almost everything we take for granted today — technology, prosperity, medicine, human rights, the rule of law — is a novel, unnatural environment for humans, created by humans.
At the top of the Supreme Court building is Moses, who received the law from God.  The rights we possess are not unnatural, but natural proceeding from revelation, general or natural and the special, the tablets in Moses's hands.

It's nice to find out what some people really think, what drives their commentary and their analysis, in this case, Goldberg.  His bedrock views don't make any sense at all.  You can choose between his lying eyes or a roll of the dice.

America arose as a consequence of scripture.  The Bible, God's Word, delivered men from darkness.  States united by consent of free men, who understood that they did not receive their rights from government, but from God.  The Declaration of Independence dissolved the bond between crown and colonists according to natural rights, self-evident ones.


I didn't write a lot here, but wrote all that I wanted for this.  Much more could be said, but I decided to see if there were other criticisms of Goldberg.  What he wrote is enough for me not to trust him.  He's clever, but this kind of "conservatism" borrows from a Christian worldview without believing it.  It will mess up everything he says.

Here are some other criticisms though:  American Greatness, hangtogetherblog

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Separation Is An Indispensable Message You Should Pick Up from the Whole Bible, But Let's Start with Genesis

After the curse, you've got two chapters in Genesis chronicling about 1700 years, chapters 4 and 5.  An explanation for the flood is the godly line adjoining with the ungodly line (6:2), producing an ungodly one.  God preserved a godly line by separating it, Noah and his family, from the ungodly one.  That's the message later in 1 Peter 3, when Peter says Noah and his family were saved by water.  Water separated Noah and his family from the world, saving them from the world by destroying the world.

Abraham was told to leave Mesopotamia in stark fashion, not knowing where he was going.   Just leave.  Go.  Separate.  Not stay and believe.  Go, separate, since you believe.  In the very next chapter, Lot got in trouble because he didn't separate, while Abraham was preserved because he did.  Not many chapters later, family members of Lot are incinerated before they find their way into Hell.

In Genesis 21 God told Abraham to separate his family from Hagar and Ishmael.  After Sarah died, Abraham kept his son Isaac home, while his servant separated himself to get a wife for him all the way back to his family back in Mesopotamia, and a straight shot from Jerusalem to Baghdad is 678 miles.  He wouldn't have taken a straight shot.  Rebekah went back to live with Isaac away from Mesopotamia, separated from her family.

Of the two sons of Rebekah, Esau and Jacob, Esau married two Hittite women.  The last verse of Genesis 26 says this was a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebekah.  When it came to Jacob (Gen 27:46), "Rebekah said to Isaac, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these which are of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?"  The daughters of Heth were Canaanites, going back to Genesis 10:15.  Jacob listened to his parents and went back to the same place and people that Isaac had gotten Rebekah.  Those people had changed, Jacob went about it in a very contrasting way than Abraham and Isaac, and then he stayed where it would have been better that he had not stayed.

There is a basis to say that if God had not separated Joseph and then his dad, Jacob (Israel), and the rest of the family, down to Egypt in Goshen, they would have become Canaanites and totally apostate in a very short time.  In Egypt, God kept His people separate for 400 years.  They could become a separate nation, a separate people with separate ways.  Then God separated them from Egypt.  He gave Moses a law that distinguished them as separate.  The laws were separating laws, both civil, ceremonial, and moral.  They wouldn't be like other people.

I could write much more, but the lack of teaching on separation, writing on separation, and then practice of separation in evangelicalism is destroying evangelicalism. Evangelicalism hates separation, and in that way, it hates the ways of God.  Evangelicalism mocks separation.  It mocks fundamentalism.  Fundamentalism doesn't separate as it should, but at least it does practice some form of separation.

In the end, God will separate the sheep from the goats and the tares from the wheat.  The Bible ends with separation, because the heavenly city will be minus all sorts of different people or people types, because God has separated them into the lake of fire.  Evangelicalism talks inclusion.  The world talks inclusion.  God talks separation.  The unity of the Bible is not the unity of evangelicalism, because it does not include separation.

Here's an example of tell-tale type of signs that I see in so-called fundamentalism.  There are many, but this is one of them that will explain the demise and then destruction of both evangelicalism and fundamentalism.  Mark Ward, a professing fundamentalist, writes a book about the vernacular of the King James.  Lets say that he has good motives.  He wants people to understand scripture.  Let's give him that.  Who does he look to for endorsements?  Look at the amazon page. Non separatists.  In order:  D. A. Carson, John Frame, Tom Schreiner, Andrew Naselli.  Yes, you have Kevin Bauder mixed in, one who identifies with fundamentalists.  I haven't heard a peep from fundamentalists on this.  They get their endorsements from evangelicals, the greater to their lesser.

Put aside the King James Version issue itself.  Fundamentalists don't care anymore if they have an association with evangelicals, non-separatists.  D. A. Carson was also an endorser of Mark Driscoll.  Carson is one of the founders of TGC.   TGC are indifferentists, to use Bauder terminology, borrowing from Machen.  The lack of distinction is a problem.  I have heard nothing.  Separation is going by the wayside.  Fundamentalists and evangelicals find common ground in replacing the King James Version, evangelicals and fundamentalists together.

Separation is indispensable.  It is the most distinguishing attribute of God, according to God Himself.  Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Evan Roberts & the Welsh Revival of 1904-1905: "Inspired Preaching" and Visions, Part 4 of 22

The content of this post is now available in the study of:

1.) Evan Roberts

2.) The Welsh Revival of 1904-1905

3.) Jessie Penn-Lewis

on the website. Please click on the people above to view the study.  On the FaithSaves website the PDF files may be easiest to read.


You are also encouraged to learn more about Keswick theology and its errors, as well as the Biblical doctrine of salvation, at the soteriology page at Faithsaves.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Jordan Peterson: The Lowering Standard of Acceptance

By the testimony of many varied substantial sources, Jordan Peterson is the most popular public intellectual in the world right now, if not just all English speaking people.  He went from zero to hero in less than one year and it's only been a year and half since he emerged from nowhere.  He has published only two books, the first in 1999, an almost unknown academic textbook, Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief, in the category of behaviorism psychology, a real page turner.  That was the zero Jordan Peterson under a rock in Toronto, Canada.  After rocketing to new found fame, the hero Peterson wrote number one bestseller in 2018, 12 Rules for Life:  An Antidote to Chaos.

Peterson's now everywhere, but his rise from the ashes traces to his unwillingness to subjugate himself to the Canadian government in the use of preferred gender pronouns.  That's it.  He refused to call a woman "he" or a male "she," pitting himself against the establishment and the likes of the Canadian prime minister -- instant fame.  Then his youtube channel took off, latest count, 1,025,489 subscribers.  He skyrocketed with a certain interview, where he left his inquisitor gaping like a guppy out of water.

Peterson doesn't want you to call him a conservative, but a classic British liberal, which reads like at least a modern American libertarian.  It's an understatement to say he's being celebrated by conservatives.  That being said, I'm saying that this is what they've come to.  Conservatives have one public intellectual, from Canada, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, weighed against the entire North American University system -- whatever they can get.

(I want you to know that as I write this, I'm sitting in a Whole Foods in Oakland, listening to a crazy man near the cafe, right in the middle of the store loudly orating a speech to no one -- intense, completely sincere, some coherence to random disconnected lines, accompanying authentic gesticulation, very decent eye contact with anyone who might look at him, multi-syllabic, a grocery cart with five large boxes of bottled water and one crowbar in a small, canvas Whole Foods bag, and everyone ignoring him as if he were invisible.  Where is Jordan Peterson when I need him in person?).

The Times of London invited Peterson to write an Easter column (which you can read here).  Someone might say that he believes in Jesus.  Awww, let's just say he does.  I've talked to several others out here in the San Francisco Bay Area, who believe in Jesus like Peterson does and like Martin Heidegger did or Carl Jung, the latter whom he references very often when he speaks, all, I would call, reheated Rudolf Bultmann.   If this is your Jesus, you may as well not believe in Jesus, because this isn't Jesus, the true and only Jesus of the Bible.  It's worse than sweeping one demon out of the house and seven demons taking his place.

To put Peterson's "view" of or spin on Easter or the resurrection of Jesus Christ in my own words, Jesus is the foremost edition of a story crucial to man's progression as an animal, one that, therefore, should not be ignored.  The scorning of the success derived in Western civilization from its concession to the idea depicted by Jesus warns of its demise.  Peterson uses several narratives of the Bible to account for the principles and practice of effective living.  He's not saying they happened, but that they are powerful in their message, connected to what is fundamental to the advancement and preservation of mankind.  Concerning the resurrection itself, he writes:
The story of the dying and resurrecting God is one of the oldest ideas of mankind. It is expressed in the most ancient shamanic rituals. It finds its echo in the ancient stories of Mesopotamia, Egypt and Greece. It manifests itself in allegorical forms — in the figure of the phoenix, which immolates itself, regains its youthful form and rises from the ashes. It permeates popular culture. Marvel’s Iron Man saves the world from demonic forces, plummets like Icarus from the sky to his near death, and then arises. Harry Potter — possessed, like Christ, of two sets of parents — dies and is reborn in his battle with Voldemort, a very thinly disguised Satan. That all speaks of a deep, ineradicable and eternally re-emergent psychological reality. 
The idea that the Saviour is the figure who dies and resurrects is a representation in dramatic or narrative form of the brute fact that psychological progress — indeed, learning itself — requires continual death and rebirth.
The first paragraph reminds me of what junior high students say when they knock something off their desk:  "It fell."  "It finds its echo" and "it permeates culture."  It has a mind of its own.  I really am not sure what "it" is -- perhaps natural selection or chance, neither of which can do anything.  Years ago, when I was very young, I remember overhearing a song by the Satler brothers, ending with this final stanza:
Now there are those who don't believe
In miracles or Santa Claus
But I believe what I believe
And I believe in Santa's cause
What the Satler brothers did to Santa, Peterson does with Jesus.  I'm not sure what Santa's cause is, but I know Jesus, and Peterson doesn't believe in Him or His cause.  The point of the resurrection is not psychological progress, at all.  At all.  There are several points of the resurrection, and Peterson's isn't one of them.  Not one of them.

I had heard of Peterson's theories on Jesus twenty-five years ago on a morning radio show here in the Bay Area, where Ronn Owens of KGO interviewed Uta Ranke-Heinemann for her new book, Putting Away Childish Things.  A few years before that, I was in the library of Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and saw a gigantic chart on the wall espousing Peterson's position.  Peterson takes it further, however, by joining psychology with the speculation that the resurrection story was a later iteration of early mythology.  He is saying that Western civilization, including its Bible, sprung from a consciousness proceeding from an evolutionary process.  He attempts to give scripture credibility with a rational and pyschological approach.  Peterson's defense of the Bible as integral or necessary for the success of American culture delights popular conservative figures.

When I heard Ranke-Heinemann, I was angry.  I called the Owens show and never got through.  Expecting to talk with more people who thought like her in the San Francisco Bay Area, I bought and read her book.  She was a liberal.  Her teaching was liberal.  Peterson teaches the same view as her.  Maybe classic British liberalism really is liberal, but with where we stand today and a lowered standard of acceptance, old liberalism sounds like conservatism.  Peterson's teaching is powerless and unconvincing with a bleak present and dreary future.

Peterson's teaching on the resurrection isn't good news for anyone.  Conservatives shouldn't commend it.  It's liberal theology.  It is not a strict construction of the text.  It will do no good to any of his listeners to apprehend his perspective.  If they do, they, like him, will be lost in their sins.

Jesus' resurrection happened.  The gospels present historical testimony.   The Bible itself authenticates the resurrection through many various and credible means.  History attests to the resurrection.

God is real.  Satan is real.  Since the beginning, as recorded in Genesis, Satan opposes God's plan and he does that by means of counterfeits.  Jesus' resurrection did not arise from early superstition, but false religion and teachers pervert, confuse, and cloud the truth before and after a real, true resurrection.

Life comes from life.  God gives life.  God raises from the dead.  God has power over death.  Jesus is God.  Jesus is alive.  After He was buried, He rose again, appeared before many witnesses, and then ascended through the clouds before many more and into the third heaven.  He fulfilled many prophesies.  He said He will return in the same manner.  Believing in Jesus brings life.  Jesus lives to make intercession.  Jesus lives to fulfill His promises.  He lives to deliver from sin: the penalty, power, and then presence of sin.  Jesus lives to sustain everything and especially those who believe in Him, preserving their life now and into eternity.  Jesus lives to resurrect the dead from the grave.  Jesus lives to prepare a place for those who receive Him.  All of this is real.  All of it is true.   It has all occurred and will occur.  If you believe it, you're saved.  If you don't, you're not.  If you don't, you're damned.

I believe what I believe in and I don't believe Jordan Peterson.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Is the Doctrine of Major Doctrines a Major Doctrine? The Rapture as a Case Study

Friends of Israel (FOI), the organization, and Israel My Glory (IMG), its publication, both have talked a lot about the rapture through the years and do again in a recent edition of the latter.  David Levy, the FOI Director of Education and Ministry Relations, writes in "The Rapture":
The Rapture of the church is a major doctrine in Scripture
Now what does IMG mean by "major doctrine"?  If the rapture is a major doctrine, then what is a minor doctrine?  I would agree that using the terminology "major doctrine" should get someone in trouble.  It is en vogue among evangelicals and fundamentalists to refer to a biblical teaching as a major doctrine.  "Major doctrine" itself wasn't used before the twentieth century.  I haven't found it.  I would be surprised if you did.  Now a discussion about whether a doctrine is major or minor has become major.

A doctrine itself today might not be major, while the doctrine of ranking doctrines as major or minor is major.  It seems to be essential to qualify whether a doctrine is major or minor.  You will struggle to find anything of the sort in history and I think it is forced to do so.  If you read here much, you know I think that this is an attack on the truth.  Truth itself has become bifurcated, this the bifurcation of truth that Nancy Pearcey writes about in her Total Truth.  Truth has been marginalized by separating it from the rest of the truth -- this is not how God and the Bible function.

Rapture teaching is unique teaching for sure.  Ecclesiology and eschatology were badly perverted by Roman Catholicism, the state church, and it wasn't reformed with the Protestants.  They kept their state churches and their amillennial eschatology, systematized by covenant theology.  Catholic doctrine arose from mixing the truth with pagan philosophy and allegorical interpretation to justify wrong practice.  To vindicate political domination it invented amillennialism and then defended it with its own concocted system of interpretation.

Rapture doctrine proceeds from a plain reading of scripture.  One attack is the lack of history.  This is often the same attack on biblical church doctrine.  Neither disappeared from history, but they are difficult to defend with history.  You will read a lot of Roman Catholic eschatology and ecclesiology in history.  By the way, you'll also have a hard time defending justification by faith with history.  I'm pretty sure that people won't consider that a "minor doctrine."

A literal interpretation has been called premillennialism.  A pretty good guide to determining a system of interpretation comes down to whether you think the millennium is 1000 years or not, when scripture says it is a thousand years.  Good evidence for the 1000 year reign of Christ is that the Bible says the kingdom of Jesus Christ is 1000 years.  Jesus returns before (previous to, "pre") the kingdom begins, since He sets up the kingdom and so He reigns for a thousand years.  If you say that a thousand year kingdom isn't a thousand years, you aren't taking that literally.

In Acts 1:6, the disciples asked Jesus, "Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?"  The disciples believed Jesus would restore the kingdom.  He didn't argue with their belief.  He just wouldn't tell them the timing of it (1:7).  However, they were premillennialists.  They expected Jesus would precede His kingdom.

Rapture teaching, like premillennialism, just comes from reading the Bible, and usually the rapture is a sub-category of premillennialism.

I see at least three explicit New Testament passages on the rapture:  John 14:1-6, Philippians 3:14-21, and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.  Those three fit in with everything else that scripture teaches.  They are congruous with everything else.  They teach the rapture itself and they help make sense of, sort of fill in the gap for, other eschatological doctrine in the Bible.  They answer questions one might have when he is considering everything scripture teaches about end times.

Certain phrases or statements in the above three passages on the rapture indicate something different than the second coming, such as:  "shall rise," "caught up," "in the clouds," "meet the Lord in the air," "high calling of God in Christ Jesus," and "come again, and receive you unto myself."  They describe being called up to meet the Lord in the air.  Those fit nicely with what the angels said after Jesus' ascension in Acts 1:11:
Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Revelation 1:7 says:
Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.
It's difficult to speak for anyone who overlooked this through church history, but it would be better for us today to stop missing this teaching.  It's there in the Bible.  More could be said as to evidence for it.

It's hot today among evangelicals and fundamentalists to poo-poo the rapture.  It's mocked by reformed types in part over the cheesy rapture films through the years.  One blatant effort, I remember, was the N. D. Wilson parody, Right Behind.  Wilson went on to produce or write his own cheesy movies ripe for satire.

Elijah went up in a chariot in a whirlwind.  Jesus went up through the clouds.  Paul was caught up into the third heaven.  Isaiah while on earth saw the Lord high and lifted up on his throne.  While on earth John saw a glorified Jesus in heaven and fell on his face before Him.

FOI and IMG and David Levy writing that the rapture was a major doctrine drew knee jerk commentarySomeone replied like an E. E. Cummings poem:
The Rapture is when we go up
The Second Coming is when He comes down
if you believe we will go up, you believe in the rapture
if you don't believe we will go up, you don't believe the Bible
Retractions and dodges started.  It's how really easy it is, what he wrote.  No, I didn't mean the rapture wasn't major.  I mean.  Wait a minute.  I meant.

I would agree that Levy should not have called the biblical teaching on the rapture a major doctrine.  It is a doctrine.  A doctrine.  Unless every teaching is major, the rapture teaching isn't major.

I could be walking along the street and as I fly upward, except that it's the twinkling of an eye, I'm thinking very quickly, this isn't major.  Major doctrines are something else besides being snatched out of this world into the presence of God.  Everything about my life changes because of the truth of this event.  It's not major.

The major-doctrine doctrine is what's minor.  It's non existent, which is very minor.  The first time I see "major doctrine" appear in history comes in 1911 on p. 350 of The Bulletin of the American Economic Association:
The Socialist party of America the lineage of which is more clearly German than English attaches importance to the materialistic interpretation of history and to the doctrine of the class war as, jointly, both indicating and justifying the only method by which, they say, socialism can be installed, namely, by the organization of those persons who do not possess property into a political party which acting independently of all other parties, will have as its sole aim the establishment of socialism. Their belief is that persons possessing property will inevitably, with exceptions so few as to be negligible, by their material interests be led to oppose socialism; while the non possessors, also with only few and negligible exceptions, must ultimately, when they understand the case, become class-conscious and approve socialism. This is not the time to discuss the validity of those beliefs, nor the correctness of that simple division of society into two classes. 
I must point out however that this major doctrine of the Socialist political party in America--a doctrine to which applicants for party membership are usually asked to subscribe--has no place in any of the definitions of socialism which I have received.
I don't find "major doctrine" used in a theological sense until 1930.  I don't find it, but my not finding it says that it was at least not in use until at least the 1930s.  How could that be major?

Today, if you want to attack a teaching of scripture, just call it a minor doctrine.  The list of major is shrinking and the list of minor is growing, and the list of disappearing doctrines is even faster growing than the list of minors.

Friday, April 06, 2018

Evan Roberts & the Welsh Revival of 1904-1905: His "Preaching": Part 3 of 22

The content of this post is now available in the study of:

1.) Evan Roberts

2.) The Welsh Revival of 1904-1905

3.) Jessie Penn-Lewis

on the website. Please click on the people above to view the study.  On the FaithSaves website the PDF files may be easiest to read.


You are also encouraged to learn more about Keswick theology and its errors, as well as the Biblical doctrine of salvation, at the soteriology page at Faithsaves.

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Quirks of Fundamentalism Distract from Its Real Problems

My life story begins on the shores of the Wabash River in a little farming town in Western Indiana.  I don't remember hearing the word "fundamentalism" in a small independent Baptist church.  It was all God and Bible.  My term in the bowels of fundamentalism covered 1974 to 1987 after a move to Watertown, Wisconsin.

While in fundamentalism, I didn't understand it, because I was, as I say, living inside the barrel and when someone is living there, his world looks like a barrel.  I've heard another metaphor that sounds bad, but it does depict a true quality, and that's "incestuous," according to the specific meaning:  "characterized by mutual relationships that are intimate and exclusive to the detriment of outsiders."  You also hear a fishing analogy, "small pond," where a certain little fish could seem and self-identify as big.  Living in fundamentalism was Siam before foreign invasion, hindered by a lack of outside perspective.

Some current analyses of fundamentalism by former fundamentalists misdiagnose its defects.  What I read is overreaction to the extent of pendulum swing.  Those, who have ejected headlong into evangelicalism or new evangelicalism, convey their myopic impressions with focus on idiosyncratic scruples instead of biblical and theological exposition.  Fundamentalism has problems, but now, hemorrhaging its next generation, it elevates to advice the asymmetrical screeches of its most noxious detractors, conforming policy and practice to their complaints, very often eliminating vital distinctions at the same time as overlooking its essential, root problems.

As an example, both present and bygone fundamentalists dissect the escapades of a latter in now part eight of his series.  The banner of his blog, called adayinhiscourt, features a bottle of alcohol and a vinyl record spinning on a turntable, apparently two crucial components for present Christian success, foretelling a future well-done from God in His heavenly court.  Many comments discuss an era of fundamentalist aversion for the chained leather biker wallet, symptomatic of the slide toward Gomorrah.  An aversion to such association stands as the sort of issue emblematic of awfulness, supplying a caravan of refugees from fundamentalism.  The solution would be, of course, to terminate all such judgment, fueling a meteoric rise of missing authenticity.

Fundamentalism's repudiation of worldly fads that associate with ungodly philosophies had been one of its blessings.  Fundamentalism acknowledged that things really do mean things.  Appearances and sounds carry with them a message and meaning sometimes more powerful than any doctrinal statement.  If you isolate any one of these items, quirks, and treat them like they are or have been indispensable markers of true conversion, you might have something to talk about.  I've noticed this to be a constant battle in any church, because it is easier to reduce the Christian life to circumcision like the Galatians instead of fruit of the Spirit, a notable difference being that circumcision wasn't required, but, for instance, a standard of modesty is.

The real problems in fundamentalism aren't standards.  Galatians doesn't teach lowering standards.  A saved person obeys the father out of love as a son and not a slave.  He's not tutored by standards but internally impelled by the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit still, however, doesn't produce the works of the flesh, those of whom do such will not inherit the kingdom of God.  The problems of fundamentalism relate first to the imprecision of its doctrines of salvation and sanctification, and those same problems, that anyone reading and watching knows, exist all over professing Christianity.  They are far worse in evangelicalism.  They just get to drink alcohol while they have those same problems.

The quirks of fundamentalists just distract from its real problems, ones never to be solved by and in fundamentalism if they won't admit them.  I'm not expecting it, especially with the focus on the quirks as the real problems.  The false doctrine and practice and growing pragmatism of fundamentalism will destroy it along with all the young people, whether they are wearing straight legged, flared, or pleated pants.  Both evangelicalism and fundamentalism are infatuated with abstractions that portend the worst for their futures.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Kay Jay Vee Potpourri

Mike Harding writes:
Most of the arguments in the KJVO debate have been adequately answered in the numerous books written by both Fundamentalists and Conservative Evangelicals.  Dr. Bill Combs has written extensive articles in the DBTS journal debunking the false theories of KJV Onlyism.
In the past, I wrote a post debunking the false assertion that Combs has refuted the presuppositions for perfect preservation of scripture, so I'm not going to repeat that -- it's still there to read.  Combs's articles weren't written for people like myself -- it's obvious they were written for his own people with their minds already made up.

Bill Hardecker in a comment section of my last two posts (here & here), wrote:
Conservative evangelicals and historic fundamentalists have no problem standing on the Scriptures alone for their apologetic on the inspiration of the Holy Bible. They got the doctrine of inspiration down pat. Inspiration is recognized, received, yea even canonized. But where may we find their doctrine of preservation? It is virtually non-existent. Many (dare I say all) modern evangelical/fundamental Systematic Theology textbooks contain next to nothing. Differing from systematic theology but nonetheless systematic in their theology, The historic confessions recognizes the preservation of Scriptures. 
I've written many pieces here, making the same point.  They ignore the historic doctrine and the biblical presupposition.  They disregard the absence of a doctrinal statement, which would undergird their position.  The critical or eclectic text position did not proceed from teaching of scripture.  All I've read in dealing with preservation of scripture, as I've pronounced multiple times here, is a criticism of the biblical and historical position.  That's all you're going to get.  You can't find a biblical eclectic or critical text presupposition, because it doesn't exist.

What does it mean that modern textual criticism and its accompanying modern versions deviates from biblical and historical doctrine?  Something that divides from orthodoxy, what is that?  I think folks like myself have been very respectful, too much so probably, to the purveyors and those acceding to this novel and different view from the stream of orthodox doctrine.  Like God in Isaiah 41:21, I say, "Produce your cause, saith the Lord; bring forth your strong reasons," and I get nothing.  Daniel Wallace refers to a journal article that he wrote, one that is now typical, that is full of errors.  I've found that nobody cares.  They are angry when one points them out.

Harding hints at a biblical proof for his position without saying that it is one.  Not only isn't it a proof, but it comes with very serious consequences if one takes his assertion to its completion.  He said:
The fact that the LXX is quoted throughout the NT by the NT authors is proof enough that the KJVO understanding of miraculous, perfect preservation in one line of manuscripts is not biblical. 
This is the only argument I have ever read as an attempt to go to scripture to provide biblical support for a critical or eclectic text position.  I could say, at least its proponents are trying, except that the implications are so very bad (I'll explain briefly, but I have already here and here).  It isn't actually a biblical position, because it's not making a point from biblical teaching or propositional statements, but based upon an assumption that scripture does not make, that is, the New Testament quotes the Septuagint.

One, for more than any other reason, the LXX is by almost everyone's estimation, a corrupt translation.  It doesn't match up with the Hebrew Masoretic.  This would be saying that Jesus quoted a known corrupt Bible and was fine with it.  I've not read any of the proponents deal with the implications of their own argument.  They throw it out as a reactive argument, not the way to do theology, I guess, because either it doesn't matter to them or they haven't thought through its ramifications to a high view of scripture.

Two, we don't have a biblical basis for Jesus' usage of the LXX, because He exclusively follows the divisions of the Hebrew Old Testament, not the LXX (cf. Luke 24:44).

Three, the usage of the Old Testament in the New is not identical to the LXX either.  Very often the usage of Jesus follows the Hebrew Masoretic.

Four, a historical and biblical position with a high view of scripture is the one taken by John Owen in his biblical theology, and men at least need to deal with Owen.   Owen didn't say, like Harding assumes, that the usage of the Old Testament was "fact" and "proof" of authentication of the LXX.

Much more could be said here about Harding's LXX statement, but it's thrown out, as I see it, for people ignorant of what's going on or what it means.  It opens a can of worms that's bigger than what these men think is a KJVO problem.  In other words, it creates a far bigger problem to deal with a perceived problem.

I can't take the time to answer every clueless statement, but I want to answer one as a representation of what I believe.  Someone named Darrell Post writes unchallenged:
Kent not only believes the 'preservation passages' refer to the written copies, he has proposed which copies are the right ones.
Scripture teaches the preservation of words and that's what I believe.  Scripture is written.  That's part of a biblical belief.  A copy is something that is written, so all the words and every one of them are available in copies.  I've never said I believe one perfect copy has made its way through all the way through history.  All those like Post, who do not believe that God preserved every and all of His words in written form, do not believe what God said He would do.  The denial of preservation is an unproven assertion.  The existence of textual variants doesn't prove God didn't do what He said He would do in preservation of scripture.

Regarding a graspable, comprehensible translation, the vernacular argument, Andy Efting asks:  "Regarding the Defined KJV -- doesn't the fact that there is a need for this type of thing prove Mark's point?"  Mark Ward says use many translations for the purpose of understanding.  I don't know if he makes that point in his book, but he's made it multiple times in interviews about the book and articles related to the book.  The Defined King James aids in understanding, and Mark Ward implies or assumes that every translation should be compared with multiple translations.  A Defined King James (read editorial review and consider whether that Bible is doing what Ward says that he wants) seems to be right in the wheelhouse of what Mark Ward wants, definition of terms that alleviate the "false friends" to which Ward refers.

Someone said that Ward's argument for the update of the KJV, to rid it of false friends and archaic words, hasn't been answered.  I have answered it multiple occasions even before Ward made his argument (herehere, and here especially), but also after he wrote the book (here).  I'm not opposed to an update according to certain parameters based upon biblical teaching or principles.   As almost anyone knows, there are already multiple updates already done, which themselves illustrate why it is wrought with so many harmful possibilities (as one example consider the very weird and expensive update called "The Pure Word," which I have a copy and have examined).

I ask, why are critical or eclectic text men so interested in separating men from the King James Version?  They say that they want more people to understand the Bible and these people are losing out.  I have a hard time believing it.  Love wants to believe the best, and I want to, but I also know not to be gullible.  I'm more concerned that these same men don't believe the biblical and historical doctrine of the preservation of scripture.