Friday, August 30, 2019

Jessie Penn-Lewis: Worldwide Keswick Impact (part 9 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, August 27, 2019

The Seductive and Destructive Lie of Art as Personal Taste, pt.2

Part One, and Two Recent Posts on Art:  One and Two (and Here's a Third from Further Past)

Exodus 31 verses 1 through 6 read:
1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: 3 And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, 4 To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, 5 And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship. 6 And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee.
Among other places in scripture, this passage represents a scriptural understanding of art.  The artist is Bezaleel, and in his characteristics, the LORD "filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship" (v. 3).  With those traits, he could "devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship" (vv. 4-5).  His partner, Aholiab, was very similar (v. 6).

Bezaleel and Aholiab needed these attributes for true craftsmanship for the depiction of the glory of the Lord in the tabernacle.  True art depicts the object of genuine beauty, which is fashioned after the nature of God as seen in His creation.  The tabernacle provides a model for art and Bezaleel the artist.  Terence Fretheim writes:
Bezalel executes in miniature the divine creative role of Genesis 1 in the building of the tabernacle. The spirit of God with which the craftsmen are filled is a sign of the living, breathing force that lies behind the completing of the project just as it lies behind the creation. Their intricate craftsmanship mirrors God’s own work. The precious metals with which they work take up the very products of God’s beautiful creation and give new shape to that beauty within creation. Just as God created such a world in which God himself would dwell (not explicit in Genesis, but see Psalm 104:1-4; Isaiah 40:22), so now these craftsmen re-create a world in the midst of chaos wherein God may dwell once again in a world suitable for the divine presence. 
J. Cumming in the Biblical Illustrator writes:
It is quite clear that we must cease to think of the Divine Spirit as inspiring only prayers and hymns and sermons. All that is good and beautiful and wise in human art is the gift of God. We feel that the supreme Artist is audible in the wind among the pines; but is man left to himself when he marshals into more sublime significance the voices of the wind among the organ tubes? At sunrise and sunset we feel that 
"On the beautiful mountains the pictures of God are hung"; 
but is there no revelation of glory and of freshness in other pictures? Once the assertion that a great masterpiece was "inspired" was a clear recognition of the central fire at which all genius lights its lamp: now, alas! it has become little more than a sceptical assumption that Isaiah and Milton are much upon a level. But the doctrine of this passage is the divinity of all endowment; it is quite another thing to claim Divine authority for a given product sprung from the free human being who is so richly crowned and gifted. 
Thus far we have smoothed our way by speaking only of poetry, painting, music--things which really compete with nature in their spiritual suggestiveness. But Moses spoke of the robe-maker, the embroiderer, the weaver, and the perfumer.
The Pulpit Commentary reads concerning the same context:
Artistic excellence is not a thing to be despised. It is very capable of abuse; but in itself it is a high gift, bestowed by God on a few only, with the special intent that it should be used to his honour and glory—not indeed in his direct service only—but always so as to improve, elevate, refine mankind, and thus help towards the advancement of God's kingdom.
Before the crafting of the tabernacle, the divine Glory descends on Mount Sinai for six days, covering it with a cloud.  The building of the tabernacle is a commission corresponding to God's creating the universe as seen in the linking of both creation and the tabernacle the institution of the Sabbath, foreshadowed in Genesis 2:1–4 and juxtaposed to the detailed description of the tabernacle in Exodus 31.  It is a re-creation of the act of original creation.  Art is imitative and depicts the glory of the Lord, the beauty of His holiness.  Bezaleel imitates God, the creation of the tabernacle representing the humanization of God's creation of the heavens and the earth, even as the tabernacle makes a place for the divine to dwell among mankind.

A parallel exists between the account of the creative, artistic act of Exodus 31, performed then in 35-40, and the making of the golden calf and its aftermath in Exodus 32-34.  In the case of the tabernacle, God's people are  requested, not commanded, by God to offer precious metals. With the calf, there is a similar offering of precious metal.  Bezaleel's work required skill at depicting the nature of God.  Aaron's work proceeds according to the fashion of the nations round about and from his own imagination.  It does not require any great ability.  In the former, God is glorified, and the latter He is blasphemed.  The contrasting patterns offer a lesson.

The tabernacle represents the created order from original matter that was without form and void. The form reflects the meaning of divine arrangement: light from darkness, day from night, dry land from the midst of water. God gives it coherence through His revelation.  On the other hand, the making of the golden calf arose as an expression of the desire of self to satisfy lust, even communicated by the sounds that Joshua heard in coming down the mount.  Some consider it a kind of word-play because the Hebrew word in Exodus 32:25, translated "naked" and meaning "a lack of control or restraint," is parua,  Pharoah, a kind of resubjugation to Pharoah, using the spoils that Israel took from the Egyptians when they left Egypt. The tabernacle was a holy act and the calf was an unholy one.

Revelation of God is the basis for true beauty, objective beauty, the beauty of God's holiness, and art.  It is a transcendent depiction of God's revelation, such as produces the awe of God's creation and His will.  The physical world is not a prison from which to escape, even to look inward, but is the creation of God and the location of His visitation of man, just like the tabernacle.  This can include the glory of depicting in a realistic way ordinary people functioning at their work, which has spiritual dignity and significance.  The Bible is the first book of God's revelation, but Dutch landscape painters portrayed nature as God's second book of revelation.

Martha Bayles in Hole in Our Soul:  The Loss of Beauty and Meaning in American Popular Music, said the modern age has been a period of "intense self-consciousness about the meaning and purpose of art" and it all started when art "began having radical doubts about its relationship with the truth."  Instead of looking for the truth outside of ourselves, the modern age or the enlightenment looked to the ultimate reality in the mental, particularly in the realm of ideas.  Pre-enlightenment or pre-modern, art had been to express truth, which always originates from the outside of a man, so that art is a mirror or reflection of objective truth, a vehicle for real knowledge.  In a world of matter in motion, beauty does not exist as an objective quality, but the outpouring of inner feelings or expression.

Christians should enjoy the aesthetic qualities of art while developing the tools for critical analysis, so there is more to come.

Monday, August 26, 2019

The Seductive and Destructive Lie of Art as Personal Taste, pt.1

Two Recent Posts on Art:  One and Two (and Here's a Third from Further Past)

Art says both a lot about you, but it also influences you.  Some of what is called "art," as I've written recently, really isn't art, but that you call it "art" also says a lot about you.  Like everything else on earth in the realm of the world, the flesh, and the devil, men want what they want.  They like the "art" that they like.  Modernism and then postmodernism shifted art from the object to the subject, so that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  However, liking the "art" is not what makes it art.  It does though say something about it, when you like it, and it's something contradictory to God.

You say, "I like this" or "I really like this," and don't think there should be any criticism, because art is only a matter of personal taste.  It isn't, but you want it to be, because you want what you want without criticism.  The "art" abides in its own domain, not to be touched by God's authority or scriptural thinking.  The teaching of scripture is not just an item of belief, but it functions as a unified, overarching system of truth that applies to all other subject areas.  It applies to science, business, sociology, history, art, and everything.

God rules everything in a believer's life through scripture -- it gives the truth about the whole of reality, the interpretation of every subject matter.  The purpose of Christianity is not just the salvation of the soul and the sanctification of the life, but to provide an interpretation of the world.  God doesn't want us to turn over everything to the secular, except for Bible studies and prayer meetings.

Turning art to personal taste conforms to the development of a two track system between truth and taste, so fracturing the Christian life.  Believers are told to be salt and light, except it's off limits to the actual world, which then allows or influences professing Christians toward the acceptance of secular values.  Being controlled by the Holy Spirit means nothing is off limits, but this bifurcation between the sacred and secular says that God is boxed out of that of the subjects' choosing.  This is a form of idolatry or loving the world.  The ungodly art can't be forsaken, so really neither is the self forsaken.  Following Christ requires forsaking self (Luke 9:27).

This is our Father's world.  God created it.  Nothing has an identity separate from the will of the Creator and everything in creation must be interpreted in light of the relationship with God.  People want to keep their "art," because of its interconnection to feelings.  The painting, sculpture, music, or architecture seduces with feeling that results in the subject operating according to his lust.  Lust is not an allowed way for a believer to judge anything.

For awhile now someone likes how he looks liking "art."  If others like it, he has to look like he understands what makes it good.  He can't say he likes something godly, because it most often isn't popular, that is, it isn't pop art.  Association with popular art gives the sense of rubbing off on the one who likes it.  He likes it too.  To God, it's dung, to use the term that Paul uses in Philippians 3:8 to explain his unconverted life.  He counted his former life as dung, but  he can't call the popular art dung, because it's so important for him to fit into the world.

"Art" should not get a pass.  It isn't neutral.  Nothing is neutral.  All of art, like everything else in life, should be judged against the beauty of holiness.  When someone doesn't, his value changes.  It moves from God to self.  The highest value is what pleases himself and not God.  God isn't a deistic god standing by as his creation administers itself.  He isn't ignoring choices.  The personal taste that circumvents God expresses value different than God's.  Here's a person not following after God.  He doesn't like what God likes.  God is cordoned off this life, except where He is allowed.  Someone truly saved doesn't do this.  He doesn't dictate to God what and where God functions in the world.  This is liking a God who saves him but isn't the Lord of His aesthetics or art.

More than any facet of a man's soul, his feelings cohere to his body, where sin indwells.  Paul writes that sin dwells in a person's body parts, which is why salvation from the presence of sin occurs with the glorification of the body.  "Art" connects with feeling.  Does the feeling though arise from the right thinking, that is an ordinate affection, or is it the byproduct of lust?  Ungodly art that displeases God follows the allurements of depraved flesh.  The feeling of the subject justifies the object of his pleasure.  The bifurcation of that object into the mere secular, outside of scriptural judgment, completes the seduction.

As I describe aesthetic value, a right feeling, so that someone loves God and others according to godly values, some might consider it a matter of liberty.  Paul commanded, be not conformed to this world (Rom 12:2), which is not to accommodate, comply or harmonize with the spirit of this age. This is not relegated to pornography or something with such associated meaning as a swastika.  This is all aesthetic not in accordance with God.  It can be the gritty, trashy, urban murals of the modern inner city.  Often the decoration mirrors the subjective expressions of the tattoo "artist."  It doesn't have to be "wrong," just violating the objective beauty of the nature of God manifested in His creation.  That is wrong, because it conforms to the world, not transformed by a mind renewed by the Word of God.

The ungodly art disorders the loves.  God Himself through scripture commands love God.  He can't love God, because the world has bypassed God.  The profanity stains his conscience, disabling his ability to discern.  Others then are influenced by his wrong choice, multiplying the destructive lie of art as personal taste.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

One Final Post on the NKJV Textual Deviations from the Text Behind the KJV

Mark Ward has closed all the comments on his blog, having admitted a degree of defeat on the issue of zero deviations of the text behind the NKJV from the underlying text of the KJV.  I provided 20 possibilities, and I think that fifteen were still true.  Mark is admitting to six.  In the conversation, the bar kept getting moved to the advantage of Mark Ward.  It turned into proving that they relied on the critical text in certain places and then whether they intended to deviate.  Those two aspects were not part of the original charge.

Since he's not taking anymore comments, I'm going to answer his final comment, which essentially finished off the issue at his blog.  I would have been glad not to have participated if someone else stepped up to answer him.  I don't think I produced every example, because I wasn't looking at that as the task.  I'm going to quote some of the sentences or paragraphs of Ward's last comment here and answer them, so that it will be clear what I really think and not be misrepresented by him.  He never asked.

Ward writes:
If we got up to 25 or 30 examples, even, of places where they undeniably followed the CT, I’d have to change even that tune. But given the quality of the evidence provided so far, I doubt it will happen.
Mark conceded, but he'd really, really concede if I provided even more examples.  He takes a shot at the evidence I provided, that it isn't high quality.  It's a list, enough rightly to concede.  I don't think they used a critical text as their text.  It's only that they didn't rely on an identical text as the KJV, the only point.  They also include footnotes to undermine the text they did use.

He continues later:
Through this epic discussion (and other reading I’ve been doing for an upcoming lecture at Reformed Baptist Seminary on Confessional Bibliology), I have come to see even a bit more clearly what KJV-Onlyism is. It is—wait for it—KJV-Onlyism. It is not, as so many KJV-Only leaders have insisted, a defense of the TR.
That's sad, because it is a TR position.  I recently explained that in the comment section of my last post on this.  If it is a TR position, you translate from the TR for your new translations, not from the English.  If it is a TR position, you base the meaning of the words on the usage in the TR and then through lexicons.  If it is a TR position, you bring out tenses of verbs, noun, preposition, and pronominal uses from Greek syntax.

Then he wrote:
I plumbed recently to the depths of E.F. Hills’ work, and Theodore Letis’ work, and I re-read the bibliology statement by Thomas Ross that Kent once affirmed to me, and I find the same thing: the ultimate standard for the NT, the perfect-in-every-jot-and-tittle text, is Scrivener’s 1881 text.
The Bible settles on perfection for itself -- verbal, plenary preservation, just like inspiration.  You can't add or take away from something that isn't settled.  Mark doesn't settle in defiance of what scripture says about itself.  That's not better than settling.

I get the reverse engineered criticism, but it doesn't get what our position is.  Mark doesn't get it, like he couldn't find anyone who wrote a list or even look for it himself by looking at the Greek text.  Every word was available.  Before you complain that there are a missing handful of handwritten Greek words or less in Scriveners, those have evidence in non-English translations and I'm not conceding there was no textual evidence at the time of the KJV translation.  That argument can be made.  Let's not go there though and just trust that translators were translating and those words were available.

God didn't promise to preserve a Greek text, but letters (jots and tittles) and words.  That is one of our presuppositions in that bibliology statement by Thomas Ross and affirmed by Kent.  Those words were available.  That fits what God said He would do, which is what we believe.  Scrivener printed them into a text.  Was that text available?  The words were available, but even on the text, it's very close with Beza 1598, which is why I often say, essentially Beza 1598.  I have no problem saying Scrivener either, because those words were there.

John Gill wrote his commentary in the 18th century.  What text did he rely on?  He was looking at a Greek text.  He was using the King James Version.  Was there no Greek text to look at?  There were other commentaries during the period before the critical text and Scrivener, who studied the original languages.  John Trapp wrote a commentary on the books of the New Testament in 1656.  William Jones wrote his commentary on the epistle of Paul in 1636.  There are more.

Ward continues further:
But Ross believes (and Kent at least once affirmed) that the KJV translators, who were not perfect, committed no translation errors of which Ross was aware. Likewise, Ross affirms that they committed no errors in textual critical judgment. When they chose to follow Beza and include εκ σου in Luke 1:35 rather than following Stephanus, they were providentially (not miraculously) guided into being free from error. When, in dozens of places, they made similar decisions, they were free from textual critical error. This is precisely what Hills taught, with great clarity and explicitness (see especially Believing Bible Study).
I would have translated the King James Version differently, but I don't believe the translators made a mistake in their translation.  That's not a miracle point.  That's just a competence point.  I believe the KJV could be translated differently and be right, because preservation is in the language in which scripture was written.  That's another presupposition that Thomas Ross also believes.  Variation in translation doesn't make it in error.  That is the nature of translation.

Then Ward wrote:
And I reject it. The KJV translators were no more providentially preserved from error in their textual criticism than they were in their translation. In both, they were very, very good—but they were also what they said they were: fallible human beings who were only trying to make a good thing better.
One regular misrepresentation of the preface of the KJV is that they said they might be wrong on the underlying text.  No.  They said that it could be translated differently, which it was in 1769.  I'm not saying Ward is lying, but there are at least some reading comprehension issues with those who keep saying this.

No offense to Hills (especially Hills), Letis, Ross, or even me, but the position that Ward treats like revisionist history is actually the historical view, so Ward should also mention John Owen, Francis Turretin, William Whitaker, Richard Capel, and Samuel Rutherford, also as reported in Richard Muller's Post Reformation Reformed Dogmatics.  They took the position we take.  Ward's position or non-position arises from the seat of his pants, something that started with no history and no scriptural predisposition.  Then Ward and those like him invent a new history for us, which is not the truth (a lie?).  A one Bible position is the historical position.  When Ward goes to Reformed Baptist Seminary, he needs to be honest about the history behind the position he attacks, and as well represent what we actually believe, not his own straw man.

I've already answered Mark's complaints about our continuing to use the King James Version in favor of a contemporary version.  I'm not saying that everything Mark says about dead words is without merit.  No.  However, people can learn what words mean.  They have to do that anyway, even if they use a modern version.  I've said that the Bible you understand is the one you read and study.  Mark has said in the past with great clarity that his purpose was to move people to the critical text and that won't happen through discussing textual criticism, so he has chosen what he sees as a more pragmatic argument.  Why would anyone fall for that?  There are many other issues with using a modern version that a church like ours thinks is worse than the "false friends" about which Ward writes.

My conscience is not snared by an unscriptural scruple as Ward charges at the end of his comment (see the last comment here).  Our conscience is informed by biblical and historical teaching.  Ward's is the novel, unbiblical view.  He's the one veering into the side of a mountain without a reliable radar to give him a proper altitude.  He has one scriptural argument that leads him to call us sinners over readability, something new in the history of Christianity.  I've never read it from anyone but him.  That sounds more like an improperly informed conscience.  He went looking for it, so that he could have something "scriptural" to say -- like a revivalist preacher who looks for a text to fit his sermon.  On the other hand, our position proceeds from exegesis from scripture and agrees with a historical position.  We arrived at our position from studying the Bible, which provided the template, paradigm, or model for what we expect. That is the view that pleases God.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Wilbur the Pig: A Story for Children

A new Christian children's story has been posted, Wilbur the Pig, by Heather Ross.  It is the story of a lame pig on the Roberts' farm that was named "Wilbur" after the more famous pig from Charlotte's Web.  The pig finds a special place in the Roberts' children's hearts.  Then, one day, the pig is gone.  What happened to Wilbur?  The answer to that question leads mother and father to teach the Roberts' children an important Scriptural lesson.  Please feel free to share the story with your children and with other families that might find it a blessing.  You can read the story Wilbur the Pig by clicking here. Please feel free to share any comments you have concerning the story below.  The PDF file includes the nice pictures included with the story; reading the PDF rather than the simple text in the post is recommended.  Other edifying children's stories should also, Lord willing, be posted in time here.


Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Act Like Men, Not Like Girls

Phil Johnson is on the board of directors for Wretched radio.  He does a program regularly with Todd Friel, called Too Wretched for Radio or what Friel calls "Philsosophy."  At the beginning of this segment is a montage of audio of Phil Johnson from sermons and speeches, and one of the statements that surely is included to characterize Phil is "Act like men, not like girls."  In a sense, Friel is saying, "that's Phil for you."  Especially among evangelicals, Phil is considered to be a tough guy.

I searched to find what sermon the quote of Phil may have come from.  I found that Phil has written a post on "Act like men, not like girls," titled, "Man up," and a sermon, perhaps from which it comes, called, "Marching orders."  The text from which he comes is 1 Corinthians 16:13, which the King James Version translates, "quit you like men, be strong."  Johnson quotes a modern version with, "act like men."  The two commands are the latter two of four.  Johnson writes:
Incidentally, the military tone of this verse is clearly deliberate. These are orders for an army going to combat. Paul was reminding them (and us) that the Christian's existence in this earthly realm is a battle, not a banquet. We are soldiers engaged in warfare, not merry-makers enjoying a party. Do we get that? because frankly, most contemporary evangelicals don't get it. The typical evangelical church seems to think Christ has called us to be clowns who entertain the world rather than soldiers whose duty is to wage war against false religion and spiritual lies. There are churches not far from here this morning where the pastors are doing exegesis of the latest movies or trying desperately to plug into whatever the latest cultural fad is. Look around and listen to what's happening in the evangelical movement today and you might get the impression that friendship with the world is the number one goal of the church. It's not. It is a grievous sin to be avoided. "Friendship with the world is enmity with God." The church is supposed to be an army waging war against worldly values.
I agree with Phil.  It's actually a very strong message for an evangelical.  My point of writing is something different.  I'm going to use Johnson's statement, "Act like men, not like girls," to say that God and the Apostle Paul assume that we know how men act.  And Phil Johnson assumes that we also can know how girls behave too.

The Bible doesn't tell us how men act, so how do we know?  How do girls act?  The Bible doesn't say.  So how can anyone judge men or girls as to how they act?  How can someone judge something for which the Bible does not give criteria?

There are a lot of issues in scripture that (1) assume understanding of meaning and (2) require application.  If I said to someone, "Act like a man," how would he know how to do that?  I could explain it, because God assumes us to know.  I know.  Today, however, what people really do know, they are unwilling to apply.  They might say, "Act like a man," but they don't have any expectations.  They don't even think they can have expectations, because the Bible doesn't say what those expectations are.  As a result, the passage is disobeyed.  If someone criticizes the lack of application, he is viewed and accused to be an unloving, insensitive, bad person.

Johnson says, "Act like men," means, "Be manly."  He says that Corinth was an effeminate culture.  What is "effeminate"?  These are all concepts that scripture doesn't define.  There are many similar principles in the Bible -- example:  what is corrupt communication?  Scripture doesn't say.  It doesn't say what is the "attire of a harlot."  Johnson is stepping onto the "dangerous ground" of cultural issues or making application of scripture to the culture.

At the most Johnson says to act like a man is to be militant or a warrior.  What is that?  Is manliness just being militant and a warrior?  I would agree that we can know what all of these are, but can we be dogmatic in their application?  If someone is not practicing them, is it a sin?  Can we say someone is disobeying scripture?  I have found that church leaders are unwilling to make any personal judgments or do anything about acting like a man.  If you do judge someone for not being manly, you are in bigger trouble than being effeminate.

Not being able or willing to apply the Bible to cultural issues relates to postmodernism, which is something to which Phil Johnson has written as much as anything.  Are men just going to talk the talk or will they walk the walk, or perhaps better act the act?  Your masculinity is not your masculinity and mine is mine.  It's something we can judge and should act like it.

Historic sola scriptura means scripture rules every area of a life.  In the history of the church, that means that men can make applications of the Bible to culture.  They are required to do so.  There is something ironic here.  Men are not manly enough to require manliness.

Monday, August 19, 2019

My Response to Mark Ward's Response to My List of Fifteen Deviations of the NKJV from the Underlying Original Language Text of the KJV

The following appertains to two posts that I wrote related to a claim made by Mark Ward in a blog post about the NKJV not deviating from the same underlying Greek text as the KJV (here and here).  I gave him a list of fifteen.  In a new post, he said none of them are legitimate examples, so I looked at his (and two assistants) arguments, and here is my conclusion about what they wrote.

*Asterick meaning that I don’t accept the argument.
1. In Matthew 22:10—Don’t mind giving this one, although a pattern starts to emerge where the text is different and the translation favors the critical text, but it is said to be a translational decision by those who might hope to cover for the “no deviation” claim.
*2. In Luke 1:35—The translators followed the critical text, but said they were making a translation decision, not following the critical text.
*3. In Luke 5:7—Matthew 6:5 is a different usage of “tois,” which is used as a relative pronoun in Luke 5:7.  That relative pronoun isn’t in the CT or the NKJV.
*4. Luke 6:9—The issue here is that the TR uses the plural for “Sabbath days” and the CT doesn’t, which is why the KJV translates the plural “Sabbath days.”  The NKJV deviates here.  I could follow the argument about other places of the plural translated like a singular except there is a deviation here, making this obvious.
5. John 10:12—This is not a good example by me, so I defer here.
6. John 19:10—This is not a good example by me, so I defer here.
7. Acts 15:23—I defer here.
8. Acts 17:14—I defer here.
*9. Acts 19:9—The NKJV translation matches the CT and deviates.  This reads as obvious.
*10. Acts 19:39—The NKJV uses only “other” as “further,” which is following the CT, as opposed to the clear translation of “concerning other matters,” which one can plainly read is the TR.
*11. Romans 14:9—What is very interesting about this refutation is that there is a double “kai” later in the same verse translated as both-and in the NKJV, so Ward and his group have this one wrong.  If they really were relying on contemporary English, they would have done it both times.  It could not have been grammatical.
*12. Colossians 3:17—This one stands.
*13. Jude 1:3—This one stands.
*14. Jude 1:19—Both the ESV and NKJV have the same translation because they both follow the CT, and you won’t see “themselves” (eautou), as in the KJV.  It also changes the meaning as some of these others do.
*15. Isaiah 9:3—the King James translators did not rely on the Qere reading, so it’s different.  I had to tell the truth.

I appreciate the service of Mark Ward and his two other assistants in eliminating five of my bad examples, and I believe leaving ten of them.  They are saying that none of those are left.  However, I believe there is more than the above.  I said that I stopped at fifteen, because I think there are more than this, so here we go again

1. 2 Corinthians 3:14—the NKJV departs from the TR to the CT with the TR (ho) and the CT (hoti), so the NKJV translates the conjuction, “because,” and the KJV translates the relative pronoun, “which.”
2. Philippians 2:9—the CT has the article (to) before “name,” “the name,” and the TR has no article, “a name,” and the NKJV reflects this deviation.
3. Revelation 6:11—the KJV follows the TR and the NKJV follows the critical text in the plural “robes” in the KJV and the singular “robe” in the NKJV.  The Greek word in the TR is plural and in the CT it is singular.
4. 2 Corinthians 4:14—the NKJV says “with Jesus” following the CT (sun) and the KJV says “by Jesus” following the TR (dia).
5. 2 John 1:7—the NKJV says “have gone out into the world” following the CT (exelthon) instead of “are entered into the world” (eiselthon) in the TR and KJV.

Alright, me and my assistants, well, just me, have added five more, while watching the 49ers preseason game.  I’m stopping at adding five more.  That doesn’t mean there are only five more.  I’m saying these are deviations.  Mark Ward asserts that he has debunked all fifteen of the former, and I’m saying he’s overturned five of the original fifteen.  I thank him for eliminating the five for me.  Good work.  Here are five more before victory is claimed, conspiracy theories reasserted, etc.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Jessie Penn-Lewis: her mystical false god (part 8 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, August 14, 2019

Particular Quotes from Presuppositional Apologetics: Stated and Defended by Greg Bahnsen with Some Analysis

I purchased Presuppositional Apologetics: Stated and Defended by the late Greg Bahnsen for my kindle, and have been reading it in bed at night a little at a time.  I haven't read anything yet with which I disagree.  However, he writes things in the book I haven't read anywhere else.  Below I want to include just a few quotes with analytical comments.  These are not in order, except in the order I found them when I looked back to record them in this post.  Bahnsen wrote:
Thinking to maintain neutrality with respect to Scripture, any natural theology that reasons autonomously from logical an/or empirical grounds to God results in an exclusion of revelational necessity and authority, endorsing some other imperious philosophy.  Knowledge of God must be rooted in his own self-disclosure.  Because the clear revelation of God in nature's and man's constitution is suppressed in unrighteousness, it is impossible for theology or apologetics to base their efforts in a rebellious understanding of the world of history, independently working up to a verification of God's written revelation.  Faith must necessarily start with the clear, authoritative, self-attesting, special revelation of God in Scripture coordinated with the Holy Spirit's inner testimony to the regenerated heart. 
Historically, when David Hume and Immanuel Kant exposed the invalidity of the theistic proofs, apologists generally balked at returning to revelation as the basis for their certainty of God's existence.  They elected, rather, to maintain status in the blinded eyes of the "worldly wise" by attempting to prove Christianity's credibility by means of arguments that hopefully pointed toward the probability of God's existence and Scripture's truth.  They settled for a mere presumption (plus pragmatic assurance) in favor of a few salvaged items (i.e., "fundamentals") from the Christian system.
Read both paragraphs (the second a half of a paragraph in the book), but especially consider the last line of the second paragraph above.  Bahnsen says that using the "worldly wise" to prove Christianity through means other than scripture, settle for a few salvaged items, "fundamentals," from the Christian system.  I've written on this a lot.  The reduction of doctrine to fundamentals or essentials proceeds from a wrong apologetic.  He calls them "salvaged items."  It is as though Christians are sifting through the rubble, when God didn't lose anything.

Here's another:
Resting upon the authority of the living God rather than that of independent human reasoning, the apologist must presuppose the truth of Scripture and lay siege to all apostate presuppositions.   This must be his method because the Word of God in the Bible has a unique epistemological status for the Christian:  it requires no corroboration and carries its own evidence inherently or self-attestingly.
Whatever Bahnsen may have said about his view of the preservation of scripture, this quote undoes the reliance on textual criticism to come to a point.  The teaching of preservation of scripture "requires no corroboration and carries its own evidence inherently or self-attestingly."  This should and will result in the textus receptus.

Monday, August 12, 2019

The Son's Obedience to the Father in His First Temptation by Satan in the Wilderness as a Model for a Son With His Father

The Lord Jesus traveled from Galilee to Judea and the Jordan River, some 70 miles by foot, for John the Baptist to baptize Him.  This inaugurated His three year ministry.  John baptized unto repentance.  Jesus didn't need to repent, so John said, I shouldn't immerse you; it should be you immersing me.  John was the sinner, not Jesus.  That was the point John made with no uncertain terms.  Jesus said, "Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness."

Jesus didn't say, Suffer it to be so now, to enjoy myself or have fun or make money.  It was about doing right.  Jesus wasn't held hostage to doing right.  He wanted to do right.  What does someone really get out of doing right?  The value in doing right is the value of doing right.  The value is greater than anything else, but it must be seen as greater.  We know it is greater, because Jesus said it was.

Jesus did everything right.  Through the imputation of justification, we receive the righteousness He lived by faith.  Doing right for Jesus was doing everything His Father wanted Him to do, so at His baptism in Matthew 3, the Father said in one of the rare occasions He spoke out loud for everyone to hear, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

"Suffer it to be so now" were the first recorded words of Jesus in scripture since what He said as a twelve year old in Luke 2, which was similar:  "I must be about my Father's business."  "Business" is supplied in the English.  Jesus must be about His Father's.  Whatever His Father's, but surely His Father's.  That was the Son.  Then in essence, I want to do right, which we know was what the Father told Him to do.  Then the Father validated it with, Son, I am well pleased with you.  Of course, none of what the Father wanted the Son to do was sin.  It was all right.

Going back to the point of my second paragraph, the value of doing right is greater than anything.  Why?  God created everything and sustains everything, and God the Father wants righteousness.  He rewards righteousness in numbers of different ways all over scripture.  The world rewards, but it's all temporal and in the end, it isn't even reward, but punishment.

We turn the page to Matthew 4 and the Son is tested to the greatest extent by the greatest tempter, Satan himself.  The first Adam failed at the first temptation in the Garden of Eden by Satan.  The Father had commanded His son in Genesis 2.  That son did what he wanted.  He didn't do right.  He failed that test.  God's son, Adam, didn't trust Him, so He didn't see the greater value of obedience. He convinced himself that he was justified in his disobedience.  That was a son who had every tree of the garden, which he could freely eat, much like the prodigal son, who lived in his Father's house in that parable of Jesus.

The Second Adam, Jesus, abode in a wilderness.  He fasted forty days and forty nights.  He was hungry.   Those were His conditions.  Then He was tempted.

The temptation started with Satan exalting the Son's position, "if thou be the Son of God."  Of course, He was the Son of God.  Wasn't the Son entitled to certain benefits as the Son?  He was the Son of God.  He could do what He wanted to do.  Jesus didn't assert His position or office as the Son.  Satan tempted Him to do that.  Jesus' job as a Son was to do what His Father wanted Him to do.

The temptation, one might say, is turning stones to bread.  The temptation was asserting His own will ahead of His Father's.  Life did not reduce down to physical needs.  It did reduce down to obeying the plan of the Father, staying in tune with what He wanted.

The Son quotes Deuteronomy 8:3.  Even the Son would obey God's Word.  That was again, doing right.  In the original context of the quote, Israel, which was also God's son, also in a sense of the representative son, Israel seed of Abraham but Jesus the seed of Abraham.  Israel didn't live by bread, but the Word of God.  Jesus had fasted forty days and forty nights.  No one could live like that unless He was kept alive by something beyond the natural.  People live by the Word of God.

There is the Latin, fiat, used with Divine fiat.  It refers to God's creation by spoken word or by divine order, let there be light.  Jesus said to Lazarus, come forth.  Man lives because of the Word of God, not because he is doing all that it takes to live -- eating, drinking, exercising.  The Son didn't need bread to live.  He had the Word of God.  Israel didn't need bread to live.  She had the Word of God.

When Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell all he had and give it to the poor, this was an admission that Jesus was God.  Jesus had all riches.  If the rich young ruler had needs, Jesus could meet those. The rich young ruler could live by the Word of God, just like Jesus lived by the Word of God.  That was too hard for the rich young ruler.  He couldn't see the value.

The Father was pleased by the obedience of the Son.  Nothing was wrong with eating bread.  It wasn't a sin.  However, it would be outside of the will of the Father.  Jesus never operated outside of the will of the Father.  He wouldn't turn the stones into bread, even in order to live.  He would continue in hunger.

Life is not about having your own way.  It's not about independence.  It's not about being on your own.  No doubt, if a father wanted just arbitrary obedience to unbiblical instruction, that's not good. Both the Father and the Son authored truth.  But if a son's focus is the will of the true Father, the actual Father, and even beyond sins of commission, where the son doesn't do something he's not supposed to do, he does what the father wants.  Jesus could have eaten bread, but it was more important to do what the Father wanted.

The obedience of the Son to the Father is a model of obedience of the son to the father.  It's of greater value than satisfaction of short term gratification of physical needs, even if it is as something seemingly permissible, like eating bread.  I don't think that's usually the issue though.  It's both doing what the father doesn't want and then also not doing what the father does want -- both.  Short term gratification of physical needs becomes the priority.  If the father gets in the way, he's in trouble.

The comparison in the gospels to Matthew 4 was when Peter told Jesus that on Peter's watch, Jesus wouldn't suffer and die.  Jesus said, Get thee behind me, Satan.  Peter was tempting Jesus, like Satan had in the wilderness.  The will of the Father was for Jesus to die.  Peter instead wanted Jesus to meet short term physical needs.

Look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Response to Hearing the Truth, as a Test: Deviations from the TR in the NKJV

Call this is an update of the post I wrote on Thursday, Does the New King James Version Deviate from the Textus Receptus, the Text Behind the King James Version?  Mark Ward wrote Authorized: The Use and Misuse of the King James Bible, which he said was a different approach to the English translation issue.  King James Version (KJV) Only folks of whatever stripe weren't going to change based on reason of the underlying text, because it's too difficult for them.  He thinks they'll move from the King James Version to a modern version based on readability, which is his stated motive, that is, getting them to move to a modern version.

I would probably want to be called a "One Bible" man (not KJVO), since there is only one Bible.  God gave it to us in one set of exact words in Hebrew and Aramaic in the Old Testament and Greek in the New Testament.  Scripture teaches a one Bible position.  That one Bible can be translated into any language and even be updated in a particular language, such as English.  The King James Version is an update.  It could be updated again.  There would still only be one Bible.  God wrote one.  One.  I'm more concerned about the one Bible than I am about the update.  Some either don't care or don't seem to care about that same concern of mine.  Mark Ward is one of those.  He says he doesn't care.

Since there is one Bible, it can't change.  Changing it would make it different, not the one Bible.  This seems simple, but it is still missed.  Enter this New King James Version (NKJV) issue.

Ward has been doing a series at his blog answering the objections to the thesis of his book.  I didn't know he was doing it, but I check on the blog, SharperIron, every day, and they linked to one of his posts in which he made the following point.  King James Version advocates, who won't follow Ward's desires for them to move to a modern version, say that the NKJV deviates from the same underlying original language text as the KJV, when it doesn't.  The NKJV translators said they didn't deviate, he purported, and they not only have not deviated, but the KJV advocates don't have any list of deviations as proof.

Mark Ward starts off his essay by saying that the above KJV advocates are sinning.  He charges us with sin.  Here are the two sentences:
I am going to charge my theological opponents with sin—though a sin of omission rather than of commission. But I can’t avoid it: the KJV-Only movement as a whole, and many individuals within it, are not telling the truth, and the leaders at least should know better.
Maybe I'm a leader.  I'm sinning, he says.  I want to confess the sin.  It's interesting here, because I've thought the opposite as Ward.  I have seen some of the NKJV translators as sinning.  They know they did deviate from the underlying text of the NKJV and then said they didn't.  When asked, they've said they didn't.  It might be a Clintonian lie, it's all a matter of what deviation is.

Years ago, I provided a short list of deviations, almost as a test case. 

I deleted the rest of this post, because Mark Ward posted my comment with the list of deviations in his comment section and he has also answered that post.  I am respecting the work that he and others have done there, and I will be writing an answer to it soon, maybe as I write this edit.

Friday, August 09, 2019

Immoral and Unhappy: Fornication Does Not Make Teens Happy

Our society constantly bombards adults, teens, and children with the message that sexual immorality is central to a happy life.  Television shows countless acts of fornication, but either almost never or entirely never shows a normal happily married family, and never shows a Christian happily married family; were the television the judge, one would think that people engaged in fornication, in same-sex wickedness, and other vile perversions vastly outnumber the number of normal people, and that the most unhappy, twisted, and terrible people were those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and attempt to follow the Bible.

Growing up as an unconverted child and teenager, it was simply assumed that it would be wonderful to commit fornication.  That was the constant message of the media and the brainwashing of the educational system.  This lie was not even opposed by the Roman Catholic school I went to up through eighth grade, and certainly was not opposed by the secular education I received after that time.  With a raging sinful flesh, under the domination of a Satanically-controlled world, and in the realm of the devil himself (Ephesians 2:1-3), my peers and I assumed that sexual immorality was key to happiness.

Of course, the Bible tells a different story--the pleasures of sin are only for a season (Hebrews 11:25), the born-again can "rejoice in the Lord alway" (Philippians 4:4), and the unregenerate are currently under the awful curse of God for their sin (Galatians 3:10; John 3:18).  Indeed, the "unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God[.] Be not deceived: neither fornicators . . . nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind . . . nor covetous . . . shall inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Fornicators are both under God's wrath here and will suffer the unimaginably awful torments of hell fire for all eternity, reaping the appropriate everlasting fiery judgment for indulging in their burning lusts.

Unsurprisingly--but yet oh-so-rarely proclaimed in our culture--the evidence of social science agrees with the Bible.  While as unconverted teens we all thought, and were constantly told, that immorality would make us happy, reality in God's world tells a totally different story: 

Thus, in addition to facts such as that immoral youth ages 15-24 acquire half of all new sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), that one in four teens is infected with an STD every yearthat one in four college students has an STD, and that many sexually transmitted diseases are incurable and will be with the immoral person until his or her (probably unseasonably early) death, even the large majority of those who do not get infected with a disease wish they had not been immoral.  Not only do fornicators inherit an eternal hell, but they also reap misery--not pleasure--in this life.

However, when I was growing up, not only did I never hear the gospel, nor did I consider that fornication would lead me to hell, but I do not remember ever--not even once, and that despite going to a "religious" school up through eighth grade--being confronted with the facts above that show that sexual immorality leads to misery in this life.  We were warned that doing drugs brought trouble--while there were influences both for and against drugs, at least the message that doing drugs was really dumb and messed you up got out.  The message that sexual immorality was really dumb and messed you up did not get out--only the message that it was lots of fun and something everyone should desire.

Proverbs 5:1-13 warns:

1 My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding: 2 That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge. 3 For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: 4 But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell. 6 Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them. 7 Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth. 8 Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house: 9 Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel: 10 Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger; 11 And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed, 12 And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; 13 And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!

God warned that those who followed the strange, heathen, or pagan woman would mourn with their flesh and body consumed, but we thought that getting on with a heathen woman was the key to happiness--a message that teenagers will have pounded into them thousands and thousands of times.

I thank God that, in the Lord's great mercy, despite my wicked heart and my wicked desires I was able to hear the gospel and turn to Christ as a freshman in college before I ruined my life through sexual immorality.  I thank God for His infinite mercy in delivering me from my sin and enabling me to be kept by His grace for my wife and her alone.  I have no regrets about that--none whatsoever--it is a matter of great joy.  Avoid the strange woman of the early parts of Proverbs and you can have the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31, Solomon told his son.  Fantastic advice!

Do the people in your church know the facts in this blog post?  Do they know that fornication not only brings God's eternal curse, but misery in this life as well, and that research validates the teaching of Scripture on this subject?  Is that a message that they hear even 1% as often as they hear the worldly, fleshly, and demonic lie that saturates our culture and declares that immorality makes one happy?

If you are reading this and have no power to conquer your lusts, click here to learn about how the deliverance from sin purchased by the risen Lord, Jesus Christ, can shatter the dominion of sin in your life.


Thursday, August 08, 2019

Does the New King James Version Deviate from the Textus Receptus, the Text Behind the King James Version?

I'm actually stepping on my own post from yesterday, which I want you to read, so don't miss it:  Expectations for Earning of Respect to Lead.


Mark Ward is being very, very nice.  He's not calling King James Version supporters liars, who say that the New King James Version follows the critical text in certain places.  To be a liar, you have to know you're wrong.  These men don't know, so they haven't perjured themselves.  He writes a paragraph espousing his own personal niceness for not calling these men liars, who are merely ignorant.  He has never seen a list of places where the New King James Version deviates from the same text as the King James Version, so he was willing to make the claim that it isn't true that there was a list and with a long blog post.

I wrote a comment under his post, showing him instances where he is false, that is, producing a list, albeit not a complete one, but a satisfactory one to make that claim (as of this writing, he's published another comment, who "quotes me"--not actual quote of me--and did not publish two comments, where I sent just a list).  I hope he publishes it.  He's very, very nice, and this is important to him, as he very often categorizes King James supporters by whether they are nice or whether they aren't nice.  I'm assuming I'm not nice.  Some people online think they are the niceness pope and can come down with a condemnatory judgment of "not nice."  If something is unbiblical and you don't like it, and you act like you don't like it, you might not be nice. God wasn't "nice" at the flood, the tower of babel, and at many other times. But today, you've still got to be nice, which seems to be more important with many than being biblical.  Plenty of critical text people are not nice, and I could produce an all star list of them, which would mean what?

I want to inform you that for sure I would never take a position that the New King James Version differs than the King James Version in its underlying text, unless I could see those differences with my own eyes.  I wouldn't just make a claim.  I would have to see it myself.  Who would even do that?  I would like to know the name of a person who would make that unsubstantiated claim.  Produce the list!  Ward makes the claim that there is no list of verses that changed based upon a different underlying text, because he's searched a lot and hasn't found it.  I'm going to have to believe that he really searched.  One way to search is to look yourself at the Greek New Testament or read the New King James Version along side the King James Version.  I haven't done a thorough search in my opinion, but I have found several examples to support the claim.

The first list I ever saw was sent to me, and I reprinted that list.  Before seeing that list, I myself just assumed that the NKJV came from the same text as the KJV.   Once I saw it with my own eyes, I changed on that.  I'm going to give you several examples just so that you can have that at your finger tips.  I don't think the critical text critics of the KJV even care.  I've already written about it, and it's just a tool to use for them.  They don't even retract their previous statements.

KJV users have the NKJV and we don't use it, which shows how ridiculous we are, because "it comes from the same text" (but it doesn't), so it isn't a textual issue.  But it is a textual issue.  Even then, move along.  Doesn't matter anyway.  That's what I'm saying.  They don't care.  It's just a tool, when no longer useful, it is meaningless.  I've never seen an apology once it was revealed that they have been lying.  Yes, I'm saying they're lying, because they are too smart to not know this.  You can see that you are translating from a different word.  You know you are changing the text when you do it.

Mark said he really searched for a list.  I took the list I had, and then I started looking some more, and my list grew, so I'm assuming there are many more examples than what I'm producing here.  My gut says that the best answer to this list is that the deviations are minor.  The changes are not minor, because they are still a lie.  They don't respect that words were changed, indicating that the very words in the end are not an issue.

I know now I could make a longer list than what I'm going to produce, especially since I didn't look much into the Old Testament, but here is a mainly New Testament list (since we're focusing on the TR):
Matthew 22:10, the critical has “hous” (“whom”) and the TR has hosous (“as many as”) and the NKJV follows the critical text with “whom.” 
Luke 1:35, the NKJV follows the critical text in leaving out "ek sou" ("of thee") unlike the KJV. 
Luke 5:7, the TR has “tois” (“which”) and the critical text doesn’t have that word, and the NKJV follows the critical text, while the KJV does not. 
Luke 6:9, the TR has a plural “sabbasin” and the critical text has a singular “sabbato” and the KJV is plural, Sabbath days, and the NKJV is singular “the Sabbath.” 
John 10:12, the critical text leaves out the last word, “probata,” sheep, and the NKJV follows that, while the KJV follows the TR, which has that word, “probata,” sheep. 
John 19:10, the critical text leaves out a second “echo” (“have”) and the NKJV follows that, not the TR, differing than the KJV. 
Acts 15:23, the NKJV follows the critical text in omitting "tade", or "after this manner". 
Acts 17:14, the NKJV omits "as it were" ("ws" in the Greek) and thus once again follows the critical text. 
Acts 19:9, the NKJV follows the critical text in omitting "tinos," so it effects the translation in leaving out the word "one," as in "one Tyrannus." 
Acts 19:39, the the NKJV follows the critical text in "peraiterw" instead of "peri eterwn", subtle but different. 
Romans 14:9, the critical text leaves out the first “kai,” which is translated “both” in the KJV and left out in the NKJV, following the critical text. 
Colossians 3:17, the critical text leaves out another “kai,” which the NKJV follows instead of the TR, which keeps the “kai,” which changes the translation, from “God and Father” to “God the Father.” 
Jude 1:3, the NKJV leaves out “our” (“hemon”) following the critical text. 
Jude 1:19, the critical text omits eautou ("themselves"), as does the NKJV. 
Isaiah 9:3, the NKJV changes the Hebrew text behind the KJV by leaving out the “not” (“lo”) with OT textual criticism, the difference being that joy is increased instead of not being increased.

Edit:  This list will be given an edit based on some critique at a post, which answers this post.  I will return and give a link to this post that will give the edits.

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Expectations for the Earning of Respect to Lead

A stronger obligation than ever exists in professional sports today to hire a younger coach, who played himself, and can relate better to the younger players.  The consideration behind the thinking is that young players won't just respect a coach any more.  Greater value is put on relating.  The coach indulges them if he wants to see some kind of positive response. The days of expecting obedience and confronting disobedience are long gone.  A coach who says, jump, and thinks a player will ask, how high, better think again.  A popular sentiment is that younger players just aren't coachable anymore.  They can't be coached, only cajoled.

Have the rules actually changed in the relationship between someone in authority and those under him?  Did God change the rules? Should fathers, husbands, employers, teachers, and pastors reconsider the old way of leading and develop a new kind of leadership to relate to a new kind of follower?  Can people still rely on scripture as a sufficient guide for preparing and judging leaders?

One of the major new components to leading are the feelings of the adherents.  How does the leader make them feel?  Is he sensitive enough?  Is he too scary?  Does he relate enough?  Is he using the right pronouns?  Are those under his leadership having a good time, enjoying themselves, having fun while being led?  Do they get enough time in the jumper?  Have they received enough affirmation, high-fives, yellow ribbons for participation, plaques in the back of the store for employee of the month?

Scripture is much more basic or cut-and-dry as it deals with leadership.  The perfect example for understanding this in the Bible is God the Father leading God the Son.  God the Father was pleased with God the Son.  Why?  The Son did everything the Father wanted Him to do.  A few times in scripture, the Father announces He's pleased with the Son and in every instance it is when the Son has completed a required task that the Father wanted.  Of course, the Son never disobeys the Father, so we never find out point-blank whether the Father would still be pleased even if the Son disobeyed, but we really do know that the Father wouldn't.  He's never pleased when someone does something different than what He says to do.  The Son had the one goal of always pleasing the Father.  When instructed to sacrifice Himself, do the hardest things, the Son complied.

Going back to where I started in this discussion, the new requirement for leaders is that they remain pleased even when they are not obeyed.  They can't expect adherence from their adherents.  If they do expect it, it must be a very soft expectation, an ambiguous one with no signal of possible displeasure, just smiles and happy tones, whether the instructions were followed or not.  None of this is scriptural.  Someone who won't do what he's told and with a good attitude is the one who is in the wrong, not the leader.

What has happened?  The culture, society, modern civilization has turned from a biblical view of authority, starting with God.  A civilized culture functioning properly requires respect of authority.  Perhaps you've heard, respect the office.  Even if you don't like the person in the office, maybe because of you and not him, you respect the office.  That idea proceeds from the Bible.  The Apostle Paul wrote that all authority comes from God, so it needs to be obeyed (Romans 13:1-3).  This is a hierarchical view.  Obedience to human authority is obedience to God, except in areas where it would mean disobedience to God (Acts 5:29).

When the leadership template is reversed, and obedience or compliance depends on the pleasing of the follower, the whole paradigm changes.  The one below is now in charge.  He also decides whether he likes the way he's getting led -- the tone, the body language, the rewards, the level of accountability.  This will never work.  It's not working right now, because it is how things are going in the world by the reports of many that I know in many different realms of authority.

Expectations of the Leader

With a scriptural view in mind, what are the expectations for a leader in the Bible?  The person following should want to know that His leader is leading him into what is true, good, and right, so the leader knows the truth, tells the truth, and then himself obeys the truth.  He doesn't expect one thing of those he is leading and another for himself.  If the leader isn't leading in the right direction, isn't telling the truth, taking everyone toward the right goal, then that leader is not meeting scriptural expectations.  No one should expect followers to go the wrong way.

Beyond that first biblical expectation, a leader should provide what is necessary to complete a required task.  I think of Psalm 128.  The wife is like a fruitful vine and the children like olive plants.  The vine and the plants must be watered and fed, essentially planted in good ground like the trees in Psalm 1.  A leader gives his followers what they need to accomplish the right and good goals.  This is what God does.  He is a good God.

God gives mankind everything that he needs.  He provides.  He gives men what they need to do what He says.  He doesn't just give; He gives and gives and gives.  That should be respected.

The follower should be thanking God.  He should be recognizing the bounty, all the good things that God supplies.  He should focus on what He has been given, not what He hasn't been given or just what He wants.  Scripture differentiates followers by whether they are thankful or unthankful.  Unthankfulness characterizes the unbeliever (Romans 1:21).

If you are a follower and your leader has given and given and given, he has been clear with the requirements, he has explained them, believed them, and they are the truth, then he has earned your respect.  God expects you to respect him.  He is entitled to your respect.  If you don't give it to him, you don't have a good reason not to do that.  Your reasons are selfish, proud, ungodly, and rebellious.  You should expect to hear that you are all of those, because that is the truth as well.

Leaders today feel a different kind of pressure from the culture about their leadership.  I read it, watch it, and hear about it.  They've got to give fun and games and good times.  They can't do enough to "earn the respect."  The followers are holding the leaders hostage. Many leaders have succumbed to that pressure by pandering to followers, gaining followers by promising more, by lessening the expectations of the follower.  Almost everything is a negotiation.  This is a recipe for disaster.

A leader says, no, and the supposed follower begins to throw a fit or go dark.  He's not going to do what he's told or he's at least going to moderate his effort to his judgment of his leader.  The leader retreats, cedes ground or authority.  He begins the negotiation, starts promising things, some temporal, fleshly allurement.  Once someone gets his way, it gets worse, because this ploy has worked.  The worst that a leader can do is to give in to these types of threats from those he is leading.

I don't think there is anything uglier than the entitlement of someone under leadership.   They obviously either don't understand or are rebellious against what scripture says about their role.  This might not happen so much in the workplace as it does in other spheres of authority, because the employee values money.  He will put up with some bad treatment, especially if he doesn't have the necessary talent to be indisposable to the boss or the company.  He will do what he's told to keep his job, but during times of low unemployment, like we have right now in this country, employers are putting up with a lot from people.  They understand that they can always get another job and it doesn't matter if the employer is pleased.

Church Authority

As all of the above relates to church authority, things are worse.  I'm not saying they are bad at my church, but what a pastor can expect from church members is worse.  More than ever, members feel entitled to expectations.  I'm not saying leaders are fulfilling most of member expectations, but in general members don't obey their leaders, let alone New Testament commands.  Some of this has to do with a different view of Jesus Christ.  Jesus has become a buddy and pal, and not Lord in most churches.  He's there for therapy.  He's there to forgive.  He's there to provide good feelings, which is exactly how members see their church leadership too.

When someone in a church is in error, a pastor should deal with that.  It's part of loving and protecting the flock.  I've noticed the popularity of certain verses to the exclusion of others.  Members don't remember the chastisement of Hebrews 12, scourging out of love.  They don't remember reprove, rebuke, and exhort.  They remember and emphasize 2 Timothy 2:24:
And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient.
And they like 1 Peter 5:2-3:
2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being examples to the flock.
The emphasis here is on the part, "neither as being lords over God's heritage."  Being gentle and not being a lord over the flock are prone to subjectivity.  Almost anything can be interpreted as not gentle or as lording.  Just speaking with a masculine tone, and not something lilting and dainty, could be taken as intimidation.

Joining a church is becoming a body part that is under its head.  The unity of a church is maintained by enforcement of requirements.  Someone is a member.  Membership means gracious, kind help for church members.  It also means intervention when someone flouts the standards agreed upon.  At that juncture, tone is a lesser concern.  Happiness should not be expected.  Some form of disfavor will occur that doesn't contradict gentleness.  Gentleness and expression of dislike are both required.

Leadership Style

It might sound odd, but prostitutes are effective at leadership.  "Seduce" comes from the Latin seductio, which means "to lead."  We wouldn't call this good leadership, but it works.  Followers might prefer this of their leaders, leadership by seduction.  It's how the leader earns respect, using seduction techniques to charm his followers.  Peter describes this leadership in 2 Peter 2:17-19:  "they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness. . . they promise them liberty."

Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me."  As a Shepherd, Jesus leads His followers.  They follow His voice.  Leadership comes from explaining and instructing in the truth.  When followers won't listen, they need to be warned.  Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 5:14 that the approach depends on the follower.  Some need comfort or strengthening, others need support, but some, the unruly, need warning.  In Titus 3:10-11, the factious person is warned or confronted only, and then after the third time, he's rejected.

Very often Jesus reminded His followers that He was in charge and that He was telling them what to do.  They needed to listen because of the authority He possessed.  Jesus did that with the Great Commission, beginning that command at the end of Matthew 28 by reminding the followers that He possessed all authority.  Paul reminded His listeners of His authority all the time with what he wanted them to follow.  In 1 Corinthians 11, he starts off by commanding the church to imitate him.

A Concluding Hypothetical

I want to take you through a little hypothetical now.  Let's say there was a leader and he told his followers, expecting that they were followers and thinking that he was entitled based on reasonable criteria to be followed, I want you to do this one thing and if you don't do it, I'm going to kill you.  Would you follow that leader?  Would you grow resentful of the leader because of his intimidation and threat?  God said in Genesis 2:17:
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
It isn't a hypothetical.  It's what God said to Adam and Eve, His children.  He took care of His children, provided for them, but if they didn't follow this command, he would kill them.  He did kill them, because they didn't obey.  Why didn't they obey?  Because they were resentful and didn't believe that their Father had earned their respect.  This was the tack Satan took to get them to disobey and it worked. It's still working today, right now on many different fronts.

Adam and Eve didn't like God's leadership style.  They believed that entitled them to disobey.  Cain also didn't like God's leadership style.  You can move out from there, very often unbelievers. The judgment of leadership style is a cop-out.  It isn't a basis for rejecting leadership.  The onus in scripture is upon the follower to follow the leader.  If the leader is practicing the truth, which entails being obedient himself and then repentant and change when he is not, then he should be followed.  If he is in a position of authority, even if he isn't a good example, he should still be obeyed, if he's telling you the truth.  Just because you don't like how he told you to stop or what he wanted you to do doesn't give you a basis for not following.  You're just a rebel.  He deserves to be followed because God says that He is.

Monday, August 05, 2019

A Mess: The World's Music and a Different God -- Sing! 2019

An at least small tremor erupted within Big Evangelicalism in the last several weeks when celebrity evangelical Josh Harris announced he left the Christian faith.  Many other big named evangelicals followed his declaration with an analysis, including Albert Mohler.  I think another evangelical, Carl Trueman, makes a more accurate assessment of the relationship of Joshua Harris to evangelicalism in his post at FirstThings, called "Kissing Christianity Goodbye."   He writes:
While Harris seems to be making a clean break with his past, the style of his apostasy announcement is oddly consistent with the evangelical Christianity he used to represent. He revealed he was leaving the faith with a social media post, which included a mood photograph of himself contemplating a beautiful lake. The earlier announcement of his divorce used the typical postmodern jargon of “journey” and “story.” And both posts were designed to play to the emotions rather than the mind. Life, it would seem, continues as performance art. 
In a sense, that is exactly how and why the YRR was so successful: savvy harnessing of fashionable idioms and marketing strategies, exceptionally clever use of social media, large and well-organized conferences, and professional-grade websites—all fronted by attractive personalities and brilliant communicators. Orthodoxy as performance art, one might say. And Harris was both a product of and a player in the YRR project.
Later he continued:
But the movement’s leadership was often arrogant. In public, critics were derided and then ignored; in private, they were vilified and bullied. An extensive informal network of individuals, institutions, and organizations who wanted a slice of the YRR action was happy to oblige the padrini by keeping critics on the margins. And one by one big leaders fell from favor: Mark Driscoll, James MacDonald, Tullian Tchividjian, C. J. Mahaney, now Josh Harris. On Friday the news broke that The Village Church, home of YRR megastar Matt Chandler, is being sued over alleged mishandling of sexual abuse.
Sing! 2019  has all the earmarks of Trueman's words about evangelicalism, which I'm calling "A Mess" here, and with Sing! 2019 an exhibit.  It mixes many and varied contradictory characters in the name of the life of Christ and worship.  It really is the jello running into the mashed potatoes and gravy into a soupy matrix, the latter evangelicalism for a lot of reasons, but a major one because its leaders either can't or won't draw necessary lines between the holy, the good, the true, and the beautiful with the profane, the bad, the false, and the ugly.  Because of the confusion arising from association and toleration, most of these, like the Samaritans of Jesus day, think they really are worshiping God.

Trueman lists C. J. Mahaney, who brought Josh Harris into the "sovereign grace ministries."  Mohler writes like he knew all along there was a problem with Harris, even though Mahaney was his close friend as part of the smash, Together for the Gospel quartet.  Mahaney seemed like an outlier in the four, because even though they were all Calvinists -- Mohler, Dever, Duncan, and Mahaney -- he was also charismatic.  Still working right with Mahaney is his longtime partner and still assistant, Bob Kauflin, a part of the Sing! 2019 line-up, which is packed with continuationists, who report extraordinary manifestations of the Spirit and God talking to them.

Sing! 2019 uses the world's music, characterized by its fleshly lust, sensuality, and breathiness.  It uses ecstatic experiences as a counterfeit of the Holy Spirit, what John MacArthur has called, strange fire, the headliner of the conference.  MacArthur has allowed his image, associated with his preaching and preaching about worship, to syncretize with the worldly, entertainment spectacle of Sing! 2019, it's rap, rock, country, and other forms of popular music.  The promotional video includes the "worship" of Irish dancing.  The Gettys, who lead the conference, promote their national tour on their website with more of the same.

MacArthur called charismatic worship, Strange Fire, an offense to the Holy Spirit and counterfeit worship.  The worship of the Sing! conference is strange fire.  Open the lid and look into what the "artists" of Sing! 2019 and you see the influences secular, godless, and pagan, just the opposite of what God accepts in worship.

There is only one true imagination of God and it is according to what He has revealed in His Word.  The god of Sing! 2019 uses the name "God," but it isn't the same God.  The God of the Bible would not be represented by what its adherents say is their worship.  If you are a professing Christian, who keeps the world's music in your life and then think God accepts it in worship, you have a different God than what I have.  We are not worshiping the same God, and a different God than the true God isn't the one who can and will save from sin and death.

Friday, August 02, 2019

Jessie Penn-Lewis: Inspired Woman Preacher (part 7 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.

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Is Hell Separation from God?

When I explain the gospel to someone, and I get to the penalty for sin, I talk about death and separation.  I have long said that physical death is separation from the body, spiritual death is separation from God because of sin, and that eternal death is separation from God forever in Hell.  This week The Gospel Coalition posted an article written by theologian Michael Theologian entitled, "Hell Is Not Separation from God."  He says that instead Hell is horrible because "God is present."

For a long time, I don't know how long, I've considered the contradiction between "separation from God" and God's omnipresence.  If God is omnipresent, which He is, then how could He be separated from anything?  This is where I distinguish between the omnipresence of God, and the special presence of God.  Regarding God's omnipresence, and Hell, I think of Psalm 139:7-8:
Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
On a few occasions, when evangelizing someone, I have made this distinctive, that in one sense nothing is separated from God, because He is omnipresent.  However, I believe eternal separation from God is taught, and Hell is the place of eternal separation from God.  Here are some reasons that come to my mind from scripture, not in any necessary order.

One, eternal separation from God is taught in Revelation 21-22, an appropriate place to talk about that.  Revelation 21:23-27 read:
23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. 24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. 25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. 27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.
In the place described where God is and His glory is, some people would be there, but "there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth."  Only those in the Lamb's book of life would be there, which means that those not in the Lamb's book of life would not be there.

Then Revelation 22:14-15 say:
14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
Here some are in the gates of the same city mentioned, and then "without" are others.  Revelation 22:19 continues:
And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city.
God takes away his part out of the holy city.  All three of these places combined teach separation from God.  It misses the point to say, "You're all going to be with me, but the others, they are going to be with me too!"  No, the others are not going to be with Him; they are going to be separated from Him.

Two, in John 14:2-3, Jesus taught His disciples:
2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Jesus said He would go to prepare a place for His own, that where He was, they would be also.  Jesus was distinguishing His unique relationship with His disciples as in Heaven being were they were and they being where He is.  It wouldn't be unique if He would be with them and everyone else too, who rejected Him.  Non-disciples would not be with Him -- Jesus, God -- hence, they would be separated from Him.

Three, a regular statement of the Lord Jesus, Who is God, toward those He sends to Hell is "depart from me," as seen in Matthew 7:23,
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Also Matthew 25:41,
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.
Departing from God is to be separated from Him.

Four, God is light and the presence of God is light (1 John 1:5).  The Lord gives the light of the eternal state (Revelation 21:5).  And yet, someone in Hell is in outer darkness, "cast out into outer darkness" (Matthew 8:12).  If there is an outer, then there is an inter.  If someone is with God, Who is light, then He stays in that light.  He is a child of light (Lk 16:8, Jn 12:36, Eph 5:8, 1 Thess 5:5).  Outer darkness is separated from God, Who is light, which is why it is outer darkness, because God isn't present.

Five, speaking of the separation of the lost from God, Paul wrote in 2 Thessalonians 1:9:
Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.
"From the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power" is very clear.  The everlasting destruction is not in this lifetime, but the next, so it is talking about someone who dies in his sin and goes to Hell.

Scripture can speak of someone being "absent from the Lord" (2 Cor 5:6).  Since God is omnipresent, then no man can escape that presence, but yet here's a verse that says he is absent from the Lord.  The two ideas can go together.  David prays to God in Psalm 51:11, "Cast me not away from thy presence."  Unless God can cast away someone from His presence, there is no need for someone to cry to God, cast me not away from it.

More could be said to make this argument, but Hell is separation from God.  It's not only separation from God, but it's at least separation from God.  To say Hell is eternal separation from God means that once someone has died physically, he has no more opportunity to be saved.  He remains separated from God because of His sin.