Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Evolution Refuted...In Less Than 3 Minutes

Posted by Christine Pack




 Note to Readers 


I can't even begin to express how instrumental Answers in Genesis was in helping to form my biblical worldview. As a new Christian, I was still pretty evolutionary in my thinking. Then along came AIG.  I remember going through their LONG list of scientists on staff and just being amazed! And here's why: I had always been told and taught, from grade school all the way up through college, that science had "proved" evolution. Evolution was "fact." So, having had this life-long indoctrination, the first time I ever heard of "Young Earthers" as a new Christian, I immediately thought "cult!" But then several years later, along came Answers in Genesis, and here were all these scientists on staff, many of them with multiple and advanced degrees in the sciences.  In other words, it's not like these were guys with their PhDs in literature or something, weighing in on subjects they hadn't studied. These were scientists who had studied Archaeology, Biology, Zoology, Geology, Physics, Chemistry, Palaeontology, etc., etc., and who, after studying the evidence, were saying, "It points to Young Earth, and here's why...." Bottom line: I just really like how these scientists, working alongside Answers in Genesis, have turned that condescending, worldly dismissal of the Young Earth view on its ear. There are no "village idiots" in this bunch, my friends. You can say a lot of things about this group of scientists, but one thing you can't say is that they're stupid. In fact, I believe that God is using the ministry of Answers in Genesis to respond to the mockers of this age:
"It is written: 'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.' Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?" (1 Corinthians 1:19-20)

 Additional Resources 

Answers in Genesis FREE Weekly Download - Six Days & The Eisegesis Problem

Radioactive and Radiocarbon Dating with Dr. Andrew Snelling

The Grand Canyon: A Trickle of Water Over Millions of Years? Or A Deluge of Water Over a Brief Period? with Dr. Andrew Snelling

Answers in Genesis

Answers in Genesis Curricula

Answers in Genesis for Kids

Answers in Genesis Articles Archive

The Creation Museum

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

John MacArthur: "Who would have thought that John Piper would have Rick Warren at a Desiring God conference?"

Posted by Christine Pack



From a discussion with Christianity.com Editor Alex Crain and Grace To You's John MacArthur, discussing Dr. MacArthur's 2011 book Slave: The Hidden Truth about Your Identity in Christ.

Christianity.com editor Alex Crain: If you could just take a quick glance across the landscape of evangelicalism in the United States, what do the next five to twenty-five years look like to you, based on what you see in ministries and methods, and what are your concerns?

John MacArthur: There is this growing sort of acquisition of reformed soteriology among these young guys.  And it seems to me the mood is, that if you have a reformed soteriology, you get a pass on everything else. You can have an Arminian ecclesiology. You can have an Arminian view of evangelism. In other words, how in the world can you have a true, reformed view of the doctrines of grace that relate to salvation, and then think that having holes in your jeans and an Abercrombie & Fitch t-shirt and a can of beer in your hand somehow gave you access to the lost? I mean, come on. That is irrelevant to what you're trying to do. So because you affirm the Calvinistic doctrine of salvation, it seems to me that you can be an Arminian everywhere else you want to be. And what the fear is, is that the power of the world's attraction is gonna suck these guys - and every generation after them - more and more into the culture and we're gonna see a reversal of the reformed revival. This reformation has come in strong, this reformed-  I call it a real reformation of reformed theology. I go back twenty-five years. This wasn't around. This wasn't around twenty-five years ago. It's just come like a flood in the last 15 years. It is wonderful. But it is being co-opted and commandeered by a bunch of these young guys who, because they affirm the doctrine of substitution, get a free pass on everything else. I don't even think they have a biblical view of sanctification. I know they don't have a biblical view of the church. Many of them don't even know what a church is. They don't even have a church: what they have is an 'event.' They have a rock and roll event with a reformed message built on cultural expectations. That's not a church. It doesn't have any of the demographics of a church, it doesn't have any of the multi-generational life of a church. They're 'flat screen preachers.' They're not into the life of their people, they're not shepherding their people, they're not leading their people to the Lord's table and Baptism, they're not nurturing their people personally, they're not holding the marriages of their people together, they're not at the hospital praying with people when they're losing a loved one, they're not there when a father dies, and the family around is singing hymns. This isn't shepherding the flock of God, this isn't feeding the flock of God. This is creating a niche event, and the pass is, Well I'm reformed, which means I can swear and I can do the hardcore rock and roll and I can make the culture comfortable in my event.

This isn't the church. This isn't the church. Somebody said to me, there was one of these that was called 'Grace Church,' and they said, Does it bother you that they use the name 'grace?' And I said no, it bothers me that they use the word 'church.' Because I don't think they get it. It's not a biblical understanding of the church.

So what's gonna happen is, the world has already pulled them that far. It's pulled them into worldly music, R movies, all that stuff, and eventually I think it will pull them right away from their theology. I think for the time- it, it's even macho. I think there's a sense in which reformed theology is kind of strong and manly, you know it's kind of airtight, and they like that. My fear is that the further this thing goes in trying to accomodate the culture, the less it's going to be able to hang on to that core doctrine. That's what I fear. And even when you have some of the people who are the most well known for reformed theology partner up in conferences with the people who are the most extreme pragmatists. I mean, this is happening. Who would have thought that, say, John Piper would have Rick Warren at a Desiring God conference? Those [teachers] seem like two completely polar opposities. So I don't know that the heart of this reformed theology, kind of existing freestanding like an island, can really survive the pull of the culture which is attracting these young guys, and which these young guys are using to attract people. It isn't that they're not expository. It's a kind of an exposition put in a context that they're comfortable in, the audience they're trying to reach.

So I don't know what the future looks like, I just think there's a lot of Arminianism mixed in to this, [the thinking] that you're not going to reach them unless you adapt this. And I think it's hard to say to that group of people: Hate yourself, hate your own life, hate all the things that are precious to you and come be a slave of Jesus. I don't know how that message would fly. But that is the message.

 Additional Resources 

John MacArthur: "Don't Go To A 'Flat Screen Church'."

Rick Warren Gets John Piper's Stamp of Approval

John Piper, A "Charismatic Calvinist?"

Saturday, August 27, 2011

John MacArthur: "Don't Go To A 'Flat Screen Church'."

Posted by Christine Pack




From a discussion with Christianity.com Editor Alex Crain and Grace To You's John MacArthur, discussing Dr. MacArthur's 2011 book Slave: The Hidden Truth about Your Identity in Christ.


Christianity.com editor Alex Crain: If you could just take a quick glance across the landscape of evangelicalism in the United States, what do the next five to twenty-five years look like to you, based on what you see in ministries and methods, and what are your concerns?

John MacArthur: I also have a great fear in the future that the churches that are going to suck up everybody are the churches with the most powerful personalities. There was a video circulating about a couple of these guys with their flat screen churches, counting how many flat screens there are on every Sunday, all across the country, multiplying flat screens. And the discussion was, you know, we've gotta do this, we've gotta do this, this is the future.  The Bible knows nothing of a pastor who isn't there, whose family isn't there, whose life isn't exposed, who doesn't touch the lives of his people on a regular basis, who can't be evaluated so as to the fitting of the qualifications [of a pastor]. How do you evaluate a 'flat screen preacher' a thousand miles away? Where is his life on exposure? How do you know his children, his wife, his habits, his life in the community, all of which is critically essential? How does he develop leaders? How does he pour his life into others? This is an aberration. And again, the culture is pulling all of this, and I think it's pulling it away from the core of sound doctrine.

Don't go to a flat screen church, period. Don't go. Don't make it successful. Don't feed that. Now, if you go to the original church, wherever the guy is, that's an option. You can see his life, and you can see his family and his children, and the way he shepherds and cares for the flock, and whether he gives himself to the Word and to prayer, on a regular basis, whether he's consumed with the spiritual direction and the feeding of the flock of God. That's an option. Don't go to a flat screen (church), don't make those places successful.


 Additional Resources 

John MacArthur: "Who would have thought that John Piper would have Rick Warren at a Desiring God conference?"

Mark Driscoll: The Face of Contemplative Calvinism

"Look, I had this vision. Let me tell you about it." -Mark Driscoll

Mystical Calvinists?

Personal Words From God? by Bob DeWaay (part 1)

Personal Words From God? by Bob DeWaay (part 2)

Does God Still Give Revelation? (John MacArthur)

Does God Still Give Prophecies? (John MacArthur)

How Do Spiritual Gifts Operate? (John MacArthur)


Apostles, Prophets and the Foundation of the Church: Biblical Exegesis That Proves that Only the New Testament Apostles Are Authoritative

Revealing the Truth About Islam, with Usama Dakdok

Posted by Christine Pack

Part 1



Part 2




 Additional Resources 

David Letterman Physically Threatened By "Religion of Peace"

David Letterman Physically Threatened By "Religion of Peace"

Posted by Christine Pack

From Reuters U.S. Edition, David Letterman was recently threatened by a militant Muslim group who did not care for a joke that Letterman made recently on his talk show. The militant Muslim contributor urged for one of the readers of this online group to "cut (out) the tongue" of the talk show host. Read article here.




 Additional Resources 

Revealing the Truth About Islam - Part 1

Revealing the Truth About Islam - Part 2

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Core Message of the Bible

Posted by Christine Pack, from the GoodSeed International website:
"I've read and read... but what's the point?!" 
My friend Joel was confused and his frustration boiled over as we talked. A college student with a girlfriend and a new baby at home, Joel sincerely wanted to make better decisions for his young family. In his desperation he told me that he had begun to read the Bible for the first time in his life. And read he did! 
Using a read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year approach, he bounced between much of the Old Testament and most of the Gospels in only a few months’ time. But his motivation was fading–fast! 
Joel’s efforts were highly commendable. In fact, many seasoned Christians would do well to learn from his diligence. But the sheer volume of new information, as well as the shuffling of the Bible’s chronology, left Joel confused. He arrived at an unfortunate conclusion: 
“The Bible has no point,” he thought. 
But nothing could be further from the truth. The Bible does have a main point. There are irreducible minimums–core essentials woven through its pages that combine into the greatest message anyone can know.  But, like Joel, if one cannot identify and understand these truths, then trusting God’s message might seem, well... pointless.

Of all the concepts taught in Scripture, what are the core essentials people need to grasp? 
The Bible’s core message has FOUR irreducible minimums: 
(1) A Holy God: God exists in all His majesty, being the Creator-Owner of the Universe. He is a loving, caring God but equally He is also a holy lawgiver. His holiness demands that His law be kept perfectly. He can have nothing to do with any lawbreaker. Only perfect people can live with a perfect God. 
(2) A Helpless Sinner: I was born into the world as a lawbreaker, alienated from God. I am far from perfect. God’s law says that all sin demands the death penalty. Not only do I die physically, but I face something the Bible calls the second death–an eternity of suffering in the Lake of Fire. Since I am a sinner, there is no way I can avoid death. I am helpless. 
(3) A Sufficient Substitute: Jesus, God Himself, came to this earth to live as a man.  He was perfect–sinless. Because He had no sin of his own to die for, He could die for someone else’s sin. In His love, He died in my place–taking the consequences of my sin on Himself. As evidenced by Jesus’ resurrection, God accepted that death as an overwhelmingly sufficient payment for my sin–a fulfillment of the requirement of His holy law. 
(4) A Personal Faith: I believe that when Jesus died on the cross, He died in my place. I rest in the fact that He alone has saved me from the judgment on my sin. In Him, my resurrected Savior, I now have a perfection that is not my own, but is counted as mine because I trust Him. I will enjoy life with God both now and forever in Heaven.

photo credit: b e m via photopin cc

 Additional Resources 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"Three Paths to God"? Another Reason that Glenn Beck Is A Problem

Posted by Christine Pack
Glenn Beck: "This place, so modest, so small, is where God chose to first reveal himself to mankind, and God fills it with his majesty. For as long as man has known God, he has come here to Jerusalem to touch the mantle of the Divine. Three faiths, three paths to God, and while the paths sometimes take us away from each other, they always return here, to Jerusalem."
A note to my fellow Christians: Is it clear now that Glenn Beck, as kind and well-meaning has he appears to be, must be evangelized and prayed for.....not linked with in spiritual endeavors? There are not "three paths to God," as Beck thinks.....there is only one path:
"Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'" (John 14:6)



 Additional Resources 

I'm Sorry, Glenn.....It's Over

Evangelicals and Glenn Beck's New Age Mormonism

Glenn Beck and His New Age Beliefs

Patriotism, Ecumenism and the Glenn Beck Movement

Answers in Genesis FREE Weekly Download - Six Days & The Eisegesis Problem

Posted by Christine Pack, from the Answers in Genesis website:
❝Eisegesis? Ken Ham gets to the heart of the debate about the six days of creation. If we read from what the biblical text says (exegesis), it allows only one interpretation—six 24-hour days. Any other interpretation is eisegesis (“reading into” the Bible).❞
Go here to access your FREE video download.


 Note to Readers 

I can't even begin to express how instrumental Answers in Genesis was in helping to form my biblical worldview. As a new Christian, I was still pretty evolutionary in my thinking. Then along came AIG.  I remember going through their LONG list of scientists on staff and just being amazed! And here's why: I had always been told and taught, from grade school all the way up through college, that science had "proved" evolution. Evolution was "fact." So, having had this life-long indoctrination, the first time I ever heard of "Young Earthers" as a new Christian, I immediately thought "cult!" But then several years later, along came Answers in Genesis, and here were all these scientists on staff, many of them with multiple and advanced degrees in the sciences.  In other words, it's not like these were guys with their PhDs in literature or something, weighing in on subjects they hadn't studied. These were scientists who had studied Archaeology, Biology, Zoology, Geology, Physics, Chemistry, Palaeontology, etc., etc., and who, after studying the evidence, were saying, "It points to Young Earth, and here's why...." Bottom line: I just really like how these scientists, working alongside Answers in Genesis, have turned that condescending, worldly dismissal of the Young Earth view on its ear. There are no "village idiots" in this bunch, my friends. You can say a lot of things about this group of scientists, but one thing you can't say is that they're stupid. In fact, I believe that God is using the ministry of Answers in Genesis to respond to the mockers of this age:
"It is written: 'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.' Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?" (1 Corinthians 1:19-20)

 Additional Resources 

Radioactive and Radiocarbon Dating with Dr. Andrew Snelling

The Grand Canyon: A Trickle of Water Over Millions of Years? Or A Deluge of Water Over a Brief Period?

Answers in Genesis

Answers in Genesis Curricula

Answers in Genesis for Kids

Answers in Genesis Articles Archive

The Creation Museum

The Grand Canyon: A Trickle of Water Over Millions of Years? Or A Deluge of Water Over a Brief Period?

Posted by Christine Pack


This week's Answers in Genesis FREE download. From the Answers in Genesis website:
❝The Grand Canyon offers some of the most breath-taking vistas in the world, but did the tiny Colorado River really carve this massive feature? Dr. Andrew Snelling explains the formation of the canyon in light of the global Flood of Noah’s day, not slow and gradual processes.❞
Go here to access your FREE download.


 Note to Readers 

I can't even begin to express how instrumental Answers in Genesis was in helping to form my biblical worldview. As a new Christian, I was still pretty evolutionary in my thinking. Then along came AIG.  I remember going through their LONG list of scientists on staff and just being amazed! And here's why: I had always been told and taught, from grade school all the way up through college, that science had "proved" evolution. Evolution was "fact." So, having had this life-long indoctrination, the first time I ever heard of "Young Earthers" as a new Christian, I immediately thought "cult!" But then several years later, along came Answers in Genesis, and here were all these scientists on staff, many of them with multiple and advanced degrees in the sciences.  In other words, it's not like these were guys with their PhDs in literature or something, weighing in on subjects they hadn't studied. These were scientists who had studied Archaeology, Biology, Zoology, Geology, Physics, Chemistry, Palaeontology, etc., etc., and who, after studying the evidence, were saying, "It points to Young Earth, and here's why...." Bottom line: I just really like how these scientists, working alongside Answers in Genesis, have turned that condescending, worldly dismissal of the Young Earth view on its ear. There are no "village idiots" in this bunch, my friends. You can say a lot of things about this group of scientists, but one thing you can't say is that they're stupid. In fact, I believe that God is using the ministry of Answers in Genesis to respond to the mockers of this age:
"It is written: 'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.' Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?" (1 Corinthians 1:19-20)

photo credit: OliBac via photopin cc

 Additional Resources 

Radioactive and Radiocarbon Dating with Dr. Andrew Snelling

Six Days & The Eisegesis Problem

Answers in Genesis

Answers in Genesis Curricula

Answers in Genesis for Kids

Answers in Genesis Articles Archive

The Creation Museum

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Emerging Church Leader Doug Pagitt: "Don't Have One Organization....Have Hundreds of Them"

Reposted by Christine Pack (originally posted January 2010)

I am reposting this article because of a recent interview in which Dr. John MacArthur stated, regarding the Emergent Church Movement:  "(T)he so-called Emergent Church is now in a state of serious disarray and decline. Some have suggested it’s totally dead. Virtually every offshoot of evangelicalism that consciously embraced postmodern values has either fizzled out or openly moved toward liberalism, universalism, and Socialism." And so I find myself in the curious position of disagreeing with John MacArthur, whom I admire greatly. It is simply not true that the Emergent Church Movement is fading away because the Emergent Church Movement, as detailed in the article below, has done exactly what it was they intended to do from the start, and that was to sow the seed of postmodern spirituality among the youth in many different organizations, after which it would have a life of its own.

Doug Pagitt recently gave an interview on Fighting For The Faith with Chris Rosebrough, and was asked to comment on the supposed demise of the Emergent Church Movement.  Interest in this topic has chiefly come about due to a greatly diminished level of activity on Emergent Village, which is known to be a gathering place for emergent thinkers.  Some have even been so bold as to say that the movement itself has failed.  But in this exchange between Emergent church pastor Doug Pagitt (who is one of the founders of the Emergent Church Movement) and Chris Rosebrough, Pagitt makes it very clear that it was never the purpose of Emergent Village to be the sole gathering place for emergents.  Rather, its intended purpose was to be a gathering place for emergents as they learned enough about the movement to be able to take this knowledge and successfully duplicate it out in the world.  Pagitt makes a compelling case that the Emergent Village, for all intents and purpose, was an incubation center, of sorts. So this decreased level of activity at EV is not to be viewed as a failure, but as a success - as in, the emergents are so busy going out into the world planting churches with this radical new way of "doing church" that they don't even have time to visit their once favorite hang-out.  Read below the exchange between Chris Rosebrough and Doug Pagitt:

Chris Rosebrough: "People just assume because you haven't updated the blog or the podcast for awhile that that somehow means you guys have gone away."

Doug Pagitt: "The kinds of apparatus that this network used early on - big conventions or invitation only meetings - that was important for the one season of the network, but now we're at the point where there's too many people in too many places that are fully engaging in this that no one organization could capture all of it.  So we've been deliberate in saying, then don't have one organization, have hundreds of them."

Chris Rosebrough: "So you've replicated yourselves."

Doug Pagitt: "Yeah."

This should be a chilling thought to anyone with any understanding at all of emergent theology.  This heretical, universalist, ecumenical church has found a way to replicate and send its teaching out into the world, not once or twice, but hundreds of times, like a monster in a bad sci-fi movie.  You know, the kind of movie where everyone's battling the monster and running for their lives, then they FINALLY kill the monster, and everybody breathes a sigh of relief.  Except that.....as the movie ends, the camera pans around to an empty field, and you can see hundreds of monster eggs, half buried in the dirt.  The credits roll, but you know it's not the end.......  Doug Pagitt's interview with Chris Rosebrough put me in mind of this.  Emergent has gone away? Don't be so sure.



photo credit: newhousedesign via photopin cc


 Additional Resources 

John MacArthur Says the Emergent Church Movement in "Disarray and Decline?" Not So Fast.....

Universalism: the "Gospel Message" of the Emergent Church Movement and New Age Spirituality

Emergent Church Pastor Rob Bell Praises New Age Author Huston Smith

The Legalism of The Emergent Church Movement....Yes, Really

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Radical Change of Man's Nature

"It is a peculiar feature in our holy religion that it begins its work within, and acts first upon the heart. Other religions, like that of the Pharisees, begin with outward forms and ceremonies, perhaps hoping to work inwardly from without, although the process never ends so, for the outside of the cup and of the platter is made clean, but the inside still remains full of rottenness as before. No truth is more sure than this concerning all the sons of men, "Ye must be born again;" there must be an entire and radical change of man’s nature, or else where God is he can never come: the gospel does not flinch from this, but enforces the declaration. The Holy Spirit does not attempt to improve human nature into something better, but lays the axe at the root of the trees, and declares that we must become new creatures, and that by a supernatural work of the omnipotent God."

From a sermon by
Charles Haddon Spurgeon 
entitled "The Heart of Flesh,"
delivered August 31, 1873

Monday, August 15, 2011

How Do We Discern God's Will For Our Lives?

Posted by Christine Pack

In a recent sermon, Voddie Baucham, pastor of Grace Family Baptist Church in Houston, TX, taught on the issue of discerning God's will. I was so thankful that a friend forwarded the link for this sermon to me because in listening to it, I was struck by what a timely and important message this is. The issue which Pastor Baucham is addressing - how it is that we hear from God - is, in my mind, the epic battle that is raging through today's church. Even among solid, Bible-believing Christians of today can be heard the language of a kind of "soft" mysticism:
"I didn't have 'a peace' in my spirit about that." 
"I prayed until I had 'a peace'."
Have you ever heard this terminology? Perhaps you have yourself said something similar? Listen to Voddie Baucham explain why this kind of language and thinking is not Christian, but is in fact pagan:
This week, we move over into our very minds, and our very thinking, as it relates to the decisions that we make, and this issue of walking in God's will. This is not just a question....this is the question of our day. This is the slippery slope of our culture. This is that area where, even in the church, it is difficult to find biblical thinking. It is difficult to find a biblical understanding of seeking, knowing, and walking in the will of God, and the overwhelming majority of the instances to which we point are absolutely pagan and not Christian in their origins. Let me read for you if I may. This is from a book by Bruce Waltke, it's called Finding the Will of God? A Pagan Notion? And he's asking that question: is that concept of finding the will of God actually a pagan concept? 
(Waltke) starts by giving several examples that will be very common to his hearers, as it relates to the way we talk in Christian circles about discerning God's will, making decisions: What do I do next? What do I do now? Where do I go next? Listen to this:
"Margaret is a successful career woman with a desire to please God. She worked her way up to a supervisor's position in the accounting division at First National Bank and married rather late in life.  Now in her late 30's, she is struggling with the importance of her job. She would like to do something significant for Christ, but feels that her job prevents her from making any changes. Margaret's church recently held a missionary conference in which the speaker challenged Christians to become involved in world evangelism, and encouraged everyone to justify why they are not 'serving the Lord overseas.' Those words stay with Margaret as she ponders spending the next twenty five years at her desk doing the same old accounting tasks. The next day, she reads in the paper about a hurricane devastating the Marshall Islands. The accompanying photograph of two children crying over the death of their parents vividly captures the destruction and deprivation, and Margaret prays for those poor souls left to fend for themselves. That very afternoon, a co-worker making plans for his vacation leaves a brochure on the Marshall Islands, and Margaret decides to pray that the Lord would make his will clear to her. That night her husband comes home complaining that the best lawyer in his office - a young man named Marshall - has just been transferred to their east coast office. 
'Honey,' Margaret says to her husband, 'I've been thinking about what the speaker said in church yesterday, and the funniest set of circumstances occurred. Do you think God could be calling us to be missionaries in the Marshall Islands?'"
Now, here's what would happen if Margaret and her husband went to the Marshall Islands as missionaries: they would come back from time to time, and they would go to churches and they would stand up before churches and tell that exact story, and it would be the evidence that God called them to be where they are. And people with tear-stained eyes would applaud the way God used those circumstances to reveal his will. 
Now, let me first just give you the shocker, and then I'll explain myself. That is paganism, and not Christianity. That's paganism. That's reading tea leaves. That's not discerning the will of God. That's looking at the stars in the heavens, trying to discern the story that they tell. That's horoscope reading. That is not biblical Christianity, but is absolutely the most common approach to finding, discerning, and following God's will among Christians, and some of you are incredibly uncomfortable right now because that story is absolutely fine with you theologically. And if someone told you that story, you'd just shake your head and marvel at the goodness of God in being so clear and so specific with his people. 
That is why we need to know Romans 12:2. Romans 12:2 talks clearly about walking in the will of God. Listen to what it says.......the end of Romans 12:2 says that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. And that's what we want to get to, right? I want to get to the will of God. Now, the pagan way to get to the will of God is this....let me give you a definition and then I'll talk to you about some of the ways that the pagans do it. The pagan way to finding the will of God is this: you must somehow tap into the Divine Will. You must somehow transcend your human limitations and somehow access the mind of God so that you can know what the sovereign Lord of the universe has for you next. That's paganism. That's paganism.
How do the pagans do this? Well, fortune-telling is one way. I will have someone tell me what the will of the Divine is. 
(Or), Transcendental Meditation, the idea of emptying your mind, because again, you've got to get in touch with the Divine. You've got to get out of your humanness and into the Divine. So you empty your mind, you clear your mind, and you wait upon the Divine to influence your empty mind. 
Thirdly, pharmaceuticals. With the Indians, it was peyote. With others it's been LSD. You take a drug that allows you to enter into an altered state of consciousness, and in that altered state you transcend the human and the physical and you tap into the Divine to get guidance and direction and instruction. 
Or, looking for and reading the signs. Like God is dropping breadcrumbs to let you know where to go. Somebody talked about missions. A hurricane hit the Marshall Islands. Somebody had a brochure about the Marshall Islands. A guy named Marshall left my husband's firm...God! I see the signs! I am listening! I have transcended the human and I am now in touch with the Divine, and You are obviously trying to let me in on what it is You are doing. You've got me, I'm there, my bags are packed, let's go. 
How do Christians find the will of God? Romans 12:2: "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your (let's say that word together) mind......." 
Here's the irony. The pagan concept of finding the will of God is to circumvent the mind. Turn off the mind. Alter the mind. Not trust the mind. The biblical way goes directly through the mind! "Be transformed by the renewal of your mind." And then, what's the result of that? "....that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." 
Now let me lay it out for you before we go back and exegete this text further. What do we find here as the process? The pagan process is, get away from your mind, get away from the human realm, into the transcendent realm. Either read the tea leaves, have your fortune told, have your palm read, or meditate until somehow you have an encounter with the Divine that allows you to know with certainty. And here's how we say it with Christian terms: we don't say "Transcendental Meditation," "Nirvana," and achieving all this. The "Christian" word for this kind of meditation and the result of this kind of meditation, the "Christian" word for this kind of pagan mysticism is "finding peace about it." Inner peace, inner peace.....it's paganism: 
"I know this is what I'm supposed to do!" 
"Why?" 
"Because I have a peace about it." 
As though God would never lead you to do something about which you would not feel peace! Has God ever lead you to confront somebody about sin? Trust me, you don't feel "a peace" about that. Has God ever called you to witness to a hostile person? Trust me, you don't feel "a peace" about that. But that is the way we Christianize our pagan understanding of finding the will of God. (Entire sermon can be listened to here)

photo credit: woody1778a via photopin cc

photo credit: emily.bluestar via photopin cc

photo credit: Cardboard Antlers via photopin cc

photo credit: Chart of the Hand, date - 190, source- The Woman Beautiful; page 308, author - Ella Adelia Fletcher, permission - United States public domain tag


 Additional Resources 

Just Do Something: How to Make a Decision Without Dreams, Visions, Fleeces, Open Doors, Random Bible Verses, Casting Lots, Liver Shivers, Writing in the Sky, etc.

Just Do Something
 (audio message, Kevin DeYoung)

God's Will and Christian Liberty (CIC, Bob DeWaay)

God's Revealed Will (CIC, Bob DeWaay)

Personal Words From God (CIC-Radio, Bob DeWaay)

God's Will and Christian Liberty (CIC-Radio, Bob DeWaay)

Christian Dream Interpretation?

Finding God's Will

Mark Driscoll: "Look, I had this vision. Let me tell you about it."

Posted by Christine Pack



From the Pyromaniacs blog:
(Pornographic Divination, by Phil Johnson) 
In a post last week, I pointed out that the preposterous claims, unhinged behavior, and spiritual quackery that are so prominent at the charismatic movement's lunatic fringe are by no means limited to the outer edges. Goofiness and gullibility are necessary byproducts of a belief system that fails to take seriously the principle of Sola Scriptura and its ramifications (i.e., the authority and sufficiency of Scripture). 
Here's a sample of the kind of thing I was referring to: The video below features Mark Driscoll, claiming the Holy Spirit regularly gives him graphic visions showing acts of rape, fornicators in flagrante delicto, and sexual child molesters in the very act. WARNING: This is an extremely disturbing video, for multiple reasons..... (Continue reading here)
As far as Mark Driscoll (and other Type-R Charismatics), I keep hearing that we cessationists should all just sit down and relax. Uh, really? I don't think so. The Type R-Charismatics article is especially good, in that it points out that even cracking the door a teeny tiny bit for non-cessationism seems to follow a trajectory that ends not so much in the wild wackiness of rooster crowing and the like (of the Charismania vein), but more seriously, to a functional rejection of the principle of Sola Scriptura, in which lip service is paid to Sola Scriptura but visions and experiences ultimately seem to become the focus and the guiding principle.

Please read the articles linked above. With respect to Mark Driscoll, the Prosecution rests.


 Additional Resources 

Mark Driscoll: The Face of Contemplative Calvinism

Mystical Calvinists?

Personal Words From God? by Bob DeWaay (part 1)

Personal Words From God? by Bob DeWaay (part 2)

Does Experience Determine Truth? (John MacArthur)

Does God Still Give Revelation? (John MacArthur)

Does God Still Give Prophecies? (John MacArthur)








Apostles, Prophets and the Foundation of the Church: Biblical Exegesis That Proves that Only the New Testament Apostles Are Authoritative

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dangerous Journey

Posted by Christine Pack. An adaptation of John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress




John Bunyan (1628-1688) was an English preacher and writer known for writing arguably the most well known and widely read allegory of all time, Pilgrim's Progress. Bunyan was imprisoned several times in his lifetime for preaching the gospel. He wrote a number of books besides Pilgrim's Progress, most notably Holy War and Grace Abounding to The Chief of Sinners. My family has read and watched many versions of Pilgrim's Progress, including:
Dangerous Journey (shown above)  
Little Pilgrim's Progress (for younger children) 
Pilgrim's Progress: Journey to Heaven (video suitable for older children/adults) 
Pilgrim's Progress (animated version, suitable for children)
Our family is currently reading through Holy War

Repent, and Believe Now

by Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892, known as "The Prince of Preachers")

❝I pray you, do have a little patience with us who preach to you, for our time is short, and you will soon be rid of us. Have a little patience with your Bible, it will soon enough be out of your way! Have a little patience with your poor Christian mother who tries to bring you to the Savior, she will be far from you soon! We, who now trouble you by desiring to do you good, will soon be out of your way.

Ah, poor souls! poor souls! for you will then be out of God’s way, and out of Christ’s way, and out of mercy’s way, banished from the Savior’s presence; and that because the kingdom of God came nigh unto you, and ye put it away from you, for ye would have none of the Lord’s reproofs, but ye turned every one to his own way, and rejected the counsels of God against yourselves. Beloved hearers, may none of you stand in that plight. While I breathe the prayer that it may not be so, may I ask you to pray for yourselves that it will not be so. Will you let me whisper in your ear, as though I stood close by each one of you now; and I will softly and lovingly say, — Repent, and believe in Jesus, now, with all thy might. God help thee, 'for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.'❞

Monday, August 8, 2011

You Think This is Hot?

by Amanda Youngblood


I really think God is allowing these crazy hot temps as a warning...as in, you think THIS is hot??? Hell is infinitely hotter...REPENT AND BELIEVE IN CHRIST, AND YOU WILL BE SAVED!!! His hand is outstretched for you! And while on the topic of hell, please read the following quote I just came across while studying:
"The danger of hell is certainly real, and any preacher - especially when trying to reach the unsaved - is not true to the gospel if he avoids this truth. Because it is true, and because it is so terribly important, it MUST be preached and taught. Avoiding it is not only being unfaithful to God's Word but also being unfaithful to the needs of the unsaved. To cry 'Fire!' in a crowded building where there is no fire is not only against the law but extremely cruel and dangerous. But NOT to cry 'Fire!' when a building IS in flames is even more cruel and dangerous. Done in the right spirit and way, warning unbelievers of the dangers of hell is one of the greatest kindnesses we can show them." (John MacArthur, Hebrews New Testament Commentary)

America Has Credit Rating Lowered

A special Financial Report program from Brannon Howse (Worldview Radio):
"America has never had its credit rating lowered as happened on Friday, August 5, 2011. What does this mean for the average American? How should Americans respond? Gold market opens and rockets beyond $1,700, China says American dollar to be 'discarded' by the world and Alan Greenspan says America will not default because we can always print money. Financial guest Michael Weiner."
I have been listening to Brannon's program almost since it first began airing. At the time, Brannon tended to be more political than I am, but I still found his programs to generally be very engaging, if a little bit hyper (a word to the wise: drink some coffee before listening to his program so that you can keep up). When I say that Brannon was more "political" than I am, I mean that I had come to understand, very early in my Christian walk, that Christian activism was not the answer to America's problems. You see, I was first a conservative Republican before I was a born-again Christian, and after years of listening to Rush Limbaugh and Sena Hannity - as brilliant as they were - I knew they didn't have the answers. Limbaugh, Hannity - and others like them - are without question bright, and have keen insights into the inner workings of the political system and the government. But they're not Christians, and thus their views will always be heavily weighted toward mere moralism. The difference between Conservative Moralism which espouses Christian values, and Christianity itself is enormous. But in a nutshell:

Moralists seeks to legally regulate the lost into behavior modification that results in a more orderly society. This is not a bad thing, but this is not a substitute for the gospel.

True, Bible-believing, born again Christians seeks to do as Christ commanded: "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation." After all, it is the gospel that changes hearts - and thus lives and cultures - from the inside out.

 Moralism Is Not The Answer For America 

In fact, no-one may have the "answer" for America, if by "answer" it is meant the One Thing that will put America "back on track." I'm not trying to be a pessimist, but personally, I look around, and I think it's all over for us. Christian activism, as far as I understand it, seems to be all about charging after the things that are morally and spiritually offensive to Christians. Well, I believe Christians ought to stand up against what is not right, but do we have the "right" to demand that this wicked and immoral country stop doing those things immediately because we are offended? Do Christians have this "right?" Does anyone? I mean, don't get me wrong. We need to pray fervently for our country, our president, our congressmen, etc. But working toward legislation that merely puts bandaids on the problem is not the solution. Our country is in moral freefall. If you take a leper, with his rotting flesh and odorous, open sores, and remove his filthy bandages so that you can wrap him in the finest silks and linens, how long before his oozing wounds make even these fresh, clean garments putrid? Such is the state of America today. Our decay is profound, and it is internal, moral, and spiritual in nature; the spiraling depravity of our nation is merely the outworking of what we have become at our core. We are no longer, if indeed we ever were, a Christian nation.

 "On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand, All Other Else Is Sinking Sand" 

But back to Brannon Howse. As I stated, even though I liked his show very much, I often listened with some misgivings, wondering at times where his Christian activism might take him. Would he be sucked into a small but rapidly growing movement that I was tracking called the NAR (New Apostolic Reformation)? I hoped not. This movement was creating very strange bedfellows, indeed. Governor Rick Perry and the crazy, militant Charismatic Dominionist group Joel's Army....together? Surely a sign of the Apocalypse. I expect to see blood running from the faucets any day now.

Well, as it has turned out, not only has Brannon not aligned himself with the New Apostolic Reformation, but for the past month or so, he has run program after program documenting the problems with this dangerous movement. Also, in recent weeks, Brannon Howse has been speaking about his own past dedication to the cause of Christian activism, and how his own eyes have been opened to the futility of many of these efforts. I can only say that I thank God for such a humble admission. We need more men today who will stand firmly on God's Word and say, in essence, I don't need the world's approval....I have Christ.

So having said all this, I highly recommend Brannon Howse's program and worldview rallies, and in particular today's program, which is a special Financial Report about the lowering of America's credit rating, which happened on Friday, for the first time in our history. What does this mean for America? What will be the impact on our country now that our greatest creditor, China, has stated that the American dollar will be 'discarded?' Listen to today's program and find out.


 Additional Resources 



"Why I Believe Christians Should Not Participate in Governor Perry's "The Response" and Why It is NOT "Just A Prayer Event" (by Brannon Howse)

Pastor Justin Peters Explains Why the Word of Faith Movement is Dangerous and Unbiblical - Part 1

Pastor Justin Peters Explains Why the Word of Faith Movement is Dangerous and Unbiblical - Part 2

The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) Makes Strange Bedfellows

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Do Not Forget The Holy Nature of God

"Myriads of professing Christians at the present day have not an idea of their own sinfulness and guilt in the sight of God. They flatter themselves that they have never done anything very wicked. They have never murdered, or stolen, or committed adultery, or borne false witness. They cannot surely be in much danger of missing heaven. They forget the holy nature of that God with whom they have to do. They forget how often they break His law in temper, or imagination, even when their outward conduct is correct. They never study such portions of Scripture as the fifth chapter of Matthew, or at any rate they study it with a thick veil over their hearts, and do not apply it to themselves. The result is that they are wrapped up in self-righteousness. Like the church of Laodicea, they are 'rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.' (Rev. 3:17.) Self-satisfied they live, and self-satisfied too often they die." 


- J.C. Ryle