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Archive for the ‘Greg Horton’ Category

Journey Into Wholeness or Journey Into Worldliness

Posted by nazarenepsalm113 on January 7, 2010

Great new article by my friend and brother in the Lord Sandy Simpson.
Journey Into Wholeness or Journey Into Worldliness?
A comment on “40 Days of Reflection & Growth” (Spiritual Formation) being taught at Trevecca Nazarene University
by Sandy Simpson, 12/15/09

The teachings of “spiritual formation”, another term for the Emerging/Emergent/Emergence Church (EC) movement, are defined by Ray Yungen and others published by Lighthouse Trails as follows:

Spiritual Formation: A movement that has provided a platform and a channel through which contemplative prayer is entering the church. Find spiritual formation being used, and in nearly every case you will find contemplative spirituality. In fact, contemplative spirituality is the heartbeat of the spiritual formation movement. (Lighthouse Trails, Spiritual Formation? Another name for Contemplative Spirituality, 2009, http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/spiritualformation.htm)
Those who promote these teachings in the EC go back to Richard Foster who brought the practices of Catholic mystics and New Age into the churches back in the mid 1970s. Please get the new free “The Emerging Church” DVD where I talk about what Foster was up to then in a personal testimony.
http://www.concernednazarenes.org/page12.php

Foster apparently thinks that what he helped start in the EC is and “answer to the cry of multiplied thousands for spiritual direction”.

“By now enough water has gone under the Christian Spiritual Formation bridge that we can give some assessment of where we have come and what yet needs to be done. When I first began writing in the field in the late 70s and early 80s the term “Spiritual Formation” was hardly known, except for highly specialized references in relation to the Catholic orders. Today it is a rare person who has not heard the term. Seminary courses in Spiritual Formation proliferate like baby rabbits. Huge numbers are seeking to become certified as Spiritual Directors to answer the cry of multiplied thousands for spiritual direction. And more.” (Spiritual Formation, A Pastoral Letter by Richard Foster, 2009, cited in http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/spiritualformation.htm)
Foster’s boast, though completely erroneous with regard to actual “spiritual direction” is correct as you will see on the following lists of organizations that have bought into this stuff.
“From time to time God has raised up a parachurch movement to reemphasize a neglected purpose of the church… The Discipleship. Spiritual Formation Movement. A reemphasis on developing believers to full maturity has been the focus … authors such as … Richard Foster and Dallas Willard have underscored the importance of building up Christians and establishing personal spiritual disciplines…. [this] movement has a valid message for the church…[it] has given the body a wake-up call. (Rick Warren, Purpose Driven Church, p. 126.)
The clams of benefits from “spiritual formation” and the use of “spiritual disciplines”, as you will see, have nothing to do with spirituality at all but rather the soul and the flesh and paranormal formation. Though Dallas Willard gives lip service to the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer, he then launches into completely unbiblical territory.
“Sometimes we think of spiritual formation as formation by the Holy Spirit. Once again. That’s essential. We can’t evade it–formation by the Holy Spirit. But now I have to say something that may be challenging for you to think about: Spiritual formation is not all by the Holy Spirit. None without the Holy Spirit. But there’s always more involved. And here again we run into the problems of passivity over against activity. Here lies the deepest challenge to the very idea obedience to Christ in our times. We have to recognize that spiritual formation in us is something that is also done to us by those around us, by ourselves, and by activities which we voluntarily undertake …There has to be method.” (Spiritual Formation, What is it and How is it Done? by Dallas Willard)
The simple use of common sense, before we even go to the Bible for what God uses to form us spiritually, tells us that if these pragmatic methods pulled from psychology and the New Age work for Christians without the Holy Spirit, then they should also work for unbelievers. That means that unbelievers can be built up spiritually by employing them and get closer to God. This is exactly the claim of every Eastern mystic and many false religions out there. But the fact is that we cannot be “formed” spiritually as Christians apart from the work of the Holy Spirit, our teacher, through the final revelation of the written Word of God. That leaves unbelievers out of the picture of real spiritual formation. If a Christian thinks they can use worldly methods to be molded into what God wants them to be, then it will not be too long before they return to the useless lump of clay they were before they claimed to have been born again. Furthermore, any true believer who has the Spirit of Truth living in him/her will not use worldly methods like mantras, contemplative prayer, labyrinth, trances, visualization or any of the many New Age methods employed by false religions for the simple reason that they are false. We are to pray without ceasing (1 Thes. 5:17) but that does not involve a disconnect of the mind (1 Cor. 14:15). We are to meditate (Ps. 119:11) but not on our belly buttons or on nothingness but on the written Word. God “forms” us by (1) giving us the indwelling Holy Spirit at the new birth who is then our Counselor and Teacher (1 Jn. 2:27) and (2) God does this through the study of His Word (2 Tim. 2:15), which contains the very voice of God through His prophets and Apostles, not to mention His Son! We are to study to show ourselves approved, not employ human methodology and zeal to run after things that have been imported into the churches from the New Age. The fact that so many Christian organizations have been taken in by the false teachers of the EC is amazing to me. Have they not used the brains the Lord gave them to see that none of these pragmatic tools help a person spiritually in the least?
This is a partial list of ministries that are now promoting Spiritual Formation.

Alpha Course, Bible.org, Focus on the Family, Awana Clubs, Tyndale Seminary (Canada), CMA (Christian Management Association), InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Reformed Church in America, Biola University, Bethel Seminary, Salvation Army, Dallas Theological Seminary, Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, Dallas Willard, Renovare, Redeemer Presbyterian of New York City (Tim Keller), Saddleback Church and Purpose Driven, Vanguard Church, Presbyterian Church USA, Upper Room Ministries, Zondervan Publishers, Simpson University (Redding, CA), Kairos School of Spiritual Formation, Intervarsity Press, Willow Creek, Youth Specialties, Abilene Christian University, Mennonite USA, George Fox University, Tervecca Nazarene University, Nazarene Theological Seminary … (http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/spiritualformationlist.htm)
For a more complete list of christian colleges that now promote EC/Spiritual Formation, go here:
http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/Colleges.htm
For a list of Christian publishers promoting EC/Spiritual Formation, go here:
http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/publishers.htm
For a list of EC/Spiritual Formation organizations by Richard Foster, go here:
http://www.renovare.org/
This “Journey Into Wholeness” course is taken from EC materials, clearly promoting “spiritual formation”. It is also using the 40-day motif of Rick Warren’s “purpose” books. The fact is when you look closely at what is being taught it has little to do with the spirit and more to do with body and mind. If we are to become mature in Christ, the Bible tells us that we must be formed into the image of Christ,
Ga 4:19 My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you,
The only way to be molded into the image of Christ is to allow the indwelling Holy Spirit, Who is our teacher, to teach us about God and about what He expects from us through the written Word.
1Jo 2:27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.
2 Tim. 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Following, in blue color, are the first set of teachings from this course.
JOURNEY INTO WHOLENESS
40 Days of Reflection & Growth
(http://www.trevecca.edu/spiritualformation/40days.Fall09)
Week 1: Introduction

WHOLENESS: Rather than our life being made up of a separate silo for our physical life, emotional life, intellectual life, relational life, and spiritual life—so that each area is separate from the others—we are whole people. One aspect of our life is integrally related to the other. Rather than our spiritual life being the center of a wheel and everything else being the spokes—so that if we just get our spiritual life together, then everything else will come along—our walk with God is the entire wheel. Our walk with God IS our physical bodies, our emotions, our intellect, and our relationships! As we continue to make a journey together over the next 40 days, we will reflect in an honest and open way on our physical bodies, our emotions, our intellect, and our relationships. We will explore aspects in each of these areas where we can grow and develop. We will face our weaknesses and impediments in each of these areas honestly and openly. We will dream and imagine of ways to “move on” beyond these weaknesses so that we can be whole, healthy, and growing people. We will celebrate what it means for us to be made in God’s image in our entirety—body, emotions, intellect, and relationships.

It is noteworthy to notice that they start out talking about the spirit then jump into emphasis on the body, emotions, intellect and relationships. All those aspects of humanity are encompassed by the body and soul. They have left the spirit behind and are focusing the rest of the discussion on those two aspects without dealing with the spirit. This is because they are coming from a perspective that there is only body and soul as opposed to what the Scripture teaches about humans: that they are tripartite beings (1 Thes. 5:23) created in the image of their Creator Who is a Triune being.
As to moving on beyond the weaknesses of human body and soul, you cannot do that by dreaming and imagining. You can only do that when you realize that God is strong and you are weak, as Paul did.

2Co 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
But this is not what they are talking about. This course is a way to somehow imagine your way to strength. That is utter human folly.
Just to begin the thought processes…
Can you think of a time or two in your journey, where one aspect of your life (your physical life, your emotions, your relationships, your intellect) began to affect other aspects of your life? Right now in your journey, which aspect of your life do you believe is the healthiest? Which aspect do you believe is the weakest? Who is holding you accountable to make healthy choices in each aspect of your life? How have you seen God working in the various aspects of your life?

Week 2: Mind

This week we reflect on the role that our mind has in our life and how we are nourishing our minds… Can you think of a time in your journey when you had one of those mental “a-ha” moments and came across a totally new way of thinking or even new information that you had not known before? How did you respond? When it comes to using your mind, how do you perceive yourself? Where did this self-perception of your mind come from? How does this self perception affect your ability to think and to learn? What occupies your mind and thought processes during most of the day? In a typical learning setting, do you tend to engage your mind or do you tend to put it more into “neutral”? Why? What do you consider to be the top two or three sources in your life for giving you ways to think? When you are seeking information, where do you tend to go first? When you are introduced to new thoughts or concepts, how do you tend to react? Are you receptive to new ideas? How do you evaluate and analyze those thoughts and concepts? In exercising your mind, what are the two greatest struggles you face? What are two strengths? How do you see the interrelationship between your mind and your physical life? Your emotions? Your relationships? How does your walk with God affect your mind and thought processes? How does your mind and thought processes affect your walk with God?

What is entirely missing in this section dealing with the mind is the most important thing Christians must do to “nourish” their minds: the study of God’s word.
Ps 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
If you are not filling your mind with the written Word then you will not be able to discern truth from error, which is the Biblical mark of a mature Christian.
Ro 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Heb 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
Simply exploring the questions above will not yield results that will help the mind. It is simply an intellectual exercise that would tend to make a person self-absorbed rather deny oneself and become more aware of God.
Lu 9:23 Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
In fact all this focus on self will cause a person to do the opposite of what God requires in following Him. To know how God affects your mind and thought process you need to know about God and about His will for your life, and you will not find that out by doing mental and emotional exercises. It is a crying shame that they are teaching this stuff to “young minds full of mush” at Nazarene schools instead of what the Bible teaches. This is more in line with psychology than Christian teaching.
Week 3: Body
This week we reflect on the role that our physical body has in our life and how we are caring for our bodies…In taking care of your body, what are the two greatest struggles you face? What are two strengths? What does your daily diet look like? Are you aware of your calorie and fat intake? Do you attempt to eat foods that will provide healthy nourishment to your body? Why do you eat the way that you do? During a typical week, what type of exercise does your body get? What most often prohibits you from exercise and what can you do to overcome what prohibits you? On a regular basis, are you getting between 7-9 hours of sleep each night? Can you think of examples where lack of sleep affected your mind, relationships, and emotions? What most often prohibits you from getting the sleep that your body needs in order to remain healthy? How do you handle stress? Do you have someone with whom you can talk to when you are dealing with significant stress? Do you spend at least 30 minutes a day engaging in something relaxing to your body and mind? Are there other practices in your life that affect your physical life in negative ways that you might begin to deal with? Do you monitor the health of your body by regular physical check-ups with a physician? How do you see the interrelationship between your physical body and your mind? Your emotions? Your relationships? How does your walk with God affect the way in which you care for your body? How does the health of your body affect your walk with God?

All good questions. But how does the health of your body improve your walk with God, as opposed to your being sick, for instance? God allowed Paul to be sick in order to remind Him often that Paul was only strong in the Lord, not because of physical health. If we rely on our physical health it may cause us to be caught up in the pride of life instead of fully relying on the Lord.
1Jo 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
We are to be in the world but not of the world. The pride of life is of the world. Our boast must be in the Lord, not in our physical well or ill being.
Ga 6:14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which {Or whom} the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Jer 9:23-24 This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD.
It was because of an illness that God left Paul with the Galatians for a longer time in order that Paul would be able to effectively preach the Gospel to them.
Ga 4:13 As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you.
It is a good thing to take care of the body God created for us. But we must always remember that there are more important things, like serving the Lord in sickness and in health, ultimately laying up treasure in heaven. If I lack physical strength and wellness, will I not even more heavily rely on the Lord for my strength?
Week 4: Relationships
This week we reflect on the role that our relationships have on our life and how we are caring for those relationships…In taking care of your relationships, what are the two greatest struggles you face? What are two areas of relational strength? Are there relationships that need to be initiated, reconciled, or renewed? How do you know if your relationships are healthy? How healthy are your relationships with your family, friends, boyfriend/girlfriend, roommates, etc.? During a typical week, how much time are you investing in others? What ways are you investing in others? What most often prohibits you from being fully available to others? Are there any relationships in which you have become judgmental, exclusive or proud? What steps can you take towards resolving those issues? Do you have a relationship in which you are held accountable to the way you live your life? Are you able to be truly vulnerable and authentic with this person? In what ways do you practice hospitality towards others? How approachable are you by those that know you? How approachable are you by those who don’t know you? What qualities do you expect in a good friend? Do you possess these qualities? How do you see the interrelationship between your relationships and your mind? Your emotions? Your body? How does your walk with God affect the way in which you care for others? How does the health of your relationships affect your walk with God?

All these questions are good ones and would help a person think about being less self-centered and more in tune with others. However, in asking these questions the person is led to turn inward for the answers instead of asking the Holy Spirit for the answers in God’s Word. A person can spend so much time psychoanalyzing themselves that they become inward focused and even if they have a desire to interact with others they are now spending all their time trying to figure out why they are not interacting with others, and it becomes a viscous cycle. Better to ask God Who He wants you to witness to and disciple and then go do it. That is the Biblical way, circumventing all this need for psycho babble.
Also, the main emphasis in this “relationships” section is on human relationships and God is left out of the picture. Should we not focus our lives on walking with God first, then loving our brother?

Lu 10:27 He answered: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; {Deut. 6:5} and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’” {Lev. 19:18}
If we look to ourselves first for the answers instead of to God, then we have it all backwards. It is only from God through His Word that we can then learn to deny ourselves and effectively reach others for Christ. You will notice that witness of the Gospel is completely left out of this course, which should be our first obligation.
Mr 16:15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
Any “spiritual formation” that leaves out the Gospel will form nothing of eternal value.
Week 5: Walk with God

We also recognize that the intentional time we spend with God both personally and corporately is the “glue” which holds all of the various aspects of our life together. The disciplines that we practice become pathways in which God’s grace flows into our lives enabling us to become more and more Christ-like. This week we reflect on the role that spiritual disciplines have on our life and how we are nurturing our relationship with God.. How is your relationship with God? What are you basing this perception on. During a typical week, how much time are you intentionally investing into your relationship with God? What most often prohibits you from being fully available to God? What spiritual disciplines (i.e. prayer, reading scripture, corporate worship, etc.) are you currently practicing? What are the fruit of these disciplines? Are there disciplines that you are not currently practicing that you want to start incorporating into your life? How can you begin to do that? Are there disciplines which you are not attracted to (i.e. fasting, silence, solitude, etc.), but might need in your life? Are you open to putting these into practice? How? What kind of accountability will you need in order to hold to these disciplines? Is there a person or a group that could provide this for you? Are you holding others accountable? How do you see the interrelationship between your walk with God and your mind? Your emotions? Your body? How does your walk with God affect the way you live? How does the way you live affect your walk with God?
Now they finally get to something about relationship with God. This should have come before anything else, yet is it relegated to point 5. There is an obvious push to accept and practice what they are calling “spiritual disciplines”, lumping them together with true spiritual activities such as prayer, Bible study, worship, etc. The new ones they want the student to add are things like “fasting, silence and solitude”. Fasting is something Christians can do but is it not a command of Scripture nor is it on a par Biblically with prayer, Bible study and corporate worship. Silence and solitude are not even mentioned as spiritual disciplines in the Bible. Jesus went to the wilderness in solitude but He did so to pray. We can “be still” (Ps. 46:10) and know the He is God in order to listen to Him and see His mighty works if we are silencing the Lord by our words and activities, but this does not mean we are to empty our minds. Again we see no mention of the spirit here but only of the body and soul. The whole focus of this section is to get the student to accept that fasting, silence and solitude are something they must do in order to be spiritual formed and they are encouraged to come under accountability to do it. Is this not Pharisaical to the max? Is this not adding the same kind of spiritual requirements to have a relationship with God that the Catholic Church has done for centuries? This is no different than adding requirements such as baptismal regeneration, circumcision, prayers to Mary, sacraments, and other requirements to either be saved or grow in the Faith. This type of legalism is called and abomination by Paul.
Week 6: Emotions
This week we reflect on the role that our emotions have on our life and how we are staying emotionally healthy…How in touch are you with your emotions? Are you emotionally healthy? What are you basing this self-diagnosis on? What in your life gives you joy? What is discouraging you? When your emotions get out of control, how do you respond (e.g. suppress, express, mask with an addiction, etc.)? Are you carrying emotional baggage from your past which still hinders you from living life to the fullest? What is it? How can you begin to let it go? Are you concerned about the emotional health of others? Is there a relationship in which you are causing emotional damage? How can you begin to restore this relationship? Do you have someone with whom you can talk to when you are under emotional duress? Do you spend at least 30 minutes a day engaging in something which relaxes you? Are there other things in your life that affect your emotions in negative ways that you might begin to deal with? Do you monitor the health of your emotions through regular appointments with a counselor? How do you see the interrelationship between your emotions and your mind? Your body? Your relationships? How does your walk with God affect you emotionally? How do your emotions affect your walk with God?

What a stupid question! “How in touch are you with your emotions”? You can only be out of touch with your emotions if you are physically dead. Otherwise your emotions are part of you makeup. A better question would be “How much do you allow God to be in control of your emotions”? The language in this section clearly shows that it is taken directly out of a psychology book. If you are under emotional stress, those “30 minutes a day” should be spent in prayer and in Bible study if you want to solve that problem. Taking a vacation from stress is only a temporary solution, such as relaxation, drugs, etc. In claiming to promote a Godly solution to emotional problem, they not only use worldly methods but they are actually suggesting another temporary fix. Who says that a person needs to “monitor they health of their emotions through regular appointments with a counselor”? This sounds like an advertisement. Should our emotions effect our relationship with God? No. Why not say that if your emotions are adversely affecting your relationship with God then you need to get your heart right with Him by asking the Lord to give you wisdom through His Word? Why not tell them to read 1 & 2 Corinthians where Paul struggles with this subject?
The bottom line is that this EC type of questionnaire gets the student to look within themselves for the answer instead of to the written Word. This can only lead to more confusion and will certainly not lead to spiritual formation.

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Posted in Alan Roxburgh, Allelon, Bob Hunter, Brian McLaren, Charles Christian, Dan Boone, Dennis Bratcher, Emergent Church, Emergent church within the Nazarene denomination, Greg Horton, Jesse Middendorf, John Hanna, Jon Middendorf, Leonard Sweet, New spirituality, Rick Warren, Rob Bell, Scott Daniels, Tom Oord | Leave a Comment »

A Renewed Confidence in the Word of God

Posted by nazarenepsalm113 on January 4, 2010

A Renewed Confidence in the Word of God.

Posted in Alan Roxburgh, Allelon, Bob Hunter, Brian McLaren, Charles Christian, Dan Boone, Dennis Bratcher, Emergent Church, Emergent church within the Nazarene denomination, Greg Horton, Jesse Middendorf, John Hanna, Jon Middendorf, Leonard Sweet, New spirituality, Rick Warren, Rob Bell, Scott Daniels, Tom Oord | Leave a Comment »

How the International Council on Biblical Inerrency Began

Posted by nazarenepsalm113 on December 28, 2009

How the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy Began

By Dr. Jay Grimstead

We see the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy (ICBI) Statement on Inerrancy as being a landmark church document, which was created in 1978 by the then largest, broadest, group of evangelical protestant scholars that ever came together to create a common, theological document in the 20th century. It is probably the first systematically comprehensive, broadly based, scholarly, creed-like statement on the inspiration and authority of Scripture in the history of the church.

Modernism Challenges the Historic View on  Inerrancy

Just as the church’s understanding of the full deity of Christ and the Trinity awaited the Arian controversy and the Council of Nicea in 325 AD; and just as the full understanding of Justification by Faith and the Priesthood of every Believer awaited the 1500s when it was clarified by Luther and Calvin, so the doctrine of the Inspiration of Scripture awaited the 20th century for its full debate and delineation. Up until the 20th century, all branches of Christianity worldwide accepted the basic inerrancy view of inspiration except for the secular philosophers and the liberal theologians, so a full-scale debate was unnecessary until then.

But, at the end of the liberal-fundamentalist doctrinal battles of the 20s and 30s, large portions of the previously sound major denominations were infected with a liberal view of the Bible. The evangelicals and fundamentalists within those denominations generally pulled out and started their own new denominations, seminaries, and mission societies and stood firm on the historical view of the Bible taught by Moses, Jesus, Paul and the heros of the faith the past 2000 years. By that time, almost all the theological schools and theologians of Europe had gone liberal. America and Canada, which are usually from 25 to 100 years behind Europe in their philosophical disintegration, were just starting to “catch up” with Europe theologically.

As Francis Schaeffer stated so eloquently, courage for confrontation over matters of truth and righteousness in the hearts of Christian leaders in North America was replaced by a kind of “knee-jerk” response committed to accommodation and “peace at any price” which sadly still reigns supreme within most evangelical circles today. This is one major reason things have disintegrated so far and so fast. At the same time, the relativistic view of truth and a dichotomy worldview (that segregates the spiritual world from the material world into two separate air-tight compartments) that came from philosophers such as Hume, Kant, and Hegel had all but completely captured the university intellectuals of the entire world.

Neo-Orthodoxy infects the Evangelical Ranks

This was the kind of academic atmosphere that prevailed during the 20 years from 1947 to 1967 when many evangelical seminaries and colleges sent their bright young scholars to European universities to get their doctorates. A large percentage of these young scholars were infected with liberal and neo-orthodox views of the Bible; and then they returned to their evangelical schools to teach a neo-orthodox view of the Bible (what they sincerely believed were the “latest, most scholarly” views) to their students.

These partially “corrupted” young professors did not openly challenge their denomination’s or institution’s historic view of inspiration of the Bible. It was more subtle than that and less obvious than the open battle over the Bible of the 1920s and 1930s. Most of these young professors were infected with neo-orthodoxy; the then fashionable “reformed” liberalism of Swiss theologian Karl Barth. Neo-orthodoxy claims that the human words of the Bible are not the very words of God, but rather are a fallible human “witness” to the words of God and are therefore in a sense, the “Word” of God to man. In some cases they claim that the words of the Bible “become” the Word of God to man at a particular existential moment when that man senses God speaking to him. Others have spoken of the Bible “containing” the Word of God.

Neo-Orthodoxy Undermines the Reliability of Scripture

Since most neo-orthodox theologians attempt to honor God’s word in some sense, their presentation to their students of their existential and relativistic re-interpretation of the Bible does not appear to be, nor is it intended to be, an attack upon the Bible. But, since most neo-orthodox men accept most of the higher critical theories of theological liberalism and since they usually believe (with Kant and Barth) that human language is incapable of communicating absolute, unchanging, and inerrant truth from God to man, therefore they are essentially liberals in their view of scripture.

In addition, most neo-orthodox “evangelicals” believe they cannot count on the Bible being absolutely true in matters of time and space, science and history, or ethics and anthropology (that is, areas that are open to scientific verification or falsification), but they do comfort themselves by saying they believe the Bible may be capable of communicating undistorted truth in “spiritual” matters such as eternity and heaven, faith and salvation, or piety and theology (areas that are not open to objective empirical verification). Thus they ask us to subjectively believe the Bible in those areas of “faith and practice” that we cannot, by the nature of the case, “prove” and then expect us to understand that the Bible is not totally reliable in matters of history and science.

In a nutshell, a liberal and neo-orthodox view of Scripture considers the original Greek and Hebrew manuscripts of the Bible to be part true and part false and that their theological experts must help us to determine what parts of the Bible are true and what parts of it are false. That is the essence of theological liberalism under whatever name it travels even if it goes by the name of “evangelicalism.” Thus, a professor infected with a neo-orthodox view of Scripture will tend to not believe that Moses wrote all five books of the Pentateuch; that Isaiah wrote the whole book of Isaiah; that Daniel was written in Daniel’s time; that the flood of Noah was a universal flood covering the whole earth; that all of present mankind came from Noah’s family; etc., etc. They will also tend to teach students that neither Jesus nor the Church Fathers believed the inerrancy of view of Scripture that was taught by the Jesus, Paul, Augustine, Calvin, Wesley, Spurgeon, Hodge, Warfield, Machen, and Schaeffer. They teach that the inerrancy view is a late development in church history.

Neo-Orthodoxy Entrenches Itself in Evangelical Institutions

Since the 1960s, many evangelical seminaries and colleges, denominations and organizations have been infected by the prevailing fog of neo-orthodoxy. Many sincere evangelicals, including many pastors and professors, are neo-orthodox liberals in regard to Scripture and don’t even know there is anything wrong with their view. In light of all this, we felt we had to launch the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy in 1977.

By 1976, a neo-orthodox and liberal view of Scripture and therefore a relativistic view of doctrine and morals had permeated all levels of evangelicalism in every denomination and organization. The prevailing mood among educated people was openness to the liberalized view of scripture and a general fear of being labeled a “narrow inerrantist” who still believed the old, “unscholarly and medieval” view of Scripture. If a Christian in many evangelical circles really believed in the inerrancy of the Bible, they tended to remain “in the closet.”

Furthermore, we, who felt God wanted us to stand up for the traditional, inerrancy view of Scripture and call our churches and organizations to be consistent with the statement on scripture in that organization’s founding documents, were often attacked as troublemakers and told to be quiet or to go away. Almost no one wanted to face up to an honest, open evaluation of how far a church or organization had slid down the slippery slope towards increasing liberalization. Christian leaders then, who believed in the inerrancy of the Bible, found themselves becoming lonely warriors who were misunderstood, feared, and sometimes gently persecuted. And almost no one seemed to be willing to make it a national Christian issue and get it settled if it meant losing friends or a position in their organization.

The Battle for the Bible Explodes

In 1976, Dr. Harold Lindsell came out with his bombshell book, The Battle for the Bible, which exposed the massive infiltration of liberalism and neo-orthodoxy into nearly every denomination and seminary that considered itself evangelical. Lindsell’s book was very accurate in exposing the deterioration and it was scholarly in its presentation. As far as we can tell, none of Lindsell’s charges were ever refuted in any substantive manner by the institutions in question. The accused schools merely fumed and spoke harsh things against Dr. Lindsell. At that time, few leaders beside Dr. Lindsell, Francis Schaeffer, and Bill Gothard were attempting to make the inerrancy of the Bible an issue, though many were still faithfully teaching inerrancy.

The general response to The Battle for the Bible among the evangelical leadership of America was that it was “divisive” and that Lindsell was too “harsh” and “unloving” in exposing the factual situation within evangelical institutions. Thus, the church was not at all ready nor willing to go to battle over the watershed issue of inerrancy. Many of the inerrantists were in the “closet” and the anti-inerrantist, neo-orthodox theologians were having a field day making fun of the old-fashioned view in the various evangelical periodicals and journals. (I want to make it clear at this point that the Fundamentalists and most Pentecostals stood firmly for inerrancy during this period). It was in this context that the ICBI was born. The following is a short explanation of how several of us gave birth to the ICBI.

A Call to Unite and Plan Strategies for the Battle

In 1976, God was leading me to create a night school and training center for laymen in the San Francisco Bay Area called the Reformation Study Center. R.C. Sproul suggested to our little staff that it would be wise to launch the study center with a conference. We took Sproul’s advice and organized a conference on the Authority of Scripture at Mt. Hermon, California for February 1977. Our five speakers were to be R.C. Sproul, J.I. Packer, Norman Geisler, John Gerstner, and Greg Bahnsen, each dealing with two major topics on the authority of Scripture.

In September 1976, prior to the Mt. Hermon conference, I wrote to Sproul and to Harold Lindsell suggesting somebody should attempt to organize a national theological conference to deal with this battle for the inerrancy of the Bible and to expose the fallacies of the neo-orthodox false assumptions believed by so many evangelicals at that time. What I visualized was something of a theological “army” of scholars who would take this thing into battle as a united team.

I invited the five speakers, plus Miss Weatheral Johnson (of Bible Study Fellowship), Karen Hoyt and a few others to come early to the conference so we could pray in our living room about what to do regarding the inerrancy battle in the church. We had that prayer meeting then launched the conference and our little study center that February evening in Mt. Hermon with about 300 people in attendance. During the weekend conference, I gathered the speakers, Miss Johnson, and a few others together to discuss what strategy we might use to organize a frontal attack on this problem of a Barthian/liberal view of Scripture having infiltrated most of evangelicalism in North America and beyond.

The Vision for a United “Army” Unfolds

By the end of the Mt. Hermon conference, on Sunday afternoon, we had decided that God was leading us to launch a new organization, what we would later call ICBI, to do the following three things:

  1. Create together a list of world famous or nationally recognized inerrancy theologians, Bible scholars, and Christian leaders who would be asked to form a theological “army” to clarify the theological issues involved and attempt to turn the situation around so the liberal evangelicals would have to hide in the closet and the inerrantists, the world over, would be able to lift their heads high and proudly proclaim they believed in the full inerrancy of the Bible.
  2. Come to agreement on a list of theological sub-topics on which our scholar team would have to write white papers dealing with all the sub-points involved in a comprehensive attack on this problem. (Philosophically there are some 14 separate debates that must be faced when dealing with the matter of inerrancy.)
  3. Launch a major national conference on inerrancy for 200 to 300 biblical scholars and Christian leaders and sound forth the trumpet call that it was time to face the issue and turn the situation around. At that conference we would also work through and release a set of affirmations and denials on the inerrancy of Scripture and claim that there is no real biblical authority without biblical inerrancy and that the church was bound to deteriorate to the degree it rejected the inerrancy of the Bible.

With Jeffersonian language of dignity offered by J.I. Packer, we created a short statement of purpose for our new movement then set a date for the following month to meet at Pittsburgh airport and spend a full day making a list of fellow warriors and launching our strategy in earnest. I was asked to serve as the Executive Director and keep this process going until it was well launched. I asked Karen Hoyt to handle the details as my Executive Secretary which she did very efficiently and eventually set up our ICBI office in Oakland.

By the end of that series of meetings at Mt. Hermon, every one of the theologians and myself were positively excited about our prospects for a new inerrancy movement and we all felt a sense of release and a lifted burden of sorrow, loneliness and frustration we had carried over the theological deterioration of evangelicalism. I had felt this prophetic, Jeremiah type burden over the church the previous five years as an actual pain and heaviness within my stomach almost constantly. From that conference on it was gone. What we sensed is that, having decided together with like-minded, courageous, fellow warriors that we should indeed attack this problem together, whatever the cost, our mutual sense of loneliness (within all our various circles) and our near hopelessness over the situation was exchanged for camaraderie in battle and great optimism. It was a great breakthrough for all of us and we were grateful to be together.

The Vision Gives Birth to the ICBI

In March 1977, we met in Pittsburgh and created a list of some 50 theologians and Christian leaders to invite onto the new ICBI Council and Advisory Board. We set a date for a Council/Board meeting for September at the Chicago O’Hare airport and decided to ask James Boice to join us and function as chairman of the Council. I was asked to call most of the 50 men and explain the vision to them and recruit them onto our team. Nearly every one I called was quite enthusiastic, ready to join immediately and was grateful that we were going to form an “army” to attack this problem since they too had been frustrated and grieved to see the shift away from inerrancy in their own circles.

In September 1977, at the O’Hare Hilton, Boice and I led the meeting of enthusiastic Christian theologians and leaders and worked our game plan. We would together first create a book to answer, chapter for chapter, the neo-orthodox oriented book edited by Jack Rogers of Fuller Seminary, Biblical Authority, that gave the basic neo-orthodox arguments against inerrancy (the major point expressed was that the church could have biblical authority without an inerrant Bible). We made the chapter assignments with plans to have the book ready to be sold at our launching conference to be held October 1978 at the Hyatt Regency near O’Hare airport. We also made assignments for the scholarly white papers which were to be written and distributed to those attending the conference. These white papers formed the scholarly foundation for our work the following 10 years as well as the foundation for the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, which was created by the ICBI in 1978.

The initial set of ICBI white papers now appear in the ICBI book, Inerrancy, edited by Norman Geisler and published by Zondervan Press. Another ICBI book, The Foundation for Biblical Authority, edited by James Boice and also published by Zondervan, answered the Roger’s book and is an excellent survey for the pastor and academic layperson to come to a solid understanding of the debate and the historical arguments of the church for the Bible’s inerrancy. Many Christian colleges now use The Foundation for Biblical Authority along with Roger’s Biblical Authority to show the contrast within evangelicalism between the historic, orthodox inerrancy view and the neo-orthodox view (sometimes disingenuously called the “enlightened evangelical view” by liberal-oriented evangelical professors). We also made other assignments for books on hermeneutics, short booklets explaining the problem, and what came to be Gleason Archer’s monumental work, Encyclopedia of Biblical Difficulties.

The ICBI Launches its Theological “D-Day”

Prior to the October 1978 conference, I wrote to Billy Graham and asked him to contribute to our cause. The Billy Graham Evangelism Association then donated $10,000 to help launch the ICBI. With this start-up money Karen Hoyt and I started on salary, so we could proceed with our plans.

Just prior to Reformation Sunday in October 1978, we staged our first ICBI conference for about 300 Christian leaders, theologians and pastors at the O’Hare Hyatt Regency to launch the movement publicly. During that conference, amidst much intense discussion and several all-night editorial sessions, we created together 19 articles on Biblical Inerrancy based upon a consensus agreement on the scholarly points made in the many white papers our team had written. These 19 articles were published as the historic Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.

The ICBI Wins a Decisive Victory

And it worked! The net result was that there was an immediate reversal of who was in the “closet.” Even though not many liberal evangelical scholars really changed their position theologically, they knew that under this new theological climate we had created they would not be able to be as bold about their departure from inerrancy. The week prior to our 1978 conference there were many articles in major Christian magazines belittling the inerrancy viewpoint. From that conference on, with a few exceptions, there was deathly silence from the liberal side for several years. Inerrancy was once again popular and respected as the historic, orthodox, and scholarly viewpoint.

Because of the visibility and success of the ICBI in its united and scholarly defense of inerrancy, many schools, churches, mission organizations, and some denominations began rethinking their doctrinal statements on Scripture. They realized that, because of the prevailing liberal theological “smog” most of their members had been breathing and because of the great confusion that reigned and the deliberate efforts of the liberalized evangelicals within most ranks, they had to tighten up on their official statements on Scripture and require adherence to the orthodox view by their leadership and members.

With the wealth of new scholarship that was produced by the ICBI to buttress the doctrine of inerrancy,  many evangelical colleges and seminaries were compelled to engage in intramural discussions and debates within their faculty over the issue of inerrancy. With the united front of the ICBI behind them, adherents of inerrancy came out of the “closet” and more often than not saw that they were in the majority. Thus, the tide of accommodation to neo-orthodox views of scripture, which had seemed unstoppable in the 1960s and 1970s, was turned back at many evangelical colleges and seminaries.

But the War Isn’t Over

The proponents of inerrancy have not always been victorious against the proponents of neo-orthodox. At Fuller Seminary, a primary target of Lindsell’s Battle for the Bible, the professors and scholars of the School of World Mission faculty signed the ICBI Statement enthusiastically and  then sent it across the hall and invited the Fuller School of Theology professors to sign it also. The Fuller Theology professors rejected it outright and, as far as we know, it remains unsigned by those Fuller theology professors to this day.

Alas, the battle for for the Bible is far from over. In the years since the ICBI, the neo-orthodox liberals have developed new tactics and have made new inroads into evangelical institutions. The biblical doctrine of Inerrancy remains a crucial watershed issue for the church today. May God raise up a new generation of gifted theologians and scholars to carry on the good fight.


Editors note: The ICBI was  formally disbanded in September 1987 and the historic ICBI documents were turned over to the Dallas Theological Seminary archives. Biblical inerrancy is one of the theological issues that is being dealt with by the International Church Council, which is in many respects the spiritual successor to the now defunct ICBI.

Posted in Alan Roxburgh, Allelon, Bob Hunter, Brian McLaren, Charles Christian, Dan Boone, Dennis Bratcher, Emergent Church, Emergent church within the Nazarene denomination, Greg Horton, Jesse Middendorf, John Hanna, Jon Middendorf, Leonard Sweet, New spirituality, Rick Warren, Rob Bell, Scott Daniels, Tom Oord | Leave a Comment »

Emergent Books

Posted by nazarenepsalm113 on November 24, 2009

From my friend and brother in the Lord the ever biblically solid Gary Gilley

 

Emergent Books.

Posted in Alan Roxburgh, Allelon, Bob Hunter, Brian McLaren, Charles Christian, Dan Boone, Dennis Bratcher, Emergent Church, Emergent church within the Nazarene denomination, Greg Horton, Jesse Middendorf, John Hanna, Jon Middendorf, Leonard Sweet, New spirituality, Rick Warren, Rob Bell, Scott Daniels, Tom Oord | Leave a Comment »

The Two Tree’s

Posted by nazarenepsalm113 on November 24, 2009

Great article from my friends and brothers and sisters in the Lord at Herescope

He sent His Word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
(Psalm 107:20)

Meditation that is not founded upon the Word of God, like alabyrinth, is a maze that ultimately ends up in futility, going nowhere but endless spirals.

Those who have practiced Eastern-style meditation, with its emptying of the mind and/or visualization (imagery), often do so because they desire to acquire peace, or because they are hurting and desire their inner psycho-spiritual needs to be met. Yet they will eventually find that their needs are not met, and they are more empty than ever. Further, this type of meditation opens one’s mind to occult spirituality – even if it is done under the aura of being “Christian.”

Those who engage in the pantheon of contemplative practices need to beware that it is described as “two intentions that are the foundation of all contemplative practices: cultivating awareness and developing a stronger connection to God, the divine, or inner wisdom.”[1] See “The Tree of Contemplative Practices” posted HERE. This is a graphic representation of how the “roots of the tree encompass and transcend differences in the religious traditions from which many of the practices originated, and allow room for the inclusion of new practices that are being created in secular contexts.”[2]

Looking at this tree, it is obvious that what passes for “Christian” meditation in our modern era springs from the Gnostic roots of this occult tree. Is it any wonder that this tree then bears corresponding occult fruit? Note that this contemplative tree does not promise life, only “wisdom,” which just happens to be what the serpent promised Eve if she ate of the fruit of the tree in the Garden of Eden.

But what about the person who is truly needy? One who is experiencing a crisis of faith? Who is being persecuted? The fragile believer who feels that their faith is floundering or drying up? These struggling believers are being encouraged to run to this “contemplative tree” of eclectic spiritual practices to find refuge, solace and comfort. After all, it istrendy to run to this contemporary contemplative tree, despite its antiquated roots buried in the deep strata of occultism.

This alluring multifaceted tree promises healing, renewal, insight, rest, wisdom and access to God. But, warning! Eating its fruit results in spiritual blindness and deafness, bondage and emptiness.

The Tree of Life

There is another tree, which is found in Scripture. It is based on the Word of God. Psalm 1 describes the believer who finds his “delight in the the law of the LORD” and says that in this law (God’s Word) “doth he meditate day and night.” If a believer does this he is promised that he shall “be like atree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (verses 2-3, emphases added). What a promise!

Meditating on the Word of God produces beautiful fruit in the lives of Christian believers. There are many other promises in Scripture for the believer who meditates upon God’s Word. These are personal promises that apply not only to daily living, but also to a wide variety of life crises, feelings, situations, hurts, pains, persecutions, trials, trouble and dangers. Here is just a brief sampling, starting at Psalm 119, which is a treasure trove of promises to those who meditate on God’s Word; i.e. His precepts, commandments, judgments, law and testimonies:

  • vs. 25 – My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy Word.
  • vs. 28 – My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthenthou me according unto thy Word.
  • vs. 97 – O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.
  • vs. 104 – Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.
  • vs. 105 – Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a lightunto my path.
  • vs. 130 – The entrance of thy Words giveth light; itgiveth understanding unto the simple.
  • vs. 133 – Order my steps in thy Word: and let not anyiniquity have dominion over me.
  • vs. 134 – Deliver me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts.
  • vs. 161 – Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy Word.
  • vs. 162 – I rejoice at thy Word, as one that findeth great spoil.

Proverbs 30:5 further promises that “Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him.”

Isaiah 29 warns about idolatrous hearts (vs. 13) and says that the “wisdom of their wise men shall perish” (vs. 14). Then Isaiah 30 speaks to those who “despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon” (vs. 12), but promises that “in returning [i.e., repentance] and rest shall ye be saved.” This same verse promises the very thing that contemplative practices claim to accomplish -rest! And it further promises that “in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.” But, sadly, the verse concludes with the tragic statement: “and ye would not.”

God’s ways are not hidden like the obscure “wisdom” of the occult that must be meditated upon in endless ways that never satisfy. He has given us His Word openly. Twice in Isaiah God says, “I have not spoken in secret” (Isaiah 45:19 and 48:16). God’s Word does satisfy, and we are promised in Isaiah 55:11 that: “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

The New Testament, particularly in the book of Acts, records the power of the Word of God to change human lives. The backdrop to the events in Acts is strikingly similar to our modern era with its rapidly rising idolatry and occult spirituality. God’s Word alone has the miraculous power to change lives. Paul told King Agrippa that the purpose of preaching the Gospel (i.e., God’s Word) was “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me” (Acts 26:18). And in Romans Paul states that the Gospel of Christ “is the power of God unto salvation”(vs. 16).

Many today avoid God’s Word. They do not run to it as a source of strength and sustenance. They will do anything butread God’s Word! In Jeremiah 2:13 we read how readily people will substitute an inferior man-made product for The Way: “For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.”

Perhaps the reason for avoidance of God’s Word is because His Word is uncomfortable – it is “quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). The Word provokes believers to have their conscience quickened to sin in their hearts and lives, and it encourages them to “Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance” (Matthew 3:8)!

Many Scriptures warn about hardening of the heart, which is the consequence of not obeying the Word. These are not popular verses in our era, particularly the ones that refer to hardness of heart being wicked!

  • John 12:40 – “He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.”
  • Romans 2:4-5 – “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;”
  • Proverbs 21:29 – “A wicked man hardeneth his face: but as for the upright, he directeth his way.”
  • Proverbs 28:14 – “Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.”
  • Proverbs 29:1 – “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.”

Hebrews 3:8 warns particularly, “Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness,” which is followed by verse 11, “So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.” This is that true rest which can only be found in obedience to God’s Word. It cannot be obtained through the pursuing of meditative mechanisms.

Eating the fruit of “The Tree of Contemplative Practices”cannot result in either repentance nor rest, but rather in an increasing tolerance for doctrinal ambiguity, sinful living, ecumenism, and mysticism. Romans 1 describes the downhill progression that begins with being “vain” in one’s”imaginations.” This vanity seems an apt description of all entry-level contemplative practices. It quickly degenerates into one’s “foolish heart” becoming “darkened.” Romans 1 indicates that this downward spiral becomes outright idolatry, vile affections, a reprobate mind, and a long list of evil practices.

Where is God’s sovereignty and majesty? Job was chastised by God for his inadequate and inferior view of Him. Couldn’t the same thing be said today to those who worship at “The Tree of Contemplative Practices”? While they pursue their various pilgrimages, meditations, chantings, journalings, sweatlodges and visionquests, God is saying to them:”Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding?” (vs. 4).

Likewise, Isaiah 66:5a cries out: “Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word.” Does anyone tremble at His Word anymore? Jeremiah Burroughs, in his classic workGospel Fear: Developing a Tender Hart that Trembles at the Word of God (1647)[3], describes the effects of having a”fear of the Lord” which is the “instruction of wisdom,” as stated in Proverbs 15:33, and notes that those who tremble at the Word must have a “teachable disposition.”[4]. Citing Proverbs 17:10 (“A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool”), Burroughs asks: “Do you find your heart so tender that a word works upon you? This is a sign of the wisdom of God that is in your soul.”[5]

Once again, ironically, the very thing that those who pursue after contemplative mysticism desire – wisdom – is there all along for those who immerse themselves in God’s Word! It is interesting that Proverbs 3, especially verses 13 and 18, promises wisdom, saying that it is a “tree of life” – “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding… She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.”[emphasis added]

The Truth:

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” (Revelation 2:7)

Endnotes:
1. “The Tree of Contemplative Practices,” the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, http://www.contemplativemind.org/practices/tree.html
2. Ibid.
3. Jeremiah Burroughs, Gospel Fear: Developing a Tender Hart that Trembles at the Word of God (Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 2001), www.SDGbooks.com.
4. p. 46.
5. p. 86, emphasis added.

Posted in Alan Roxburgh, Allelon, Bob Hunter, Brian McLaren, Charles Christian, Dan Boone, Dennis Bratcher, Emergent Church, Emergent church within the Nazarene denomination, Greg Horton, Jesse Middendorf, John Hanna, Jon Middendorf, Leonard Sweet, New spirituality, Rick Warren, Rob Bell, Scott Daniels, Tom Oord | Leave a Comment »

Everything Must Change by Brian McLaren

Posted by nazarenepsalm113 on October 9, 2009

We have been accused of not reading the material that we do articles on ie Emergent Church leaders and authors etc..

Thats just not true everyone we used on our DVD does impeccable research and are all students of the Bible.

Here is a book review by Pastor Gary Gilley

Everything Must Change by Brian McLaren

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Posted in Alan Roxburgh, Allelon, Bob Hunter, Brian McLaren, Charles Christian, Dan Boone, Dennis Bratcher, Emergent Church, Emergent church within the Nazarene denomination, Greg Horton, Jesse Middendorf, John Hanna, Jon Middendorf, Leonard Sweet, New spirituality, Rick Warren, Rob Bell, Scott Daniels, Tom Oord, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

IS CHRISTIANITY ALL ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS?

Posted by nazarenepsalm113 on September 28, 2009

Many times in speaking with Emergent folk and those who are part of the great falling away they stress the importance of relationship over the stress on sound doctrine (the stress on sound doctrine is of course the biblical stance).
Here is a great article by my friend and brother in the Lord Paul Proctor.
By Paul Proctor
September 11, 2009
NewsWithViews.com

“Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.” – Luke 6:26

It seems I am receiving a little extra email these days from troubled Christians who have had to give up a church, some friends and/or certain family members in order to remain faithful to God and His Word. I can tell you without hesitation that I certainly have – and on more than one occasion.

No one can lead you down the road of temptation quicker than a close friend, family member or fellow Christian. The downgrading of today’s “Church” along with society has clearly taken its toll on the brethren and is now driving many out the sanctuary doors to preserve their faith in Jesus Christ.

I heard Authority Research founder and director, Dean Gotcher, in a recent radio interview refer to the loneliness that results from the loss of such relationships as the taking up of one’s cross for Christ. When I respond to the heartbreaking email of readers who have had to leave their local church in obedience to God’s Word, I often reply with some empathetic encouragement and a link to a short piece written by A.W. Tozer titled: The Loneliness of the Christian.

For believers new to this column, I realize that the idea of sacrificing treasured relationships, even those we worship with, is probably a stark contrast to what you regularly receive from the pulpit of your local church and the lectern of your weekly Bible study class where most everything these days revolves around establishing, protecting, sustaining and maintaining relationships of all kinds, at all costs – a dangerous notion that is just not biblical.

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“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” – Amos 3:3

Simply put, it turns people into church worshippers who revere, embrace and obey the consensus of a congregation with a contrived unity rather than God worshippers who put His Word and Authority far and above the fellowship, opinions, theories, life experiences and personal tastes of well meaning Christians and clergy.

This Religion of Relationships has now all but taken over what is called “Christianity” and ought to be called what it really is: “Churchianity” – the worship of and faith in those who claim to be the “Body of Christ” – especially its leaders who treat their own counsel, conjecture, sermon stories and agendas as equal to or greater than the Word of God.

Those who embrace Churchianity will often respond to a rebuking scripture with: “Yeah, but…” as if to be able to trump it with some greater knowledge, wisdom, anecdote or seemingly contradicting verse from the Bible. This is the ugly arrogance of today’s humanistic spirituality and its self-serving, self-worshipping ways.

When listening to a fellow church member, teacher or preacher talk about the Christian life, how many times have you heard them cite that sacred slogan: “It’s all about relationships?”

Baloney!

It’s about repentance and faith in Jesus Christ and our loving obedience to His Word, whatever may come – a faithfulness that will cost you more relationships than it will ever garner you! Our first love and loyalty is to Him, not our fellow man. That doesn’t mean we don’t take up the towel to wash feet, serve others, sacrifice ourselves and love our neighbor – it simply means they don’t come first in our lives – Jesus Christ does. That’s why we call Him “Lord” and not the brethren.

But, when we place our hope and faith in the redeemed rather than the Redeemer and put the words of men over the Word of God, we become no better than new agers who believe that God is in everyone and in everything – worshipping the creation instead of the Creator and in doing so, make ourselves gods to be praised and exalted with reciprocating adulation and acclaim.

“They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.” – Psalm 12:2

If your Christianity isn’t costing you at least some friends and family, both inside and outside the church house, your hope and faith may have turned horizontal. If your Sunday gatherings have become flattery festivals where people are quoted and praised more than Jesus Christ, you might want to reconsider your church membership. If you have friends and family that hate God, but love you, it might be time to reexamine your witness for Christ and your commitment to Him.

“And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.” – Luke 21:16-17

Take a sober and discerning look around your church next Sunday and tell me what you see. If it’s all about relationships there, it may be time to hit the door and go find your cross.

“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” – Matthew 10:33-39

Related articles:

1. The Loneliness of the Christian
2. Authority Research
3. Are You A Church Worshipper?

© 2009 Paul Proctor – All Rights Reserved

Posted in Alan Roxburgh, Allelon, Bob Hunter, Brian McLaren, Charles Christian, Dan Boone, Dennis Bratcher, Emergent Church, Emergent church within the Nazarene denomination, Greg Horton, Jesse Middendorf, John Hanna, Jon Middendorf, Leonard Sweet, New spirituality, Rick Warren, Rob Bell, Scott Daniels, Tom Oord, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

In the trenches with Manny and friends.

Posted by nazarenepsalm113 on August 20, 2009

To start this off lets here from someone wiser than me-John MacArthur and his very wise words.
“So what is truth? Here is a simple definition drawn from what the Bible teaches: truth is that which is consistent with the mind,will,character,glory, and being of God. Because the definition of truth flows from God, truth is theological. Truth is also ontological-which is a fancy way of saying that it is the way things really are. Reality is what it is because God declared it so and made it so. Therefore God is the author ,source,determiner,governer,arbitor,utimate standard, and final judge of all truth. The Old Testament refers to the Almighty as the “God of truth” (Deut 32:4;Psalm 31:5;Isaiah 65:16). When Jesus said of Himself,”I am…the truth John 14:6), He was thereby making a profound claim about His own deity. He was also making it clear that all truth must ultimately be defined in terms of God and His eternal glory.
Jesus also said that the written Word of God is truth. It is not merely nuggets of truth; it is pure,unchangable, and inviolable truth that (according to Jesus) “cannot be broken” (John 10:35). Praying to His heavenly Father of behalf of His disciples, He said this “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth”( John 17:17). Morever, the Word of God is eternal truth “which lives and abides forever” (Peter 1:23).
Of course there cannot be any discord or difference of opinion between the written Word of God (Scripture) and the incarnate Word of God (Jesus). In the first place, truth by definition cannot contradict itself. Second, Scripture is called “the word of Christ””Colossians 3:16). It is His message., His self-expression. In other words, the truth of Christ and the truth of the Bible are of the very same character. They are in perfect agreement in every respect. Both are equally true. God has revealed Himself to humanity through scripture and through His Son. Both perfectly embody the essence of what truth is. end quote
(Excert from “The Truth War” by John MacArthur)
Two opposing views are never both true one has to be false.
There are false teachers and people who teach what is good and true.
The Bible throughout teaches about false teachers and false prophets the book of Jude is a good book to study about what the Bible teaches about false teachers.
What does all this have to do with me and Manny and our friends fighting in the trenches for the truth of Gods Word?
Well to set this up let me tell you why we fight.
We do not fight to try to convince the opposing side they are wrong and convince them we are right.
We always allow Gods Word to determine that.
A good reason to sometimes fight in the trenches is to expose falsehood the opposition teaches in front of  all those who have gathered around to observe the fight.

Face it many websites such as Naz Net and other facebook pages even the Church of the Nazarene facebook page are being used by the enemy as points of diaprax.
As Dean Gotcher points out, the success of diaprax depends on collaborative agreements of unity based on false standards. Diaprax by nature would reject the absolutes of the scriptures. We are seeing a lot of that in today’s church.
We see that going on all over the net.
Unity while forsaking the truth.

Again there can never be two opposing views that are both true.

One has to be true and one has to be false.

Both Manny and myself were declared by those who oppose us to not be false teachers.

here are their own words-

(Both these guys support the Emergent Church )

Bob Hunter stated”I want to stress that I do not believe Manny & Tim are false teachers”

Paul de Baufer stated” I agree that Manny and Tim are NOT heretics, nor are they false teachers.”

Therefore by our oppositions own statements what Manny and I are teaching is true and should be listened to.

And if you want to see what we are teaching of course go to our website as well as Concerned Nazarenes website.

Now with both Manny and myself we have always stated that you should be good Bereans and check everything we say against what scripture teaches. And if it doesn’t add up reject it totally. I have made this statement dozens of times as well about all my writing and articles as well as the DVD I helped produce.

I know myself , Manny and our friends will always point you toward Gods Word for truth and to check out to see if what we say is true.

The opposition has another view though to take you away from Gods Word.

Try this statement on for size.

This was from Bob Hunter and my reply was a follow up comment.

Bob Hunter wrote23 minutes ago
To all,

This constant goaded by the CNs to support everything with scripture is nothing but an invitation to engage in a combative theological debate using scripture out of context. Do take the bait. One only has to look the SBC to see how that is working out for them. When the Bible is used to prove who is right and wrong it becomes a device and not a source of formation in the lives of people it seeks to shape. 

Actually, it could be well stated and already has that perhaps many of us have a very high view of scripture in that we seek to use it for its intended purpose and not as a billy club. Bible wars? No thanks! Say NO to the CN invitation to fight each other with scripture. Horrible! unChristlike, unNazarene… (PS I feel Bob has a very low view of scripture since he seldom uses it-Tim)
Here was my follow-up comment

Tim-
We are not saying fight each other with scripture.
We are saying compare whats being taught,stated and shown on the DVD with Gods word.Acts 17: 10-12
“And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable woman which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.”
Folks who are you really going to believe people who point you toward the scriptures to see if what is being said is true.
Or troubled, disturbed individuals who point you away from Gods Word.
You decide.
Sincerely in Christ
Tim
I believe that Bob fears that people will find out that what Gods Words states does indeed agree with what we are teaching.
That in itself in bizarre since Bob has already stated he did not believe we are false teachers.
Why not let people decide for themselves .
Ask yourselves what is the big fear here among Emergent’s and their supporters of the  false doctrine they endorse and teach?
Our comments have now been removed from the Church of the Nazarene facebook page as well as Mannys posts.
Is the truth being suppressed here?
You decide.
There is a big fear out there among Emergent’s and the heresy they expose folks to.
And our movement continues to grow.
here is a email I received today-

Tim,

I trust that this email makes it way to you in that I pulled it from your Concerned Nazarenes web page.

First, let me say that the reason I am writing to you is to affirm you and your fellow Nazarenes who have boldly expressed your concerns regarding the emergent church movement and its present influence within the Wesleyan/Nazarene/Free Methodist family of churches and colleges.  In my judgment you are correct in your analysis and I can only hope your college leaders will listen to you.

Second, I wanted to let you know that I share you passion for confronting the errors of the emergent church and its affection for post-modern epistemology and ontology.  I personally have been speaking out and confronting my Wesleyan counterparts on these very same things.  In fact Oklahoma Wesleyan University has become known in the Wesleyan Church for its conservative stance on these matters and for our unapologetic commitment to the inerrancy of the Scriptures.

I just want you to know that I am here to partner with you, support you, and serve you should you find it helpful.

If you want to know more about what we are doing at Oklahoma Wesleyan University go to http://www.okwu.edu.

Blessings,

Everett Piper

President

Oklahoma Wesleyan University


Opposition to the heresy those like Brian Mclaren and Rob Bell and their followers teach continues to grow.

Which side of the fence are you on?

Scripture states-

2 Thess 2:3

3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first


Are you falling away or clinging to the truth we find in Jesus and His Word written and settled in scripture?

Posted in Alan Roxburgh, Allelon, Bob Hunter, Brian McLaren, Charles Christian, Dan Boone, Dennis Bratcher, Emergent Church, Emergent church within the Nazarene denomination, Greg Horton, Jesse Middendorf, John Hanna, Jon Middendorf, Leonard Sweet, New spirituality, Rick Warren, Rob Bell, Scott Daniels, Tom Oord | Leave a Comment »

A Chat with Ray Yungen and Mike Oppenheimer

Posted by nazarenepsalm113 on July 22, 2009

A chat we filmed back when we originally filmed our Concerned Nazarenes DVD.

This is the first time this has been seen publically.

Mike and Ray chat about contemplative prayer, its roots as well as the new age and the new spirituality as well as some bits about Rick Warren and Saddleback..

Enjoy-Tim

Posted in Alan Roxburgh, Allelon, Bob Hunter, Brian McLaren, Charles Christian, Dan Boone, Dennis Bratcher, Emergent Church, Emergent church within the Nazarene denomination, Greg Horton, Jesse Middendorf, John Hanna, Jon Middendorf, Leonard Sweet, New spirituality, Rick Warren, Rob Bell, Tom Oord | Leave a Comment »

Entire Johanna Michaelsen Interview

Posted by nazarenepsalm113 on July 16, 2009

This is the entire interview with Johanna Michaelsen from the Concerned Nazarenes/Concerned Christians DVD.

Its titled “The occult infiltration into today’s professing church.”

 

Posted in Alan Roxburgh, Allelon, Bob Hunter, Brian McLaren, Charles Christian, Dan Boone, Dennis Bratcher, Emergent Church, Emergent church within the Nazarene denomination, Greg Horton, Jesse Middendorf, John Hanna, Jon Middendorf, Leonard Sweet, New spirituality, Rick Warren, Rob Bell, Tom Oord | Tagged: | 3 Comments »