Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Will Not To Believe

I first came across Wilbur M. Smith in the Forward he provided for Alva McClain's The Greatness of the Kingdom and the Preface to George N. H. Peters' The Theocratic Kingdom. His comments were thoughtful and so I looked him up. It turns out that he wrote a book (published in 1945) called Therefore Stand - A Plea for a Vigorous Apologetic in the Present Crisis of Evangelical Christianity.

This book may be out of print although second-hand copies are still available. Smith's message to Christians is a valuable one and it is sorely needed, now more than ever. You can read a review HERE.

I found this excerpt from the book very true, even from my own limited experience:

One of the reasons why men do not believe in Christ, and in the Word of God, is that they are determined not to believe. This is the deliberate, determined attitude of their mind. No matter what arguments are presented to them, no matter how accurate they find the work of God to be, how incontrovertible the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ is shown to be, they cannot intend to believe. Someone will say, "No one can possibly be as stubborn as that." Yes, it is not only possible, it is continually manifested. Thus for example, the outstanding church historian of the nineteenth century, speaking of the Lord's miracle of the quieting of the waves in a storm on the Sea of Galilee, frankly said regarding a storm being quieted by a word, "We do not believe and we shall never again believe." Harnack does not mean that the evidence is not sufficient for belief, he means that whatever the evidence is, he is not going to believe. Goethe took exactly the same attitude concerning the resurrection, "A voice from heaven would not convince me...that a woman gives birth without knowing man, and that a dead man rises from the grave. I rather regard this as blasphemy against the great God and His revelation in nature." I have a letter from a Professor in a theological seminary in this country regarding the resurrection of Christ (the writer's name cannot be divulged because of a promise made in regard to this correspondence), who frankly told me that he would not judge the miracle of the resurrection by historical evidence, for, from a scientific and psychological point of view, he was prejudiced against it, and no evidence would ever change his mind. William James of Harvard wrote a remarkable book once which he aptly called The Will to Believe: a new book could be written today, even from the same University, with an equally true title, The Will Not to Believe. ~ Therefore Stand (pp 174-175) (bold emphasis my own)

A Sad Case of Slander

I can trace the very beginnings of this sad case to a simple difference in rapture timing. Yet, somehow, it has evolved to include the KJVO debate, and with a Christian unfairly slandering another. Here is a lesson for all of us. Click Here

Chris Rosebrough’s commentary addresses this issue very well HERE

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

On Junk Prophecy Purveyors

Please note my new link Herescope

To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of discernment ministries. It seems that they're always on the lookout for some other ministry or pastor making a mistake. Google just about anyone's name and you'll find some so-called scandalous tidbit about them. The only ministry that always washes up clean is the discernment ministry itself.

Now that I have that out of the way, I'll do a flip flop and say that there is a value to some of these discernment ministries. You just have to be...well, discerning.

Last week I saw an article put out by Creation Ministries International. It essentially refuted a documentary that promulgated the idea that a tiny dead humanoid was an alien. I had noted that one popular "prophecy writer" wrote an article warning that this body was a satanic deception - think alien/demons, UFOs and Nephilim. In fact CMI capably demonstrates that the body is, in fact, a fetus. There's nothing alien about it.

The problem is that this "prophecy writer" deals in sensationalism and, like many others in that market, has fostered a business from it. He could have done his research and been far more objective but that wouldn't have helped his business. This isn't the first time he and other merchants of the sensational have done this.

What's worse, the author of the CMI article suggested to me that these guys do it because of their eschatology. That's a sad indictment and quite untrue. Unfortunately, it is true that a lot of end-times literature is saturated with sensationalist garbage. Its authors aren't always objective with their presentations and often appear to be more interested in selling their books and DVDs.

I think Herescope has some sobering articles addressing this brand of prophecy market and I think it's needed. But, as always - Caveat Emptor.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Michael Rydelnik & Michael Vlach - Moody Radio

Michael Rydelnik of Moody Bible Institute talks with Michael Vlach, author of Has the Church Replaced Israel?

Click Here.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Christopher Cone - the New Covenant & the Church

Addressed to The Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics at Baptist Bible Seminary, on September 24, 2009, and later published in Journal of Dispensational Theology, December 2009, and currently scheduled to be included in a forthcoming single volume handling the issue of the New Covenant in greater detail.


Though Paul does not in these passages invoke either a new and separate covenant with the church nor a shared application of the previously revealed one, some argue that he does the latter in Ephesians 2:11-3:6, a passage in which gentiles are described as, among other things, “strangers to the covenants.” (2:12) In 2:12 Paul presents five conditions of unsaved gentiles, and he does not assert that all of these conditions are reversed at the time of salvation. Notice the remedy he diagnoses: those formerly far off have been brought near (2:13), having access through Him in one Spirit to the Father (2:18). Believing gentiles have been made fellow citizens with the saints (believing Jews) (2:19). But fellow citizens of what? Are we now partakers of Jewish covenants? Are we now of the commonwealth of Israel? Have we now become “spiritual” Jews? No on all counts. The mystery is precisely identified in 3:6 that we are fellow members of the body and fellow partakers of the promise (note, not promises). We are brought near to the Jews by virtue of our oneness in the body of Christ, but nowhere in this grand section are we co-partakers or fellow citizens in any aspect outside of that body. This is according to promise. Paul’s first mention of the promise in Ephesians appears in 1:13 referencing the Holy Spirit. We could also consider the seventh aspect of God’s covenant with Abraham (Gen. 12:3) and compare this with John’s concise description of the promise – eternal life (1 Jn. 2:25). Whether the promise here references the related aspects of the ministry of the spirit, gentile blessings under the Abrahamic covenant, or eternal life, there is no stated or implied connection between the church and the covenants of Israel. Paul says we were once strangers to the covenants of promise and that now we have been brought near (eggus). Near is not inside or upon...keep reading