Christian Worldview Articles


39 We Do Not Know What Cannot be Know:
Why Future Climate Change is Unknown

In 1987, a man published a booklet that presented 88 reasons why Christ would return in 1988. Though many thousands were sold, the book was doomed to be wrong. Christ himself said that no one knows when he will return. In Christian theology, what we can know is revealed in the Bible. When Christ will return cannot be known. When it comes to what cannot be known, multiple reasons, evidence or collaborating authorities are worthless. What by nature cannot be known remains unknown no matter what.

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38 Hebrews and God "Speaking"

A short time ago I published an article that defended the principle of scripture alone from the claim that one can hear a "voice of God" through mystical means (that is, the "word of God" beyond Scripture). Several people objected to my claim, pointing out that the book of Hebrews says that God is still speaking. I understand how they can read it that way, but theirs is not a correct reading of Hebrews. In this paper I will defend this thesis: The book of Hebrews teaches that God has spoken once for all through Scripture.

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37 Sanitization or Sanctification?

A reader phoned me recently and explained how he has seen churches depart from Bible teaching only to institute various programs for better living. He made an intriguing statement: “These programs do not sanctify, they sanitize.” And he was absolutely right about that. Let me unpack that idea and show from Scripture that this is the case.
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36 Pastoral Malpractice and the Visible Church

Suppose you were to contract a potentially serious medical condition and went to see a doctor. Upon asking him details about the diagnosis and medical consequences you found out that he does not take medical literature literally. In addition, he has not kept up on the latest medical research and has been out of medical school for several decades. He prefers to make his patients happy and comfortable rather than to force them to confront the truth about their health condition. Would you see such a doctor?

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35 Todd Bentley, Bob Jones, and Patricia King Practice Astral Projection

In a bizarre You Tube.com video of “prophet” Patricia King’s TV program, fellow “prophet” Bob Jones and revivalist Todd Bentley discuss the practice of visiting “the third heaven”. Jones also professes to have taught Bentley and King ...

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34 My Visit to Ask Rick Warren to Preach Christ

In May, one of the pastors at Saddleback Church invited me to attend a Purpose Driven conference—at Saddleback’s expense. Their only caveat was that I say nothing until the end, at which time I would be able to comment about why I disagree with the Purpose Driven movement. I declined on the grounds that I had already studied the movement and had no need to hear more from its proponents. When I saw the lineup of speakers I realized that it would have been exasperating to listen for hours to what I have already rejected. Rick Warren’s chief of staff e-mailed back and offered to have me come only on Thursday in order to talk to Warren in person. Since the Bible says that we should be ready to give a reason for our hope in the gospel (1Peter 3:15) I decided to go.

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33 The Foreknowledge of God Part 2: A Critique of Dr. Greg Boyd’s Open Theism

In part 1 of this two-part series we examined a series of Scripture references that Dr. Greg Boyd cites as proof that God lacks comprehensive foreknowledge of the future choices of free moral agents. We did this in order to answer his challenge for someone to deal with his Biblical exegesis directly from the Scripture, as he claimed his critics have not done. In part two we shall continue this process and show that the passages Boyd cites do not support the claims of open theism.

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32 The Foreknowledge of God Part 1: A Critique of Dr. Greg Boyd’s Open Theism

In recent years, some evangelicals have rekindled an old controversy by asserting that God does not have exhaustive foreknowledge. That is to say that He does not know everything that is going to happen. Jonathan Edwards devoted many pages of his famous ...

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31 Christianity Today Ditches Sola Scriptura and Takes up Church Tradition

In a cover article for Christianity Today, The FUTURE lies in the PAST, church history professor Chris Armstrong examines the trends in evangelicalism that have resulted in current evangelicals looking to ancient practices and teachings from church history from which to draw inspiration. He cites a D. H. Williams comment on "the almost overnight popularity of bishops and monks, martyrs and apologists, philosophers and historians who first fashioned a Christian culture 1,500 years ago,"1 and correctly identifies Robert Webber and Richard Foster as key early leaders of the movement that takes us back to ancient Christian practices and ideas.

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30 Rob Bell "Undefines" Holiness

In Velvet Elvis, Bell lists a number of transcendent experiences that he claims overwhelmed him to be in awe of God. The first one for Bell happened as a teenager at a concert performed by Irish rock group U2, where he was "overwhelmed with the word true."1

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29 Rob Bell's Abstract "Elvis"

For the past two years I have researched the theology of the Emergent Church in preparation for a book I am writing. During that time I ignored Rob Bell's Velvet Elvis because I was concentrating on other works of postmodern theology. Then someone loaned me Bell's video in which he uses subatomic physics to try to prove that, "everything is spiritual." After viewing it, I saw how seriously he is leading people astray. On a recent trip I finally read Velvet Elvis.

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28 Why the Cross Offends

The cross was an executioner's device. It meant either a literal cross on which someone would be executed, or it meant living as one condemned to die (cross- bearing). Later Paul used the term "cross" to mean the message of the cross. It might surprise people today to learn that the term "cross" when used in the Bible never meant a Christian symbol. And yet many modern churchgoers see the cross as an endearing Christian symbol...

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27 Global Warming and the Definition of Sin

In early 2006 PBS contacted Jan Markell and asked to send a camera crew to film her radio show if she would do one on global warming. They were looking for her response to the global warming statement signed by evangelicals such as Rick Warren, Brian McLaren, and Leif Anderson. Jan asked me to join her because of my background in science. I studied chemical engineering at Iowa State University and took classes like organic chemistry, physical chemistry, physics, etc. One thing that we worked with was the combustion of hydrocarbons, which is at issue in the global warming debate.

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26 Why Churches Hire Pastors with Serious Problems

Some churches have made news recently for knowingly hiring pastors with serious ethical and moral problems. In one case a church hired a pastor previously convicted of sexual involvement with minors. In other cases high visibility pastors have been exposed for embezzlement, taking illegal drugs, engaging in homosexual behavior, or for having committed other serious sins...

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25 The Demise of Gospel Preaching in Modern Evangelicalism Part 3

In the first two parts of this series we examined the person and work of Christ and how the sinner needs to see himself as a law breaker who needs to repent. In this final part of this series we will examine several popular ideas in modern evangelicalism that have served to obscure the gospel and cause preachers to fail to proclaim the true terms of salvation.

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24 The Demise of Gospel Preaching in Modern Evangelicalism Part 2

People do not come with a built in knowledge of who Jesus is, what He did, why they need Him, and what He expects from them. In the previous article we examined the person and work of Christ. Now we shall look at what the sinner needs to know about God’s law and the need for repentance.

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23 The Demise of Gospel Preaching in Modern Evangelicalism Part 1

Many cultural trends in contemporary evangelicalism are pushing gospel preaching out of churches. People are being asked to make a “decision for Jesus” without being told who Jesus is, what He has done, or why they need Him. In many cases, those who are failing to preach the gospel vehemently deny that they are doing so. This series of articles will suggest a simple remedy to the problem: gospel preaching.

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22 Emergent Old Fashioned Liberalism

A just-published book entitled An Emergent Manifesto of Hope edited by Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones contains 25 essays written by various leaders in the Emergent “conversation.” Pagitt and Jones provide introductions to the various sections of the book. As difficult as it has been to pin down this movement theologically, this book erases any doubts about the key unifying theological perspective of the movement—theological liberalism.

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21 Binding and Loosing Part Two

In Part One of Binding and Loosing we saw from Scripture that binding and loosing concerned both the terms of entrance into the Kingdom and the authority to declare God’s mind on matters of doctrine and practice. However, some have interpreted binding and loosing to be the authority to bind Satan and demons through verbal declaration, a misunderstanding primarily based on ...

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20 Binding and Loosing part 1

“I bind you, Satan!” is uttered in thousands of prayers every day in America. Many books have been written based on the idea that Christians can verbally “bind Satan” and thus “loose” people from his nefarious activities. But in the process, the true Biblical doctrine of binding and loosing is obscured.

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19 Why Theophostic Prayer Ministry is Neither Prayer Nor Christian Ministry

Though my article about the errors of Theophostic Ministry was published several years ago, I still get e-mails from practitioners accusing me of falsely attacking a wonderful ministry that is helping many people. Even today many claim that this ministry, invented by Dr. Ed Smith, is the key to emotional healing. My response remains the same, “I never said that Theophostics doesn’t work, I said that it is not Biblical.”

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18 The Believers Call to Judge part 3 – Naming Names

In part 2 we studied Paul’s warning to the elders in Ephesus that wolves would arise in their midst. In this final segment of this series we shall examine Paul’s practice and teaching regarding correcting false teachers that arise in the church, including naming them by name.

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17 Defining the Believer’s Biblical Call to Judge Part 2

This is part two in a three part series of articles which examine various passages from the New Testament concerning believers making judgments. The purpose of these articles is to help believers use discernment while avoiding making judgments about things they cannot know. We will begin part 2 by explaining the often misunderstood passage in Matthew about judging by fruit.

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16 Defining the Believer’s Biblical Call to Judge Part 1

Many times, after publishing an article that disputes the claims of someone’s published work, I am asked if I had talked to the person privately. There are those who claim that debating ideas in the public arena should not happen unless there was a prior Matthew 18 process of adjudication. It is my position that Matthew 18 does not apply to the public interaction of theological ideas. In this series of articles, I shall examine various New Testament passages that explain what we must and must not judge.

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15 Where Are the Elders Who Guard the Flock?

This past weekend I received a call not unlike many dozens of previous communications from Christians concerned about unbiblical practices being introduced into their local churches. This particular one expressed a committed Christian’s concern that their large evangelical church was introducing mysticism and eastern practices under the guise of youth ministry. This church had even created a shrine of sorts in the church basement for young people to practice this mysticism.

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14 Brought Before Kings

America’s most visible pastor, Rick Warren, has been in the news recently because of a meeting with King Assad of Syria and for inviting likely, future presidential candidate Barack Obama to speak at his church. E. J. Dionne Jr. of the Washington Post wrote an editorial about Obama’s visit in which he said, “That Obama received a standing ovation suggests that Warren is right to sense that growing numbers of Christians are tired of narrowly partisan politics and share his interest in ‘the whole bird.’ In their different spheres, Warren and Obama are both in the business of retailing hope.” But in either case, is this hope eternal?

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13 Repentance and the Universal Call of the Gospel Part 2

In part 1 of this two part series of articles on repentance, I presented Biblical evidence that repentance is part of the universal call of the gospel. I further showed that it is more than merely changing one’s mind about Jesus; but that it involves turning from whatever we were serving and turning to God on His terms.

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12 Repentance and the Universal Call of the Gospel Part 1

It seems that whenever writers on this site reference repentance, they receive comments suggesting that they are teaching salvation by works. Over the years my writings have generated similar responses. Those who object to the preaching of repentance generally hold two basic premises: 1) Faith is mental assent to the facts about Jesus; 2) Repentance is either an action taken by Christians who wish to live a better life ...

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11 The Gospel to Mars Hill NOT Mars Hill into the Church

Over the years I have pondered a contradiction in the life of Paul. In the book of Galatians, Paul strongly denounced any compromise with Judaizers (those who claimed Christians must keep Jewish laws like circumcision and food laws). He even rebuked Peter for compromising on this matter (Galatians 2:14). Yet according to Acts 21:23 – 26, Paul went through a Jewish rite of purification and entered the temple where sacrifices were offered for him and his companions. Such behavior apparently contradicts what Paul taught in Galatians.

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10 Why Icons Cannot Preach the Gospel

Suppose that a person wants to become a missionary and bring the gospel to a tribe that had never heard it. But the person finds the process of preparation too long, difficult and expensive: years of language training, preparation to live in a primitive culture, raising financial support, etc. So the would-be missionary comes up with a brilliant idea—travel to a key place where the tribal members meet, sneak in at night, construct a huge cross, and leave the country without saying a word—and carries out the plan...

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9 Laurie Beth Jones’ Four [Pagan] Elements of Success

Modern evangelicalism has a voracious appetite for self-discovery. Various approaches to discovering one’s temperament have played a prominent role in this. In the 70’s and 80’s the ancient Greek terminology of Choleric, Sanguine, Phlegmatic, and Melancholy, were used to describe temperaments in a series of popular Christian books...

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8 How the Seeker Sensitive Movement Quenches the Holy Spirit

In 1986 we had Dave Hunt speak at our church on the topic of his book, The Seduction of Christianity. After this event some members left our church. One of them was asked why and answered, “Because you have quenched the Holy Spirit.” In her estimation, holding a conference to warn people about serious false teachings was something that was a hindrance to the working of the Holy Spirit...

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7 Tent of Meeting Part 2 -- Whatever Happened to the Gospel?

My latest article set off a storm of protest. In the article I claimed that Beth Moore misinterpreted the significance of the tent of meeting. My specific claim was that Jesus Christ, the mediator of the New Covenant, provides the only way for us to draw near to God and I pointed to many sections of Scripture to establish that claim. I also claimed that we can only come to God through Christ’s once for all shed blood and discussed many other important aspects of the gospel to complete the discussion.

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6 Beth Moore’s Illicit Tent of Meeting

Recently, on Ingrid Schlueter’s Web site Beth Moore denied that she promotes approaches to prayer that have Eastern overtones. The issue arose from her participation on the Be Still DVD which has been critiqued on this site by Ingrid and then Brian Flynn. Brian and I viewed a segment of Beth Moore on that DVD. We found disconcerting her poor understanding of Exodus 33:7-11, the passage she uses as her proof text. In her discussion of Moses’ tent of meeting she proposes that each believer can have their own tent of meeting where they can go to have two way conversations with God.

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5 A Fifteen Hundred Dollar Cat or an Apostle?

A farmer in southern Iowa used to tell story of a man who claimed to have owned a $3,000 dog. When asked how he knew his dog was worth that much the man answered, “Because I traded it to the neighbor for two $1,500 cats.” So it goes with the apostles and prophets of the resuscitated Latter Rain movement. They know they are apostles and prophets because they declare each other to be such. How do you know you are an apostle? “A prophet told me.” How do you know he was a prophet? “An apostle told him.” Today there are thousands of individuals telling each other they are apostles and prophets.

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4 When the World Determines the Message of the Church

One hundred years ago the modernist/fundamentalist controversy was raging. What started it was one simple idea—that Christianity needed to be reinvented if it wanted to be relevant to the modern world. Darwinian evolution made the Biblical account of creation suspect in the minds of many, and modern rationalism cast serious doubts on miracles of any kind. Biblical accounts with angels, demons, miracles, the virgin birth, the literal bodily resurrection of Christ, etc. were seen to be incompatible with the rationalist worldview of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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3 The Azusa Street Hall of Shame

In 1973 as a student at North Central Bible College of the Assemblies of God, I remember sitting in chapel when the president of our college spoke about the dangers of the Latter Rain movement. He told us, “We are a non-prophet organization.” In the late 1940’s the Assemblies of God had lost many congregations to the heretical Latter Rain movement and many of my Bible College teachers could still remember those days. They warned us to steer clear of any who claimed to be apostles and prophets. We were told to avoid anyone who claimed “new revelations” from God and to stick to the Bible alone as authoritative revelation.

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2 The Emergence of Imaginary Eschatology

Imagine a world where everything is getting better because God is still creating it. Imagine a world in which there is no more entropy (the principle of heat loss that means that everything left to its own heads toward disorder). Imagine a world where creative people are co-recreating the world with God. This imaginary world is the world as it exists in the minds of the leaders of the Emerging Church.

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1 The Emergent Church -- Theological “Sons of Jeroboam”

In January of this year I debated Emergent Church leader Doug Pagitt. During my twenty minute opening statement, I used Scripture to establish the fact that God Himself through His Word determines the boundaries of how we come to God and walk with Him. I used simple logic: either there are boundaries on how we come to God or there are not. Since no boundaries would open the door to universalism, there are boundaries. Since there are boundaries, either God determines the boundaries or man does. Since man is the fallen sinner who needs to come to God, he can hardly be trusted to determine valid boundaries. So logically God must determine the boundaries of how man comes to God.

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