Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

High Holy Days

September 18, 2009

 

This evening at sundown begins the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, or the Feast of Trumpets. It is traditionally a time of celebration and prayers for the coming year, and a time of repentance through the next ten days leading up to Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The realizations of God’s judgment and of atonement are strong through these days. As believers in Christ, we are thankful for God’s provision of His Son and His forgiveness of all the sins of His people. 

One tradition many Jews hold to on Rosh Hashanah is casting pieces of bread, or pebbles, etc., into naturally flowing water. This is symbolic of the casting off of sin, and originally based on the concept of God graciously taking our sins away such that they are gone forever. The use of water is based on the passage from Micah 7,

“Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.”

These days are yet another great opportunity to reflect on our spiritual status, to consider where we have failed in sin and to repent, and also to praise Him for the blessings and victories He has given us.

Though the waters ahead are as yet uncharted by us, we press on with sober resolve to walk closer to the Lord, who knows all and holds all things in His sovereign, mighty, blessed hands.

Happy New Year.  Grace and peace to you.

the second most views = the most recommended post

June 10, 2009

For quite a while now, WordPress has recorded 499 views for a post I wrote titled, “A Must-Hear Sermon on the Doctrine of Election” (the number of views for this post have only been surpassed by “Jerry Vines Preaches John 3:16 Sermon at SBTS,” mentioned yesterday).

“A Must-Hear Sermon on the Doctrine of Election” is the post from Strange BaptistFire that I would most recommend to readers of this site, not because of anything that I wrote in that post, but because of the sermon linked at the end of the post: a sermon on Romans 8:26-9:6a by Dr. Russell Moore. I hope that anyone who has not yet done so will follow the link above and will benefit from Dr. Moore’s teaching.

Why the most views?

June 9, 2009

The post on this site that has had the most views is “Jerry Vines Preaches John 3:16 Sermon at SBTS.” This has been the case for a while now, and more views are recorded for this post all the time.

I can’t figure out why this should be the case; as far as I can tell, no high-trafficking blog has linked this post, and the post does not rate high on Google searches for “Jerry Vines,” “John 3:16,” “SBTS,” etc. Furthermore, there is nothing controversial in this post and no lengthy comment thread under the post.

Anyone have any ideas why this particular post should get so many views?
Please leave your thoughts below.

Response on Pyromaniacs to the Blackaby Denial of Sola Scriptura

April 6, 2009

As most readers are probably aware, on Thursday and Friday of last week Dan Phillips of the Pyromaniacs blog began posting a response to Henry and Richard Blackaby’s chapter in How Then Should We Choose? Three Views on God’s Will and Decision Making. This is important to Strange BaptistFire readers because the view presented by the Blackabys in How Then Should We Choose? is the same view presented in Experiencing God, which has been profoundly influential in Southern Baptist circles.

One implication for Southern Baptists of the Blackaby view of extra-biblical special revelation is indicated in Phil Johnson’s following comment on Dan Phillip’s first post:

One thing I don’t understand is why someone who accepts Blackaby’s approach to divine guidance wouldn’t simply apply Balckaby’s [sic] arguments on a wider scale and become a REAL charismatic.

On the other hand, perhaps that is the whole point: Blackaby has found a way to let Southern Baptists have Charismatic mysticism without glossolalia. This way the SBC loses fewer people to the Assemblies of God and the Vineyard.

Read “Non Sola Scriptura- the Blackaby view of God’s will:”
Part 1
Part 2

I also encourage readers to view an old Pyromaniac post on a related topic HERE.

In reading the posts linked above, I would ask readers familiar with the Blackaby view to consider questions such as the following:

1. Should Christians today expect to receive a specific word from God apart from the Word of God (the Bible)?
2. Should Christians today look to the biblical accounts of how God appeared to the prophets and the apostles as examples of how we should expect God to appear to us?
3. If Christians receive a specific word from God apart from the Word of God is this other word inerrant and infallible? (Related: Can God, who cannot lie, even speak in a way that it subject to error or failing?)
4. If a Christian does believe that he or she has received a specific word from God apart from the Word of God, does that Christian sin if he or she does not obey this other Word?

Support the Africa Center for Apologetics Research

April 2, 2009

John Divito, a graduate of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary who formerly managed a blog called the Reformed Baptist Thinker, is working to begin a ministry to confront and evangelize cult members and those influenced by them in East Africa. John and his family plan to move to Uganda where John will teach apologetics at Kampala Evangelical School of Theology; from there, John will direct the Africa Center for Apologetics Research, providing training and resources to ministers throughout East Africa. [Learn more about the Africa Center for Apologetics Research at the AC|FAR website and blog.]

Anyone who has been interested in the material posted on Strange BaptistFire.com should be all the more interested in supporting the work of AC|FAR for at least two reasons:

1. The cause of Truth. At Strange BaptistFire we have been primarily focused on responding to attacks on the Doctrines of Grace, commonly called Calvinism, within Baptist circles. This is because we believe that the Doctrines of Grace are clearly taught in Scripture and that deviating from these doctrines can lead into grave error; indeed, if left unchecked, departures from the Doctrines of Grace may lead to a repudiation of key gospel truths, as seen throughout history since the Reformation.

Most of the doctrinal controversies we have addressed, however, do not involve heresy versus orthodoxy. In other words, while I believe that the speakers at the John 3:16 Conference (for example) are incorrect in their views (and, in many cases, dangerously so), I would not label them “heretics.”

On the other hand, AC|FAR will be addressing heretical movements which are actively spreading anti-gospel lies throughout East Africa. These movements are a real threat to evangelism in this region. As hard as it is to reach people with the gospel when they have been raised in an Islamic or animistic culture, it is much harder to reach them when they have already been won over to a “Christian gospel” that actually distorts key doctrines of the Christian faith. We who love the Truth should be eager to support a work that seeks to respond to heresies and to proclaim the truth of the gospel to those who have been caught in a web of lies.

2. The opportunity to support a Reformed Baptist missionary. Those of us who have been convinced of a Reformed (or Calvinistic) view regarding soteriology are well aware of the charge from anti-Calvinists that Calvinism is a detriment to evangelism and missions. Whereas we can respond to such critics through an appeal to history or theology, the more effective response is to become ever more diligent in personal involvement with evangelism and missions. We can become daily involved in such efforts at our workplaces, but we must also look to God’s work overseas in spreading His kingdom throughout the earth. If we are not able to go overseas ourselves, we must look for ways to support others in world evangelism.

And so I urge readers to prayerfully consider supporting John Divito and the work of AC|FAR. You can donate to this ministry HERE.

FORGET EVERYTHING ELSE ON THIS BLOG; WE’VE ALL BECOME ARMINIAN!

April 1, 2009

(Happy April Fools’ Day.)

A Response to Dr. John Compton’s “What is Calvinism?” : 1a. Total Depravity

October 27, 2008

[Introduction]

1. Dr. Compton’s Definition of Calvinism
In defining Calvinism, Dr. Compton reviews the traditional five points of doctrine summarized in the acronym TULIP: Total depravity, Unconditional election, Limited atonement, Irresistible grace, and Perseverance of the saints. Though more could be written, I would like to draw readers’ attention to Compton’s presentation of two of these points in particular, namely: a. Total depravity, and b. Irresistible grace.

a. Total depravity
Compton explains the doctrine of total depravity with the following statement:
“[Total depravity is] the total destruction of God’s image in a human being, so that they are rendered incapable of responding to God.”
A major problem with this explanation is that when Calvinists define the effect of Man’s Fall into sin, we consistently and explicitly deny that this Fall totally destroyed God’s image in human beings. To illustrate this point, I direct readers to two sources that are very influential among Calvinistic Baptists: i. James P. Boyce’s Abstract of Systematic Theology, and ii. Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology.

i. That the image of God within Man was not totally destroyed by the Fall, according to James P. Boyce
That James P. Boyce, the first president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, held to the Bible doctrines commonly known as Calvinism may be demonstrated through his teaching on Limited atonement [see especially pages 339-340 of James P. Boyce, Abstract of Systematic Theology (Cape Coral, FL: Founders Press, 2006)]. Boyce taught Total depravity (referring to this doctrine as “total corruption” [Abstract, 245]), writing that, “This corruption [brought about by Adam's Fall into sin] extends to every affection of the heart and mind” [Abstract, 243]. Yet Boyce was clear in his denial that God’s image was totally destroyed in the Fall, writing, “That the whole image was not destroyed by the sin of Adam, appears from the fact that man is spoken of as in that image subsequent to the fall and before the renewal. See Gen. 9:6; James 3:9; 1 Cor. 11:7″ [Abstract, 214].

ii. That the image of God within Man was not totally destroyed by the Fall, according to Wayne Grudem
Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology is used in seminaries across the U.S. Dr. Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, has an endorsement for this book on the back cover of the 2000 edition. Grudem’s “Calvinism” can be demonstrated in his teaching on Limited atonement, in which Grudem writes, “In conclusion, it seems to me that the Reformed position of ‘particular redemption’ [the term for this doctrine that most Calvinists, including myself, prefer over 'Limited atonement'- Andrew] is most consistent with the overall teaching of Scripture” [Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000. 600). In discussing the "Calvinism" of both Grudem and Boyce, I have turned to their teaching on the doctrine of Limited atonement, because this doctrine is the most apparently controversial of the "five points," and adherence to this doctrine indicates adherence to the other "points," almost without exception.] In a section of his work titled, “The Fall: God’s Image Is Distorted but Not Lost,” Grudem explicitly affirms that Man remains in God’s image after the Fall, even as he affirms the doctrine of Total depravity [Systematic Theology, 444].

Conclusion
When Dr. Compton claims that the doctrine of Total depravity indicates the total destruction of God’s image within a human being, he is incorrect according to how Calvinists themselves define this doctrine. The only way in which Dr. Compton’s definition could be vindicated is if he were to argue that the ability to make moral choices apart from the overwhelming influence of sin (an ability that has been lost in the Fall, according to the doctrine of Total depravity) is fundamental to what it means for Man to be made in God’s image, and thus the idea that God’s image is totally destroyed would be implicit within Total depravity, even as Calvinists explicitly teach that this image remains. Apart from this hypothetical argument, however (and Dr. Compton certainly makes no such argument in his presentation, but rather seems to imply that he is defining Total depravity as Calvinists themselves would define it), Dr. Compton’s statement is simply false, it should be either amended or retracted by Dr. Compton, and should not be repeated by anyone who is trying to give an accurate representation concerning what Calvinists teach about Total depravity.

-Andrew Lindsey

A Conversation about the Heresy of Moral Government Theology

August 31, 2008

Introduction: What follows is a detailed response to a very kind gentleman who recently asked me several questions in the combox of this post.  Instead of responding in the combox, I thought that the readers of this blog would benefit from a full response via a blog post.  Due to the nature of these questions, they required fairly detailed answers, hence the nature of my response.  To provide some background, it is helpful for the reader to know that this kind gentleman is part of an evangelistic, open-air preaching ministry that rubs shoulders with at least one man who is a proponent of Moral Government Theology (hereafter MGT).  In my response, I will explain in some detail the basic doctrinal aberrations that qualify MGT as a heretical, soul-damning theology and hopefully show that it indeed is a form of doctrinal “strange fire”.

Hi John,

Thanks for writing my friend. I have confirmed these statements as true about Moral Government Theology (hereafter MGT) and contrary to what you may be led to think, I am not lying nor would I knowingly seek to mischaracterize its theology. I participated in quite a bit of theological research from primary sources of MGT proponents several years ago while completing my master’s degree in seminary. My focus of MGT studies was its adherence to Open Theism, hence the primary focus of my brief critique here. I did this research because a friend and I were studying Open Theism and I wanted to know what some of the roots of it were from the standpoint of historical theology and in doing so I was led to MGT.

As a result of my studies, I am very disturbed at the teachings of MGT because it denies a large portion of the defining body of the orthodox Christian faith. These include:

  1. The solidarity of mankind with Adam’s sin.
  2. Unregenerate man’s moral inability.
  3. The substitutionary and satisfactory atonement for sin in Christ’s propitiatory death.
  4. The moral and intellectual perfection of God, His infinite exhaustive foreknowledge, and His immutability.

I will elaborate on these issues later in this post.

In your first question you asked, “How does Moral Government Theology confirm open theism?”

1.  The fact that MGT affirms Open Theism comes from the very mouth of MGT’s own brainchild himself; Gordon C. Olson. Olson said that the “future choices of moral beings, when acting freely in their moral agency, have not been brought into existence as yet and thus are not fixities or objects of possible knowledge.” [Gordon C. Olson, The Truth Shall Make You Free, T-III-13.] So, according to Olson, “many Bible passages, when taken in their natural meaning, appear to indicate that God does not have absolute foreknowledge over all his own future actions, nor over all those of His moral creatures.” [Ibid., T-III-18.] So, Olson himself, the very founder and central thinker for the MGT movement affirmed Open Theism as a tenet of MGT.

As a matter of fact, an MGT adherent I recently interacted with said to me in a private e-mail after I told him that his views on divine foreknowledge were heretical and idolatrous he responded And it is true that I believe God knows all that can be known, but not everything can be known yet”. This is classic open-theist speak.

You asked in your second question, “You have not proven MGT is a ‘real theological mess’, what Bible verses are you basing that on?”

2.  MGT is a real theological mess because when Olson defined freedom as the “power of contrary choice” and then took his views on libertarian freedom to their logical conclusions it led him to deny nearly the whole defining body of Christian faith: (a) mankind’s solidarity with Adam’s sin (cf. Psalm 51:5; Romans 5:18), (b) unregenerate man’s moral inability to be pleasing to God and come to God by virtue of his own unregenerated will (John 1:13; 3:3, 5; 6:44, 65; Romans 8:7-8; 9:16), (c) the substitutionary and satisfactory atonement for sin in Christ’s death (2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13; Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 3;18), (d) the perfect, infinite, and exhaustive nature of God’s foreknowledge via Open Theism (Isaiah 40-48; Acts 4:27-28 and Acts 13:48, etc.), and (e) the perfection and immutability of God’s nature (Job. 36:4; 37:16; Mal. 3:6).

In speaking of the atonement, Olson’s denial that God demands a satisfaction of His retributive divine justice led him to deny that Christ’s atoning death was the sufficient and actual payment of the penalty needed to satisfy that justice:

The sacrifice of Christ is not the payment of a debt, nor is it a complete satisfaction of justice for sin. It is a Divinely-appointed condition which precedes the forgiveness of sin . . . Christ’s sufferings took the place of a penalty, so that His sufferings have the same effect in reconciling God to man, and procuring the forgiveness of sin, that the sinner’s endurance of the punishment due to his sins would have had. The sufferings of Christ were not a substituted penalty, but a substitute for a penalty (emphasis added). [Olson, “Historical Opinions as to the Nature of Christ's Atoning Death,” 3, in The Truth Shall Make You Free, page following T-VII-10.]

Again, according to Olson, the atonement of Christ wasn’t a substitutionary atonement, but it only “rendered satisfaction to public justice (a demonstration before all that rebellion against authority will be punished), as distinguished from retributive or vindictive justice.” [Ibid., T-VIII-4.]

If the above doesn’t constitute a true-blue “theological mess” I don’t know what does! It is important to note at this point that I am not necessarily obligated to defend God’s exhaustive foreknowledge to a general readership on this particular blog since our readership already affirms such and only needs to be aware of heresies like MGT that seek to undermine it. If you are interested in my defense of God’s exhaustive foreknowledge as already made available to the general readership of this blog, please see the articles I wrote in 2006 here and here.

3.  Anyone with a computer can do a Google search for “Moral Government Theology” and read both positive presentations and negative critiques thereof. The readers of this blog are not stupid. As a matter of fact, your good friend and fellow open-air preacher Jesse Morrell has done a service for all of us by showing us just how heretical MGT really is on his own Youtube page. Jesse even said elsewhere “I think some people will be surprised when they see that Charles Finney is in Heaven but Augustine and John Calvin are in hell.”

After I had become personally acquainted with you, Kerrigan, and Jesse in an effort to show my genuine appreciation for your hard work, I was tipped off by another brother in the Lord that the ministry of PinPoint Evangelism was toying with some dangerous and aberrant doctrine and I subsequently did some further listening and watching of your videos on You Tube. Sadly, I came across many statements that Kerrigan made in his open-air preaching that made me do a double-take. For instance, when replying to one of the skeptics at UNC-Greensboro in one of his open-air preaching videos on You-Tube, this particular unbeliever questioned Kerrigan about God’s omniscience and Kerrigan replied with something to the effect of (not an exact quote) “who said that God knows the future?” In another video (I believe at Virginia Commonwealth University earlier this year), a Christian student that was speaking with Kerrigan while you were preaching asked him about his views on Open Theism (evidently, he had been watching the You Tube videos) and Kerrigan stated something to the effect that “Well, I’m studying the issue right now and am undecided” and he left it at that. The problem is this: If he’s studying it but not affirming it, then why affirm it when questioned about it by an unbeliever earlier at UNCG? If that doesn’t come off as if Kerrigan already affirms this heresy, I don’t know what does. Also, when you gentlemen were preaching at Ohio State University this year (2008) Kerrigan had an interaction with a man regarding sinning after becoming a believer and this man pointed out 1 John 1:8 to him and Kerrigan’s response was essentially to say, “I’m not a Calvinist sir . . . sin isn’t something that’s inside of you”, thus implying some type of sinless perfectionism and in other videos he has explicitly denied the imputation of Adam’s sin to his posterity by saying that original sin was a doctrine invented by Augustine.  Please see here for a refutation of that misleading historical information from several pre-Augustinian Church Fathers.

You must understand that both historic confessional Arminianism and historic confessional Calvinism have strongly condemned the doctrines of MGT as non-Christian heresies. In the following paragraphs, I will list some of what both John Wesley and Jacobus Arminius said in response to some of the same doctrinal views that modern MGT adherents hold to.<!–[if !supportFootnotes]–>[1]<!–[endif]–>

Wesley boldly defended God’s exhaustive and infallible foreknowledge in commenting on John 6:64,[John Wesley, Explanatory Notes upon the New Testament, 15th ed. (New York: Carlton & Porter, n.d.), 232.] and both God’s foreknowledge and His moral immutability in his sermon on “Divine Providence.”[By John Wesley: A Modern Reader's Introduction to the Man and his Message..., ed. T. Otto Nall (New York: Association Press, 1961), 20-21; extract from the sermon, "Divine Providence," in The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, ed. John Emory (New York: Methodist Book Concern, 1916), 2:99-107.] Moreover, he confidently taught that Christ’s “divine righteousness belongs to his divine nature….Now this is his eternal, essential, immutable, holiness; his infinite justice, mercy, and truth: in all which, He and the Father are one” (emphasis added). [By John Wesley, 62-63; extracted from Wesley's sermon, "The Lord of Righteousness," in Standard Sermons of John Wesley, 2:426-27.] And Arminius’s words rejecting the notion that God is freely good versus being good by nature issue a fire of condemnation to those who believe such heresy:

[Some] brought forward an instance, or example, in which [they alleged that] Necessity and Liberty met together; and that was God, who is both necessarily and freely good. This assertion of theirs displeased me so exceedingly, as to cause me to say, that it was not far removed from blasphemy. At this time, I entertain a similar opinion about it; and in a few words I thus prove its falsity, absurdity, and the blasphemy [contained] in the falsity….[T]he Christian Fathers justly attached blasphemy to those who said, “the Father begat the Son willingly, or by his own will;” because from this it would follow, that the Son had [principium] an origin similar to that of the creatures. But with how much greater equity does blasphemy fasten itself upon those who declare, “that God is freely good!” (emphases added) [Jacobus Arminius, Apology Against Thirty-one Defamatory Articles, Article XXII, in The Writings of James Arminius, 3 vols., trans. James Nichols and W. R. Bagnall (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1977), 1:344-46.]

Both Arminius and Wesley boldly affirmed that all human beings (except Jesus) inherit the sin and guilt of Adam and therefore are naturally bound to sin until regenerated by God. “This, therefore, is the first grand distinguishing point between Heathenism and Christianity,” said Wesley. He continued:

The one acknowledges that many men are infected with many vices, and even born with a proneness to them; but supposes withal, that in some the natural good much over balances the evil: the other declares that all men are “conceived in sin,” and “shapen in wickedness” — that hence there is in every man a “carnal mind,” which is enmity against God; which is not, cannot be, subject to “his law”; which so infects the whole soul, that “there dwelleth in” him “in his flesh,” in his natural state, “no good thing”; but “every imagination of the thoughts of his heart is evil,” only evil, and that “continually.”

Hence we may learn that all who deny this, call it “original sin,” or by any other title, are but Heathens still, in the fundamental point which differences Heathenism from Christianity . . . But here is the shibboleth: Is man by nature filled with all manner of evil? Is he void of all good? Is he wholly fallen? Is his soul totally corrupted? Or, to come back to the text, is “every imagination of the thoughts of his heart only evil continually?”

Allow this, and you are so far a Christian. Deny it, and you are but a Heathen still. [By John Wesley, 29-30; extracted from Wesley's sermon, "Original Sin," in Standard Sermons of John Wesley, 2:222-25.]

In a similar way Jacobus Arminius insisted:

The whole of this sin, however, is not peculiar to our first parents, but is common to the entire race and to all their posterity, who, at the time when this sin was committed, were in their loins, and who have since descended from them by the natural mode of propagation, according to the primitive benediction. For in Adam “all have sinned.” [Romans 5:12] Wherefore, whatever punishment was brought down upon our first parents, has likewise pervaded and yet pursues all their posterity. So that all men “are by nature the children of wrath,” [Ephesians 2:3] . . . . [Arminius, Public Disputations, VII, XV-XVI, in Writings of James Arminius, 1:485-86.]

He also wrote elsewhere that

in his lapsed and sinful state, man is not capable, of and by himself, either to think, to will, or to do that which is really good; but it is necessary for him to be regenerated and renewed in his intellect, affections or will, and in all his powers, by God in Christ through the Holy Spirit, that he may be qualified rightly to understand, esteem, consider, will, and perform whatever is truly good. When he is made a partaker of this regeneration or renovation, I consider that, since he is delivered from sin, he is capable of thinking, willing and doing that which is good, but yet not without the continued aids of Divine Grace. (emphasis mine)[ Arminius, Declaration of Sentiments, III, in Writings of James Arminius, 1:252-53.]

Both John Wesley and Jacobus Arminius affirmed the substitutionary, penal satisfaction doctrine of the atoning death of Christ. In his comments on Romans 3:25, Wesley said that Christ’s propitiatory sacrifice was made to “appease an offended God. But if, as some teach, God never was offended, there was no need of this propitiation. And if so, Christ died in vain.” [Wesley, Explanatory Notes, 370.] Wesley affirmed what MGT specifically denies.

Arminius said in his Declaration of Sentiments, III, in Writings of James Arminius, 1:252-53 when explaining the priestly office of Christ, that by it God exercised both His love for humanity and His love for justice,

united to which is a hatred against sin. It was the will of God that each of these kinds of love should be satisfied. He gave satisfaction to his love for the creature who was a sinner, when he gave up his Son who might act the part of Mediator. But he rendered satisfaction to his love for justice and to his hatred against sin, when he imposed on his Son the office of Mediator by the shedding of his blood and by the suffering of death; [Heb. 2:10; 5:8, 9] and he was unwilling to admit him as the Intercessor for sinners except when sprinkled with his own blood, in which he might be made [expiatio] the propitiation for sins. [Heb. 9:12]…In this respect also it may with propriety be said that God rendered satisfaction to himself, and appeased himself in “the Son of his love” (italicized emphases mine).[ Arminius, Public Disputations, XIV, XVI, in Writings of James Arminius, 1:560.]

In each of these points, MGT stands in direct contradiction not only to Arminius and Wesley but also to the great creeds and doctrinal statements of every branch of Protestantism and, most importantly, to Scripture. When your theology runs counter to the great formulations of both confessional Calvinism and Arminianism, you might want to rethink your theology. Fools rush in where angels dare to tread. If Wesley, the great champion of Christian tolerance, catholicity, and ecumenism could treat rejection of the doctrines of original sin and moral inability as sufficient by itself to define one as “a Heathen still,” then MGT, which makes not only this grave error but also many other worse theological goofs, must be classified not as a form of Christianity but as a type of evangelical heathenism masquerading as Christianity. Please read that last paragraph again my dear friend.

John, I am lovingly encouraging you and the rest of those associated with Pinpoint Evangelism who will read this post to take some time to do some homework by reading the scholarly literature that is critical of MGT. I would encourage you to start here with the work of Dr. E. Calvin Beisner: http://www.amazon.com/Evangelical-Heathenism-Examining-Contemporary-Revivalism/dp/1885767188/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1220114816&sr=1-1

It is important to note that if any ministry and those associated with that ministry proclaims, upholds, or even implies holding to certain tenets of MGT publicly via a You Tube channel (i.e., Open Theism, sinless perfectionism, a denial of mankind’s corporate solidarity with Adam, etc.), then I am obligated to refute it publicly and warn others to avoid adhering to these dangerous doctrines and supporting that work financially (cf. Titus 1:9; Jude 3; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18).  I do not like saying these things.  Nevertheless, the hard truth is this:  doctrine divides.

I am open for private, respectful conversation as time permits (pastordustin@gmail.com). This means that I have family, work, and ministry responsibilities and it may take some time to respond if you or anyone else chooses to discuss this issue with me.  Jesse Morrell will affirm that I am more than happy to engage in such conversation. With that being said, you need to know that I will be praying for you, Kerrigan, and Jesse. I say what I do with much Christian love my friend.  In parting, I must say that I also have a very heavy heart because I believe that a resolute and knowledgeable affirmation of the doctrines of MGT constitutes an apostasy from the Christian faith. 

I want to give full credit and a warm thanks to Dr. E. Calvin Beisner for providing the quotes of Arminius and Wesley in his online CRI Journal article: The False God and Gospel of Moral Government Theology. Dr. Beisner has been a tremendous help in my research into MGT, and his writings in this area have helped me understand just how dangerous the heresy of MGT really is.

Jerry Vines Preaches John 3:16 Sermon at SBTS

August 28, 2008

This past Tuesday in chapel at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, former Southern Baptist Convention president Dr. Jerry Vines preached a sermon on John 3:16. This information may interest SBF readers, as Dr. Vines is scheduled to preach a sermon on this text at the upcoming anti-Calvinist John 3:16 Conference. I was sadly unable to attend chapel service this past Tuesday (due to the need to complete work for my Greek exegesis class), but the Said at Southern blog reports that the points of the sermon were as follows:
1. God’s love is global and that it extends to all people.
2. God’s love is sacrificial in that He gave His Son to die for us.
3. God’s love is personal and that Christ died for you.
The sermon can be heard HERE.

Open Air Preaching at Lindley Park: 8-24-08

August 26, 2008

The following You Tube clips are segments of open-air preaching at Lindley Park in Greensboro, NC on Sunday evening, 8-24-08. I have been preaching open-air on and off for about 8 years, but my preaching has never been video taped and subsequently placed on You Tube for the benefit of others.

There is much open-air preaching out there that really should not be called “preaching” because it is doctrinally aberrant and in many cases, downright hateful in its presentation.  It is my hope that Christian preachers of the Reformed persuasion will watch videos like this and be encouraged to find a place to regularly preach the gospel of grace in an open-air fashion for the glory of God and the expansion of the Kingdom.

You cannot see it on the videos because of the position of the camera, but there were many people walking right in front of me.  In the first two segments, we had a small crowd of about 10 people standing around and curiously listening to the preaching.  We even had a woman and her grandchildren come up to hug my neck for preaching the gospel.  However, we had no hecklers.  All in all, hundreds of people heard the gospel.  We will let God do with it what He will (Romans 9:16, 18).

P.S. I want to send out a special thanks to a dear brother who took the time to endure the heat to film these segments.

Part I:

Part II:

Part III:

Part IV:


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.