July 29, 2014
When Paul told the Corinthians, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man,” he made practical the doctrine of Anthropology. Declaring that all human problems are “such as is common,” Paul explained that fallen man is susceptible to all the problems that men have in common. Man, made in the image of God, fell, and by that fall, caused all creation to fall with him. Ultimately, as we face the innumerable problems of life we find the truth stated by Dr. Bob Jones Sr.: “No doubt, the problem is with you.”
July 28, 2014
An Interview with Chaplain Joe Willis
Later this year, CH (COL) Joe Willis will complete a long and illustrious military career. Nevertheless, his chaplaincy ministry will not only continue, it will expand. We have already begun a transition in FBFI chaplaincy that will involve Chaplain Willis more and more in the months and years ahead, if the Lord tarries His coming. His current international role with other chaplains at CENTCOM provides a natural stepping stone to a role with FBFI in which he can recruit, train, and help to manage an expanding cadre of chaplains like himself. The following interview will introduce our readers to what Chaplain Willis’s responsibilities in the army involve. In addition, those who come to the Annual Fellowship in June will have the opportunity to hear him in person and to congratulate him on this new milestone.
July 25, 2014
First in importance and in prominence among nineteenth century evangelists was Dwight Lyman Moody. Moody was born in Northfield, Massachusetts, February 5, 1837. His mother being left a widow, he was unable to attend school longer than a few months, and at the age of seventeen he went to Boston and became a clerk in a shoe store. He might have made a fortune in the shoe business, but he chose another field. One writer Grover C. Loud, states:
The turning point in his life was simple, swift and direct. He was wrapping up a package of shoes. His Sunday School teacher at the Mount Vernon Street Congregational Church, Edward Kimball, dropped in on him and in a few earnest words urged him to give his allegiance to Jesus Christ. Moody paused, the string taut in his fingers. “I will,” he replied … and for forty-five years, from that day in 1856 to his death on December 22, 1899, he never swerved from that pledge of fidelity.
July 24, 2014
Recently, I wrote on the subject, What to do When the Church Leaves You. The article generated a fair amount of interest and discussion, for which I am grateful. Some criticism came my way, mostly along the lines that I might be encouraging frivolous schism where no good reason to leave a church may exist.
I want to be very clear about this point. The decision to leave a church is a very sober one. One could almost say it is spiritually traumatic, and shouldn’t be entered lightly. I am not endorsing departure from a local church over minor differences of style or ministerial approach. I am not endorsing the disgruntled leaving because they can’t get along with the pastor or some other leader of the church. (Those who are disgruntled need to get ‘gruntled’ again!)
July 23, 2014
New Evangelicalism and New Calvinism: The Same Disaster: Part 2
Part 1 ♦ This is Part 2
In his final book, The Great Evangelical Disaster, Francis Schaeffer, with tears, passionately pled with evangelicals of his day to repent, saying, “in the most basic sense, the evangelical establishment has become deeply worldly.” In this second article in our series comparing the tenets of the New Evangelicalism of the 1940’s and 1950’s with the New Calvinism of this present generation, my premise is that the same disaster is being repeated.
In 1956, in a Christian Life magazine article, “Is Evangelical Theology Changing,” the principles of the New Evangelicalism were enumerated. Here is a summary of those points:
- “A friendly attitude toward secular science”
- “A willingness to re-examine beliefs concerning the work of the Holy Spirit” [this emphasis contributed to a surge of charismatic teaching]
- “A more tolerant attitude toward varying views on eschatology”
- “A shift away from so-called extreme Dispensationalism” [the New Evangelicals objected to Dispensationalism’s pessimistic view of world history]
- “An increased emphasis on scholarship” [part of an attitude viewing fundamentalists as anti-intellectual]
- “A more definite recognition of social responsibility” [viewing fundamentalists as retreating from social and political involvement]
- “A re-opening of the subject of biblical inspiration” [a change which opened the door to question Biblical inerrancy]
- “A growing willingness of evangelical theologians to converse with liberal theologians” [finally resulting in evangelicals not seeing theological liberals as lost souls but merely misguided but well-meaning Christians]
In this article, let’s especially take a look at how the New Calvinists like the New Evangelicals of old are characterized by a willingness to “re-examine beliefs concerning the work of the Holy Spirit.” The New Calvinism continues to trend heavily charismatic, and even seems to outdo the old New Evangelicals by a wide margin. The common New Calvinist view of “continuationism” says that at least some of the miraculous gifts described in the Bible such as miracles, healing, prophecy, and speaking in tongues continue in the church. The opposing view, “cessationism,” which says that the miraculous gifts have ceased for the church in this present era, often draws derision.