Monday, December 29, 2008

Shock Therapy For Modern Evangelical Sissy Boys

Several people I have spoken to recently have told me of their fears of speaking to people or even giving out tracts. Several of these people have told me of their need to be pushed. Well many of us need to stop and examine ourselves right now. Ask yourself this question, do I love my self respect more than lost souls and glorifying God's Name?


A Reality Check
People in Denmark, where I live, are generally very worried about what people think about them. This goes for the typical church goer as well. I strongly suspect much of the west is the same. Folks we need to get past this. Jesus told us:

"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you" (John 15:18-19).

The Apostle Paul also said:

"But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life (II Coritnhians 2:14-16).

True Christians are the smell of life to those being saved and the smell of death to those perishing. Some people just aren't going to like us. And that's just it, someone mightn't like you or call you a name. There are many Christians right now having their bodies hacked into pieces just because they are Christians. How dare we even be preoccupied with our own fragile selfesteem.

The disciples always taught:

"that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22).

So if you're trying to avoid tribulation you're probably trying to avoid God's Kingdom. Just stop and think about it for a moment.

"Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (II Timothy 3:12).

So you can try and avoid persecution or embrace it as something honorable to go through for the Name of Him who suffered so much for us (please don't confuse this with offending people through acting like a jerk). Either way, persecution will come!

So in Denmark, persecution means a little personal rejection . . . what does it mean in India right now???

Many tears have been shed as I have prepared this blog post. It comes from seeing the suffering of my persecuted brothers and sisters while I watch on in my westernised affluence, I also cry as I am reminded that the blood of the martyrs is precious in God's sight, and I pray to God that he would give me courage and strength to ceaselessly testify of my wonderful Savior when I face Satan's henchmen. Watching these videos also makes me so mad at all these churches trying to preach "your best life now" all the while remaining silent on our precious suffering brothers and sisters in India. Pray for them and speak up with the Gospel. It is glorious and Christ is so worthy to be preached.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted" (Hebrews 12:1-3).

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Door Knocking the House of a Jehovah's Witness - A Bizarre Adventure in Evangelism

My extended Danish family went away for the last week to celebrate Christmas at a place with summer holiday cabins. Why we went there in winter is a good question but the kids had a blast because the centre had an indoor pool and playground. As I checked in at reception I handed the receptionist a tract and she mentioned that the majority of people staying there that week were people who don't celebrate Christmas . . . . NO WAY!! . . . you don't mean . . . . we're surrounded by Jehovah's Witnesses!!!

That's right,there was a whole row of cabins with Jehovah's Witness families staying there. It wasn't hard to tell either as they were completely devoid of any form of decoration. I spent the next day at the pool studying all the different people there and trying to work out what a stereotypical JW looks like. With my profound discerning abilities I was able to narrow down the field . . . that guys' got a tattoo - he couldn't be one; she's puffing on a smoke - no way; he's wearing speedos - couldn't possibly be; whattabout the boy playing Nintendo - nahhh. After successfully exercising my biblical worldview I zeroed in on a few families sitting together. There is nothing like employing the discrete approach in a delicate situation like this so I walked into the middle of the gathering and said "Merry Christmas!" I was greeted by stunned silence until a lady in the group informed me "we don't celebrate Christmas" - Game On!

I decided to ask a probing question and said "are you guys Jehovah's Witnesses?". A chorus of nodding heads responded. I managed to engage in a fairly lengthy conversation. A real danger with witnessing to JW's is debating many fine points of theology and going around in circles all day. It is God who does the converting and I know I have virtually no chance of persuading them to switch camps so my main focus was on the basics. Jesus Christ being fully God and fully man. Using the law to show their exceeding sinfulness and inability to please God through their own endeavors. The reasonableness of Hell. Reasoning with them over their need for a perfect atoning sacrifice that could not be anything less than God in human form. Pleading with them to seek out the truth about the translation they use which has no manuscript support. Ultimately my goal was that they might walk away pondering the possibility that their conscience was in agreement with my testimony.

Check out this page on my website for great resources on witnessing to cults which includes one sight entirely devoted to refuting the doctrines and beliefs of the JW's. It offers tremendous help for people coming out of the cult or for those witnessing to them.

I didn't feel like eating that night. I sat down and glanced at my WWRCD bracelet (What Would Ray Comfort Do) and decided that it was time to turn the tables and go knocking on the doors of these door knockers. How would a JW respond to someone knocking on his door. I felt like I was carrying a mandate of vengeance from millions of angry home owners all around the world. But this sad truth came home to me. Why is it that so few professing Christians share the Gospel - and we have the real one (the late Bill Bright estimated it as being around 2% of all professing Christians who actually witness to others).

C'mon church goer - wake up. Why is it that the 60 year old pagan down the street has been visited by 18 Mormons, 34 JW's, and 73 people selling aluminium siding, all the while never hearing the true Gospel from a member of the mega-church down the street. Does that scenario sound a bit too familiar???

Well I did knock on all their doors, gave them a tract with the real Gospel, told them to watch out for the tower, and left. Sadly, they all seemed quite shocked that a Chrisitan would do such a thing which is a sad reflection on the passivity of many a modern church goer. One of them even saw the ironic humor in what I was doing. Nonetheless, it was very cold and I didn't want to stick around too long and besides, the snot icicle hanging from my left nostril was not a pretty sight for anybody. But I went home to my little cabin knowing that not only did I take out some revenge on those door knocking JW's, maybe I planted a seed of God's Word that won't return void (Isaiah 55:11).

Monday, December 15, 2008

No More Sissy Boy Christmas Sermons!!!

Last sunday at my wife's behest I attended a Christmas service at a nearby Pentecostal church. Tongues issues aside, most Christians would concede that, historically, a hallmark of the Pentecostal movement has been passionate holiness preaching. It is for this reason that I am staggered at the continuous stream of sissy boy therapeutic preaching emmanating from many modern Pentecostal pulpits. It pains me to say that our local branch is no exception to this modern trend. And tragically, rather than setting them apart it is actually bringing them into line with much of modern evangelicalisms "40 Days of your Best Prayer of Jabez Now".

It is also worth bearing in mind that Christmas services are usually times where unchurched people attend. Preachers are simply derelict in their duty when they fail to faithfully proclaim the one true Gospel in this setting. The preacher in this particular case is someone who vehemently rejects even the slightest suggestion that his preaching might be "seeker sensitive" or watered down. Well - you be the judge! The entire substance of the message I heard last Sunday was that Christmas was about God sending his Son with a message of joy to all people. Reader, this is a message that a Mormon or a universalist could proclaim. There was nothing to distinguish it as Christian let alone address the Gospel. I shudder to think at what a complete pagan would think after hearing that message. He would certainly walk out with the same ignorance but perhaps slightly more comforted about his lifestyle of rebellion.

I am so mad about this. God has given us a beautiful Gospel to deliver to sinful men. The joy the aforementioned preacher spoke of is something that can only be rightly understood in the light of God's Holiness, man's sinfulness, and Christ's redemptive work on the cross to bridge that infinite gulf. It is a message that can be preached lovingly without resorting to pathetic sissy boy therapy. Preacher, man up this Christmas and do not withold the full counsel of God concerning the salvation of damned souls. We are in the business of life and death, not trying to compete with Oprah.

Tomorrow will be the start of an "8 Days of Christmas" series where I will attempt to lovingly proclaim the Gospel by dissecting a famous Christmas carol. It is an attempt to give an example of preaching that is loving in tone without shying away from the offense of the cross . . . all the while remembering that it is an offense to those who are perishing regardless of how nice we are.

Starting tomorrow - 8 Days of Christmas on The Bottom Line

Thirteen Heresies in the Shack

There is a book on the market called "The Shack" which masquerades as some sort of "Christian" message about the Trinity. It is infiltrating so many churches and seducing so many undiscerning church goers that it needs to be exposed for the disgrace that it is. Eugene Petersen had this to say “This book has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan’s ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ did for his. It’s that good!” It should scare any Christian that Eugene Petersen is somehow allowed to teach in any Bible college let alone command respect as a commentator on anything Christian. I'm still scratching my head as to how his pathetic "The Message" gets passed off as a Bible translation. But Petersen isn't the only one buying into the multitude of heresies propogated by William Young's bogus work of fiction. Michael W Smith is another of several high profile people to endorse "The Shack".

To be clear from the outset, the god of "The Shack" is not the God of Scripture and is an imposter of the worst kind. Preacher and Scholar Dr Michael Youssef preached a sermon recently which exposed 13 major heresies taught within the pages of "The Shack".

Here they are listed below:

1. God the Father was crucified with Jesus (p96).

Because God's eyes are pure and cannot look upon sin, the Bible says that God would not look upon His own beloved Son as He hung on the Cross, carrying our sins (Habakkuk 1:13; Matthew 27:45).

2. God is limited by His love and cannot practice justice (p102).

The Bible declares that God's love and His justice are two sides of the same coin — equally a part of the personality and the character of God (Isaiah 61:8; Hosea 2:19).

3. On the Cross, God forgave all of humanity, whether they repent or not. Some choose a relationship with Him, but He forgives them all regardless (p225).

Jesus explained that only those who come to Him will be saved (John 14:6).

4. Hierarchical structures, whether they are in the Church or in the government, are evil (122).

Our God is a God of order (Job 25:2).

5. God will never judge people for their sins (p120).

The Word of God repeatedly invites people to escape from the judgment of God by believing in Jesus Christ, His Son (Romans 2:16; 2 Timothy 4:1-3).

6. There is not a hierarchical structure in the Godhead, just a circle of unity (p122).

The Bible says that Jesus submitted to the will of the Father. This doesn't mean that one Person is higher or better than the other; just unique. Jesus said, "I came to do the will of Him who sent me. I am here to obey my Father." Jesus also said, "I will send you the Holy Spirit" (John 4:34, 6:44, 14:26, 15:26).

7. God submits to human wishes and choices (p145).

Far from God submitting to us, Jesus said, "Narrow is the way that leads to eternal life." We are to submit to Him in all things, for His glory and because of what He has accomplished for us (Matthew 7:13-15).

8. Justice will never take place because of love (p164).

The Bible teaches that when God's love is rejected, and when the offer of salvation and forgiveness is rejected, justice must take place or God has sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for nothing (Matthew 12:20; Romans 3:25-26).

9. There is no such a thing as eternal judgment or torment in hell (p248).

Jesus' own description of hell is vivid ... it cannot be denied (Luke 12:5, 16:23).

10. Jesus is walking with all people in their different journeys to God, and it doesn't matter which way you get to Him (p182).

Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one will come to the Father but by me" (John 14:6).

11. Jesus is constantly being transformed along with us (p182).

Jesus, who dwells in the splendor of heaven, sits at the right hand of God, reigning and ruling the universe. The Bible says, "In Him there is no change, for He is yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 11:12, 13:8; James 1:17).

12. There is no need for faith or reconciliation with God because everyone will make it to heaven (p122,192).

Jesus said, "Only those who believe in me will have eternal life" (John 3:15, 3:36, 5:24, 6:40).

13. The Bible is not true because it reduces God to paper (p65,66,134,198).

The Bible is God-breathed. Sure, there were many men through 1,800 years who put pen to paper (so to speak), each from different professions and different backgrounds, but the Holy Spirit infused their work with God's words. These men were writing the same message from Genesis to Revelation. If you want to read more about the place of Christ in the Scripture, read "We Preach Christ" (2 Timothy 3:16).

Here is some audio of Michael Youssef's sermon courtesy of Way of the Master Radio (commentary: Todd Friel)

Mark Driscoll wasn't backward in coming forward either

Just stay away from this book, arm yourself with a few facts about the heresies contained within, and warn others about it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Washer Wednesday - The Real Prosperity Gospel

Is prosperity in the Bible?
Yes it is!

Can we prosper as Christians?
Yes we can!

Have modern proponents of the "Prosperity gospel" preached this kind of prosperity? No they haven't . . . .

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

PS More Timothy Brindle - Hip Hop Theologian

OK, I couldn't help myself. This stuff is just so good I am amazed. Here is Timothy Brindle's Hip Hop exposition on the sinfulness of sin - featuring a John Piper sound bite. This is shocking on some levels but is worth meditating on in order that we not grow numb to the sheer revolting sinfulness of sin . . .

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Rappers and Reformed Theology - Shai Linne and Timothy Brindle

This is so good, it will definitely preach. Hybels, Warren, and Osteen should all buy front row seats and spend their time taking sermon notes. Shai Linne is not the only rapper with magnificent reformed theology, it is a sub culture on the rise. And Timothy Brindle is one of those, and a white boy to boot! Brindle is a great testimony to the transforming regenerative power of the Holy Spirit. Here Shai and Timothy team up to expound on a doctrine largely neglected in modern evangelicalism -The Holiness of God. . . Enjoy!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Tony "Lawman" Miano and The Gospel According to Rick Warren

My precious brother in Christ Tony "Lawman" Miano is a shining light in the body of Christ. He is a man who burns with passion for God's glory and the Gospel and weeps over the lost. I recently had the priveledge of hearing Lawman preach one of the best open air sermons I've ever heard during the recent Ambassador's Academy ( California. As an active preacher who labors in keeping the Gospel message pure and clear, Lawman was deeply convicted to respond to an interview with "America's Pastor" Rick Warren where Warren gave his version of the Gospel. I thought what Tony wrote was so good that I would also post it here.

Thursday, December 4, 2008
Rick Warren's "Book of the Month Club" Gospel

What I am about to say must be prefaced with a few very clear statements.

First: I do not believe Rick Warren is the Anti-Christ. There are those who may disagree. To those who disagree I say...get a grip. I do not believe he is any more or any less evil and sinful than I am.

Second: I do not question Rick Warren's sincerity. I believe he believes that what he says and teaches is consistent with the truth of God's Word.

Third: Rick Warren has done many, many things to advance social justice and benevolence around the world. I should aspire to be so generous and caring.

Fourth: I do not presume to know the true condition of Rick Warren's heart and the state of his soul, before a holy and just God. I must examine my own heart every day to see if I am in the faith (2 Cor. 13:5).

However, with the above qualifying statements in mind, I also believe this. Rick Warren is one of the most dangerous men in Christendom, today. He is a danger to the Church and to the lost.

Strong words, I know. Hyperbole? Shrill rhetoric? I don't think so.

What follows is an interview (a 2-part video) Rick Warren recently did with Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes, on Fox News.

I will comment after each video segment.

At approximately 3:30 into the above video Alan Colmes begins to question Warren about the exclusivity of faith in Jesus Christ, as the means of eternal life. Warren doesn't miss a beat; but sadly he plays the wrong song.

Warren said, "I believe Jesus Christ came for everybody. I don't think He came for Christians. The Bible said, 'Take this good news to the whole world.' I don't care whether you're Baptist, Buddhist, Mormon, Methodist, Jewish, Muslim, or no religion at all. Jesus Christ still loves you. You still matter to God."

While later in the interview Warren would affirm that "Jesus is the way" and that God sent only one Jesus--not many, the above statement comes dangerously close to universalism. To the unsaved ear, it probably sounds as if you can remain a practitioner of any religion, or no religion at all and be right with God, if you believe in Jesus.

Without delving into a Calvinist/Arminian debate, it is quite obvious from Scripture and from the reality of life that Jesus didn't come for everybody. Why? Because many people die and go to hell.

Jesus didn't come only for Christians? Of course He did, because only Christians (true Christians) are saved. Only born again followers of Jesus Christ (Christians) will spend eternity with the Lord in heaven.

Colmes, recognizing (as any other honest person who watched the interview would recognize) that Warren didn't answer the question, specifically asks if people who don't believe in Jesus can still find their way to heaven.

Warren said, "I'm not the authority on that; but I believe Jesus is."

What, pastor? You're not an authority on the way of eternal life? Are you so ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ that you literally passed the buck to Jesus on national television? It was as if Warren was saying, "Hey, don't blame me. I didn't say it. Jesus did. Don't look at me. He did it."

Warren said, "Everybody is betting their life on something. Jesus said, 'I am the way.' I'm betting He's not a liar. I'm betting that He told the truth."

Yet more politically correct parsing from "America's Pastor." So, is faith in Christ some kind of cosmic roll of the dice, pastor? What if the person to whom you are bringing such a message isn't a gambling man?

And it got worse.

Colmes tries yest again to get a straight answer from Warren. In response, Warren reveals why he is so utterly dangerous to the souls of men. He said, "I'm saying that this is the perfect time to open their life and give it a chance. I'm saying give Him a 60-day trial."

Colmes response, while probably meant to be tongue-in-cheek, was profound and all-too-true of the gospel Warren proclaims. Colmes said, "Sounds like the book of the month club."

Instead of recognizing his error, Warren joins in the jocularity. "I dare you to try trusting Jesus for 60 days." Warren quipped. "Your money guaranteed back."

Warren's church and churches like it around the world are filled with people who are trying on Jesus for size--who are taking Jesus for a test drive, or using Him as a product for a 60-day trial. And what do people do with a product with which they are not satisfied? The return it. They return it and are embittered toward the product and the manufacturer. They don't trust the manufacturer and they tell others that the manufacturer is unreliable. They then look upon others who do trust the manufacturer as foolish, ignorant, and even incompetent.

And so is the case with those who "try Jesus for 60 days" in response to Rick Warren's gospel. Warren is dangerous because his message creates false converts who later become bitter backsliders. He is dangerous because to the non-religious people in our culture he makes the cross of Christ and Christianity appear shallow, trite, and foolish. To those in the unbelieving world who have no interest in spiritual things, Warren must look like a game show host, with Jesus being the lovely parting gift.

And what about the people who take Warren up on his "60-day trial offer"? What if they get through the 60 days and decide they like this whole "Christian-thing"? What then? Are they pronounced "saved" by Warren and other pastors who use the same infomercial tactics? Is that the test of salvation--trying Jesus on for size and, after a trial period, if the person sticks around and decides they have found their purpose in life they then are a Christian?

Pastor Warren, what verse is that?

Sadly, because of the kind of gospel Warren and others preach, this has become the all-too-common testimony of so many false converts in the American Church.

"My life was a mess. A friend invited me to church and it wasn't half-bad. The speaker didn't bore me with a lot of Bible stuff, the music was upbeat, the people all seemed pretty normal, and the speaker didn't make me feel uncomfortable about who I am by talking about sin and judgment--stuff like that. He gave me some really helpful suggestions for making my life better, and I knew I should include God in my life. After all, what if hell is real? Man, I don't want to end up there. So, I decided to give Jesus a go. It took a little while, but in time my life wasn't such a mess. Jesus really came through for me. He helped me get over my hurts and hang-ups. So, I committed my life to Him for the rest of my life. Now my life has purpose and I have a church family who really cares about me. Now, I am going to go out and help as many people as I can. And maybe, just maybe, they will see Jesus in me and then I can invite them to church."

Warren woefully missed the mark. No mention of sin. No mention of judgment. No mention of repentance. No mention of the deity of Christ. No mention of the sinless atonement. No mention of the resurrection. Warren presented just another feel-good, easy-to-swallow, "open up God's gift to you" message, which is no gospel at all.

The gospel of Rick Warren is as palatable (and as unimportant) to the unbeliever as the "Book of the Month" club. If you like to read, you enjoy a book. If you don't like to read, well, you're no worse off.

As much of a train wreck as Warren's statements were, there were some very brief and redeemable moments in the the second half of the interview.

But those redeemable moments didn't come from the "pastor." They came from the anchor. They came from Sean Hannity. At least Hannity mentioned sin and repentance.

I hope the Lord one-day leads Rick Warren to repent of the watered-down gospel he proclaims to the masses. Instead of using his present notoriety for presenting quasi-spiritual, pragmatic, and eternally-purposeless platitudes; I hope the Lord draws Warren to repentance and he begins to preach the gospel that saves instead of a gospel that further enslaves.

Yes, the world loves Rick Warren. But the world hates Jesus Christ. The world loves a "Book of the Month" gospel. But the world hates the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Repent, Pastor Warren. I'm praying for you.

You can read Tony "Lawman" Miano's blog here

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Brief History of the Emergent Church (Part 4)

Continued from Monday

The first emergent church died out in the Sinai desert after 40 years on a journey never getting anywhere with a 40 year "conversation" full of questions and devoid of answers. The subsequent generation did a post mortem on post modern and decided that doing what God says could be a good idea after all. As the new generation crossed the Jordan into the land of milk and honey the rotting carcass of postmodern thought lay in the Sinai desert. The emergent movement was down but not out and by the time of the Messiah's arrival there was a "new kind of emergent" waiting to reveal himself.

When Jesus Christ arrived on the scene the tyranny of the Roman empire was well and truly entrenched. Post modern thought had seemingly died out in the Sinai. Israel had abandoned the idea of God being conformed to man's ideas. But a Roman governor by the name of Pontius Pilate was only too willing to embrace the theological suicide of post modern thinking.

As the climax of redemptive history drew near Pilate would utter words that would ultimately become a core doctrine of the doctrineless emergent movement in the 21st century. Pontius Pilate presided over the criminal proceedings as the spotless and perfect Lamb of God awaited His sentence. The Roman Governor was oblivious to the sovereign ordained plan that was transpiring before his eyes. Pilate gazed on the God-man Jesus Christ and asked the question "what is truth?". Pilate never realised that the Truth was standing directly in front of him. Jesus Christ Who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life was marching to Calvary to endure far more than a Roman army could inflict on Him - God's just and Holy wrath.

So here we are in the 21st century. Beards have given way to soul patches, sandals have given way to Birkinstocks, and colliseums have given way to coffee. But beneath this nothing much has changed. As the Brian McLarens and Rob Bells of this world clutch in the dark as they search for "truth", Scripture stands before them plainly stating the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

So what is the point of this satire? It is here to serve as a reminder that the "new truths" being served up by the post modern gurus are nothing more than old lies. As Spurgeon once said:

"We ought not, as men in Christ Jesus, to be carried away by a childish love of novelty, for we worship a God who is ever the same, and of whose years there is no end. In some matters "the old is better." There are certain things which are already so truly new, that to change them for anything else would be to lose old gold for new dross. The old, old gospel is the newest thing in the world; in its very essence it is for ever good news. In the things of God the old is ever new, and if any man brings forward that which seems to be new doctrine and new truth, it is soon perceived that the new dogma is only worn-out heresy dexterously repaired, and the discovery in theology is the digging up of a carcass of error which had better have been left to rot in oblivion. In the great matter of truth and godliness, we may safely say, "There is nothing new under the sun."

Go Back To Part 3
Go Back To Part 1

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Brief History of the Emergent Church (Part 3)

Continued from Thursday November 27 2008

It was there on the doorstep of the “promised land” that the emergent church really took root and established itself. As the twelve spies returned consensus was taken. Joshua and Caleb on the one hand wanted to go into combat with the inhabitants of the land and fight a war over the resources contained within that land. The other ten spies protested citing that there was no UN resolution for going to war and it would give Israel a bad name within the international community.

New voices of reason “emerged” aside from Moses with fresh and nuanced insights that could lead to an ongoing dialogue. Rather than give an answer to the complex and multifaceted question of whether to go where God told them - they thought it would be better to embark on a 40 year trek through the Sinai desert. After all, the destination wasn’t important – it was the “journey” that mattered. These 40 years on a journey never getting anywhere allowed for an invigorating and ongoing “conversation”.

This conversation was able to continue unabated over those 40 years as the emphasis was never on answers, but on exploring what it means to follow God in new and revolutionary ways - rather than listening to what He told them to do. The “conversation” thrived and was ongoing. People loved to gather and do manna together. After 40 years they were on the cusp of furthering the "conversation" when alas they all died in the desert. All those dead people really put a downer on the “conversation”.

The subsequent generation did a post mortem on post modern and decided that maybe the land of milk and honey was a good idea after all – especially if God said so! So the first significant “emergent village” had died out in the Sinai desert. The new generation crossed over the Jordan into Canaan. The “conversation” was put on hold to experience centuries of silence. The Messiah would one day come and so too a new kind of emergent . . .

To be continued.

Go On To Part 4
Go Back To Part 2
Go Back To Part 1

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Business of Life and Death

It is at this time of year that many Danes brave the cold to buy Christmas gifts. Go out and watch the people occupied with things that will never matter in eternity. People, we are in the business of life and death. If we don’t preach the Gospel to them either with our words or with a tract then who will? This is the best time all winter to get out and talk to people.

Dark clouds are gathering all over the world right now as we see the economic crisis unfold. Western people including many professing Christians are going to learn a hard lesson about greed. Many people have been spending recklessly in the last 5 to 10 years and the banks were only too happy to lend them the money to do this. Well the banks aren’t so happy about it anymore and have decided that it’s time to collect. People are very afraid about this, whether it is their home, car, or retirement money. In this time of global fear we need to draw people’s attention to something they should be much more afraid about . . .

Even darker clouds are gathering all over the world right now as the cup of God’s wrath fills up against a wicked generation. Most of these people have been busy pursuing pleasure and material gain never realizing that God continually delays His wrath, giving them time to repent. Well God’s cup of wrath is filling up further every day and it is only a matter of time before it overflows with His righteous judgment on a world bound for Hell. As you gaze on these deluded people running from one store to the next buying another useless thing that will burn up on the day of judgment - remember such were we before God redeemed us by His own blood. As the clock counts down to Armageddon are you going to continue watching? Are you going to believe the evil lie of modern preachers who say “preach the Gospel, if necessary use words” which is like saying “wash always, if necessary use water”? Or are you going to use that voice that God gave you?

"Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die,' and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul. Again, if a righteous person turns from his righteousness and commits injustice, and I lay a stumbling
block before him, he shall die. Because you have not warned him, he shall die for his sin, and his righteous deeds that he has done shall not be remembered, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the righteous person not to sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he took warning, and you will have delivered your soul." (Ezekiel 3:17-21)

Stop for a moment and listen. Can you hear it? Do you hear it? It is the sound of thousands of church goers saying absolutely nothing about the glorious blood bought once for all delivered Gospel. Don’t sit in your warm apartment this Christmas season and offend God with silence. Someone recently asked me how he can possibly witness and share the Gospel when he has so many personal struggles. We can and should preach – in season and out of season – because this has everything to do with the fact that Christ is worthy to receive the reward of His suffering.

Whatever you do, don’t do nothing. If you are scared to witness hand out tracts, if you aren’t scared hand out tracts anyway. Talk to people, be friendly regardless of how they speak to us always remembering that we too were once slaves in Egypt.

Danes often tell me that being introverted and private is a Danish cultural issue. Let me ask you whether your evangelism is informed by culture or Scripture. We are all meant to be a part of a culture and it isn’t Danish or Australian or American. As the author of Hebrews made clear we are meant to be strangers in a strange land longing for a city who’s builder and maker is God.

For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. (Hebrews 11:14-16)

Tomorrow - A Brief History of the Emergent Church (Part 3)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Brief History of the Emergent Church (Part 2)

The saga continues.

Noah and his family were the only human survivors of that ancient environmental crisis. Could global warming really have caused the oceans to rise that much? As the waters abated Noah and his family were given a fresh chance to bring in the "kingdom". It remained to be seen what would "emerge" from this scenario in the following years.

Admittedly that initial covenant of animal sacrifices after stepping off the Ark was a backward step for environmental causes. But generally things went pretty well for several generations up until they decided to build a tower up to heaven. Unfortunately Doug Pagitt had not yet been born and was thus unable to inform them that heaven is not a place (after all, Jesus told His followers that He was going away to prepare a "new reality" for them).

Much confusion emerged as the tower was being built. People simply could not understand each other. One plausible explanation was that Brian McLaren was the spokesman for the project but the latest archaelogical evidence seems to refute this theory. Recent excavation of the ruins shows that the project was abandoned due to the need of accomodating people's differing realities. This ancient civilization embarked, instead, on constructing a massive labyrinth that became so big that everybody ended up lost and scattered across its vast reaches.

The emergent movement was down but not out. A remnant remained that would not make a public appearance, aside from left wing political campaigns, until Moses led Israel out of Egypt. The promised land awaited - could it be an actual place?

To be continued

Go On To Part 3
Go Back To Part 1

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Brief History of the Emergent Church (Part 1)

It is widely thought that the "emergent church" is a modern phenomenon - so modern in fact that they are post modern or "pomo" for short. Solomon once said that there is nothing new under the sun and so it is with the emergent movement. I thought I'd give the readers today an overview of the origins and history of this not so new movement.

The movement is so old in fact that it's pioneer appears in Genesis chapter 3 where we see the introduction of the deconstructionist post modern hermeneutic or put more simply, twisted Scripture. You know, when the serpent said to Eve "Yea, hath God said?". Admittedly, the "conversation" was rather short winded as they were not yet able to do it over coffee. Nonetheless Eve, and her husband Adam, were more than willing to explore the serpent's narrative rather than be bound by the black and white absolutes of God's commands.

Adam and Eve were now progressives and no longer wanted to confine themselves to the limitations of paradise and besides, they had strong suspicions that the owner voted Republican anyway. It was outside Eden that they got to learn about the real world and the real problems it faced. Their eldest son Cain, for example, had a deep concern about overpopulation. They also had to deal with the archaic idea of right and wrong and figure out the truth that worked best for them.

As time progressed a man called Noah appeared on the scene. He was a man who completely disrupted the societal harmony and pleasure of his day. For one thing, he built a very large boat destroying a lot of old growth forests in the process. Noah's disregard for the environment certainly had a dramatic effect on weather patterns. More and more grey clouds started to appear in the sky.

Noah also talked a lot about a flood that God was going to send and destroy everbody who didn't get inside his boat. It was important for people not to interpret Noah literally. After all, conjecture over whether this flood would be a literal historical event would be to completely miss the depth and meaning of the metaphor God was trying to convey. They decided to contemplate Noah's words as to thier true meaning for each individual. Anyway, there was no way anybody was getting on a boat that didn't have a carbon neutral footprint.

Eventually, Noah's disregard for the environment led to greater and greater climate change. Those grey clouds now filled the sky and Noah's family entered their boat. Noah's words had ceased and the rains had begun and no post modern paradigm could change it . . . .

To Be Continued

Go On To Part 2

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Scientists Discover "Belief in God" Gene

Well it was a long time coming but finally it's here. Scentists have finally unearthed the explanation as to why "dim" people (people who aren't as smart as Richard Dawkins) feel the need to believe in a Deity.

Romans chapter one tells us that this really is the great big cosmic duh!!

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools (Romans 1:18-22)

Next time you talk to an atheist remember that the issue to contend over is not knowledge but morality. The atheist loves his sin and suppresses the truth in unrighteousness. Their only hope is that God would open their eyes to their need for the righteousness found only in Christ. The Lord Jesus said "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied" (Matthew 5:6). My precious brother in Christ, Kirk Cameron, says that "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink . . . but you can salt his oats". That salt for the atheist is the fervent preaching of sin, righteousness, and judgment using the law of God as a mirror to help them see their true wretchedness. They need to see that it is their love for sin and not the lack of evidence that causes them to deny God's existence.

It is also important to remember that a belief in God does not translate to someone becoming a Christian. Belief in God is akin to stating the obvious and an outward sign that the atheist has finally humbled himself. He must be born again in response to hearing the Christian Gospel.

1Co 1:21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Foxes Book of Emergents With Hurt Feelings - Donald Miller (Part 5)

DON MILLER - Blue Like Jazz or Green Like Envy

Today is the final installment of this 5 part series on emergent with hurt feelings -one Donald Miller. He is yet again another emergent who has come out with unabashed support for pro murder president elect Barack Obama. All the talk by many of these emergent/liberal/red letter "Christians" for so long about the "religious right" being too political was a complete farce. We now know that the problem was never that they were too political but rather that these social liberals hate their brand of politics. The good thing about these developments is that their true colours are being flushed out. Don Miller's "prayer" at the Democtrat National Convention publicly unveiled his warped value system and no matter which way he postures on the abortion issue the reality is he is NOT pro life. As we continue through Richard Nathan's review of Miller's book "Blue Like Jazz" the core of Miller's faulty theology is revealed - a low view of Scripture, a high view of sinners and a god of his own invention.

A Spokesman for Romanticism (or Imaginative Paganism)

What Miller and many of today’s neo-evangelicals are moving towards is Romanticism.

There’s a pendulum that swings in Church history between the imbalance of legalism and formalism and the opposite imbalance of rebelliousness and paganism. This has become especially apparent since the Renaissance. The Romantic Movement, which was very influential in Europe, England, and the United States in the 1700s and 1800s, focused on rebellion through poetry, art, imagination, magic, mysticism, and intuition. This movement spawned such men as Richard Wagner and Friedrich Nietzsche, who greatly influenced Adolph Hitler.

A Rebirth of Romanticism. Today we are experiencing a rebirth of Romanticism in the form of a flood of rebelliousness masquerading as a new wave of Christian freedom and spirituality. It is especially apparent in the Emergent Church Movement and through the writings of such authors as Brian McLaren. But Christian freedom is always deeply tied to Christian truth. And the freedom Miller offers is so disconnected from Christian truth that it cannot truly be Christian—or truly freedom—at all. Its basis is theological, biblical, and historical ignorance. His enormous appeal is to a shift in society and in the Church that is following the culture away from truth to self.

Bohemian/Beatnik Culture. Miller’s approach to writing personifies a shift that arose out of the Bohemian leftist culture that developed in San Francisco’s North Beach area in the late 1930s. The Bohemians were into wine, poetry, and leftist politics. The Beatniks, who followed them, got into jazz, pot, and other drugs. In the 1960s the movement flowered with the hippies and their focus upon Eastern religions and such psychedelic drugs as LSD and Mescaline. All of these lifestyles claimed to represent freedom and creativity as opposed to “square” American middleclass life.

I know something about these movements because I grew up in San Francisco during the 1940s and 1950s in a family that was part of the Bohemian/Beatnik culture. We managed jazz nightclubs and ran a bookstore in North Beach. And I can tell you from personal experience: Beatniks were not loving; they were not pure; they were not unselfish at all. And they definitely were not free. These movements were, in fact, the epitome of self-love and blind egotism.

Nor was the emphasis on love in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury District during the Sixties love for others; it was an extreme form of self-gratification—it was the culture of rebellion. And Miller is just aping it and being an apologist for it. Notice that one of his friends at Reed is called “the Beat poet.” In some sense he’s extolling the “glories” of Neopaganism and trying to fit his narcissistic “Christianity” of mysticism and magic into it.

One Final Urgent Question: Why the Rush to Paganism?

Why are evangelicals rushing to read and praise this book when it attacks them and the very foundations of their faith?

What does it say about today’s evangelical movement, and today’s youth raised in evangelical homes and culture, that they love his message and are even using it to evangelize?

The overarching theme of Miller’s book is the glorification of rebellion by preaching false freedom. That’s exactly what the Haight-Ashbury preached; it’s exactly what drugs promise; and it’s exactly what the Emergent Church movement promotes today.

Miller’s inability to differentiate his subjective feelings from the truth of Scripture is all too common in the Emergent philosophy spreading among contemporary young people. His book is fuel for the fire among those Christianized youth who are struggling with some of the narrowness of legalistic upbringings and are seeking the freedom in Christ the Bible promises, but who end up in the devil’s snare of false freedom.

The answer to narrowness and legalism is not false freedom but real freedom in Christ. Miller’s “evangelistic” stance though is to trash conservative Christians and to extol pagans. And in fact his promotion of paganism is far more effective than his evangelism for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Read Blue Like Jazz only if you want an example of the sorrowful state of evangelical youth and Christian publishing today.


Richard Nathan holds a Master of Arts in Religion in Church History and has been a Bible and church history teacher for over twenty years. He wrote his thesis on the debate over the inerrancy of Scripture in a historical analysis. Since 1992, Linda Nathan has been president of Logos Word Designs, Inc., a Christian writing and editing service at They have taught numerous seminars and classes to Christians. See Richard's blog at for ongoing discussion about such trends in Christianity as Romantic Christianity and the Emergent Church movement. Visit their Web site at for articles evaluating Christian fiction from a biblical perspective.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Foxes Book of Emergents With Hurt Feelings - Donald Miller (Part 4)

DON MILLER - Blue Like Jazz or Green Like Envy
Continuing on from yesterday we are taking a close biblical poke at Donald Miller's best selling book "Blue Like Jazz". What follows is a continuation of the article by Richard Nathan "Green Like Envy".

The Spirituality of the “Hip Christian”

“For me the beginning of sharing my faith with people began with throwing out Christianity and embracing Christian spirituality, a nonpolitical mysterious system that can be experienced but not explained. Christianity, unlike Christian spirituality, was not a term that excited me. And I could not in good conscience tell a friend about a faith that didn’t excite me. I couldn’t share something I wasn’t experiencing.”

“I told him that I thought mystical power came through faith in Jesus.”

A false dichotomy. Miller’s statements reveal his ignorance and confusion about just what it is to be a Christian in a historical, orthodox sense. Not only does he abandon reason and Scripture, he creates a false dichotomy. He presents the only choices as a hypocritical, commercial Christianity and a hip mystical spirituality. And in the process, he totally misses the true Gospel.

In fact, Miller basically says that truth can be compared to story and that Christianity makes sense because it’s like a story, i.e., like fiction. He not only compares his version of Christian “spirituality” to the elements of fiction, he introduces Pelagianism again. Once more we see Miller’s understanding of “truth” revolves around himself.

“The elements of story began to parallel my understanding of Christian spirituality. Christianity offered a decision, a climax. It also offered a good and bad resolution. In part, our decisions were instrumental to the way our story turned out.”

But he doesn’t stop there.

“Now this was spooky because for thousands of years big-haired preachers have talked about the idea that we need to make a decision to follow or reject Christ. They would offer these ideas as a sort of magical solution to the dilemma of life. I had always hated hearing about it because it seemed so entirely unfashionable a thing to believe, but it did explain things. Maybe these unfashionable ideas were pointing at something mystical and true. And perhaps I was judging the idea not by its merit but by the fashionable or unfashionable delivery of the message.”

It’s hard to tell whether he’s talking about TV preachers with pompadours or is just putting down preachers in general, but in either case, he ridicules preaching. He’s basically saying that he decides something is truth not by Scripture but by the way he feels about it—if it’s “mystical”—i.e., feeling-oriented—it must be true.

This is the thinking of the Emergent Church, which elevates story into revelation and truth. Miller is comparing the truth of the Bible with the elements of a story and determining truth by story.

“The last element of story is resolution. Christian spirituality offered a resolution, the resolution of forgiveness and a home in the afterlife. Again, it all sounded so very witless to me, but by this time I wanted desperately to believe it. I felt as though my soul were designed to live the story Christian spirituality was telling. I felt like my soul wanted to be forgiven. I wanted the resolution God was offering.

That last comment is the closest I see him admitting to sin.

In his search for truth, Miller measures by himself: his reaction, his need, his decision, his entertainment, and whether it’s mystical and magical because he likes things that are mystical and magical. Nowhere does he talk about objective truth: the Bible, sin, God’s wrath and judgment upon sinners, or the reason that Christ had to die.

Unfortunately, Miller only mirrors what’s happening in the Church today: Experience is considered more important than truth. And since the modern view is that basically there is no truth that applies to everyone, then “freedom” becomes license (“anything goes”).

The Freedom of Real Christianity

“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’" John 8:31–32

False freedom. Miller is an insecure, self-centered man (as he freely admits in his book) who wants to be a literary success, and he is using a certain worldly technique where you let it all hang out. But he exhibits an incredible ignorance of true Christianity and conveys disappointment with a limited experience with the Christian community. He puts down evangelicals in a very ignorant way as though his warped and stereotyped view of them is all there is to the Church. There’s no awareness of the larger Body of Christ or what it means.

I sympathize with his disappointment in the kind of legalistic perfectionism that has been strong in evangelicalism because it tends to produce bondage and hypocrisy instead of true freedom. But what he offers is far from true freedom. He has turned from legalism to antinomianism. (The term means “against law.” It describes the state of rebellion against God’s laws and standards of life.) He is leading his readers from perfectionism to lawlessness—and the greatest tragedy of all is that he’s missed the Lord Jesus Christ and the Gospel, which brings true freedom from the bondage of sin and Satan.

Continued tomorrow - A Spokesman for Romanticism (or Imaginative Paganism)

Go On To Part 5
Go Back To Part 3
Go Back To Part 1

Monday, November 17, 2008

Foxes Book of Emergents With Hurt Feelings - Donald Miller (Part 3)

DON MILLER - Blue Like Jazz or Green Like Envy
Continuing on from yesterday we are taking a close biblical poke at Donald Miller's best selling book "Blue Like Jazz". What follows is a continuation of the article by Richard Nathan "Green Like Envy".

Does Miller Know the Gospel?

Miller calls himself a Christian and uses the term Gospel, but what he describes doesn’t sound like the biblical Gospel. For instance, on p. 124 he describes his conversation with Jake, a pagan at a Ren Fayre festival. The Christians there had a booth where they confessed their sins to the pagans as an apology for the Church. Jake starts out:

“’You said earlier there was a central message of Christ. I don’t really want to become a Christian, you know, but what is that message?’

‘The message is that man sinned against God and God gave the world over to man, and that if somebody wanted to be rescued out of that, if somebody for instance finds it’s all very empty, that Christ will rescue them if they want; that if they ask forgiveness for being a part of that rebellion then God will forgive them.’

‘What’s the deal with the cross?’ Jake asked.

‘God says the wages of sin is death,’ I told him. ‘And Jesus died so none of us would have to. If we have faith in that then we are Christians.’”

Are we?

Actually, Miller’s “gospel” is a clear example of an old theological distortion known as Pelagianism. This ancient heresy basically says that original sin did not taint human nature and that we have the ability to choose to walk with God instead of being utterly depraved and lost sinners whom God needs to rescue (Romans 3). The most recent well-known advocate of this doctrine was Charles Finney.

Pelagianism—and Miller—leave out some very basic points: Wrath—judgment—propitiation—and the substitutionary atonement. Jesus didn’t die generically; He died very specifically, taking on Himself the righteous punishment due to sinners—death. (See Romans 1:18, 2:5, 5:9; Ephesians 2:3; 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 5:9; and Hebrews 2:17.)

Romans 3:22–25 clearly portrays the real Gospel:

“There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood.”

And 1 John sets out a clear standard for determining true Christians:

“We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” (1 John 2:3–6)

No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother. (1 John 3:9–10)

The Gospel of the “Hip Christian”

But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! Galatians 1:8–9

Resurrecting the Beatniks. Blue Like Jazz reminds me very much of the style of the Beatnik era, especially books by Jack Kerouac who wrote in a stream of consciousness centered in himself. And though Donald Miller never says in his book that he’s a pot smoker, it’s amazing how many of his friends are pot smokers and how much his style and thinking strongly resemble those of many pot smokers. He does talk about smoking pot in his youth group though, and one section of his book extols those who take LSD. Being “hip” and “cool” are important to Miller, who frequently uses the terms as measuring rods.

The Hip Gospel never mentions the cross or God’s wrath on sinners and Christ’s atonement for sin. It distorts the Bible, if it refers to it at all, and it never talks about being born again or the desperate need for becoming a new creation.

There is no sorrow for a fallen world—only envy of it.

Miller also claims he never feels as good with Christians as with pagans.

“I never felt so alive as I did in the company of my liberal friends. It isn’t that the Christians I had been with had bad community; they didn’t, I just like the community of the hippies because it was more forgiving, more, I don’t know, healthy.”[6]

Healthy? Is he saying it’s healthier to go into the woods and smoke pot and have immoral sex than to belong to Jesus Christ? That we can find more love in the drug scene than in a church? And this represents wonderful freedom for Christians? This is walking as Jesus walks? The Bible calls this the world. And it warns about its terrible dangers:

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:15–17)

Miller’s basic message is that pagans are better than Christians but that liberal Christians are much better than conservative Christians. And, finally, that liberals and even Unitarians are far more loving—and healthier—than conservative Christians.

Jesus went among sinners and brought salvation; he didn’t smoke pot with them. Miller goes among sinners and has a grand old time with them. His book doesn’t reveal the love of Christ; it reveals a love of paganism that isn’t a saving love but a desire to emulate sin. It reveals pagan envy.

Continued tomorrow - The Spirituality of the “Hip Christian”

Go On To Part 4
Go Back To Part 2
Go Back To Part 1

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Foxes Book of Emergents With Hurt Feelings - Rob Bell (Part 7)

This would be laughable if it wasn't true. Rob Bell recently preached a self serving message to his congregation called "Beware of Dogs" in which he slams biblically sound discernment ministries for questioning his heretical teachings. Well, the gloves are now off and it's time to call a spade a shovel.

Maybe the net is closing in Rob but why are you so surprised when sincere Christians call you to task for your hermeneutical hack jobs and disgusting manipulation of Scripture you continually do. There are people out there who love God's Word and love the purity of the blood bought once for all delivered Gospel and won't sit by and let you continually preach humanism and try and disguise it as Christianity. By all means sell your wares in a New Age bookstore or on Oprah but stop calling it Christianity. Sure you use the Bible and that is the problem. You USE the Bible to redefine its plain meaning into a postmodern haze.

The following youtube video/audio is a critique of the "Beware of Dogs" message. Warning - it is three hours long so bunker down with supplies if you want to hear it through. Normally I wouldn't post something so lengthy but I beleive this is actually a very helpful experience for many of us who try to practice biblical discernment in a marketplace full of ideas. Chris Rosebrough, who hosts the podcast, is not everybody's cup of tea but he does an excellent job of cutting through the emergent smokescreens to decipher what Rob Bell is actually teaching and how he cleverly twists biblical texts to say something other than their plain meaning.

Some of the staggering things to "emerge" from this critique include:
1.Rob Bell likes to try and lend credibility to himself by quoting Greek and Hebrew words much in the same way as the certificate of authenticity I have on my five dollar Rolex.
2.Rob Bell marvels as to why any Christian would be critical of a conference that tries to unite Christianity with different religions.
3.Rob Bell thinks that when people from other religions love him it is an endorsement of his message.
4.Rob Bell seems to approach Scripture willing to explore all interpretive options except for the one that leaps off the page and slaps you in the face.
5.The whole premise for the "Beware of Dogs" message, taken from Philippians 3, has absolutely nothing to do with what Philippians 3 is all about.
6.When Rob Bell talks about no place on earth he'd rather be he is not talking about the true fellowship of believers. He is talking about hanging out with buddhist monks, muslim nuns, universalists, hindus and people from other false religions.

A Note for Erica - Rob Bell's Cyber Bodyguard
There is a woman out there called Erica who seems to think her calling in life is to defend Rob Bell from all the people out there who practice biblical discenment. I like to think of her as Rob Bell's cyber bodyguard. I don't know what she looks like but I imagine she gets around in a dark suit with dark glasses, has an earpiece with a wire running under her collar, and talks into her watch.

Erica has posted a lot of times on this blog. Initially, I appreciated Erica's warm tone and engaged in friendly dialogue. But in time some themes "emerged" that shortened my patience. I noticed her name appearing and defending Rob Bell on other places where he was criticised. I noticed that her interest seemed to be confined to Rob Bell and that she seemed to have little interest in discussing the purity of the Gospel or reasoning from Scripture (no Erica, quoting bible verses out of context does not qualify as reasoning from Scripture). She started to sound like a scratched record and would not even consider the many biblical objections brought forward by people who questioned her. When I started to cut to the chase Erica's husband wrote in calling me a jerk. Read earlier posts concerning Rob Bell and you'll see our "conversation".

So Erica, if you're out there and want to post. Say things that are biblically supportable and in context. Also show a willingness to reason from Scripture rather than just defending Rob Bell for the sake of defending him.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Foxes Book of Emergents With Hurt Feelings - Donald Miller (Part 2)

DON MILLER - Blue Like Jazz or Green Like Envy
Continuing on from yesterday we are taking a close biblical poke at Donald Miller's best selling book "Blue Like Jazz". What follows is a continuation of the article by Richard Nathan. I thought this articlewas just too good to pass up for my series on Emergent leaders. Richard is a contemporary of Don Miller's and was saved out of a hippy background. He speaks with authority and biblical insight on the subculture that Miller is so enamured with. Richard also holds a Master of Arts in Religion in Church History and has been a Bible and church history teacher for over twenty years. Here is the second installment of Richard Nathan's article "Green Like Envy".

“Hip Love”

What is Miller’s idea of love? Is it the sacrificial love of 1 Corinthians 13? Of God’s sacrifice of His only Son? Is it the willingness to die to self? No, it’s none of these. Miller’s “hip love” is self-love. Here’s another situation he describes as cool.

“When my friend Paul and I lived in the woods, we lived with hippies. Well, sort of hippies. They certainly smoked a lot of pot. They drank beer a lot. And man did they love each other, sometimes too much perhaps, too physically, you know, but nevertheless they loved; they accepted and cherished everybody, even the ones who judged them because they were hippies. It was odd living with hippies at first, but I enjoyed it after a while.”

“We would sit around and talk about literature and each other, and I couldn’t tell the difference between the books they were talking about and their lives, they were just that cool. I liked them very much because they were interested in me. When I was with hippies, I did not feel judged, I felt loved. To them I was an endless well of stories and perspectives and grand literary views. It felt so wonderful to be in their presence, like I was special.”

P. 208 continues the story:

“I have never experienced a group of people who loved each other more than my hippies in the woods. All of them are tucked so neatly into my memory now, and I recall our evenings at camp or in the meadow or in the caves in my mind like a favorite film. I pull them out when I need to be reminded about goodness, about purity and kindness.”

Purity and goodness? So Miller calls people indulging in sin as his best examples of goodness and purity. They aren’t Christians—God’s people despite their flaws—but pot-smoking, probably fornicating people.

It reminds me of my own experience as a kind of hippie.

I was raised in a Marxist-atheist family and lived as one of those pagans during the Sixties. I smoked pot, took LSD, and engaged in immoral sex and the occult. If I had read a book like Blue Like Jazz then, it would have confirmed my poor image of Christians as uptight neurotics and my belief in the superiority of my pagan life.

Reed College. I was also familiar with Reed College in Portland, Oregon—the focus of Miller’s adulation. It was already a leftist bastion in the Sixties when we had friends from there. When I read Miller extolling Reed College, it appalled me that anyone calling himself a Christian could think Reed is a wonderful example of intellectual and moral freedom.

We too lived with hippies for several years in a cooperative house in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury District during the Sixties—the very vortex of the era’s rebellion. During that time, thousands of hippies held enormous gatherings in Golden Gate Park, right across the street from us, and held protest marches under our windows. I found them to be like me—very self-centered, very selfish, very corrupt, and the total opposite of pure or loving. Either Miller’s hippies were really angels in disguise (pot-smoking angels?) or else worldly thinking has corrupted his perceptions.

But paganism isn’t just another interesting lifestyle among many alternatives; it leads to death. The Bible says there is a way that seems right but that leads to death. Paganism is that way.

That brings up a very urgent question:

Does Miller Know the Gospel - continued Monday.

Go On To Part 3
Go Back To Part 1

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Foxes Book of Emergents With Hurt Feelings - Donald Miller (Part 1)

Emergent Don Miller delivered the closing prayer at the Democratic National Convention. Yes he is another of these emergents who supports the pro murder candidate and now president elect Barack Obama. Axctually, if you listen, it wasn't really a prayer, it was more of a lecture in his liberal social agenda. Interesting how Miller fails to mention the unborn among "the least of these" and ascribes Jesus death as against the forces of injustice rather than as an atonement for sin. Emergents generally hate the doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement and it always oozes out one way or another . . .

Richard Nathan holds a Master of Arts in Religion in Church History and has been a Bible and church history teacher for over twenty years. Over the coming days I will be posting his review of Miller's best selling book "Blue Like Jazz". Here is the first installment.

A phenomenon in evangelical circles, Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller has sold over 800,000 copies and made the New York Times bestseller list since its publication by Thomas Nelson Publishers in 2003,and its popularity continues to grow. An icon in the burgeoning Emergent Church movement, it attracts countless youth in contemporary Christian culture. Seminarians nationwide are reading it avidly, and some Christian ministries and pastors are even using it to evangelize.

Why? And what does that popularity reveal about evangelicalism today?

Pagan Envy

I first read Blue Like Jazz because Christians I knew were whispering about what a wonderful book it is. I had no idea what it was about, but I figured with a name like that it could be about anything. Now, after reading it, a better title has occurred to me: Green Like Envy. I chose this title because it refers to my overwhelming impression that Don Miller envies the non-Christian or pagan life but feels confined by Christian roots. Instead, he hangs around the outskirts of paganism, hoping that something will rub off on him that he thinks Christians don’t have and pagans do.

A big focus of Miller’s book is his attraction to Reed College in Portland, Oregon, where, although he doesn’t attend, he spends a lot of time. He reports getting involved with the few Christians on campus and mingling with the students. The book’s high point is his description of an annual festival he thinks is cool.

“Each year at Reed they have a festival called Ren Fayre. They shut down the campus so students can party. Security keeps the authorities away, and everybody gets pretty drunk and high, and some people get naked. Friday night is mostly about getting drunk, and Saturday night is about getting high. The school brings in White Bird, a medical unit that specializes in treating bad drug trips. The students create special lounges with black lights and television screens to enhance kids’ mushroom trips.” [Author’s note: Hallucinogenic mushrooms are also called “magic” mushrooms.]

“Saturday evening at Ren Fayre is alive and fun. The sun goes down over the campus, and shortly after dark they shoot fireworks over the tennis courts. Students lay out on a hill and laugh and point in blurry-eyed fascination. The highlight of the evening is a glow opera that packs the amphitheater with students and friends. The opera is designed to enhance mushroom trips.”

Now why would a “Christian” call an immoral festival where people run around nude high on drugs “alive and fun”? Why does he think of this as hip and cool?

Monday, November 10, 2008

New Sermonjam From Denmark - Saved From God's Wrath

Western Europe, the heartland of the Reformation 500 years ago, is now the heartland of secular humanism. It is a culture that has forgotten their Creator and the biblical truths that the Reformers bled and died for all those centuries ago. Everything good you can find in Europe stems from the Reformation. It is what took Europe out of the dark ages and gave birth to the arts, the sciences, industrial prosperity, medical breakthroughs, increases in life expectancy, faithfulness in marriage, and most importantly an explosion of preaching of the Christian Gospel. It was a truly great revival, as preachers thundered that salvation only came by grace alone, through faith alone, on God's Word alone, because of Christ alone.

The rise of Darwinism coupled with ungodly men who called themselves "liberal theologians" all conspired to undermine the authority of the Bible. This liberalism was a cancer that Europe has never recovered from. Like in Romans 1 the people exchanged the worship of the Creator for a humanistic deifying of the self. Today in Denmark, like in most of Western Europe, people are drowning in their own affluence, bowing before the Baals of self esteem, success, and sensuality. Tragically, many of the small fellowships that remain have bought into this lie and preach a gospel more focussed on life enhancement than saving damned souls.

Out of this darkness there may be some light. With the advent of cyberspace, young people over here who hunger for truth are able to tap into the teaching and preaching of great modern reformers residing outside of Europe like Paul Washer, John Piper, John MacArthur, and Ray Comfort. My precious brother in Christ Mikael Thomsen is not known by many people in Denmark let alone the rest of the world. But we pray that the message he burns with will travel great distances and into a great many hearts to the glory of Almighty God. This video entitled "Saved From God's Wrath" is a 4 minute sermon jam in Danish (with English subtitles) to give you a taste of his preaching and encourage you that it may not be too late for Europe. May you hear echoes of the Reformation . . .

Pray for Mikael and all the disciples of Jesus Christ in Europe. We're not in it for the popularity. In fact, Mikael was banished from the pulpit after preaching this message!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Rob Hughes and Cameron Buettel - The Full TV Interview

Here it is - the interview in FULL.
Rob Hughes and Cameron Buettel were invited on October 1st 2008 to appear on Revelation TV. It was a live 90 minute TV interview addressing the topic of open air preaching and the purity of the Gospel. These are much maligned topics that get little or no discussion in the Christian media. It is for this reason, and the pressing importance of spreading the Gospel in a hell bound world that I believe the interview is worth the view.

This video initially appeared with the first 52 minutes of the interview. However, the final half hour of the interview where the Cross of Jesus Christ and God's saving Grace were discussed were not on the intial uploaded video. Well, now the interview is uploaded in it's entirity and is available for those of you who would like to see how the program finished.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Paul Washer is a Weapon - Shock and Awe

Paul Washer preached a stunning sermon at the Deeper Conference recently. It was such a joy to sit in person and hear his preaching live after downloading countless sermons from him. Brother Paul is the kind of preacher that's needed in western churches today. Someone who so desires to honor God and so loves people that he is willing to preach with the desperation of a man on death row every time he graces the pulpit.

Four days after the Deeper Conference, Paul Washer was back in Atlanta for another conference and delivered this stunner - Ten Indictments Against the Modern "Church". Strap yourself in for this two hour message that Tony "Lawman" Miano believes will go down as a landmark sermon even by Washer's high standards.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fireproof Movie Review - A Triumph for the Gospel and Kirk Cameron

I just saw Fireproof and loved it. I DID NOT CRY . . . it was just that my eyes got teary when I pulled out a few nose hairs - that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

I heard one criticism recently about how repentance wasn't mentioned in the movie. It's kind of like the book of Esther which doesn't mention God's Name but God's sovereign Hand is everywhere in the book of Esther. Repentance is not mentioned in Fireproof but it is written all over the movie and it comes across loud and clear. One of the strongest themes I think.

I must confess to always being bugged by how the majority of "Christian" movie projects employ actors who are not Christians. This is not the case with Firproof which employed a cast of volunteers from Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany Georgia and Kirk Cameron who is best known for his roles as Mike Seaver in Growing Pains and as Buck Williams in the Left Behind series. I count myself priveledged to know Kirk Cameron and am well aware that both he and his wife live out authentic Christian lives. They are the real deal and a short amount of time with them reveals how precious Jesus Christ is in their lives.

Here are some positives and negatives in an attempt to be even handed.

1. I did think when that when Kirk's character was explaining becoming a Christian that saying "about your faith . . . I'm in" was a pretty corny and vague way of articulating the born again experience.
2. The idea of decisional regeneration seemed to be coming across in the first half of the movie (maybe I notice that as someone who accepted Calvin into my heart). However, I was glad to see the emphasis of God doing a transforming work of regenerating a sinful human heart later in the movie.
3. The movie should have contained a warning for sensitive viewers alerting them to several scenes of gratuitous violence inflicted on trash cans (but wow that must've been fun smashing that computer monitor, I envy Kirk for that scene).

1. The theme of repentance came across real strong.
2. The movie explained why God is angry at sinners.
3. The issue of pornography was handled clearly but discretely - that was really well done.
4. It did not preach "life enhancement" - just the opposite.
5. I loved how it showed that Caleb (Kirk's character) was not capable of changing until God changed him half way through the "love dare". It really shifted the emphasis away from the "love dare" and focussed on man's need for God's supernatural transforming work.
6. Chick Fil A product placement - gotta love that.
7. I was genuinely surprised by the stunt where they move the car just in time and the train knocks the guys helmet off. Was that real? That scene was seriously better and more realistic than action scenes in high budget movies.
8. The movie was loaded with some really powerful, profound, and well written scenes - these included:
(a) where Caleb sits there complaining about his wife ignoring his love as the cross looms in the background - loved that
(b) where the computer (where Caleb viewed pornography) was destroyed and replaced with flowers and the note "I love you more"
(c) when Caleb's father opens Caleb's eyes to his own depravity
(d) Romans 5:8 at the start of the closing credits
9. Those long closing credits - loved them, thanking everybody who helped in so many ways really spoke loud to me about the Church being the Church
10. Ray Comfort got his hands on the script - so obvious

Special Award for Outstanding Acting as a Stunt Double goes to:
Chelsea Noble Cameron (Kirk's real life wife) for the kissing scene. . . . or maybe it wasn't acting.

Please go and see this movie and learn something about the sanctity of marriage, Christ's love for His Church, and send a message to Hollywood that there is a large market for projects that advocate Christian values and biblical truth.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Foxes Book of Emergents With Hurt Feelings - Rob Bell (Part 6)

Rob Bell has a broad range as a teacher. His teaching ranges from misleading to illogical to stupid to hypocritical to heretical. Rob Bell recently made some comments in his latest book "God wants to Save Christians" concerning the war in Iraq. It s just a joke that he gets away with his blatant hypocrisy. There is a phony high ground of humility many emergents (including Bell) take where they claim that certainty is overrated and that it is arrogant to say we know truth or more importantly Scripture's explicit meaning. Here's this doozy of a quote from Brian McLaren (who is kind of like Rob Bell's Yoda):

If I seem to show too little respect for your opinions or thought, be assured I have equal doubts about my own, and I don’t mind if you think I am wrong. I’m sure I am wrong about many things, although I’m not sure exactly which things I’m wrong about. I’m even sure I’m wrong about what I think I’m right about in at least some cases. So wherever you think I’m wrong, you could be right.(Generous Orthodoxy)

This celebration of doubt and confusion is a common emergent theme. The only thing they are certain about is that fundamentalists are wrong - they are very certain about that! Here's my question - is it arrogant to believe that God is kind enough to make His plan of salvation knowable to a man as simple as myself?

Rob Bell and his wife Kristen had this to say about the authority of Scripture when speaking to Christianity Today in November 2004:

The Bells started questioning their assumptions about the Bible itself—"discovering the Bible as a human product," as Rob puts it, rather than the product of divine fiat. "The Bible is still in the center for us," Rob says, "but it's a different kind of center. We want to embrace mystery, rather than conquer it."

"I grew up thinking that we've figured out the Bible," Kristen says, "that we knew what it means. Now I have no idea what most of it means. And yet I feel like life is big again—like life used to be black and white, and now it's in color."

Clear as mud and heretical to boot. Now watch Rob Bell make the leap from heresy to hypocrisy as he "embraces the mystery" of the war in Iraq.

"We are fighting a war right now for oil. American soldiers and Iraqi civilians are getting killed today because they have a resource that (we) are addicted to. You know you are part of an empire when, in order to get a resource that literally fuels your empire, you will use violence... but when the American way becomes addicted to this comfort, and this comfort is dependent on a particular natural resource which we cannot provide enough of, we literally wage war to support our comfort and addiction.... It is hard for people to comprehend that our hands have blood on them, especially when some of the political rhetoric is "They're Evil, we're good" - that is absolutely destructive."

How does Rob Bell know this? Did Rick Warren give him a backstage pass to the Council on Foreign Relations? Or is he just speaking with authority on a subject he clearly knows very little about. As little as I know here is a little history

1991: Iraq invades Kuwait in an attempt to overtake them, this includes attacking Israel.

90's: Iraq refuses to cooperate with UN

1999: Iraq rejects UN Resolution

2000: Again rejects weapons inspection

2002: Again rejects weapons inspection

2002: US President George W. Bush addresses a special session of the UN, calls for multilateral action against Iraq. Iraq responds by announcing it will allow inspections unconditionally, but quickly retracts the offer, making it conditional on no new US resolutions.

2003: Hans Blix reports large amounts of illegal weapons unaccounted for, inspection not satisfied

2003: Arab Summit calls on Iraq to disarm, refuses. (

Hmmmm so it's all about oil. I suggest Rob Bell take a break from his study of Rabbinical history and spend some time studying recent history.

Church goer - please don't buy into this emergent nonsense. God gave us a Bible that we can trust and know how to be reconciled to Him. Spend more time studying that and use it to cut through the fog of confusion that people like Rob Bell sprout.

Go On To Part 7
Go Back To Part 5
Go Back To Part 1

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Paul Washer Interviewed - Exciting News For Denmark

Wow! I mean WOW!! I got to interview Paul Washer. I have been so blessed by downloading so many of his sermons. What a priveledge to discuss many important issues we face in Denmark as a fledgling network of evangelists. It is just over an hour long but well worth the listen simply because of the powerful things Paul Washer has to say. He doesn't mess around when it comes to answering a question clearly.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Todd Friel - Germophobia With Good Theology

Todd Friel is a breath of fresh air in an overly sanitized "Christian media". He embraces the tough issues rather than avoiding them and in doing so can offend some people. Herein lies his charm, in my opinion, because he is not driven by pleasing his audience. Importantly Todd is never afraid to admit when he is wrrr . . . wrrro . . . wrrro . . . incorrect and always allows healthy debate in a show which covers hermeneutics to heretics and everything in between. There is even live on-air witnessing encounters between Todd or Ray Comfort and some unsuspecting, unregenerate sinner who needs the forgiveness found only in Christ. And let's face it, how many germophobic stand up comedians do you know who practice sound orthodox biblical doctrine all the while remaining within arms length of the nearest Purell dispenser. Todd is certainly one of a kind.

Living outside of the USA in Denmark I rely heavily on Todd's show "Way of the Master Radio" for good spiritual food. I have been addicted to it for almost 3 years now and our friendship has never extended beyond the cyberspace I use for downloading the podcasts. But this last week I had the great joy of going into the studio in person and meeting Todd. He recognised me and stooped down to give me a welcoming hug (Todd is at least 10 feet tall).

It was such a joy to fellowship with a like minded brother and Todd was warm and engaging all the way through. But it was when we went out witnessing in the Atlanta subway that Todd demonstrated his authentic Christianity. There were no tv cameras or radio microphones around as Todd graciously and lovingly shared the good news of Jesus Christ with people in places that I was scared to be. Todd drove me home and spoke some encouraging words as I partook of a sacred initiation rite - sanitizing my hands with Todd's bottle of Purell.

Todd Friel may be afraid of germs but he's not afraid to expose a heretic . . .

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Leaving On a Jet Plane

Here I am on a plane over the Atlantic flying to the USA for three weeks of intense evangelism experiences. First stop Atlanta where I’ll be attending the Deeper conference featuring speakers like Paul Washer, Ray Comfort, Ken Ham, Todd Friel, Johnny Hunt, Marshall Foster, Kirk Cameron, and Emeal “EZ” Zwayne. There won’t be a dull moment.

It will culminate on Saturday night with 500+ evangelists converging on the streets of downtown Atlanta to open air preach. The big Rap/Hip Hop awards night is happening in Atlanta on that night so who knows??!! Maybe I’ll get heckled by Eminem (sorry my computer doesn’t do back to front letters) and P Doggy and Snoop Daddy and Puff Diddy and Diddy Doggy and Puff Snoopy and ummmm . . . ok so I’m not so “jiggy with it”! What I mean is there’ll be lots of droopy drawers in downtown Atlanta on that night. Can’t wait!

Is there anyone out there who knows neutral gang colors for downtown Atlanta. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt about the USA it is that “Drive Thru” trumps “Drive By” every time. Mmmm I can taste that Chick Fil A already!