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Posts Tagged ‘Polemics’

A Softer Prosperity Gospel: More Common Than You Think

By David Schrock

While evangelicals have traditionally decried the prosperity gospel in its “hard” form, there is a softer form of this teaching that is all too common among us.[1] Often undetected by Bible-believing Christians, it assumes the gospel and leads its adherents to focus on things like financial planning, diet and exercise, and strategies for self-improvement. In contrast to the hard prosperity gospel, which offers miraculous and immediate health and wealth, this softer, subtler variety challenges believers to break through to the blessed life by means of the latest pastor-prescribed technique.

Of course, matters of personal stewardship such as money, health, and leadership skills should be woven into a whole-Bible theology of Christian discipleship. The trouble comes when Christians, and especially pastors, place greater emphasis on these secondary matters. What we choose to preach or listen to says much about what we value. And what I see among some evangelicals is a willingness to prioritize the lesser matters of the law over the weightier mercies of the gospel.

 

 

 

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Sam Waldron Interviews Dr. Curt Daniel on Hyper-Calvinism

January 24, 2017 2 comments

Interview with Dr. Curt Daniel (part 1 of 4)

Interview with Dr. Curt Daniel (part 2 of 4)

Interview with Dr. Curt Daniel (part 3 of 4)

Interview with Dr. Curt Daniel (part 4 of 4)

 

Source [CBT Seminary]

Is the Bible Foundational to Christianity? Engaging with Andy Stanley

September 27, 2016 Leave a comment

by Michael J. Kruger

One of the most profound challenges for Christians as we live in an ever-more-hostile world is how to properly defend the faith against the incessant attacks against it. And these attacks have taken their toll. We have seen far too many casualties over the years as people leave the church because they had doubts or questions that were never answered.

It is precisely this issue that is behind Andy Stanley’s recent sermon, “The Bible Told Me So” (preached Aug 28, 2016). Stanley, son of well-known Atlanta pastor, Charles Stanley, is the senior pastor of Northpoint Community Church in Alpharetta, GA.

Stanley’s concern in this sermon is for those who have experienced what he calls “deconversions”—people who went to church as a child but have drifted away from the faith as they have reached adulthood. They drifted away because they went to a church that refused to answer their difficult questions and insisted that they were “just supposed to have faith.”

 

 

 

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A Serious Challenge to the New Perspective on Paul

by Michael Kruger

As most readers know, there has been a long scholarly debate over what is known as the New Perspective(s) on Paul (NPP). This approach argues that “justification” in Paul does not mean what many Christians (especially Reformed folks) have always believed.

In short, NPP advocates (e.g., N.T. Wright, James D.G. Dunn) argue that (a) first-century Judaism was not a works-oriented religion, and (b) “justification by faith” is not referring to the acquisition of a righteous status before God, but instead refers to the fact that membership in the covenant community can be obtained without the standard Jewish boundary markers laid out in the law of Moses (inset is a picture of Mt. Sinai).

One of the major flash points in this debate is the term “righteousness of God.” Paul uses this phrase in a number of places…

 

 

 

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Some thoughts on Tom Wells on John Owen on the Sabbath

Copyright © 2016 Richard C. Barcellos. All rights reserved.[1]

One issue I did not interact with in the RBTR articles that I think needs mention at this point concerns John Owen on the Sabbath. In subsequent discussion Owen will be consulted on this issue. Wells discusses Owen in one of the later chapters of his book. Attempting to prove that there is controversy on the issue of the Sabbath in the churches due to leaning too heavily on creeds, Wells says of Owen:

I fear that John Owen himself illustrates this. I mentioned that I estimate Owen’s defense of the Sabbath runs to as much as 90,000 words. . . . Surely in doing this Owen discussed the relevant biblical material very thoroughly indeed!

But sadly the evidence shows otherwise. And the evidence is not debatable. . . .

What does Owen say on Galatians 4:10-11? Nothing. According to the index to the seven volumes of the commentary on Hebrews which includes the essay on the Sabbath, Owen makes no significant reference to this major Sabbath passage whatever, in the commentary proper or in the essay.

What does Owen say about Romans 14:5-6, the passage in which Paul shows his conviction that days are a matter of indifference? Surely one cannot offer a New Covenant Sabbath day without referring to each of these two passages—but Owen does it.

And what of Colossians 2:16? Here Owen is not completely silent. In his essay on the Sabbath he cites this verse in passing at least twice.[2] In addition he has a fuller discussion worthy of study and comment.[3]

 

 

 

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Let’s revive the lost art of Christian polemics

by Conrad Mbewe

The tragedy on today’s ecclesiastical landscape is the number of heretics who are thriving inside evangelicalism. They are having a field day and hardly anyone is raising a voice against them. Behind closed doors we all seem to agree that these “brethren” are spreading serious error. But as soon as the door opens and one of them walks in, suddenly, we seem to be unsure and would rather be silent for the sake of Christian love.

This begs the question, “How should we as Christians respond to the many wrong teachings that surround us, especially those serious heresies being propagated by people who are in the church?” This is an important question because we are living in days when the very nature of evangelical Christianity is being turned upside down. This is especially true because of those who are teaching what we call “the prosperity gospel” in its various shades. Many lives are being destroyed. The way of salvation is being confused. How should we respond to all this?

We should respond to this by deliberately engaging in Christian polemics. What does the word “polemics” mean? Polemics means a strong verbal or written rebuttal of someone else’s belief. It is an argument that disputes another person’s opinion and shows that it is not true. It is the opposite of apologetics, which is a strong verbal or written defence of one’s own belief in the light of the attacks of other people. In other words, polemics and apologetics are two sides of the same coin. An apologist begins with the truth under attack and seeks to defend it, while a polemist begins with an error being propagated and seeks to refute it.

 

 

 

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The Slick-Waldron Debate: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (part 5)

February 23, 2016 Leave a comment

By Sam Waldron

One or two more matters should come up for discussion before I finish my post-game analysis of the Slick-Waldron debate over the gifts of prophecy, tongues, and healing. Here, I think, we pass from the good things I learned and the ugly of my confusion over the debate question to the bad.

I think Matt’s use of 1 Corinthians 1:7 was bad. 1 Corinthians 1:7 reads: “so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.” In this statement Paul congratulates the Corinthian church for the fact that they do not lack in any gift as they await the Second Coming. Matt pressed the text as a proof that all the spiritual gifts given to the Corinthians are normative for all churches till the Second Coming.

Well, quite evidently the text teaches no such thing. I actually asked….

 

 

 

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