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Archive for the ‘Sola Fide’ Category

BEWARE OF OPEN THEISM

from apprising ministries

By Ken Silva pastor-teacher on Apr 4, 2009 in Current Issues, Theology

Even as one who holds to the Biblical Reformed doctrines of grace it is still surprising how fast and how far this apostasy within mainstream evangelicalism is spreading. And with it a myriad of aberrant and heretical offshoots, one of which that’s gaining increasing popularity within the nearly spiritually comatose spiritually evanjellyfish is Open Theism (OT). A particularly popular preacher of OT would be Greg Boyd who’s especially soothing to the itching ears in the postliberal cult of  Emergence Christianity as evidenced by e.g. Rob Bell having Boyd come speak at his Mars Hill Bible Church.

Apprising Ministries believes that truly those who are apostatizing have no shame because not only are they attacking of God’s absolute sovereignty in man’s salvation but now they are even more boldly attacking the omniscience of the LORD God Almighty Creator of Heaven and earth. In this excellent and thoroughly Biblical article solidly refuting Boyd’s heretical dream of open theism Bob DeWaay writes:

In recent years, some evangelicals have rekindled an old controversy by asserting that God does not have exhaustive foreknowledge. That is to say that He does not know everything that is going to happen. This is an old controversy. For example, Jonathan Edwards devoted many pages of his famous book, A Careful and Strict Inquiry into the Modern Prevailing Notions of the Freedom of the Will, Which is Supposed to be Essential to Moral Agency, Virtue and Vice, Reward and Punishment, Praise and Blame (commonly known as Freedom of the Will for obvious reasons). Edwards wrote:

First, I am to prove, that God has an absolute and certain foreknowledge of the free actions of moral agents. One would think it should be wholly needless to enter on such an argument with any that profess themselves Christians: but so it is, God’s certain foreknowledge of the free acts of moral agents is denied by some that pretend to believe the Scriptures to be the Word of God; especially of late.

This was the situation in the eighteenth century. Edward’s work on this issue is profound and timeless. He supplies page after page of Scriptural proof that God foreknows the future choices of free moral agents. In this article I shall respond to a recent challenge issued in the book God of the Possible by Gregory A. Boyd. He writes: “What is particularly sad about the current state of this debate is that Scripture seems to be playing a small role in it. Most published criticisms raised against the open view have largely ignored the biblical grounds on which open theists base their position.”

If it is so that published criticisms do not interact with the specific Scriptures put forth to support the “open” position, then I shall make a contribution toward rectifying this. In this essay I will interact with several of Dr. Boyd’s key proof texts, though space does not permit dealing with all of them. I shall show that the passages cited, if taken in their Biblical context, do not prove Dr. Boyd’s assertion that God lacks knowledge of some of the future… (Online source)

Less specific to the musings of Greg Boyd, in his excellent four part look at the heresy of Open Theism, Dr. Gary Gilley begins:

Any war is composed of major battles and minor skirmishes. The skirmishes, while often little more than irritants in the big picture, nevertheless cannot be ignored. True casualties are often the result of such conflict and the military ignores them at its own peril. Still, the war is won or lost on the front lines where the primary clash is taking place. So it is on the Christian battlefield. Relatively minor challenges to truth are constant. Overemphasis on this doctrine, ignorance of another, inordinate attention on emotions here, encroachment of the world’s mindset there.

Such altercations are disregarded at the high price of casualties among believers and churches alike. While we agree with the Puritan Richard Baxter that “charity should be practiced in all things”, we must also recognize that minor attacks on our flank, left unchallenged and uncorrected, tend to evolve into full-blown invasions that threaten the very heart of the church. Such is the issue before us today.

Open theism (also known as free-will theism, open theology and openness of God) was, until recently, a little-known stirring on the fringes of the evangelical camp. In 1980, few noticed and fewer cared about perennial rebel Clark Pinnock and his friends, who claimed they had discovered the “true” biblical understanding of God. But more recently their views have both matured and emerged into the mainstream of Christian thought through the writings of among others, Pinnock, Gregory A. Boyd, professor of theology at Bethel College (Baptist General Conference) and Professor John Sanders.

More lethal is the fact that this new concept of God is sneaking in through the backdoor of the camp by means of popular writers such as Phil Yancey, and the influence of men like Gilbert Bilezikian, who, as the resident theologian of the Willow Creek Community Church , wields tremendous power over the minds of many modern church leaders. Others in line with Yancey and Bilezikian include devotional/mystical writer Richard Foster and theologian Donald Bloesch. Particular danger of this latter group is that they may seldom, if ever, admit to holding open theistic convictions but espouse those views in attractive formats (e.g. Yancey’s popular book, Disappointment with God)… (Online source)  

See also:

Part Two Part Three Part Four

Answering Greg Boyd’s Openness of God Texts

Open Theism Part One

The Foreknowledge of God

Monergism: Open Theism

What Is Open Theism?

Pastoral Implications of Open Theism

Common Ground!

There is no common ground between this world and the Christian faith!

Written by tfheringer

February 2, 2009 at 2:02 am

The Son of Perdition

It is becoming more and more evident that we are living in the end times. Regardless on what your doctrinal beliefs are the days ahead are going to be filled with trouble. Personally, I believe in the eminent return of Jesus Christ, first for His invisible church and then preceding the millennial reign of Christ. However, regardless of how you feel about these issues the truth is that God is about to bring judgment on a world in rebellion against Him.

The recent election of Obama and the religious fervor that is surrounding him is ominous for those of us who only worship Christ, have faith only in Christ, have salvation by grace alone, bring glory alone to God and believe that the Scriptures alone are sufficient for faith and practice. There is an almost eerie attitude on the part of his supporters attributing unto him, that which only belongs to God. In this respect and for this reason there are many of us who suspect him of being the man of sin. There are several scriptures that come to mind when thinking about the end times, the passage here quoted is one of them, plus Daniel 9, Matt 24 and several extended verses from the book of revelation. This seems to be an era of destruction not only of the things of God, but also of civil institutions and moral values. A time in which we call that which is good evil and that which is evil we call good.

The time in which Paul wrote the book of Thessalonians was also a time of dread, fear and trouble. However, although he had in mind some events in his day, these were but a near fulfillment of these words. The far reaching effect is to be found in our day.

(2Th 2:1)  Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

There are two things that are linked in this verse and need to be kept together and interpreted as a single unit. First is the coming of the Lord or in the Greek the “parousia”, this is used both of His first coming and of His second coming, this word is sometimes translated advent. Second is the word gathering, this word “episunagōgē” means an assembly or collection. When Christ comes to take His believing body of believers unto Himself, it will be a collecting unto Himself of all those who truly believe in HIM.

(2Th 2:2)  That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

Not easily shaken mentally or troubled about the day of Christ. Even a letter purported to be from an apostle whether it really is or not should not shake the faith of a believer. Through out the history of the Christian faith there have been periods when there was a claim that the Lord has returned. No mater what happens are faith must be in Christ alone, by His grace, to His glory, faith in Him alone and based solely on God’s word.

(2Th 2:3)  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

Not easily deceived by current events during the end times. Paul tells us that the day of Christ or the rapture of the church will only be preceeded by an apostasy that uncovers the man of sin, who is the son of destruction. In these days we need to be not easily deceived by what is transpiring around us.

(2Th 2:4)  Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

The man of sin is going to oppose God, by replacing God with himself. The man of sin opposes God and exalts himself above all of what we would call godly. This goes a step further in his receiving worship that is only to be given to God.

(2Th 2:5)  Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

These are things that have been taught for many years starting with the Lord and the apostles. Paul went to great effort to tell the church these things, because of the intense persecution that was being unleashed on the believers.

(2Th 2:6)  And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.

The man is going to be revealed when that which is holding him back is removed. At the time we know that the man of sin will be revealed following the removal of that which is stopping him. The Holy Spirit at this point in time is the only one stopping the revealing (uncovering) of the man of sin.

(2Th 2:7)  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

There is something that has not been revealed, but shall be soon. A mystery is something that up to this point has not been uncovered or revealed and that someone has been holding things back from being uncovered.

(2Th 2:8)  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

There is a wicked one who is going to be revealed in the near future to us. This wicked one is the anti-Christ, he both stands in as a replacement for Christ, but also as being in opposition to Christ. The Lord is going to consume them through the Holy Spirit and destroy them at His second coming through the glory of God.

(2Th 2:9)  Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

This man of sin is filled with the power of Satan. This anti-Christ is indwelt by Satan and is working through the power of Satan. This is accompanied by signs of it being the real thing, even though it is not the real thing, but it is a lie. Lying wonders are only going to prove that it is not of God, but of the wicked one.

(2Th 2:10)  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

There are those who do not love the truth and the truth is that which is necessary for salvation. Those that are perishing are unrighteous and ungodly, because they have not received the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. These deceived ones show evidence of not having the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit and thus not being saved.

(2Th 2:11)  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

The Lord has many times in the past let unbelievers have their delusion and believe the lie many of these, but what about evolution. Many in our day are believing a lie and are under the delusion that they are believers when they are not believers.

(2Th 2:12)  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

There is a curse that goes with those who have not believed the truth, but enjoyed pleasure. We live for pleasure and recreation. Since they have not believed the truth and have set themselves in enjoying the pleasures that accompany unrighteousness.

(2Th 2:13)  But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

Our standing before God is based on progressive sanctification or development in sainthood, plus believing the truth. The believers in the early church are such, because they have been chosen to salvation and set apart by the sanctifying ministry of the Holy Spirit. Belief in the truths of God’s word leads to the five great solas of the the Christian faith.

(2Th 2:14)  Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The gospel is a very personal and important part, since he has chosen us to be in Christ for the purpose of gloryfying of Jesus Christ. If you have not believed the gospel, then it is impossible to understand what the Christian faith is all about. This means it is impossible to understand how come that Christ only needs to be preached and faith in HIM is the only answer to a world gone astray.

Written by tfheringer

November 12, 2008 at 2:54 am

The Five Solas

Sola Scriptura–The Scriptures alone are all that we need to judge all maters of faith and practice. It is the measuring rod by which we judge the world.

2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Soli Deo Gloria–God alone deserves to be glorified, no man deserves this ever.

1Co 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

Solo Christo–Only Christ deserves our faith and loyalty. When life seems to fall apart, or tribulation comes our way He is the only one in whom we must trust.

Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Sola Gratia–Only the grace of God deserves a presence in our lives. It is only by the Grace of God that we live, eat, play and breath.

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Sola Fida–Only faith in the finished Work of Christ on the cross will count when all is added up and submitted to God.

Heb 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

Heb 10:18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

Written by tfheringer

October 26, 2008 at 12:27 am

Biola University Drifting from Evangelical Protestant Roots?

from apprising ministries

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1, ESV)

Apostate Roman Catholic Mystical Spiritual Formation Has No Place In The Body Of Christ

My friend and brother in arms along this often ugly and neglected Internet Front of the Truth War Jim Luppachino of Watcher’s Lamp points out the Pope Calls for World to Return to Mary’s Heart. If this phony fronting the Roman Catholic Church, perhaps the single best version of Christianity ever concocted by the Devil, meant the Mary of the Bible in a way it would be alright because she really loved the actual Jesus. But this antichrist doesn’t; he means the demon impersonating her in various “visions.” But what’s all this got to do with Biola University? If you’re not one of the multitudinous Rip Van Winkles masquerading as evangelical “leaders” within the visible church today and you have eyes that see read on.

Lately here at Apprising Ministries I have been warning the Body of Christ about apostatizing “Protestant” evangelicalism’s sordid lust affair with Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) and its antibiblical Contemplative/Centering Prayer (CCP), which is all simply a reimagined form of the alleged ”Christian” mysticism from apostate Roman Catholicism. The reason for this is really quite simple, we are witnessing the spread of The Cult of Guru Richard Foster deep within mainstream Protestant evangelicalism and with it a neo-pietism masquerading as Spritiual Formation (SF) as espoused by Southern Baptist minister Dallas Willard and his spiritual twin Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster.

Unfortunately it remains to be seen if the Church has any ministers left with the intestinal fortiutude to publicly back what they have told me privately concerning the teachings of Richard Foster, who, following in classsic Quakerism, is a highly ecumenical Reformation-rejecting mystic who’s basic theology is already a repudiation of Sola Scriptura. Now I ’spose I ain’t the brightest bulb in the Lord’s lamp but even I can see it’s absolutely asinine that evangelical Protestants should turn to someone whose very messed up mystic musings are derived from major apostate voices of the Roman Catholic Counter-Reformation movement.

Yet it simply a fact that Foster has been forming the basis of so-called SF in their Protestant seminary classes for years and as a result we are hearing way too much talk about so-called “spiritual disciplines.” As I pointed out in Means of Grace: Searching the Scriptures you need to understand that these are largely artificial repainted ascetic practices of Roman Catholic monks and monkettes which greatly contributed to God bringing about the Protestant Reformation in the first place. And yes, it was the Spirit of the Lord Who moved men like Martin Luther, who as a former monk had forgotten more about ascetic “disciplines” than mystic monk wannabes Foster and Willard will ever know.

If you’ve bought into their mystic malarkey of centered on the self spiritual formation I will remind you here that the Biblical term for growing in the grace of God is discipleship. And the proper term the Protestant Reformers would use for things e.g. like fasting, prayer and studying the Bible would be “the means of grace” and not the Roman Catholic term “spiritual disciplines,” which has now become a new form of pietism. And if you don’t think this has grown into a cult of Foster-Willard then consider just how many times these mystical dreamers with their  “feelings” from the flesh are appealed to in virtually every writing on the subject.

Sadly, we also have major voices within evangelicalism who are now trying to “save” terms associated with mysticism e.g. like “silence and solitude” and import them into the work of powerful men of God like Jonathan Edwards. The problem is mystics as far back as the deceived desert hermits used those terms first and they referred to a form of “wordless” corrupt “Christian” meditation. Protestants shouldn’t even be trying to reinterpret their meaning and bring this centered on the self experience-oriented “worship” which then interprets Scripture according to what they “feel” God has said. O how the Church needs voices like Dr. Walter Martin who used to constantly ask the most important question we can ask as darkness continues to fall upon this late hour: “But what does the text of the Bible itself say?”

This is the background you need to keep in mind as I now point you to a letter from a student at Biola University published at From the Lighthouse… blog which informs us:

Biola’s entire chapel has been reformatted to become a totally postmodern way of doing things. Any time the Bible is pulled out it is simply just read, about 1 verse or maybe a couple in a passage. There is no expository preaching or much explanation. The new Chapel director is a total emergent, postmodern embracing person who leads the entire student body through the motions of contemplative prayer.

Last chapel the entire session was dedicated to being silent and listening to the Bible being read slowly, then having people focus in on it and do the entire contemplative prayer thing. This was Lectio Divina, which was mentioned by name… (Online source)

This letter is actually quite to one AM recently published in Concerning Leonard Sweet of the Emerging Church and Christian Education. Now concerning itself Biola University: A Private Christian University In Southern California, which called Dr. R.A. Torrey as its first dean, tells us:

From an institute to a university, Biola’s cornerstone has remained the same: commitment to Jesus Christ, the inerrancy of Scripture and biblical Christianity (within an evangelical Protestant framework), as well as to the spiritual, academic and holistic growth of those who are personally committed to Him. (Online source)

And its “Mission, Vision & Values” statement confirms that BU in in fact not Roman Catholic but rather a Protestant evangelical university:

Biola University’s vision is to be an exemplary Christian university characterized as a community of grace that promotes and inspires personal life transformation in Christ which illuminates the world with His light and truth. Further, as a global center for Christian thought and an influential evangelical voice that addresses crucial cultural issues,…

We believe that there is truth; it is knowable and revealed in God’s inerrant Word. As a result we can live with unshakeable confidence and hope knowing that the Bible and God’s truth have direct application to our lives, our work, our relationships and the culture around us. We believe that holding a biblical worldview is foundational to understanding life and Truth. (Online source)

I make this clear because by making these claims within the Body of Christ Biola University Christians should now take up their Bibles and begin to carefully judge this university as such.

Written by tfheringer

October 21, 2008 at 2:48 pm