Thanks to a relatively large workload recently and illness it’s been a while since I’ve posted one of these. So here’s a combined version to get your week going.
First up, some good reads:
If you’ve been hiding under a rock the past few days then you’ll have missed the announcement by Acts 29 that founder and former director Mark Driscoll has been stepped down from eldership of the Acts 29 Network. Mars Hill Church has also been removed from membership of Acts 29. My first reaction was sadness. I’ll openly admit that I’ve benefited from Driscoll’s ministry and some of the ministry of Mars Hill. In the past few years I haven’t kept up as much with his ministry but the past 12 months or so has seen a number of controversies that I have earnestly hoped Driscoll, his family, and his church and leadership have been prayerfully and humbly working through. So to hear the news that he has been stepped down from the church planting network he founded, is saddening. There’s been plenty of online commentary – and a few confessions/open letters. There are certainly some strong concerns to be addressed, and no doubt a fair bit of ‘he said/she said’. But of all the commentaries on this matter I’ve read the best has been Dave Harvey who has urged caution, balance and prayerfulness for those of us in the Peanut Gallery.
A few months back Tim Challies blogged his way through church history’s notorious false teachers, presenting one false teacher per heresy/false teaching. Here’s the list (in relatively historical order), and their associated false teaching:
- Arius – denied the eternal nature of the Son
- Pelagius – denied original sin, predestination, and the need for special grace to be saved
- Muhammad – denied biblical teaching of Jesus and significantly misrepresented him in the Qur’an
- Joseph Smith – Founder of the ‘Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’/Mormons, he added his own writings and authority to scripture and significantly changed biblical understandings of Jesus
- Ellen G White – founder of the Seventh Day Adventists, her teachings on the proper day of worship, and her views on death, hell and eternal punishment differ significantly from the Bible
- Charles Taze Russell – his work led to the formation of the Watch Tower Society and modern day Jehovah’s Witnesses. Among his false teaching includes the denial of the Trinity, the deity of Christ and the existence of the Holy Spirit, as well as denial of existence of hell.
- Harry Emerson Fosdick – the father of modern liberal theology, Fosdick denied the authority of scripture, and challenged the necessity of long-held doctrines such as the virgin birth, the return of Jesus, and the wrath of God (and substitutionary atonement).
- Norman Vincent Peale – popularized ‘positive thinking’, denied the existence of a personal God (reducing God to a ‘force’), the uniqueness of salvation through Jesus Christ, and essentially made Christianity self-centred rather than God-centred.
- Marcus Borg – strongly influenced liberal and progressive Christians, he denied many historical doctrines including the virgin birth and resurrection
- Pope Francis – a surprising, yet not, entry into the list, the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church is included because he heads the worlds largest denomination which opposes the biblical teaching of salvation by grace alone through faith along in Christ alone
- Benny Hinn – while Hinn has many errant teachings (see link) he is most recognised as a faith healer who teaches that with enough faith to believe God can heal anyone
- Brian McLaren – While some of his earlier works were welcomed by Christians his later works have essentially proven that he is theological liberal, much like Fosdick before him…
- TD Jakes – as much as he has sought to deny any false teaching, Jakes continues his association and affirmation of Oneness Pentecostalism and the language of ‘manifestations’ used by Modalism – which is essentially a denial of the historical doctrine of the Trinity
- Creflo Dollar – one of the foremost teachers of the prosperity gospel – that God’s will for his believers is to materially prosper them
Click through the links to read more of the history of each person, their false teaching, and what the bible actually teaches.
I’ve lost count of the number of times some tragedy has occurred – a mass shooting, a terrorist attack, a drunk driving death – and the victims or their relatives, usually Christians, start “forgiving” the offenders within hours or days of the crime.
I understand the motive, and also the desire to present an attractive witness about Christian forgiveness to the world. But it’s not a faithful witness to God. It does not reflect how God forgives, which is to be our pattern and model. Here’s why: God does not forgive those who do not want forgiveness.
There is much food for thought here by David Murray.
Finally for today, here’s a great article about the myths of divorce rates, including that of churchgoers. “Many of the most demoralizing beliefs about marriage, especially when it comes to discouraging statistics commonly passed around, are just not true, says social researcher and best-selling author Shaunti Feldhahn.“
Now to some video action:
Youtube Doesn’t Know Your Password – A brief introduction to password hashing for the uninitiated — and why you should never trust a site that emails your password back to you!
You won’t believe what happens in this video!! A parody from Wong Fu on the increasing clickbaiting culture that’s going on…
What happens when 22 amateurs play against 11 professional footballers? It’s a bit late for the World Cup, but I actually enjoyed watching this (NOTE – turn on English captions)…
How to ruin a wedding with your camera. But seriously, don’t be like this guy.