Strange Firony and Frustration

I promised to update the previous post, but life is running at mach 1 right now.

Flash

I’ll do my best to update quickly now as I providentially have around two spare hours in my day, but this will pretty much be a frantic rant.  Dr. Brown has reached out to me for dialogue and unblocked me on Twitter.  Regardless of disagreements, that’s commendable.  I have had some interaction with him privately, and that’s still ongoing.

I will say that Dr. Brown claims that he was given the impression that Phil Johnson was the person to contact in order to arrange a dialogue with John MacArthur (that’s a fairly public claim, so I don’t believe I’m revealing private correspondence).  Phil has responded to Brown’s claims today with this updated article, claiming otherwise.  Phil has provided some rather straightforward comments, where as I haven’t seen anything of corresponding clarity from Dr. Brown.  He may have responded in kind, but I haven’t seen it.

I’m in no place to comment, seeing that I don’t have the necessary information to have an opinion beyond what I’ve already insinuated:  Phil appears to address these things candidly and with straightforwardness, which makes him look more credible…

…but that situation is not really what has frustrated me with this all.
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Strange Firony…

***Update at the bottom***

I honestly, sincerely wish I could move on from the topic of the Charismatic Movement, but it just keeps on coming up.  It’s been almost two years since the Strange Fire conference, and it seemed like all the parties involved got their shots in.

The Cessationists made their reasonable appeals, made a lot of unreasonable rants, published their stuff, wrote their responses, etc.

The Continuationists basically cried about division and broad brushes.

The Pentecostals basically cried about division and broad brushes.

The Charismatics basically cried about division and broad brushes.

Charisma Magazine kept on doing everything possibly in their power to provide an endless tsunami of amazing examples as to why the Strange Fire Conference was necessary (and possibly understated things: every single word in that statement links to a separate mind-numbing article, just for a few dozen examples)

There has been biblical proportions of ink spilled on the topic and I’ve been involved in a small percentage of said spillage.  In fact, I got started blogging more seriously when Dr. Michael Brown started laying salvos against the conference, before the conference.  We interacted quite a bit and then yesterday, I saw this:
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Torben Søndergaard and Gospel Plus

I recently learned about Torben Søndergaard.

Torben

He’s an evangelist and faith healer from Denmark who is quite the public prophet, faith healer, and “global evangelist”.  He runs an organization called The Last Reformation, and he’s not exactly subtle: he claims to be part of the next Protestant Reformation (otherwise known as the New Apostolic Reformation).  His about page tells the story of how he came to be a Christian, didn’t see “fruit” in his Christian life (“fruit” meaning “miraculous healings”),  and then became a full-blown faith healer and prophet who writes books by divine revelation (which would be delivering written revelation, otherwise known as “writing scripture”).

You may not have heard of him yet, but he’s definitely getting around and building steam.  He’s popping up in Singapore, PolandEngland, Australia, Holland, Turkey, South Africa, Los Angeles, etc.  All those listed countries were places where he has been in the past year alone.   Just a few weeks ago he was leading a faith healing seminary right in my own backyard.

Some people may want to dismiss him as being “the fringe”, but he’s becoming a B-list charismatic celebrity, at least according to some.   He’s clearly busy and doing this full time.  He’s writing books and traveling the world.  Even though his videos are videos of healing “on the street”, he travels because he’s invited to teach on faith healing and assorted charismatic theology in churches on every continent.  In other words, Torben Søndergaard is not that fringe.  Torben is also a fantastic example of a dangerously wide-spread type of false teacher: the guys who offer “gospel plus”.

What is “gospel plus?”  Continue reading

A Public Service Announcement Regarding Goshen and EMU.

PSA

So, at the “convenient” time when the US legalized same-sex marriage across all 50 states, two Mennonite Church USA schools were prepped and ready to flee biblical fidelity.

The US supreme court ruled in favor of Obergefell v. Hodges on June 26, 2015.  Eastern Mennonite University released there newly revised “Non-Discrimination Statement” on July 16, 2015, and Goshen College released theirs two days later.

What does that mean now? Continue reading

Quick Thoughts: The Predator Prey Problem.

Thinking-Man

Over on the Cripplegate, I recently addressed several thorny theological questions.  One was the question of what’s known as “the predator prey problem” in Creation Science.  In a nutshell, the problem arises when one speculates how in the world animals that appear to be engineered for predation were not originally predators.

In other words, how were venomous snakes part of God’s “very good” creation when their fangs and venom glands appear specifically made for hunting other organisms.  What purpose would venom have had before the fall?  What purpose would fangs have had before the fall?

Due to the predator prey problem, some people have found an old earth/theistic evolution paradigm far easier to believe than a young earth/biblical creation paradigm.

Snake Attack

Admittedly, it’s a difficult problem.  It’s not difficult because there aren’t answers, but rather that the answers are inaccessible to everyone since the only way to answer the question would be to somehow see what creation was like before the fall.  The Bible doesn’t give people a whole lot of information about the world before the fall, so the question is shrouded in a colossal amount of rather annoying mystery.

In the comment thread, I interacted with a good brother who was wondering why venomous snakes before the fall was a problem.  I wrote a long enough answer that I wanted to save it for posterity…and also share it as a post unto itself.  For those who think about such things, here’s what I said to him: Continue reading