Now at the risk of more accusations that this blog is simply a Brad Jersak “hate site”, he is my local celebrity heretic. I have basically given up on following at all because he’s so far out in left field, but I’ve been asked about another book of his several times now, so here is a blog post with my 2 cents.
Brad Jersak is a cautious universalist. Amazingly, a guy who abandons the truthfulness of scripture ends up going further away from orthodoxy the older he gets.
I’ve been asked about this book (apparently I’m way behind!):
I’m not going to review it or anything like that. I’m already several books behind on my reviewing schedule. But, I did peek through the amazon.ca preview though and was sadly not surprised.
– According to the first section of the book, anyone who takes any sort of dogmatic stance on hell and eternal punishment isn’t humble. What a shock. Jersak defines humility with himself as the baseline. That’s really humble of him.
The default position of postmodern false teachers is one that says “I’m not going to say that my way is right, but if you disagree with me you’re arrogant (by default) and I win all debates (again be default) because you’re arrogant”. This position is commonly referred to as being ‘hermeneutically humble”. This is the emergent/pomo corrective to the perceived arrogance of the “fundamentalism” (which usually is nothing close to actual historic fundamentalism) that many emergent/pomo thinkers think they emerge from.
– Jersak suggests that the Bible paints multiple pictures about hell and there’s a tension in the text that cannot be resolved (that’s a fancy way of saying that the Bible contains contradictions regarding its teaching on Hell and is a blatant rejection of both inspiration and inerrancy). I’ve heard this mangled trumpet before; scripture is not clear on things like the afterlife; heaven and hell. Scripture is not clear on whether God is holy. Scripture is not clear on whether or not God thinks his holiness is a joke. I am always amazed at how poetic it is for people to try to make a case that God basically lacks the ability to communicate with clarity, but they write books about it and expect people to read their books and understand (with general clarity) what they are saying. God has a speech impediment but they don’t.
Few things make me so utterly annoyed as pseudo-theologians trying to play the “The Bible isn’t clear” card on a topic it mentions all over the place. I’m fine with someone telling me I’m wrong and completely don’t understand the scripture; at least we can interact with the scripture. I respect honest and divergent opinions that suggest I’m wrong. I have no respect for someone who tries to tell me that God is such a drooling imbecile that he’s incompetent to reveal himself to mankind with basic clarity. I also have no respect for people who play that card and claim that they’re still within the bounds of evangelicalism; people who deny the perspicuity of scripture have been, or are in the process of, leaving anything recognizable as “Evangelical Christianity” long behind.
– Jersak’s not even sure if hell does, or does not, exist.
Are you kidding me?
Some ideas are just so hard to take serious that a person doesn’t really know where to start.
Does God share Jersak’s confusion about Hell?
Would God dance around the truth of his holiness and wrath against sin, or whether sin is serious or not?
If Hell were what the scripture claims it is, would God drop the ball on making sure the revelation of Hell was clear?
“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed…” – 2 Tim 3:12-14.
That about sums it up.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Stay away from Brad Jersak: he is one of the wolves that Jesus warned us about; he consistently attacks and condemns orthodox biblical Christianity in his writing and “ministry” and he openly associates with enemies of the gospel (like Marcus Borg) as if they are brothers. That should be all you need to know.
If you go to a church that brings him in to speak, or uses his curriculum for instruction in things like prayer, consider that a strong indication that whoever is making those decisions has an alarming lack of biblical discernment.
Consider yourself warned.
Until Next Time,
Lyndon “what does Peter say about people who distort and twist scripture?” Unger