Friday, April 30, 2010

NT Wright v The Gospel (Part 1)

I recently posted about NT Wright, the Anglican Bishop of Durham, who is revered in many circles for his defense of the resurrection. However, there are major problems with Wright's understanding of the cross itself, and I was very critical of Wright when I posted on him.

Unfortunately, that answer just won't do for those who suffer from paralysis by analysis. I was heavily criticized by an apologist recently for passing sentence on NT Wright without reading some of his books in entirity. That is a bad argument in itself because it is only necessary to prove someone is not a heretic. You only need to get the Gospel wrong in one point to be anathema as Paul points out to the church at Galatia (Galatians 1:8-9). Furthermore I suppose I could ask my critics to read all of my relevant blog posts before passing judgment. Michael Horton even laid it out very plainly in an earlier post. However, for the sake of further clarity on a man who furthers his theological career by being vague and hazy about fundamental Christian truths, I will delve somewhat deeper in this series on NT Wright.

When I immerse myself in excellent works such as "The Gospel According to Jesus", "Desiring God", "The Holiness of God", "Pierced For Our Transgressions", "In My Place Condemned He Stood", "9 Marks of a Healthy Church", "Christless Christianity", "The God Who Justifies", "Justification and Regeneration", "The Trellis and the Vine", and Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology it becomes very obvious that some things are very wrong with NT Wright. I refuse to spend money buying one of Wright's books, and find him incredibly boring, and unable to give a clear answer to many simple questions (unlike the abovementioned books which are unmistakable crystal clear concerning soteriology). I have read good sized chunks of "What St Paul Really Said", "Simply Christian", and "Justified". I have also read Wright's online responses to both John Piper's "The Future Of Justification" and the book "Pierced for Our Transgressions". I have studied Phil Johnson's lectures at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in 2004 concerning Wright and the "new perspective", as well as reviews at the 9 Marks website, and discussed the issue extensively face to face with both Phil Johnson and Todd Friel. All of this wasn't necessary anyway, as a plain reading of Wrtight's understanding of imputation (or lack thereof) and works based maintenance of salvation is stuff worthy of Pauls Galatian rebuke. It's really not that hard. In fact, I would even contend that Wright's confusing waffling on the question of homosexuality verifies either a low view of Scipture, cowardice, or incompetence.

How NT Wright Became The First Person In 2000 Years Of Church History To Figure Out What The Apostle Paul Really Said!

Reading Wright was not only exceedingly boring, it actually revealed where many of the emergents get their ideas from. He seems to be their "Yoda". Constant themes prevail in his writing. Sin on a corporate level but rarely on an individual level. Kingdom this, kingdom that, kingdom here (I remember Jesus saying that if His Kingdom were of this world then his servants would fight). Blurred lines between this world and eternity. Nothing of God's wrath against sinners who are law breakers, nothing of depravity, nothing of hell, complete failure to understand the function of the Mosaic law, all of which lead up to the gross distortion of penal substitution and the historic understanding of imputation. It is a telling sign that Wright's understanding of justification has influenced numerous evangelicals to do the unthinkable and "come home to Rome". In fact Wright has an amazing knack of missing what a plain reading of Scripture reveals. He denies the major problem in Galatians was that they were adding works to the Gospel or teaching works rightoeusness:

the tradition of Pauline interpretation has manufactured a false Paul by manufacturing a false Judaism for him to oppose (The Paul of History p78).

It is blindingly obvious when you read Romans and Galatians that virtually whenever Paul talks about justification he does so in the context of a critique of Judaism and of the coming together of Jew and Gentile in Christ. As an exegete determined to listen to scripture rather than abstract my favourite bits from it I cannot ignore this. The only notice that most mainstream theology has taken of this context is to assume that the Jews were guilty of the kind of works-righteousness of which theologians from Augustine to Calvin and beyond have criticised their opponents; and, though Sanders’s account of Judaism needs a lot more nuancing, I regard the New Perspective’s challenge to this point as more or less established. What I miss entirely in the Old Perspective, but find so powerfully in some modern Pauline scholarship, is Paul’s sense of an underlying narrative, the story of God and Israel, God and Abraham, God and the covenant people, and the way in which that story came to its climax, as he says, ‘when the time had fully come’ with the coming of Jesus the Messiah. How all this works out is still very controversial within the New Perspective. But at these points, for good exegetical and historical reasons, I find myself saying Here I Stand (

Here I stand???? What Romans and Galatians was he reading? The reformed understanding is the plain reading.

But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; (Romans 9:31-32)

But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. 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. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. (Galatians 2:11-21)

One can only speculate as to why or how they (new perspective on Paul folks) would arrive at their conclusion. Possibly an attempt to avoid potential anti-semitism objections??? Everything unravels around this as seen by Wright's failure to recognize the law as a schoolmaster - I cannot find him writing on it anywhere. This is backed up by the critique of Wright's book "Simply Christian" over at the 9 Marks website:

In his zeal to avoid the "Old Perspective on Paul," Wright has missed a full, rich discussion of the power of the cross of Jesus Christ. The pale "exhausted the powers of evil" is too vague, and seems untrue, because Wright also avoids strong discussion of personal evil as exposed by the Law of God. The omission of talk about personal sin, repentance and Judgment Day necessarily follows from the previous discussion. If the Law is not meant to stand as a judge over our personal behavior, then our sin remains as indistinct and vague as the "powers of evil" Wright speaks so much of. Scripture is not so vague: everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4).

This is not a case of seeing the forest but not seeing the trees. Wright continually sees neither the trees nor the forest. Wright continually drags out oblique revelations from reading through his rabbinical filter but misses so much obvious fundamental truth. "Simply Christian" misses the mark on many other levels and is disgraceful. It is a bad joke when Wright tries to summarize Christianity in a book and ignores issues as big as Christ's deity, the Atonement, personal sin, judgment, and God's wrath (at least in a specific personal sense).

To be continued on Monday where we'll look at NT Wright's view on Penal Substitutionary Atonement and his endoresement of the controversial book "The Lost Message of Jesus".

Go On To Part 2

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Click Here To Check Out Our 2011 Conference

Wednesday July 7th through to Saturday July 10th 2010.

Hedemølle Boarding School
Hedemøllevej 31
8850 Bjerringbro
(pictured to the right, scroll down to view an online map)

Prices include all food and accomodation.
Adults: 700 Danish Kroner (124 USD, 94 EUR, 82 GBP)
Students: 400 Danish Kroner ( 71 USD, 54 EUR, 47 GBP)
Ages 0-6: 150 Danish Kroner ( 27 USD, 20 EUR, 18 GBP)
Ages 7-14: 300 Danish Kroner ( 53 USD, 40 EUR, 35 GBP)
Ages 15-20: 400 Danish Kroner ( 71 USD, 54 EUR, 47 GBP)

At Reformation Resurrection 2010, Dr. Peter Hammond will be teaching in subjects including the doctrine of justification, evangelism, biblical manhood and biblical womanhood, the Lord's day, and recount inspiring stories of the reformers themselves. Please don't miss this rare opportunity to be exposed to teaching and training of such high quality, biblical soundness, and fervent passion.

All preaching and teaching for the duration of the conference will be in english. Some translation will be available.

For further information and travel advice please e-mail
Henrik Mortensen

The Tilbage Til Bibelen (Back to Scripture) network of Denmark is proud to present Reformation Resurrection 2010. Reformation Resurrection 2010 is a four day conference in the Danish countryside devoted to the furtherance of the Gospel in Europe and around the world. There is a lot of talk today about "new reformations" with new solutions to new problems. But we face the same problem today that we did 500 years ago - the pulpits of Europe have abandoned the Gospel. Reformation Resurrection 2010 is a rallying cry to the same solution that the reformers risked their lives to proclaim. That sinful men can be justified before a Holy God by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. And that this truth is faithfully proclaimed in God's Word alone, and to God's glory alone. The reformation isn't over - it just needs new life breathed into old truth. Men and women who are not ashamed of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ, the power of God unto salvation. Will you forsake the silence to join with us and be a voice in resurrecting the Reformation?

Europe has an amazing heritage of godly men and women who risked their lives for the proclamation of the Gospel and the preservation of the Bible. Thus it is entirely appropriate that this years guest speaker is no stranger to risking his life for the cause of Jesus Christ. Dr. Peter Hammond is a rare and diverse creature indeed. Trained as a soldier, educated as a historian and theologian, Dr. Hammond has been at the forefront of taking the Gospel into some of the most hostile places in Africa and around the world. It is no coincidence that the Sudanese government has a death warrant on this man when he repeatedly risks his life by travelling into the warzone of this hostile Islamic regime with the call to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. He has been stabbed, shot at, bombed, and tortured all for the sake of the message he preaches. Dr. Hammond is also an historian of the highest order having written books on subjects like the Crusades, Inquisition, and of course the Reformation.

Click here to view Dr. Hammonds CV.
Click here to watch a short interview of Dr. Hammond on "Wretched TV".
Click here to listen to Todd Friel interview Dr. Hammond.
Click here to download some of Dr. Hammond's sermons.

Below you can view an online map of the campsite:

View Larger Map

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Matthew 25 Network v Matthew 25

I was reading through Matthew 25 yesterday during the gathering of our fellowship and I was reminded of the social gospel/political activism "ministry" called "The matthew 25 Network" which was pioneered by Brian McLaren. The Matthew 25 network came to my attention in September of 2008 with my post The Lie Of The Social Gospel. Brian McLaren used the money of donors to fund political advertisements in support of radical pro-abortionist Barack Obama. The hypocrisy of McLaren is staggering enough considering his years of pontificating against conservative Christians for their political involvement. But as I read through the 25th chapter of Matthew's Gospel, I was staggered between how far removed it was from the agenda outlined on the Matthew 25 Network mission statement:

We are a community of Christians from diverse paths gathering in response to the words and acts of Christ. We humbly seek to love and care for all our neighbors.

Government policies and the election of our public officials reflect our core values. As citizens we recognize our responsibility to partake in and affect our national and global community through our government. We believe people of faith and good will should actively engage in the political process as advocates for social justice.

We engage the world as it is and hope for the world as it ought to be, working to strengthen families, to see the dignity in all, to conserve God’s creation, and to seek peace and justice at home and abroad – unabashedly advocating for the least of these.

The Matthew 25 Network identifies their main issues as health care, immigration reform, prison reform, "abortion reduction" (can you smell what that is code for), environmentalism, domestic poverty, rural investment, inner city investment, foreign aid, and civil rights. And what does this have to do with Matthew 25? Good question!

The first part of Matthew 25 (verses 1 to 13) is the parable of the ten virgins which warns us to be ready for Christ's second coming in any event. However, you will find nothing on the Matthew 25 Network about Christ's second coming. Perhaps this is because McLaren doesn't even believe in the "ten virgin" warning:

The phrase “the Second Coming of Christ” never actually appears in the Bible. Whether or not the doctrine to which the phrase refers deserves re-thinking, a popular abuse of it certainly needs to be named and rejected. If we believe that Jesus came in peace the first time, but that wasn’t his “real” and decisive coming - it was just a kind of warm-up for the real thing - then we leave the door open to envisioning a second coming that will be characterized by violence, killing, domination, and eternal torture. This vision reflects a diversion, a return to trust in the power of Pilate, not the unarmed truth that stood before Pilate, refusing to fight...

If we remain charmed by this kind of eschatology, we will be forced to see the nonviolence of the Jesus of the Gospels as a kind of strategic fake-out, like a feigned retreat in war, to be followed up by a crushing blow of so-called redemptive violence in the end. The gentle Jesus of the first coming becomes a kind of trick Jesus, a fake-me-out Messiah, to be replaced by the true jihadist Jesus of a violent second coming.

This is why I believe that many of our current eschatologies, intoxicated by dubious interpretations of John’s Apocalypse are not only ignorant and wrong, but dangerous and immoral.” (page 144, Everything Must Change).

Don't you just wish McLaren could be a little more succinct in articulating his denials of established Christian teaching? Anyway, the disconnect between the Matthew 25 Network and the Matthew 25 of Scripture doesn't end there.

Following on in Matthew 25 we come to the "parable of the talents" (verses 14 to 30)before closing with the terrifying account of God separating the sheep (true converts) from the goats (false converts) (verses 31 to 46). Both the parable of talents and God's separation of the sheep and the goats contain overwhelming warnings of eternal damnation. Again, the subject of hell is an absent subject on The Matthew 25 Network. The irony is staggering.

Surprise, surprise, Brian McLaren is not a big fan of the doctrine of hell . . .

The Matthew 25 Network should consider naming themselves after another chapter in the Bible like . . . actually I can't think of one that describes their agenda.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Can You See The Zipper On Brian McLaren's Sheep Suit?

Brian McLaren has grown more and more brazenly heretical with every new book he writes. Is he changing his theology over time or unveiling more and more of what he has always believed?

I think the reason Tony Jones seems to have disappeared off the "emergent radar" is not because of his multitude of heresies, nor that he has run out of foundational Christian truths to deny (he's denied just about everything). I believe it is because Tony was just not being vague and cryptic enough - his sheep suit was becoming too obvious! Which leads us back to Brian McLaren, because his sheep suit has more holes than a box of Krispy Kremes (no that wasn't product placement, I'm just bitter that they opened a store in my hometown the month after I left the country).

Some of my Aussie friends recently wrote to their local Christian bookstore to protest them stocking Brian McLaren's books (and you'll soon see they had good reason). I am posting their letter today and the response of the Christian bookstore for three reasons.

1. To see how overtly blasphemous Brian McLaren is willing to be in his most recent book.
2. So you can cut and paste this letter and send it to any bookstore that stocks this poisonous trash.
3. To introduce you to the modern world of "pragmatic integrity" as demonstrated by the bookstore.

First up, Phil Leaney's letter to the "Christian book store":


I wanted to write and share my deep concerns about XXXXX stocking Brian McLarens books, especially his last two books “Everything Must Change” and “A new kind of Christianity”. The XXXXX History/Ethics statement says in part "To effectively supply and promote an extensive range of Christian products that will be of spiritual benefit to the body of Christ." And yet in a very tangible way, stocking Brian McLarens books goes directly against this statement. For something to “be of spiritual benefit to the body of Christ”, I would have thought it should conform to at least some basic core doctrines of Christianity – not oppose them. Because someone uses a bible, quotes a few verses and has a following does not validate in any way their message. Their message must be examined in light of the true gospel. Go to McLarens own website and see encouraging letters from atheists about his books and messages – his beliefs are just what they thought Christianity should be like. Hell is removed, the cross belittled and blood atonement questioned. All inclusive, all embracing, non confronting..

In his book “A New kind of Christianity” there is a chapter entitled “Is God violent?” When talking about the flood in Genesis McLaren says “a god who mandates an intentional supernatural disaster leading to unparalleled genocide is hardly worthy of belief, much less worship. How can you ask your children—or non-church colleagues and neighbours—to honour a deity so uncreative, over reactive, and utterly capricious regarding life?” He goes on to say that he treasures the Bible, even calling it God’s inspired Word, but then goes on to say that much of it, especially the older parts, are just plain wrong…..

In the next chapter “Who is Jesus” ……. the Son of God – nope that’s never mentioned or discussed. A critical, pivotal point on which our salvation depends never mentioned – he (Jesus) seems in the book a great example and hero of the oppressed, coming not to redeem us from the curse, but instead to turn social injustices around. To McLaren, this seems to be Jesus primary purpose for coming.

Just one more; in the first chapter about – what the bible is about… why, why, why, does he make this statement: “I’d rather be an atheist than believe in the God that most of us think that is in the Bible”. Wow…. He doesn’t like the God of the Bible, and that’s why he wants a new kind of Christianity…. And it’s on your shelf.

It really doesn’t take too long, or too much study to see that his books are filled with heresies (and I don’t banter that word around lightly) and the fact that they are stocked on your shelf is a concern. I believe XXXXX would do far more for the body of Christ by removing books like these. I know it’s far easier to just keep them on the shelf, but ultimately we will all answer to God for that which we have done. Let us not to put a stumbling block before our brothers and sisters.

Phil Leaney

Now, behold the "pragmatic integrity" of the bookstore:

Dear Phillip,

Thank you for your email bringing to my attention some of the things McLaren is saying in his recent book. We have prepared our catalogues introducing the book to the market in June and July. Taking on board your criticisms I’ll exclude the book from further catalogues after that. We also have some high stock levels of his other books that we have bought as remainders which should clear through soon.

Our policy at XXXXX is to allow the various debates in the Christian church to be aired and for views and counter views to be expressed. Due to high customer demand we’ll continue to stock the McLaren books but I’ll endeavour to keep them out of our catalogues.

Yours Sincerely,

As far as taking a bold stand goes . . . we've come a long way since Luther and his 95 theses!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Can Anything Good Come Out Of Australia?

Many of you are aware of my recent series on the Hillsong church/enterprise and how their consumeristic gospel of self-esteem, success, and sensuality, is becoming an ever-increasing blight on the Australian landscape. It is both lamentable, and typical, that God honoring churches with Scripture honoring pastors are becoming down under dinaosaurs. With that in mind, it was to my immense delight that i discovered the recently published The Trellis And The Vine.

Those who know me know that I am a huge fan of Mark Dever's work "Nine marks Of A Healthy Church" and how it is a refreshingly biblical substitute for the plethora of "Purpose Driven" propoganda. I consider Dever's book to be the benchmark as a framework for biblical churches. So when Dever described "The Trellis And The Vine" as "the best book I've read on church ministry" and staff at "Grace Community Church" (where John Macarthur pastors) described it as a must read, I went down to their book shop and bought it straight off the shelf.

The "Trellis And The Vine" is authored by the Australian pair of Colin Marshall, and Tony Payne and is a wonderful biblical framework for churches to evaluate and ammend (perhaps I should say radically overhaul) the way they function and operate. I hope and pray that this book gains traction down under where there is desperate need for Gospel driven churches.

Here are some high profile endorsements:

What Col and Tony have described here is exactly what I've been trying to do in my own life and in our congregation for years. According to this book, Christians are to be disciple-making disciples and pastors are to be trainers. Superb! This book sets out a crucial shift that is needed in the mindset of many pastors. The authors have carefully listened to the Bible. And they've worked on this book. The result is a book that is well-written and well- illustrated, but even more, a book that is full of biblical wisdom and practical advice. This is the best book I've read on the nature of church ministry.
Mark Dever, Senior Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington DC, USA

This is a simple, beautiful book that I plan to have every pastor and elder at The Village Church read. It quietly and calmly beckons us back to biblical, hands-on shepherding and is a book desperately needed among large churches in the West.
Matt Chandler, Lead Pastor, The Village Church, Dallas, Texas, USA

God makes ministers in the midst of his church. It is in the context of the faithful local church that ministers are best taught, shaped and equipped. The Trellis and the Vine is a superb guide to preparing pastors and ministers for Christ's church. It comes from a ministry so deeply committed to the recovery of biblical truth and the cause of the gospel. The wisdom in this little book is invaluable. My advice: Keep a good stack on hand at all times, and put this book to good use.
R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Yes!! Something good can come out of Australia! Fair Dinkum.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Michael Horton On John Piper's Invitation To Rick Warren

Today I am posting Michael Horton's comments concerning John Piper's invitation to Rick Warren as a keynote speaker at the 2010 Desiring God conference. Dr Horton's article is balanced, gracious, and insightful without being weighed down with vitriol. It is not meant as a renunciation of John Piper but rather an honest asessment of Rick Warren's track record compared with the theology he professed to John Piper. If you haven't already read this it is well worth the read . . .

It is not our usual course at Modern Reformation or White Horse Inn to comment on the invitations of other organizations for their conferences. However, we’re starting to receive questions about our views of Rick Warren’s professed adherence to Reformational theology because an interview in Modern Reformation was posted by Justin Taylor and cited in the comments of his blog as supporters of John Piper wrestle with his recent decision to invite Rick Warren to an upcoming Desiring God conference. So our team felt that some clarification was needed.

In 2004, Rick Warren graciously accepted our invitation to respond to some Modern Reformation questions in our “Free Space” section, where we engage with various voices, often outside of our usual circles. We do interviews like this regularly, encouraging conversation, asking questions that we know our readers are wondering. It’s in our feature articles where we analyze trends and arguments, and I among others have challenged Pastor Warren from time to time. Our magazine is not just a platform for a few voices or churches. We’re trying to spark conversation—and, yes, to guide conversation toward a modern Reformation. Part of that means that we let others speak for themselves. Yet I think it’s pretty clear to everybody where we land on the main issues.

Speaking first for myself, I admire Rick Warren’s zeal for reaching non-Christians and concern for global challenges. I respect him for giving away much of his income for charitable purposes.

At the same time, I believe that his message distorts the gospel and that he is contributing to the human-centered pragmatism that is eroding the proper ministry and mission of the church. Judging by The Purpose-Driven Life, Pastor Warren’s theology seems to reflect run-of-the-mill evangelical Arminianism, especially with its emphasis on the new birth as the result of human decision and cooperation with grace. There are also heavy traces of Keswick “higher life” teaching throughout the book. None of this disqualifies him from being an evangelical statesman. After all, much the same can be said of Billy Graham. After pointing out how difficult it is to define an evangelical theologically, historian George Marsden famously surmised that it’s “anyone who likes Billy Graham.” Today, perhaps, it’s anyone who likes Rick Warren.

Obviously, Rick Warren believes that he is simply translating the gospel in terms that the unchurched can understand. However, the radical condition of sin is reduced to negative attitudes and behaviors and the radical redemption secured by Christ’s propitiatory death and resurrection are reduced to general and vague statements about God giving us another chance. His central message seems to be that you were created for a purpose and you just need to fulfill it. Even at Easter he can say, “…And of course, that purpose now becomes greater — and in fact, I think that’s really what the message this week of Easter is, is that God can bring good out of bad. That he turns crucifixions into resurrections. That he takes the mess of our life, and when we give him all the pieces, he can — God can put it together in a new way” (”Larry King Live,” CNN, March 22, 2005). I heard him say on a network morning program last Christmas that Jesus came to give us a mulligan, like in golf—a chance for a “do-over” in life.

While I applaud his concern for social justice, I am concerned that he confuses the law with the gospel and the work of Christians in their vocations (obeying the Great Commandment) with the work of Christ through his church in its ministry of Word and sacrament (the Great Commission).

His best-selling book, The Purpose-Driven Life, begins by announcing that it’s not about you, but about God, and then the rest of the book is about you. There seems to be a contradiction between the God-centered theology that is professed and the basically human-centered orientation that dominates much of his message and methods. Some time ago, my wife discovered a letter that Rick Warren wrote to me way back in 1998, in which Pastor Warren mentioned the impact of my first book, Mission Accomplished, and his intention to write a book that highlighted the point that God made us for his purposes, rather than the other way around. Since then, we have corresponded periodically, but that has not kept either of us from offering occasional critiques of each other’s views. In fact, we will be together for a panel discussion at Saddleback in June, sponsored by the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization.

Pastor Warren tailors his appeals to his audience. To Calvinists, he stresses his support for the “solas” of the Reformation. Yet he tells prosperity evangelist David Yonggi Cho, “I’ve read your books on Vision and Dreams - speak to pastors about how you hear the voice of the Holy Spirit?…What advice would you give to a brand new minister?…Do you think American churches should be more open to the prayer for miracles?” (“Breakfast With David Yonggi Cho And Rick Warren,” In a June 2006 article in, editor-in-chief Rob Eshman reported on a speech that Warren gave for Synagogue 3000, after Rabbi Ron Wolfson became involved in the Purpose-Driven pastoral training seminars. “Warren managed to speak for the entire evening without once mentioning Jesus — a testament to his savvy message-tailoring.” When USA Today asked him why Mormon and Jewish leaders are involved in his pastoral training programs, Rick Warren reportedly said, “I’m not going to get into a debate over the non-essentials. I won’t try to change other denominations. Why be divisive?” (USA Today, July 21, 2003). Rick Warren endorses a host of books, from New Age authors to Emergent writers to conservative evangelicals. So why not include Calvinists?

The first Reformation was about God and the gospel of his Son. It centered on the justification of sinners by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Robert Schuller wrote Self-Esteem: The New Reformation in the 1990s. And in 2005 Rick Warren announced at the Baptist World Alliance meeting a new Reformation based on “deeds, not creeds.” As he explained in an interview,

I’m looking for a second reformation. The first reformation of the church 500 years ago was about beliefs. This one is going to be about behavior. The first one was about creeds. This one is going to be about deeds. It is not going to be about what does the church believe, but about what is the church doing (

He has also said he is working toward a Third Great Awakening, which seems like the better comparison, since the basic message is more in step with Charles Finney and the Second Great Awakening than it is with the Reformation.

I agree wholeheartedly when Pastor Warren argues that Christians can work with non-Christians—even agnostics and atheists—on the global challenges of poverty, racism, corrupt leadership, injustice, and disease. However, this is precisely why his confusion of the Christian’s calling to love of neighbor with the gospel is so dangerous. Working toward the common good is the calling of every person, believer and unbeliever alike, but it is not the Great Commission. It is the law of love that obliges us all, but it is not the gospel.

Long ago, the evangelist D. L. Moody responded to criticisms of his message and pragmatic methods with the quip, “I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it.” We can be so proud of getting the gospel right while we don’t bother to get the gospel out to those who need it. Furthermore, we can be self-confident in our theological integrity while ignoring the Word of God when it impinges on questions of social concern. Yet the answer is not “deeds over creeds,” but to be re-introduced to the creeds that generate the deeds that are the fruit of genuine faith. Getting the gospel right and getting the gospel out, as well as loving and serving our neighbors, comprise the callings of the church and of Christians in the world. However, confusing these is always disastrous for our message and mission.

(Article courtesy of Michael Horton).

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Coming Soon - The John Piper And Rick Warren Controversy

Dear readers, just so you know, I don't live under a rock or in a cave. When John Piper invited Rick Warren to be a keynote speaker at the 2010 Desiring God Conference, we could feel the explosion in the blogosphere from as far away as Denmark. I have had numerous requests to comment, but have refrained thus far out of my immense love for, and respect of, John Piper and his three decades of faithful labor in the Gospel.

My views on Rick Warren's theology and modus operandi are no secret. They are well documented on this blog. You are welcome to click on the "Rick Warren" label beneath this post and access all previous posts concerning him. But for now I would ask that we would operate out of zeal for avoiding bringing reproach on Christ's Name, out of zeal for the furtherance of the Gospel, and out of love for John Piper's ministry which has abundantly blessed many of us. What I would ask is that you watch the video below and privately express your concerns to Dr Piper by sending your e-mails to

I also highly recommend the April 1st - hour 1 podcast of Wretched Radio where I think Todd Friel gives a very thoughtful and balanced overview of what has transpired. Stay tuned - although I am waiting for some more dust to settle, I will soon be posting on this issue and discussing it in more detail. Until then Christian brothers and sisters, remember that there can be a difference between sinfulness and stupidity - I should know, I have considerable experience in both camps!

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Exhilaration Of Double Imputation (Part 4)

In Part 3 I gave eight points of what a gospel devoid of double imputation looks like. Today, in the final installment, I am giving eight points of what a Gospel with double imputation looks like.

Also, in Part 3, I asked the following question.

100 years ago someone spoke prophetically about today when he said:

I consider that the chief dangers which confront the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, and heaven without hell.

Did you guess who said that? It was William Booth, the founder of the salvation army. Obviously, a denomination can change a lot in a hundred years!

What Does a Gospel With Double Imputation Look Like

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17a).

1. A Gospel with double imputation is a Gospel where conversion is a miracle. You are not an upgraded model, but a new creature, regenerated by the Holy Spirit.

The old has passed away; (2 Corinthians 5:17b)

2. A Gospel with double imputation is a Gospel where, prior to conversion, we are described as dead in trespasses and sin (Ephesians 2:1). And dead men need a lot more than a second chance - they need resurrection power. It doesn't mean that we stop sinning but it does mean that we have a new relationship with sin. The sin we once embraced we now despised. The peace that held sway between our spirit and our flesh has now given way to full scale war!

behold, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17c).

3. A Gospel with double imputation is a Gospel where God gives a new heart with new desires (Ezekiel 36:25-27) - a love for righteousness and a hatred for the sin we once loved.

All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; (2 Corinthians 5:18)

4. A Gospel where conversion is totally a work of God and not of the human will. Any gospel based upon a human decision fails to understand Who does the converting and the miraculous nature of that conversion.

that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them (2 Corinthians 5:19a).

5. A Gospel with double imputation is a Gospel where Christ is infinitely more than an example but a propitiation (Romans 3:25). Paul Washer believes that Romans 3:25 is the greatest verse in the Bible because it talks about Christ as a propitiation. Propitiation describes a sacrifice that takes away sin and satisfies wrath. God has wrath and you can't solve the problem by denying this explicit truth (as many vainly try). Every time you break God's law by lying, stealing, sex outside of marriage, or even a lustful thought, or any other part of God's law - God cannot violate His demand for justice because He is good. Most people try to reassure themselves as they face eternity with the thought that God is good and loving. Yes God is good and loving - and that is exactly the problem. If God overlooks sin He stops being good and loving and becomes corrupt. So either we must burn in hell for all eternity to satisfy His wrath or a substitute must endure God's wrath in our place. Here is where we find God's love.

How often do you hear Jesus referred to as an example to follow. While there is truth to this idea (Phillipians 2:5-9), it is transcended by Christ's role as a penal substitute. We need the imputed righteousness of Christ before we can even be able to follow Him as an example. Furthermore, the major reason Jesus came, to bring salvation, was because He is not like anybody and nobody can really be like Him. No one could keep the law, and no one could suffer God’s wrath. There are some ways in which I try to follow Jesus’ example but I am a hundred times more greatful that He fulfilled the law that I had broken and suffered the punishment that I deserve. There is the real good news.

As a footnote commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:19 it is wothwhile responding to universalists (people who believe that everyone will be saved) who try to use this verse to support their heresy. When Paul says that God was "reconciling the world to Himself" he clearly does not mean that everyone is reconciled to God as Rob Bell teaches:

So this reality, this forgiveness, this reconciliation, is true for everybody. Paul insisted that when Jesus died on the cross he was reconciling ‘all things, in heaven and on earth, to God. This reality then isn’t something we make true about ourselves by doing something. It is already true. Our choice is to live in this new reality or cling to a reality of our own making. (Velvet Elvis p146, emphasis mine)

We need to remember that Scripture cannot contradict Scripture and other places clearly teach that God divides people into "sheep and goats" (Matthew 25), some will be saved and go to heaven, and others will be damned and go to hell. They are places God has made, not "realities of our own making". Another point is that if everyone is already reconciled then why are Christians given the "ministry of reconciliation" as seen in the prior verse. We also need to remember that Pauls context in 2 Corinthians 5:17 is "if anyone is in Christ" - he is clearly not teaching universalism. The meaning of "world" in 2 Corinthians 5:19 actually refers to:

the entire sphere of humanity (Titus 2:11, 3:4), the category of beings to whom God offers reconciliation - people from every ethnic group, without distinction. The intrinsic merit of Christ's reconciling death is infinite and the offer is unlimited. However, actual atonement was made only for those who believe (John10:11,15). (John Macarthur, commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:19)

and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:19b).

6. A Gospel with double imputation is a Gospel where, because of what Christ has done for us, we are given the responsibility to preach that message to every person.

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God (2 corinthians 5:20).

7. A Gospel with double imputation is a Gospel with the responsibility to tell it to others. What a priveledge. God does not need us but has blessed us with a part to play in His redemption plan. I know that Rick Warren says "preach the Gospel, if necessary use words". That's like saying "wash always, if necessary use water". Every time the word "preach" appears in the new testament it means loudly spoken. It is a verbal message. Being salt and light backs up the message but it isn't the message. We cannot live out the Gospel because Christ came to do what we cannot do. We are called to speak about the One Who lived the life that we cannot live, and live a life that bears witness to the work of the Holy Spirit.

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).

8. A Gospel where, in the words of John Macarthur:

Christ was not a sinner, but was treated as if He were, so believers who have not yet been made righteous are treated as if they were righteous. Christ bore their sins so that they could bear His righteousness. God treated Him as if He committed believers’ sins, and treats believers as if they did only the righteous deeds of the sinless Son of God (John Macarthur, commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:21).

If that doesn't excite you then you need to spend more time thinking about God's righteousness and your sinfulness. And then look to the glorious cross.

Go Back To Part 3
Go Back To Part 1

Saturday, April 10, 2010

TROOMA - The Gospel On Youtube

Due to requests, I am now posting my five part Gospel series in one entire post. This way the youtube videos are laid out in chronological order and it is easy to send the entire presentation on the internet with one hyperlink. Also, as the subtitles are in Danish some people have asked for the Scripture references in English. You will now find the Scripture references in chronological order written under each video.

This is my attempt to produce (with the much needed help of our technical team - Jonas and Filip) a presentation of the Gospel that is brief yet thorough, accessible yet biblical, and understandable yet theological. I wrote a script for five short two to three minute videos which correlated with my recent "Anatomy of the Gospel" series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7) in which I laid out the five essential elements of a Gospel presentation - The Holiness of God, the sinfulness of man, the necessity of judgment, the work of Christ, and the human response this demands.

This also serves as a response to my critics who have often called for me to provide an alternative that accompanies my criticism of certain media related attempts at proclaiming the Christian Gospel. To those of you in the "emergent conversation" you can call these videos TROOMAs if you like! I think my friends Jonas and Filip did an excellent job with all the technical aspects of this project considering the limited resources we had. We are not attempting to compete with the production values of ministries that have far greater funding. But I hope you will agree that the content of this series is an engaging and biblically sound presentation of the beautiful Gospel purchased by Jesus Christ's precious blood.

This is a Danish project and as such it contains Danish subtitles. Some of my American friends think I need english subtitles as well - at least any word containing an "r". Anyway, here is part one . . .

(Scripture Reference - Romans 1:19-20; Supporting Scripture - Hebrews 9:27)

The Bible clearly teaches over and over that unregenerate man is dead in sin, unable and unwilling to serve or please God. Many modern churches have bought into the cultural creed of inflating self esteem and giving therapeutic answers to sinners who are guilty before Almighty God. Man's primary need is not happiness, but righteousness. and it is only when men see their unrighteousness that they begin to "hunger and thirst after righteousness" . . .

(Supporting Scriptures - Exodus 20:1-17, Matthew 5:27-28, Matthew 5:21-22, Romans 2:14-15, Romans 3:23)

It never ceases to amaze me, the lengths many go to in the quest for relevance. Yet Hebrews 9:27 tells us the most relevant thing of all. The ultimate statistic that one out of one people die - and after that comes judgment! We do not become relevant as Christians by mirroring our culture. We become relevant by being different. By being willing to discuss the subject that others try to avoid. Death and judgment are the two elephants in the living room of every lost sinner who tries to suppress the truth in unrighteousness. But alerting them to these realities may well be the kindest thing we could do and can help to awaken them from their delusion.

Jesus said: "Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops. I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!" (Luke 12:2-5)

(Supporting Scriptures - Exodus 20:16, Revelation 21:8, Romans 3:20, Revelation 1:8, Romans 3:19, Isaiah 66:2)

As the world asks the question "how can a loving God send people to hell" I am reminded of a Catholic monk in Germany more than 500 years ago who was plagued by a different question. Everyone else in the monastery thought this monk was crazy because he was consumed with the paradox of how can a good God pardon anyone in the light of man's continual sin against Him. That monk was Martin Luther, he was the only sane voice in that cloister, and he was asking the right question.

The cross of Jesus Christ means so much more than Jesus coming to be our example or to identify with our suffering. God's demands of justice must be met. You cannot solve the dilemna of God's wrath by ignoring it, denying it, or pretending it's not there. But when it is addressed honestly, we get to see God's glorious solution, a penal substitute, the God-Man Jesus Christ. That God may be both just and the justifier . . .

(Scripture Reference - Proverbs 17:15, 2 Corinthians 5:21; Supporting Scriptures - Luke 22:42, John 14:6, Acts 4:12)

Repentance is a word very much out of vogue with modern evangelicalism. Some redefine its meaning to something less than turning away from sin, others make it optional rather than a command, and there are others still who have banished the subject to "Area 51" of the church growth manual.

But turning in faith towards Christ means turning away from our previous affections. Jesus said "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon" (Matthew 6:24). As Todd Friel says, repentance and faith are two wings of the same bird that fly us to the Savior . . .

(Scripture References - Acts 17:30-31, 1 Corinthians 6:8-9, Ephesians 2:8-9; Supporting Scriptures - Luke 3:8, Acts 26:20)

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Exhilaration Of Double Imputation (Part 3)

What Does a Gospel Without Double Imputation Look Like

1. A gospel without double imputation is a gospel where God forgives us because we tell Him we're sorry. God is bound by His character and nature - He cannot violate His demand for justice. All of mankind must suffer the just wrath of God for eternity in hell unless . . . a substitute stands in our stead!

2. A gospel without double imputation is a gospel where Jesus died to give us a second chance. A man who is unregenerated by the Holy Spirit is a man dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1-3). A second chance is no use to a corpse. He needs the Divine intervention of resurrection power!

3. A gospel without double imputation is a gospel with a god who loves us but requires no justice. If God were unjust He would not be loving.

4. A gospel without double imputation is a gospel where Jesus is an example but not a substitute. Passages such as Phillipians 2 certainly teach us that Jesus set an example how we should live. But it is His role as a penal substitute that only makes that possible. Jesus came to do something we are incapable of doing - fulfill the law without sinning. Jesus came to suffer what we cannot endure - take the punishment of God's wrath in the place of sinners. It is only possible to follow Him as your example after you have trusted Him (in repentant faith) as your penal substitute. Modern catch phrases like "live the gospel" and "you are the gospel" are ludicrous in the light of the fact that we should be proclaiming the One Who is completely unlike we are as fallen men.

5. A gospel without double imputation is a gospel where conversion requires a decision but not a transforming work of the Holy Spirit. Does your salvation hinge on the prayer you pray or on the finished work of the One you are praying to?

6. A gospel without double imputation is a gospel where people are victims but not guilty criminals. Therapy and self-esteem are hindrances to true repentance. It is only when we see ourselves in the true light of our wretched depravity that we can see the kindness of God demonstrated in sending Jesus to die for sinners. Sinners who need forgiveness more than social justice. Sinners who need imputed righteousness more than hedonistic happiness.

7. A gospel without double imputation is a gospel where repentance is an option but not a command. "The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead." (Acts 17:30-31)

8. A gospel without double imputation is a gospel that says plenty about "global warming" but is silent about "global burning". A gospel without double imputation is a gospel that frightens lost men with the ecological plight of this world but neglects to warn of their eternal plight in the world to come.

100 years ago someone spoke prophetically about today when he said:

I consider that the chief dangers which confront the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, and heaven without hell.

Can you guess who said that? I will answer that question on Monday with the final installemtn in this series - What Does A Gospel With Double Imputation Look Like?

Go On To Part 4
Go Back To Part 2
Go Back To Part 1

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Exhilaration Of Double Imputation (Part 2)

I’ve heard preachers ask the question “is the Gospel ONLY about forgiveness of sins” like forgiveness of sin is no big deal. What is going on here? People seem to be more interested in therapy and self esteem than double imputation. A tree of humanism has been allowed to grow in the soil of a wrong view of God and a wrong view of man.

A Wrong View Of God and Man

So much could be said about this. But a clear line of distinction between a true and false gospel is this. Is God presented as Someone who we need to accept or as Someone we need acceptance from? Can you imagine standing before a judge and saying "I accept you into my heart?". And how about people. Is man presented as a victim or a criminal. This is not to say that some people aren't victims. But as long as we see ourselves solely as victims we will never see our need to have our sins imputed to Christ. As long as we see God as Someone Who places no demands on us we will never see our need to have Christ's righteousness imputed to our account.

Our need is forgiveness and not therapy. Our need is righteousness not happiness. Every day I grow older and older and by God's grace I am seeing more and more how stupid it is to chase things in this world. Set your affections on the eternal home. Get excited about the promise of heaven - Jesus said he is going away to prepare a place (John 14:2-3). He said there are many mansions there - I sleep well at night when the Creator of the universe is building me a new house. Especially when this house (my body) is starting to fall apart.

Death – The Ultimate Statistic

In the late 80’s and early 90’s Corey Haim, Andrew Koenig, and Kirk Cameron were all big TV stars on the cover of most youth magazines. They had access to everything this world has to offer. I've just spent two months in the city where they all live. During those two months I spent some time with one of those guys and the other two died. Corey Haim and Andrew Koenig died tragic deaths within three weeks of each other. During that time Kirk Cameron was interviewed several times on prime time television on some of the biggest shows in America to give his thoughts. Kirk said that the biggest revelation through all of this is that our day is coming too. I am 40 now and I am shocked about how many friends and family have died since I have moved to Denmark. I am learning that their funerals are more about me than them. They serve as a warning that my day is coming. They are a warning not to worry about "my best life now" but about Christ's death 2000 years ago.

I have often been criticized by professing Christians for talking too much about Christ's death on the cross. "Can we please move onto something more interesting?" They tell me that once you are saved it is time to move on to other more important things in the new life. Excuse me! What song are believers going to sing for all eternity?

And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth." Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!" And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!" (Revelation 5:9-13)

In heaven we will sing about a murder. Why should we "move on" from the cross when we will sing about it in eternity. We don't move on from the cross - we need to grow in our understanding of it and our thankfulness for it. Yes, there are other subjects in the Bible - but they all point to the cross!

If we preach on love it should point to how God demonstrated His love by dying for us while we were sinning.

If we preach on faith it should point to our need to trust in Christ and His completed work on the cross.

If we preach on giving it should point to the One Who gave His life on the cross.

If we preach on marriage it should point to the Bridegroom Who went to the cross for His bride.

I am not going to "move on" to other things. I am captivated with Calvary - and I'm not moving anywhere. We do need to be seeker friendly, but we also need to understand that there is only One Seeker!

To be continued on Friday - What Does A Gospel Without Double Imputation Look Like?

Go On To Part 3
Go Back To Part 1

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Exhilaration Of Double Imputation (Part 1)

I have often heard missionaries visit a church and tell of people getting saved and how there were also "miracles". Do you see a problem with this statement? True conversion is the greatest miracle of all! Jesus said we must be born again otherwise we cannot see the kingdom of God. When Jesus says "cannot see the Kingdom of God" (John 3:3), the word "cannot" is made up of two Greek words:

dunamai - meaning possibility and;
ou - meaning NOT!

It is impossible to see God’s kingdom unless we are born again. And Scripture is clear that being born again/conversion is a miraculous work of God:

I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules (Ezekiel 36:25-27).

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).

Avatar is boring. "Your Best Life Now" – yaaawwwwn! But becoming a Christian is a supernatural transforming work of the Holy Spirit. 2 Corinthians 5:21 is exhilarating! It is about double imputation – what is that I hear you ask? Imputing the sinners sin to Christ and imputing Christ’s righteousness to the sinner. It is about God treating the righteous as if he lived the sinners life so that He can treat the sinner as if he lived the life of the righteous one. That is unbelievable good news. As grace is favor that we don't deserve, so double imputation is a credit to our account earned by Christ and a debt laid upon Christ's account owed by us. It is a system where God gets all the glory and we should give all the praise.

You would think that message would be the central message of every preacher, shouted from the roof of their church building. But how is it possible for me to attend an evangelical church for 10 years and never hear about this. I’ve heard preachers ask the question “is the Gospel ONLY about forgiveness of sins” like it is no big deal. What is going on here? People seem to be more interested in therapy and self esteem than double imputation. A tree of humanism has been allowed to grow in the soil of a wrong view of God and a wrong view of man.

To be continued on Wednesday where I will examine this tree of humanism!

Go On To Part 2

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Phil Johnson Drops A Much Needed Bomb On Sissified Preachers

It was recently drawn to my attention that some pastors in Denmark did not like me referring to them as cowards and that few preachers in Europe could legitimately carry a "man card". To which I would respond that a: why don't you prove yourself as one of the few who aren't a coward and b: if you aren't a coward and don't like what I write then love me enough to confront me about the false information I am propogating.

There is a problem out there and I witness it regularly. And it's not only confined to Europe - if someone can explain to me how Johnathan Edwards is Rick Warren's hero, when Warrens' books and sermons live in another universe, I am all ears. The irony is staggering when the man that reveres him who preached "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" can stand before millions on the Fox network and say "God's not mad at you, He's mad about you". But at least in the US there is a war going on over the Gospel and there are still many true warriors who believe that the purity of the Gospel is worth fighting for. It actually seems that new soldiers are enlisting all the time.

But the silence in Denmark is deafening. The Lutheran church in Denmark is currently debating whether to allow gay wedding ceremonies in their "church buildings" - and there is barely a noise coming from the conservatives who still prefer the safety of the shadows. What are they scared of? Getting physically assaulted by a lesbian priest? I have talked to several of my Lutheran brothers in Denmark over this and they feel betrayed. I had to remind them that when homosexuality is even debated, it is already too late.

Then there is the group of sensitive postmodern pastors who removed this witnessing video (see below) from a Christian website because it is "embarrassing" (that wasn't very postmodern of them) it serves as an excellent barometer of their Gospel literacy and cowardly pragmatism.

It is also common to hear "church leaders" resort to attacking the personal credentials of laymen who ask legitimate biblical questions, it is a profound indictment against their role as shepherds, and a severe downgrade on their masculinity. When pastors read through Ephesians chapter 5 and decide that the best course of action is to circumnavigate all verses on male headship we are dealing with full blown sissys who are embarrassed at the God of Scripture. When entire church movements edit undesirable phrases out of Bible verses they use in widely published literature, we are dealing with damnable offences in the name of pragmatic sensitivities.

In the light of all this, it is so refreshing to hear from Phil Johnson drop some serious bombs on these pathetic and cowardly practices . . .