We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Seeker-Sensitive Easter


How does the “church” of “America’s Pastor” Rick Warren celebrate Easter?  A link to his Huntington Beach branch was sent to me by a friend.

This “Church” first makes sure a week prior that we can include an “Easter” egg hunt, a petting zoo, etc.  Then for their Good Friday service in a park, you can enjoy a “relevant” message along with coffee and snacks.  And then Pastor Warren himself will deliver the Easter message.

It’s not about chickens, bunnies and eggs. 

Resurrection is the hope of Easter. Despite the odds, He rose and now you can rise above the circumstances that surround you this Easter. Saddleback Huntington Beach is inviting the community to find out how.

“Whether regular attenders or people who have been thinking that maybe they should check out our church, we want them to feel welcome,” a volunteer said.  “If they are certain of their faith, have doubts or even fears about walking through our doors, we want to put them at ease.  They are welcome to take their time and get to know us, not feel pressured but ask every question they have ever had about the significance of Easter.”

It’s easy to be with us at Saddleback HB this Easter. Our community is invited – everyone is welcome!

March 23, from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. – Easter Egg Hunt and  Community Carnival in Murdy Park, near the intersection of Goldenwest and Norma Drive in Huntington Beach.  Parents can bring their kids of all ages to enjoy pony rides, a petting zoo, games, an Easter egg hunt with prizes for everyone, bounce house, face painting and much more…

Good Friday service on March 29 at 7 p.m. is planned for Murdy Park, Goldenwest and Norma Drive. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs and enjoy inspiring music and a message relevant to the occasion, along with coffee and snacks.  There will be plenty of opportunity to spend time with friendly, caring people. 

Easter Sunday, March 31, will offer three service times:  8 a.m., 10 a.m. and 12 noon at Ocean View High School, our normal service location. Baptism, a challenging message from Pastor Rick Warren and great conversations await visitors.  A special program for children under 5 will enjoy a program just for them.

The resurrection is not about chickens, bunnies and eggs. It’s about hope!

Notice how the whole event is advertised - Jesus rose from the dead “against all odds” (totally unbiblical statement) and because of that, YOU can rise above YOUR circumstances.  Um, yeah, that’s why Jesus rose from the dead, wasn’t it?  Except I can’t find that in the Bible.

Then they say it isn’t about “chickens, bunnies and eggs,” even though they just had an Easter egg hunt!

What is it with seeker-sensitive assemblies who think they have to bring in the world and appeal to the world?!?!  The assembled church is NOT for unbelievers!!!

True Christians, run from these amusement park “churches”!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Random Apostasies and Heresies


Things are getting worse out there, and it is really getting to be more and more distressing to see how the Church is apostatizing.  This being Good Friday, with Easter coming up in a couple of days, I knew there would be more bizarre stuff among the seeker-sensitive assemblies.  I didn’t have to wait long to find out about some of them.  Erin Benziger posted an article today which gives some highlights of such apostate garbage, as well as some commentary to go along with them.  My main question for these “churches” is, just what do eggs have to do with celebrating the Resurrection?!?!?  These places of assembly are not churches, and their leaders are not pastors.  They are goatherds entertaining a bunch of goats.  If you attend a church doing this stuff, run as fast as possible out the door.

Then there is the annual nonsense in some Roman Catholic groups where people will have themselves crucified as supposedly some way of worshiping God and atoning for their own sins (which only Christ can do).  This is nothing but paganism, and the fact that Rome has never put a stop to this speaks volumes in my book.

Now that we’ve seen pagan behavior inside and outside the “Church,”, let’s move on.

Arch-heretic Rob Bell has now come out not only in support of same-sex fake marriage, but now he claims it is a move of God!!!  If this isn’t blasphemy, I don’t know what is.

The Unitarian Universalist Association has never been Christian, no matter how often many claim to be.  They are a cult - plain and simple - which is why I don’t usually bother with much of what comes out of that denomination.  Yet I found their current controversy over polyamory to be quite amusing, since they are fully behind homosexuality.   Once you’ve approved of one sexual perversion, you have no logical reason to deny any others.


Did you know that Jesus was lacking in knowledge?  No?  Well, neither did I.  Obviously we just aren’t up on things like this.  There is a Goatherd - Reverend Oliver White - who says that Jesus was wrong about same-sex fake marriage, and that God intended for there to be such an institution!  He also states that Jesus would say that he didn’t know everything!  You have to hear it to believe it.  But guess what denomination he goatherds - the totally apostate and heretical United Church of Christ.  That explains it all.

How many truly faithful will Jesus find when He returns?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Random Apostasies and Heresies


Well it looks like the History Channel’s series about the Bible has come to an end, but the effects of the false presentation will last forever for those who watched it and believed the lies they were told.  This article from the web site, “abandoned to Christ” gives a very good synopsis of the serious errors in this series - as well as why Christians should not promote it in any way.

Of course once you’ve made a TV mini-series, the next thing you have to do is make a book version.  So Roman Downey and her husband, Mark Burnett - the producers of the mini-series, have written a book called, “A Story of God all All of Us: A Novel Based on the Epic TV Miniseries, The Bible.”  Another mine to be sold in the “Christian” minefields bookstores.

Speaking of the Bible, are you ready for a NEW version?  How about one that makes it all about YOU?!!  It should sell very well to members of seeker-sensitive and market-driven assemblies.

How about another “Christian” movie with false teachings?  Coming soon will be a movie version of “Heaven Is For Real,” that book which as about as much truth in it as does “The Shack.”  One of the producers is well-known modalist/Word of Faith teacher T.D. Jakes.

Rob Bell has once again hit the news: he has come out in support of same-sex fake, counterfeit marriage.  Not only that, but he calls upon the Church to repent of their attitude against such an abomination.  And wouldn’t you just know it, fellow false-teaching heretic Brian McLaren supports Rob Bell’s stance.  What’s amazing is the in this video McLaren calls Bell an “evangelical pastor.”  Bell is no more “evangelical” than was Adolf Hitler, and he is no more a “shepherd" (pastor) that any other wolf!

While on the subject of counterfeit marriage, a North Carolina United Methodist Church has stated they will not perform real marriages until same-sex couples can have fake ones.  Will the denominational leaders excommunicate the leaders of this assembly for its apostasy?  Of course not, because the UMC had been letting all sorts of their leaders sanction homosexuality.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I am so excited to know that I can go to Houston, TX to have the Holy Spirit imparted to me and see the “Shekinah Outpouring” when to women teachers come to the River Assembly of God church.  I hope you realized I was being sarcastic.  Read this article and you will see this absolutely nonsensical claim:

The "Houston Shekinah Outpouring" is prophetically planned by the leading of the Holy Spirit in response to mighty moves of the Holy Spirit in Los Angeles and around the nation. It is birthed out of divine guidance in response to the continued move of the Holy Spirit specifically through Glenda Jackson and Verna Linzey. The rest of the team are ministry support personnel to uplift these "Generals" as they bring forth God's Word and speak oracles of the Holy Spirit, praying over those who come and over the City of Houston, imparting the Spirit who has used them mightily all their lives.

I really have very little patience with this sort of false teaching.  Brothers and sisters, this is nothing but unbiblical foolishness!

For those of us who keep up with the Mormons, an interesting development has taken place - the Mormons are adjusting their “scriptures” in an attempt to clean up some of the more embarrassing teachings in regards to blacks and polygamy.  If God really gave them these revelations, why are they so touchy about them?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Some Random Good Stuff


The “Gap Theory” was a theory developed by those who wanted to compromise the Bible and force evolution into it.  It was the theory of Genesis I learned with the Navigators back in 1973-75, but it never set well with me because I couldn’t see the “gap” they said was there; it never made sense to me.  Several years later I found some creationist books and learned why the “GT” made no sense.  

Unfortunately, even though the GT has been soundly exposed as untenable from both the Biblical side and the science side, it is still taught in many, many churches today; theistic evolutionists compromise Scripture so as to not appear “ignorant” or “unscientific.”

The Herescope blog has an excellent examination of the GT, which I highly recommend.    Once that has whetted your appetite, I recommend you get a copy of Weston W. Fields’ book, “Unformed and Unfilled: A Critique of the Gap Theory.” 

Often I come across some teaching in either books or on the Internet which teach that the idea of Jesus crucifixion being penal substitution is a more modern teaching and not that of the early church.  Ken Silva proves otherwise.

One of the subjects of my series on Roman Catholic teachings was the Eucharist and the unbiblical doctrine of transubstantiationParchment & Pen has an interesting article titled, “Five Reasons I Reject the Doctrine of Transubstantiation.”  Well worth reading.

The recent edition of The Berean Call apologetics letter had an interesting article from the Christian Post.  The article compares the way Mormon youth are trained compared to how Christian youth are trained.  When the cults do a better job of training their youth than do Christians, its time to re-think our philosophy about training our youth.

For those who are wondering about how to tell false teachers from good ones, The Gospel Coalition has a good checklist.  HT to Neil Simpson.

And finally, Mind Renewers gives some insight about homosexuality and those who leave it behind from someone who has been there.  She calls it what it is - sin.  And reminds us that we are all sinners, and that we need to bring the gospel to all who are lost - even if they are lost in homosexual sin.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

“New Age Bible Versions” - Chapter Six


CHAPTER SIX.  The focus of this chapter is the mark and disguise of the anti-christ vs the identity of Christ.

P.99.  Riplinger first shows Rev. 13:16 in the KJV where it says, about the beast, “the number of his name...” and she bolds “his name.”  She does the same with “in their foreheads” as to where the mark of the beast will be.  Then she cites from Rev. 14:1 in the NIV where it adds “his name” [to include Jesus’ name with the Father’s] “on” their foreheads [KJV says “in” and I suppose the difference between “in” and “on” is important to Riplinger].  Riplinger calls the addition of “his name” in Rev. 14:1 “fatefully frightening.”  I guess she doesn’t understand context.  The following paragraph on p.100 is ludicrous, because Riplinger suggests that people reading Rev. 14:1 might be persuaded that the Bible sanctions and encourages the taking of ‘his name’ before they receive his Father’s name.  This is then followed by more convoluted claims to prove it is some sort of demonic conspiracy.

Chart at bottom of p.100

a.   begins with the Rev. 14:1 issue, and she makes a real big deal about “on” their foreheads vs “in” their foreheads of KJV.  I don’t see the difference - in the skin or on the skin.

b.  Acts 22:16.  This one is a bit ironic.  I’d say the context begins at v.14, and in the KJV it calls Jesus the “Just One” - and Riplinger has been attacking “new” versions for using the word “One” to refer to Christ.  At any rate, by vs. 16, still referring to Jesus (the “Just One”), it ends with “calling on the name of the Lord.”  The “NIV, NASB, et al” end the passage with, “calling on his name.”  Since the referent is back to the “Righteous One” of vs. 14, the difference is nothing more than style.

c.  Lev. 24:11.  KJV says, “blasphemed the name of the LORD...”  “NIV/NASB, et al” say, “blasphemed the Name...”  The contention is, of course, the “deletion” of the phrase “of the LORD.”  Another ironic example, because in the KJV the phrase is italicized, meaning that it is NOT in the original.  This destroys the whole argument.

P.101 top, continuation of previous chart.  (Bold words are Riplinger’s)

a.  Lev. 24:16 “of the LORD” “missing.”  This is the same as Lev. 24:11: the phrase “of the LORD” is italicized in KJV.  Again, it is not in the original, therefore it destroys the whole argument.

b.  Gal. 6:17: 
KJV says, I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.   
NIV says, I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.”
NAS says, I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus.

The first problem is that KJV says “in my body” vs “on my body.”  I think the understanding is essentially the same.  In - i.e., inside - the body would be invisible to anyone else as a testimony from Paul, whereas on the body is where marks normally are, and are a public witness.  Either way, it is saying Paul has marks from being committed to Christ.  I would say the marks are outside, since the passage is discussing circumcision, which is an outward sign.  

The next problem is the difference between “marks” and “brand-marks,” the latter supposedly something symbolic of Satan.  Since Paul continuously referred to himself as a bond-slave to Christ, then the slave analogy should hold that the marks are brands by owners.  This would then be more descriptive, that Paul has been branded as belonging to Christ.

The last problem noted is the dropping of the title “the Lord.”  This is, of course style to avoid redundancy, since the paragraph previous to this passage, and vs. 18 both have the full title.  So there is no “loss” or “deletion” of Jesus’ title.

c.  Isaiah 44:5.  This complaint is apparently only with the Living Bible, which is a paraphrase anyway.
KJV: subscribe with his hand unto the LORD.
LB: tattoo upon the hand the name

Well, “subscribe” means to join up with, to declare for - including signing one’s name on a document, etc.  I suppose “tattoo” could have to do with the marking of a name.  I don’t understand the LB version as to what it means.  But since the Living Bible paraphrase is the only one of all the “new versions” Riplinger has a complaint with, I don’t see a problem against real translations

d.  Dan. 9:19.  
KJV:  “thy people are called by thy name
NIV:  your people bear your Name

I honestly don’t see what Riplinger is getting at.  “Called by” or “bear” are the same.  And if there is supposed to be significance about “Name” vs “name,” I don’t get it.  Capitalizing the word is the style of capitalizing all words referring to deity.

e.  John 17:11
KJV: those whom thou hast given me
NAS:  the name which thou hast given me

If you are like me, you’ll need to see more of the passage to figure this out:
KJV:  Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
NAS (NIV similar, without “thou”):  Holy Father, keep them in Thy name, the name which Thou has given Me, that they may be one, even as We are.

Okay, the NAS/NIV have added “the name” in the text (it is italicized) for some reason.  Apparently this is a disagreement as to what has been given to Jesus.  If the concern by Riplinger is that this interferes with the doctrine that God has given Jesus' disciples to Him, then she shouldn’t be, because the beginning of the paragraph states that fact.  Since the doctrine is there already, then this passage really doesn’t matter how the underlying manuscripts lead the translators to end up with what they did in the new versions.  It affects nothing.

f.  3 John 7 and Acts 5:41: In KJV the text uses “name” while in the new versions the text has “Name.”  Again, this is style for emphasizing deity.  So just what is the problem??!?

At the bottom of the page Riplinger makes a big deal about the “mobius symbol” for “666” on the NKJV cover being like the same symbol on the cover of a popular New Age book.  Well, it ISN’T the exact same thing.  On the NKJV (apparently on the cover when NKJV was new) is the standard sign for the Trinity - a 3-pointed interwoven figure.  The one on the cover of the book she names has a similar design with rounded tips.  Supposedly, these are three stylized sixes interwoven!  (I found a KJV Only site which shows these symbols so I could understand what the problem was!)  This is just one more piece of Riplinger’s (and her ilk) conspiracy theory which demonstrates just how bizarre and ridiculous she (and the KJVO’s) get!

P.102 - 106 are nothing but more of Riplinger’s unsubstantiated claims, rhetoric and red herrings.

5.  P.106.  Col. 2:18.  This change supposedly reflects B.F. Westcott’s new “visions.”
KJV:  intruding into those things which he hath not seen
NAS:  taking his stand on visions he has seen

This “change” amounts to nothing.  It does NOT give the opposite meaning.  The whole paragraph in Col. is to warn against someone misleading you.  Whether it is by “visions” he has “seen” or “not seen,” the point is the same - DON’T LISTEN TO HIM!  So where is the problem?  Where does this help Satan?

6.  P.108 starts out with comparing KJV with the Catholic Bible where Rome has translated Gen. 3 to make Mary the focus. This is then followed by the charge that new Bibles follow Rome’s lead to “THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS” into the book of Ephesians, chapter 5:25-27.  Three times KJV uses the word “it” for speaking of the Church, where new versions use the word “her.”  Pardon me, but this is really a stupid complaint; I can’t see any other way to say it, regardless of how unkind this may sound.  There is no hint of Romanism by using “her” instead of “it.”  The analogy Paul is using is comparing the Church as the bride of Christ.  He is telling husbands to love their brides (wives) the same way Christ loves his bride.  “Her” is the only, fully specific word that is appropriate in context.  (Or do husbands normally refer to their wives as “it”?)

7.  P.109-110

a.  The opening paragraph of page 109 says that the title, “the Virgin,” has been applied to many pagan goddesses.   Then Riplinger states that, “For this reason, new versions omit a phrase in Luke 1:28 which speaks of Mary’s unique position.”  The “missing” phrase is KJV’s “blessed are thou among women.”  

This is a post hoc ergo propter hoc logic fallacy.  There is no basis for the charge: do we have evidence that this is the reason or is this just Riplinger’s assumption?  The other phrases in the passage - “Highly favored”. . . “The Lord is with you” - imply Mary is “blessed. . . among women.”  Nothing about her “unique” status is hidden.

b.  Riplinger then begins an anti-Catholic tirade about their doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary.  She then notes that in KJV, Matt. 1:25 uses the term “firstborn” of Jesus, while modern versions drop this word.  This is nit-picking in the extreme.  NAS and NIV say she was a virgin until she had Jesus.  That, by definition, makes Jesus her “firstborn.”  Nothing hidden, no Catholicism.

c.  The next part of Riplinger’s tirade is the use of “Virgin” vs “virgin,” and she lists eleven passages where the NIV uses the capital “V” vs the little “v,” supposedly in support of Catholicism.  In reality there is no problem with either way, and is apparently done in the NIV so as to designate which virgin is being referred to.  It doesn’t change the meaning.  Just because somebody uses these verses to support false teaching, that doesn’t make the verses themselves wrong.  Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons and all other cults use “proof texts” from the KJV, but that doesn’t mean the verses they use are wrong.

d.  Heb. 1:3by himself from the KJV has “been removed” from new versions, which, to Riplinger, leaves the way open for Mary’s participation in salvation.  The phrase “by himself” in context is a redundancy, so there is no problem with removing it, and no reason not to do so.  Again, any cult use as a “proof text” doesn’t make the text wrong.

8.  P.113, chart at the bottom, Eph. 5:9.  KJV “fruit of the Spirit” vs “fruit of the light.”  The claim is that “light” is of Lucifer, since the the Latin word “Lucifer” means “light bearer” and 2 Cor. 11:14 refers to Satan as being able to transform himself as an angel of light.  So then, if you have the “fruit of the light,” then you obviously have the fruit of “Lucifer.”  
Let’s look at the context, beginning at vs 8:

KJV:  For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
NAS:  for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light. (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth).”

“Light” looks proper in context. After all, the contrast in the previous verse is darkness vs light and not darkness vs the Spirit.  Riplinger then claims that the Spirit is leading Christians, while light is driving the New Age.  The logic here is absolutely fallacious!  In context, both versions are really saying the same thing, because the “light” here is a metaphor for the Holy Spirit!
9.  P.116-117:  Riplinger then continues for a few more pages of illogical rhetoric about light and Lucifer and the New Age.  But in the middle she cites a passage from Acts 22:6-11 as follows from the NAS (ellipses and bold are hers):

[A] very bright light suddenly flashed from heaven...but [I] did not understand the voice of the One who was speaking to me... I could not see because of the brightness of the light.

Riplinger then writes: To produce this soliloquy in the NASB required the gross mistranslation of five areas of the text.  First, their penchant for ‘bright’ and ‘brightness,’ paralleling those comments by initiates [New Agers] and Virgin viewers [Catholics and pagans], has no basis in any Greek text.  The words are kikanos, which means great, and doux, which they translate correctly 170 other places as ‘glory.’  Again, the neuter ‘One” is used where a masculine tense word is called for.  Thirdly, the NASB completely removes the three critical words ‘and were afraid.’  This distinguishes vision [sic] from God from visions of the angel of light.  The words ‘and were afraid’ accompany truly heavenly visions throughout the bible [sic].  (i.e., Luke 2:9, 24:5, John 6:19, Daniel 8:17, and Revelation 1:17)

Firstly, I wouldn’t trust Riplinger to know what the Greek says.  But let’s look at the passage in KJV and NIV so as to see the context, with the words of our subject put in bold:
KJV:  And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?  And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest. And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.  And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.  And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus.

NIV:  But it happened that as I was on my way, approaching Damascus about noontime, a very bright light suddenly flashed from heaven all around me, and I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ “And I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.’ “And those who were with me saw the light, to be sure, but did not understand the voice of the One who was speaking to me. “And I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Get up and go on into Damascus, and there you will be told of all that has been appointed for you to do.’ “But since I could not see because of the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me and came into Damascus.

I don’t see the problem between “great light” vs “bright light.”  I would say in the context they are synonymous, and perhaps “very bright” is more clear as to the intensity.  Again with “the One” and Riplinger’s claim that it is a New Age term, which is total nonsense.  When it comes to “brightness” vs “glory” of the light, I would agree that “glory” could have a different connotation, but I would have to know what the underlying Greek actually said in order to make a judgment here, since “glory” in English doesn’t always have a divine connotation.

As to the claim that “and were afraid” accompanies all visions from God and are the way to tell if they are from God or Satan, I have to say this is again total nonsense.  She plucks a few passages where people are stated to be in fear with a vision, but didn’t note all the times there is no fear mentioned.  After all, Mary had a visitation from an angel and was only “troubled” at his saying, and Joseph also had a vision but there is no indication that he was afraid.  Her claim in this regard has absolutely NO biblical support.

10.  Bottom of P.117, Acts 17:22.   Let’s look at the text first, and then see Riplinger’s claim.

KJV:  I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.”
NKJV:  I perceive that in all things you are very religious

Riplinger specifically attacked the NKJV in the text, but in the chart noted NIV, NASB, et al, and they do indeed say the same thing, which makes me wonder why she singled out NKJV for particular venom.

So what is the claim here? Riplinger says that the New King James Version (NKJV) bows down to the idol of false religion.  WOW - what a charge!  How do the “new versions” do this?  By using the word “religious” instead of “superstitious,” thereby acknowledging other religions as valid I suppose.  She states that the Greek word translated “superstition” contains the root word for “devil,” while there is no Greek word for “religious” underlying the word.  So, by changing a word which has a root in “the devil,” two things apparently are happening: 1) hiding the evidence of the devil being part of their worship, and 2) somehow leading “idolators” in the end times to feel “very religious” with confirmation of some sort in this passage.

I have no idea what the KJV translators had in mind when they used the word “superstitious” because many word meanings have changed since 1611.  However, I do have a reprint of Webster’s 1828 dictionary, which gives the following as the first definition of the word:

Over scrupulous and rigid in religious observances; addicted to superstition; full of idle fancies and scruples in regard to religion.

Notice the connection between superstition and religion and being religious!  Look at the context of the passage in Acts - Paul is talking about all the idols they are worshiping and that they even have one to an “unknown god” in case they missed one.  He is obviously talking about religious practices directed at these gods, so it is correct to say they were religious.  One could also say they were superstitious at the same time.  However, people can be superstitious without being religious!  So, the context makes the newer versions actually read better!

11.  P.118.  The last charted passage in the chapter.  Riplinger begins by noting that Hindoos deny the existence of idols, and that their idols are merely an expression and extension of the ‘God’ immanent in the creation.  And then she says, New versions agree.  And what is her evidence?  1 Corinthians 8:4.

KJV: an idol is nothing
NAS:  There is no such thing as an idol.”

Once again the idea of context is totally ignored.  In both versions the full context is saying that an idol represents nothing - that there is “no God but one.”

11.  Summation:  To begin with, the obvious anti-Catholic rhetoric in this chapter clouds objective analysis by the author.  Her whole attempt in this chapter was to claim that Satan’s identity is hidden, as are his teachings - that he has corrupted the meanings of important texts.  But what do we really see?  

a.  No Roman Catholic teachings are implied in any passage.

b.  Context of the text reads the same in most cases whether one reads KJV or NIV/NAS. 

c.  Several issues are a result of poor logic and logic fallacies.

d.  Again, this chapter has no convincing argument against “NASB, NIV, et al” as being corrupted and subtly teaching satanic new age doctrines.  It’s as if Riplinger went through the Bible versions looking for word differences and then trying to find how she could work the differences into something demonic.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Doing Theology


Though defending the faith is important, I consider it secondary compared to knowing the things of God, putting that knowledge in the heart, and rendering to God glory by expressing that knowledge in worship and lifestyle. This, I am convinced, is the goal of theology. We read in Scripture that the early Christians “were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayer” (Acts 2:42). They were doing theology. Again, doing theology involves studying about God and expressing in our lives what we learn.

Stephen Tsoukalas, Christian Faith 101: The Basics and Beyond, pg. xiv, italic in the original.