- Category: DOCTRINE & THEOLOGY
Critical Issues Commentaries - CIC Articles / Bible Studies
CRITICAL ISSUES COMMENTARIES (CIC) - ARTICLES & BIBLE STUDIES ONLINE (CIC) - Bob DeWaay exposes unbiblical False Teachings & helps Christians with Discerment. FYI ONLY: CIC has the same biblical views as our (SO4J-TV's) Senior Pastor, John MacArthur. There are so many False Teachers & False Prophets today (Matthew 24:11) that teach a FALSE GOSPEL— one that Twists the Scriptures and confuses people's understanding of the TRUTH (2 Tim 4:1-5). The Christian media is filled with these False Teachings, and there is a need to correct these errors with Biblical Truth (sound-doctrine) that are sweeping through the church - and things are only getting worse. So CIC (Critical Issues Commentary) continues making Biblical Truth available through their: newsletter, the radio programs..etc. Our prayer is that God uses this effort to help believers grow in their faith and be strong in their witness.
SEARCH for a KEYWORD on your KEYBOARD: CTRL + F (Type a Word in & Enter) --OR-- on a MAC computer: COMMAND + F
QUICK LINK TO: CIC ARTICLE LIST
QUICK LINK: FALSE TEACHERS LIST
QUICK LINK: ARTICLES ON SO4J.com <<<
- Titus 1:9 (NASB) "Hold FIRM to the TRUSTWORTHY WORD as TAUGHT, so that he [you] may be able to GIVE INSTRUCTION in SOUND DOCTRINE and also to REBUKE those who CONTRADICT it.”
- FALSE TEACHERS LIST - FALSE PROPHETS EXPOSED
- ARTICLES & BIBLE STUDIES ON SO4J.com
- BIBLE FACTS & BIBLE INFORMATION
- KEY BIBLE VERSES & SCRIPTURES
- BIBLE SEARCH
NOTE: There are several duplicate issue numbers that are found in the original CIC Articles List below. SO4J-TV maintained those same numbers as CIC had. The commentaries are all different despite those having the same issue number and are differentiated by the title. Links open in a new window.
SEARCH for a KEYWORD: CTRL + F (Type a Word in & Enter) --OR-- on a MAC computer: COMMAND + F
ISSUE 1 Binding and Loosing, Part 1: False Spiritual Warfare Teachings
ISSUE 2 Binding and Loosing, Part 2: False Spiritual Warfare Teachings
ISSUE 3 Little "gods"?: Correcting Word of Faith Heresy
ISSUE 4 The Balaam Syndrome: False Teachers in the Church
ISSUE 5 The Anointing and the Christian: Beware of False "Anointed Ones"
ISSUE 6 "God Has Spoken": The Authority of the Bible
ISSUE 7 Evolution and Man: Creation, the Fall, and Redemption
ISSUE 8 Biblical Counseling, Part 1: Why Psychology Cannot Heal the Soul
ISSUE 9 Biblical Counseling, Part 2: Getting to the Root of the Problem
ISSUE 10 Biblical Counseling, Part 3: Applying Biblical Solutions to Biblically Defined Problems
ISSUE 11 Inner Healing: How God Heals the Soul
ISSUE 12 Liberal Christianity: The Danger of Man-Centered Theology
ISSUE 13 The Gospel of Jesus Christ: The Power of the Gospel
ISSUE 14 Physical Healing and the Atonement: Is it Always God's Will to Heal Now?
ISSUE 15 The Danger of Perpetual Infancy: The Need To Study Scripture
ISSUE 16 Perpetual Infancy Part 2: The Errors of Postmodernism
ISSUE 17 Self-esteem, the New Christian "Virtue": Why Self-esteem Teachings are False
ISSUE 18 Self-esteem, the New Christian "Virtue" Part 2: Robert Schullers New Reformation
ISSUE 19 "Performance Orientation": How False Psychological Teachings Contradict the Bible
ISSUE 20 Forgiveness - God's Remedy for Human Failure: The Need to Receive and Give Forgiveness
ISSUE 21 A Christian Identity Crisis?: Neil Anderson's False Teachings Exposed
ISSUE 22 Affliction, Discipline and Sanctification: God Will Sanctify All Whom He Saves
ISSUE 23 New Age Miracle: How New Age Thinking Negates The Biblical Definition of Miracles
ISSUE 24 God's Truth in an Age of Lies, Part 1: What The Bible Means by "The Truth"
ISSUE 25 God's Truth in an Age of Lies, Part 2: The Challenge of Pluralism
ISSUE 26 God's Truth in an Age of Lies, Part 3: Spiritual Warfare - The Truth vs The Lie
ISSUE 27 The Millennial Hope and the Church Pre-Millennialism Defended In Church History
ISSUE 28 Lawlessness, Legalism and Sanctification: Explaining What the Bible Means by Lawlessness
ISSUE 29 The Necessity of Regeneration: Understanding the Biblical Doctrine of Regeneration
ISSUE 30 Why the Church Lacks Discernment, Part 1 Why Discernment is not Subjective
ISSUE 31 Why the Church Lacks Discernment, Part 2 Pragmatism
ISSUE 32 The Lure of Paganism, Part 1: The Danger Christians face in a Pagan World
ISSUE 33 The Lure of Paganism, Part 2: The Earth Goddess
ISSUE 34 The Lure of Paganism, Part 3: The Promise of God's Presence
ISSUE 35 ". . . and They did not Repent": The Biblical Doctrine of Human Depravity
ISSUE 36 Why Technology Cannot Save Us: The Human Problem is Sin; Not a Lack of Knowledge
ISSUE 37 Why Ecumenism Cannot Produce the Unity of the Faith: The Biblical Definition of the Church Shows Ecumenism to be Futile
ISSUE 38 Heresy and Choice: How Pluralism and Choice Take us Away From God's Revealed Truth
ISSUE 39 Heresy and the Doctrine of Christ: One's Relationship to the Person of Christ Revealed in the Bible is Essential
ISSUE 40 Are Christians Cursed?: Exposing Marilyn Hickey's False Teaching on Curses
ISSUE 41 King James Only?: Refuting the False Conspiracy Theories of King James Only Teachers
ISSUE 42 Revival, The Cross and The Narrow Gate: Warning about False Revivals That Lack the Message of the Cross
ISSUE 43 Saul, the Choice of the Carnal Minded: Why Carnal Minded People Choose Bad Leaders
ISSUE 44 Sanctification and Discipleship: Christian Options? Understanding the Biblical Doctrine of Regeneration
ISSUE 45 "For Thy Name’s Sake": The Promise of Holiness
ISSUE 46 The Baptism in the Holy Spirit: A Careful Study of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit as Found in Acts
ISSUE 47 The Gifts of the Holy Spirit: Showing That Spiritual Gifts are Not for New Revelations and Have Not Ceased
ISSUE 48 The Dishonoring of God in Popular Spiritual Warfare Teaching: Refuting the Bad Theology Espoused by Spiritual Warfare Teachers
ISSUE 49 Hebrews 6:4-8 on Apostasy: Can True Christians Commit Apostasy?
ISSUE 50 The Tyranny of False Causes: Explaining the Complexity of Cause and Effect and Relating it to God's Sovereignty
ISSUE 51 May it Never Be!: Ideas that Paul Abhors
ISSUE 52 Honoring God: A Systematic Explaination of Christian Doctrines
ISSUE 53 Charles Finney’s Influence on American Evangelicalism: Exposing Charles Finney's Heretical Teachings
ISSUE 54 Visiting Heaven and Hell: Why the Claims of Afterlife Experiences are not Reliable
ISSUE 55 Job’s Comforters Revisited: How Health and Wealth Teachers Harm the Flock
ISSUE 56 God's Vessels of Salvation: Trusting the "Foolishness" of God
ISSUE 56 Robert Schuller and The Seeker Sensitive Church: The Roots and Fruits of Robert Schuller's Version of Theological Liberalism
ISSUE 57 The Whole Counsel of God: We Must Teach What Christ Commanded to be Taught; Not What People Consider "Relevant"
ISSUE 58 The Foreknowledge of God: A Critique of Greg Boyd's Open Theism - Greg Boyd
ISSUE 59 Hot, Cold, and Lukewarm - A Lesson in Historical Context
ISSUE 59 Common Errors in Biblical Interpretation Exposed: Ways the Scriptures are Often Misinterpreted
ISSUE 60 Walking By the Spirit: The Means by Which Christians Grow in Grace
ISSUE 60 From Wretchedness to Glory: Sanctification Explained from Romans 7 and 8
ISSUE 61 Chasing Subjective Religious Experience: A Critique Tommy Tenney's The God Chasers
ISSUE 62 The "W.W.J.D.?" Phenomenon: Evangelism or Liberal Ethical System?
ISSUE 62 Bereans and Traditions: A Warning Against Parochialism
ISSUE 63 Antichrists and The Antichrist: Exposing False "Anointed" Ones
ISSUE 64 The Hebrew Lament and the Problem of Evil: How God Answered Biblical Characters Who Asked about Evil and Human Suffering
ISSUE 65 Greater Works than These: Exegesis of John 14:12
ISSUE 65 Allusions of Grandeur: The Benefit of Reading the New Testament in Light of the Old
ISSUE 66 Apostles and Prophets and the Foundation of the Church: Bibilical Exegesis that Proves that Only the New Testament Apostles are Authoritative
ISSUE 66 The New Apostolic Reformation: A Warning About Latter Day Apostles - NAR
ISSUE 67 John the Baptist and Prophets to Nations: Bibilcal Evidence that Between John the Baptist and the Two Prophets in Revelation there are no Prophets to Nations
ISSUE 67 The Pitfalls of False Prophets: Why the Predictions of Errant Prophets are Worthless
ISSUE 68 Generational Curses: Biblical Answers to Questions Raised by the phrase "visit the inquities to the third and fourth generation"
ISSUE 69 Colossian Heresy, Part 1: Exegesis of Colossians 2 that Identifies the Nature of the Colossian "Philosophy"
ISSUE 70 Colossian Heresy, Part 2: How Colossians Warns Against Spiritual Elitism and False Spiritual Warfare Teachings
ISSUE 71 Colossian Heresy, Part 3: How Rick Joyner's Claimed Visit to Heaven is a Direct Example of the Colossian Heresy
ISSUE 72 The Prayer of Daniel: An Exposition of Daniel's Prayer in Daniel 9 with Applications
ISSUE 72 Book Review - The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life by Dr. Bruce H. Wilkinson
ISSUE 73 The Demise of Gospel Preaching in the Modern Evangelical Church
ISSUE 74 The Gospel and Roman Catholicism: What Roman Catholics need to Hear about the Gospel of Jesus Christ
ISSUE 75 God's Will and Christian Liberty: Explaining God's Revealed Will and God's Providential Will
ISSUE 76 Carried by the Comforter: An Exposition of Romans 8:14 that Shows what "Lead by the Spirit" Really Means
ISSUE 77 A Solution to the Problem of “This Generation” in Matthew 24:34
ISSUE 78 How Deliverance Ministries Lead People to Bondage: A Warning Against the Warfare Worldview
ISSUE 79 Theophostics: Unbiblical Teaching Wedded to Mystical Experience
ISSUE 80 The Gospel: A Method or a Message?: How the Purpose Driven Life Obscures the Gospel
ISSUE 81 The Discerning of Spirits: The Objective, Biblical Means to Discern Spirits
ISSUE 82 The Dangers of Divination: A Biblical Explanation of Divination and Why It is Forbidden
ISSUE 83 Contemporary Christian Divination: The False Claims and Practices of Christian Mystics - Morton Kelsey, Richard Foster, Ruth Carter Stapleton
ISSUE 84 Means of Grace: God's Provision for Our Salvation and Sanctification
ISSUE 85 Redefining the Church: The Church Growth Movement's Unbiblical Definition of the Church
ISSUE 86 “Church Health Award” From Rick Warren or Jesus Christ?: A Study of the Seven Churches in Revelation
ISSUE 87 Emergent Delusion: A Critique of Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy
ISSUE 88 True and False Unity: How Gospel Preaching and Bible Teaching Produces True Unity
ISSUE 89 Faulty Premises of the Church Growth Movement: Rick Warren, Robert Schuller, Donald McGavran, and C. Peter Wagner Mislead the Church
ISSUE 90 Calamities and God’s Judgment: What Can We Learn From Natural Disasters?
ISSUE 91 The Dangers of Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Disciplines: A Critique of Dallas Willard and The Spirit of the Disciplines
ISSUE 92 Free Will or the Bondage of the Will: Definitions are Critical
ISSUE 93 Recovering Reformation Theology: Rejecting Synergism and Returning to Monergism
ISSUE 94 Discernment in an Age of Deception: Defining the Believer's Biblical Call to Judge
ISSUE 95 The Prophetic Calling of Every Believer: Understanding Prophecy in the Church Today
ISSUE 96 Healing of Memories or Cleansing of the Conscience?: The Roots of False Healing of Memories Teachings
ISSUE 97 God’s Revealed Will: Understanding God's Boundaries
ISSUE 97 What Shall We Practice?: Wrestling with Brother Lawrence’s Concept of “Practicing the Presence of God”
ISSUE 98 The Problems with Personal Words From God : How People Become False Prophets to Themselves
ISSUE 99 Unbiblical Teachings on Prayer and Experiencing God: How Mysticism Misleads Christians
ISSUE 99 Discerning Discernment: The Meaning and Significance of Hebrews 5:12-14 In the Christian’s Call of Discernment
ISSUE 100 Cracking the "Code” of Preterism: A Review of Hank Hanegraaff’s “The Apocalypse Code” and a Refutation of Preterism
ISSUE 100 “This Generation” and its Preterist Exegetical Misuse: How Preterists Misinterpret Matthew 24:34
ISSUE 101 How Pietism Deceives Christians: The Errors of Elitist Teachings in the Church
ISSUE 102 True and False Binding and Loosing: How False Teachings Add to or Substract From What God Has Said
ISSUE 102 Entering True Sabbath Rest: Understanding the Christian’s Relationship to the Sabbath
ISSUE 103 The Roots and Fruits of the New Apostolic Reformation: Exposing the False Teachings of C. Peter Wagner and Bill Hamon
ISSUE 104a: Rob Bell “Undefines” Holiness - By Making Everything "Holy" Bell Makes Nothing Profane
ISSUE 104b: Rob Bell’s Abstract “Elvis” - A Critique of "Velvet Elvis"
ISSUE 105 Why Evangelicals are Returning to Rome: The Abandonment of Sola Scriptura as a Formal Principle
ISSUE 106 Global Warming, Blind Faith, and Global Delusion: A review of Taken by Storm – The Troubled Science, Policy, and Politics of Global Warming by Christopher Essex and Ross McKitrick
ISSUE 107 Mike Bickle and International House of Prayer: The Latter Rain Redividus
ISSUE 108 Hyperdispensationalism and the Authority of Christ
ISSUE 109 False Spiritual Warfare Teachings: How the Church Becomes Pagan
ISSUE 110A Beth Moore 1 - Beth Moore's Illicit Tent of Meeting
ISSUE 110B Beth Moore 2 - Tent of Meeting Part 2 - Whatever Happend to the Gospel?
ISSUE 111 Donald Whitney and Spiritual Disciplines - Spirituality Without Boundaries
ISSUE 112 Richard Foster—Celebration of Deception
ISSUE 113 Providence and PromiseHow God Rules His Universe for the Good of His People
ISSUE 114 Oprah Winfrey Promotes Pantheist Eckhart Tolle: How Biblically Illiterate America is Being Deceived
ISSUE 115 Why the Human Will Cannot Overcome Sin: A Study of Paul’s Commentary on the 10th Commandment
ISSUE 116 "Undefining" God's Mission - The Emerging Church "On a Mission from God"
ISSUE 117 How the Church Growth Movement Drives the Gospel out of Churches
ISSUE 117 Why Theophostic Prayer Ministry is Neither Prayer Nor Christian Ministry
ISSUE 118 Ideas Have Consequences A Partial Paraphrase and Review of Modern Fascism by Gene Edward Veith
ISSUE 119 Monvee- The New Evangelicalism About Me - A Review of John Ortberg's The Me I Want to Be
ISSUE 119 Christian Dream Interpretation?
ISSUE 120 Romantic Panentheism, a Review of One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
ISSUE 121 Spiritual Gifts, Revelation, and the Local Congregation
ISSUE 122 The Gospel as the True Armor of God - Deliverance from Demons as Transfer of Dominion
ISSUE 123 Cursed by Works or Blessed by Faith
ISSUE 124 An Invasion of Error: - A Review of Bill Johnson's When Heaven Invades Earth
ISSUE 125 Toxic Devotion - A Review of Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling"
ISSUE 126 Dining with the King: Jesus Dines with Sinners - How Banquets in the Bible reveal Salvation or Judgment
ISSUE 127 How Neo-paganism Deceives the World and the Church - Why Nature Religions Predominate
ISSUE 128 The Dangers of the Cosmic Christ - A Review of The Coming of the Cosmic Christ by Matthew Fox
ISSUE 129 When A False Teacher Calls America "Israel" - A Review of The Mystery of the Shemitah by Jonathan Cahn
ISSUE 130 How God Changes Lives - Understanding Means of Grace
ISSUE 131 Rescued, Transferred, Redeemed and Forgiven - Exposition of Colossians 1:13-14
ISSUE 132 Oswald Chambers - Personal Piety Combined with Flawed Theology
ISSUE 133 The Priesthood of Every Believer - How Luther Recovered Biblical Priesthood
CRITICAL ISSUES COMMENTARIES - SUMMARIZED LIST - PDF
ISSUE 133 - Fall 2016
In 1 Peter chapter 2 Peter twice tells the church that we are a holy and royal priesthood. One of Martin Luther’s most important teachings that brought about the Reformation was the priesthood of every believer. This important, biblical, doctrine protected the flock from Rome’s false priesthood. Luther identified seven functions of priests that pertain to every believer. We show that all of these are truly biblical and call for the doctrine of the priesthood of every believer to be taught in the church. When it is neglected, church authorities are given an open door to abuse the flock and often walk right through that door. We need to teach and practice the true NT priesthood so that we all proclaim the “mighty deeds of God.“ Christ must be extolled as the one High Priest to whom we all have continual access.
ISSUE 132 - Spring 2016
Oswald Chambers' devotional My Utmost For His Highest has been read by millions of Christians. When I was in Bible College in the early 1970's someone gave me a copy. I started using it but found that what he said rarely made any sense to me, so I quit. I assumed it was because he was British and I simply did not understand his idioms. Ironically I ended up unknowingly reading and following the same theology through Watchman Nee. It is just recently that I managed to discover that Nee's (slightly later than Chambers) teachings were nearly the same as Chambers'.
Over the years CIC readers have asked me to critique Chambers. Some have told me that his teachings led them into mysticism that was hard to get out of. I set out to do so about six years ago by carefully reading Utmost, taking notes on every page. I found much that was Biblically wrong but still was not sure why. So the article was not written. Finally, reading his biography and other writings has led me to the basis of his theology. There are two key issues: 1) the allegorical method of Biblical interpretation 2) a second blessing teaching in which total surrender is the key to sanctification. The allegorical method takes us away from the meaning of the Biblical authors. The second blessing doctrine colors what he says in Utmost. Not knowing that he believed these things was the cause of confusion in my reading. Knowing his theology has put Utmost into perspective. I will also address the issue of his body, soul and spirit teaching in regard to sanctification.
ISSUE 131 - Winter 2016
People are looking for deliverance from evil spirits and Satanic oppression. We receive more emails about the demonic than any other topic. When I point those who send the emails to conversion as the only way out of Satan's domain, many say that they are Christians and they are still harassed. They want someone who can manipulate the spirit world to their benefit and relief. They do not know it, but they are looking for what pagans call shamans. What God offers is removal from Satan's domain.
In this article we will describe a Biblical worldview in regard to the world of the spirits. After the Tower of Babel, God put the nations under the "sons of God" and took Israel for His own. Eventually, Israel so rebelled against Yahweh that she ended up under the powers of darkness as well. The only deliverance from the "domain of darkness" is found through Jesus Christ. Our passage describes that. We must believe what God said about this, rather than opting for deliverance counselors who are effectively shamans. Whatever Satan might do to harass us, he cannot remove us from the kingdom of Christ. We who believe the gospel are safe.
ISSUE 130 - Fall 2015
What do the Pope, the Dalai Lama and Donald Whitney have in common? They all promote freestyle spirituality where feeling close to God replaces drawing near to God on His terms. Religious experimentation replaces practices ordained by God and sincerity replaces revealed truth. We will begin with a narrative from the Old Testament and proceed to revealed truth in the New Testament to show that we must come to God in faith on His terms. We cannot trust our spiritual well-being to experimentation.
Issue 129 - Spring 2015
Jonathan Cahn, a popular Christian author, claims that his books reveal mysteries and predict the future. He thus portrays himself as like the Biblical prophets, including the claim of having new revelations. The main point of his book is that America is a second Israel and that she is being judged according to the seven-year Sabbath law called "shemitah" that was given to ancient Israel. This judgment manifests itself in seven-year cycles of stock market collapses or other cataclysmic events. The next one is due the fall of 2015, according to Cahn. I will show that these claims are false and that Cahn is not a true prophet of God.
ISSUE 128 - Fall 2014
Matthew Fox's 1988 book, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, has proven to be a seminal work. Fox's ideas are largely accepted as fact by contemporary people. For example, the notion of "Mother Earth" as a spiritual being (understood through the lens of panentheism) has only gained more prominence, and is now virtually ubiquitous, since Fox wrote his monograph.1 Many others have shared his neo-pagan ideas.
I review Fox's book now to show that his false ideas are dangerous and have no Biblical grounds to be accepted into any Christian theology although Fox cites Scripture often and shows a good grasp of its content. I will show the Fox's Cosmic Christ is not the Christ of the Bible. Yet much of modern evangelicalism is rife with ideas akin to Fox's.
The seduction that draws people to their "Mother" is spiritual and insidious. There is no logical and rational means of proving that earth is indeed a goddess who is being abused by humans who fail to worship her. She is not lacking worshippers, but is lacking any necessary qualities of deity like eternal, non-contingent existence. If she were truly a goddess she could take care of herself. The God of the Bible is not going to be damaged by humans, but humans are most certainly threatened by God who will come in judgment for those who reject His Christ! For example:
And He will judge the world in righteousness; He will execute judgment for the peoples with equity. (Psalm 9:8) And I know every bird of the mountains, and everything that moves in the field is Mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell you; for the world is Mine, and all it contains. (Psalm 50:11, 12)
Fox is seriously deceived when he claims that Mother Earth is the Christ who is being slowly killed by humans. Christ will come in judgment, a fact Fox ignores, but the basis of the judgment is His Word (John 12:48) and His gospel—not failure to bow before the earth goddess.
ISSUE 127 - Spring 2014
A pagan is someone with no authoritative revelation from God. As such, pagans must guess about God and the nature of the universe they live in. Pagan belief is diverse but centers on certain themes and ideas, mostly deifying the creation. Hebrews 1:1-2 cited above, is our firewall against paganism: God has spoken! We need not grope about as pagans guessing about the nature of the world we live in...
Dining with the King: Jesus Dines with Sinners - How Banquets in the Bible reveal Salvation or Judgment
ISSUE 126 - Fall 2013
"And Levi gave a big reception for Him in his house; and there was a great crowd of tax collectors and other people who were reclining at the table with them. The Pharisees and their scribes began grumbling at His disciples, saying, ‘Why do you eat and drink with the tax collectors and sinners?' And Jesus answered and said to them, ‘It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.'" (Luke 5:29-32)
In 2Samuel 9 one finds the account of King David showing kindness to a lame descendant of Saul for the sake of his previous relationship to Jonathan, Saul's son. Both Saul and Jonathan were now dead and this lame man, Methphibosheth, was the only remaining descendant: "The king said, ‘Is there not yet anyone of the house of Saul to whom I may show the kindness of God?' And Ziba said to the king, ‘There is still a son of Jonathan who is crippled in both feet.'" (2 Samuel 9:3) Since Saul had been David's mortal enemy, and a king would typically search out descendants of a rival king for the purpose of killing them to assure they would not make a claim to the throne, a call from David to find Methphibosheth would be considered alarming and likely life-threatening.
David's motive was not to kill the lame descendant of Saul but to show God's hesed (covenant love, much like the NT term "grace")....
ISSUE 125 - Summer 2013
"And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." (Acts 2:42)
In the Bible, the term "devotion" is used for the early church's attention to and time spent on the means of grace. This included the apostles' teaching, which is our New Testament. Devotional books today are often devoted to private mysticism. Sarah Young's book is a good example. Devotion, in this case, has become a devotion to metaphysical impressions, not God's Word.
Furthermore, Young's daily devotional is written in words as though they were spoken directly by Jesus Christ Himself. This genre of devotional is not new. When I was a new Christian, Francis Roberts published such a book entitled Come Away My Beloved, which was based on the allegorization of the Song of Solomon. The book and sequels were quite popular. The first was written as if God Himself were speaking to the reader (using King James English), thus constituting new words from God beyond Scripture. At the time I thought that to be wrong and refused to read the book, though I read enough to be aware of its contents.
Similarly, Jesus Calling promotes mystical devotion to God and is based on words from Jesus beyond Scripture...
ISSUE 124 - January-February 2013
Bill Johnson of Redding, California has become a popular teacher in one of the latest iterations of the Signs and Wonders movement. His book, When Heaven Invades Earth, reveals his underlying theology. Johnson believes that there will be a great end-time revival that will be initiated by an "Elijah generation (a concept from the heretical Latter Rain movement) that shall transcend all other generations of Christians in regard to their ability to do great works of power...
Cursed by Works or Blessed by Faith
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree," in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:13-14)
The Bible is clear—blessing comes to us by faith, and not through any other means. Abraham believed God and was blessed. Today, those who believe God through the gospel of Jesus Christ are blessed, be they Jew or Gentile. The truth is rather simple. But the false applications that now abound have so confused this matter that even those who have believed the gospel are convinced that they must seek information from their own past, sinful lives to break curses and find the key to blessings...
ISSUE 122 - July-September 2012
It is not where demons are in relationship to us; it is where we are in relationship to Christ - that is the worldview of the Biblical writers. Those who have believed the gospel are transferred from one spiritual domain to another. But while we physically reside in this world, we are surrounded by spiritual forces of darkness. My thesis is this - the gospel is the armor of God in which we must stand.
ISSUE 121 - April – June 2012
There are no new revelations. That is what we were taught in Bible College and our professors were correct. Then we encountered passages such as 1 Corinthians 14:26 which taught that members of the assembled church could have a revelation and it caused some of us to question what we were taught. In this paper the conclusion we come to will depend on how we answer the apparent contradiction between our teachers' claims and how we define the range of meaning of the term "revelation" (apokalupsis). Understanding this range of meaning will help us clear up much of the church's confusion about spiritual gifts and provide support for our Bible College instructors...
ISSUE 120 - January-March 2012
If I were to write this review in the style Ann Voskamp used in writing her book, it would read like this:
Sunlight streams through window. Shadows on keyboard. I sit here. I want to separate substance from style and deal only with substance as I contemplate a book. Before me lies The Thousand Gifts, a book written by Ann Voskamp, farmer's wife, Canadian. Ann writes in person first, tense present, style poetic. Two hundred thirty-seven pages speak of angst personal and thankfulness God-given and quote Julian of Norwich, Annie Dillard, Brennan Manning, Henri Nouwen, Teilard de Chardin and others. The style I find difficult. Of that I will not speak. The substance is of concern. Of that I will speak.
Voskamp sees God in everything, and that concept has a name—panentheism...
ISSUE 119 - August/September 2010
Most CIC articles are prompted by reader request. And lately several have asked about the program Monvee, a new, technology-based approach to sanctification. People can subscribe on the Monvee Web site and take a personality test, and, based on the results of the test, receive a personalized plan for their sanctification. John Ortberg's book features the word ME on the cover in large text and is part of the plan.
ISSUE 119 - August/September 2010
Author Barbie Breathitt, described as a "respected teacher of the supernatural manifestations of God," has just released a new book entitled "Dream Encounters," in which she claims Christians can have access to a secret dream language that God uses to reveal "hidden knowledge" to believers. In this book Breathitt tells believers they will be enabled to use the "revelation" obtained from God through their dreams in order to unlock their "destinies" and live lives in which they are "productive, responsible, successful, prosperous, loved and fulfilled" (p. 138). According to Breathitt, this is done by decoding information that God has "embedded" into our dreams and through which he continues to communicate with us in personal, ongoing revelation. But there are three significant problems with what Breathitt teaches, and I will attempt to develop why these issues are unsupported by Scripture. The three problems are as follows:
ISSUE 118 - May/June 2010
This article will reveal similarities between the philosophies prevalent in Germany that characterized fascism and those of postmodern thinkers today. I am not suggesting that because these similarities exist postmoderns would be in favor of a new Hitler. I am suggesting that ideas have consequences and that history ought to teach us how serious they can be. The key issue is the rejection of a transcendent God who has revealed moral law. The result of such a rejection will most certainly be some form of lawlessness.
ISSUE 117 - March/April 2010
One time, early in my ministry, a Christian preacher told me that I had to get a vision for the local church for which I was (and remain) a pastor. In his view I needed specific information from God regarding why we exist and what our future should be. I had no such vision, but, instead, concluded that God determined the definition and purpose of the church; we needed only to comply with what He revealed in the Bible. Why should our church exist for some unique purpose that does not apply to other churches?
ISSUE 117 - March/April 2010
Though my article about the errors of Theophostic Ministry was published several years ago I still get e-mails from practitioners accusing me of falsely attacking a wonderful ministry that is helping many people. Even today many claim that this ministry, invented by Dr. Ed Smith, is the key to emotional healing. My response remains the same, "I never said that Theophostics doesn't work; I said that it is not Biblical."
The simple facts are these: the basic theories of Theophostic Ministry are not found in the Bible, and they have not been proven by careful, scientific research.
Recently I received a document called "The Essentials of Theophostic Prayer Ministry" that was distributed by proponents of Theophostic Ministry at a large Evangelical church that has hosted their international convention. This document confirms what my research had previously uncovered about the basic principles of this ministry. In this article I will examine the basic premises of Theophostic Ministry as listed in their own literature and show that they are not Biblical.
ISSUE 116 - January / February 2010
Almost universally, people involved with the Emergent "conversation" espouse one theme: they consider themselves to be missional. Being "missional" is not what traditional Christians have known as "missions." We have believed that the Christian mission was to send people with the message of the gospel...
ISSUE 115 - November/December 2009
During my first ten years in Christian ministry I was committed to the power of the human will, and it proved to be one of the greatest failures in my life in ministry. That commitment dominated my counseling and preaching. I assumed that the human will was the key to....
Oprah Winfrey Promotes Pantheist Eckhart Tolle - How Biblically Illiterate America is Being Deceived
ISSUE 114 - September/October 2009
What sort of god needs to read a book or go to a seminar to discover his own identity? According to Oprah Winfrey and Eckhart Tolle, millions of such deities find it necessary to act on that need to awaken to their own godhood...
ISSUE 113 - July/August 2009
There was a time in American history where the term "providence" was commonly used. During the nineteenth century our citizens understood the term, and it was important to them. In 1865 Lincoln used the term "providence" in his second inaugural address, demonstrating not only that the term was important but that he understood the difference between God's moral will and God's providential will...
ISSUE 112 - May/June 2009
In February 2008, Christianity Today ran a glowing cover story about Evangelicalism's recent embrace of medieval Roman Catholic mysticism entitled The Future lies in the Past. The article traced the beginning of the movement as follows: "The movement seems to have exploded in a 24-month period in 1977-1978, which saw the publication of Richard Foster's bestselling Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth and Robert Webber's Common Roots: A Call to Evangelical Maturity."
In this article I will show that Foster's "journey inward" is unbiblical and dangerous. I will show that most of the spiritual disciplines that he calls "means of grace" are no means of grace at all—but a means of putting oneself under spiritual deception.
ISSUE 111 - March/April 2009
Many people concerned about Donald Whitney's endorsement of Richard Foster and Dallas Willard (two popular evangelical mystics) have asked me to review his book Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life. These people have wondered how someone who claims to be Reformed2 in theology and teaches at a seminary known for Reformed theology could endorse Foster and Willard. They also wondered if Whitney's own teaching contains Foster's and Willard's same errors. This article is my answer to these requests.
ISSUE 110B - 2008
My latest article set off a storm of protest. In the article I claimed that Beth Moore misinterpreted the sifnificance of the tent of meeting. My specific claim was that Jesus Christ, the mediator of the New Covenant, provides the only way for us to draw near to God and I pointed to many sections of Scripture to establish that claim. I also claimed that we can only come to God through Christ's once for all shed blood and discussed many other important aspects of the gospel to complete the discussion.
For that some called me "vile, despicable," and labeled me with other invectives. Evidently, Christ and the blood atonement are too controversial to post on a site that espouses a "Christian Worldview". But note this: not one protester gave Biblical evidence that I was wrong about my description of the person and work of Christ. Not one. Has our evengelical movement come to the place where our people no longer tolerate the gospel?
ISSUE 110A - 2008
Recently, on Ingrid Schlueter's website, Beth Moore denied that she promotes approaches to prayer that have Eastern overtones. The issue arose from her participation on the Be Still DVD which has been critiqued on the CIC website by Ingrid and then Brian Flynn. Brian and I viewed a segment of Beth Moore on that DVD. We found disconcerting her poor understanding of Exodus 33:7-11, the passage she uses as her proof text. In her discussion of Moses' tent of meeting she proposes that each believer can have their own tent of meeting where they can go to have two way conversations with God.
ISSUE 109 - November/December 2008
A pagan is anyone who lacks special revelation from God. And had God not spoken in the manner described in Hebrews 1:1-2, everyone in the world would be a pagan. This is to say that each of us would have to guess about the nature of the spiritual world we live in and develop techniques in order to contact or manipulate our world. We would wonder how we could manipulate the "gods" to better our situation. We would create a class of shamans with special abilities to contact and manipulate the spirits. That is what every pagan culture looks like.
Sadly, that is what the church looks like when...
ISSUE 108 - September/Ocotber 2008
Recently I spoke with a friend from another state who recounted to me how he had lost fellowship with a long-time Christian friend because of an eccentric doctrine the friend had gotten caught up in. The particular doctrine claims Jesus' teachings are not "for" the church, that the Great Commission is not binding on the church, that there are at least two different gospels, and that the gospel of grace was totally unknown until Paul received it. When my friend tried to correct his friend...
ISSUE 107 - July / August 2008
Earlier this year the International House of Prayer (IHOP) sponsored a conference in Kansas City entitled Passion for Jesus that was heavily promoted toward young people. The purpose of the conference was to “cultivate intimacy with Jesus.” In the conference’s second session, IHOP president and director Mike Bickle preached a message based on an allegorical interpretation of a Matthew 25 parable ...
Global Warming, Blind Faith, and Global Delusion - A review of Taken by Storm – The Troubled Science, Policy, and Politics of Global Warming
ISSUE 106 - May/June2008
Some environmentalists with neo-pagan worldviews (e.g., Al Gore) have posited the “truth” of CO2-induced global warming, defined the production of CO2 as “sin” and thereby made all humans guilty of a holocaust-like assault on planet earth. Even if CO2 is doing what this group says it is, there is no way to repent of this “sin” because human beings cannot live without putting more of it into the atmosphere. Essex and McKitrick’s book (both are Canadian college professors) confirms my conclusion that the global warming scare is more religion than science. The book begins and ends with chapters about what the authors call “The Doctrine of Certainty.” We shall begin by examining this “Doctrine.”
ISSUE 105 - March/April 2008
The February 2008 edition of Christianity Today ran a cover story about evangelicals looking to the ancient Roman Catholic Church in order to find beliefs and practices. What was shocking about the article was that ...
ISSUE 104b - January/February 2008
The literal “Velvet Elvis” is a particular portrayal of velvet-crafted Elvis Presley that Bell owns. The artwork serves Bell’s book as an analogy to the Christian faith. Bell claims that all versions of Christianity are paintings or portrayals, just as his velvet Elvis is a portrayal of Elvis. Since that version of Elvis is not the only one ever created, it would be just as absurd to expect there to be only one “painting” of Christianity—it can be viewed and captured from many angles...
ISSUE 104a - January/February 2008
Rob Bell lists a number of transcendent experiences that he claims overwhelmed him to be in awe of God. The first one for Bell happened as a teenager at a concert performed by Irish rock group U2...
The Roots and Fruits of the New Apostolic Reformation - Exposing the False Teachings of C. Peter Wagner and Bill Hamon
ISSUE 103 - November / December 2007
This article explores the idea of apostles in the church throughout church history. In it I will show that the restoration/Latter Rain idea that fuels the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is unbiblical and dangerous to the well-being of Christians who become part of it.
ISSUE 102 - September/October 2007
Fifteen years ago we published Issue # 1 of CIC on the topic of binding and loosing. That article was written to correct a false use of the term by those teaching spiritual warfare. We argued that the term binding and loosing concerns entrance into the kingdom, and what is or is not binding on Christians after they have been added to the church. We demonstrated that our interpretation is not unique and that every major scholarly exegesis of this passage also supports this meaning. We also showed how the apostles practiced binding and loosing in Acts 15 when they met to determine if the Law of Moses was binding on converted Gentiles (they determined that it was not). Now it is now time to bring out some important implications and applications of the true meaning of binding and loosing.
ISSUE 102 - September/October 2007
A few years ago an area pastor took out advertisements in one of our local Christian periodicals. These ads issued both a proclamation and a challenge: “Christians are required to observe the Sabbath on Saturdays, and I invite anyone to debate me on this subject.” The challenge was eventually accepted and I proceeded to attend the public debate. At the time of this debate I was engaged in expository work on both Galatians and Hebrews. As I listened to these two men debate the issues, I compared their views to what I was learning through my studies. What struck me was this: the theological issues that the first century church struggled against are just as pressing 2,000 years later.
ISSUE 101 - July/August 2007
There are no extraordinary Christians; but being an ordinary Christian is an extraordinary thing. How I wish I would have understood that when I was a new Christian. But I didn’t. Soon after my conversion I began a quest to become the best possible Christian. In so doing I fell prey to teachings that promised me a Christian life superior to that of ordinary Christians. What I did not know was that I had embraced pietism. I didn’t become an extraordinary Christian and I did walk straight into error.
Cracking "the Code" of Preterism - A Review of Hank Hanegraaff's "The Apocalypse Code" and a Refutation of Preterism
ISSUE 100 - May/June 2007
Hank Hanegraaff, radio’s “Bible Answer Man,” includes the following statement in the introduction to his new book, The Apocalypse Code: “Make no mistake: this is not the stuff of ivory-tower debates. The stakes for Christianity and the culture in the controversy surrounding eschatology are enormous!” With the stakes so high, he’s entered the fray—writing on the subject of the end times.
ISSUE 100 - May/June 2007
Several years ago I published an article about Matthew 24:34 where I claimed that “this generation” was a pejorative term about rebellious Jewish leadership. In today’s article I will support that claim by providing a range of meaning study of the term “generation” (Greek genea) as used in the New Testament.
ISSUE 99 - March/April 2007
To a Christian, praying to God is privilege, a blessing, and a Biblically defined responsibility. We are called to pray. But a genre of literature exists that I call “prayer secrets.” Practitioners claim to have discovered new avenues of prayer that can create power...
ISSUE 99 - March/April 2007
“What’s your spiritual gift?” I have heard this question asked and answered many times. In my experience, the most common response to this inquiry is: “I have the gift of ...
ISSUE 98 - January / February 2007
The Bible tells us that God has spoken, infallibly, finally, and authoritatively through people He chose as mediators of His revelation. The Bible further tells us that Christ’s words to us were confirmed through eyewitnesses, the apostles. Can a believer receive special revelations that become God’s personal, revealed will for his or her life?
ISSUE 97 - November / December 2006
Many Christians labor under the notion that there is an unrevealed, perfect will of God for their life that must be discovered in order for them to truly please God. I know because I used to believe that myself...
What Shall We Practice? - Wrestling with Brother Lawrence’s Concept of “Practicing the Presence of God”
ISSUE 97 - November / December 2006
I recall a conversation I had with an individual early in my Christian life regarding the high calling of living in light of the Gospel — the need for devotion to the Word, the need for prayer, the need for fellowship, and the task of evangelism. His response took me aback: “All those are fine for some,” he noted...
Healing of Memories or Cleansing of the Conscience? - The Roots of False Healing of Memories Teachings
ISSUE 96 - September / October 2006
In the 1940’s, a missionary’s daughter disillusioned with traditional Christianity invented a new ministry called “inner healing.” Agnes Sanford claimed that during an out-of-body experience that supposedly brought her back to before her birth as a pre-existent soul, Jesus asked her to come into the world to...
ISSUE 95 - July / August 2006
The restoration of prophecy for every believer was important to both Luther and Calvin. The alternative was that only the teaching magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church had the authority to prophesy. Luther often cited 1 Corinthians 14:31 as proof of Rome's error in this regard...
ISSUE 94 - May / June 2006
Many times, after publishing an article that disputes the claims of someone's published work, I am asked if I had talked to the person privately. There are those who claim that debating ideas in the public arena should not happen unless there was...
ISSUE 93 - March / April 2006
A key idea in the contemporary evangelical movement is that revival can be engineered. The Purpose Driven Web site says, “Peter Drucker called him [Warren] ‘the inventor of perpetual revival’ and Forbes magazine has written, ‘If...
ISSUE 92 - January / February 2006
Questions from readers prompt the writing of many CIC articles. The most frequently asked question that I have not addressed until now concerns free will. I thoroughly researched this topic nearly ten years ago. The reason for the delay...
The Dangers of Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Disciplines - A Critique of Dallas Willard and The Spirit of the Disciplines
ISSUE 91 - November / December 2005
Practices called “spiritual disciplines” that are deemed necessary for “spiritual formation” have entered evangelicalism. Recent encounters with this teaching narrated to me by friends caused me to investigate these practices. The first experience...
ISSUE 90 - September/October 2005
The Tsunami caught the world’s attention. Most recently major hurricanes have filled the news. These natural disasters have raised a question in the minds of many Christians—“Is this God’s judgment?”...
Faulty Premises of the Church Growth Movement - Rick Warren, Robert Schuller, Donald McGavran, and C. Peter Wagner Mislead the Church
ISSUE 89 - July/August 2005
If we compare what the Apostle John said with what a famous Church Growth advocate says, we encounter a problem. John says that the world will not listen to a true, unsullied Christian message. Rick Warren says that anybody...
ISSUE 88 - May/June 2005
We are in the midst of a radical change in evangelicalism that has left countless Christians starving for God’s Word in their churches. Proponents of the change have labeled as “divisive” those who resist the movement away from gospel preaching...
ISSUE 87 - March/April 2005
My favorite TV show as a teenager was Green Acres. On the show was a county agent by the name of Hank Kimball whose job was to answer technical questions for farmers. Mr. Douglas, a misplaced New York Lawyer and wannabe...
“Church Health Award” From Rick Warren or Jesus Christ? - A Study of the Seven Churches in Revelation
ISSUE 86 - January/February 2005
We are awash in information about how to have healthy and successful churches. Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven church movement claims to have trained many thousands of pastors around the world. The website for this movement states the...
ISSUE 85 - November/December 2004
Several months ago a friend of mine, who puts on seminars, publicly pointed out the errors of several well known teachers who promote mystical practices. Shortly thereafter he invited me to attend a meeting with some leaders of his church to...
ISSUE 84 - September/October 2004
A soldier in Iraq emailed CIC a few weeks ago. His message exposes an alarming trend in evangelicalism: to replace the Bible with man-made programs. Here is a portion of the email:...
ISSUE 83 - July/August 2004
There was a king in Israel who decided that he could set up his own way of coming to God. This king’s story will provide a needed warning for those today that do likewise....
ISSUE 82 - May/June 2004
Recently I was asked to speak at a seminary. Before the meeting I had lunch with a couple of the professors, one of whom had spent many years as a missionary in Taiwan. The former missionary recounted a story that illustrates the reality of the...
ISSUE 81 - March/April 2004
Twenty years ago I received a phone call from a woman who claimed to have a word from God for me. She began prophesying, “You are a great man of God, full of power, and God is going to use you in a powerful way. You are going to...
ISSUE 80 - January/February 2004
A few months ago a friend phoned to ask if I had ever heard of Rick Warren. “Yes” I replied. “Why are you asking”? He said, “I just got kicked out of a Bible Study for bringing my Bible to it.” That is how the idea for this article came to me....
Theophostics: Unbiblical Teaching Wedded to Mystical Experience (Theophostic Ministry) - A Warning Against the Unbiblical Teachings of Ed Smith
ISSUE 79 - November/December 2003
A few weeks ago my wife and I were driving to the house of some close friends, listening to a tape of Dr. Ed Smith, the founder of Theophostic counseling, who was preaching at a large evangelical church in our city. As we listened, my wife...
ISSUE 78 - September/October 2003
In 1977 I was in a ministry that specialized in inner healing and deliverance. People came to us from all over the country seeking release from hearing voices, addictions, emotional trauma due to past hurts and abuses, and many other forms of...
A Solution to the Problem of “This Generation” in Matthew 24:34 - How Preterists Misinterpret Matthew 24:34
ISSUE 77 - July/August 2003
Matthew 24:34 is a difficult passage for Bible interpreters. The problem is that Jesus appears to be predicting that the generation of Jews alive when He made the prophetic predictions found in Matthew 24 would also be alive to witness the...
Carried by the Comforter - An Exposition of Romans 8:14 that Shows What "Lead by the Spirit" Really Means.
ISSUE 76 - May/June 2003
Romans 8 offers profound, eternal comfort to Christians. In it Paul assures us that all true Christians shall ultimately be glorified and conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29-30) and that nothing in the entire created universe can...
ISSUE 75 - March/April 2003
The Bible is the revealed will of God. The Bible is inspired by God, inerrant and authoritative. It contains everything God has chosen to reveal to us. Through the Bible we know God’s plans, purposes and moral will. Only the teachings of Scripture...
The Gospel and Roman Catholicism - What Roman Catholics Need to Hear About the Gospel of Jesus Christ
ISSUE 74 - January/February 2003
There are many hurting and disillusioned people who grew up under the teachings of the Roman Catholic church. They are disillusioned because the church that they were told is their only hope of getting to God has been found to be scandalous....
The Demise of Gospel Preaching in the Modern Evangelical Church - A Call for Evangelicals to Return to Gospel Teaching According to the Terms Laid Out in the Bible
ISSUE 73 - November/December 2002
An alarming convergence of theological and cultural trends in contemporary evangelicalism is pushing gospel preaching out of many churches. Even in “Bible believing” churches, people are being asked to make a “decision for Jesus,” without being...
ISSUE 72 - September/October 2002
It is the nature of fallen man to gravitate to works righteousness and self help. Religious solutions that offer promises of success for those who know the secrets will always be popular. Quick, easy, and rote answers sell. The book by Bruce...
ISSUE 72 - September/October 2002
Jabez is an obscure person mentioned in only two verses of scripture: 1 Chronicles 4:9-10. These verses offer no introduction, nor is there any reference from other scripture. From these...
Colossian Heresy, Part 3 - How Rick Joyner's Claimed Visit to Heaven is a Direct Example of the Colossian Heresy
ISSUE 71 - July/August 2002
There is a recent genre of Christian literature that goes far beyond the fiction of Dante. We can read privileged individuals expound their meetings with Jesus, visitations to heaven, conversations with departed souls, and other incredible, mystical...
Colossian Heresy, Part 2 - How Colossians Warns Against Spiritual Elitism and False Spiritual Warfare Teachings
ISSUE 70 - May/June 2002
The Colossians were being threatened by a "philosophy” that, if believed, would make them plunder of false teachers who denied the sufficiency of Christ. In the last issue we examined the key tenets of this teaching and explained the...
Colossian Heresy, Part 1 - Exegesis of Colossians 2 that Identifies the nature of the Colossian "Philosophy"
ISSUE 69 - March/April 2002
The danger of being “taken captive” by the same heresy that was threatening the Colossians is as real today as it was in first century Colossae. The Greek word for “taken captive” means “to carry off as spoil. The plunder of the battle turns out...
Generational Curses - Biblical Answers to Questions Raised by the Phrase "visit the inquities to the third and fourth gene
ISSUE 68 - January/February 2002
Oftentimes when a passage is unclear it is used to support false teachings. Because when many Christians are unsure of the meaning of a passage, they are less able to discern erroneous teaching based on the verses in question. This is surely...
John the Baptist and Prophets to Nations - Bibilcal evidence that between John the Baptist and the Two Prophets in Revelation, There are no Prophets to Nations
ISSUE 67 - November/December 2001
Since the horrible events of September 11th, prophets are lining up to claim to either have predicted them or to have the key to God's purposes behind them. There are many who claim to be prophets to nations like the Old Testament prophets....
ISSUE 67 - November/December 2001
On December 31st, 1997 a modern prophet by the name of Bob Jones said this: I have been tellin people for a year to get out of Los Angeles. They tell me they are really brave out there. I am not that brave...
Apostles and Prophets and the Foundation of the Church - Bibilical Exegesis that Proves that Only the New Testament Apostles are Authoritative
ISSUE 66 - September/October 2001
Today a popular movement is making brash claims about itself. The movement claims that God is raising up a huge wave of end times prophets and apostles who will be instrumental in subduing entire nations and eventually the whole world...
ISSUE 66 - September/October 2001
In this paper we discuss New Testament Apostles today from the viewpoint that there is no biblical authority that supports the end time restoration of the office of apostle: therefore, there are no...
Greater Works than These - Biblical Proof That John 14:12 Does Not Predict the Church Will Do Greater Miracles than Christ
ISSUE 65 - July / August 2001
A popular “revival movement” claims that latter day apostles and prophets will fulfill this promise in John by doing greater miracles than Jesus did, both in quantity and quality. Their claim is that a new wave of apostolic power will transform...
ISSUE 65 - July / August 2001
"The newer, the better." So goes much of our modern cultural mindset. Sadly, this type of thinking has crept into how many view the Old Testament Scriptures. Many believe the Old Testament has "passed on" (so to speak) and the New Testament has replaced...
The Hebrew Lament and the Problem of Evil - How God Answered Biblical Characters who Asked about Evil and Human Suffering
ISSUE 64 - May/June 2001
The Hebrew people were not bashful about voicing their complaints to the Lord about the problem of evil and suffering. Their laments about evil make up make up a large body of literature in the Bible which includes Job (parts of it), Habakkuk, many...
ISSUE 63 - March/April 2001
It might surprise many that John considered himself to be living in the last hour with contemporary "Antichrists” and that he saw the need to warn Christians about such individuals. Many consider an "Antichrist” to be a person who is "against”...
ISSUE 62 - January/February 2001
It was Paul's practice to go first to the Jews when he entered a new city. This was his procedure: "And according to Paul's custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and giving evidence ...
ISSUE 62 - January/February 2001
We've all seen 'em. They have been the "fashion fad" of many in and outside the church over the last few years. They began to appear on wrists in the mid-90's, and the "W.W.J.D.?" craze is still going strong...
ISSUE 61 - November/December 2000
A current best selling Christian book, The God Chasers by Tommy Tenney, addresses a theme that is similar to Paul's concern in Philippians 3 to die to everything else, and through faith be found in Christ. It is Tenney's similarities to Paul's...
ISSUE 60 - September / October 2000
How could the apostle Paul, after describing the glorious truths of justification by faith and our position in Christ (dead to sin and alive to God Romans 3-6), then characterize himself as being "wretched?" This seems so shocking that some...
ISSUE 60 - September/October 2000
Ever since the fall, humanity has been engaged in an age-old struggle against the power of sin. Sin, being defined as "both fallen humanity's state of separation from God and as a person's purposeful disobedience to God's will as evidenced in concrete thought...
ISSUE 59 - July/August 2000
The Bible, history's most published, studied, translated and quoted book, is also its most misused and misinterpreted book. Cults and false religions use it to their own ends and others simply misinterpret it. That this occurs so often leads...
ISSUE 59 - July/August 2000
QUESTION: What does Jesus mean in Revelation 3:15-16, where He states, "I wish you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot or cold, I will spit you out of My mouth"? Is he saying that it is better to not believe (i.e. be cold) than to be indifferent (i.e. lukewarm)?
ANSWER: This passage is one of the most misunderstood and misapplied in all of Scripture...
ISSUE 58 - May/June 2000
In recent years, some evangelicals have rekindled an old controversy by asserting that God does not have exhaustive foreknowledge. That is to say that He does not know everything that is going to happen. This is an old controversy. For...
The Whole Counsel of God - We Must Teach What Christ Commanded to be Taught; Not What People Consider "Relevant"
ISSUE 57 - March/April 2000
The apostle Paul, after years of ministry in Ephesus and the surrounding areas, called the elders of the Ephesian church together for a final word before his departure. In this touching scene, Paul bared his...
Robert Schuller and The Seeker Sensitive Church - The Roots and Fruits of Robert Schuller's Verstion of Theological Liberalism
ISSUE 56 - January/February 2000
Two men met another man as they were walking down a road. They were having a private discussion when the third man began questioning them. The third man soon dominated the conversation. Throughout the rest of their journey, the man began with the books of Moses and proceeded to explain to them, verse by...
ISSUE 56 - January/February 2000
Through the world’s eyes, surely Noah looked to be quite the fool. For 100 years he constructed a gigantic ark on dry land. While he did this he called people to repentance, for the Scriptures proclaim he was a "preacher of righteousness” (2 Peter 2:5). I imagine Noah was...
ISSUE 55 - November/December 1999
If Christians experience suffering, tragedy or sorrow, they are likely to receive unrequested counsel from comforters like those who advised Job. “What did you do to get yourself into this situation?” is...
ISSUE 54 - September/October 1999
In recent years, a couple of individuals have written hot selling books in which they claim to relate their experiences of visiting heaven and/or hell. When Paul mentioned ...
Charles Finney’s Influence on American Evangelicalism - Exposing Charles Finney's Heretical Teachings
ISSUE 53 - July/August 1999
Nineteenth Century evangelist Charles Finney is often credited with being a major force in the so-called "second great awakening” in America. The converted lawyer is well known for making shocking ...
ISSUE 52 - May/June 1999
God's purpose for Christians is that we might bring honor to His holy name as we enjoy our relationship with Him for all eternity. Since the nature of fallen humanity is such that our primary motivation is to...
ISSUE 51 - March/April 1999
What would be an appropriate Christian response to the following objections: "Israel's unbelief nullifies God's faithfulness, God is unrighteous in inflicting wrath, faith nullifies the Law, our continued sin would...
The Tyranny of False Causes - Explaining the Complexity of Cause and Effect and Relating it to God's Sovereignty
ISSUE 50 - January/February 1999
How often we find our beliefs about causes to be wrong. We encounter a problem, invest time and effort to solve the problem -- only to find that the object of our efforts was not the cause of the problem at all....
ISSUE 49 - November/December 1998
This passage raises several important questions. Is it possible for true Christians to fall away from the faith and not only become apostate, but irredeemably so? If so, is the Biblical doctrine of the...
The Dishonoring of God in Popular Spiritual Warfare Teaching - Refuting the Bad Theology Espoused by Spiritual Warfare Teachers
ISSUE 48 - September/October 98
Many popular teachers question God's sovereign rule over His own creation. Their unbiblical scenario goes like this: God made Adam the ruler of the world; Adam committed "treason" and turned the rightful...
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit - Showing That Spiritual Gifts are Not for New Revelations and Have not Ceased
ISSUE 47 - July/August 1998
Have the gifts ceased? Many have argued "yes." They reason that the completion of the canon of the New Testament (the written form of the apostles' teaching) makes spiritual gifts superfluous. Since the...
ISSUE 46 - May/June 1998
All evangelical Christians believe in being baptized in the Holy Spirit; but how and when one is baptized in the Holy Spirit is disputed. Since the advent of the Pentecostal movement in the early twentieth...
ISSUE 45 - March/April 1998
Many Christians view holiness as a threat rather than a promise. They assume that calls to holiness involve legalism or some manner of inappropriate demands being made upon them. What they do not...
ISSUE 44 - January/February 1998
One of our readers submitted an interesting question which can be summarized this way: "Is there not a difference between salvation and discipleship; and is not any equating of the two a subtle inclusion of...
ISSUE 43 - November/December 1997
A great irony of redemption history is that God consistently chooses to work through the unexpected. Whenever there is an apparently good candidate to be a leader, God passes him up for someone with...
Revival, The Cross and The Narrow Gate - Warning about False Revivals That Lack the Message of the Cross
ISSUE 42 - September/October 1997
Rarely does a week go by that I do not hear or read of the latest "great move of God that is going to win the world for Christ and usher in the great revival that will happen before the return of Christ."...
ISSUE 41 - July/August 1997
In recent years, an old debate has rekindled: Is the King James Bible the only valid translation of the Scriptures for English speaking people? G. A. Riplinger has published a book that...
ISSUE 40 - June/July 1997
Popular television faith teacher Marilyn Hickey has published a book entitled Break the Generation Curse that claims to help Christians break curses that are coming upon...
Heresy and the Doctrine of Christ - One's Relationship to the Person of Christ Revealed in the Bible is Essential
ISSUE 39 - March/April, 1997
These passages show that for the apostles, the key truth that must be affirmed by orthodox believers but is denied by heretics is the teaching of Christ. Accepting Christ and His teaching is essential to authentic...
ISSUE 38 - January/February, 1997
The New Testament presents the body of teaching to which the apostles expected Christians to adhere. It is heresy "airesis" in the Greek, meaning "to choose" to depart from the truth that was once for all...
Why Ecumenism Cannot Produce the Unity of the Faith - The Biblical Definition of the Church Shows Ecumenism to be Futile
ISSUE 37 - November/December 1996
In Ephesians 4, Paul calls us to preserve unity while we seek a perfect unity that does not yet exist. How we are to go about this is very confusing to many Christians. Do we seek to unify all organizations calling...
ISSUE 36 - September/October 1996
The contrast between technological progress and social regress is an enigma. Technology has made much of life easier and accomplishments in health, transportation, communication, and information...
ISSUE 35 - July/August 1996
Last year my wife and I participated in a home Bible study that studied the book of Revelation. We had just contemplated the portion of end time judgement that will involve the horrors of the plague of...
ISSUE 34 - May/June 1996
Can we trust our destiny to a God we cannot see? Biblical faith says we must. Paganism can be attractive because humans find it difficult to trust and hope while faith has not yet become sight...
ISSUE 33 - March/April 1996
In the last issue I discussed the age-old tendency of God's people to be lured into the beliefs and practices of the pagans. I will now address the particular mode that pagan religion has taken in our day...
ISSUE 32 - January/February 1996
God warns His people not to allow the pagan world to lure them into its beliefs and practices. From Genesis (e.g. Sodom and Gomorrah) to Revelation (e.g. the great harlot Babylon) we read such warnings. God has...
ISSUE 31 - November/December 1995
Any observer of contemporary American ways of thinking and acting can readily see that so-called "common sense" has deteriorated into common non-sense. Commonly accepted standards of proper...
ISSUE 30 - September/October 1995
Paul's concern for first century Christians was that they would have the discernment to distinguish good from evil. Our need now is as critical as theirs. Because of the information revolution we are bombarded...
ISSUE 29 - July/August 1995
Biblical Christianity is not merely one of many competing religious philosophies, nor is it merely a system of belief and practice that will hopefully make one a better person. Biblical Christianity is an intimate...
ISSUE 28 - May/June 1995
The hope this passage refers to is that we might be like Jesus when we see Him (1 John 3:1-2). The problem to which it refers is sin. Sin mars the image of God in us and sin keeps us from being more like...
ISSUE 27 - March/April 1995
Because the doctrine of the end times (eschatology) has caused so much dispute in the church, many have determined to sit on the sidelines. Over twenty years ago I first heard someone say, "some are...
ISSUE 26 - January/February 1995
The New Testament shows that the battle for the minds and souls of human beings concerns "the truth," the message of Jesus Christ and "the lie," the message of the evil one. We either become disciples of...
ISSUE 25 - November/December 1994
Nothing puts Biblical Christianity at odds with modern culture more dramatically than its claim to have the exclusive way to God. Somehow it seems arrogant, intolerant, and naive to think that only through a...
ISSUE 24 - August/September/October
We live in a day in which commonly believed lies have colored the beliefs of most of society. Ironically, the one lie that may be doing the most damage is the one that says that it is impossible for anyone to...
ISSUE 23 - May/June 1994
The pagans rejected the Creator and chose to worship the creature. We now live in days of revived paganism and its confusion of the Creator - created distinction. This distinction means that the triune God...
ISSUE 22 - May/June 1994
God's will for our lives as Christians is sanctification. Sanctification does not happen through good intentions, but through the sovereign intervention of our Heavenly Father. Our responsibility is to agree...
ISSUE 21 - March/April 1994
Some suggest that many Christians are suffering from an identity crisis and prescribe mega-doses of self-affirmation as the cure. A Christian friend recently handed me a bulletin insert that was distributed in a...
ISSUE 20 - February 1994
Last month I asserted that human actions have significance and that we are accountable to God for "deeds in the body" (2 Corinthians 5:10b). We have all failed, leaving us with a guilt problem. This...
ISSUE 19 - December 1993/January 1994
The last two months we have examined the issue of Self-esteem. A related matter that bears directly upon this question is that of behavior or performance. Because many teach that high self-esteem is an important prerequisite for personal and...
ISSUE 18 - November 1993
Last month's commentary ended with a quotation of this verse: "Because you say, `I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,' and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I...
ISSUE 17 - October 1993
How one ought to feel about himself has become a significant issue for Christians. This topic did not receive much debate in previous generations since most Christians agreed that we are prone to pride and ought to have more humility. They...
ISSUE 16 - September 1993
Will Bible Study Kill You? "If you study Scripture too much you will become spiritually dead because, `The letter kills and the Spirit gives life.'" Most of use have heard this argument against Biblical scholarship. Whether based upon experience in...
ISSUE 15 - July/August, 1993
Babies are wonderful, so are baby Christians if one means those who have recently come to the faith. The author of Hebrews, however, is speaking of babes of a different variety. These "babes" are in a state of perpetual infancy. They lack...
ISSUE 14 - May/June 1993
A teaching that has been popular since the nineteenth century says that Jesus died for our sicknesses as well as our sins. Matthew 8:16-17 & 1 Peter 2:24 are the passages cited as proof. The doctrine is called "physical healing in the...
ISSUE 13 - April 1993
The word "gospel" is familiar to most people in America, but its meaning is confused or obscure for many. Some equate "gospel" with television hucksters whose ulterior motives are quite transparent, causing many to disregard the message....
ISSUE 12 - March 1993
During the last century, many Protestant denominations have embraced religious liberalism as their guiding theology. There are numerous theological issues that separate liberals from conservatives such as belief in the inerrancy of Scripture...
ISSUE 11 - February 1993
The focus of the last several issues of CIC has been Biblical counseling, specifically as it concerns sin as the basic root problem of all human beings. There is another important related issue: things that have happened to a person over which he...
ISSUE 10 - January 1993
In the last two issues we examined some of the deficiencies of secular counseling and secular theories about human attitudes and behaviors and we proposed that God's word contains the necessary...
ISSUE 9 - December 1992
Last month we explored some shortcomings of modern psychology's approach to healing of the soul. I suggested that Biblical counseling, based on the prescription of 2 Timothy 3:16-17 was a better alternative for Christian people. This month...
Biblical Counseling, Part 1 - Why Psychology Cannot Heal the Soul The Dangers of Integrating the Bible and Psychology
ISSUE 8 - November 1992
Is the person who is trained in Scripture, anointed by the Holy Spirit, and called by God to minister to the lost and hurting adequately equipped to counsel? For centuries of church history, the answer was an unequivocal "yes." Modern...
ISSUE 7 - October 1992
As we approach another presidential election in America, it seems the chasm that separates the beliefs and attitudes between groups of people is deeper and wider than ever. The emotions and convictions are just as fervent on both sides of...
ISSUE 6 - September 1992
The New Testament claims to be Jesus Christ's teachings, will, and purpose for the church in written form. God has spoken to us in Jesus Christ and His word is full of meaning, power and authority. God cannot lie, so His word is...
ISSUE 5 - August 1992
The idea of God anointing someone, as with many other important truths, has its roots in the Old Testament. The Theological Dictionary of The New Testament states: "Anointing that is meant to restore or to enhance physical well-being...
ISSUE 4 - July 1992
Balaam, the mad prophet, serves as a prototype for false teachers who will arise in the last days and trouble the Christian church. The stern warnings of 2Peter 2 are for those who would follow in his path. The false teachers to whom Peter refers...
ISSUE 3 - June 1992
A few weeks ago as I was driving to the church in the morning I turned on one of our local Christian radio stations. A popular faith teacher was proclaiming that God created Adam to be the "god of this world." He said that when Adam...
ISSUE 2 - May 1992
Last month we discussed the Biblical meaning of "binding and loosing" as used in the gospels. To bind is to forbid by doctrinal decision, to loose is to permit. Examination of the teachings and practice of the New Testament apostles reveals...
ISSUE 1 - April 1992
I bind you, Satan!" is uttered in thousands of prayers every day in America. "Spiritual warfare" books that teach Christian how to "bind Satan" are hot sellers. Not only is Satan himself subject to continual verbal "binding," but a whole host of...
- 2 Timothy 4:1-5 (NASB) “I solemnly CHARGE YOU in the PRESENCE OF GOD & of CHRIST JESUS, who is to JUDGE the LIVING and the DEAD, and by HIS APPEARING and HIS KINGDOM: PREACH THE WORD; be READY in SEASON & OUT OF SEASON; REPROVE, REBUKE, EXHORT, with GREAT PATIENCE and INSTRUCTION. For the TIME WILL COME when they will NOT ENDURE SOUND DOCTRINE; but wanting to have their EARS TICKLED, they will ACCUMULATE for themselves TEACHERS in accordance to their OWN DESIRES, and will TURN AWAY THEIR EARS from the TRUTH and will TURN ASIDE TO MYTHS. But you, be SOBER IN ALL THINGS, ENDURE HARDSHIP, do the WORK of an EVANGELIST, FULFILL your MINISTRY."
All Articles Copyright © 1992-2015 Critical Issues Commentary. Articles on the SO4J.com website are posted here by permission from CIC.