Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Don't Get Sentimental... Truth Matters

To paraphrase former President Ronald Reagan's words when speaking of communism:

Open Theism, Universalism, Mormonism, Romanism, the Emergent Church, Jehovah Witnesses, Pragmaticism, Syncretism, Word of Faith, New Perspective of Paul, Libertarian Free Will, Socinianism, the Social Gospel, and Sabellianism is foreign to heaven, where they've never had part in it; and is welcome in hell, where they’ve already got it.


ann_in_grace said...

I can understand why this president was a hate object of my country's rulers in the 80's. And I remember it, and am endlessly thankful for his support in tearing down the communist oppression in Poland.

I would add to this list, especially after some fruitless discussions with Pentecostals, about how the gift of tongues is the only true sign of salvation... Geeee.

Bhedr said...

hey brother you left off Galationism, but I got your back door as that four wheeler is running along side you and you might not be able to see it in your sideview mirror. Once you clear that and come to an understanding of it then you are clear to move right and move on boo.

Toot Toot! Spoke at you later on.

Denise said...

Absolutely Steve! Doctrines of devils are welcomed in hell, but never will be in heaven, for God is the God of truth and no lie comes from the truth.

SJ Camp said...

I saw Romanism the same as Galatianism - a works righteousness system or Christ "plus" gospel (Gal. 5:1-5).

I understand your frustration with the tongues debate and the unbiblical emphasis some within the more hyper-charismatic movement place on it. It is experience driven, rather than Spirit driven. Tongues to me, is not an issue unless people make it more authoritative and sought after than their love of, delight in and longing for the Word of God (1 Pt. 2:1-2).

I fully agree. Doctrine matters; truth matters; and when people want to elevate other concerns or make allowances absent of or in spite of God's Word--then we are left with the ecumenical confusion I tried to list in this quote.

Bhedr said...

Ok Steve...copy on that "You worry about your wagon and I'll worry about mine." comeback


Have a good day just the same. Your heart for God and passion for him is a blessing to us all. Just trying to help out with the little vehicles we don't always see and sometimes crush. They don't always come in Monolithic forms as some of those other packages from Rome don't.

Toot! Toot! Spoke at you later on.

Carla Rolfe said...

"when people want to elevate other concerns or make allowances absent of or in spite of God's Word--then we are left with... ecumenical confusion"

And that brother, is exactly what we're seeing take place among evangelicals today. It is incredible and unthinkable the things folks are willing to welcome in, under the banner of Christianity. Compound that with the criticism that is certain to come the minute you say one word of protest about it.

Granted, we're all different flavors, if you will, but there is a foundation & holy standard we must hold to & strive for, if we're to be considered genuine believers growing in grace. It seems obvious that this foundation is with some, "optional", and what's worse if possible, that this is perfectly okay with others.

I wont dare list the link, but a lady sent me an email today regarding a "female branch" of the more liberal, emerging type crowd. While I would never go as far as saying the entire ECM crowd is as worldly and vulgar as the day is long, the link this woman sent today had her repulsed, and for very good reason. A so-called Christian website linking to absolute filth and promoting it as "profound". I just shook my head and wondered how they ever consider themselves Christians to begin with.

Truly, a most bizarre day we're living in.

Antonio said...

You forgot to add Lordship Salvation

Douglas said...

Antonio said...
You forgot to add Lordship Salvation

Sir, I think you need to humbly and prayerfully study this:

A Biblical Response to the Teachings of Zane Hodges, Joseph Dillow, and the Grace Evangelical Society
(Called the "Free Grace" Movement)

© Copyright by Phillip L. Simpson – 2006


"The purpose of this paper is to provide a critical evaluation of what has been termed (by its proponents) the "Free Grace" movement. I should begin by stating at the outset that this is a paper I did not want to write. It is borne out of much sorrow and heaviness of heart. For twenty years, ever since I had become a Christian, I had attended a particular church. When John MacArthur wrote, "The Gospel According to Jesus" in 1988, a line was drawn in the sand regarding the doctrine that came to be known as the "lordship salvation" doctrine (a regrettable term, coined by its critics, but one which is now necessary to identify the doctrine). My church chose to side with the critics of "lordship salvation", with such stalwarts as Zane Hodges, Charles Ryrie, and many from Dallas Theological Seminary leading the way."
Continued in the link above.

I believe the above essay is written in a spirit of Christian love and humility, hoping to snatch ones from the fire of error. I pray it does you good before you die and then the judgment.

God bless you.

SJ Camp said...

But I did include Pragmatism and Libertarian Free Will (which equals easy believism). Isn't that where Zane Hodges "lives"? Just repeat this little prayer and presto - you have a Christian?

Romans 3:21-26.

john said...

Hey Steve - you forgot a few more...


I guess you have to be a SteveCampian to truly be safe.

donsands said...

Open Theism is gaining popularity. It seems to show a more compassionate God; One who doesn't know the future. So when bad things happen, then god can say, "I am as suprised as you, and I feel almost as bad as you do".

This is a definite heresy, and it can do great damamge, because it makes God more human, and unbiblical.

Roamanism is simply a works salvation, instead of grace alone through faith alone, which the Apostle Paul nailed down for us all in his epistle to the Romans. Ironic really.

Phariseeism doesn't seem as prevalent today, as in the past, though it is as well a false system of Christianity.

Jesus said false prophets will rise and deceive. Paul says they come as wolves in sheeps clothing, and they come as ministers of righteousness, for even Satan is an angel of light.
Deceivers will come as people who say they love Jesus, and will be incredibly nice.
Paul says if anyone , even an angel preaches another gospel, let them be accursed.
Strong words for us to chew on.

Always good thoughts for us to consider Steve. Thanks.
Keep fighting for the truth in love. May God give us all courage to stand for His Holy Word. Amen.

Steve Camp said...

All of the "ism's" I mentioned on the quote are all heretical religious systems that stand foursquare against the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

You seem to be defensive in your reply. So may I ask you which one you are currently caught up in? If you are, I would like to explain the genuine gospel to you.

Thank you brother for your words. They are always appreciated. You are spot on--for there are too many wolves in evangelicalism today.

Sola fide,

Augustine said...

Five signs
of true faith. (good for those who do not think Christ needs to be one's Lord)

Legalism and Antinomianism
are also good ones to add to the list.

I am sure the list could go on and on with different heresies.

Seth McBee said...

Since you get so much in backlash these days...just wanted to say...

I agree with the quote and the view taht these are all "foreign to heaven"

john said...

I am "caught up" in what you define as the "social gospel". I would disagree that it's a different gospel from what Christ taught.

Matthew 25 makes a pretty good case for including care of the poor and defenseless in our spiritual disciplines.

As for explaining the "real gospel" to me, I'm pretty sure I know where you're coming from. I spent 10 years serving in a baptist church. I've just come to the point in my life where I believe what is taught by traditionalists doesn't fully encompass Christ's message. It also adds to it quite a bit.

gigantor1231 said...


You have said;

""As for the way you guys view scripture, I believe you worship it instead of God. I believe our scripture was written by men seeking God. I do not believe it is perfect - and I don't believe it claims to be. I think it's useful."

"I believe that there will come a day when Christ will set everything right - a day of judgment - and that we will be judged by our relationship to Christ and by our works."

"The Word of God is God's interaction with mankind. The Word of the Lord came to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God gave His Word to Moses. Just do a quick search through the OT and see how many times the "Word of God" comes to people. To simply equate our bible with the "word of God" is a simplistic and uneducated view."

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

"It's useful. It's not perfect. It's not exclusive. Nowhere does it say that God never speaks to anyone outside of this revelation. Nowhere does it claim to be totally perfect in every way."

I find it interesting that you would pluck from the Bible Mt. 25 to justify what you would call the "gospel." Yet you consistently state that you do not believe the Bible is the Word of God, it is just "useful." So, what is your gospel and who is your god? I will be honest with you, what you ascribe to looks more like the teachings of Gandhi and his gospel than it does the Bible! I suppose that you are syncretistic in what you believe, yes?
We as Christians are to reach out to the poor but if we do not take them the truth then we fail. Christ not only fed people but He gave them the truth, and He did not wait to earn the right to give it to them. As far as what the Bible teaches Jesus usually did not feed them, only twice with bread and fish, but He always gave them the truth, "Man does not live on bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."
I will not post the following but you should read it, by Jonathan Edwards.


I just want you to know that I am still praying for you that you will come to a knowledge of the truth and the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.

john said...

Who needs CoComment when you're keeping track of what everyone says? Thanks for the rewind.

Just because I don't believe that every word in scripture is literal doesn't mean that I don't believe it to be God's Word.

I just think that some parts are poetry, some history, some myth.

This is not a new phenomenon. This also does not separate me from orthodoxy.

St. Jerome believed Moses' account of creation was in the form of a poet - not a literal account.

Calvin (a guy that many of you are in love with) questioned whether Job was a historic account or a parable.

It's possible to be saved and even orthodox while not accepting that the bible is inerrant in the way you understand it.

I can assure you that I believe in the one true God - the Creator of heaven and earth.

gigantor1231 said...


I have replied to you with your own words because it is the one thing that you can not refute, but I have to admit even with those you tend to play the chameleon.
You have just minimized the words that you have spoken, words that display what you believe. Not all is as it appears with you, it is as if you are running from something!
Those are interesting things that you say about St. Jerome and Calvin but the issue is your words.
You said;

"I can assure you that I believe in the one true God - the Creator of heaven and earth."

The following scripture comes from a passage that you like to quote in James, works the evidence of faith;

James 2:19

19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!

The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Jas 2:19). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Now, you of course will say that I am shaking the straw man here but your words are the only thing that we have to go by to know who we are talking to. What you say may not be a un common phnomenon, but that does not make it any less scriptural and deceptive in nature. Unless you hold to the entire True Gospel of the Perfect Word of God, then you are deceived in thinking that we come close to knowing the same God! I am sure that you would say that Israel and the orthodox Jew worship the same God as well but the point is that they have rejected the Messiah and that makes what they believe invalid and in no way does it bring them to salvation.

There is only one God, one Savior and one Lord, Immanuel, God with us, the God man. Born of a virgin the only begotten of the Father, from the seed of women, this was a superantural event and the deist would be disqualified from the very beginning because he believes that Christ was no more than a man. Christ, the Word of God, the Logos, dwelt among men. He walked among his own, Israel, and his own knew him not, he was the light to the world but the world was darkness and the darkness could not comprehend him. Christ came for one purpose alone and that was to die on the cross that mankind might be redeemed to God, for those who believe. Along the way He performed many miracles, signs and wonders that destroyed all doubt that He was who He said He was, but He was still rejected. Finally He died a criminals death upon the Cross, descended into hell for three days and then He rose again. This is the Gospel, the good news, that He died that our relationship to God might be restored and those who believe would no longer be bound by the law of sin and death.

As I also recall from our prior conversations, you believe that while salvation is attained by grace, you also say that the only way that it can be kept is by works, in other words no works, no salvation. This is just another form of the works gospel.
The point here is that you reject the perfect word of God, you do not hold to the miraculous nature of it and the miraculous nature of Christ and his crucifixion. You lower the Gospel to the lowest denominator of salvation attained by mental ascension and thereby you make it void. I draw this all from your own words. Perhaps you should examine what you say more closely and see if what I say is true.
I am still praying for you that you would come to the knowledge of the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

john said...

Giggy -
Give it a rest, dude.

"you also say that the only way that it can be kept is by works, in other words no works, no salvation."

We're not saved by works, but if there are no works, then we were never saved. People who become believers but never learn to love others more than themselves (the ultimate work of God) should really consider whether they know Christ.

Thanks for quoting the verse about demons beliving at me. I'll refrain from quoting verses about pharisees to you, but I think we know where we see each other.

How did we get here from a discussion about Reagan?

gigantor1231 said...


I thought the ultimate work of God was to know him! Christ addressed this very issue in John 6:28, 29, He said;

"28 Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?”
29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent."

New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Jn 6:28-29). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

The point is that you will not be able to do the works of God until you have a right perspective of Him, and if your belief in the Word of God is as skewed as what I see in the words that you speak then what you do is most likely a work of the flesh. You have said yourself that you do not believe that you should take the Gospel of Christ to them when you feed and clothe, you need to wait for the right to speak it to them. That very act itself of not delivering the Gospel is the least loving thing you could do! You may take them the whole world but what good is it to them if they perish apart from Christ.
I would hope that in this conversation you would take responsibility for what you have chosen to believe, by your own words you have rejected the perfect word of God, unless, of course, it is useful to you. You have chided me for worshipping the word of God, and you can chide on if you like because I do worship the Word of God as does every true believer, see John 1.
How we got on this conversation was by you posting and me responding. There are many that are in this Blog that will not converse with you because of the definitive and heretic statements that you have made with regards to the word. I simply have not chosen to give up because I believe that there is hope for you and that the word of God is as powerful as it says, Heb. 4:12-13

12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.

New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Heb 4:12-13). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

The issue at hand is not who is right or wrong but the issue is the truth. The word of God is very clear in its delivery of the truth, and I mean the whole Word of God. You say that the word of God does not say that it is perfect, look at Psalm 19 and 119 to start.
Here is the issue that many Christians can not handle today because they have been weakened by wrong and spurious teaching, when truth and error are set side by side they are unwilling to discern and confront error with truth. They think that they are somehow sinning by judging between the two. What a tragic deception, Christians need to judge rightly and when they see someone in error, either a brother or someone claiming to be one, they need to correct them in gentleness and love. Some would confuse directness with harshness but it is just direct! I am confronting you directly because you are in peril where you stand in what you espouse to believe, and those that you teach are even in greater peril. You may not like it being said but it needs to be said.
As for you judging me as a Pharisee, your correlation baffles me. First, I do not come from that school of teaching at all, but if I did then I am in good company because so did Paul, I am now a Christian as he is. Second, the pharisees were apparently responsible for the transformation of Judaism from a religion of sacrifice to one of law. They saw the way to God as being obedient to the law and their traditions, I in no way hold to the levitcal laws and or the traditions of the pharisees. Perhaps your labeling me and others as pharisees is simply a misunderstanding, on your part, of who they are.
As I have said before I am still praying that you will come to a full knowledge of the truth, the perfect word of God Jesus Christ.

john said...

First of all, stop ending all your posts with that sentence about praying for me. It's more like a threat at this point.

Secondly, you said I don't believe "the perfect word of God". In fact, I do believe the Word of God. I'm just not so silly as to equate that with the KJV version of the bible read in a rigid and literal way.

If you visit my blog, you'll see a couple of posts that go into more detail. I think this conversation is out of place here.

As for the pharisee factor, the pharisees were the only group that Christ had harsh words for. He spoke with great kindness and understanding to harlots, thieves, and all sorts of other neferious folk.

But to the pharisees - who looked very holy and perfect - He skinned them alive. He called them "sons of satan" and said that they were like whitewashed tombs - beautiful and gleaming on the outside, but inside full of dead men's bones.

He condemned them for making their opinions and traditions equal with scripture and for setting the bar for adherence to the law so high that nobody could reach it.

I have told you that I believe and give my hearty amen to the apostle's creed. That's been good enough for believers for 2000 years. Yet it's not good enough for you.

Please point me to scripture that says I must believe every word of scripture carries the same weight. Please show me where it says that I must read everything there as scientific and literal as opposed to understanding it as a story, myth or poetry.

And tell me where the bible claims to be perfect? I agree that it says the Word of God is perfect. But where does it say that our bible is perfect?

Hint - IT DOESN'T!

gigantor1231 said...


Hint, the bible is the word of God!
By the way, for one who condemns others for being judgemental and harsh, you sure are judgemental and harsh, just a observation.
I am not threatening you with praying for you, just letting you know that I am. If you will recall in one of our conversations you said that if I thought you were in as serious condition as I had indicated then I should be on my face before God praying for you, so I have just been taking your advice.
With respect to the lable of pharisee and what Christ said, you still don't make logical sense and you fail to make any clear connections so I would suspect that it is a desperate attempt at trying to take attention away from your own words. And what about your words, how can one be a Christian if he or she does not hold to the entire word of God, it is all connected to Christ and it is the soul work of God, man was simply God's chosen instrument to pen it. Let me explain, if you write something with a pen the thing you have written is not the work of the pen, it's author is not parker, bic or pilot it is the one behind the pen. You will ask, then why the names of individuals that God has used to pen the word? Because God has chosen to use them as living examples for us to follow and learn from, but the work is all perfect and all of Him. You do not believe this and it shows up in your words, you speak from the flesh because all that you believe is based upon the flesh.
Speaking of the word and science, science would be nowhere without the word of God, it all consists because of him, where would you like to start, genetics, chemistry, physics, how about that unexplainable stuff that holds everything in place that the astronomers and cosmologists can't seem to explain so they call it dark matter. They know it is out there because if it was not everything would decay and collapse into whatever commands the greatest gravitational force, in the case of our galaxy that would be the sun.

gigantor1231 said...


Sorry, I had to cut things short in my last comment. You challenged me to find where the Bible claims to be perfect, there are many scriptures actually but I will give you one only since I know that you do not like to look things up. Here it is,

Ps 19:7

7  The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;

The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ps 19:7). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Since I am certain that you will question that the law of God is actually his word here is what the Hebrew word is.

תֹּורָה [towrah, torah /to·raw/] When we here the english word law, we think of legal mandates and rules, which is what it is in part. In Hebrew the law encompasses all of God's teaching, all of his word. Therefore, all of God's word, the Bible, which is of no design of man, is perfect.

Hint; here is one place where the Bible calls itself perfect, take it for what you will.

john said...

The book of Psalms is a book of poetry. You might give your wife a poem this valentine's day telling her how perfect she is. But is she perfect? Not literally.

So if you're going to convince me, you'll need more than one verse from a book of poetry. Specifically, show me where Paul believed he was writing "HOLY SCRIPTURE" instead of letters to churches.

Furthermore, the Talmud that this verse says is perfect was expanded on by Christ Himself (you've heard it said an eye for an eye...) So if it was perfect, why did Christ need to explain or clarify it?

As for science, here's a great example of folklore in scripture. It's how Jacob made Laban's flocks flourish:

GENESIS 30:37-42
And Jacob took him rods of green poplar, and of the hazel and chestnut tree; and pilled white streaks in them, and made the white appear which was in the rods.

And he set the rods which he had pilled before the flocks in the gutters in the watering troughs when the flocks came to drink, that they should conceive when they came to drink.

And the flocks conceived before the rods, and brought forth cattle ring-streaked, speckled, and spotted.

And Jacob did separate the lambs, and set the faces of the flocks toward the ring-streaked, and all the brown in the flock of Laban; and he put his own flocks by themselves, and put them not unto Laban's cattle.

And it came to pass, whensoever the stronger cattle did conceive, that Jacob laid the rods before the eyes of the cattle in the gutters, that they might conceive among the rods.

But when the cattle were feeble, he put them not in: so the feebler were Laban's, and the stronger Jacob's.

OK. So you accept this "scientific" explaination that the bible offers? You believe that Jacob controlled the physical characteristics of the sheep by the type of rods he put in front of them?

Now. Is this the Word of God? Certainly. Were there different types of sheep and did Jacob breed them to make the flock stronger? Absolutely.

Did people in that era believe that the rods had something to do with the physical attributes of the sheep? Probably. People were often superstitious in ancient times. They wanted their questions answered, so they came up with what sounded good.

Do I believe that the rods had something to do with it? Not really. I think that's an element of superstition in a story from thousands of years ago.

I have no problem believing these things and still believing that the bible contains the Word of God. Noah received the Word of God - but he wasn't perfect. The disciples were given the Word - and they weren't perfect.

The WORD is perfect, but the CONTAINER or DELIVERER is not. The bible is not my God. Jehovah is.

john said...

Steve, you said:
"Infallibility means, literally, immunity from error. In Christian theology, the term is applied to the whole church, which, it is believed by many Christians, cannot err in its teaching of revealed truth because it is aided by the Holy Spirit."

So do you believe that the Church is infallible because it is aided by the Holy Spirit? If so, what was that whole reformation thing about?

Furthermore, the verses you cite speak to the Word of God. Again, I think it's far too simplistic to equate the Word of God with our bible.

The Word of God was around in the beginning. Genesis speaks of a Word being the beginning of the physical world. The Word of the Lord came to Noah and Moses and Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Yet none of those people had scripture.

Isn't it possible to believe that the Word of the Lord (what the Lord speaks) is inerrant without accepting that our bible is?

Steve Camp said...

Inerrancy (the view that when all the facts become known, they will demonstrate that the Bible in its original autographs and correctly interpreted is entirely true and never false in all it affirms, whether that relates to doctrine or ethics or to the social, physical, or life sciences.) and Infallibility (Infallibility means, literally, immunity from error because it is aided by the illuminating ministry of the Holy Spirit.) are both germane to this discussion.

When individuals or denominations "pick and choose" which parts of Scripture they take as literal or true, then all you are left with is "authority by subjectivism." IOW, the text is left to personal opinion rather than received as being authoritative in all respects. This is the bane of the Emergent Church, the Roman Catholic church, the hyper arms of the charismatic movement, and liberalism.

Psalm 19:7-11; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Psalm 119; 2 Peter 1:16-22 are some of the definitive texts that demonstrate that Scripture is both inerrant and infallible.

The Word of God is not a human document; it is theopnestos ("God breathed" - 2 Tim. 3:16); and has been preserved for us by His divine power. IT is perfect, complete, lacking nothing for all maters of life and godliness (2 Peter. 1:3-4). The Author is perfect; therefore, also His Word.

Remember, Satan's first attack is usually to plant doubt in the minds of anyone as to the veracity and authority and Scripture (i.e. - hath not God said...?).

Steve Camp said...


You said, "Isn't it possible to believe that the Word of the Lord (what the Lord speaks) is inerrant without accepting that our bible is?"

No - for what the Lord speaks is His Bible. What other source would you appeal to of "the Lord speaks" to be fully convinced that it is Him speaking if not His Word?


PS - Sorry that I followed up my initial comment with a repost after yours; I didn't mean to hit the send button so quickly.

Steve Camp said...


Should have been: "theopneustos" for God breathed.

donsands said...

I appreciate what you have said here Steve.

Very well said. God's Book is a precious blessing to His people. We need to embrace it as the treasure it is. Satan does hate the truth of the Bible. He loves to distort it. A little here, and a little there; remove a verse here, and add a few words there.

Also, there are many in the Church today who have come in by stealth, and have brought their own destructive heresies.
Carlton Peirson, I think that's his name, has proclaimed that God showed him, and spoke to him concerning hell; that there is fact no hell at all, and that all people will go to heaven. Grace, grace and grace. No more condemnation.
He is very popular I have heard. He used to be Carman's pastor I think.

gigantor1231 said...


A good portion of my life I was spent in contact with sheep and sheep herders, they are a stubborn and stupid animal in many ways. For instance, if sheep are moving down a road in a particular direction and they are not being lead by a sheep herder they will follow one another where ever the lead sheep takes them, like right over a cliff. If the lead sheep goes over the others will follow until they have all gone over the cliff, this is a fact. With regards to Jacob and his rods, Jacob was a very wise and tricky man and he knew a thing about psychological manipulation and conditioning, as well as animal husbandry. What a concept, feed and water the sheep you want fed and watered in front of the rods you want them to mate at and over time they become conditioned. Sheep are easily lead and easily conditioned, ask any sheep herder, ask me, I have worked with enough of them to know!
With regards to Ps. 19, to be honest with you I could take you to a number of different scriptures and show you that it literally says the word of God is perfect, but it would not convince you because it is not what you want to believe. You look to your flesh and human reason for your explanation and from that you will one day realise its inadequate benefit before the living God.
As far as the field of science is concerned I have lived and worked in the industry for many years. I was a field collector/biologist for a large biological firm for 5 years and I am currently working on a degree in mathematics. Science would not work without the word of God, as I said, by it all things exist, perhaps this is one of those myths to you?
On myths, you say the Bible contains these "myths". Please show them to me. If even one exists then who is to say the whole thing is not a myth, you hold the word hostage to your own subjectivism and not only that but those that you lead are exposed to your subjectivism and are mislead, not a good thing.
I would not tell you that I am praying for you but I want you to know. I believe that God is going to do some great things in your life, get ready for some shaking. Don't get me wrong here, I am not trying to be prophetic in any way, I just have great hope for you, after all someone must have had great hope for me because God drew me to his truth, I believe that He will do it for you as well.

john said...

I believe - like Calvin did - that Jonah is probably myth. I also lean toward believing that the creation story is a myth. The account of Noah and the flood is predated by an almost identical account about Gilgamesh. The tower of babel has many of the earmarks of folklore.

I'm not saying these stories don't reveal truth. I'm just saying they're not meant to be read literally.

Christ taught in parables. He spoke truth. But the parables were NOT literally true. There was no "sower". If you went looking for the foolish virgins, you'd be looking for ghosts - they didn't actually exist.

Sometimes, He spoke literally. The disciples watched the poor woman give all she had.

Other times, it was unclear. The rich man and Lazarus seems like a parable, but has some elements which could lead one to believe otherwise.

So we need the Spirit to reveal to us how the truth of scripture was designed to be understood. Just reading everything literally is WAY oversimplifying the process.

john said...

So just to be clear, the portion of the text that speaks about speckled rods yielding speckled sheep and ringed rods yielding ringed sheep - you accept that as a scientific explaination of what happened with those sheep? You believe that the physical attributes of the sheep depended on what type of rod Jacob laid before them?

gigantor1231 said...


Just as a side note with regards to Jacob and Laban, I am curious if you deny God's intervention in this passage between these two men, God had predetermined that Jacob would be blessed, not Laban. Read chapter 30 & 31 and see how God's sovereignty oversees all of what happens in order that his will might come to pass. Although Jacob was a wise man and he knew how to manipulate situations it was God who had the last word in it all. And how is this myth? How is not what Jacob did a very exact and precise work of science in cooperation with the will of God? Jacobs actions were not based on any superstition as you assume, it was very deliberate and calculated with a knowledge of how and when to place the rods as well as a knowledge of how the sheep would respond and when it was best to evoke a specific response! I don't think you give our predecessors credit. Is it that you think that we have evolved from apes and that those of the past were of inferior stock because they were not at the top of the evolutionary cusp. I would have to say, and you will find that this is a fact, our predecessors were much smarter and wiser than us in many things, if anything we have devolved over time, and this certainly falls into place with the laws of science, specifically entropy and the laws of thermodynamics. Everything is in a constant state of decay, going from the more complex to the less. Perhaps the curve of deevolution has leveled out to some extent but we are still at the bottom of that curve, any progress towards becoming more complex will simply be some type of spurious man made advancement, not God made. Only those that are born again are on the truly upward curve, moving from glory to glory, those that are of the flesh tend toward death and destruction.

gigantor1231 said...


Do you not understand the laws of cause and effect. The rods were the cause that evoked a certain response. Through conditioning and the timing of the one who placed the rods the sheep would breed when it was time, there was no magic in the rod. There was a supernatural component with respect to God's intervention, his will would be done no matter what.

SJ Camp said...


You said: "I also lean toward believing that the creation story is a myth."

If you don't get Genesis right, you most definitely will get Luke and Romans wrong.

When the Lord spoke in parables He said so--clearly. We take literally the parable that He used to teach truth within parable.

However, Genesis is not parable, metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, simile, allegory, etc. It is meant to be taken at face value--God created all things in six literal days (the morning and the evening).

May I ask you John, who has planted these ideas with you? Who has throughout the years made you come to the belief that this part of Scripture I can take literally, this part I don't have to, this part is myth, this part is truth, etc. kind of mentality?

You don't liberal by reading your Bible--these kinds of things come from some other kind of philosophical influence. Who has influenced you?

Lastly, by what truth claims do you make your appeal that Jonah was myth, Genesis was not literal, etc.?

Thank you for your engagement here on this very important subject.

john said...

Steve, you said:
"However, Genesis is not parable, metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, simile, allegory, etc. It is meant to be taken at face value--God created all things in six literal days (the morning and the evening)."

You say this like it's a fact when it simply is not. That's your take on it and I respect that. Many thoughtful, sincere people see it that way.

Many others don't - among them some of the greatest theologians who ever lived. Calvin, Luther, Origen, CS Lewis - all read the bible at face value.

I would ask you who told you that the bible was inerrant. The bible does not claim inerrancy. As a book of writings scattered across hundreds of years - with different author, audiences and literary styles, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE for the bible to claim its own inerrancy. The bible as we know it simply did not exist when its authors (or pen-ers) were writing.

Don't get me wrong. I love the bible. I believe it is God's Word. I believe that it's the most important single book of teaching for a Christian and we should read it and study it with reverence and awe.

It's useful, beautiful, relevant and full of wisdom. It's alive - God can use the Spirit to make it come alive for us.

But at the end of the day, it was still penned by men. I believe God's thoughts are perfect. How can God's perfect thoughts be encapsulated in the miniscule thinking of men and laid out in total revelation in a couple thousand pages?

I will not, however, worship a book. I will not put it above God.

If you're interested, I posted another link on my blog regarding inerrancy at http://bechruchsa.blogspot.com. If anyone's faith in completely tied to their belief in inerrancy of the bible, then I would caution you not to go there. I'm not out to ruin anyone's faith.

gigantor1231 said...


You said;

“I would ask you who told you that the bible was inerrant. The bible does not claim inerrancy. As a book of writings scattered across hundreds of years - with different author, audiences and literary styles, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE for the bible to claim its own inerrancy. The bible as we know it simply did not exist when its authors (or penners) were writing.”

OK, here is the crux of it, the bible says that it is truth; it says that it is God’s word, Christ is God’s word, and Christ is truth. If the word is truth then it can not error in one place, I am not talking about syntax here or punctuation or a blot on a page, otherwise it is not God’s word because it is not truth. Truth and error are polar opposites and the bible claims to be truth in a number of passages, I am sure you know this! In a number of passages the Bible also says that it is perfect, so now we have it saying that God’s word is perfect and it is truth.
From what you have said before you do not believe the Bible is God’s word, at least in its entirety. You said it is poetry, history, myth. I do not know what you have done as far as studying the word of God but it appears by your responses that you choose whatever translation suits your needs and or desires. You have also said that you are lazy when it comes to looking things up and so it is difficult to have logical discussions with that in mind, this makes me think of Eph. 4:14. I am not pointing this out as a point of condemnation but to simply show you where I see you coming from.

You said;

“But at the end of the day, it was still penned by men. I believe God's thoughts are perfect. How can God's perfect thoughts be encapsulated in the miniscule thinking of men and laid out in total revelation in a couple thousand pages?”

You say that the Bible was penned by men so that would have to mean you disregard 2 peter 1:21;

“For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

The word carried in the Greek means that the Holy Spirit pushed or drove the men that penned the bible, in other words He had control of every stroke of the pen. So, the men of the Bible no more wrote the word of God then did my keyboard compose this reply.
“How can God’s perfect thoughts be encapsulated in the miniscule thinking of men and laid out in total revelation in a couple thousand pages?” The word of God does not tell us that it has told us everything but it is exactly what we need for our time spent on this earth. You are right in thinking that our mind could not contain it all, we are limited and finite and He is eternal.
God understands who we are, He understands every detail of the ones He has made, with this in mind don’t you think that God knows how to deliver us His thoughts? To say otherwise limits God in as far as how He is willing to function in your life. Obviously, God is limited in no way but we are in every way.

You said;

“If anyone's faith is completely tied to their belief in inerrancy of the bible, then I would caution you not to go there. I'm not out to ruin anyone's faith.”

On one hand you say that you are not out to ruin anyone’s faith, but on the other hand you are saying that the Bible is errant and you can not trust it. The true Christians faith is intimately tied to the word of God, it is 100% of what his faith is based upon! So when you say you do not mean to ruin anyone’s faith but you undermine the reliability of the scriptures what are you trying to do? Also, what other sources or places do you think should be used to find out who God is and understand what His perfect will is for mankind? What other sources do you use? You caution not to go there with regards to the realm of the inerrancy of the Bible, I believe I have heard someone say something just like this before, I will let you figure out who that is.

john said...

OK. This is probably it for me. We're a long way from where we started on this post.

"OK, here is the crux of it, the bible says that it is truth; it says that it is God’s word, Christ is God’s word, and Christ is truth."


bible = truth = God's word = Christ = truth!

Why didn't I see it before?

So a book = truth = Christ=God

So God = a book?

It's all so clear to me now!

The bottom line is that we're just going to disagree. You're not going to understand how I can put faith in the bible that I believe is somewhat imperfect, and I'm not going to understand why you need a perfect book or your faith crumbles.

May God meet each of us where we're at and leads us into all truth.


gigantor1231 said...


It is unfortunate that you can not answer some of the questions that I have posed. As far as this being off task with this blog it is right on task. We were dealing with those false systems that Steve listed, in this case the social gospel.

SJ Camp said...

I want to thank you all so far for this thread on the authority and veracity of God's Word.

One final question for you John:
I have asked you before, but you haven't answered as of yet. Could you take a few minutes and let me know what divine source of authority do you then derive your views? By what authority to you determine what parts are perfect vs. imperfect? (your words).

None of us here worship a book; but it is through "that book" that God has given to us to know Him so that we may be equipped for all matters pertaining to life and godliness.

Can you give me any passages from the Bible that you think are in error?


john said...

I believe that the bible contains God's Word. It is the source of authority I use for the basis of living life. Just because I don't believe it's "perfect" doesn't mean that I don't trust its authority.

As for how I decide what's perfect vs. imperfect - it's not like I go through with a black sharpie crossing out stuff.

But when I come across things that don't make sense, I think them through, pray about them and ponder. I don't gloss over them anymore (I used to be a good fundie). Ultimately, I try to let the weight of scripture and the Spirit lead me to a correct understanding.

As to errors, I'm not sure where to start. Of course there are the BIG ones (God is perfect good, yet He created satan who is evil, so did God mess up or did He willfully create evil?) But those will just make all our brains hurt.

So, I'll do a few straightforward ones:

Matt 27:9-10 cites an old testament passage and says it comes from Jeremiah. But it really came from Zechariah (11:12-13).

There are errors in the geneological lists in Matt 1:1-17. Verse 17, says ‘from Abraham to David fourteen generations, and from David to the Babylonian exile fourteen generations, and from the Babylonian exile to the Christ fourteen generations.’ But when we actually count how many generations there are listed in the preceding verses, we see that the numbers don't jive - even within one verse.

That's not saying anything about the theological and logical maneuvers you have to perform to get the geneologies of Luke and Matthew to jive.

Read Acts 9:7, then Acts 22:9. Both are accounts of Paul's conversion, but they don't match. In one, Paul's companions hear the voice and in the other, they don't.

These are just one of many. And much of the struggle is one of logic and philosophy. But whenever I bring that up, everyone jumps on me and reminds me that "His ways are not our ways".

I agree with that to some extent. Certainly, a pot will never understand its potter. But, I don't believe we should fear thinking and pondering on these things.

Too many times in the past, I buried my concerns in the sand. I just can't do it anymore.

For better or worse, I will press in to the mysteries of God. I ask for His guidance and the humility required to follow Him.

mcaugust said...

I highly recommend that you check out some good solid commentaries on the Bible (I personally like the old guys like Spurgeon, Henry, Hawker, etc) to address your concerns about the discrepancies that you see.

For example, I briefly read up on your problem in Acts 9 and 22. There really is no difference between the two when you fully understand what is being communicated in the account. In Acts 9:7 is the account of the actual event of Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus. The men traveling with Paul heard a voice, but could not hear (understand) the words. So in Acts 22:9 when Paul is recounting the events that took place in his conversion, he says that the men did not hear the voice. They did not hear the voice in the way that Paul distinctly heard the voice. Christ was speaking to Paul and only Paul because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Rom.10:17). IOW, there is no discrepancy in this part of Scripture (nor in any other part).

I have linked a very short article on the infallible, inspired, inerrant Word of God that I encourage you to read.

I truly hope this helps.

john said...

Thanks for the link. The thing is that I know what the commentaries say. I study using my grandpa's bible - a vintage 1950s Ryrie Study KJV. So my footnotes reflect that thinking. I come from a fundamentalist background, so I know the drill.

The problem is, as some point I got tired of doing to acrobatics. I decided to stop looking at a duck and calling it a goose.

I started with some pretty minor ones. Then, you get into the heavy stuff. Many scriptures talk about being forgiven for our sins and indicate we will continue sinning. Yet verses in Hebrews seem to indicate that if we continue sinning after we are initially forgiven, there is no longer forgiveness for us.

Then, there are deep philosophical questions about whether God allows evil, causes it, creates it.

So I'm not just going to play wheel of commentary any more. I could certainly go there and pick one that I can live with, but I don't think that's the way we're supposed to do it. That takes away the ability of the Spirit to guide us. It take the richness and beauty of scripture and turns it into VCR instructions. "Just do a, b and c and you'll get x, y and z".

At the risk of getting labeled gnostic, I'm convinced that we have tried to take the mystery and un-knowability of our mighty creator and package it for easy consumption. We have bookstores full of books like "God's promise book" or "5 Steps to be more Christlike". I just am not feeling that anymore. It isn't right.

The search for God is one that will require our whole heart and mind and strength.

Half-hearted attempts that consists of reading the all-conservative theologians club and picking the one that least offends my sense of integrity falls short.

Commentaries can be good to help think things through, but only if you read a good cross-section. If you only read conservative thinkers like Spurgeon, MacArthur or Colson, you're only seeing things from one angle. Reading some liberal thinkers - Barth, Martin Luther King, Jr., Donald Miller, etc - will give you a different perspective.

You may not agree with anything they say, but you should really read them as well. Otherwise, you're feeding yourself a skewed version and you can't really make an educated decision.

gigantor1231 said...


Do you believe that the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, would lead you into the world of confusion that you are living in? No offense intended here but you vascilate from one point of cofusion to another. Your liberal theologians wont help you, I am actually studying some of them now. If you believe that there is a God and He is all powerful and sovereign He can and will lead you into all truth apart from any teacher, fundamentalist or liberal.
I have related the conversations that we have had with my pastor and I find it interesting that the person he said you sounded like you shaped your beliefs after was Karl Barth. I pray that you find real truth someday, it actually does exist!

john said...

I personally have never read Barth. I've also been told that many of my ideas on how to live the faith in our generation remind people of Barna. Haven't read him either.

My point is that there are people who sincerely study scripture and come to different conclusions that you do. I don't know why you can't accept that. At the end of the day, I'm right there with you in our need for a savior and the position of Christ as our only hope.

So what if I don't believe in a literal 7-day creation? So what if you politically conservative and I'm politically liberal? So what if I think it's important to serve the poor and you think it's important to preach to the poor? Why does that have to make one of us explicitly wrong? What if we are both truly walking the path God has for us and we're just in different places?

As for the whole confusion thing - since when was trying to understand the mysteries of the universe and the complexities of our creator supposed to be easy?

Now I know you're about to quote the "God is not the author of confusion" verse to me, but I think you're pulling it out of context. Does this verse REALLY mean that we'll never be confused by anything?

Tell me honestly that the idea of a triune God - 3 separate persons yet one person - doesn't confuse you at least a little.

Tell me it doesn't confuse you why there are Christian children in Africa who don't have enough to eat - despite the "promise" of scripture that God will take care of that.

God isn't a formula to be figured out or a commodity to package. He's not bound by our ideas or understanding of Him. It's silly to even think for a second we can begin to wrap our mind around Him and the things He does.

God is not bound by scripture. He is not stuck in time 2000 years ago. He is not stuck in jewish culture or 1950s culture. While His character does not change, He seems to often change methods.

So just when you think you have God all figured out, He throws you a curveball.

The pursuit of God is NOT easy. It is NOT for people who want to turn their brains off. It is not an exercise in pleasing other people or in following other teachers mindlessly.

If we seek Him, we will find Him. But we will have to do it with all our hearts and minds and strength.

gigantor1231 said...


If you have never read Barth, then why do you recommend that we read up on him? Seems like a odd recommendation since you have not read him.

As I have said before John, it is not about right or wrong it is about truth. You seem to want to play around with the chaos of things, you think for some reason that to admit the possibility of error with regards to the word of God is somehow a virtue. You feel that God is unknowable and, from what you say, He does not want to be known! The Bible does not teach that about Him, He is a personal God who cares and wants to be known by those who seek Him. He throws you curve balls? He is always straight with those He has chosen and loves. Don't get me wrong here, He is still eternal and a mystery but He makes Himself known to those that are seeking Him in portions that we finite humans can handle.
You choose not to believe in a literal 7 day creation. What is the big deal? Merely that the book of Genesis is the foundational book of the Bible and by tearing it down everything else falls. Evolution as evolutionist define it basicly denies the existance of God or at least the existence of a caring and personal God. To side with evolution is to even deny the evidence that exists and the laws of science themselves, you have to almost be crazy to follow it, it is beyond reason, just like Stephen J. Gould was beyond reason in the end!
As I said before, I worked as a biologist for a number of years and I worked beside some staunch evolutionist and some staunch creation evolutionists, old earth type people. To be honest with you they were all a mess both personally and mentally, so why would I want to be like that?

Does the trinity confuse me? No. Why? Because I have accepted God as the eternal all powerful God that He is and I understand that He can do things that are completely beyond me and you, He is God! No, God is not a formula but He has laid things out in simple terms for us so we can know Him, He has even said that if we just look at the world around us we will see the evidence of Him. The qualifier to understanding God is having the Spirit of God. If you do not have the Spirit of God you will not understand him and be in a state of confusion.

I have to be honest with you John, I hear you say you beleive in the Savior and our need for Him and that is a good thing in and of itself. You make me wonder though by the things that you say if what you believe is just a mental ascent without the spirit, I do not know and I will not make that judgement. I will say this though, the fruit I see from the things you say is confused and many times contradictory. I am sure that you have been told this before! In the end there is truth and that truth is found in God through Jesus Christ revealed to us by the Holy Spirit. I am praying that God will lead you into that truth. While I agree with you about reaching out to the poor, clothing, feeding etc... our methods differ based on truth. You deliver them the food and blankets and hope that somehow you can earn the right to present your gospel, I am not clear here exactly what that entails. I believe that with the food and blankets we should deliver the Gospel regardless of the feelings of the receivers and when the food and blankets run out continue with the Gospel, it is the only answer.

john said...

You obviously think you've got everything figured out. Perhaps you do. Maybe it's certainly. Maybe it's pride. Maybe God has made the great mysteries of the universe simple to you. Or maybe you're fooling yourself and believing a shallow, simplistic doctrine cobbled together by men who want to formulize what was never meant to be formula.

Only God can see your heart.

I thought I had it all figured out once, but I'm not so sure anymore. Maybe I'm deceived. Or maybe I've had the blinders removed. Maybe I'm chasing after the wind and making things much more complicated than they have to be. Or maybe my questioning of the underpinnings of our religious tradition is appropriate and Spirit-led.

Only God knows my heart as well.

So this leaves us at a place where we must agree to disagree. I'm sure you doubt my salvation just as I tend to doubt that you really have everything figured out. But at the end of the day, it's what God has done for us - His grace - that saves us - not what we have or haven't figured out. Thanks to the mercy of our Great God, I trust we will share in the embrace of our Savior one day. Then, all these words will be meaningless.


Incidentally, I suggested that someone read Barth because they suggested I read Spurgeon. I'm not gonna rush right out and pick up Spurgeon and faster than I would Barth - that's not how I roll. I tend to read and understand on my own as much as I can.

I was simply saying that if one is going to use commentaries, one should read a wide spectrum and give them all a fair hearing instead of camping on the far right or the far left all the time.

Buying into a commentary without reading other alternatives is poor scholarship and leads to unbalanced doctrine.

gigantor1231 said...


I never said I had it all figured out, I have said though that the truth of the scripture is clear and accurate to those that have the Spirit of God. Does it irritate you if someone claims to know the truth John? Do you find it upsetting if their faith is sure? Perhaps God has done some amazing things in their life to make them the way they are. If you think I am deceived or in pride you must be on your face praying for me..... right John?
The faith that I have is built on the Word of God and there is nothing that I have gained from it that I can boast of myself. I do not doubt the word of God because it has proven itself true to me on more than one occasion.
The conversations that I have had with you have not been sport for me but I actually care about you John and I am concerned for the condition of your soul! As I have said I am praying that you would come to a full knowledge of the truth. I would hope that is what you want as well.

john said...

Then we'll leave this conversation praying for each other. That's a good way to leave.

Debbie said...

Quoting R.C. Sproul - "We take comfort that mystery is not a synonym of contradiction." - (The Consequences of Ideas) Amen!

Rebecca said...

Hi Steve...new to blogs...could you please tell me how I could "sign up" to receive your blog posts???
Thanks!!! ~Becky