Santa Claus, Antichrist and Angus Buchan: more interesting than the Book of Proverbs?

Controversy Cycle 1

Grant Swart

It never ceases to amaze, how controversial personalities and questionable professing Christians succeed in occupying the thoughts, imagination and time of those who regard the internet news feed as a worthy place to spend a lot of their valuable time. It is evident that the debate about characters and events such as Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, The Elephant Room, Rob Bell and Passion 2013, takes on a greater importance for many, than does for example, the studying and discussion surrounding the wonderful wisdom and humour held within the Book of Proverbs.

The statistics on this blog represent no exception. As administrator, I was able to gain access to those. The following list should be indicative of what I have just said. These are the names of the controversial personalities attached to the most widely read articles on this blog over the past year or two. The list tells its own story:

Santa Claus (father Christmas)

Antichrist

Angus Buchan

TB Joshua

Rick Joyner

Rick Warren

John Piper

Joseph Prince

Eugene Peterson (author of The Message)

Bill Johnson

Beth Moore

Ann Voskamp

Kay Arthur

I do concede that, on the greater scale of things, this blog cannot be representative of global tendencies, but these stats are nevertheless disturbing, particularly as there are so many more expository articles on this blog, than there are articles of tabloid interest.

While I realize that it is not any sort of requirement or justification, I wonder how many of the people who have read and commented with much fervour on the blog postings regarding the above personalities, are able to fill in (more or less) the missing words from these well-known Bible verses?

OK, so let us try, beloved readers:

1) “I will lift up mine eyes unto the….., from whence cometh my …… My ….  cometh from the …., which made …… and earth…”

2) LORD, how are they increased that……. me! many are they that …… up against me.

Many there be which say of my soul, There is no….. for him in God

One more try, this time, from the most beautiful benediction from the Book of Jude. Simply fill in the blanks in your mind’s eye:

Now to him who is able to keep you from…….. and to present you blameless before the presence of his…… with great……, to the only God, our ……, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, …….. and ………., before all time ..… and  forever. Amen

It seems unacceptable that, when placed on a balance, the time set aside by Christians to partake in conferences, debates, forums and discussions surrounding controversial personalities and subjects, it far outweighs that which is spent in contemplating God’s Grace and applying the simplicity of His Sovereign will to our lives.

I wish there to be great blessings of peace in your lives, and less strife and confusion over subjects and people who cannot as much as influence the passage of a single day in Creation.

Irrespective of how many seats on international jet-liners, people such as CJ Mahaney, John Piper or Benny Hinn fill, or how many hotel rooms they rent as they criss-cross the globe, or how many deceived souls they draw into their conference halls, the form of the church of our Lord Jesus Christ will remain unaffected (Matthew 16:18).  Maybe Rick Warren or Louis Giglio will have a street, a building or a new model of some four cylinder Korean car named after themselves,  but in terms of that which they successfully merchandise to the unbelieving world, they are worthy only of our disregard.

Blessings to all.

elephant and mouse

 

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Tim Challies and Ann Voskamp: The New Sensation Seekers

By Grant Swart

Thank you for forwarding the two links to me. I have read them and I still cannot fault Tim Challies’ original critique of Ann Voskamp’s rubbish, just as I could not do at my first reading of it.

Below are a few points I would like to make, although these do not represent all points which need to be made regarding this unsavoury matter.

1. I have never attached much value to what Tim Challies has written on previous occasions, although I have not read all of his work. I never felt the need to pay attention to his opinions, not because he is a bad author, which he is not, but simply because I have always found his work lacking in substance and based more on human reasoning and not particularly on Scripture. He seems to prefer being the modern man with modernised needs, slightly besotted with technology and the social media and less concerned with the reality of the Truth. Continue reading

Romantic Panentheism: A Review of One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

If I have a joint of meat on my table of which the smell and the taste at once convince me that it is putrid and unwholesome, should I show discretion by eating the whole of it before giving my judgment that it is not fit for food?

One mouthful is quite enough, and one sentence of some books ought to suffice for a sensible man to reject the whole mass. Let those who can relish such meat feed on it, but I have a taste for better food.

Keep to the study of the Word of God. If it be your duty to expose those evils, encounter them bravely, with prayer to God to help you. But if not, as a humble believer in Jesus, what business have you to taste and best such noxious fare when it is exposed in the market?  ~C H Spurgeon (source)

I posted this article almost a year ago, well it is time for a re-post. Please also read An Open Letter To Tim Challies

Romantic Panentheism,

 a Review of One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

By Bob DeWaay

 Printer Friendly PDF

We live in a theological age (postmodern) where the rational and cognitive are questioned and replaced by the sensual and mysterious. Many churches promote the idea of worshipping God with all five senses. Feelings trump clear Biblical exegesis, systematic theology, statements of faith, and any other rational approach to Christian theology. Into this milieu comes a book that takes romanticism to a new level, using sensuality to invoke religious feelings and ostensibly true devotion. The book is One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, a Canadian farmer’s wife. Continue reading

An Open Letter To Tim Challies

By Cathy Mathews from Sola Sisters

Dear Mr. Challies,

As you may or may not know, we recently posted an article in which we commended your book review of Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts. And then today, a reader forwarded your most recent post, entitled In Which I Ask Ann Voskamp’s Forgiveness…, an article in which you wrote that after Ann Voskamp emailed you, inviting you to lunch, you felt a twinge of remorse over some of the wording of your original article, especially in light of the fact that you might soon find yourself face to face with her, sharing a meal. Continue reading

Romantic Panentheism, a review of One Thousand Gifts

Thank You Jessica for the permission to place this article !

Romantic Panentheism,

 a Review of One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

By Bob DeWaay

 Printer Friendly PDF

We live in a theological age (postmodern) where the rational and cognitive are questioned and replaced by the sensual and mysterious. Many churches promote the idea of worshipping God with all five senses. Feelings trump clear Biblical exegesis, systematic theology, statements of faith, and any other rational approach to Christian theology. Into this milieu comes a book that takes romanticism to a new level, using sensuality to invoke religious feelings and ostensibly true devotion. The book is One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, a Canadian farmer’s wife.

Written entirely in the present tense, using an approach to the English language that takes numerous liberties for the sake of creating poetic feeling (like using adjectives when the rules of grammar demand an adverb and consistently having adjectives follow rather than precede the nouns they modify), Voskamp weaves a tale of discovering devotion to God through encounters with nature and art. In her experience, Voskamp found the secret to joy through what she calls eucharisteo (“giving thanks” transliterated from the Greek).

My purpose is not to begrudge Voskamp her religious feelings, nor to disagree with the basic thesis that Christians ought to give thanks to God in all things, but to object to the panentheistic worldview revealed in the book and the romanticism that accompanies it. First we will explore those two ideas.

Continue reading