Month: February 2014

Review of “Massive Deceptions in Modern Christianity: Exposing Myths and Sacrificing Sacred Cows on the Altar of Truth: Volume 1: A Christian Biblical Investigation Into the Essentials of Christianity: The Christian Mythbuster Series: The Last Days Edition.” by Steven Hawk

This book was well written, used a great deal of scripture and focused on a lot of key details of biblical prophecy.  I cannot however recommend it because of the conclusions that the author comes to, some of the statements that author makes.  There is also consistent misuse of scripture.  He argues whole points from scripture but then makes radical leaps to his conclusions before the scripture warrants them.  It makes it appear to the novice as if his thinking is exegetical, but in fact it uses many assumptions woven through the arguments that are subtle, but damaging to the text.

Any claim to have new biblical truth never before written by anyone should be seriously scrutinized.  (pages ii, LVIII, 226)  Such claims should fall idly by and be allowed to float without challenge.

The First section is on methodology and is pretty much sound but for a few details.  His methods are sound but in many cases he does not follow them.

The Second section is an attempt to dismantle various doctrinal positions of futurists and full preterists.  The problem is what arises from this section is a mishmash of views that contradict each other.  He arbitrarily holds onto some sacred cows of futurism, and some points of preterism and weaves them into a basket with a hole through which the rest of his argument escapes.  He holds to contradictory views on the rapture and resurrection.  (145, 154-157, 188)  These views permeate and draw down the rest of his position.

The Third section is the conclusion to which the rest of the book reaches.  The whole third section reads like a political treatise on American Greatness and conspiracy theories.  It discusses the Battle of Gog and Magog and identifies the key players in the mind of the author.  This section is very long on speculation and very short on evidence.  There are some disturbing statements in this books as well that speak of the need to genetically preserve the white race (224), Americas greatness because of whites (257, 320-21), and conspiracy theories that the Jews are controlling almost everything (215, 378, 380, 396, 418, 421, 425-26, 434).

I realize this book will appeal to a certain audience, but I cannot endorse the conclusions and some of the raw statements made by the author.

Here are some of the key points of Proper Preterism gleaned from the book

1)       It claims to be the discovery of new biblical truth (pg. II)

  1. Revealed now because of where we are in prophecy (LVIII)
  2. Never before able to be written by anyone (226)

2)      The Millennium Started in 70 AD and Ended in 1948 (V, 113, 170)

3)      Belief in Incorruptible Body at Death (Ed Stevens View) (p XLII-XLIII, 146)

4)      We are very near to the Great White Throne Judgment (LVIII,

5)      The Parousia just means the presence of Christ on His throng (14)

6)      Revelation began to be written in 45 Ad and was finished in 69 AD (19)

  1. It was discussed at the Jerusalem Council (129)

7)      The 6th King is Otho (Nero is 4th) (26)

8)      The Second Coming in Judgment on Jerusalem was between 70 and 73-74 AD (31

9)      The Lost Sheep of Israel are the Gentiles (ROE) (66)

10)   666 is the number of years the beast power corrupted the Israelites (85, 91)

  1. From the captivity to 70 AD supposedly

11)   The growth of Daniel’s rock into a great mountain is still ongoing (77)

12)   666 is not Nero because Gematria is “Jewish nonsense” and “occult” (86)

13)   Time of the Gentiles is Still Being Fulfilled (100)

14)   The Day of the Lord extends from 70 AD and we are still in it (118)

15)   The first resurrection is still ongoing for each believer (137)

16)   The wicked dead still await the second resurrection (120)

17)   We are still in the last trump (151)

18)   The rapture continues today and happened after 70 AD (154-55)

  1. We die and are then raptured (156)

19)   70 AD Begins the judgment the final aspect of which is still future (159)

20)   The “abyss” is the land of Judea (165)

21)   The Zealots are the Scorpions (168)

22)   Satan is Zionist Jews (61, 169)

  1. Was bound but then released into Judea in 1948 (201)
  2. Vespasian had bound Satan (206)

23)   Christ is still riding the White Horse with the sword from his mouth (173)

24)   The author also says he holds to the Essential Body View (Taffy Boyo’s new doctrine) (188)

25)   We currently live in the “little time” of Rev 20:3 (212)

26)   The USA is The Israel of God and the Mountains of Israel (237, 239, 240, 327)

  1. Full preterism is wrong partially because it claims the “most prosperous Christian nation on earth is not mentioned in biblical prophecy.” (245)
  2. He writes it Jer USA lem (254)
  3. All promises to Israel are really to the USA (273)
  4. We are blessed because of our Caucasian Christian ancestors (277)
  5. Oriental immigrants are not devoted Americans (435)

27)   Gog and Magog are

  1. Illegal immigrants (214)

i.      Mexican immigrants are the enemy from the North because the COMEUP (359)

ii.      Mexicans are dirty people (375)

  1. Terrorists and Muslims (221, 351, 440)
  2. Messianic Jews (238)
  3. Too many countries to list here (350-430)
  4. China (433)
  5. Indians (448)

28)   The Jews control :

  1. All banks (215)
  2. The Catholic Church (378)

i.       Probably Started the RCC to subvert Christianity (380)

  1. The Obama Administration (396)
  2. Conspire against the Tea Party (418)
  3. Slave Trade was motivated and run by them (421)
  4. Jews fight against racial purity (425)
  5. Caused Nazism (426)
  6. Chines Economy (434)

29)   The USA is the Living Waters because we distribute bibles (482)

30)   The final battle is at hand (489)

  1. God will dispose of Gog and Magog and Israel (492)

31)   The Great White Throne Judgment is in our near future (492)

The whole Third and final section reads like an American political treatise, not a book on eschatology.

There are some disturbing statements in this books as well such as:

“It is the Zionist goal and that the enemies of God and Christ to seek to genetically destroy the white race…”  (224)

The “migration patterns of the white ancestry”  and the start as 13 colonies (13 tribes) proves we are the Israel of God. (257)

“we have been life to when told Christianity was not the goal for America by the Caucasians of different nations…” (320)

The wealth was “accumulated by Caucasians from hard work.” (321)

“God and Magog can they be derivatives of SYNA GOG and DeMAGOG?”  (355)

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A Review of “The Gospel According to Facebook” By Bruce Joffe

When I received a review copy of this book I was a bit skeptical about what I would find.  Would it be another rant against social media?  Would it be a liberal attack on conservative Christians.  I got a small picture from the books description, but really did not know what to expect until I delved into its pages.  But I think one of the quotes in the last section of the book, a collection of inspirational and thought provoking quotes, defines the aim of this book:

Some believe that it is only Great Power that can hold evil in check.  But that is not what I have found.   I found that it is the small things.  Every day deeds by Ordinary Folk That keeps the Darkness at Bay. – Galdalf (JRR Tolkien)

This book is a motivation to do those little things that keep evil at bay.  It is a call to community and  an encouragement to keep pressing forward, to keep learning, to keep growing.

This book is an excellent take on how social media can be used to further the gospel and advance the Kingdom of God.  That being said there will be much that my conservative friends will disagree with, but they should read this book nonetheless.  It is a book that stretched our imaginations and finds an inclusiveness in the gospel that many of us have forgot.  The author sprinkles the story of his own faith journey with messages and meaning found on the internet.  This book shows where the judgment of Christians can often go awry.   I cannot say that I agree with everything I read in these pages, but I can say I am better, have learned a great deal, and have broadened my horizons by reading it.

The author has started what has evolved into an online community of believers called Shalom Spiritual Community, on facebook.  He relates how his journey led to starting this group when he could find no church in which he encountered God and could live out his values.  The original intent was to use the group to springboard into a local fellowship in his community, but it exploded into a multicultural multinational fellowship that echoed the values of inclusion and grace.  I would recommend that people not only check out this book, but examine this spiritual community as well.

In closing this review I want to share one more quote from the inspirational section of the book that should encourage everyone to pick up this book.  You may disagree with some of the author’s ideas or conclusions, but you will be challenged and grow in your understanding of grace and God.

I’m not where I need to be, but, thank God, I’m not where I used to be.

You can find the book at:  http://www.amazon.com/Gospel-According-Facebook-Social-Media-ebook/dp/B00I9KPPJE/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1392331193&sr=1-1&keywords=bruce+joffe

From the Conclusion of the 2nd Edition of House Divided: Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology – A Preterist Response to When Shall These Things Be?

Something is seriously wrong with the church today. Reformed churches are suffering from dwindling attendance and a significant lack of commitment in their congregations. It seems the only churches that are drawing crowds are the anti-creedal, self help churches that tell people what they want to hear. Many have cited varying reasons for the decline in creedal churches, including psychological and sociological conditions. The truth though is that the problem is, to a significant degree, eschatological.
When churches that should be proclaiming “the full counsel of God” continue in serious error, the end result is what we see today. As the implications of futurism have worked themselves out through history, the ability of creedal churches to influence society has diminished. Being stuck in the futurist time warp,  creedal churches have failed to exegetically recognize, and work out the implications of, Christ’s Second Coming in AD 70, and have thus failed to advance the kingdom of God in accordance with fulfilled biblical principles.
Futurism is in essence a mythology. This mythology allows control through fear and ignorance. Many churches speak of Christ as though He’s a cosmic boogey man who could appear at any second of any day. Many believers have lived in fear of thinking a sinful thought at the moment when Christ returns. Others have lived in mortal fear of being left behind in a “rapture” that never happens. Others have lived their lives hoping and longing vainly for an “imminent” return that never happens. When the believer is kept in ignorance through the myth of futurism, he becomes a religious consumer, buying up every “end times” book, every “code” book, and eating them up as gospel. Or he becomes a religious paraplegic, becoming paralyzed by what he sees as the uselessness of any effort. This is the “why polish brass on a sinking ship” syndrome.
He further becomes unable to apply the Bible’s fulfilled principles of life because futurism has left him in the shadowy “yes and no” twilight zone of “already but not yet.” Is the believer fully justified in Christ?  Well, yes and no, according to consistent futurism (Rom. 4:24). Futurism implicitly robs us of the presence of Christ and the fulfillment of His promises, forcing us to wait for the millennium or for the end of world history before we can truly be the sons of God (Rom. 8:23) and successfully build His Kingdom. Showing Christians that their soteriological hope is fulfilled in Christ in the here and now, and that they are not standing in need of mythical, future, redemptive events, and showing them what fulfilled eschatology means for them—their family, their community, and society—will go a long way toward recovering and expanding the influence of the Christian faith on the culture.
The dilemma is difficult for many to see. In order to save creedal Christianity and maintain it as the bulwark against error, one of the things we must do is revise the creeds so that they more accurately adhere
to the teaching of Scripture. Unfortunately, most of the reactionaries who attack preterism from the position of the creeds do so to uphold an authority structure and tradition which they merely assume to be biblical, and therefore refuse to allow for even the possibility that the creeds may be unfaithful to the word of God in regard to eschatology.
…….

The biblical record from cover to cover teaches us that taking a stand against traditions and authorities which nullify Scripture is not easy. When leaders take their stand against the teachings of Scripture for the sake of tradition, that is when God raises up “the things which are not” (1 Cor. 1:28)—fishermen, shepherds, janitors, waiters, drivers, etc.,— to stand in the gap. The rise of Reformed preterists within the history of the church can be likened to the conflict between David the shepherd and Saul the king, and between Luther and the One, Holy, Roman Catholic Church—small and humble beginnings, with powerful and profound results to be looked for in the future. Preterists have been forced into the wilderness and caves by those who have felt threatened by our stand for the Word of God; and God continues to add to the number of men and women who are shunned by creedal futurists. These believers have been driven out by Saul-ish  spear throwers, but they find their purpose in defending the truth at all costs. And as a result, they become God’s valiant warriors.

It took only a handful of committed Christians with a passion for God’s word to turn the Jewish and Roman world completely upside down with the gospel. God is not calling closet Calvinists or closet preterists, but faithful men to boldly proclaim His truth to His flock. Be assured that persecution and tears will come, but if you faithfully proclaim and trust in God’s Word, He will keep your tears in His bottle and turn back your enemies, and in one way or another, He will vindicate you and the truth together in Him (Jer. 1; Josh. 1; Ps. 56).

House Divided at Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/House-Divided-David-A-Green/dp/146759671X/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1391331744&sr=8-3&keywords=hassertt