Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Brad Wilcox's Broken Piano: A Failed Redefinition of Grace

Latter-day Quagmire

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the "Mormon Church") is going to change. They've done it in the past and it will happen again soon. Their path, however, is uncertain.

Patrick Q. Mason, chair of Mormon history and culture at Utah State University, recently said to the Washington Post, "I can see multiple futures for Mormonism. I honestly don’t know which way it’s going to go." 

The Church has to change because they have to survive. Jesus is not building that institution; therefore, they're subject to being overtaken by a variety of forces. Currently, many of their members are dabbling with secular humanism. Covid has given many of the members a break from their regular religious routines and many of them aren't coming back. Others have met the one, true God of the universe and are involved in real churches that preach real grace. They're not coming back, either.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Open Theism Is Heresy

Earlier this year I debated Will Duffy, an open theist, on The Gospel Truth YouTube channel. You can watch the full debate with opening statements and cross-examinations on that channel.

Open theists believe that the future is absolutely open; thus, God does not exist outside of time. (He can't exist in what is "future" to us because the future doesn't truly exist.) They believe humans are absolutely free; therefore, God can't know future events. (If He has certain and exhaustive knowledge of future events, the future must be set.)

This is my opening statement from the debate, which has been mildly edited.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Media Offered to Idols: What to Do with the Resources of the Fallen


As long as there have been Christians, there have been apostates. However, there has never been an age like the present, where both faithful Christians and apostates have had essentially equal access and influence over the church. The internet has made it possible for anyone to be influenced by anyone at any time, with no responsible gatekeeper necessarily standing in the way to impose wisdom and discernment on the sources of information rushing over the people. There are websites like this one, of course, that attempt to help people pause and think through certain things. But by and large, we're all like tree mice with small voices in a big forest, limited to influencing the creeping things that happen to pass through our tiny spot of land. There's just no way we can compete with those loud, cackling toucans and bellbirds in the trees above.

Sorry for calling you a creeping thing.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Why I'm Non-Denominational

Introduction and Disclaimers

Recently, a large gaggle of Southern Baptists got together in Nashville, Tennessee. Although I'm sure there were many great conversations that took place and lots of edification had by all, the general characterization of the gathering has been one of bickering and backbiting. From discussions about critical race theory and abortion to electing a new president to discovering heresy on said president's church's website, the convention did not disappoint in the excitement department. Yet, as I observed it all as an outsider, I couldn't help but reflect upon how glad I am that I do not belong to a denomination.

Before I get into all that, let me clarify some things that you're probably already thinking about.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Is My Son My Brother?


Recently, my seven-year-old son partook of the communion elements with our church body for the first time. As a Christian father who also happens to be a pastor, the whole situation made me nervous. He's our oldest child and this had never happened to us. Though we had been waiting somewhat expectantly for this moment, it became clear in my heart that I wasn't quite ready.

Our approach to local church ordinances (communion and baptism) for our children has been to let them bring it up to us first. We don't want to coerce them in any way. Ultimately, if the Lord has so worked in their hearts to bring them to faith in Jesus Christ, He will work in their hearts to impart His means of grace in their lives. However, I didn't quite feel that confidence when the Lord was actually doing that work.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

5 Marks of Harmful Megachurch Culture


Listen to this episode


Megachurches are a modern phenomenon. More specifically, they're a modern American phenomenon. An article from the University of Washington written nearly a decade ago sums up both the definition of a megachurch and just how effective they have been:

Megachurches, or churches with 2,000 or more congregants, have grown in number, size and popularity in recent years, coming to virtually dominate the American religious landscape. More than half of all American churchgoers now attend the largest 10 percent of churches.

Megachurch services feature a come-as-you-are atmosphere, rock music and what [James] Wellman calls a “multisensory mélange” of visuals and other elements to stimulate the senses, as well as small-group participation and a shared focus on the message from a charismatic pastor.

The researchers hypothesized that such rituals are successful in imparting emotional energy in the megachurch setting – “creating membership feelings and symbols charged with emotional significance, and a heightened sense of spirituality,” they wrote.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Good News for the Woke


The woke movement is a works-based religion. By nature, work-based religions contradict themselves. They require you to earn your own righteousness, yet your own righteousness is never enough for genuine acceptance or assurance. Religions such as these place you at the bottom of a downward-moving escalator that is running toward the floor faster than you could ever climb upward.

"There's rest at the top," you're told. But no one has ever been there.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

The Great 3:16s of the Bible


For some time, I've been fascinated with the 3:16s of the Bible and how they tell much of the story that God has written -- particularly on the topic of redemption. So, on this 3-16 day, I thought I'd put together a compilation of such verses for some fun edification.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Four Heresies All Mormons Believe

To hear a full conference-style presentation of these issues, please refer to my YouTube channel to see parts one and two.

"Mormonism" is a large, nuanced religion that contains a wide range of beliefs, varying from member to member. However, there are at least four beliefs that every Latter-day Saint holds to, being definitional to the religion in some sense. Each of these four beliefs is heretical, meaning it rejects clear, biblical teaching on the issue. To learn more about what those teachings are, check out this episode of the Do Theology podcast, as well as this chart.

Update: I joined Aaron Shafovaloff for a discussion of this article on his YouTube channel.

1. "The Book of Mormon is true."

This is the most fundamental point of Mormonism. The Latter-day Saint missionaries knocking at your door have one immediate goal in mind: to introduce you to a new testament of Jesus Christ, the Book of Mormon. It is their goal for you to bear a "testimony" of this cornerstone scripture of their faith.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Postmillennialism in Vogue


I was recently asked what big theological issue is burning hottest in the current, broad Evangelical conversation. There are many ways to answer that question, but what first came to mind is the issue of postmillennialism. Before I continue, it would be good for this issue to be defined. Here's a summary from one of my go-to theology sites on the internet.