Thursday, March 31, 2011

6th Halo-halo Huwebes

An Expression of Gratitude to Jackie Alnor
 I lost my trust in Jackie Alnor's credibility as an apologist and a researcher when she endorsed Jack T. Chick's cartoon propaganda against Roman Catholicism and at the same time discredited the erudite James White because of the Pauline phrase "knowledge puffs up". Even the Protestant battle cries Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide are highfalutin to her.

Yet I have to thank her for uploading something good on Youtube. She labeled it as Walter Martin's Last TBN Appearance. God willing, I will post my review of Dr. Martin's "last appearance" on Trinity Broadcasting Network on the first week of April. 

Jackie uploaded it after seeing Calvary Chapel's Skip Heitzig appear on TBN and acted as if  "he and his host Phil Munsey were old friends". I am not familiar with the Munseys (Phil & Steve) so i can't really take Jackie's words at face value when she says they are "two of the most infamous extortioners in the field of Christian television". Yet given the track record of TBN, I have a reason to believe Jackie. In contrast to Heitzig's  demeanor, Martin pulled no punches when he appeared on TBN. 
An Expression of Gratitude to William Alnor
Aside from that, we have to grieve with Jackie for the death of her husband William Alnor. Bill finally went home to the Lord's house on the 20th day this month after a battle with prostate cancer.

I do find Mr. Alnor's works profitable. Unfortunately the old Christian Sentinnel website has long became extinct. One of his finest articles, "Heaven Can't Wait: A Survey of Alleged Trips to the Other Side",  is still posted here . With the popularity of such books as Don Piper's 90 Minutes in Heaven and Todd Burpo's Heaven is for Real, Alnor's article is still very relevant. Though that essay good enough, it will be better if we can get a copy of the 160-page book of the same title.

The last time I heard of him, he was then building this site: He managed to review five books including William Paul Young's The Shack . Since the site has no RSS feeds, I have to visit the site several times but it was rarely updated. Perhaps he was already losing his battle against cancer at those times.

Another Milestone for the Prewrath Rapture View
In the 4th Halo-halo Huwebes, I noted a milestone for the Prewrath position in the scholarly community when Zondervan decided to replace the Mid-Trib Position with the Prewrath view in the new edition of Three Views on the Rapture.

On the popular level, James MacDonald has recently made it public that he is a prewrather. MacDonald is the Senior Pastor of the huge multi-site Harvest Bible Chapel and host of the radio ministry Walk in the Word. He is also a council member of The Gospel Coalition, an organization I highly esteem.

A Song I Learned from my Grade V Adviser,
Miss Rose Reyes

A Song I Learned from my Grade VI Adviser,
Mrs. Estrella Arenas

Thursday, March 24, 2011

PART 2: James R. White on Fuller Seminary and President Richard Mouw

read part 1 here

"Richard Mouw is the perfect mirror picture of what has happened to Fuller Seminary.
Once a conservative bible-believing seminary, now no longer."

White recalls his earliest memory of a compromising Mouw in an old online interview. White submitted a question in an AOL chat room about the most fundamental difference between Christianity and Mormonism: MONOTHEISM. Yes, Mouw compromises even at this level White testifies.

White also recalled the November, 2004 incident at the Mormon Tabernacle. Mouw apologized in behalf of evangelicals for bearing "false witness" against Mormonism1

White comments: "He is the worst enemy Mormonism has ever had because by his false friendship, he has greatly degraded the outreach to the Mormon people who need to hear a clear proclamation of the gospel."2

Regarding Mouw's belief that Mother Theresa is in heaven and his "shame on you" remark for those of us who believe otherwise, here is White's response:

"Here now we have the President of Fuller Seminary saying 'Shame on you' if you actually believe that there is a gospel by which you must be saved and that the Roman version of it isn't it.

"Let us say she is the nicest person you've ever met, President Mouw, her righteousness is as filthy rags before the Lord. Sir, have you read that in the Bible anywhere? If she was everything that you say she was, then where does she deserve to be, President Mouw? Evidently, from the modernist-liberal Protestant, she along with every Buddhist and every good Hindu and lalalalala belongs to heaven because they don't have any concept of the holiness of God. But if she was everything she was propped up to be, what would she deserve? Heaven? No! And here is the divide indeed, because liberal Protestantism really doesn't believe that there is a need for something as radical as the cross.

"Shame on you sir, shame on you for abandoning the gospel. Shame on you for your destruction of meaningful outreach to the Mormon people. Shame on you for putting the Mormon people in a position where they can be insulated from the clear proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. and shame on you for thinking Mother Theresa was good enough to go to heaven because she wasn't. She needed the gospel like anybody else does."
1In a subsequent statements, Mouw specifically identified highly respected apologist Walter Martin as one of those who "seriously misrepresented the beliefs and practices of members of the LDS faith "

2.  In this report by the Baptist Press, Tim Clark, an evangelical leader within the Utah area said regarding Mouw's apology: "It sets back our work as Christian witnesses in Utah and Idaho... it does not communicate a clear Gospel"presentation."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

PART 1: James R. White on Fuller Seminary and President Richard Mouw

George Marsden's Reforming Fundamentalism: Fuller Seminary and the New Evangelicalism is a detailed documentation of the downgrade of that once conservative seminary. Obsession with academic and intellectual respectability led them to compromise biblical inerrancy. They did not heed Charles Spurgeon's warning that once you are on that path, the next thing is sliding further downwards on the slope-- at a BREAK NECK SPEED!

One of the defenders of Rob Bell in this present controversy is Dr. Richard Mouw, President of Fuller Theological Seminary (where Bell earned his Master of Divinity degree). In his March 15 post, Mouw says that Love Wins is a "fine book" and that he basically agrees with Bell's theology.

In that same post, Mouw cites his own book that defends the "basics of a Calvinistic perspective" (surely Mouw's version is NOT Calvinism at all), where he tells about a good rabbi he met. When that rabbi died, Mouw hoped that in a Post-Mortem state, he would recognize Jesus as the Messiah  and that Jesus will welcome him in heaven.

Dr. Mouw then asked this "straightforward question":
"Did Mother Teresa go to hell? My guess is that she was a little confused about justification by faith alone. If you think that means she went to hell, I have only one response: shame on you." (emphasis by kuyamanny)

In an episode of the Dividing Line program, Dr. James R. White responds to Dr. Mouw's post. White himself is not a stranger to the Fuller Seminary environment having earned his M.A. in Theology from that institution (Phoenix extension). He recounts this story about a professor who flew from Fuller's main campus (Pasadena). The then young James White ended up debating with the professor on the issue of abortion. The professor was Pro-Choice. A Christian educator advocating abortion!!!

Another story that Dr. White recounts is about a review he wrote in fulfillment of a class requirement. His professor held a book by Gerhard Von Rad and declared "This is the best commentary on the Book of Deuteronomy". The students were required to write a review and note both their praises and criticisms of the book. On the book's positive side, the young James White praised the binding and proceeded to criticize it.

Who is Von Rad by the way? He was a German scholar who held that the "Old Testament writers wrote what appeared to be historical accounts, which were theologically true on a "salvation-historical" plane but which possessed no essential connection with true, past historical reality." (G.K. Beale, The Erosion of Inerrancy in Evangelicalism).

Read part 2 here

Friday, March 11, 2011

What Would Charles Spurgeon Think of Rob Bell?

This is from Dennis Swanson's The Down Grade Controversy and Evangelical Boundaries, originally read as a paper at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (November, 2001)

During the years of the Down Grade Controversy Spurgeon repeatedly warned of six areas of “down grade” in evangelical doctrine.

• The denial of the verbal inspiration (that is, inerrancy) of Scripture.
The denial of ETERNAL PUNISHMENT and the affirmation of UNIVERSALISM.
• The denial of the Trinity, mainly in terms of the rejection of the personality of the Holy Spirit.
• The movement towards Socinianism or the denial of the deity of Christ and original sin
• The denial of the creation account in Genesis in favor of evolution.
• The unhealthy influence of Higher Criticism on Biblical scholarship, particularly as it related to the Old Testament.

"How much farther could they go?
What doctrine remains to be abandoned?
What other truth to be the object of contempt?
A new religion has been initiated,
which is no more Christianity than chalk is cheese"
- C.H. Spurgeon
You might also like the book
The Forgotten Spurgeon
by Iain Murray
click HERE

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ang Dignidad ng Tao sa Kamay ng Manlilikha

Awit 8:3-8

3 Pinagmasdan ko ang langit na gawa ng iyong kamay,
pati ang buwan at mga bituin na iyong inilagay.

4 Ano ba ang tao upang iyong pahalagahan;
o ang anak ng tao upang iyong pangalagaan?

5 Nilikha mo siyang mababa sa iyo nang kaunti,
pinuspos mo siya ng dangal at ng luwalhati.

6 Ginawa mo siyang pinuno ng lahat ng iyong nilikha,
sa lahat ng mga bagay, siya ang iyong pinamahala:

7 mga tupa at kawan pati na ang mababangis,

8 lahat ng ibong lumilipad, at mga isda sa karagatan,
at lahat ng nilikhang nasa karagatan.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Ang isa sa mga dapat pahalagahan ng tao ay ang kanyang dignidad. Ang bibliya mismo ay nagtuturo na dapat nating ingatan ang ating karangalan. Tulad na lamang sa Kawikaan 22:1-- kung tayo raw ay kinakailangang pumili sa pagitan ng yaman at dangal, marapat na isuko ang yaman at panatilihin ang malinis na pangalan.

May mga taong nagtataguyod ng dangal ng tao subalit tumatanggi naman sa kapahayagan ng bibliya. Sinasabi nilang sila ay makatao subalit itinatanggi naman nila na merong Diyos na siyang lumikha. Ano ang bunga nito? Sa halip na maiangat ang dignidad ng tao, kabaligtaran ang nangyari. Nasaan ang dangal ng tao sa paliwanag na sinuwerte lang tayo sa proseso ng ebolusyon? Nasaan ang aking dignidad sa paliwanag na ako'y isang malayong kamag-anak ng mga bakulaw?

Mauunawaan lang natin ang dignidad ng tao kung makikinig tayo sa kapahayagan ng bibliya. Sino nga ba ang mapapagpapaliwanag ng dangal ng tao kundi ang mismong lumalang sa tao?

Dito sa Awit 8:3-8 ay matutunghayan natin ang dalawang hakbang upang maunawaan natin ang dignidad natin bilang mga tao.

Unang hakbang:
Maaaring ito ay isang sorpresa sa ilan. Ang unang hakbang upang maunawaan natin ang ating dignidad ay makita muna natin kung gaano tayo kaliit-- Tayo ay maliit kung ihahambing sa malaking Diyos.

Isang gabi'y pinagmamasdan ng salmistang si David ang kalangitan-- ang buwan at mga tala; ni wala siyang hawak na telescope ngunit siya ay lubhang namangha, ang kalangitan ay nagpapatotoo kung gaano kadakila ang Diyos sapagkat ang lahat ng mga nasa kalawakan ay gawa lamang ng maikhaing mga daliri ng Diyos

"3 Pinagmasdan ko ang langit na gawa ng iyong kamay,
pati ang buwan at mga bituin na iyong inilagay."

Habang pinagmamasdan ni david ang ganda ng kalangitan, nabatid niya kung gaano siya kaliit kung ihahambing sa karangyaan at kaluwalhatian ng diyos. Tuloy ay kanyang naitanong:

4 "Ano ba ang tao upang iyong pahalagahan;
o ang anak ng tao upang iyong pangalagaan?"

Pangalawang Hakbang:
Ang pangalawang hakbang upang maunawaan natin ang dignidad ng tao ay ang mabatid na sa kabila ng liit natin, binigyan niya tayo ng espesyal na tungkulin sa sannilikha.

Sambit ng Salmista sa talata 5:
"Nilikha mo siyang mababa sa iyo nang kaunti,
pinuspos mo siya ng dangal at ng luwalhati."

Ito ay tumutukoy sa likas ng tao na galing sa Diyos. Bago likhain ang tao ay may usapang naganap sa loob ng Banal na Trinidad:

"Ngayon, likhain natin ang tao ayon sa ating larawan, ayon sa ating wangis..." (Gen. 1:26). Bukod diyan ayibinigay niya sa tao ang pinakamataas na posisyon dito sa ibabaw ng lupa-- ang tungkulin ng pamamahala (Awit 8:6-8) kalakip ang kanyang pagpapala sa kanila (Gen.1:28a).

Ito ang tunay na dignidad ng tao: bagamat tayo ay maliit sa gitna ng malawak na solar system; maliit sa gitna ng malawak na galaxy; maliit sa gitna ng malawak na universe, tayo ay nilikha ng Diyos upang ating isalamin sa ating buhay ang Diyos.

 Ang Nasirang Dignidad ng Tao
at ang Solusyon ng Manlilikha
Malayo na nga ang agwat sa pagitan ng nilikha sa manlilikha, mas lumapad pa ang agwat nang ang tao ay magkasala. ang buhay natin na dapat sumalamin sa Diyos ay nagkaroon ng lamat. Nasira ang larawan at wangis ng Diyos sa atin dahil sa kasalanan. Naging pangit tayong lahat at ito'y hindi natin kayang ayusin.

Subalit sa kagandahang-loob ng Diyos, siya na rin ang gumawa ng paraan upang maayos ang lamat sa ating pagkatao. Isinugo niya ang kanyang anak, nagkatawang tao, nag-anyong alipin at namuhay nang walang sala. Sa kanyang kamatayan at muling pagkabuhay ay nilinis niya ang lahat ng bahid ng kasalanan sa sinumang sasampalataya sa kanya.

Siya na malayo ang agwat sa atin; Siya na lubhang mataas at hindi natin maabot ang siya mismong nagpakababa upang tayo ay abutin. Hinango niya tayo mula sa putik ng kasalanan. Sa kanyang piling lamang maibabalik nang buong-buo ang dignidad ng tao.

2 Corinto 3:18
"At ang kaluwalhatiang iyan na nagmumula sa Panginoon, na siyang Espiritu, ang siyang magbabago sa atin mula sa isang antas ng kaluwalhatian hanggang tayo'y maging kalarawan niya".

ang salin na ginamit ay ang Bagong Magandang Balita Bibliya