A Cult Cocktail … Scripture with a Twist

Most false teachers use something our late friend and former Jehovah’s Witness, Harry Brooks, often called a cult cocktail … Scripture with a twist. It is a simple way to deceive potential recruits and to gather followers who have some respect for the Bible, but who don’t know it very well. Like talented magicians, false teachers, gifted in the art of word manipulation, employ a verbal sleight of hand that is often difficult for the … Continue reading

Truth-like Substance (Screwtape Letters Part 2)

In the first two letters, Lewis plants in Screwtape’s correspondence some philosophy and some ecclesiology.The philosophy is about the precariousness uses of argument. Screwtape dissuades Wormwood from using reason at all to corrupt his patient. “The trouble about argument is that it moves the whole struggle on to the Enemy’s own ground. He can argue too;” Oh yes he can. And so can his strongest saints. Witness all the times in the book of Acts, … Continue reading

Spiritual Disciplines and the Appearance of Wisdom

Writing to the Colossians in the First Century, the Apostle Paul warned about certain spiritual disciplines that had “the appearance of wisdom” (Colossians. 2:23) but, in fact, conflicted with sound biblical teaching and were very harmful to the Christian life. False teachers were in this case Gnostics, who crept into the church and claimed special “spiritual knowledge.” They gained influence in the church because what they were teaching felt “right” and “good” and oh so … Continue reading

The Art of Deception – Deux

Good deception (by “good,” we mean effective) uses language to guide one’s thinking in a particular direction. Sometimes deception is harmless fun, as in the case of “magic” tricks, surprise parties, harmless pranks, etc. When our son, Lee, was a lad, he and his friend Mike were great “magicians,” enamored with little tricks based on illusion, sleight of hand and/or misdirection – i.e. deception. One of his favorite (and most successful) tricks was called “Cups … Continue reading