Harry Potter: Sorcery and Fantasy

(This originally appeared in the Fall 2000 edition of the MCOI Journal beginning on page 9) By Marcia Montenegro Harry Potter is a character in a series of books written by J. K. Rowling about a young boy who discovers he really is a wizard, (in other words, a sorcerer). Four books have come out in the Harry Potter series, with 3.8-million copies of the fourth book released in the U.S. on July 8, 2000. … Continue reading

Messengers of Deceit

(This originally appeared in the Winter 1999 edition of the MCOI Journal beginning on page 6) by Sarah Flashing Angels have spoken. Well, supposedly. Nick Bunick, subject of the 1996 book The Messengers, claims to have received messages from angels encouraging him to reveal the transcripts from his past-life, regression-therapy sessions. How did they encourage him? Did they stop by and have coffee? No, they used a sort of numerology by sending messages through … Continue reading

An Examination and Evaluation of the Brownsville Revival

Jeffrey M. Spencer (This originally appeared in the Spring 1999 edition of the MCOI Journal) beginning on page 8) INTRODUCTION The “Brownsville Revival” began at the Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, Florida on Father’s Day (June 18, 1995) under the direction of Pastor John Kilpatrick and visiting Evangelist St eve Hill. From the very start, this movement has been overflowing with bizarre manifestations and uncontrollable behavior such as laughing, shaking, barking, roaring, and temporary … Continue reading

Conversations with Which God? Looking at Neale Donald Walsch’s Conversations with God, book 1

by Marcia Montenegro (This originally appeared in the November/December 1998 edition of the MCOI Journal, starting on page 10) The title of the best-selling book Conversations with God means what it says: the author, Neale Donald Walsch, claims to have written down conversations held between him and a being he calls God. I first heard of this book in 1997 while discussing spiritual beliefs with a woman working in a New Age bookstore. She kept … Continue reading

Response to an Agnostic

I never really know when I start the day what questions, comments or challenges may come up but they are often interesting. This past week was no exception. On March 13 “Gary” posted a comment to Dr. Tom Howe’s blog, “Brian McLaren, ‘Is Jesus the Only Way to What?,’ Part 1” Gary’s opening line really caught my attention: As an agnostic, humanist, and naturalist, I am sure that you view me as the enemy. … Continue reading

Theology … More or Less With Beth

(Originally printed in the Fall 2010 Issue of the MCOI Journal beginning on page 6) A prolific writer, speaker, and well-known Southern Bap­tist, Beth Moore is all the rage among women across de­nominations. To many, she seems to be everything she portrays: an effective Bible teacher who enthusiastically encour­ages women to study the Bible and draw closer to God. And like any other popular Christian writer and speaker, she has reaped a share of criticism—some … Continue reading