The Ambush of Discernment

(Originally printed in the Summer 2005 Issue of the MCOI Journal Beginning on page 10) Half way through college, during the Christmas season of 1974, I first tasted the adventure of life in Jesus. It soon seemed to me that the most difficult resources to find were the ones that answered questions about conflicting world views. In my eyes, the Christian leaders who provided answers in this area became giants. Little did I expect that … Continue reading

The Worst Sermon

Needless to say, I was away from home on a Sunday. We decided to go to a friend’s church we had attended before. I won’t name the church and details have been altered to stave off embarrassment. But I bet you can guess the denomination. The first thing I noticed how the congregation had dwindled. Where once there were a hundred seats, now the chairs had disappeared from the back. I walked across a sea … Continue reading

Falling From Grace

The internet and “Christian TV” today have become a great marketplace of religious ideas of all stripes, and people often do not know exactly who to trust. Just about every denomination and sect of Christendom is represented, plus, of course, every type of cult and false teacher. Unfortunately, cults and aberrant teachers do not generally identify themselves as such in their YouTube descriptions. You actually have to view the material offered before making this determination … 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

N.T. Wright’s Long Farewell

If you want a quick-but-tedious way to separate some of the shallower evanjellyfish from the more theologically-serious evangelicals in your circle of friends, here’s a simple method: call N.T. Wright a heretic. It’s quick because the blowback you will surely experience can be timed in microseconds. It’s tedious because you will be subjected to a series of overweeningly shrill diatribes, accompanied by confident insinuations that anyone who says such a thing is a divisive dolt. … Continue reading