The New Evangelism: Michael Dowd’s Evolutionary Christianity

SFT Note: Dr. Karl Giberson of Eastern Nazarene College has announced his resignation effective this year to “pursue several professional scholarship and writing opportunities”, according to an ENC news article.  He had been the subject of several posts by me, as well as others such as Ken Ham and Dr. Albert Mohler.  Although I wish him well in his future endeavors, I am honestly happy that he will no longer be teaching his unbiblical theistic evolution and open theism ideas to more young students.  Please pray that ENC will seek to hire professors who uphold the biblical view of creationism, who reject open theism, and who hold to the full authority and infallibility of God’s word.  I urge all who are concerned to keep holding our Christian schools accountable for what they teach, who they allow to teach, and to make sure they uphold the truth of scripture above all else.

Gailon Totheroh April 22, 2011
(originally posted at www.evolutionnews.org)

hands with the sun.jpg

BACKGROUND

Who is Michael Dowd? He calls himself an evangelist. Not surprisingly, he can be found in churches preaching. But Dowd’s gospel is not one where sin is rebellion against God, but rejection of Darwin.

Likewise, salvation doesn’t come from Jesus on a Roman crucifix, but merely embracing the emergent Universe. Thus, we should Thank God for Evolution, the title of his 2008 magnus opus. Subtitled “The Marriage of Science and Religion,” the popular book-endorsed by no less than six Nobel Laureates-unfolds a central theme that standard Darwinism is scientifically accurate and religiously inspiring.

With faith-evolution controversies running unabated, Dowd’s Darwin-for-all-occasions may seem a hard sell. Yet Dowd’s effusive friendliness and seeming openness are swaying many his direction. His sales technique even wins over atheists and Christian evangelicals.

Still, Dowd is a mover-and- shaker who doesn’t move everybody to awe. The unwilling might include those who question Neo-Darwinism in whole or part, those who are uncomfortable with religion, and conservative adherents of traditional religions.

Since 2002, the self-described “evolutionary evangelist” has been on the road across America in a marathon of speaking engagements held mainly at schools and church groups. In addition, Dowd has four main websites, three books, and has spoken at the United Nations for their Values Caucus, a group dedicated to provide an “open forum . . . in order to allow a new culture to emerge.”

But Dowd’s background emerges from the old culture. Growing up Roman Catholic, he says he became a born-again Christian while serving in the army in 1979. He accepted that evolution was mostly harmful bunk until a few professors at Evangel University (conservative, Pentecostal) convinced him otherwise. From there, he went to seminary and then signed on with the liberal United Church of Christ for nine years.

While still with the UCC, he fully embraced evolutionary mysticism in 1988. Within an hour of starting a course on “The New Catholic Mysticism,” Dowd says he was weeping and seeing the “scientific story of the Universe” as a “sacred epic.” “I knew I would spend the rest of my life sharing this perspective as great news,” he adds. In fact, Dowd’s worldview moved from Christian monotheism to religious naturalism.

His commitment to naturalism while retaining the language of Christianity can be glimpsed in his statements from a recent article in Skeptic magazine:

“God is not a person; God is a personification of one or more deeply significant dimensions of reality.”

“‘Getting right with God’ means coming into right relationship with our planet and all its gloriously diverse species and cultures.”

“I foresee a time when religious leaders get their guidance and inspiration from humanity’s common creation story (Darwinian evolution) and teach and preach the discoveries of science as God’s word. When that day comes, our faith traditions will thrive and many of us will look back and exclaim, ‘Thank God for the New Atheists’.”

Despite his co-option of theological language, there is little left of traditional monotheism, let alone traditional Christianity, in Dowd’s worldview. Indeed, the “supernatural” itself doesn’t exist according Dowd; it’s merely an invention of the Western mind. “Evidence suggests that the only place that the so-called supernatural realm has ever existed has been in the minds and hearts (and speech) of human beings–and only quite recently.” Accordingly, the God of the Bible is no more real than the Greek gods Poseidon or Helios, and the Bible itself is a jumble of “old mythic stories” that provides no real guidance for the challenges we face today: “Ours is a time of space telescopes, electron microscopes, supercomputers, and the worldwide web. It is also a time of smart bombs, collapsing economies, and exploding oil platforms. This is not a time for parsing the lessons given to a few goatherds, tentmakers, and camel drivers.” (emphasis added)

EVANGELICAL ASSISTANCE

Given Dowd’s turn to religious naturalism, one may find surprising the number of Christian evangelicals interviewed for his recent online series at www.EvolutionaryChristianity.com, “The Advent of Evolutionary Christianity.” Some of the evangelicals’ tacit approval of Dowd’s agenda is curious.

For instance, among the nearly 40 interviewees was Karl Giberson, professor of physics at Eastern Nazarene College, who bemoans, “Evangelical theology has not made peace with evolution.” That is, some evangelicals have not accepted Darwin’s take on evolution as is and incorporated it into their theology.

Giberson serves as vice president with the pro-Darwin BioLogos Forum, a group he helped found with the most well-known evangelical advocate of Darwinian evolution, Francis Collins. The BioLogos website states, “We believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. We also believe that evolution, properly understood, best describes God’s work of creation.” But Dowd thinks God is only a metaphor for the universe and the Bible can’t be used to determine right and wrong. Science is the new Bible. This would seem to put BioLogos and Dowd at odds with one another.

Indeed, Giberson estimates that he disagrees with 60% of Dowd’s thinking. Yet Giberson objects to nothing Dowd asserts in their hour-long interview for the Advent series. Why is that?
Giberson says, “It’s fine to be working arm in arm with Michael Dowd, comfortably setting aside our differences and promoting the harmony of Christian faith and evolution.”

And Giberson also disagrees with Dowd about the New Atheists, taking them to task in his book Saving Darwin. What gives? Aren’t the Dawkins and Harris crowd the same people Dowd honors as God’s prophets? But Giberson says building a coalition to promote Darwinian evolution is more important than the gulf between their religious beliefs.

WINNING OVER THE RELUCTANT

Even apart from Dowd’s celebration of the New Atheists as prophets, he shows an ability to win over secularists. Atheist blogger Phil Ferguson originally wrote with ambivalence about Dowd’s Advent series. For Ferguson, Dowd and his cohorts’ made-up religion stuff is okay as long as they “don’t fight known science.” At the same time, “Maybe they are just abusing science to promote religion.”

After Dowd responds online by saying that he’s a “religious naturalist” in which God doesn’t mean what it used to mean, Ferguson is on board. He applauds Dowd’s “intentions and efforts”-and his pragmatism in “reaching people that would run screaming from this blog, so keep up the good work.”

EVANGELICAL OPPOSITION

Not everyone has hopped onto Dowd’s bandwagon. New Testament scholar Peter Jones has described Dowd’s worldview (“One-ism”) in his book One or Two: Seeing a World of Difference (2010). Jones finds Dowd’s use of Christian and Biblical language deceptive; he rejects establishing common cause with someone who engages in “worship of creation.”

Stanford scientist Richard Bube, whom both Dowd and Giberson greatly respect, was extremely critical of Dowd’s first book written in 1990, The Meaning of Life in the 1990s. Bube was once president of the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA), an organization of devout Christians in science-and a pioneer in efforts to put science and faith in harmony.

Dowd says Bube’s writing were his “lifeline” during college. Yet Bube calls false Dowd’s assertions that “every atom of the universe has an inner intelligence which is non-material and ultimately unknowable” and “the earth is alive and we are the Earth’s reflexive consciousness.” Bube also criticized Dowd for taking liberties with the Bible and Christian theology, concluding that “we must not let the idea take root in the Christian community that these aberrations on Christianity are the prescribed way to go.”

A COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY?

Dowd frames all he does in terms of openness and diversity. After all, he says, “Just like a forest or a pond eco-system, variety and different diversity of species makes for the health of an eco-system. I think that’s true in consciousness and culture as well.”

But the range of diversity he is willing to embrace seems to have sharp limits. For one thing, by endorsing and heaping fulsome praise on the New Atheists and their bashing of what he calls “superstitious, other-wordly religiosity,” Dowd certainly appears to encourage the exclusion of traditional monotheists from being part of any discussion about Darwinian evolution. After all, one of the driving goals of the New Atheists is to so debunk traditional religion that its adherents will be driven out of the public square entirely.

In his own series at EvolutionaryChristianity.com, meanwhile, don’t expect to find any supporters of intelligent design in biology as part of the conversation.


When asked why he didn’t include someone from the intelligent design movement among the nearly 40 interviews in his “Advent of Evolutionary Christianity” series, he replied, “If I were to do it again, I would probably include one, two, or three people from that perspective . . . I certainly anticipate interviewing and occasionally featuring some of the work of a more ID perspective.”

However, Dowd added pre-conditions for interviewing an ID proponent. Candidates would have to subscribe to four concepts Dowd says were held by the Advent interviewees: “We’re all committed Christians, we all value evidence as divine communication and divine guidance, we all have deep-time eyes, and we all have a global heart.”

But how can this group of interviewees truly have these four points of common ground when they obviously don’t agree on what being a Christian means? Or what “divine communication” signifies? What serves as evidence? Are “deep-time eyes” a reference to an old earth chronology or more about “one’s communion with the powers of the earth” as Dowd’s website states? Does “global heart” mean any animal is just as good as a human because people are only a part of “the larger body of life”?

While Dowd’s stated commitment to many voices matches his assertion that his is just one voice among many — his lone voice dominates the Advent series. By interjecting stories and commentary during the interviews, Dowd exerts far more influence than that of any other individual.

DOWD’S WORLDVIEW AND ITS IMPACT

What is true of Dowd is that he has held a worldview of religious atheism for over 20 years. The difference is that today there are millions of people who have switched to Dowd’s faith in the Universe. In fact, analysts have estimated that there are 50 million Americans and 100 million Europeans who fit what used to be called New Agers, but now want to be known as Cultural Creatives, Progressives, Brights, or Integral Spiritualists.

So what wins out in the end for Dowd, the advocate of blending Christianity and evolution? Party-line evolution-with mysticism in tow-or is it vice versa?

And what true blue evolutionist might not welcome Dowd? Dowd himself finds even the atheist evolutionary biologist PZ Myers a kindred spirit: “There is very little about which PZ and I disagree, other than perhaps the fact that I’m working to evolve religion and he’s working to free society of it.”

In the process, well-reasoned scientific objections to macroevolution and alternatives to Neo-Darwinism like intelligent design are cast aside. The other casualty is well-considered traditional religion – thrown under the bus for the latest mystical fad that is nothing more than recycled paganism.

Nazarene Professor Giberson Says Jesus Is An Evolutionist

Note: Recently I was interviewed by Russ Jones of the OneNewsNow internet newspaper, of American Family Radio.  You can read a summary of the interview here: “Mysticism Infecting Nazarene Beliefs“.  May the Lord keep giving us additional avenues of disseminating the truth to as many Christians as possible.

Dr. Karl Giberson is more and more each day stepping out with thoughts that challenge the Bible’s authority and believability.  He apparently feels that he can say anything he wants to now, even if it goes against traditional biblical and Nazarene teachings.  I would ask the leadership at Eastern Nazarene College and board of directors, and I will, to what lengths will you go to ignore everything he says no matter what?  Will he or others ever cross a line that says to you that this cannot continue unchallenged?  Ken Ham, a non-Nazarene, and Dr. Albert Mohler, a non-Nazarene, have challenged this professor’s teachings that contradict scripture.  Will any Nazarenes do the same?  I agree with Ken Ham, Dr. Karl Giberson is clearly undermining the Bible with his words.  When will he stop?


Is Jesus An Evolutionist?
by Ken Ham, Answers In Genesis
4/11/2011

A Nazarene college professor believes He is! Karl Giberson, from Eastern Nazarene College (located on Boston’s south shore), wrote this on a CNN website. The Nazarene school’s website states, “Karl Giberson teaches science and religion, and directs the honors program at Eastern Nazarene College. He is one of the leading scholarly voices in America’s ongoing controversy over evolution.”

What has this academic scholar at a Nazarene college written lately? From the religion blog at the CNN website, he wrote an article entitled “Jesus would believe in evolution and so should you.”

Here are some excerpts from Dr. Giberson’s commentary—which in itself is an attack on the Word of God. And really, because Jesus is the Word (John 1:1–2), an attack on God’s Word is also an attack on the Son.

Giberson states the following:

When science began in the 17th century, Christians eagerly applied the new knowledge to alleviate suffering and improve living conditions.

First of all, “science” means knowledge. What he is referring to is modern empirical science—based on repeatable, observable facts. Such empirical science has enabled us to develop technology, medicines, etc. For this we are all grateful. Whether a scientist is an evolutionist or creationist, we can applaud them for the great technological advances because of operational (or observational) science. But Giberson then steps out of discussing observational science and steps into historical science (beliefs about the past).

But when it comes to the truth of evolution, many Christians feel compelled to look the other way.

From the context of the article, we see that by “evolution” he is referring to Darwinian evolution—molecules to ape-like creatures to man. This is not “truth.” It is a belief about the past. He then demeans Gods inspired (“God breathed,” 2 Timothy 3:16) Word by stating the following:

They hold on to a particular interpretation of an ancient story in Genesis that they have fashioned into a modern account of origins—a story that began as an oral tradition for a wandering tribe of Jews thousands of years ago.

Giberson is actually applying his belief in evolutionary history to the Bible. He assumes that people in the past were not as intellectual or as intelligent as people today. Giberson has a very different view of inspiration than that of orthodox Christians. He obviously does not see the record of Genesis as “God breathed.” Yet in the New Testament (Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15, to name just a couple of references), the apostle Paul referred to events in Genesis as real history—foundational to the gospel. Jesus, in Matthew 19, quoted from Genesis 1 and 2 as real history—as the foundation for the doctrine of marriage.

Jesus is the Truth. He is the Word. To claim that Genesis is just an ancient story that “began as an oral tradition for a wandering tribe of Jews” is to attack the Word of God, and thus it is an attack on the Son of God, who is the Word.

He continues.

This is the view on display in a $27 million dollar Creation Museum in Kentucky. It inspired the Institute for Creation Research, which purports to offer scientific support for creationism.

Those who have actually been to the Creation Museum know it is a place the honors God’s Word and proclaims the gospel.

Later in the article, Giberson states the following:

For more than two centuries, careful scientific research, much of it done by Christians, has demonstrated clearly that the earth is billions years old, not mere thousands, as many creationists argue. We now know that the human race began millions of years ago in Africa—not thousands of years ago in the Middle East, as the story in Genesis suggests.

So Paul was wrong in 1 Corinthians 11 about the origins of humans when he twice stated that the woman is of the man? Paul said that the woman (the first woman, Eve), came from the man (a reference to God creating Eve from Adam’s side in Genesis 2). To believe in evolution as Giberson does, one must believe that woman came from an ape-woman and man from and ape-man.

The Bible makes it clear that man was made from dust and woman from his side. Jesus, in Matthew 19, quoted from Genesis 2:24 regarding the “one flesh,” thus clearly stating that the Genesis 2 account is literal history. So if Giberson is right, Jesus didn’t tell the truth, and Paul was wrong. So what is the Bible really? If it is fallible, who determines which bits are fallible?

Giberson goes on to again state that evolution is fact.

And all life forms are related to each other though evolution. These are important truths that science has discovered through careful research. They are not “opinions” that can be set aside if you don’t like them. Anyone who values truth must take these ideas seriously, for they have been established as true beyond any reasonable doubt.

Well, there is one verse of Scripture that comes to mind.

Let God be true but every man a liar. (Romans 3:4)

Giberson then discusses supposed evidence for evolution. This evidence is all countered and answered clearly in various articles on answersingenesis.org.

Later in the article, he states the following:

Christians must come to welcome—rather than fear—the ideas of evolution. Truths about Nature are sacred, for they speak of our Creator. Such truths constitute “God’s second book” for Christians to read alongside the Bible. . . . To understand how the heavens go we must read the book of Nature, not the Bible.

This is a similar concept to one taught by Hugh Ross, that nature is the 67th book of the Bible. However, nature is cursed! It is affected by sin. And nature doesn’t “say” anything. Fallible man has to interpret nature. The only way to ensure one has the right basis to interpret it correctly, is to build one’s thinking on the history revealed in Scripture.

When this is done, we understand that nature is suffering from the affects of the Fall. The whole creation groans because of sin (Romans 8:22). One doesn’t look at the creation and see billions of years. That is an interpretation made by fallible man, and that interpretation is incorrect.

The written Word of God makes it clear that thorns came after the curse, yet there are fossil thorns in rocks said to be supposedly millions of years old. The Bible makes it clear that death, disease, and suffering are the result of sin; but death, disease, and evidence of violence and suffering abounds in the fossil record. This record had to come after sin—not millions of years before man.

Giberson continues.

The Book of nature reveals the truth that God created the world through gradual processes over billions of years, rather than over the course of six days, as many creationists believe.

Actually, the Bible does state that God created in six days (Exodus 20:11). Read the account for yourself. Where does it state billions of years? It doesn’t. And where do you read in “the book of nature” that the world is billions of years old and that life evolved? You read this in man’s fallible books, as fallible man who “suppresses the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1), as Giberson is doing, then imposes this story (and that’s what it is, a made-up story) on nature.

He then states the following:

Evolution does not contradict the Bible unless you force an unreasonable interpretation on that ancient book.

What he is saying is that evolution doesn’t contradict the Bible, unless you take the Bible as written. As long as you reinterpret God’s Word—thus undermining its authority—you can make God’s Word mean anything you want to make it to mean.

Giberson ends the article with the following:

To these questions we should add “What would Jesus believe about origins?” And the answer? Jesus would believe evolution, of course. He cares for the Truth.

Here are the words of Jesus (He is the Word—so any quote of Scripture is to quote Jesus).

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

The entirety of Your word is truth. (Psalms 119:160)

Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust.For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me.But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words? (John 5:45–47)

You can read Giberson’s entire Bible-undermining commentary at the following link:

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/04/10/my-take-jesus-would-believe-in-evolution-and-so-should-you/

Already Compromised

On May 1, our new book Already Compromised will be released. It details the compromise teaching (like this commentary above) that is permeating our Christian colleges. This book is both revealing and shocking. You can pre-order Already Compromised now.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

Ken

Symptoms Of A Great Apostasy In Our Christian Schools And Seminaries

Acts 20:28-31 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.

There are still some good Christian colleges out there, you just need to search hard, find them, and verify what they profess to stand for.  You cannot simply trust the fact that a school labels itself Christian anymore.  This has been obvious to me in my last two years of investigation, and the facts are appalling and shameful.  We need to stop being a little less polite or politically corrent, and be more honest and upfront about the dangers facing our youth today.  Souls are at risk!

I just cannot see myself sending my son to a “Christian” university someday simply because it claims to be a Christian school.  Some folks say that they would rather send their child to any “Christian” school rather than a secular school. Imagine the horror, however, if your child goes to a “Christian” school, and after four years, comes home having learned and incorporated all sorts of pagan practices and unbiblical ideas into his life, or doubting the truthfulness of the Bible, after you entrusted him into the hands of supposedly solid Christian teachers and administrators.  My friends, many of these schools are all marching down the road of one-worldism, and ecumenical false unity, and an the incorporation of personal mystical experiences over the sufficiency of the word of God. And I have noticed over the last few years that many Christians are either not aware of, or just don’t care about, the signs of a great apostasy invading our Christian schools.

There is hardly a Christian university around anymore that can be trusted with your son or daughter’s spiritual well-being.  It is getting harder to recommend a school that you can be confident has a strong biblical foundation.  With the usual lame excuse of offering a “healthy liberal arts education”, this problem is showing up in all denominations, and in my particular denomination, the Nazarenes, it is a horrendous problem that I never dreamed would happen.  But it is, and it is a nightmare of “biblical proportions.”  And many Nazarenes are still stubbornly refusing to acknowledge this problem and deal with it according to scripture.  But deal with it we must.

One of the nightmares for instance is occurring at Point Loma Nazarene University.  I do not advise parents to send their children there at all. Point Loma proudly welcomed heretical emergent leader Brian McLaren- again- to speak there in February of 2009.  McLaren is a false teacher who considers the Cross like false advertising for God; who as a pastor does not understand what scripture clearly teaches about homosexuality; who cannot come to say that Jesus Christ is the only way to God.  Yet, Point Loma’s leaders either have no clue, or have bought into the lies and are deceived.  Students are being led like lambs to the slaughter, spiritually, at this school.  And having heard from alumni and concerned parents, these leaders have done nothing as of yet, as far as I know.

Point Loma has been promoting mysticism for a while now.  They have no problem bringing in Richard Foster to their school, to teach our young people the ways of occultic mysticism.  And they have shown their continued lack of discernment by hosting a bizarre conference called Nurturing The Prophetic Imagination.  Here, in this video, Dr. Peter Jones describes this conference as well as the school’s connection with Madame Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society, an occultic organization.  Dr. Jones also mentions how several feminist professors at Point Loma are promoting a radical blurring of male-female roles that is unbiblical, as well as the radical social justice that is plaguing many Nazarene colleges.  One of their professors, Dennis Bratcher, teaches process theology, a heresy that says that God learns from His mistakes.  And Professor Darrel Falk is a leading member of BioLogos and is a promoter of evolution as being compatible with the Bible.

Then there is Northwest Nazarene University, which is just about as bad as Point Loma. I would also strongly advise against sending your child to this school without investigating.  The classic example I have on my blog is the horrendously pagan lecture given by Dr. Jay McDaniel in front of NNU students, with the approval of leadership and faculty, including Dr. Tom Oord.  What a disturbing display of pagan and universalistic thinking that was indoctrinating our college Christian students, with not a word of protest from those who are teachers of our young people.  To this day, we have heard only excuses and pitiful explanations for this sad exhibition.  And there’s more of course, as NNU also hosted Brian McLaren and his ridiculous worship of mother earth and mis-translation of John 3:16 as meaning that Jesus came to save planet earth (see Eric Barger’s video).  Their theology curriculums are filled with books by mystics and emergent heretical authors.  Many (not all) of their teachers reject the Bible as the infallible word of God, and consider much of it as only myths.

Trevecca Nazarene University is in bad shape as well.  They have been going on field trips every year now to the Abby of Gethsemane, home to the late mystic Thomas Merton.  They have been indulging in the pagan practice of the prayer labyrinth, and when they were exposed, they changed the name of this practice to “prayer walk.”  They promote books by emergent church leaders, heretical mystics and contemplative spirituality proponents to their students.  In practice, this school is rejecting solid biblical principles by bringing in the ways of Roman Catholic monastic mysticism and emergent church heresy.

My own alma mater, Eastern Nazarene College, is exhibiting many signs of poor judgment.  The school is now also getting onto the social justice bandwagon.  They have a new social justice program with connections to a Marxist.  Can we also remember the hosting of Tony Campolo, in spite of my warnings to the leadership a few months before?  Campolo did not fail us in our expectations, as he promoted his occultic mysticism to a chapel full of young students, and perhaps more sadly, to also a good number of Nazarene pastors and leaders that day.  How sad that as far as I know, none have spoken out against this travesty. ENC is also home to Karl Giberson, a professor who does not believe the entire Bible, but insists that we came from evolutionary processes.  And he also promotes the heresy of open theism (God cannot know the future).  Their bookstore is full of books by heretical emergent leaders, and also promotes Roman Catholic bibles, including one with a prayer rosary inside.  In February, they will be hosting a speaker, Rachel Held Evans, who will be taking part in the Big Tent Christianity Conference and apparently has no problem associating with heretical speakers such as Marcus Borg and Brian McLaren.    A quote of her latest blog post gives us some insight into her thinking (emphasis mine) :  My tradition teaches that all non-Christians will be damned to hell for eternity, which can be supported with some interpretations of Scripture, but which violates every compassionate instinct God gave me as a human being and follower of Jesus.”

It seems that discernment has disappeared at my old school.  I would not recommend it at this time for any discerning parent to send their child.

Just because I did not mention the other Nazarene schools, does not necessarily mean they don’t have problems.  Nazarene Theological Seminary is frankly no better.  It is shamelessly promoting mysticism, including a Spring course taught by Dr. Doug Hardy called Celtic Spirituality, an occultic belief system that is nothing but paganism pretending to be Christian!  They have even promoted mystical and Roman Catholic practices to our young children of middle school age!  I dread to think of what future pastors will be preaching and promoting, as many of them buy into the unbiblical teachings that are being taught at our top seminary.

Oh, there are others schools besides Nazarene.  You will need to do some serious homework and ask some hard questions while demanding clear answers, before deciding where to send your child.  There are many universities once trusted for years, but no longer.  Fuller Theological Seminary is more aptly now called a cemetery.  Baylor University, Biola University (known for its apologetics!); Dallas Theological Seminary, George Fox University, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and many more, are delving into contemplative spirituality, emergent church ideology, social justice tinged with Marxism, worship of the creation, and post-modern theological ramblings that go nowhere but to confuse already confused young people.

Am I crazy that I don’t want my son to go to a “Christian” school where the theology professors don’t even believe in the inerrant, infallible word of God?  Am I crazy that I don’t want my son to be taught that you can have “an experience” with God, unlike anything taught in the Bible?  Or that he is going to have a social justice ideology rammed down his throat at the expense of solid biblical foundations?  Or that he is being introduced to Roman Catholic mysticism, prayer beads, and mantra style prayer?

Apostasy is here in our Christian universities and seminaries.  Some of us just need to stop being in denial.

Don’t Show Them the Money: Maybe They Will Listen

Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth? Galatians 4:16 (NKJV)

I watched a Charles Stanley sermon several months ago, entitled “What You Believe- Does It Matter?”  Here is a short excerpt towards the end in regards to sending your child to college:

“And I want to say it again to parents.  You owe it to your children to teach them the truth of the word of God….It’s your responsibility as a parent to find out what does that school teach.  Do you want to spend 60 to 100,000 dollars getting your child educated in things that destroy them, instead of educating them in things that build them up and strengthen them and make them godly? Where you send your kids to school is a very important thing….they want freedom to choose.  But freedom that is knowledgeable, freedom that is intelligible, freedom that knows the truth about a school, and about the president, and what they teach and what they don’t teach.”

This reminded me of what I had mentioned in a post last year, which was not well received by some, including a few pastors.  That article I wrote ended up leading to a major turning point for the future of me and my family.  It was a critique of Dr. Tom Oord and his lecture at Eastern Nazarene College.  Dr. Oord teaches the heresy (yes, heresy) of open theism, and as a Christian parent with a future college child or two, I did not take kindly to this ideology he is indoctrinating students with, nor to the fact that he was speaking at Eastern Nazarene, nor to the fact that the leadership at the school welcomed him and apparently agree with, or at least tolerate with, this heretical teaching.

I recall that I made some people very unhappy just for simply suggesting that they call or write, and ask questions of the ENC leadership, if they were concerned.  It continues to amaze me, how those who claim to be the “understanding ones”, the ones open to all ideas and beliefs, the so-called “Big Tent” people, are the very ones who try to silence or intimidate any Christian who has serious concerns about a school’s teachings and who ask questions and want straight answers!  These “understanding ones”, the post-modern types, are the very people who one minute promote an open dialog and an embrace of tolerance for all viewpoints, but then turn around and slander you!  But there is no doubt that these tolerant ones are really the intolerant ones.  And they are like that simply because they are trying to defend their biblically indefensible ideologies that they espouse at our Christian universities.  They know who they are, and I expect at least a few of them will get a little meaner and nastier if they manage to finish reading this.  I can understand it, however, because they have no other substantive defense for their ideology.

But I think we need to go a step further beyond just continually asking questions, which most likely will not be answered, or answered adequately.  I have concluded that the power of the checkbook is the only way to get some heads turning at these schools that are letting in all sorts of aberrant teachings whose source is clearly not God, but from satan.  They are apparently comfortable with the idea that it’s more important to expose our kids to false teachers and teachings, than to protect them from what might lead them away from the faith.  Hence  barely a word said about guest speakers like universalist Jay McDaniel (at Northwest Nazarene University) who claims to be a Christian.  Or Tony Campolo who is shamelessly embraced at ENC by Nazarene pastors and school leaders while he spouts his mysticism, his support for the homosexual lifestyle as compatible with Christianity, and his occultic doctrines of demons.  And our premier theological seminary, NTS, reflects the same occultic tendencies as Campolo does, by providing a course in Celtic spirituality, which is a system that is nothing but a perversion of true Christianity.  There is Point Loma Nazarene University, with its ill-advised support and promotion of Richard Foster and his contemplative mysticism; and Trevecca Nazarene University and its promotion of prayer labyrinths, Roman Catholic monastic mysticism, and practicing the silence.  I could go on and on, including the teaching of theistic evolution, which is totally incompatible with biblical teaching, and contradicts the words of Jesus Christ Himself!



For the Nazarenes who know what’s going on and support all this stuff, you cannot with a straight face tell me that some of what is happening is from our heritage of Nazarene holiness teaching, or even from a Wesleyan tradition, which you often reference, but which you often misquote and twist.  So perhaps more parents, alumni, and even churches and districts, may need to start sending a message, that their dollars will no longer go to these schools, until they straighten their act out.  I believe some have already done this.  I also have heard testimony that some individuals have paid a price for standing up against these practices and ideas.  So, if asking questions politely does not even merit a substantive response, perhaps politely but firmly telling them that enough is enough, and they won’t get a dime anymore, might work.

Perhaps some parents might want to demand a refund from these schools, because of false advertising.  “Prayer labyrinths, monastic mysticism, practicing the silence, evolution, open theism is not what I signed up my daughter or son to learn!  Please return my money.”


Unless you don’t see any problem with any of the things I and others have clearly reported on and documented, I believe it is Christian negligence and disobedience to God if you DO know there is a serious problem, and do absolutely nothing and turn a blind eye to this.  If someone knows that their child’s future or current Christian college is allowing or promoting false teachings, or allowing false teachers to come into the school unchallenged, to brainwash their children, they have a Christian obligation to say or do something about it.

And if you are willing to risk your child’s eternal salvation, just because it’s always been the school you supported, I think you need to pray about this.  If you are very worried about these things, ask God for the strength and the words to challenge the leadership, and the board of directors at these schools, until they start listening to you, until they do something about the heresies being welcomed and embraced.  If that does not work, perhaps we need to start asking the Lord to shut down these schools, for the sake of our children.

There is hope for some of these schools that have not gone too far off the deep end yet.  But some of these others that I have mentioned apparently have swallowed the poison cup of apostasy and are in critical condition, on spiritual life support.  And they will not care a bit no matter how much you complain, unless the threat of loss of money is hanging over their heads.  Oh, they may send you a nice form letter back, thanking you and stating that the school is committed to the ideals of our denomination and the “stated” mission of the school. Then they turn right around again and continue with the transformation of the school into something that is a breeding ground for future pastors that do not even believe in the entire word of God.  So I believe that the only practical weapon remaining is the power of the checkbook, in addition to the ultimate power of the Holy Spirit to change hearts and minds.  Saying  “God is in control, don’t worry, let Him take care of it”, does not absolve us of our Christian responsibility to do and say something.

Each one of us- individually, not collectively- is accountable to God.  And one day, each and every one of us will answer to God in His presence, for all the things we did or DID NOT DO.  If anyone thinks that it is only the overt acts of a Christian that will be judged by God, heed the words of Ezekiel 33:7-9.

Some of you remember the movie with Tom Cruise and his famous line: “Show me the money.”  You see, the bottom line for him was the money.  Well, some of us have come to the conclusion that the bottom line for these universities and colleges is the money.  And what will assist in improving their hearing is a good old fashioned statement from a lot of parents, or from an entire church or district:

“Change your ways.  Enough is enough.  You will not get a dime from us until your school reflects the true values and doctrines of the denomination whose name you carry.  Otherwise, we will not show you the money, and we will not send our children to this school.”



“I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; They shall never hold their peace day or night.

You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent.” (Isaiah 62:6)


– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –– – – – – – – – – – SFT Extra:  – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Below is a 10 minute summary of Dr. Jay McDaniel speaking at Northwest Nazarene University in 2008.  Please watch it.  Contrary to objections that have been made, I saw no evidence that this lecture was for nothing else than to further indoctrinate students into a pluralist and universalistic type thinking, and this should be a sober reminder of what will continue to happen at our Christian universities, if we stay silent.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9GgRy741A8

Karl Giberson’s BioLogos Taken To Task

The following is a post by Dr. Albert Mohler in another “battle” with Nazarene evolutionists Kark Giberson and Darrel Falk, the main leaders at BioLogos, and proponents of “Christian evolution” and open theism. Another team member is Professor Lowell Hall, from Eastern Nazarene College as is Dr. Giberson.  Dr. Falk is from Point Loma Nazarene University.
Many of us continue to raise questions about professors such as Giberson and Falk, as they continue to push the biblically untenable position that we all came from apes, that science is superior over scripture, and that the biblical account of creation is a myth, and Adam and Eve were fables.  It’s nice to see theologians like Dr. Mohler defend scripture, but it would be great to see some Nazarene writers start to express their opinion as to whether they agree with Drs. Giberson, Falk, and other Nazarene rofessors promoting this as the only serious way to read the Bibles account of creation, or whether they trust the Bible’s account, as well as trust Jesus and the apostles themselves in their affirmation of creation and Adam and Eve.

Update: Some Nazarenes have spoken out!  This Nazarene pastor is concerned and has said some things regarding the evolution problem: http://nazarenesforbiblicalcreationism.blogspot.com/


No Pass From Theological Responsibility- The BioLogos Conundrum

Tuesday, November 9, 2010, Dr. Albert Mohler
www.albertmohler.com

BioLogos is a movement that asserts theological arguments in the public square in order to convince evangelical Christians to accept their proposals. They now have the audacity to ask for a pass from theological responsibility. That is the one thing they may not have.


Public debate is unpredictable by nature, but I have to admit that the approach undertaken by the folks at BioLogos continues to amaze me. The BioLogos movement is a straight-forward attempt to persuade evangelical Christians to embrace some form of evolutionary theory. Organized by a group that includes Dr. Francis Collins, now the Director of the National Institutes of Health, the movement seeks to marginalize objections to evolution among conservative Christians. It offers a very sophisticated website and an energetic communications strategy.

The BioLogos approach to the issue is now clear. They want to discredit evangelical objections to evolution and to convince the evangelical public that an acceptance of evolution is a means of furthering the gospel. They have leveled their guns at the Intelligent Design movement, at young earth creationism, and against virtually all resistance to the embrace of evolution. They claim that the embrace of evolution is necessary if evangelicalism is not to be intellectually marginalized in the larger culture. They have warned that a refusal to embrace evolution will doom evangelicalism to the status of an intellectual cult.

Furthermore, they have been breathtakingly honest about the theological implications of their arguments. Writers for BioLogos have repeatedly made the case that we must relinquish the inerrancy of the Bible and accept that the biblical writers worked from a defective understanding of the world and its origins. They have asserted, for example, that the Apostle Paul was simply wrong in assuming that Adam was an historical person from whom all humans are descended. They have been bold and honest in rejecting the biblical account of the Fall as historical. They have warned that an affirmation of biblical inerrancy has led evangelicalism into an “intellectual cul-de-sac.” A complete inventory of the doctrinal concessions they will demand is not yet in sight, but as I have affirmed before, they deserve credit for the honesty of their proposals.

They are also clear about their motive. In their view, the acceptance of evolution is necessary for evangelism. They are motivated, they insist, by a concern that a rejection of evolution puts Christians in a position of intellectual embarrassment. The rejection of evolution places Christians outside the intellectual pale, they assert, leading to the discrediting of the gospel. They believe that intellectuals, especially scientists, will not respect an evangelistic witness to the gospel from one who is intellectually discredited by rejecting evolution. They are embarrassed by the fact that a majority of evangelicals reject evolution, and they honestly believe that some people will not come to know Christ because they are so offended by our unwillingness to accept evolution. They have repeatedly asserted that the credibility and integrity of our Christian witness is at stake.

The writers for BioLogos have been unsparing in their criticism of evangelicals who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible or are proponents of either Intelligent Design or creationism. They initiated a public debate by presenting their arguments in the public square. But now, it appears, they really do not want a public debate at all. They want a one-way conversation.

On November 8, an article appeared at the BioLogos site that was explicitly addressed to me. The author, Mark Sprinkle, had courteously informed me by e-mail on November 7 that the article would appear the next day. And so it did.

In his article, Dr. Sprinkle uses the account of Peter and Cornelius from Acts 10 to argue that “our theology is descriptive, not prescriptive; it is our collective and halting attempt to describe in coherent terms what we know of God by what we have seen of His acts and what we have read in His Word—and, above all else, by what we have seen in the acts of the Word, Jesus.” That argument points very clearly in the direction of minimizing theology and doctrine, but it is also false. Unless a church forfeits all doctrinal responsibility, at least some theology is always prescriptive.

But theology, he argues, “is put to the test not just by our logic, but by the witness of what God is doing in our lives and in the lives of others around the world.” He then states this: “Evidence of the Spirit at work is the only true measure we have of our theology; all other measures, including whether it fits our carefully-reasoned arguments of who is in and who is out, are vanity.”

That is an interesting statement, but it is nonsensical unless there is some means of evaluating what is and is not authentic evidence of the Spirit at work. And that, of course, would mean some kind of biblical and theological test. The effort to escape theology gets us nowhere.

Dr. Sprinkle then turns to me specifically, charging that I regard those involved with BioLogos to be “confused Christians” at best. He claims that my criticism of the arguments made by figures associated with BioLogos amount to my effort to limit “God’s ability to redeem and transform whomever He so pleases, in whatever manner He so pleases.” I would greatly appreciate any reference to where I have ever addressed such an issue with reference to BioLogos. There is none. At the same time, Dr. Sprinkle’s unavoidable implication is that God’s Spirit moves in ways contrary to God’s Word — and that I do flatly and energetically reject.

Dr. Sprinkle writes with concern about “Dr. Mohler’s repeated implications and suggestions, if not outright pronouncements, that I and anyone else who does not reject evolutionary processes are, therefore, not Christian in any but a nominal or diminished way, not authentic followers of Jesus no matter what we say and despite the evidence of the Holy Spirit both in us and working through us.”

At this point, given the public nature of this statement, I have to ask the only question I know to ask. Can these people read? I defy anyone to locate a single sentence where I have ever questioned the salvation of anyone in any context where I have addressed anything related to BioLogos. I have never questioned their salvation, nor have I attempted to interrogate their hearts. I accept at face value that their ambitions and intentions in their own minds are worthy. I cannot read their souls.

I can read their words, however. Their theological arguments are published in the public arena. They are not shy about making their proposals, and they call for a radical reformulation of evangelical doctrine. Their assaults upon biblical inerrancy have not been made in private conversations, but in public discourse. Their argument that the Apostle Paul was wrong to believe in an historical Adam and an historical Fall was made in public, as was their denial of common descent through Adam.

They will have to take responsibility for these arguments. They should expect no less than a spirited debate over their proposals, and it is nothing short of bewildering that they now ask, in effect, for a pass from all theological scrutiny. They accuse conservative evangelicals of driving evangelicalism into an “intellectual cul-de-sac” and into the status of an intellectual “cult,” and then they have the audacity to complain of the “tone” of those who argue that their proposals amount to a theological disaster.

Virtually every form of theological liberalism arises from an attempt to rescue Christian theology from what is perceived to be an intellectual embarrassment — whether the virgin conception of Christ, the historicity of the miracles recorded in the Bible, or, in our immediate context, the inerrancy of Scripture and the Bible’s account of creation.

Dr. Sprinkle kindly invites me “to come and see what I see in the hearts and lives of people in the BioLogos community.” I am willing and eager to enter into any conversation that serves the cause of the gospel. But a conversation that serves the cause of the gospel cannot avoid talking about what the gospel is — and that requires theology.

BioLogos is a movement that asserts theological arguments in the public square in order to convince evangelical Christians to accept their proposals. They now have the audacity to ask for a pass from theological responsibility. That is the one thing they may not have.