A Look at Depression Through the Lens of Scripture

(December 1997 – Volume 3, Issue 10) The man sitting before me would not respond to my questions. He sat, motionless, staring at the floor. That he had been under a great deal of stress was a fact known to all who loved him, but that he was this close to the “edge” surprised us all. Soon he would find himself on the psych ward of a local hospital, medicated and undergoing both individual and group counseling. Unfortunately his life would never be the same. He had come to this state of deep (what some would call “clinical”) depression because of unbiblical and sinful choices that he had been making in his life. Even though he would overcome his depression, the counseling he received reinforced and validated these choices. He would ultimately leave his wife and child, drop out of the church and pursue his ungodly lifestyle. Marital problems are the…

A Biblical Screening of Jim Cymbala’s Book, ‘Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire’

(December 1998 – Volume 4, Issue 11) The motivation behind reading this book was both a rave review from an IFCA (Independent Fundamental Churches of America) communiqué (written by Steve Johnson, member of the publication committee), which was also published by the IFCA bulletin service; and an equally positive book review in Voice (the IFCA magazine) by Richard McCarrell. I will quote McCarrell’s review in total, for context: Vance Havner loved telling of two Indians watching the construction of a lighthouse. It was finally completed, and the big day arrived for its opening. As dignitaries gathered, the worst fog of the season blew in. One Indian turned to the other and said, “Light shine, bell ring, horn blow, fog come in just the same.” Vance Havner would then say, “We’ve never had more lights shining, bells ringing, and horns blowing than we have today within the church. Yet, we’ve never had…

Can Man Live Without God? by Ravi Zacharias

Zacharias is an able apologist in the tradition of Frances Schaeffer. He writes well, mixes heavy thoughts with interesting stories and stays within the framework of conservative biblical Christianity. Having said that, it should be recognized that not all of Zacharias’ concepts emerge from Scripture. Unfortunately, there is good evidence in this book that the author has swallowed a great deal of secular psychology, which he freely interlaces with biblical truth. As a matter of fact, this whole volume is built on the foundation that man has the need for meaning and security (see p.113), a standard understanding of several wings of psychology but not found in Scripture. If the reader can leap over this admittedly large crevice there is much delicious fruit waiting on the other side. Zacharias handles well many philosophical questions. He proposes wonderful insights into the reasoning and views of the secular mind, offering alternatives that…

Fresh Fire or False Flames

(September 2008 – Volume 14, Issue 10)  Are you ready for the third wave – again? You might recall that, in the 1980s, C. Peter Wagner termed John Wimber’s Vineyard Movement the “Third Wave.” Wagner claimed at the time that the first wave of modern stirrings by the Holy Spirit began at the turn of the century with Pentecostalism. This led to establishing various Pentecostal denominations such as the Assembly of God. The second wave, which started in 1960, was the charismatic movement which brought the power of the Holy Spirit to the major denominations. Then Wagner said, “I see the third wave of the eighties as an opening of the straight-line evangelicals and other Christians to the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit that the Pentecostals and charismatics have experienced, but without becoming either charismatic or Pentecostal. I think we are in a new wave of something that now has…

The Sovereignty of God – Part 4

(December 2001 – Volume 7, Issue 11) The issue that we have been dancing around for the last several papers, and now must seriously address, has to do with the sovereign nature of God. Our context, so far, has been that of pain, suffering and evil in this world. And while this continues to be a good springboard into our discussion, it certainly does not exhaust the pool of topics and questions emerging from the subject. The broader discussion must include the whole gamut of problems that swirl around the “sovereignty of God” vs. the “freewill of man” debate.