Homosexuality, The Most Pressing Issue of Our Times

(Volume 21, Issue 6, Nov/Dec 2015) In 1979, Francis Schaeffer wrote, The thinkables of the eighties and nineties will certainly include things which most people today find unthinkable and immoral, even unimaginable and too extreme to suggest. Yet—since they do not have some overriding principle that takes them beyond relativistic thinking—when these become thinkable and acceptable in the eighties and nineties, most people will not even remember that they were unthinkable in the seventies. They will slide into each new thinkable without a jolt.[1] Schaeffer was referencing issues such as abortion, in the wake of the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. Abortion, which previously had been recognized as evil, was at the time rapidly finding acceptance in American culture. In light of shifting values concerning abortions, Schaeffer predicted similar devolution in other moral areas. Would he be surprised by today’s approval and promotion of all things homosexual? What was…

An Evaluation of Muslim Dreams & Visions of Isa (Jesus) Part 2 by Dennis McBride

  August/September 2013, Volume 19, Issue 4  This is part two of the article by Pastor Dennis McBride on Muslim dreams and visions of Isa (Jesus).  In the June/July publication of TOTT, Pastor McBride discussed the four representative descriptions of the Muslim dreams phenomenon and examined the first 10 primary considerations of this subject.  In this publication he will finish discussing the primary considerations and conclude his thoughts. Gary E. Gilley Beginning of Part 2 of the article by Pastor Dennis McBride 11. Are New Testament visions a pattern for Muslim dreams? Descriptive or Prescriptive? One task of an interpreter of Scripture is to determine if a passage is descriptive or prescriptive. In other words, does the passage describe what occurred in the past, or does it prescribe what will or should occur in the future, or both? For example, determining if the Acts chapter two account of the Day of…

An Evaluation of Muslim Dreams & Visions of Isa (Jesus) Part 1 by Dennis McBride

June/July 2013, Volume 19, Issue 3  Much confusion surrounds the numerous stories coming from Islamic people concerning their dreams and visions leading to conversions. “Think on These Things” published an article by Richard Fisher in 2008 entitled “Don’t You Believe It.” The next two issues will be composed of an article written by Pastor Dennis McBride. I believe Pastor McBride has done an excellent and thorough job of analyzing these experiences in the light of Scripture. Gary E. Gilley Beginning of article by Pastor Dennis McBride My Goal: The goal of this paper is to evaluate the reported phenomenon of Jesus (Isa) appearing to some Muslims in dreams and visions [1], and to discern if such reports fit the pattern of Scripture as determined through conservative grammatical/historical principles of interpretation (hermeneutics). My Concerns: I first became aware of the Muslin dreams phenomenon through a Christian brother who spoke with great…

The Manhattan Declaration

(February/March 2010 – Volume 16, Issue 1) The Christian village is all abuzz these days about The Manhattan Declaration, yet another brainchild of Charles Colson (along with Timothy George and Robert George) in his ever vigilant attempts at societal improvement and ecumenical unity.   In his earlier efforts, in particular the Evangelicals and Catholics Together documents, Colson and Roman Catholic priest John Neuhaus attempted, with some apparent success, to convince Christendom that their two separate traditions held far more in common than it realized and it was time for both sides to lay down their arms and unite against liberal Christianity and secular ideology for the good of society.  While admitting that strong differences still remained, Colson, Neuhaus and their supporters tried to maintain that the two communities were preaching essentially the same gospel message and therefore it was time to join forces against their greater enemies. The Manhattan Declaration addresses…

Joel Osteen and The Prosperity Gospel

(June/July 2009 – Volume 15, Issue 4) The New Age book and video by Rhonda Byrne, The Secret, which gained popularity recently due to Oprah Winfrey’s strong promotion, teaches that we can “create [our] own happiness through the law of attraction.”  Whether it is cash, health, prosperity or happiness, all can be ours if we will just learn to use “the secret.”  Byrne tells us, “Disease cannot live in a body that is in a healthy emotional state.” But be warned: “If you have a disease and you are focusing on it and talking to people about it, you are going to create more disease cells.”[1] Such rhetoric should sound familiar to anyone even faintly aware of the Word of Faith Movement, often termed “the prosperity gospel.”  This group has been infiltrating evangelicalism for decades and is now the fastest growing segment of Christianity in the world.  Some have estimated…

The New Atheism

(February 2009 – Volume 15, Issue 2) There is much buzz lately about the so-called “New Atheism.” This seems to be an odd term given the fact that there are not very many ways that a person can spin atheism – old atheism denied the existence of God and new atheism does the same, so what is the difference? There is a sense in which even old atheism is new; after all, until the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century real atheists were hard to find. It is true that practical atheism can be traced throughout history. Psalm 14:1 speaks of such a man, termed a fool, who says in his heart, “There is no God.” Most see this fool not as a philosophical atheist who mentally denies the existence of God, but as one who lives as if God does not exist, even though intellectually he knows better. Of course the…

Don’t You Believe It

(October 2008 – Volume 14, Issue 11) I often receive inquiries concerning supposed conversions, especially among Muslim people, as a result of visions, dreams and other direct revelations. Stories are abundant of such events and are quickly passed along by well-meaning Christians. But can these stories be verified? Are they true or just rumors? Where is the documentation? Pastor Richard Fisher has written an excellent article on this subject for the March 2008 issue of Personal Freedom Outreach Journal. With PFO’s and Pastor Fisher’s permission we are reprinting that article in this month’s issue of Think on These Things. – Gary E. Gilley Things keep getting stranger. The “Father of Lies” seems to be operating in high gear and discernment appears to be at an all- time low. It is as if we are in the days of Judges again, when “everyone did what was right in his own eyes”…

C.S. Lewis

(September 2006 – Volume 12, Issue 8)  There is probably no Christian in modern times better known or more influential than Clive Staples Lewis. Born in Belfast in the year 1899, Lewis would write dozens of books on a variety of topics before his death on November 22, 1963 (on the very day of the deaths of John Kennedy and Aldous Huxley). At the time of his death his popularity was starting to wane but shortly thereafter there was a revival of interest in Lewis and, arguably, today he is more deeply admired than ever. He is considered by many to be the greatest apologist for the Christian faith to have ever lived. Whether you agree with this assessment or not, there is no doubt that Lewis was in a league almost by himself in his ability to write great truths in ways that spoke to our hearts and opened our…

Wild at Heart – Part 2

(May 2004 – Volume 10, Issue 5)  Last month we began an evaluation of the extremely popular book Wild at Heart authored by John Eldredge. At that time we identified a number of concerns with Eldredge’s message. We will now conclude this evaluation with some even deeper concerns. UNBIBLICAL VIEWS OF SATAN How deeply Eldredge has indulged himself in the unbiblical spiritual warfare methodology so popular today is hard to tell, but there is no question that he misunderstands the devil. First, he believes the devil fears the courageous Christian man (pp. 87, 166). On the contrary, God warns us of our arrogance in attempting to deal with the devil (Jude 8-10; 2 Peter 2:10-12), and calls for us to stand firm (Ephesians 6:10-13) and resist, not attack (1 Peter 5:8-9; James 4:6). Next, rather than recognizing that our sinful flesh is the primary, if not exclusive, source of our evil…

Wild at Heart – Part 1

(April 2004 – Volume 10, Issue 4) One of the most popular fads at the moment, at least among Christian men, centers around John Eldredge’s extremely popular book, Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul. The book itself has won numerous awards and kudos including the 2002 Gold Medallion Book Award (for the finest in evangelical publishing), the Family Christian Bookstores 2002 book of the year award, and an endorsement from Charles Swindoll, who declares, “I believe it is the best, most insightful book I have read in at least the last five years.” The book itself is only the tip of the iceberg. There is the Wild at Heart field manual, the Wild at Heart journal, video curriculum, facilitator, kits with DVD’s ($100), and an audio book. Then there are the Wild at Heart four-day retreats, or “Boot Camps.” And for those who want the ultimate (and…