Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Tearing Down Christianity...From Within

There’s a new book out from theological heavyweights Norm Geisler and David Farnell, an important book that has such seminary presidents as Al Mohler, Paige Patterson, John MacArthur and Richard Land talking.

Wanna' listen in?

Dr. L. Paige Patterson, the President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, writes, “Comparing the biblical prophets to contemporary preachers and professors has presented me with my keenest disappointment. The former spoke boldly and confidently; the latter with the lisp of compromise. The prophets spoke with a certainty about the musings of the God of Abraham. The latter showed the effects of a desire to be ‘academically recognized or politically kosher.’ The offspring of the prophets, men like C.H. Spurgeon, appealed to the souls of men and saw many come to Christ.

"Many of the current compromised evangelicals do little for the church and the common man and accomplish mostly the crippling of the evangelical students who read their books and study with them. By their fruits you shall know them.

"The Jesus Quest: The Danger from Within by Norm Geisler and David Farnell faces the strange spectacle of evangelical compromise and asserts in the face of this slippage the historical doctrine of the full trustworthiness and, yes, inerrancy of God’s Word. Tracing the history of the sad debacle of evangelical compromise through such historical events as the Downgrade Controversy and the searches for the historical Jesus, the various authors frame precisely the impact of such disintegration and proceed to state a fresh and compelling case for historic belief.

"Surrounded by the Vienna Boys Choir of light-voiced quasi-evangelicals, I appreciate the booming bass tones of the genuine, uncompromised voices of these contemporary prophets of God. The Jesus Quest will do nothing for the popularity of these contributors, but it may well do wonders for the church of the living God."

Albert Mohler, Jr., President, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, agrees. “If we do not confess that the whole Bible is totally true and trustworthy, then we have set ourselves upon a project of determining which texts of the Bible reflect God’s perfection, if any. We will use human criteria of judgment to decide which texts bear divine authority and which texts can be trusted. We will decide, one way or another, which texts we believe to be God speaking to us.

"But if we affirm the inerrancy of Scripture without hesitation or reservation, then we must read it accordingly. Ways of reading Scripture that are at odds with its inerrant nature must be honestly assessed and relentlessly eschewed. That is why I am thankful for The Jesus Quest. In this book, Geisler and Farnell examine the particular historical and philosophical approaches being used in the recent speculations of man set over the eternal self-revelation of God. Key to understanding the Bible and its presentation of Jesus as the Christ is a proper hermeneutical humility that submits to God’s Word by taking him at his word in Scripture.

"To this end, Geisler and Farnell argue convincingly for the reliability of the New Testament books, its writers, and the God who inspired them. Along the way, they helpfully canvas the hermeneutical controversies within evangelicalism, criticize the skepticism of biblical criticism, and deconstruct the deconstructionist attempts to reframe the Scriptures. I appreciate and commend their spirit, scholarship, and sensitivity to the needs of the church as it lives ‘by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’(Matt. 4:4; cf. 2 Tim. 3:16-17)"

And finally, one more excerpt from the several forwards to The Jesus Quest that were written by seminary presidents. This is from the President of Southern Evangelical Seminary, Dr. Richard D. Land. “Dr. Geisler and Dr. Farnell are to be commended for producing and collecting these important essays addressing a real and growing threat from within evangelical scholarship to the complete veracity and authority of the Word of God. Dr. Geisler, philosopher, theologian, and apologist, and Dr. Farnell, New Testament scholar, are uniquely prepared by academic training, scholarly pursuit, and interest to identify the nature of these threats by the ‘new’ evangelicals and their dangerous flirtation with erroneous philosophies, higher criticism, and faulty hermeneutical methodologies.

"These ‘new’ evangelicals have forced the evangelical world to once again ever more carefully define what once were clearly defined words and concepts, which were then undermined and redefined downward by a new generation putting question marks at the end of Holy Scripture’s truth declarations.”