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Strange Fire Redux, Part 3
Friday, October 17, 2014

A final point to consider, specifically with reference to modern prophecy, is that by eliminating the simple biblical standard by which false prophets may be identified, modern charismatics have opened the door for chaos and doctrinal confusion in the church. Fake healings and false tongues are bad enough, but when someone claims to have private revelation from God, the sufficiency and singularity of Scripture is instantly clouded, and the authority of Scripture is undermined. It is a terribly dangerous breach of a fundamental principle of evangelical Protestant and biblical conviction.

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Strange Fire Redux, Part 2
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Looking back over the history of the Pentecostal and charismatic movements, it is significant to note that Pentecostalism’s distinctive teachings have always been outside the historic mainstream of Protestant and Reformed conviction. All the Reformers and their heirs were cessationists. They believed and taught emphatically that God is intimately involved and providentially in control of every detail of everything that happens in the universe. They also held the firm conviction that apostolic sign-gifts ceased when the apostolic era passed. They saw no conflict between those two articles of faith. Nor did any cessationist imagine a conflict there until three pernicious trends began to turn the tide of twentieth-century evangelicalism.

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Strange Fire Redux, Part 1
Monday, October 13, 2014

Southern California has always been a hub of Pentecostal influence. Although the first experiments with modern tongues-speaking took place in rural Kansas in 1901, Pentecostalism became an actual movement with the Azusa Street Revival of 1906, in a dilapidated section of downtown Los Angeles.

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The Danger of Overconfidence, Part 2
Friday, October 10, 2014

A gun-toting, beer-drinking, foul-mouthed “pastor” recently made headlines when he was arrested for driving while intoxicated. In an emotional apology to the church, he confessed he had been abusing alcohol for years. While the extent of his drinking had been kept relatively private until then, he had built both his reputation and his church on the extreme exercise of his Christian liberties.

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The Danger of Overconfidence, Part 1
Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Overconfidence is a sure way to fall into temptation and sin. To assume you’re beyond the world’s grasp, immune to its enticements, and free to do whatever you like is often the first step toward the harsh realization that you’re not.

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Setting Aside Your Liberty
Monday, October 06, 2014

Exercising our freedom must never come at the cost of offending another brother or sister in Christ. The principle of love demands that, whenever necessary, we willingly sacrifice our liberty for the sake of protecting each other. That is Paul’s theme in 1 Corinthians 8.

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Liberty, Knowledge & Sin
Thursday, October 02, 2014

First Corinthians 8 is Paul’s response to a gray-area question dividing the church at Corinth. Paul doesn’t simply give the Corinthians a “yes” or “no” answer to their questions about eating meat sacrificed to idols. He helps them think through the purpose of their liberty and the implications of the activity. He wants them to consider the effect it will have on believers whose consciences are not so free. And while eating meat sacrificed to idols is not an issue most believers will face in the church today, Paul’s instructions give us a lot of practical help for the gray areas we will face.

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Liberty, Knowledge & Conscience
Monday, September 29, 2014

When God’s Word doesn’t address an aspect of life—whether it’s an activity, entertainment, or some other experience—how do believers know what they can and can’t do?

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Liberty, Knowledge & Love
Friday, September 26, 2014

God’s Word does not give us detailed instructions for every aspect of Christian life. Believers are frequently confronted with situations, questions, and decisions that Scripture says nothing about. God’s people have been set free from the Old Testament law, but that freedom leaves us with a lot of important decisions to make in life’s gray areas.

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The Limits of Liberty
Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Scripture is clear and understandable, but it’s not exhaustive. Throughout the history of the church, believers have faced countless issues that God’s Word is silent about. While the Old Testament law provided detailed instructions and restrictions for most areas of life, believers today are not bound by God’s covenant with Israel—we’ve been set free in Christ. But how do we know what to do with our freedom?

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Legalists & Libertines
Monday, September 22, 2014

How do believers navigate life’s gray areas? When it comes to activities, amusements, or anything else God’s Word does not specifically address, how should conscientious Christians determine what they can and can’t do?

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God's Sufficient Grace
Friday, September 19, 2014

A certain poor man spent many years saving money to realize his dream of going on a cruise. When he finally saved the required sum, he bought a ticket. Knowing he could not afford the extravagant food on board, he took what he could afford—crackers and peanut butter. After a few days of observing the other passengers eating luxurious meals, his peanut butter crackers became stale and tasteless. Desperately hungry, he begged a porter to allow him to work for food. “Why, sir, didn’t you realize meals are included with your ticket? You may eat as much as you like!” Lots of Christians live like that man.

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God's Sufficient Spirit
Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The book titled I’m Dysfunctional, You’re Dysfunctional, by Wendy Kaminer, debunked much of the mystique of modern psychology. The author did not purport to be a Christian. In fact, she described herself as “a skeptical, secular humanist, Jewish, feminist, intellectual lawyer.”

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God's Sufficient Word, Part 2
Monday, September 15, 2014

There is a direct parallel with advertisements for soft drinks and psychology—they both not only make promises they can’t keep, they actually leave people yearning for the real source of life, energy, and vitality.

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God's Sufficient Word, Part 1
Friday, September 12, 2014

It is significant that one of the biblical names of Christ is Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6). He is the highest and ultimate One to whom we may turn for counsel, and His Word is the well from which we may draw divine wisdom. What could be more wonderful than that?

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Insufficient Help, Part 2
Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Why has the church been so quick to accept psychology? In large part it is because psychologists portray themselves as members of the scientific community. In our scientific age, unequivocal acceptance in the academic community must mean that psychology’s truth claims are unassailable, right?

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