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In part three, I focused on what might be called “voluntary” acts that have the potential to expose a person to extraordinary demonic influence, perhaps even demonization. I now turn to the two instances most often mentioned as examples of “involuntary” demonic attack. First, some point to what they call “ancestral sin” and the intergenerational or familial spirits that come with it. Appeal is made to Exodus 20:5-6 - "You shall not ...Read More

Again, let’s be perfectly clear about what we mean by the word demonization. We are not asking if a Christian can be tempted, taunted, deceived, oppressed, harassed, accused or otherwise tormented by a demonic spirit. Clearly the NT indicates this can and does occur. We are here concerned with whether or not such an attack can intensify and expand to the degree that a true, born-again believer can be inhabited or indwelt by a demonic spirit. In the film, “Th...Read More

In the previous study we introduced the question of whether or not a Christian can be demonized, i.e., indwelt or inhabited by a demonic spirit. I looked at those texts (1) which describe the defeat of Satan, as well as those (2) which speak of divine protection of the believer, both of which are thought by many to prove that it is impossible for a child of God to be inhabited by a demon. I now turn to those many texts which describe the indwelling presence of the Holy ...Read More

We’ve now come to the biblical texts and arguments often cited to prove that it is possible for a Christian to be demonized. I’ll begin with those texts that describe demonic activity and attack. In my opinion, most of these texts fail to prove the thesis that a Christian can be demonized because they fail to say anything about the location of the activity relative to the individual. a.2 Corinthians 2:11 (“so that we would not be outwitted by Satan, f...Read More

Against the backdrop of the film, “The Exorcism of Emily Rose,” we’ve been looking at what the Bible says concerning demonic activity and in particular whether or not a Christian can be demonized or indwelt by a demonic spirit. I would like now to conclude with several important observations. (1) In his excellent book, “Three Crucial Questions About Spiritual Warfare,” Clinton Arnold makes this important comment: "Although the Epistles do ...Read More

Since the western world is captivated, at least for now, by C. S. Lewis, and given the fact that tomorrow (December 9, 2005) the film version of “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe” is being released nationwide, I thought it might be good to say something about what I consider to be Lewis’s greatest theological discovery. I can’t say whether Lewis would rank it number one, but I suspect he might.   Lewis was extremely puzzled, even agit...Read More

Many of you may have heard or read that the International Mission Board (known as the IMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention recently voted that they no longer will appoint Southern Baptist missionaries who employ a "private prayer language," their way of referring to the practice of praying in tongues. According to an article on the website of The Texas Baptist Newsjournal (http://www.baptiststandard.com/, posted on 12/2/05), “The Southern Baptist Convention age...Read More

In the previous study we looked at the first argument employed by the IMB of the Southern Baptist Convention that led to their recent policy of prohibiting those who pray in tongues from serving on the mission field. The other argument noted in the article I cited is “that the Apostle Paul's ‘clear teaching is that prayer should be made with understanding.’” I assume this means they believe that all prayer, including prayer in tongues, must be so...Read More

Everyone has their favorite Bible verse, that one text that has exerted on them the greatest and most life-changing influence. Mine is Psalm 16:11, followed closely by Zephaniah 3:17 and 1 Peter 1:8. But let me briefly share with you what I regard as the most amazing verse in Scripture. By “amazing” I mean incomprehensible, stunning, bewildering, beyond the capacity of the human mind to fully grasp. For me, it is John 1:14 – “The Word became flesh...Read More

No, I’m not talking about bending over backwards in an attempt to pass under an ever-descending horizontal pole, typically to the beat of Jamaican music! I’m referring to the recent dialogue within the Vatican concerning the status of the unofficial “doctrine” of Limbo (from the Latin limbus, meaning a hem, edge or boundary). The concept of Limbo in Roman Catholic theology is tied to their beliefs concerning original sin and the necessity of bap...Read More

Most of you by now have probably heard about Pat Robertson’s comments following the stroke suffered by Ariel Sharon of Israel. He suggested, in effect, that the stroke was divine punishment for Sharon’s having given up Israeli territory. My purpose here isn’t to engage in a discussion of Robertson’s theology. I have done that elsewhere when I wrote a three-part study titled, “The Church, Israel, and ‘Replacement’ Theology.”...Read More

I'm not fond of March 22nd. I suppose for most of you it's just a day, no better or worse than any other, unless it happens to be your birthday. But for those of us who have been nurtured and encouraged and challenged by the incomparable mind and heart of Jonathan Edwards, it is a dark day indeed. Edwards, born on October 5, 1703, died much too soon (at least from our human perspective) on March 22, 1758. "Edwards," wrote George Marsden, "spent his whole life preparing ...Read More

I mean that seriously. I have the utmost respect for Chuck Colson. I've read several of his books and thank God for the remarkable impact of his life and ministry. But I strongly disagree with something he wrote in an editorial in the April, 2006, issue of Christianity Today. The article was entitled, "Soothing Ourselves to Death." I first read this article when it appeared on the internet and decided at that time to just let it go. But upon seeing it in print in CT, I ...Read More

I can honestly say that I've staked my life on an empty tomb. Everything I am, everything I own, everything I've done or hope to do hang suspended on whether or not Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead. The decision I made decades ago to put my trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is only as good as the tomb is empty. The decision I made to pursue ministry rather than some other career path was wise only so far as the tomb is empty. My decision to attend theological...Read More

There are three major implications to a denial of the resurrection of Christ. First, if Christ is not risen, he is no savior. Why is it that Christ's status as savior is so dependent on the reality of his resurrection from the dead? In the first place, if Jesus didn't rise from the dead it means he was a liar and deceiver. Let's not forget that Jesus predicted his own resurrection (see John 2:18-22). I'm amazed by how often the unbelieving world is prepared to reject C...Read More

So far we've noted two major implications if Christ is not risen. First, he would be utterly unqualified to be a savior. Second, there would be no salvation: no justification, no sanctification, no glorification. We now turn to the third and final conclusion that a dead Christ would demand. If Christ is not risen, we who believe in him are fools. Perhaps the word "stupid" would be more appropriate, but I recently learned from a precious five-year-old girl that Christian...Read More

Every single person reading this article is dying. Every man, every woman, every child is dying. Whatever differences may exist among us, this one thing we share in common with one another: we are all dying. "Thanks, Sam! I appreciate that encouraging word!" Yes, I know it sounds a bit grim and depressing. But the fact remains, we ARE all dying. In time, sooner or later, assuming Jesus doesn't first return, we will all be dead. Many of you reading this have recently b...Read More

One of the greatest obstacles to experiencing intimacy with God is our knowledge of God’s knowledge of us. That may sound strange, so I suggest you read it again. Let me explain by asking a question. Why do you hesitate to draw near to God? Why do you and I strive to keep God at arm’s length, especially after we’ve sinned? There are, to be sure, many reasons and thus a variety of ways of answering the question. But let me suggest one that I have found...Read More

Every so often you read something in the newspaper that initially strikes you as funny, then turns silly, then absurd, then obscene. It happened to me on Wednesday. There it was on the front page of the sports section of U.S.A. Today. The headline read: "Sip slowly: $1,000 mint juleps at Derby." The Kentucky Derby is horse racing's most famous and lucrative event. I've often watched it on TV and wondered what it would be like to attend. One of the things frequently men...Read More

On this day, May 27th, 1564, John Calvin died, not quite 55 years of age (he was born on July 10, 1509). Knowing his physical sufferings throughout life, it is a testimony to divine grace and sustaining mercy that he lived as long as he did.   Calvin's afflictions read like a medical journal. He suffered from painful stomach cramps, intestinal influenza, and recurring migraine headaches. He was subject to a persistent onslaught of fevers that would often lay him ...Read More

Today is June 6, 2006, or to those who think it is the day on which horrific events will unfold, it is 6-6-6!   The meaning of the number 666 has puzzled students of the Scriptures ever since John first wrote Revelation 13:18 – "This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666." There are essentially three schools of thought on how we should interpret this passag...Read More

In recent days two bloggers have taken up the question of the gift of speaking in tongues in the New Testament: see http://www.adrian.warnock.info/ and http://www.teampyro.blogspot.com/. The latter of these two, written by Dan Phillips, argues that “the Bible only knows one kind of tongues. . . . That kind is supernaturally-acquired human languages.”   The argument of Phillips and other cessationists is that modern manifestations of “tongues&rdq...Read More

Adrian: It's a delight to welcome Sam Storms of Enjoying God Ministries to the blog today. Sam, to begin with can you tell us a little bit about yourself, your family and your ministry? Sam Thanks, Adrian. I'm honored that you would want to interview me. I'm 55 years old and have been married to my incredible wife, Ann, for nearly 34 years. I'm a bit surprised you didn't ask the question that so many others have, so I'll come right to the point: Yes, I did propose to h...Read More

There’s nothing particularly special about the number 303, but those of you who know me probably figured out that I couldn’t let October 5th go by without saying something about Jonathan Edwards. For those of you who didn’t know, Edwards was born on this day 303 years ago. It seems appropriate, then, at least for me anyway, that we take note of his immense contribution to our understanding of God. One of Edwards’ more intriguing and controversial...Read More

A few days ago Justin Taylor alerted us to a slight change in Wayne Grudem ’s view on baptism, to which John Piper then responded. Wayne then posted his response to John’s response, and one needed only to wait for the ripple effect. By the way, you can read these articles on Justin’s blog in the archive section (http://www.theologica.blogspot.com/). Recently (August 16, 2007), Mark Dever posted on this issue at the 9Marks blog (http://www.blog.9marks.o...Read More

In an Associated Press release today, Friday, August 24, 2007, astronomers are reporting the discovery of what is being called a “massive blank spot in the universe.” What’s got them scratching their heads is “what’s just not there. The cosmic blank spot has no stray stars, no galaxies, no sucking black holes, not even mysterious dark matter.” We’re not talking here about a small patch of sky but 1 billion light years across of ...Read More

On a recent broadcast at DesiringGod.org, John Piper briefly addressed the issue of tattoos and body piercing among Christians. I especially appreciated the spirit in which John took up this subject. He did not come down in a heavy-handed or judgmental fashion, insisting in some legalistic way that such actions are altogether and always a sin. He mentioned the prohibition on tattoos in Leviticus 19:28 and suggested that although there were probably unique historical and ...Read More

Most of us would like to think that the Protestant Reformation, whose 490th birthday we celebrate today (October 31st), was always driven by godly motives on the part of people whose greatest desire was for a recovery of the New Testament gospel. Of course, this was indeed the intent of prominent figures such as Martin Luther (who nailed his 95 theses to the church door at Wittenberg on this day in 1517) and John Calvin, just to mention two more well-known names.  ...Read More