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Aug 2021 30 Aug 30, 2021

I often come across statements by cessationists to the effect that Montanism is heretical. Personally, I find this use of the word “heretical” to be historically misguided and unnecessarily inflammatory. A heretic is not simply someone who has a different understanding of secondary doctrines. Heresy is not simply a view of some biblical truth that you find objectionable. A heretic is not a Christian. Heresy is the denial of a foundational doctrine of Christia...Read More

Aug 2021 23 Aug 23, 2021

Feeling weak today? Good. Yes, that’s right, good! I’m not talking about your weakness for chocolate or alcohol or your weakness for sexual lust or any such thing. The weakness I have in mind is not sin. It has nothing to do with your refusal to obey God or your propensity for jealous rage or greed or your disinclination to forgive someone who betrayed you. The apostle Paul would never boast in wickedness or gladly acquiesce to evil in any form (cf. 2 Cor. 1...Read More

Aug 2021 19 Aug 19, 2021

As noted in the previous article, there are four broad categories in which most of the interpretations of Paul’s thorn have fallen. We now turn our attention to the two most popular (and likely) views. Many take the view of Chrysostom, a famous preacher of the fourth century. He was the first to suggest that the thorn is simply a reference to all the enemies of the gospel who opposed and persecuted Paul during his evangelistic and theological labors. Alexander th...Read More

Aug 2021 16 Aug 16, 2021

It seems reasonable, does it not, that an experience of the magnitude Paul describes in 2 Corinthians 12:1-4 would serve to subdue and perhaps even eradicate sinful impulses from his soul? How could sin possibly continue to exert its influence in the heart of a person who saw and heard the things Paul did? Surely anyone who has been blessed with such a stunning privilege as was Paul would forever cease to sin. Surely anyone who heard such transcendently glorious things a...Read More

Aug 2021 12 Aug 12, 2021

Most people spend their lives worried sick that others will not think highly enough of them. So they disguise their weaknesses. They magnify their strengths. They labor not to give offense. Much of their personality and relational style is far from natural, but has been carefully crafted to elicit the approval and praise of those whose respect they covet. The apostle Paul, to say the least, was a bird of a different feather. One of his greatest fears was that people wou...Read More

Aug 2021 9 Aug 9, 2021

What are we to make of people who speak so casually (if not flippantly) about multiple heavenly visitations that involve conversations with angels, apostles, and even Jesus? Let me be clear about one thing. I have no biblical or theological grounds for concluding that Paul’s translation into the third heaven was a singular event in the history of the church, as if to suggest that no one else in any other era has ever experienced a similar encounter. But I’m ...Read More

Aug 2021 6 Aug 6, 2021

I recently recorded a podcast with Jeff Medders of the Acts 29 network. We talked extensively about the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts. I think you’ll enjoy it. You can find it here....Read More

Aug 2021 6 Aug 6, 2021

Perhaps you saw an article that appeared online recently in which Mackenzie Morgan, a worship leader at Refine Church in Lascassas, Tennessee, announced that she and her church would no longer sing songs that come from Bethel Church in California or Hillsong Church in Australia. After examining some of the teaching from both Bethel and Hillsong, she concluded that to sing any song that originated with or was composed by someone from either of these local churches was dan...Read More

Aug 2021 5 Aug 5, 2021

As I read the Bible, I’ve often tried to envision myself in the position of certain characters, especially those who experienced profound supernatural encounters with the Lord. How would I have reacted? Would I have been puffed up with an inflated sense of my own importance? Or would I have felt crushed by the immediate disclosure of my own comparative insignificance? Or would I, preferably, have been so captivated by the brilliance of God’s glory that thinki...Read More

Aug 2021 2 Aug 2, 2021

What are we to make of the many claims made by certain individuals that they have “visited” heaven and have seen and heard things of what life and experience are like there? I want to be careful in passing judgment on the sincerity and motivation of such people, but I think we can gain insight as to whether or not they are telling the truth by looking closely at one man’s undeniable “rapture” into the third heaven. With this in mind, I want...Read More