God’s Holy Scriptures Versus . . .

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I try to maintain a 90/10 ratio of reading the Bible and reading other Christian authored books. I’ve learned from experience that my greatest source of divine guidance is without question, the Holy Scriptures. It’s not that I don’t appreciate and value Biblical insight authored by other Christians who are more knowledgeable than myself, I do, but for me, nothing compares to the Holy Bible. If you read a lot more books than I do that’s great, this is the ratio that I find works for me.

I have read a large number of Christian authored books over the years and I still manage to read about five to ten or so a year. I know, five to ten Christian authored books! Wow. That’s hardly worth mentioning is it?

There is something personal that happens when you consistently study the Scriptures. You get in tune with the author. And in spite of all that you may hear to the contrary, this reality is and always has been, the objective of the Holy Scriptures. And there are no shortcuts, yet so many seem to think that there is a faster route, an inside track so to speak, that will usher you into a process where if you do A, B, and C, D will almost automatically always result.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV  “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,  so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Every once in a while I run into, or am made aware of, some individual, who supposedly has obtained some “divine insight” into the Bible and when I review some of their material, it provides me with an overview of their particular “secret” or insight that they have discovered. Usually, when someone says that they have “discovered” a Biblical secret that everyone else, supposedly has missed, you’re looking at strong potential of approaching a rabbit hole. And what is a rabbit hole, that’s where some particular theme or topic within the Bible, such as divine healing as an example, is expounded upon and where the perceived “discovery” or “secret” is supposedly validated by scriptures which reinforce the particular perspective the author wants you to see, versus allowing the totality of scripture, utilized within contextual and hermeneutical guidelines, to determine the particular Biblical perspective. And trust me, these two approaches are seldom, if ever, one and the same. The initial approach leads you into a rabbit hole, the latter approach, into sound doctrine.

Consequently, I’ve also learned, from experience, to utilize some of what I call, common sense deduction, about the author and the material that I am reading, or expose myself to.

Educational Credentials

Take the time to check out the individuals credentials. Just because they say they have a doctorate, doesn’t, in and of itself mean that they actually do. Understanding the training that they have undergone can accent their credibility. Verify their credentials by ascertaining if their educational preparation has been obtained from an accredited educational institution. Individuals who have obtained their education at a university that is known for maintaining orthodox Christian values normally produces Christians who advocate maintaining orthodox Christian values, Biola University being a case in point.  Self taught authors with little professional knowledge in their chosen area of “discovery”, usually have a much lower level of credibility. It should be noted that unaccredited or uncertified educational institutions, sometimes provide “Religious” degrees, which are normally issued for the purpose of personal growth and advancement in Christian Ministry and not for advancement in secular employment or education, Chesapeake Bible College being a case in point. Just because someone puts Dr. in front of their name on the books they write, does not guarantee that they do have a recognized doctorate degree. “A More Excellent Way” by Dr. Henry W Wright is a case in point.

Affiliation History 

Take the time to check out the history of the individual who authored the book or heads the organization you are looking at, what organizations and church affiliations they may be associated with. This can usually provide you with a basic understanding of their theology and their belief tenets. Also, take the time to do a search of the author’s positive and negative criticisms that can be validated. If you encounter a substantial amount of negative criticism, take the time to validate as to whether the criticism is justified and also consider the credibility of those who are providing the negative criticism if possible.

Summary

There are a number of “Christian” authors that have developed a substantial following and a very lucrative income from advocating their particular “discovery” or “secret”. The topic of “Divine Healing” is particularly prone to deceptive teachings. Be aware of this reality and exercise your Christian responsibility to discern as to whether the precepts they advocate are in fact Biblical via sound Biblical Exegesis (the critical explanation or interpretation of a text). That means you would need to actually check out their scripture references with regard to context, exegesis and accuracy. The sad part about the rampant deception that is associated with the Divine Healing movements is that too many Christians can be easily deceived due to their inadequate knowledge of Holy Scripture. When you encounter someone who is outside of what I would call “Mainstream Orthodox Christianity”, bear in mind that they are outside of mainstream orthodox christianity for a reason and in the vast majority of cases you will find that their “discovery” or “secret” has been investigated and found wanting. Don’t just accept everything that you see on someone’s website or read in a book at face value.

Sound doctrine is important, vitally important. 

Titus 1:9 NIV  “He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.”

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

 

 

 

 

About

Disciple of Jesus, married to Peggy, with 5 grown up children, 7 grand children, ex-Canadian military and residing in beautiful Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. a.k.a. "Papa"

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Posted in Apologetics, Defending Christianity, Faith, Witnessing
30 comments on “God’s Holy Scriptures Versus . . .
  1. To be honest I hardly read any Christian books, although I have some good ones I’ve read and will inherit my dad’s. I do read blogs and Christian articles though. Like you, I really think the Bible is essential and any other good Christian book is an optional bonus.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. One great Christian-authored book that really helped me out was “Holiness” by J. C. Ryle.
    Have you read that?

    Like

  3. dettinger47 says:

    I’m with you, Bruce. I used to read many more Christian books, but am now, like you, at about a 90-10 Bible-favoring ratio. Unfortunately, I think most Christians are not even close to that. I think a 75-25 ratio should be the minimum. Thanks for the thoughtful post!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. SLIMJIM says:

    I enjoyed this post; certainly our main staple of our reading life must be the Word though my ratio is not high as yours with 9:1. I think you also made a good point about the degrees. I think must also watch out for honorary degrees such as Doctorate of Divinity that sometimes I see people pass off as actual academic degrees; don’t know why that happen so often in ministry. I also realize that just because someone has a PhD don’t mean they know it all; they can specialize in such a narrow specific area in which they are good at but they might not necessarily have a good grasp of other parts of the Bible, or worst they don’t have a good grasp of the Bible in general. I’ve seen that happen in academic circles.
    There’s nothing like the Word itself.

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    • Bruce says:

      Hi Jim, I agree with everything you say about someone having a PhD, there are many excellent biblical teachers who don’t have PhD’s. Conversely there are a few who say they have one to supposedly enhance what they say as being more authentic, when in fact they actually don’t, like Henry Wright. There’s such a mess of misinformation out there. I used to read a lot more when I was younger. If everyone was like you I’d have nothing to complain about! God’s grace and blessings my brother.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Bruce! This is wise and sound counsel! I am amazed but the lack of research people will conduct when it comes to the information they read about the Bible, Christian Life etc. We are all called to be like the Bereans, testing what we hear/read. God will reward you and your readers with an overflow from your time in His Word!!! Blessings, Mandy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bruce says:

      Hi Mandy, yes it’s kind of scary out there and there are so many who get so easily led down another path. I surely don’t know it all but one would think that the basics would at least be understood. I still question why so many are drawn to the supposed inside track, I can’t help feeling that there is a desire to put God in a box that they can then control and it just doesn’t work that way. God is sovereign and I haven’t found anything that says that is open for debate. And considering what I have learned throughout my life, I am sincerely glad that He is in control. I’m not always keen over His decisions but when all is said and done, my trust is in His decisions and His will. God is good. Thank you for taking the time to respond, You must be close to finishing your studies, what happens next? Blessings to you and yours also!

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      • Hi Bruce! I agree with you, I am also glad that God is in control! I cannot fathom or understand God’s patience; however, as the recipient of His patience daily, I am thankful for it! I think one of the worst things anyone can do is to put God in a box. I hate being put into a box so that is the last thing I would want to do. Granted my knowledge and understanding are VERY limited; however, recognizing God is God and He can do whatever He wants, when He wants with no explanation on His part, frees me to not put God in a box! I hope that makes sense! I am really passionate about this! I submitted my last assignment on Sunday and I graduate this Friday! As for what’s next, I am waiting to hear back from Capital to know if I will be accepted in their PhD in Biblical Studies program. God willing I am accepted, I would start classes in the Fall. Thank you for your encouragment! You are such a blessing to me! Praising God for you and your family!

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      • Bruce says:

        Excellent! I’ll throw the acceptance for your PhD in my prayers for you. Your statement about putting God in a box makes perfect sense and I feel the same way. You have yourself a blessed day Mandy and keep spreading that smile of your’s around!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Cindy Dawson says:

    Another timely post, Bruce. Sometimes I feel like I’m preaching to the choir, but God showed me that I don’t know who might be reading my blog. I must write what He puts on my heart and leave the rest to Him.
    “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” 1 Corinthians 3:6-7 Blessings!

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  7. Sue Love says:

    Bruce, this may not be the best place to ask this question, but do you know the name Louie Giglio, possibly associated with the NAR? I have a responder on my site suggesting I listen to one of his sermons, and she made a statement that I questioned: “To know that we are chosen by him is profound in an of itself. Chosen ever before we thought to make him Lord. This just tells you that all the way down to our DNA our hearts yearn for him! Almost post!!!”

    I asked her for clarification on those last two sentences. The last sentence she said was an “oops,” basically, and the other one about the DNA, when I asked about that one, she suggested I listen to a particular sermon by this guy. I didn’t click on the link yet. I just thought you might be familiar with this guy or with this teaching that talks about us, that all the way down to our DNA that our hearts yearn for God the Father.

    Thanks for any help you can provide. Sue

    For, yes, scripture is most important and always trumps the teachings of mere mortals.

    Like

    • Bruce says:

      Hi Sue, I’ve heard of him, he works with college students and holds student conferences but I haven’t read any of his sermons and I haven’t heard of his name being associated with the NAR. Here is a link of a YouTube video where he talks about DNA, which I haven’t viewed yet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlG5MT1dIls I do recall watching one of his videos previously where he spoke about the universe. Hope that helps. Blessings’

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sue Love says:

        Thanks, Bruce. I appreciate the help.

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      • Sue Love says:

        Bruce, what do you think of this? Do you think it could be connected to what I was discussing with you here?

        https://churchwatchcentral.com/2019/01/12/louie-giglios-passion-conference-promoting-little-god-theology/

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      • Bruce says:

        Hi Sue, I worked a 12 hours shift today and I have another one tomorrow so I will have to get back to you on this one. I briefly looked at the link but I’d have to dig a little further.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sue Love says:

        Ok, thanks. No rush.

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      • Bruce says:

        Hi Sue, that link I sent you where Louie Giglio is talking about DNA, he is just basically talking about the Human Genome and the wonders of DNA so there’s nothing off the wall in that particular video. I did find another link that provides some background info on Louie and here it is: http://thewartburgwatch.com/2012/01/05/louie-giglio-and-the-passion-movement/

        I’ve only personally watched two or three of his video presentations but I did not see or hear anything contrary to God’s Word in them at all.

        That link you sent me where a tweet of his says there’s divinity in DNA is a bit of a stretch to link it to the Little God theology that IS found within the NAR movement. Bill Johnson from Bethel Church and others within the NAR movement do adhere to this theology. However, I have not personally seen anything remotely linked to Louie Giglio on this particular theology. With regard to the Conferences he holds and who speaks at them, like Beth Moore for example, that does raise some questions but the fact the John Piper speaks at them, does from my perspective give some credibility to them because John Piper in my estimation is pretty sound. I don’t adhere to the Calvinist perspective like John Piper does but his other teachings are pretty solid.

        Obviously in these days we are in, one has to be very careful but there are some who slash literally everyone they encounter if they do not follow their own particular perspective or what I call are “over critical” and there is a danger there too. I did a search for Louie Giglio on Holly Pivac’s NAR site http://www.spiritoferror.org/ and his name was not even mentioned and Holly is very well informed on the NAR movement. For me, there is no question that Bill Johnson from Bethel Church is up to his neck in NAR theology because I have seen what he has written in books. Not so with Louie Giglio, at least what I have seen or read. Bear in mind I could be wrong. Wikipedia provides a lot of info on his ministry :https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passion_Conferences I’d have to go with a question mark right now. Guilty by association, quite possibly, but that is not always an easy one to call. Hope this helps. – Bruce

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sue Love says:

        Bruce, thank you for taking the time to look at this and for answering my questions. I did watch a video of one of his presentations last night, and although I saw nothing in it linking him to the NAR or to “little god” theology, his presentation of Christ/God and our relationship with him was one of the most watered down presentations of the gospel I have ever heard. He gave his audience the impression that God is giving all of them strength, and that he is carrying all of them through their rough times, and all they have to do is trust him, trust Jesus that he is giving them strength, and that he carrying them through, and all this is linked to their DNA, as though we are all linked to God via DNA, and that the cross of Christ is even in our DNA, which is who we are, he says, and so this totally bypasses the gospel of Jesus Christ and it makes our DNA what puts us in relationship with God. No faith in Jesus’ sacrifice for us required. No repentance, no obedience to Christ, just our DNA, and just us accepting that God/Christ is in us and that he is giving us strength. So, this is definitely out there and it falls under wolves in sheep’s clothing whether or not he is connected to the NAR. For, he completely leaves out the fall of Adam and our sinful condition and our need to believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior of our lives. And, the girl who wrote me believes because humans were created in the image of God that God is in our DNA, and therefore we yearn for God in our DNA, which is just not biblical, which Romans 3 points out, as well as does Romans 1.

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      • Bruce says:

        Hi Sue, I understand what you’re saying but considering you only watched one video …. the video I watched where he spoke about DNA was merely an overview of the amazing detail etc. The God connection was that DNA could not possibly have all happened by sheer chance and that the Bible pointed to Jesus. To give him an honest overview I’d have to view more than a couple of videos. I try to hold my judgement in reserve until I have given him a honest look over considering that I would not want someone to only read one or two of my posts and base my entire overview of Christianity on that one or two posts. Wish I had more time to investigate but my time is limited right now. Grace and blessings Sue.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sue Love says:

        Bruce, I read a couple more articles about Louie, and then I watched a couple more of his most recent videos, and the conclusion I came to is still the same. This man makes it all up as he goes along. He loosely uses scripture, takes scriptures out of context, and uses scripture in ways God did not intend. And, his message of the gospel is of the cheap grace variety, but very open ended, confused, in fact, and not at all consistent with scripture. I believe him to be a Charlatan and that he is dangerous. He is not a man of the Word of God, but an entertainer who mesmerizes audiences. He is smooth talking and very convincing, but he is all over the map. I have seen enough to know that what I am listening to is not of God, but of man, and a clever man, at that. And, scripture warns us about not following strangers, so this man’s words need to be tested against the Word of God, so that we don’t end up following strangers, but so we are truly following the God of the scriptures.

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      • Bruce says:

        Thanks Sue, appreciate the feedback. Grace and blessings!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sue Love says:

        This is the last video of his that I watched. If you watch it, listen carefully to what he says, to what he says the word of God says to us, how he describes the gospel of our salvation and what all it entails, and listen to for what he doesn’t say or for what he implies but kind of just leaves it out there, and how he seems to go one direction and then another, and so it is hard to follow exactly where he is or what he actually believes or stands on, which I believe is purposeful. https://passioncitychurch.com/gathering/the-biggest-yes/

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      • Bruce says:

        Thanks Sue, I’ll check it out!

        Liked by 1 person

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