By Jay Rogers
Published April 26, 2008
There is a wisdom which is from above and a wisdom which is from below which is earthly, sensual and demonic (James 3:15,17).
A number of terms appear in The Champion which, although well-known to Christians of past centuries, may escape the understanding of 20th century evangelicals.
The following is a run down of the popular (yet false) doctrines of 20th century evangelicalism. We should emphasize that these beliefs have only become accepted in the last 150 years. These “ism’s” – or belief systems – have led to the theological escapism and cultural retreatism of the evangelical church. The demise of morality in American society in recent years can be directly attributed to these belief systems.
Antinomianism: Literally, “anti-law,” a position which states that since man is saved by faith alone, he no longer bound to obey the moral Law of God; a system in which the Law cannot apply to governing individuals or society. Antinomianism is the logical (yet false) conclusion to dispensationalism’s severe separation of the covenants of God.
Dispensationalism: The belief that God has worked in different ways throughout history through different economies or dispensations. A dispensationalist makes a major distinction between the Old Testament and the New Testament. Dispensationalism is the direct opposite of covenantalism.
Experientialism: Learning through experience or subjective revelation, while ignoring empirical study, objective research, or the study of facts or theory. Experientialism leads to the practice of ignoring objective Truth found in Scripture when it appears to contradict subjective experience.
Mysticism: The experience of direct spiritual communion with God and belief that knowledge of God, spiritual truth or ultimate reality can be attained through ecstatic revelations, intuition, insight, or the “Inner Light” not discernible though the five senses. In one sense, all Christians are Mystic in that we “walk by faith and not by sight.” However, mysticism places direct spiritual revelation above the Word of God, or an emphasis on “extra-biblical” revelation.
Pietism: An emphasis on personal devotion in prayer and Bible study over formalism and intellectualism; the pietist emphasizes personal spiritual experience; and is often overly sentimental and emotional. Pietism is distinguished from true Piety which requires outward works in addition to inward faith.
LOGOS: True Wisdom
The following are some terms which frequently appear in this publication. Although these terms are not often used in popular modern Christian writings, they would have been well known to past generations of Americans. Some of these terms you may know, others you may find obscure, so we have included this glossary to eliminate any confusion.
These are a number of “- ology’s” – a suffix which comes from the Greek word, logos, or “reason.” These are studies of the principles of reason, which will become useful in helping the evangelical church to regain her theological moorings and obtain influence in American culture.
Theology: The study of the nature of God and Scriptural truth. An organized body of opinions concerning God and man’s relationship to God.
Christology: Theology related to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as the second person of the Trinity.
Ecclesiology: Theology relating to the Church.
Epistemology: The study of human belief systems; the nature and limits of human knowledge; analyzing why we belief the way we do and whether truth is attainable through human reason and knowledge.
- Epistemologically self-conscious: to be aware of your belief system; to become more consistent in the implications of your beliefs; and to realize that your beliefs and ideas have consequences.
Soteriology: Theology of salvation.
Reformed Theology: The Protestantism of the Reformation period which includes the doctrines of Martin Luther and John Calvin. These doctrines include: the sovereignty of God, justification by faith alone, the authority of Scripture, and the universal priesthood of the believer; Calvin also emphasized predestination and election. Reformed theology represents the recovery and restoration of historic orthodoxy found in the New Testament and early the Catholic period systematized in St. Augustine’s City of God.
- Catholicity: Unity or literally, “universality.” The term “Catholic” with an upper-case “C” is used to denote the Roman Catholic Church, while “catholic” with a lower-case “c” is used in creeds and confessions to denote all Christians. All true believers in Jesus Christ are, in this sense, catholic, because they hold to the univeral faith. Any form of unity that does not necessitate the preservation of orthodoxy is a false movement.
- Orthodoxy: Literally, “right opinion,” the body of biblical doctrines systematized by the creeds of the early Church, such as the Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed. Orthodoxy is the basis for unity among Christians of widely different beliefs and practices. For instance, Calvinists and Arminians differ vehemently on soteriology, but each holds to creeds which orthodox.
Eschatology: Theology and doctrine relating to the “last things” or the end of human history and the Second Coming of Christ. The study of eschatology is divided into three major belief systems: premillennialism, amillennialism, and postmillennialism. The different views of eschatology do not determine biblical orthodoxy. All Christians believe in the literal, physical return of Christ.
- Premillennialism: Literally, “before the thousand years,” the belief that the actual, physical Second Coming of Christ must occur prior to the beginning of the millennium, or a literal thousand year period. Premillennialism places the Church in a position of an “evangelism-only” role in the end times and tends to view the end of history with wickedness on the increase and a remnant Church surviving or escaping tribulation.
- Amillennialism: Literally, “no thousand years,” the belief that the “thousand years” of Revelation chapter 20 are a metaphor for the Church age; an amillennialist believes that history will continue until the Second Coming of Christ with no major victories for either good or evil in society, but sees both upward and downward movements of righteousness and evil in the world throughout history.
- Postmillennialism: Literally, “after the thousand years,” the belief that Christ will physically return to the earth only after a non-literal millennium is completed. Christ’s reign over the earth from heaven increases during the millennium which is though to be “a very long period of time.” Postmillennialism places the Church in a role of transforming whole social structures before the Second Coming and endeavoring to bring about a “Golden Age” of peace and prosperity with great advances in education, the arts, sciences and medicine.
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“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
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Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
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High Quality Paperback — 219 pages
Foundations in Biblical Orthodoxy
Driving down a country road sometime, you might see a church with a sign proudly proclaiming: “No book but the Bible — No creed but Christ.” The problem with this statement is that the word creed (from the Latin: credo) simply means “belief.” All Christians have beliefs, regardless of whether they are written.
Yet a single book containing the actual texts of the most important creeds of the early Church will not often be found. Out of the multitude of works on the evangelical Christian book market today, those dealing with the creeds of the Church are scarce.
Why Creeds and Confessions? provides a foundation of biblical orthodoxy as a defense against the false and truly heretical doctrines advanced by the spirit of this age.
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Just what is Calvinism?
Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
Running Time: 257 minutes
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High Quality Paperback — 200 pages
A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism
Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner
The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.
Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.
Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.
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