Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Reformation Day!

October 31, 1517 Wittenberg, Germany
Martin Luther nails his 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Church.

“Out of love and concern for the truth, and with the object of eliciting it, the following heads will be the subject of a public discussion at Wittenberg under the presidency of the reverend father, Martin Luther, Augustinian, Master of Arts and Sacred Theology, and duly appointed Lecturer on these subjects in that place. He requests that whoever cannot be present personally to debate the matter orally will do so in absence in writing.”

Click here to view Luther’s 95 Theses

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Statements of Faith Not Enough

It is getting commonplace for churches to hold to a seemingly air tight statement of faith, yet in practice deny the very things they profess to adhere to. This is increasing in frequency as more church leaders succumb to this postmodern age. In Phil Johnson’s post this past Monday, he refers to a man by the name of Joseph Parker, a notable popular preacher during Spurgeon's time. As Phil points out, Parker was considered by many as "more cutting-edge, more influential, and certainly more sophisticated than Spurgeon" and appealed to the younger generation. Though he was progressive, Parker appeared doctrinally orthodox and carefully avoided denying vital doctrine. He avoided doctrinal controversy, in a time period when the essentials of evangelical faith were under brutal attack. He took great pains to simply avoid discussing doctrine considered controversial or outdated for the times. Isn't it uncanny how this resembles the situation in evangelicalism today? One thing seems certain; the church doesn't learn very well from church history. In ignorance, it just repeats it.

Bob DeWaay had an article entitled "Redefining the Church", discussing this issue in the church today. I was alerted to this article some time ago from a comment left in response to one of my posts. Here is an excerpt from the article:

"Jesus told his apostles what was to be the message of the church: “teaching them to observe all that I commanded you” (Matthew 28:20a). He did not say, “teach them those parts of my message that they think are relevant to their felt needs”! In the Luke account of the Great Commission Jesus said this: “and that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47). A Biblically defined church preaches the gospel, including the need for repentance and proclaims the whole counsel of God as Paul did. Everything Jesus taught, including that which was written by His authoritative apostles in the New Testament, is to be taught. People who attend Biblically defined churches should soon become fully Biblically literate and able to defend the faith cogently. They should be so well trained in the truth of Scriptures that they have discernment (Hebrews 5:14).

In the new seeker paradigm churches the message is tailored to appeal to the largest possible audience. The goal is to build the visible church to be as large as it can get. Therefore, pastors lay aside those parts of the New Testament that are not deemed desirable or relevant by potential religious consumers. Evangelicals who adopt the Robert Schuler inspired version of creating a religious corporation do not deny any important doctrines. They just do not confess them publicly. They believe in a literal hell, they just do not preach it from the pulpit. They believe in the wrath of God against sin and the need for the blood atonement, but that is left out of the pulpit as well. Doctrine is privatized. It is relegated to a “statement of faith” on a website or made available elsewhere in case someone actually cares about such things.

In the new paradigm churches the orthodox “statement of faith” contains truths that the pastors do not care enough about to preach to their own congregations or to sinners. However, should someone in a discernment ministry challenge them about their teaching, they trot out their boiler plate orthodoxy to deflect criticism. What they fail to realize is that the many mainline protestant denominations that left orthodoxy during the modernist takeover of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries kept their orthodox statements of faith intact. They had no time for such foolish doctrines such as the virgin birth; but why needlessly start a fight by trying to change denominational confessions that were hundreds of years old? What is preached from the pulpit is a much better test of what is truly believed than a statement of faith."

What is disturbing is that if you are a member of a church like this and you wish to carry out biblical ministry, you are treated as an outcast. In fact, you may very well be pushed out of your church! In the very first part of DeWaay's article, he describes a situation where a friend of his had a ministry that was deemed as "not compatible" with the "purposes" of his church. Here is what he wrote:

"Several months ago a friend of mine, who puts on seminars, publicly pointed out the errors of several well known teachers who promote mystical practices. Shortly thereafter he invited me to attend a meeting with some leaders of his church to clarify his relationship with the church and determine whether his ministry was welcome there. This discussion made some important issues clear for me.

The leadership told him that his teaching did not comply with their practices. They do not practice correcting false teachers. In the course of the conversation, the leaders cited the basic mission of that church. It was a good mission and had to do with bringing people to Christ; but it did not include correcting error or false teachers. Thus my friend’s seminar is not compatible with their purposes.

As a result of the meeting I found myself pondering that situation in light of the many emails I have received from people around the country. These people often are unwelcome in churches in which they had been members for many years. What seems so strange is that the unwelcome members were not accused of sin or heresy; they were accused of not supporting the church’s mission or program. In some cases the mission and program had recently been changed and the long standing members had resisted the change. Ultimately most of these people left willingly, but with sadness of heart. Some who decided to stay and fight were eventually removed from fellowship.

What has happened that evangelical churches are willing to lose solid Christian members who have not fallen into sin or heresy? In this article I will propose that evangelical churches have changed the way they view themselves and their organizations; and that this change has lead to practices and emphases that build large visible churches, but neglect and abuse Christ’s “little flock” (Luke 12:32) -- the true body of Christ."

Notice how the church did not appear to deny the basic doctrines of the Christian faith. They had a great mission statement aimed at bringing people to Christ. But they seemed adamantly opposed to correcting false teachers. I wonder how these so-called leaders think that they can get around the commands in Scripture to "earnestly contend for the faith" (Jude 1:3), and to confront false teachers and as Paul put it in Titus 1:11, "silence" those who were teaching heresy. It is a divine command in Scripture to correct and rebuke false teaching. This is imperative for the spiritual safety of God's flock. Scripture was given for "teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness". (2 Timothy 3:16) Sadly, few churches want to engage in reproof (sharp reprimand) and correction. However, to avoid these actions is to walk in disobedience to the commands set forth in Scripture. It really floors me when leadership claims that they are "led of God" to do the things that they do. It floors me even more when they claim God is not leading them to rebuke false teachers. Oh really?! Since when does God lead one in a manner inconsistent with His Word?

What a sad state of affairs in the church today, when believers who desire to be faithful to Scripture are persecuted by their own church. As more churches drift away from adhering to Scriptural guidelines, it is getting more and more difficult to find a church that wants to remain faithful to biblical principles. Too many churches are avoiding confronting error altogether, much to their detriment. False teaching does not remain benign, but rather spreads like a vicious disease. Scripture teaches that a little leaven leavens the whole lump and spreads like gangrene destroying whatever it comes in contact with. (2 Timothy 2:16-18)

I really do not believe that there is any church that has drifted from biblical truth that set out with intentions of doing so. It began through apathy, careless exegesis of Scripture and succumbing to the spirit of the times. The same drift is occurring today in many churches because of carelessness and the sloppy handling of Scripture and fascination with the fads of the moment, in a dire attempt to be "hip" with the culture. It always starts out innocently under the guise of reaching out to the culture.

Don't be fooled by churches that seem to profess adherence to a solid statement of faith. Rather, pay close attention to what is preached from the pulpit and taught in various Bible studies. Pay attention to the books and materials they utilize. Who are the authors of these materials and what do they believe? Ask yourself whether the leadership is willing to confront error and warn the flock of false teaching and dangerous trends prevalent in the church today. Do they avoid certain truth because it may offend some people? If so, they are headed down a very slippery path and will likely end up eventually compromising the very truths they professed to uphold.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Church’s Greatest Danger

I ran across a great article from 9 Marks written by James H. Hamilton, Jr., entitled “The Greatest Danger Facing the Church”.

Hamilton says that “The greatest danger facing the church is probably not what most of us expect. We expect some sort of direct challenge from without, but it probably comes from within. In our day, it may well come from well-meaning pastors.”

He went on to explain that these pastors pose the greatest threat, not because they deny the truth, but because they treat the Christian faith as a form of self-help therapy; how to have a better marriage, better relationships, better work performance, etc. In fact, these pastors generally hold to biblically orthodox beliefs such as the inerrancy of Scripture and salvation through faith in Jesus alone.

Sadly, the guiding principle of their decisions is based on a pragmatic what “works best”’ mentality.

Hamilton goes on to say,

"But Christianity is not primarily about any of that. Christianity is primarily about the gospel—about a holy God, rebels who deserve his wrath, a divine Son who takes the punishment rebels deserve, and the promise of forgiveness for all who repent and believe.

Christianity is about telling this true story in the words of the Bible so that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, people come to see God, the world, and themselves correctly."

He goes on to give some advice for screening a pastoral candidate so a church can avoid ending up with a pastor who will turn “Christianity into the American religion of self-help therapy.” His advice includes paying close attention to the biblical qualifications for ministry. (1Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9) Ask the candidate some very direct questions concerning these qualifications. Since one of the key qualifications is that they are “apt to teach”, closely scrutinize his teaching.

One question that he asks, “Is the man a theologian, or is he just a gifted speaker with a good heart?”, is something that desperately needs to be asked today. Too many people are just drawn to “gifted speakers” with messages that merely sound appealing. What is most important is their ability to accurately interpret the Bible.

[Read the rest of the article at 9 Marks (Scroll to the bottom of the page to find the article; for some reason, I was unable to successfully link directly to the article )]

Friday, October 13, 2006

Not Corrupting the Word - J. C. Ryle

Not Corrupting the Word by J. C. Ryle (1816-1900)

The following Sermon was preached in England, in August, 1858.

"Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God" (2 Corinthians 2:17)

It is no light matter to speak to any assembly of immortal souls about the things of God. But the most serious of all responsibilities is, to speak to a gathering of ministers, such as that which I now see before me. The awful feeling will come across my mind, that one single word said wrong, sinking into some heart, and bearing fruit at some future time, in some pulpit, may lead to harm, of which we cannot know the extent.

But there are occasions when true humility is to be seen, not so much in loud professions of our weakness, as in forgetting ourselves altogether. I desire to forget self at this time, in turning my attention to this portion of Scripture. If I say little about my own sense of insufficiency, do me the justice to believe, that it is not because I am not well aware of it.

The Greek expression, which we have translated, "peddle," is derived from a word, the etymology of which is not quite agreed on by linguists who compile dictionaries. It either means a tradesman, who does his business dishonestly, or a wine maker, who adulterates the wine which he offers for sale. Tyndale renders it, "We are not of those who chop and change the Word of God." Another version of the Bible says, "We are not as many, who adulterate the Word of God" [Rhemish versions]. In our margin we read, "We are not as many, who deal deceitfully with the Word of God." In the construction of the sentence, the Holy Spirit has inspired Paul to use both the negative and the positive way of stating the truth. This mode of construction adds clearness and unmistakableness to the meaning of the words, and intensity and strength to the assertion, which they contain. Instances of a similar construction occur in three other remarkable passages of Scripture, two on the subject of baptism, one on the subject of the new birth. (John 1:13; 1 Peter 1:23; 1 Peter 3:21). It will be found, therefore, that there are contained in the text both negative and positive lessons for the instruction of the ministers of Christ. Some things we ought to avoid. Others we ought to follow.

The first of the negative lessons is, a plain warning against corrupting or dealing deceitfully with the Word of God. The Apostle says, "Unlike so many" who do it, pointing out to us that even in his time there were those who did not deal faithfully and honestly with God's truth. Here is a complete answer to those who assert that the early Church was one of unmixed purity. The mystery of iniquity had already begun to work. The lesson which we are taught is, to beware of all dishonest statements of that Word of God which we are commissioned to preach. We are to add nothing to it. We are to take nothing away.

Now when can it be said of us, that we corrupt the Word of God in the present day? What are the rocks and reefs which we ought to avoid, if we would not be of the "many" who deal deceitfully with God's truth? A few suggestions on this would be useful.

1. We corrupt the Word of God most dangerously, when we throw any doubt on the absolute inspiration of any part of Holy Scripture.

This is not merely corrupting the cup, but the whole fountain. This is not merely corrupting the bucket of living water, which we profess to present to our people, but poisoning the whole well. Once wrong on this point, the whole substance of our religion is in danger. It is a flaw in the foundation. It is a worm at the root of our theology. Once we allow this worm to gnaw the root, then we will not be surprised if the branches, the leaves, and the fruit, decay little by little. The whole subject of inspiration, I am well aware, is surrounded with difficulty. All I would say is, that, in my humble judgment, notwithstanding some difficulties which we may not be able now to solve, the only safe and tenable ground to maintain is this--that every chapter, and every verse, and every word in the Bible has been "given by the inspiration of God." We should never desert a great principle in theology any more than in science, because of apparent difficulties which we are not able at present to remove.

Permit me to mention an illustration of this important axiom. Those conversant with astronomy know, that before the discovery of the planet Neptune there were difficulties, which greatly troubled the most scientific astronomers, respecting certain aberrations of the planet Uranus. These aberrations puzzled the minds of astronomers, and some of them suggested that they might possibly prove the whole Newtonian system to be untrue. But at that time a well-known French astronomer, named Leverrier, read before the Academy of Science a paper, in which he laid down this great axiom--that it was wrong for a scientist to give up a principle because of difficulties which could not be explained. He said in effect,

“We cannot explain the aberrations of Uranus now; but we may be sure that the Newtonian system will be proved to be right, sooner or later. Something may be discovered one day, which will prove that these aberrations may be accounted for, and the Newtonian system will remain true and unshaken.”

A few years later, the anxious eyes of astronomers discovered the last great planet, Neptune. The planet was shown to be the true cause of all the aberrations of Uranus; and what the French astronomer had laid down as a principle in science, was proved to be wise and true. The application of the story is obvious. Let us beware of giving up any first principle in theology. Let us not give up the great principle of absolute inspiration because of difficulties. The day may come when they will all be solved. In the mean time we may rest assured that the difficulties which beset any other theory of inspiration are ten times greater than any which beset our own.

2. Secondly, we corrupt the Word of God when we make defective statements of doctrine.

We do so when we add to the Bible the opinions of the Church, or of the Church Fathers, as if they were of equal authority. We do so when we take away from the Bible, for the sake of pleasing men; or, from a feeling of false liberality, keep back any statement which seems narrow, and harsh, or hard. We do so when we try to soften down anything that is taught about eternal punishment, or the reality of hell. We do so when we bring forward doctrines in their wrong proportions. We all have our favorite doctrines, and our minds are so constituted that it is hard to see one truth very clearly without forgetting that there are other truths equally important. We must not forget the exhortation of Paul, to minister "according to the proportion of faith." We do so when we exhibit an excessive anxiety to fence, and guard, and qualify such doctrines as justification by faith without the deeds of the law, for fear of the charge of antinomianism; or when we flinch from strong statements about holiness, for fear of being thought legal. We also do this when we shrink back from the use of Bible language in giving an account of doctrines. We are apt to keep back such expressions as "born again," "election," "adoption," "conversion," "assurance," and to use a roundabout phraseology, as if we were ashamed of plain Bible words. I cannot expand these statements because we are short of time. I am content with mentioning them and leave them to your private thought.

3. In the third place, we corrupt the Word of God when we make a defective practical application of it.

We do so when we do not discriminate between classes in our congregations--when we address everyone as being possessed of grace, because of their baptism or church-membership, and do not draw the line between those who have the Spirit and those who have not. Are we not apt to keep back clear, direct appeals to the unconverted? When we have eighteen hundred or two thousand persons before our pulpits, a vast proportion of whom we must know are unconverted, are we not apt to say, "Now if there is any one of you who does not know the things that are necessary for eternal peace" -- when we ought rather to say, "If there are any of you who has not received the grace of God?"

Are we not in danger of defective handling of the Word in our practical exhortations, by not bringing home the statements of the Bible to the various classes in our congregations? We speak plainly to the poor; but do we also speak plainly to the rich? Do we speak plainly in our dealings with the upper classes? This is a point on which, I fear, we need to search our consciences.
[This article may be viewed in its entirety at Bible Bulletin Board.]

© Copyright 2001 by Tony Capoccia. This updated file may be freely copied, printed out, and distributed as long as copyright and source statements remain intact, and that it is not sold. All rights reserved.
Verses quoted, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION © 1978 by the New York Bible Society, used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers

Sunday, October 01, 2006

What About Chewing Off the Meat?

7For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh This is the deceiver and the antichrist.
8Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward.
9Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.
10If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting;
11for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.
(2 John 1:7-11; NASB)

It is a popular excuse given by church leadership concerning their use of materials produced by men who embrace heretical teaching, that they are merely chewing off the meat and discarding the bones. However, this excuse will not reconcile with the teaching of Scripture itself when it comes to those who propagate false teaching.

It is true that we may often find benefit from the teaching of those whom we may disagree with on certain non-essential matters of doctrine, and we can certainly find warrant for utilizing the good points of their teaching. This really does not pose any serious threat to the church. However, when it comes to those who are promoting their heretical views as it pertains to key essential doctrine, particularly concerning the person and work of Jesus Christ, the Bible says something clearly different.

The epistle of 2 John gives us a warning concerning the peril of tolerating and embracing those whose teaching is contrary to Scripture. It emphasizes that true biblical love is rooted in truth. If we truly love one another, we will uphold and teach each other God’s truth, admonishing each other in the teaching of Scripture. To do otherwise is to, in effect deny, that we truly care and love God and one another.

The warning given here is that there are many “deceivers” that have gone out into the world. The word deceivers is derived from the Greek word “planos” and refers to one who is considered a vagabond, an imposter who’s intention is to deceive with corrupt teaching. The term “acknowledge” here obviously means more than giving mental assent to the reality that Jesus actually existed as a mere historical figure, a good teacher. If that is all that it meant, then Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses would be within the realm biblical orthodoxy, and we know that is NOT true.

To acknowledge here means to be in agreement with, in other words to embrace the doctrine that is the embodiment of the person and work of Jesus Christ. This means to accept the teaching of the full humanity and full deity of Jesus Christ and the purpose to which He came into this world to accomplish. It of course would include the fact that He was born of a virgin. That He was fully man and fully God in the flesh, and that He died, was buried and rose again bodily to provide the full payment for the penalty of sin. The doctrines pertaining to the person and work of Jesus Christ are at the very core of the Christian faith. Without them, we really do not have Christianity. No one can deny any one of them and be within the realm of biblical orthodoxy. In fact, that person is described as a “deceiver” and “antichrist”. These deceivers “do not acknowledge” and continually deny the reality of a biblical Christology.

The advice given is to “watch” so as not to “lose” what has been accomplished, and to receive a “full reward”. The term “watch” comes from the Greek “blepo”, and means to discern metaphorically with the mind’s eye, perceive, understand, to examine and weigh carefully. All teaching should be examined under close scrutiny under the microscope of Scripture. False teaching is dangerous and corruptive. It will cause us to “lose” what has been labored so earnestly for. Lose comes form the Greek “apolloomee”, and means to destroy, ruin, to perish, in a metaphorical sense, it means to “give over to eternal misery in hell”. Doctrinal error concerning the person and work of Christ is serious and is not to be tolerated in the church. To deny the truth concerning the person and work of Christ bears eternal consequences.

We need to be careful and keep close watch and to “guard” what has been entrusted to us. (1 Timothy 6:20) Every believer will stand at the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:9-10; 1 Corinthians 3: 10-15) and will receive a reward based on how they lead their life and faithfulness in how they helped build the church through partaking in the ministry. Tolerating false teachers provides a venue for the release of man’s false wisdom to invade and corrupt the church. To allow this to happen actually gives aid to the false teachers, dishonors God and causes us to lose part of our reward in the end.

If someone goes out of bounds of Scripture and “does not abide in the teaching of Christ”, that proves that they were never born again. This means that if someone is a genuine Christian, they will continually embrace these fundamentals of the Christian faith. These truths are not open to debate in order to be changed by the latest popular philosophy.

If anyone comes to us and does not bring this teaching, we are not so much as to give them a greeting. To give a greeting here essentially means to give a greeting with affirmation of that person as a fellow brother, with great joy, wishing them success and advancement in ministry with God’s blessing. To do so creates the impression that we sanction their teaching and actually helps give them credibility. We actually aid the spread of their false teaching and make us participants in their evil deeds.

Yet we see much of this happen quite frequently against the better judgment of many Christian leaders. To give an example, many who would not necessarily espouse some of the teaching of Rob Bell, nonetheless feel compelled to utilize his NOOMA videos. These videos do not necessarily contain the error that he has written in some of his books. They have a tendency to make a strong emotional appeal. Bell is a very clever, creative communicator and his videos have a great deal of impact and leave a strong impression on the viewing audience. Not everything is necessarily bad; in fact much of the content appears (at least on the surface) to be biblically orthodox. However, they appear to be more form than substance. And he does have a habit of very loosely quoting Scripture and without giving the reference.

Perhaps the most disturbing aspects of Bell’s teaching are found in his book “Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith”. Bell makes the claim that doctrine is basically comparable to the springs on a trampoline and is merely a tool to help us, as he puts it, find “our lives in God” (pg. 26). The springs can stretch and change. He treats doctrines such as the trinity and the virgin birth as something that can be questioned. In other words, we can keep on “jumping” with our faith without them. This of course is not true. Bell calls into question the very core doctrines pertaining to the person and work of Jesus Christ. I wrote a post some time ago discussing Bell’s beliefs here.

For some excellent reviews of Rob Bell’s book “Velvet Elvis”, you may want to read these:
Review of Velvet Elvis by Greg Gilbert at 9Marks
(For some reason I am unable to get the link to the above article to work. Just go to 9marks.com and at the bottom of the page, enter "Velvet Elvis" in the "Search for" box. The search will return about 3 hits and Gilbert's review should be the first listed.)

Review by Dale Van Dyke at Reformation21

My concern is that people are taken in by the emotional appeal of his videos and much of what he says and writes resonates well with many people. This is especially true with those who have become disenchanted with the church.

When leaders utilize Bell’s materials, they are in a sense giving somewhat of an endorsement of his beliefs, whether they believe it or not. It makes me cringe when I see his books and materials showing up on the shelves of Christian bookstores. Even more troubling is when churches utilize his books and videos. It seems that no thought is given to what will happen when people, after being captivated by the emotional appeal of his NOOMA videos, go into the bookstore and pick up his book “Velvet Elvis”. You can imagine what goes through people’s heads; “Oh, I remember his video that the church showed. It really gripped my heart. I’ll bet this book is great”.

The problem with Bell and others like him is that much of what they say appears biblically orthodox. It provides a covering for their error, especially in the NOOMA videos, and makes them appear somewhat biblical.

To make matters worse, pastors and church leaders utilize his materials including the NOOMA videos, announcing Bell’s name before the congregation and basically giving endorsement of the man’s books and materials. He is presented with positive enthusiasm. In fact, the positive press gives the impression that Bell’s teaching is sanctioned by these leaders who are looked up to in the Christian community. It gives credibility to the ministry of false teachers. Some may do this in ignorance of Bell’s heretical teaching, but others embrace the philosophy of “chewing off the meat and spitting out the bones”. There are far too many bones in the material. Ever get a piece of fish that is so bone infested that it is not worth the effort to attempt to eat it? In fact, the danger of choking on the bones is too great. It is certainly frustrating when there is not even so much as a disclaimer given to warn people. Of course, even with a disclaimer, I don’t think there is really any biblical warrant for utilizing his material. I certainly hope that at this point you can see where this philosophy is biblically wrong. It makes no sense to me at all to rummage through the garbage cans of heresy in hopes of finding one tiny morsel of meat, when you have the option of sitting before a well stocked buffet of good nourishing meat based on God’s truth.

Bell is making inroads into mainstream evangelicalism, with the increasing use of his materials, especially his ever popular NOOMA videos.

This is a very serious issue these days, especially given the rising rate of biblical illiteracy in evangelicalism. The more this illiteracy escalates, the more inept Christians become at spotting the error, especially when it is cloaked in certain elements of truth.

This situation today mirrors the situation of a hundred years ago. My last post of the excerpt from J.C. Ryle’s “Apostolic Fears” is just as applicable today as when it was written. This is also especially true of Spurgeon’s writing. Read Phil Johnsons's weekly doses of Spurgeon. It is as if it were just written yesterday.

Pastors and Christian leaders had better take heed and obey the biblical command to stand as watchman over God’s flock. The spiritual well being of the church is at stake.