Archives for March 2008

ouch! rough times at Cedarville

 Secret recording suggests firings timed to avoid furor

“This situation is going to get worse. There won’t be resolution until (university officials) lay out something more specific about where they stand.”

According to the news article part of the controversy is debate over inspiration and the emerging church. The article makes it sound like things are unraveling rather quickly.

We report this with no joy, it is obviously a matter of great concern to all the Christians involved.

Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

3.30.08 – sermon summaries

Our latest sermons are up on our church website. For audio, follow the links over there.

To the Jew first (Rm 1.16d)

Why does Paul mention ‘to the Jew first’ in his theme verse of Romans? How does this add new information to his great central theme? If it is just a matter of history, as some commentators suggest, why is it significant here? The reason is startling at first, but a great glory in contemplation of the privileges into which all believers enter when they receive the truth of the gospel.

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an outline of classic liberalism

More from my 1980 Church History class notes:

The old modernist movement came to be known as ‘classic liberalism’ (as opposed to a lesser known ‘new liberalism’ that emerged after WWI). The following is a brief outline describing them.

1850-1914 Classic Liberalism

Result of:

  • Darwinism
  • Higher Criticism
  • Immanental subjectivism of Schleiermacher, Hegel, & Kant

[The roots in Darwinism and Higher Criticism are, I think, fairly well known. The philosophical background in immanental subjectivism is probably less known and understood. To understand modernism, I think one would do well to grasp especially the influence of the three men mentioned here.]

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rampant secularism

Douglas Todd is the very fine religion writer for the Vancouver Sun newspaper. By that I don’t mean he is a believer, he may be, I just have no idea. I mean that he is an excellent writer with a keen eye for trends in religion. He now has a blog on the Vancouver Sun site. Today’s entry is an eye-opener in some ways … not that it surprises me, but rather confirms what I have long sensed. The post is entitled “Secularism is the new default position – almost everywhere“. A few snippets:

Fittingly, British Columbia, gets a good dose of attention. The study repeats what many already know about B.C.; that it’s arguably the most “secular” region in North America. That 36 per cent of British Columbians have “no religion,” and another 21 per cent say they’re affiliated with a religion, but virtually never attend.

No surprises here, but perhaps outsiders might be surprised to know it. There is a ready antagonism to the gospel that surrounds us when we witness.


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the ongoing pattern of deception

Dipping again into my Church History notes, I come to a section headed “History of Neo-Evangelicalism & the Ecumenical Movement”

The section starts with this:

Satan’s method is to counterfeit the truth, not contend with it. Therefore he produces deceptive bodies.

  1. Neo-Orthodoxy – deception in theology in the 1920s
  2. Neo-Evangelicalism – deception in practice in the 1950s


It is interesting to consider these two notes that go with the quotation/note I made under the title to the lecture. Liberalism/Modernism was, if I may call it, honest unbelief. While it propagated many lies, it propagated honest lies. Out and out lies. Bald-faced lies. In my next note in the church history series, I’ll cover it more specifically.

But liberalism (now sometimes called ‘classic liberalism’) became much less of a thread to Bible-believing Christianity than these two subsequent challenges. These two were greater deceptions.

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two random quotes from CH class

Here are two quotes from my 1980 Church History class. The section I am dealing with in recent posts are basically preliminary to a discussion of new evangelicalism vs. fundamentalism. Here are the quotes:

A schismatic spirit is one that insists upon total agreement on non-essentials as well as on the essentials.


Fundamentalist creeds do not include denominational distinctives.

Is there any correlation between these two ideas?

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signs of the death of denominations

My next set of Church History notes is entitled ‘Denominations go bad when these appear’. I have in brackets [or people, or whatever] beside the title.

This list is a series of observations concerning marks of deterioration to the point of virtual death in denominations. As we look back through church history, the landscape is littered with failed churches and movements that often started well. One could say the grand-daddy of them all is the Catholic church. What could have started better? What could have failed so miserably? Likewise, the churches of the reformation have evidenced decline unto death [in their original forms], spawning reform movements of their own. The Anabaptist and independent traditions also have their share of decline and failure… an all too familiar theme. The Church is not so superior to Old Testament Israel, though with much better advantages.

Denominations, then, go bad when these appear…

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the declension of good movements

More notes from my 1980 Church History class with Dr Panosian. This one is a series of steps a nation or a denomination might take in devolving downward. It sounds a lot like the Judges cycle, but it is more complicated than what you usually hear on that one.

The cycle begins with Bondage, which is broken by Spiritual Faith…

The whole list follows below:

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vocab of compromise in use

In light of my post ‘the vocabulary of compromise’, it was interesting to see one of the words show up on a fundamentalist blog recently.

This is the post, the word shows up in the comments. I will tell you which word it is after the ‘more’ tag … can you pick it up before you look?

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resurrection sunday … and more

Do you know how the date for Resurrection Sunday is calculated? It is the first Sunday after the first full moon after March 20. You can find a more detailed explanation elsewhere on the web, but that sums it up.

As many other churches, we had visitors in our services this Sunday. One was returning for a second time. It was a great blessing to minister the word of God to these folks. We hope that some of them at least will respond in faith to the gospel.

In addition to our own sermon summaries, I have an ‘extra’ offering in this post. At the recent Northwest Regional meeting of the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship, the president of Maranatha Baptist Bible College, Chuck Phelps, was the keynote speaker. He gave us permission to broadcast one of his messages, on music, on our website. The link will appear below.

Now for the sermon summaries:

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