What it is . . . Let me first give a simple working definition of philosophical theology. If philosophy is an attempt at a rational interpretation of reality, and if theology is the study of God, t…
I’m sorry, but the fact that Cultural Appropriation is a thing is another of the strange and ludicrous things happening in our culture today! It’s right up there with transgender bathrooms, same-sex marriage, and small land animals evolving into whales!
How many of the people who complain about this terrible offense are wearing crosses as earrings or necklaces, or have one tatooed on their body? How many of them wear clothing (a sports jersey, etc.) not because they are fans but because they like the look? Should I feel bad for wearing a Penn State Nittany Lions cap because I like the way it fits?
The bigger issue here, of course, is how fragile the people of Western Culture have become. We are so easily offended!
An interesting story surrounds the following passage from the first edition of Darwin’s Origin of Species. Here’s the passage: In North America the black bear was seen by Hearne swimming for hours …
Somehow, the mass of men have allowed themselves to become pre-conditioned to assume that philosophers and atheists are super intelligent. We expect to read their writings and be blown away by irre…
I speak in tongues. I am so thankful to be a Pentecostal believer. I would not want to be without that special experience and the ongoing strength that it brings.
I know that there are many (usually charismatic believers) who have the conviction that one can pray in tongues at will, any time. I am content to leave each to their own convictions and I believe one has to work out, with God, their own approach to spirituality. I rejoice that they speak in tongues! But I for one find great confirmation in waiting on the utterance.
The Language of Utterance
The language of utterance comes from Acts 2:4. Here it is in context:
1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
They began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. The KJV actually says, “as the Spirit gave them utterance.” The idea being, of course, that they did not speak in tongues at their own volition but, rather, that the Holy Spirit made them able to, prompted them, etc. So, the view of classical Pentecostals is that the same principle applies going forward: the Holy Spirit at specific times, with whatever frequency, enables the Pentecostal believer to speak in tongues.
I once asked someone who believes that one can speak in tongues at will where he found Scriptural evidence to do so. He was unable to answer the question. That’s OK. I offered him an answer for the next time someone asks. I told him that I could see how one might see the giving of utterance as a one time act, good from now on. (I don’t think that interpretation can hold up grammatically. The text implies that they only spoke in tongues as he gave them utterance. The utterance given would seem to have a beginning an an end just as their speaking in tongues did on that occasion. Logically, if the Holy Spirit is always giving utterance wouldn’t we be grieving Him if we are not at all times speaking in tongues?)
At any rate, I know there are those who see it that way. But, here is how I find encouragement and confirmation in waiting for the Holy Spirit to give the utterance. When I am praying, there comes a moment when I recognize the Spirit’s urging to pray in tongues. I don’t pray in tongues because I think it is time to, nor do I pray in tongues because I think it will be more efficient (wouldn’t we need to pray exclusively in tongues if that were the case?). I also don’t pray in tongues because I arrive at the conclusion that I don’t know what to pray for. I pray in tongues when I sense the freedom from the Holy Spirit to do so. In a distinct, unmistakable moment in time I go from not even thinking about praying in tongues to being certain that the Holy Spirit is praying through me. In that moment I know that He, the Holy Spirit, is praying according to the will of God and that “he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will (Romans 8:27).”
The Variety of Language
I believe there is an added benefit to waiting for the utterance and that is that I very often experience and utter a unique language. That is, it is not the same phrases every time, but rather news words that come forth.
Have you ever noticed that some people, when they speak in tongues, always seem to be saying the same thing? Now, I can certainly allow that there would be some things that the Holy Spirit would pray consistently in a person’s life. But, if we are indeed speaking a language, it would seem that there would be fresh words and tongues coming forth as the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and for the world relevant to the times we are in.
Over the years, the enemy has tried to convince me to doubt my faith in God and even my belief in God. That’s his job. But one of the things that he simply cannot refute or take away from me is the reality that I have experienced what the New Testament calls the “baptism with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5).” Every time the Spirit gives me the utterance, He confirms Scripture, the reality of the existence of God, and the veracity of the Bible all over again.
This article represents an ongoing study for me and will be updated from time to time.
Western culture is yet awash in a detrimental subjectivism which stems from the impact of the modern turn to the subject. Before defining that phrase and more, it is important to confess my presuppositions.
As mentioned above, Western culture yet lies awash in Enlightenment philosophy and, indeed, is still in the Enlightenment period (though many subsequent and intervening eras have been spawned in response). While, indeed, Western culture may have been in a postmodern trance for a time in response to the Enlightenment era and the subsequent eras it spawned, postmodernism failed to convincingly “occupy a standpoint (‘the view from nowhere’) from which it [might] survey all possible standpoints and find them all ‘relative,’ while at the same time [claiming] that there is no such standpoint.” That…
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Bible-Believing Christians are getting a look at how things could play out in the last days–whether or not current events are themselves part of the end time scenario or simply what I call a “dress rehearsal.” Three realities are rising to the top.
A WORLD WAITING FOR PEACE
First, and interestingly, Donald Trump’s speech at the AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee) convention demonstrated just how a treaty might look. In his speech, he was tough and very committed to making a deal between the Palestinians and the State of Israel. It doesn’t matter what one’s opinion of trump is. What is of interest is that he put it in terms of a “deal.” As I listened, I imagined what condition the world would need to be in for such a “deal” to have the impact the Bible says that it will. I pondered the escalation of radical, militant Islam and how impactful it would be if a man could broker a deal between the radicals engulfing the world and Israel. How the world would welcome such a deal if indeed the this radicalism continued to escalate to a global level! Such an agreement would be welcomed as one of the most significant peace accords ever agreed upon!
THE WORLD’S SECURITY FORCES BECOMING OVERWHELMED
Second, like everyone else in the civilized world, I awakened to news of a terrorist attack in Brussels, Belgium, home of the European Union. As I listened, I heard commentary that described how the attacks had overwhelmed the Belgium police force, and how terrorism seems to be overwhelming security forces at a global level. Imagine Paris, and San Bernardino, and Brussels multiplying to London, Sydney, Washington D.C., Tokyo, Berlin, etc. (some of these have already had serious terror attacks).
THE SPIRIT OF ANARCHY
Third, and another reality the world is facing but particularly to be found in America, is the rise of anarchy. I say this because, it seems that at every point people are ready to revolt. A few years ago, Occupy Wall Street was a thing. I remember seeing some of the remnants of that movement as they demonstrated in Union Square in Manhattan. A man at a table was supplying literature on anarchy. While many laughed off this movement, it seems evident that the sentiment is still out there and growing. In a similar way, it seems that ISIS terrorists are able to hide in plain sight, protected by people who are sympathetic with them. I am suggesting that there is more at work than racism, classism, or even religious radicalism. There seems to be a growing thirst for anarchy.
THE MAN OF LAWLESSNESS
Daniel 7:25 speaks of a spirit of anarchy that will mark the approach of the antichrist to the world:
He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws.
Paul speaks of this man in vivid terms:
Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed…The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing…God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness (taken from 2 Thes. 2)
A DANGEROUS PARADIGM SHIFT
What we are presently experiencing in America is not temporary but is rather a paradigm shift and is part of a shift that is happening globally. This shift is setting the stage for the antichrist.