Heads up for friends and . . . associates: I will be on Frank Pastore's KKLA Show today so feel free to call and say "Hello," (or anything else that comes to mind). And yes, the topic is Mormonism.
Walter Martin Ministries Blog
Spiritual Answers and Reasons for Faith
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We had a great time here in Southern California (yes, that's right--I've escaped the frigid north and am loving sunny, warm CA). I'm a bit behind on my blog due to vacation and holidays, but should be back into the swing of things this week.
To all those who have written me about Wyatt and Sodom/Gomorrah--you are right. I will edit him out (although those pictures were pretty hard evidence) and post something from a different source.
Interesting development on Richard Roberts' resignation . . . probably due to additional lawsuits filed in the wake of the first one. It seems to me that Richard and Lindsey have an awful lot of explaining to do. This quote is especially interesting:
Former Regent, Harry McNevin, who quit the board in 1987 because of the misspending he alleged he witnessed, called the resignation "inevitable." "You can't take the sacrifices of God's people and use them any old way," he said.*
Amen to that.
*Embattled Oral Roberts President Resigns
Happy Birthday to me. :)
Friday, November 16, 2007
I started my day with this great devotional, and thought I would share it with you:
Read: Psalm 92:12-15
The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree. . . . They shall still bear fruit in old age. --Psalm 92:12,14
In June of 2006, Israeli doctors and scientists successfully germinated a 2,000-year-old date palm seed. Found at the Herodian fortress of Masada on the west bank of the Dead Sea, the seed was tagged “Methuselah” for the man with the oldest recorded age in the Bible (Gen. 5:27). In addition to the challenge of awakening a long-dormant seed, the team also wanted to learn more about the tree praised in Scripture for its shade, food, beauty, and medicinal qualities.
The date palm has an important role in the Bible. In the Old Testament, the tree is linked to the temple and presence of God. The New Testament describes excited crowds praising God and throwing palm branches at the feet of Jesus as He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey.
God’s promise to bless the world through a descendant of Abraham also lay dormant for 2,000 years (see Gen. 12:1-3). Finally, the Seed of promise sprouted. That Seed was Jesus, the long-awaited Messiah. Soon the story of His resurrected life would go out to every nation on earth.
The miracle is now ours to experience. Time is not a factor. Neither is the barren ground of circumstance. All that matters is that we allow our hearts to be the soil in which Christ is welcomed and worshiped. --Mart De Haan
God’s promise like a tiny seed
May seem to be an empty thing,
But hidden in that tiny seed
Is life that waits the warmth of spring. --D. De Haan
God never makes a promise that He will not keep.*
*Biblesoft, OUR DAILY BREAD, Friday, November 16, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Further comments on the question of Cultural Apologetics vs. Biblical Apologetics:
My comments concerned whether one can move from an encounter with two missionaries to a definitive judgment about a particular way to approach Mormons, which is you did your entry. Gina, your judgment about the wisdom of these methods may very well be correct. But there is no warrant from your experience with these missionaries that would establish that judgment. In fact, when people rely on such paltry evidence on other matters we dismiss those judgments, and rightfully so. For example, suppose one were to make a judgment about the overall quality of Frank Pastore's intellect from his wildly pitched comparison between the Emergent Church and Al-Qaeda. That would be a hasty judgment, to be sure, one that would be an unfair assessment of a man with many fine qualities. So, Gina, let me encourage to re-read my comments carefully. They are not meant to be a defense of anyone. They are meant to be a correction of sub-par reasoning that does not set a good public example for other Christians.
Believe it or not, I get your point . . . . Actually, you're incorrect when you claim that I came to a "judgment" regarding the encounter with the three missionaries. I just sent a report to my friend Jill about what happened, and she raised the common concerns over the approach being used by certain Cultural Apologists (e.g., Hazen, Johnson, etc.). Many of us are concerned about the effectiveness and long-term consequences of such "conversational" "let's-just-be-friends" approaches to evangelizing Mormons.
If LDS missionaries are now saying, "Some evangelical leaders believe Mormons are Christians," I think that's a huge problem. Don't you? The whole approach seems to advance the LDS agenda rather than the Gospel.
I've never met you, though Frank (my husband) did several years ago, and he spoke well of you.
I'm so saddened by the way you and Greg Johnson went after Jill several months ago. Frank, you know as well as I do, there are Christian Apologists who are trying to defame the late Walter Martin and his ministry. Dog piling on his daughter for defending her father's rich legacy is just inappropriate. I know you have great philosophical and intellectual training, and can point out the structural flaws of argumentation . . . but, could you also demonstrate Christian character? I know all of this grieves the Lord. If we really care about witnessing to Mormons, we need to demonstrate the love of Christ to one another first.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Since my last commentary was critical of Richard Mouw, Craig Hazen, Greg Johnson and others like them who advocate a cultural approach to Apologetics, I thought I would post a response by Frank Beckwith, who is writing in defense of these men. Gina Pastore's answer follows Frank's comments. I will post my thoughts a little later today.
Please, no comments on Catholicism here. We are all well aware of the fact that Frank is now part of the Catholic Church, and that particular discussion belongs on the WM Discussion Board.
Frank Beckwith: This sort of anecdotal evidence has no bearing on the question of whether Hazen, et al are doing the right thing. After all, what if somebody were to reject your criticism on the grounds that it seems to rely on anecdotal evidence, and that is not a good way to conduct a serious inquiry on such an important subject? You would, rightfully, say that that your case is a matter of principle and not of consequences, and that the citation of such evidence should not be confused with your principled objection to the tactics you find flawed. In that case, the anecdotal evidence is irrelevant, which raises the question as to why one should bring it up at all?Consider this: imagine if Mrs. Pastore had the exact experience, but it was with LDS missionaries who said that they would never consider the traditional Christian message because of abrasive talk show hosts like Frank Pastore who lack an artful and winsome manner? You would, rightfully, say that that is a poor reason not to consider the Christian gospel.
Gina Pastore: Frank... You're not concerned for the Gospel? Sounds like you'd rather defend Hazen than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What's that about?
Sunday, November 11, 2007
For those who might be leaning toward a Richard Mouw/Greg Johnson/Craig Hazen approach to Apologetics, here's a bit of insight from Gina Pastore, wife (and multi-talented assistant) of Frank Pastore, KKLA Afternoon Drive-Time Host. Gina sent me this interesting email . . . sad proof of a successful Mormon strategy, and the naivete of Cultural Apologists like Mouw, Hazen, Johnson and others:
Today, while on a morning walk, three young men on ten speeds rode alongside me for a few minutes. I recognized they were Mormons, and smiled and said hello. One of them asked if he could speak to me regarding "Divine revelation, and salvation through Jesus Christ." I told him that I was a Christian, and that I knew they were LDS, and that there was no need to try and convert me . . . . He stopped, and said they wanted to talk. So, we did, and actually had a very nice conversation. I was surprised, however, by something they told me . . . . One of them made the comment that "Evangelical leaders are even saying that we're Christians." I asked him what Evangelical leaders said that, and he said he didn't know - but, that they were given that report by the men training them for their mission. I thought that was very interesting . . . and it made my conversation with them less compelling.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Who would have thought that the pro-life, conservative founder of the 700 Club would ever endorse a pro-choice candidate for President of the United States? It boggles the mind, but that's exactly what happened today. Talk about the odd couple . . . Pat Robertson and Rudy Giuliani, the thrice married former mayor of New York City, whose messy second divorce caused such a scandal that even the New York papers, jaundiced and world-weary as they are, delighted in covering it.
Why? (You might ask.)
Adultery in high places increases those all important circulation statistics.
Is Giuliani a good leader? That's debatable. Is he a conservative? NOPE. So what on earth is Pat Robertson doing endorsing a man who thinks killing babies in the womb is A-OKAY?
If you ask me, I think Robertson's endorsement shows how desperate and downright panicky Evangelicals really are going into the 2008 Presidential race. The underlying mantra seems to be: ANYONE but the Clinton Tag Team.
Why not endorse a pro-choice candidate? Why not endorse a Mormon? Just throw God's opinion to the wind and jump on the political band wagon. The end justifies the means: Defeat the Democrats at all costs.
What a mess.
If we don't see a strong conservative step forward soon, we are doomed to another Clinton White House.
Friday, November 02, 2007
I started my day with a little bit of Charles Spurgeon's wisdom. Sometimes I grow weary of "swimming against the tide"--of fighting against our seemingly inpenetrable culture of "live and let live," a society steeped in Hindu values and Hindu mantras:
Don't confront . . . . Accept.
All religions are true and worthy.
The great 'I' is the center of all.
The Hindu mindset produces a terribly apathy and what I call the "Oh well" attitude in the hearts of some Christians (and I was one of them). It's easier to live and let live; easier to accept all religions as having a right to exist; easier to smile and nod and say, "Whatever works for you."
My neighbor is a Mormon. Oh well . . .
My brother will spend an eternity in hell. Oh well . . .
The holy name of Jesus is a curse-word. Oh well . . .
Sin is everywhere. Oh well . . .
It's very difficult to break free from the sticky web of self (and satanic) deceit: I'm not important . . . I can't do anything to stop this.
But . . .
The truth of God says you are a VIP: Vitally Important Person.
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God ! 1 John 3:1
The truth of God says that all religions DO NOT have a right to exist.
"I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6
The truth of God teaches us to confront.
"Brood of vipers ! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." Matthew 12:34-35
The truth of God transforms and empowers us to change our world.
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. Ephesians 1:18-19
It's so wonderful, when you are weary, to wake up and discover the refreshing words of a great man of God:
"Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake Thy law." Psalm 119:53
My soul, feelest thou this holy shuddering at the sins of others? for otherwise thou lackest inward holiness. David's cheeks were wet with rivers of waters because of prevailing unholiness; Jeremiah desired eyes like fountains that he might lament the iniquities of Israel, and Lot was vexed with the conversation of the men of Sodom. Those upon whom the mark was set in Ezekiel's vision, were those who sighed and cried for the abominations of Jerusalem.
It cannot but grieve gracious souls to see what pains men take to go to hell. They know the evil of sin experimentally, and they are alarmed to see others flying like moths into its blaze. Sin makes the righteous shudder, because it violates a holy law, which it is to every man's highest interest to keep; it pulls down the pillars of the commonwealth. Sin in others horrifies a believer, because it puts him in mind of the baseness of his own heart: when he sees a transgressor he cries with the saint mentioned by Bernard, "He fell to-day, and I may fall to-morrow."
Sin to a believer is horrible, because it crucified the Saviour; he sees in every iniquity the nails and spear. How can a saved soul behold that cursed kill-Christ sin without abhorrence? Say, my heart, dost thou sensibly join in all this? It is an awful thing to insult God to His face. The good God deserves better treatment, the great God claims it, the just God will have it, or repay His adversary to his face.
An awakened heart trembles at the audacity of sin, and stands alarmed at the contemplation of its punishment. How monstrous a thing is rebellion! How direful a doom is prepared for the ungodly! My soul, never laugh at sin's fooleries, lest thou come to smile at sin itself. It is thine enemy, and thy Lord's enemy--view it with detestation, for so only canst thou evidence the possession of holiness, without which no man can see the Lord. *
* Biblesoft, 2002.