2013

December 30, 2012 5:12 am

 

Currently Reading:

The Hour That Changes the World: A Practical Plan for Personal Prayer

by Dick Eastman

Category: Prayer / Christian Living

Chosen Books, 2nd ed., 2005

 

 

 

 

We are only three days away from the new year, the start of 2013. I want to wish you all a blessed New Year and a fruitful 2013. There are many unpredictable things that happen every year, sometimes good and sometimes tragic. Which celebrities will die this year? Will there be a major earthquake or tsunami that levels a well-known country (possibly even ours)? Will there be another public shooting? Will gold prices plummet or spike? 

And my personal favorite: Will the rapture of the church happen in 2013?

Many questions loom in the air, but whatever happens, we must always be ready in our salvation and faithful to do the Lord’s work of evangelism. Time is short, and with each passing day, we are coming closer and closer to the rapture, the Great Tribulation, and Jesus’ Second Coming, as well as the blessed millennial kingdom in Zion. Therefore brethren, let us be alert, as Matthew 24:42 states, so that we may be ready in our personal holiness. Even if Jesus is to tarry, there is still much work that needs to be done. 2013 will undoubtedly usher in more heartaches, tragedy, and inexplicable events that are tied with God abandoning our nation because of its endorsement of the Romans 1 philosophy of lawlessness. However, we as a church will be here to comfort, help, and preach the gospel message, the only cure that saves a sinner from the penalty, power, and ultimately the presence of sin, which lead to eternal hell if left untreated. 

I do pray for a great evangelistic revival this year. Hearts are hard, but if there is a God, and a prayer army devoted to their craft, then anything is possible. 

 

Rebuke Letter Against Fuller Theological Seminary

December 28, 2012 5:37 am

 

Currently Reading:

Reason We Believe: 50 Lines of Evidence that Confirm the Christian Faith

by Nathan Busenitz

Category: Theology / Apologetics

Crossway, 2008

 

 

 

 

For some who are wondering why I no longer go to Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, I have decided to share a letter that I wrote to the President, Dean, and staff of Fuller just a month ago. This letter may come as a shock to some, and maybe not so shocking to others, but I feel that it is imperative that people know what is going on in that school. Those who are thinking about going to seminary or know anybody who is, please take the time to read this letter, because I believe you will find it to be very helpful and informative, especially if you truly love the Bible and are adamant about seeking after truth. 

Here it is:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My name is Steve Cha, and I was a student who was in the MAT graduate program. I have recently left Fuller Theological Seminary after studying one year with the school. I felt burdened to share with you why I decided to leave Fuller after much contemplation. This will not be easy for me to say, but I feel that I need to do it for the sake of God’s honor and for the future of the school.

Over the course of the year (from Spring 2011-Spring 2012), I have had an uncomfortable and unsatisfying experience at Fuller because of its teaching, which, quite frankly, borders on heresy. I’m not talking about peripheral biblical issues like charismatic spiritual gifts or modes of baptism, but the core, foundational doctrines that all Christians should agree on, as established by the New Testament and illustrated by the 16th Century Reformation.

During my five quarters at Fuller, I have had professors who defied the trustworthiness of Scripture, questioned the literalness and existence of eternal hell/lake of fire, taught a form of theistic evolution over the six-day creation account established in the book of Genesis, hinted that Jesus may not be the only way to heaven, and shaped the gospel message and Jesus’ work on Calvary to make it fit the paradigm of a cultural mandate and social justice type of message instead of the orthodox view of what the gospel and the cross means, which is God’s punishment of sinners with eternal hell, Jesus’ sacrifice and atonement to satisfy God’s justice and wrath, Jesus’ imputed righteousness, salvation by faith in Christ alone, etc.

I have many examples and stories to share, but I’ll start with some of the key ones. It first started when I took the NT Gospels class with Professor Tommy Givens. Professor Givens taught a skewed understanding of the gospel message. In general, he taught an unorthodox view of what Jesus did on the cross, and had an unbiblical view regarding heaven, hell, and the afterlife (which he didn’t really believe in). In addition, the eschatological view Professor Givens taught is not what the Bible teaches regarding the future and Jesus’ Second Coming. Givens interpreted Matthew 24 (the “signs of His coming”) to be merely pointing to the destruction of the Second Temple in AD 70 and God’s judgment on the Pharisaic Jews, when the language of the text and its worldwide scope clearly show that it is talking about the final generation before Jesus’ Second Coming to earth. My big issue, however, is not with the professor’s eschatology error.

The real dangerous issue that came about was that Professor Givens defied a central pillar of Christianity by declaring that he did not believe that there was a place of individual eternal torment that unbelievers go to after they die. In essence, he didn’t believe in hell! He believed that people go out of existence when they die (which is exactly what the WatchTower teaches) and that the lake of fire in Revelation 20: 11-15 was symbolic and figurative! Furthermore, Givens made an unproven claim that the place of “outer darkness” that Jesus talked about in the Gospels was really God’s judgment that came upon the Pharisees duringRome’s destruction of theTempleand the Jewish people in A.D. 70 and didn’t apply to us today. This is clearly unbiblical and indicative of poor hermeneutical training, since the Bible shows that the references to outer darkness, place of weeping and gnashing of teeth, and fiery furnace is the reference to eternal hell, not to some temporal earthly judgment of the past, with no real relevance today.

So why doesn’t Professor Givens believe in the traditional view of hell? It is because he implied that he cannot imagine a “loving God who can torment people in hell forever” (which is exactly what Rob Bell believes), and Professor Givens made another speculative claim that the orthodox idea of hell was based on Greek mythology and had no basis from the Old Testament.

Tommy Givens even stated in class that mainstream evangelical preachers and theologians, such as John MacArthur, R.C. Sproul, Greg Laurie, and David Jeremiah were all wrong in their view of eschatology and to some degree the gospel message and the Christian life!

Because Given’s view of hell was a serious heresy that tampered with the foundational doctrines of Christianity, I reported Given’s unorthodox views of “the afterlife” to the student affairs office, and the office told me that they would take care of this issue. I don’t know what ever came about with the school’s dealings with Professor Givens, but I must say that if he has not repented of his view and continues to teach what he does in class, Fuller Seminary is obligated by the command of Scripture to deal with such a professor and dismiss him from the faculty until he repents. I say this not to hurt or defame Professor Givens, but in with a strong desire to see Givens restored to the truth.

I seriously pray that Professor Givens is not a wolf-in-sheep’s clothing. If his view of the afterlife is like that of Jehovah’s Witnesses and mainstream Judaism, then he is most likely following another gospel and another Jesus, and he must not ever be in a position to teach other students who can be easily misled, even if the school is post-conservative evangelical. If his students listen to his false teaching, then they will also teach the wrong things to other in the future and needlessly incur God’s divine chastening.

There are numerous other aberrant doctrines and teachings I can point out from other classes, but I want to say that my decision to leave Fuller was finally cemented after taking Systematic Theology I with Professor Margaret Shuster. For the first few weeks, it seemed as if Shuster were teaching nearly everything correctly, until she got to the issue of anthropology and the six-day creation account. She did not honor what God stated plainly in Genesis 1 about how He created the world. Instead, Professor Shuster bought into the error of the secular humanistic thought and taught a false, distorted, and illogical view of how the world came about, teaching a form of theistic evolution that nearly matches the views of atheist scientists. She even taught that Adam and Eve evolved from “Neanderthal species,” a view that is entirely unbiblical and based on speculative theory from the secular world.  

I find her beliefs very disheartening and discouraging. Just the fact that evolution has done more damage than good to the morale and cause of Christianity during the last century (leading to ungodliness, atheism, and immorality throughout the world) already is an indication that the theory is suspect and has been one of Satan’s most powerful tools to cast doubt on the clarity and trustworthiness of Scripture, most specifically sections like Genesis 1-11, which is the foundation to the rest of Scripture.

Predictably, Professor Shuster’s teaching on theistic evolution confused and caused some heated debate in the classroom, and why wouldn’t it? Most of the students grew up believing that God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh (which is why the world runs on a seven day cycle, and why God instituted the Sabbath law forIsrael). Most importantly, these students believe in the simplicity, perspicuity, and integrity of God’s Word, which the unbelieving academic world seeks to demolish everyday with their anti-Christian theories and futile speculations.  

What Shuster said next shocked me. She made this statement (which I hope is not true, but if it is, I am speechless): “What I am saying about creation and anthropology may seem shocking, but I am actually one of the more conservative teachers on staff. At least I am trying to give a historical place to Adam and Eve, whereas most other professors within Fuller don’t…”

If this statement is true, then I cannot, in good conscience, get my graduate degree from Fuller Theological Seminary, especially if this degree is going to represent me and my teachings for the rest of my life. Fuller may be a popular seminary name to have on a resume, but it is simply not worth it for me because Fuller is so theologically suspect. It is sad I had to make this decision and now take the time to write such a letter, considering I had hope for Fuller and my Christian education when I came to the orientation. I even read Fuller’s Statement of Faith that made it seem like it was solid in Christian foundational doctrines, when in fact it is not and is somewhat deceptive.

I understand Fuller’s desire to be as open as possible to students from many denominational backgrounds, but that simply cannot work because it ends up accommodating everyone’s views (even if they are wayward and unbiblical), and still offending some. It’s ironic that Fuller claims to be open and accommodating to all denominational backgrounds (even to Catholics and Seventh Day Adventists), but most of the professors and staff are anti-conservative evangelical.

Fuller’s evangelical teaching is so different than the orthodox teachings of many popular preachers, even on TV shows and radio stations, and is even at odds with one of Fuller’s most known graduates, John Piper. How does John Piper’s teaching square with what Fuller teaches currently? Even over the course of the my year at the school, I have examined the types of books I was assigned to read for class, and I noticed a pattern amongst almost all courses, in which books were written by Catholic priests like Gustavo Gutierrez and open theist writers like Clark Pinnock, yet Fuller never incorporates course books from conservative evangelical preachers who have boldly stood up for the integrity of God’s Word and get persecuted in the process, even by the liberal “evangelicals.” Most of the books I read from Fuller had a water-downed view of the gospel, oriented very specifically toward a social justice, liberation theology, feminist, and cultural mandate type of crowd, and should not have been the books assigned for the courses, especially if Fuller’s aim is to train students who will be faithful expositors and teachers of God’s word.

In fact, I was even surprised to learn that one of the professors in the History Department (who was one of the more orthodox teachers in the seminary) shared the same concern about Fuller Seminary. For the sake of protecting his job, I will not disclose his name. When asked about why I was leaving the school, I briefly explained to him about my reasons through email, as well as my possible future plans.  He responded back in this manner (paraphrased):

“I understand your concerns and why you chose to leave. I admit that I have been concerned myself about the direction of this school lately and question where it has been headed. But might I convince you in anyway to stay on? We definitely need more guys like you to be pillars of truth in this school…”

If even this professor recognizes Fuller’s symptoms and its problematic treatment of Scripture, don’t you believe that this is saying something? 

 Because Fuller does not have a very high view of Scripture’s inspiration and opens up Bible books to many interpretations, it confuses students and makes them unsure of what to believe about the Bible or how to teach God’s Word for future ministry. Fuller seems to encourage and tolerate students who question key doctrines of the Christian faith, having them dabble over futile speculations, historical theories, and man-made traditions, all of which does incredible damage to the student’s sanctification and Fuller’s reputation.

It pains me to say this, but some of these students are so confused as to what they believe about their faith that they are not fit to be pastors once they graduate. I learned the truth of this when one of my Fuller classmates named David told me about a time when he was trying to obtain signatures from Fuller students to stop homosexual/gay agendas being pushed into public grade schools and their textbooks. David told me that most of the Fuller students refused to sign the petition because they didn’t know what to think about homosexual agendas and/or thought there was a better way to approach the situation.

In essence, they were okay with the homosexual agenda being legitimized and taught in public schools. Any soundly educated and regenerated Christian should know the answer to this dilemma, whether it is homosexuality or pedophilia, abortion, incest, bestiality, murder, or any other transgression of God’s law that would be taught and legitimized in a public forum. In fact, David told me that he was able to get more signatures at a local Albertson’s (from the unbelieving world) than from students at Fuller!

Do you find this terribly tragic?

In conclusion, my point in writing this letter is to bring awareness of what is going on at Fuller Theological Seminary and what needs to be corrected according to what Scripture says. I am not here to spread any hate messages or hurt anyone. I do not presume to be better than anyone in the school or presume to know everything there is to know about life. My aim is to simply confront and rebuke the position of my past instructors and of Fuller Theological Seminary based on what Scripture presents so that Fuller can be the school God desires it to be. Although Fuller is not quite as aberrant and liberal asPrincetonor Yale Seminary, it is clearly heading in that direction. And if Fuller Seminary persists and continues to go that route, then the Lord will have no choice but to remove its lampstand out of its place (Rev 2:5). I humbly ask that Fuller return to sound, biblical Christianity, especially if it wants to see more of God’s blessing poured out on the school and its students.

I have a feeling that some of the students and even staff members at Fuller are on that wide gate path that Jesus talks about in Matthew 7, and the fruit of their teachings pretty much affirms it. If Fuller Seminary is serious about the warning Jesus makes in his rebuke and eschatological judgment passage, as well as His repeated the authority of Scripture, then I pray that the school will immediately see to it that all necessary corrections are made, even if it shall be uncomfortable and inconvenient in the early stages. As much as we naturally want to be people-pleasers, our first priority is to be a God pleaser, even if it shall lead to persecution, insult, and death. The way is very narrow, but the ultimate end is rewarding. 

Scripture mandates that, according to Jesus’ message about the 7 Churches in the book of Revelation, Christian organizations like Fuller Seminary return to orthodox, biblical Christianity so that it will not have to be subject to God’s discipline. I only desire to see God’s blessing and favor over Fuller, but this cannot happen if it continues to experiment and tolerate theories that are unbiblical and sometimes heretical. Remember that we will all stand before the Bema Seat Judgment one day (2 Corinthians 5), and our lives will be assessed based on how faithful we were in carrying out God’s word in this life.

How do you think Fuller Theological Seminary will do on that day? Be like the Bereans and read the Scriptures honestly, and you will know the answer. It’s not too late to change. Make the appropriate changes while there is still time.

 

Sincerely,

 

 Steve

Christmas Greetings

December 25, 2012 7:06 pm

 

Currently Reading:

God is Love: A Biblical and Systematic Theology

by Gerald Bray

Category: Theology

Crossway, 2012

 

 

 

 

A simple message of Merry Christmas to all. This beautiful picture below depicts the meaning behind the joy and celebration of this season. May you reflect on it on this day:

Genius the movie

December 23, 2012 1:11 am

 

Currently Reading:

The Deity of Christ

Edited by Christopher W. Morgan & Robert A. Peterson

Category: Theology

Crossway, 2011

 

 

 

 

If you haven’t already seen Ray Comfort’s new 34-minute documentary, Genius, here it is. It is made in the same fashion as 180. Watch and share it with those who don’t know the gospel message:

YouTube Preview Image

Frank Pastore’s death

December 19, 2012 4:35 am

 

Currently Reading:

Angels: Elect & Evil

by C. Fred Dickason

Category: Theology / Angelology

Moody Publisher, 2nd ed., 1995

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a sad realization to learn that KKLA host Frank Pastore passed away yesterday. I really did not see that one coming. With a new book that came out two years ago and a hit radio show, it seems as if Pastore would be here longer and be used for many more years by the Lord. Apparently God had other plans, and He is working His purposes even with this event. I am glad I had a privelege to see Frank two times in person, once at Grace Community Church and another occasion at Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena. He is a very godly man, so I will miss him dearly.

However, praise be to God that He is with the Lord right now, in sinless perfection, which entails a life of holistic health, joy, happiness, and fulfillment. He, like the rest of the true church, will be back to this earth at Jesus’ Second Coming, when the Son of God returns to establish His millennial rule in Zion. Can’t wait to see what part Frank will play in that glorious kingdom.

Goodbye, my friend Frank. On behalf of the church, we will see you soon. 

New Speaking Event

December 13, 2012 1:48 am

 

Currently Reading:

The Beatles, God & The Bible

by Ray Comfort

Category: General Interests

WND Books, 2012

 

 

 

 

I will be speaking at Valley Bible Church in Northridge, CA in January 6, 2013 (Sunday service). Here is the information for the event early next year:

 

Valley Bible Church

8212 Louise Avenue

Northridge, CA 91325

Phone: 818-883-8204

Event time: 9:00 am – 10:30 am

 

I will be preaching on Titus 3:1-8, a sermon titled WITNESSING TO A DEPRAVED SOCIETY. Please come by to hear an awesome message. I will also be signing my book, Hollywood Mission: Possible, and conducting meet-and-greet!

Book Review: Every Good Endeavor by Timothy Keller

December 13, 2012 1:38 am

 

 

If social justice has been covered in the book Generous Justice, then the cultural mandate has been fleshed out through Keller’s new book, Every Good Endeavor. Like Generous Justice, Every Good Endeavor teaches Christians how to put their faith into practice in public spheres, this time through the work place. I haven’t read too many books on integrating faith with (professional) work. Some of the ones I have come across seemed a little too motivational and based on human opinions and pop culture methods than on biblical wisdom. Timothy Keller does a great service by taking a more biblical approach when analyzing how faith relates to work. The author describes work as something that is engrained in our longing and mission in life. However, we as humans either take a lazy approach to work or let work consume our life to the point of idolatry.

 

 The main point behind fulfilling, God-purposed work is to do work not out of selfish reasons or misplaced ambition, but to do it with a heart that longs to serve and benefit others. This, as you may perceive, is rooted in the gospel, so our attitude to work flows out of our commitment to love and serve God. The book is broken into three parts: God’s Plan for Work, Our Problems with Work, and The Gospel and Work. The first section is an introduction to the biblical theology behind work and what part it plays in our life. The second section deals with the problems we have with work because of our fallen nature. The third section talks about the gospel and its influence on our perspective so we don’t fall victim to our sinful tendencies regarding work.

 

 Overall, this is a book I can recommend to those looking for inspiration and a biblical perspective on work. This book is well written, as it incorporates Keller’s signature writing style of simple, but elegant prose, incorporation of historical and pop culture references, and occasional exposition of chosen passages related to the topic at hand. The only caution I have with this book is the degree to which Keller elevates work on the near same level as evangelism and preaching of God’s Word. The author makes it seem at times that the gospel message and the mission of the church (such as his exposition of Matthew 4:19) is about cultural renewal and preserving peace, shalom, and justice, when in reality Jesus states clearly in Matthew 16:15 that the purpose of the church is to preach the gospel to all creation. Change needs to come from the heart, and that only happens when the gospel message of salvation from sin and hell is preached and a sinner believes by repentance and faith.

 

 However, there is still tremendous value in this book, as it teaches about one important aspect of Christian living, which is to be a godly witness to the people around by submitting to authority and abounding in good works for the sake of an effective Christian testimony (Titus 3:1, Romans 13). Keller’s book explores this theme specifically through work (or master and slave relationship), and that can be tremendously helpful for Christians who are approaching their work or employers with the wrong attitude. 

Book grade: A-