Eddyism, Commonly Called “Christian Science”

(About this series)



One of the keenest observers of America has made the remark that “the reason so many new isms are constantly springing up is because the old Gospel is so hard to live.” People are looking for a comfortable life here, and an easy way to heaven. They are scanning earth and sky for a royal road. The fight with sin which the Gospel demands is a fierce and bitter fight; and many men and women are anxiously searching for a way of escape, desiring to be “carried to the skies on flowery beds of ease.”

This desire lies at the basis of Eddyism. Its fundamental principle is that sin and sickness have no real existence. They may be banished by a process of thought. There is no matter; mind is everything. And, in proportion to the progress of the individual in this creed, all disagreeable and unpleasant things vanish. Read more about Eddyism, Commonly Called “Christian Science”

The Fantasy of the Non-Politician President

Political conservatives in the US may be more deeply divided than at any point in my lifetime. Ugly infighting over who should be the nominee is nothing new. The desire to overturn the status quo by means of a non-conformist, anti-establishment candidate isn’t all that new either.

What seems to be new is a combination of factors:

  1. Much higher levels of disappointment and frustration with “the establishment”
  2. Much lower awareness of the weaknesses of populist political thought
  3. A famously contrarian (to put it nicely) TV celebrity working the populist angle
  4. High polling numbers for a strikingly long period of time, fueling the feeling of inevitability

It’s probably obvious who I’m talking about, even without looking at the photo. Read more about The Fantasy of the Non-Politician President

Church Discipline: the Correction of a Believer or the Excommunication of an Unbeliever? (Part 2)

Harmonizing Matthew 18:15–17, 1 Corinthians 5:1–13, and 2 Thessalonians 3:6–15

From Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal (DBSJ), Volume 20: 2015. Used with permission. Read the series so far.

1 Corinthians 5:1–13

It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife. You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst. For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present. In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.

Read more about Church Discipline: the Correction of a Believer or the Excommunication of an Unbeliever? (Part 2)

Scientism & Naturalism

(A follow up to Scientism Isn’t Science)

Naturalism is defined by Stewart Goetz & Charles Taliaferro in this way:

Naturalism—very roughly—may be defined as the philosophy that everything that exists is a part of nature and that there is no reality beyond or outside of nature. (Naturalism, 6)

Something being “a part of nature” is here meant to exclude the supernatural. Naturalism then is opposed to supernaturalism. It is seeing all things as natural and nothing as being supernatural. It is this view of the world which informs scientism, and it is this same view which informs modern scientific procedure. Although it is important to say that the procedure does not lead every scientist to embrace scientism (the belief that all questions about reality can be scientifically determined), scientism certainly needs the procedure. This procedure is what is called “methodological naturalism” (MN). Read more about Scientism & Naturalism

Going Rogue

(From Voice magazine, Jan/Feb 2016.)

African elephants are the largest land animal on earth. At 12,000 pounds and ten feet tall, they can intimidate anyone and anything. Elephants don’t worry much about predators.

The norm is to live in herds within a matriarchal social structure. The largest female leads the group of eight to one hundred elephants in a tight family unit. At the age of twelve to fifteen years the males leave the group and begin a new family. There is always a dominant male in the herd, but sooner or later, a younger male will take over, and the older ones are left to wander alone. It is a melancholy scene to watch a great-grandfather pachyderm grazing completely by himself.

For whatever reason, some of these older males go berserk; they go rogue. Unstable males become violent and territorial. They go on a rampage, attacking anyone in their way, destroying crops and vegetation. These are the really scary guys. Read more about Going Rogue

Twelve of the Most Annoying Arguments Used Against Biblical Creation, Part 3

(Read Part 1 and Part 2.)

9. The days in Genesis do not have to be 24-hour days.

Why It Sounds Good

In passages like Zechariah 14:20, which talks of the day of the Lord, and 2 Peter 3:8, the word “day” is used for more than a twenty-four-hour time period and 2 Peter 3:8 teaches that, for God, a “day is like a thousand years.” Therefore, the Bible student is not tied to interpreting the Genesis account of “day” in a twenty-four-hour fashion.

Why It Is Annoying

It is true that the Bible uses the word “day” in many different ways. It speaks of day as twenty-four hours, as signifying a time period, as describing the difference between day and night. So, how would one know which use is being used? Context, always context. When Genesis 1 and 2 are examined, it can readily be seen that even it uses the word day in different fashions. But this is actually an argument against playing fast and loose with the word. For if the context itself indicates that it is using day in a different sense, then it will determine its own meaning. So how is day used in the passage? Read more about Twelve of the Most Annoying Arguments Used Against Biblical Creation, Part 3

Church Discipline: the Correction of a Believer or the Excommunication of an Unbeliever? (Part 1)

Harmonizing Matthew 18:15–17, 1 Corinthians 5:1–13, and 2 Thessalonians 3:6–15

From Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal (DBSJ), Volume 20: 2015. Used with permission.


Within the larger discussion on church discipline, two questions that go to the heart of the issue continue to resist consensus. The first question concerns the spiritual status of those being disciplined. Are they to be viewed by the church as true believers caught up in some transgression and, thus, to be corrected and restored? Or, are they to be viewed as those who have made a profession of faith but who are, in fact, not saved and who need to be confronted and removed? Or, does the New Testament allow for either of these two options, depending on the nature of the disobedience?

The second question, related to the first, addresses the type of discipline meted out to the disobedient. Does church discipline invariably involve excommunication, that is, the removal of the disobedient from the membership of the local church with a loss of all rights and privileges? In other words, does the New Testament teach that excommunication is the only option when exercising church discipline of the unrepentant? Or, does the New Testament allow for a level of church discipline that stops short of that? And, if that be the case, what does this level look like? Read more about Church Discipline: the Correction of a Believer or the Excommunication of an Unbeliever? (Part 1)

On Toxic Leaders (Part 2)

(From Voice magazine, Jan/Feb 2016. Read Part 1.)

By Kenneth O. Gangel

Why Would People Work for a Toxic Leader?

With the stench of the Enron disas­ter still in our nostrils, we have become accustomed to the ongoing lawsuits from employees who lost everything. Let’s remember that most of the people who left Enron didn’t drop out or vol­untarily go to other businesses. They actually loved their jobs and felt they functioned at the center of action in such a gigantic corporation. But clearly toxic leadership ruled at Enron, so why did people stay?

Belief in the Unbelievable

The old wisdom says when some­thing looks too good to be true it probably is. Stock portfolios, retirement packages, working conditions—everything seemed right and most of Enron’s people felt they were functioning in one of the greatest companies ever built. That’s why pastors are less likely to leave a large church than a small one. However, a large organization affords part of the draw for an autocratic toxic leader who needs full command until someone blows the whistle. Read more about On Toxic Leaders (Part 2)