On Toxic Leaders (Part 1)

(From Voice magazine, Jan/Feb 2016.)

By Kenneth O. Gangel

What Is a Toxic Leader?

A vast percentage of leadership books in both the secular and religious domains deal with how to move from average to good or good to great in your own leadership, or how to help other people on your team do just that. The same analysis holds true in peri­odical literature, both journals and magazines. That’s why Jean Lipman-Blumen’s book hit the market with a crash in 2004. The title alone suggests, one could say, an “alluring” analysis of something we have swept into the corner and refused to look at: The Allure of Toxic Leaders: Why We Follow Destructive Bosses and Corrupt Politicians—and How We Can Survive Them.

Defective Christian leaders rarely get their pictures in Time or Newsweek for defrauding employees or driving their ministries into bank­ruptcy, but make no mistake about it, we have toxic leaders in our midst. Lipman-Blumen won­ders why people follow such leaders and decides they do so because of a desire for dependence, a need to play a more crucial role in the organiza­tion, and just plain fear. Read more about On Toxic Leaders (Part 1)

Scientism Isn't Science

These remarks stem from some interchanges I had with some believers about methodological naturalism.

Many a scientist will say they are simply looking for natural explanations of phenomena they come across. If that really were the case, there would be no difficulty at all. But that is not so. Scientism is on a quest. The goal is driven by a rigidly held belief that “Science” is a God-free edifice. Hence, “looking for natural explanations” is actually “permitting only naturalistic explanations.” Once we change the adjective to “naturalistic” we can see better what the project is that is being pursued. It is an anti-supernaturalistic universe that is so urgently desired by these people, and the device used to insure the supernatural realm keeps out of the way is the philosophical procedure called “methodological naturalism” (MN).

Every Christian is familiar with the problem of the strident dogmatism of many scientists and their disciples. They love to poke fun at faith and the Bible, seeing themselves as having outgrown such myths. They trust in Science. Science and the declarations of its knowledge elites is their god. In his book Monopolizing Knowledge, MIT Nuclear Physicist Ian Hutchinson has labeled Scientism, the belief that all knowledge comes from the natural sciences, as “a ghastly intellectual mistake.” Yet it is a persistent and habitual mistake which shows no signs of abating. Read more about Scientism Isn't Science

A Message from Missions to the Modern Ministry

(About this series)

CHAPTER VIII - A MESSAGE FROM MISSIONS TO THE MODERN MINISTRY

BY REV. CHAS. A. BOWEN, A. M., PH. D., OLYMPIA, WASHINGTON

It is not my purpose to enter into a defense of, nor champion the cause of, missions. They stand there immovable in the purpose of God. They are the corner-stone as well as the crown in the fabric of the Christian Church. This stone which for so many years was rejected is now become the head of the corner, and whosoever shall fall upon it—whatever church shall ignore its claims—shall be broken.

It is my purpose rather to seek in the field of missions for some message to the modern ministry, for some inspiration to the home church. I know it is impossible to divorce the Church from missions—they are both one; but if we may do so in our thought for a time, we shall find that missions are not so much in need of the home church as the home church is in need of missions. The home church today is not so much the source of encouragement to missions as missions are the fountain of inspiration to the home church. The question is no longer whether the heathen can be saved without the Gospel, but whether the Gospel can be saved for the home church if it is not given speedily to the heathen. Read more about A Message from Missions to the Modern Ministry

Twelve of the Most Annoying Arguments Used Against Biblical Creation, Part 2

(Read Part 1.)

4. Arguing that “since scientists do not yet understand a natural phenomenon, God must have done it” is a fallacious “God of the gaps” argument.

Why It Sounds Good

This type of argument actually is a “God of the gaps” argument and sadly, in church history, many have used this approach.

Why It Is Annoying

There are two significant problems. First, creationists, as a whole, rarely argue this way any longer. Rather, creationists have increasingly been arguing for creation from what we do know about the universe. For example, in philosopher William Lane Craig’s1 version of the Kalam Cosmological argument,2 he states: Read more about Twelve of the Most Annoying Arguments Used Against Biblical Creation, Part 2

Twelve of the Most Annoying Arguments Used Against Biblical Creation, Part 1

(Special thanks to GARBC.org for bringing this article to our attention.)

There are certain tasks I do not enjoy having to do on a regular basis. One that immediately comes to mind is garbage night. Every Tuesday night, the garbage cans and recyclables go out to the curb. Rain or shine, hot or cold, it still must be done. Even though I just did it seven days ago, they sit on the driveway waiting to be taken on their weekly walk. I stress this point in the hopes that you, the reader, will sympathize with me as you read my verse of lament and will join with me in singing the chorus of gripe: “O garbage night, O garbage night, I loathe you deeply, garbage night!”

There are also, in the debate concerning evolution and the age of the earth, certain arguments I grow tired of hearing. When these arguments are given, I confess that I find myself mentally checking out of the conversation because I see that the person is often simply parroting from others what he or she has heard and has not really thought through the issues at hand. Read more about Twelve of the Most Annoying Arguments Used Against Biblical Creation, Part 1

The Gospel Applied: "The Artist" (Part 2)

(Read the series so far.)

God’s rejection of those who led Israel, and the dark curtain He placed over many of their hearts, is not the final layer of the canvas. His veiling is …

Not final: There is a promise!

God still has a future for the Jewish people. Paul wrote:

What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; 8 just as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, Eyes to see not and ears to hear not, Down to this very day.” 9 And David says, “Let their table become a snare and a trap, And a stumbling block and a retribution to them. 10 “Let their eyes be darkened to see not, And bend their backs forever.” 11 I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. (NASB, Rom. 11:7-11)

Read more about The Gospel Applied: "The Artist" (Part 2)

Temple Tantrum?

Expulsion of the merchants from the temple. A.N. Mironov, 2012

Spring cleaning finds its origins in the Jewish community, preparing ones home for Passover by removing even infinitesimal dust that might contain leaven. During the Passover season nearly 2,000 years ago, Jesus decided to clean house, too. The house was his Father’s house, the Temple.

This event is known as the “Second Cleansing of the Temple,” and we are looking at the account of it recorded in Mark 11:15-19. The first cleansing occurred three years earlier and recorded in John 3:13-22.

Yeshua didn’t clean with detergent, kitchen cleanser, or disinfectant. This was to be a different kind of cleaning, an attempted spiritual cleansing from the grunges of corruption and snobbery. Read more about Temple Tantrum?

What Christ Teaches Concerning Future Retribution

(About this series)

CHAPTER VII - WHAT CHRIST TEACHES CONCERNING FUTURE RETRIBUTION

BY REV. WM. C. PROCTER, F. PH., CROYDON, ENGLAND

There are four reasons for confining our consideration of the subject of Future Retribution to the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ:

(1) It limits the range of our inquiry to what is possible in a brief essay. There will be no occasion to examine the 56 passages in the authorized version of our Bible which contain the word “Hell,” (most of which are the translations of the Hebrew “Sheol” and the Greek “Hades,” meaning “the grave” and “the unseen state,”) and we can concentrate our attention on the ten passages in which our Lord uses the word “Gehenna” (which was the usual appellation in His day for the abode of the lost) together with those other verses which evidently refer to the future state of the wicked. Read more about What Christ Teaches Concerning Future Retribution