Why Stay in Fundamentalism?

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tracks.jpgA few hours ago, I carefully listened to an MP3 in which Joe Zichterman, former Bible professor at Northland Baptist Bible College (Dunbar, WI), discusses his reasons for joining the Church-Growth Movement (CGM) in general and Willow Creek Community Church (South Barrington, IL) in particular. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has found his presentation both moving and disturbing.

My heart goes out to Joe and to his family because it’s evident to me that he or someone in his family (or both) has suffered something very painful at the hands of fundamentalists. (In the talk, Joe doesn’t target Fundamentalism by name but clearly includes it under the “high-control groups” label.) Whether what was painful was also wrong I’m not in a position to know, but it’s certainly possible.

I’ll respond to a few points in Joe’s presentation, but the larger goal here is to encourage anyone pondering a similar move to rethink his options.
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Thanks from Greg and Jennifer

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Reggie wearing an outfit sent by Lee and Michelle BrockI wanted to share a word of thanks to those of you in the SI membership who gave so generously to my family and me. Many of the ladies in the Ladies Forum went in on an “Internet shower” for Jennifer, and others sent clothing and other items separately. Your generosity has been a special blessing to us.
Reggie resting on Dad's shoulderOur new son, Reggie, has been a delight. The whole family is enjoying him. His older sisters can’t get enough kisses and cuddles. Jennifer is recovering well, all things considered, though I do realize, ladies, that is a relatively easy thing for me to type.

I also wanted to share a brief word of thanks to those who contributed to the appreciation gift collected for me after I announced my departure from the SI Admin Team. With the funds collected, I was able to purchase (at very reasonable prices):

A Kodak Easyshare Z650 Digital Camera…
Kodak Easyshare Z650
…and a Toshiba Gigabeat S60 Portable Media Center…
Toshiba Gigabeat S60
…with a nice remnant to invest in further education.

Thanks again for the displays of appreciation and thoughtfulness. Jennifer and I am truly overwhelmed by your expressions of generosity to us.

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Marketing Gimmick or Means of Grace? Part 3

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More on the Blessings of Small Groups

Welcome once again to the continuing saga of small-group ministry at Calvary Baptist Church (Joliet, IL). In my previous offerings on this topic, I addressed the motivating factors that led us to begin this type of ministry as well as some of the small_groups.jpglogistical issues that running this type of program brings about.

The general consensus of the feedback that I received from both articles boiled down to essentially one question—“What does it look like?” Certainly, I do not claim to be an expert on all things small groups; however, the Lord has used this ministry in our local assembly, and if our experience can in any way serve other members of the body of Christ, then I will gladly relate what we have learned. So without any further ado, let me explain what you would see on a typical Wednesday evening at Calvary. (Isn’t this exciting? All two of you who are reading this post can stop holding your breath now)

Before I get into specifics, however, let me lay out a couple of foundational principles that I try to consistently emphasize to those in our church who participate in small groups.
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The Resurrection Body of Christ the Lord, Part 3

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Read Part 1 and Part 2.

by John C. Whitcomb, Th.D

In the early years of church history, there were men who denied the true humanity of Jesus. They were the Docetics, a significant branch of Gnosticism. They considered it blasphemous to imagine an infinite, holy, transcendent God 497623___cross__.jpgcontaminating Himself by assuming human flesh. This attitude reflected Greek philosophy, which held that matter is evil and that only the mind and spirit are good.

The Holy Spirit confronted this deadly heresy head-on in the New Testament Scriptures, especially in the writings of John. Note, for example, this statement: “Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God” (1 John 4:2, KJV). And “many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist” (2 John 1:7).

The creation account in Genesis assures us that every physical, material thing God ever created, including the human body, was “very good” (Gen. 1:31). Moral, ethical evil is found in man’s “heart” (the center of rational thought, moral choices, and self-consciousness), not in his body. “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries” (Matt. 15:19; cf. Matt. 12:34).

The Apostle Paul echoed this thought with regard to those who follow demonic doctrines, such as “commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused” (1 Tim. 4:3-4).
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Book Review—Solving the Romans Debate

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Solving the Romans Debate by A. Andrew Das. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007. 324 pages. $24.00/Paperback.

Das_Solving Romans.jpgPurchase: Augsburg/Fortress, CBD, Amazon

Special Features: Bibliography, Author Index, Subject Index, Primary Source Index.

ISBNs: 9780800638603 / 080063803

LCCN: BS2665.6.J4D37

DCN: 227’.106—dc22

Subject(s): Audience of Romans, Purpose of Romans
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Has Fundamentalism Become Secularized? Part 1

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Forty years ago, sociologists triumphantly crowed that in a very short time the last vestiges of religion would be found only in small pockets of disaffected people pining for the glory days of yore. Religious adherence in a society, so they thought, decreased in direct proportion to a society’s modernization. Secularization, the process whereby religion and its influences palsy.gifare gradually pushed to the margins of society, was a relentless force that could not be resisted. Since the West (Europe and North America) was the most modernized society in the history of the world, religion here necessarily had to be in decline.

This idea, known as “Secularization Theory,” was the standard sociological model for almost 100 years. It was as unassailable as Darwin’s theory of evolution from which it had sprung. And it has been proven to be dead wrong. Almost no reputable scholar (the British sociologist Steve Bruce being one exception) still holds to the core of the theory.

Yet modifications of the Secularization Theory (ST) that focus on how religion has changed in light of the advances of modernization have some interesting lessons to teach us about ourselves. Even fundamentalists (some would say especially fundamentalists) have been affected by modernity. In what ways, you ask?
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Book Review (2 of 2)—Simple Church

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Editor’s Note: Two men requested to review this particular book for SI. Because this book has been the topic of a fair amount of discussion in Christian circles since its appearance last June, I was glad to have two independent perspectives. This is the second of two reviews of Simple Church. —Jason Button, Book Review Editor

Simple Church: Returning to God’s Process for Making Disciples by Thom S. Rainer and Eric Geiger (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2006), 257 pp. $19.99/hardcover.

simple_church2.jpgPurchase: B&H, CBD, Amazon

Appendices:



  1. Research Design Methodology



  2. FAQs


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