The Aim of Our Charge

by Mike Ratliff

τὸ δὲ τέλος τῆς παραγγελίας ἐστὶν ἀγάπη ἐκ καθαρᾶς καρδίας καὶ συνειδήσεως ἀγαθῆς καὶ πίστεως ἀνυποκρίτου (1 Timothy 1:5 NA27)

But the aim of our charge is love out of a pure heart and a good conscience and faith without hypocrisy. (a personal translation of 1 Timothy 1:5 from the NA27 Greek text)

Before you read this post, if you have not read last night’s post, The Knowledge of God, please do so. It is also imperative that you listen to Chris Rosebrough’s and Phil Johnson’s analysis done to the interview of Rick Warren done by John Piper which I linked to in that post. I have read the posts and articles out there from quite a few well-meaning brothers and sisters in Christ who deeply desire for the controversy or rift resulting from the negative response from many of us who cannot accept Rick Warren’s ecclesiology and his friendship with the world and its ways to be healed. They view the efforts by John Piper to be the very thing to “heal” Rick Warren’s image with us. However, they are overlooking something that a commenter on last night’s blog said very well. He said:

“These “interviews” are meaningless and are usually not an accurate revelation of a person’s unvarnished beliefs. Watch what a person does apart from staged interviews and you will see more accurately, what he believes. What a person does is what he believes; everything else is just religious talk.”

There you go. Compare that with what the Apostle Paul said in the passage I placed at the top of this post. The genuine Christian walks with a heart that contains the love of God and that love flows outward. Our part is to walk in repentance so that our conscience is good. We do that by walking and relating to others by faith and that means without hypocrisy. If a person professes one thing, but his or her actions are quite different then you have a case of hypocrisy. That is our charge against Rick Warren in this case. He can do all the interviews with John Piper he wants. He can say he loves Jonathan Edwards and John Calvin all day, but that changes nothing. If he is not willing to turn from being ashamed of the Gospel and offended by the Cross of Christ and thereby not preaching the Gospel instead of promoting ecumenicism with partnership with Roman Catholic mystics, among countless other things that I do not have the space to go into here, then I will not relent. Continue reading

The Knowledge of God

by Mike Ratliff

ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῇ· εἰ ᾔδεις τὴν δωρεὰν τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τίς ἐστιν ὁ λέγων σοι· δός μοι πεῖν, σὺ ἂν ᾔτησας αὐτὸν καὶ ἔδωκεν ἄν σοι ὕδωρ ζῶν. (John 4:10 NA27)

Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God and who is the one saying to you, give me to drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.” (a personal translation of John 4:10 from the NA27 Greek text)

Yesterday evening, Chris Rosebrough and Phil Johnson got together and analyzed the Rick Warren and John Piper interview. You can listen to that here. I think their analysis is spot on and very valuable to the Church. I listened to this as I have been reading Matthew Mead’s The Almost Christian Discovered, which deals with professing Christians who are deceived into believing they are genuine believers when, in the end, they fail the test and are found to be false. My take on Rick Warren in the interview is that he is obviously a very intelligent man who knows a lot about theology. However, his handling of it reminds me of someone who knows a lot about theology, but not at the level of someone with whom he is constantly comparing himself, Jonathan Edwards. He is great about making lists and coming up with sermonettes, et cetera, but when it comes to actually revealing that he knows the difference between Justification and Sanctification, for instance, he simply blows smoke.  Continue reading