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is an education project of Discernment Ministries, Inc.

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Latest Newsletter

June/July/August 2017

 

Recent Herescope Posts

Posted August 5, 2017

DISCERNMENT, DEVOTION AND DIVISION
Interlude

[Ed. Note: This post was requested by Pastor Larry DeBruyn to be included at this point in the sequence of his multi-part series (see previous post) reviewing the Universalism inherent in Wm. Paul Young's recent book Lies We Believe About God. Pastor Larry felt that this word of exhortation, just before his final conclusion, would be a good reminder to those who believe in Jesus Christ to hold fast to the faith.]

PaxsonLife

Bio: Ruth Paxson
Ruth Paxson (1889-1949)
was Bible teacher, missionary, and author. Born in Manchester, Iowa in 1889, and accepted Christ as her personal Savior when a child. She graduated from the State University of Iowa, and afterward spent one year at Moody Bible Institute. She served as YWCA secretary for Iowa and eventually traveled as secretary for the Student Volunteer Movement. Sponsored by the YWCA, in 1911, Ruth sailed for the mission field in China. Later she left that work to devote herself to evangelism and summer Bible teaching among missionaries in China. In that country her Bible lessons to pastors, evangelists, and teachers during the 1920s were well received. In response to requests from both Chinese and missionary friends, the lessons were expanded and originally published in three volumes, now combined in a one-volume edition of Life On the Highest Plane

Leaving China for health reasons, Miss Paxson went to Switzerland; then followed a period of Bible teaching on the European continent and at the Keswick Bible Conference in England. For fifteen years prior to World War II, Miss Paxson, with her friend and companion of 34 years, Miss Edith Davis, also a gifted Bible teacher, ministered the Word of God in various countries, including Holland. In Amsterdam alone there were forty-five Bible classes taught by people to whom these two Bible teachers had ministered previously. 

In 1947, Miss Paxson, with a traveling companion, flew across the Atlantic to minister the Word of God in Europe and at Keswick, England. The impact of the testimony and Bible teaching ministry of Miss Paxson has been felt around the world because of the circulation of her books. Miss Paxson was called Home to be with the Lord, October 1, 1949. This selection is taken from the third volume contained in her one volume book, Life On the Highest Plane.[1] In this selection she writes that one “relationship” to which the Spirit calls all Christians is discernment (See 1 John 2:18-27).

Note: To this point, we can contrast Wm. Paul Young’s emphasis upon “relationship” in The Shack (“We are a circle of relationship... Submission.... is all about relationships of love and respect.” (The Shack, 122, 145) Centuries ago Paxson wrote about relationships, but not the kind of relationships Young would stand for; that in days of “deepening apostasy” God calls every spiritual Christian “to three things: discernment, devotion and division.” Nine decades ago Ruth Paxson wrote this encouraging word to Christians who engage in their relationship with God and His Word through discernment [2]:

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Posted July 28, 2017

PRETENDING EVIL DOESN'T EXIST
Truths We Believe About God, Part 10

A Biblical & Theological Rejection of Wm. Paul Young’s book, Lies We Believe About God

Part 1: Truths We Believe About God

Part 2: Doing the Universalist Twist

Part 3: OUR Way or THE Way?

Part 4: An Imaginery Cosmic Reality

Part 5: Universalism & Trinitization

Part 6: A Catena: The Chain of "All"

Part 7: A Catena: Universalism's Troubles With "All"

Part 8: A Catena: Universalism's "World" and "Everyone"

Part 9: A Catena: The "Catenization" of Universalism

By Pastor Larry DeBruyn
 

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Electric barbed wire at Dachau

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord,
shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;
but he that doeth the will
of my Father which is in heaven.”
—Jesus, Matthew 7:21, Emphasis added.

Review of the Book’s Chapters, Concluded

"A Final Word from Dietrich Bonhoeffer" and
"Acknowledgments"

Dietrich Bonhoeffer 
Paul Young concludes his book by drawing upon the emotional memory of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) who has achieved iconic status among evangelicals. Bonhoeffer is to be admired for opposing the evil of the Reich and paying the ultimate sacrifice for his resistance. But as Young’s quotations from Bonhoeffer’s book Ethics indicate, he apparently believed in universal salvation.[104] (LWBAG, 249-250) As William Macleod assessed:

Bonhoeffer was a universalist, believing in the eventual salvation of all. He wrote that there is no part of the world, no matter how godless, which is not accepted by God and reconciled with God in Jesus Christ. Whoever looks on the body of Jesus Christ in faith can no longer speak of the world as if it were lost, as if it were separated from Christ. Every individual will eventually be saved in Christ.[105]

The soteriology (teaching about salvation) articulated by Wm. Paul Young and C. Baxter Kruger (that Jesus’ incarnation revealed His primordial identification with humanity, that all people were positioned in Him before creation, LWBAG, 9-10, 119) bears similarity to that of Bonhoeffer’s; that people are saved not because Jesus atoned for their sins on the cross, but rather that from before time they shared being in union with Christ. Thus Jesus’ incarnation becomes a cosmic announcement of His identification with humanity and their salvation for reason of their being in Him.

Ignoring the Fall, the entrance of sin into the world and the curse upon creation (Genesis 3:1-7, 17-19; Romans 5:18-21), universalists believe the incarnation was the event which shows that from eternity all humanity was, is and forever will be united with Jesus inside the Trinity. Jesus’ incarnation and suffering highlighted His identification with humanity and that corporately, they shared in Jesus’ suffering, death, burial, resurrection and ascension. The incarnation was the event in which God wrapped His arms around humans to remind them that they’re not alone in a suffering universe, but that they really do live, move and have their being inside Jesus and the loving Trinity (Acts 17:28). Hugs all around! To quote Macleod again,

Indeed Bonhoeffer [ed., as Young and Kruger] would argue that we are saved by the incarnation—Christ taking our nature—rather than by His atoning death. He taught that in the body of Jesus Christ, God is united with humanity, all of humanity is accepted by God, and the world is reconciled with God.[106]

Curious it is however, that Bonhoeffer’s belief in universalism did not translate into the reality of his earthly ministry. As the apostate Reich Church began to dominate Germany, many pastors believed Adolf Hitler was another Christ. So opposing that church, Bonhoeffer established a seminary to train pastors to minister in congregations that shunned the Reich Church. This seminary, the ministerial alliance and these congregations belonged to the “Confessing Church” and opposed and separated from the Nazi religion.[107] Bonhoeffer’s separation from the Reich Church may indicate he was not the universalist some make him out to have been. Nevertheless when good confronts evil, subtle or blatant, “life together” does become impractical; that is, if evil is still going to be considered evil.

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Posted July 20, 2017

THE "CATENIZATION" OF UNIVERSALISM
Truths We Believe About God, Part 9

A Biblical & Theological Rejection of Wm. Paul Young’s book, Lies We Believe About God

Part 1: Truths We Believe About God

Part 2: Doing the Universalist Twist

Part 3: OUR Way or THE Way?

Part 4: An Imaginery Cosmic Reality

Part 5: Universalism & Trinitization

Part 6: A Catena: The Chain of "All"

Part 7: A Catena: Universalism's Troubles With "All"

Part 8: A Catena: Universalism's "World" and "Everyone"

By Pastor Larry DeBruyn
 

chainshack

A Review of the Book’s Chapters

A Conclusion About Young's A Catena
Paul Young’s A Catena exhibits thirty-four Scripture passages to support and promote among Christians his belief in universal salvation, especially those persons who reside within the spectrum of pan-evangelicalism. “I have listed a chain of scriptures, a catena, that relate directly to this conversation.” (LWBAG, 119) Note: Young calls his “chain of scriptures” (plural) A Catena when more accurately it should be titled A Catenae (Lat. plural.). If Young is intentionally using the collective singular (Catena) , then it must be concluded that the singular verses in his A Catena are to be chanted or meditated upon together as a collective unit, in one long chain; i.e., a narrative. In other words, it is a package deal. In order to describe this process, I have coined the word
Catenization:

Catenization

The "Whole, Every, Cosmos and Other" Passages (29-34)

The “Whole” Passage 

29. 1 John 2:2 (Berean Study Bible, emphasis Young’s):
“He Himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world.”

Prevalent in the ancient world was the belief that the gods were offended, and that the sacrificial rite would “atone” for the offense. In short, sacrifices to the gods were the way ancient people sought to appease their gods so that they would become kindly disposed toward them. Leon Morris wrote that, “In the ancient world the universal religious rite was sacrifice. All over that world people offered animals on their altars, trusting that their gods would accept their sacrifices and that their sins would be forgiven.”[91] In her national life in that ancient pagan world, Yahweh ordered Israel to annually observe the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16-17). The idea of “atonement” is rooted not only in the sacrificial systems of the Gentile peoples, but also by the Law God gave to Israel. But does John’s use of the word “atonement” (Greek hilasmos) in this verse to describe Jesus’ death—that He died not for our sins only but for the sins of the whole world—communicate that all humanity is therefore saved? Again the answer is, “No!”

Read the entire post: www.herescope.net

 

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Posted July 15, 2017

UNIVERSALISM'S "WORLD" AND "EVERYONE"
Truths We Believe About God, Part 8

A Biblical & Theological Rejection of Wm. Paul Young’s book, Lies We Believe About God

Part 1: Truths We Believe About God

Part 2: Doing the Universalist Twist

Part 3: OUR Way or THE Way?

Part 4: An Imaginery Cosmic Reality

Part 5: Universalism & Trinitization

Part 6: A Catena: The Chain of "All"

Part 7: A Catena: Universalism's Troubles With "All"

By Pastor Larry DeBruyn
 

chainsTractorSupply

“Therefore, beloved... regard the patience of our Lord as salvation... just as also our beloved brother Paul... wrote to you, as also in all his letters... which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.”
—The Apostle Peter (2 Peter 3:14-16, NASB)
 

A Review of the Book’s Chapters

Commentary on Young's A Catena continued
The "World" Passages and the "Everyone" Passage (23-28)
 

The World Passages
 

23. John 1:29 (NASB, emphasis Young’s): 
“Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” 

John the Baptist’s recognition of Jesus occurs at the beginning of His public ministry. “Behold the Lamb (amnos) of God who takes away the sin of the world,” John proclaims. Though Jesus was born after John, the prophet testified to Jesus’ preexistence by stating He “existed before me” (John 1:30). In John’s statement about Jesus the repetition of the definite article is evident: “the” Lamb (ho amnos), “the” sin (ten harmartian) and “the” world (tou kosmou). That Jesus was “the Lamb” indicates He was/is the only Lamb from God (Greek tou theo, is a genitive of source meaning from). God would require no further or other sacrifice than He provided with the Lamb He provided (Genesis 22:1-14). With the Cross all sacrificial systems end in Jesus. The focus for the Lamb’s coming was to die for the sin (singular) of which constitutes all humanity and the world’s system. The sins (plural) which people commit are not the focus of John’s statement though Jesus’ sacrifice provides also for their forgiveness (1 John 1:8-10). Jesus died for the sin of the world (cosmos). Fulfilling the anticipation inspired by the one-thousand and four-hundred year old sacrificial system demanded by God’s Law, John declared the scope of the Lamb’s coming could/would not only be the final sacrifice for the sin of the Jews in particular but also for all humankind in general, “Samaritans” and “other sheep” (John 4:42; 10:16).

In contrast to the Day of Atonement which required the sacrifice of goats on a yearly basis (Leviticus 16:1 ff.), John identified Jesus as “the Lamb of God.” This designation associates His sacrifice with the slaying of the Passover lamb (Exodus 12:1-13), as well as the Suffering Servant the prophet Isaiah portrayed (Isaiah 53:13-53). While other Jews, as regarded the Levitical sacrifices, were so parochially minded that they were no “worldly” good, John the Baptist understood the worldwide mission of Jesus from the beginning. But “In all of this, John the Baptist’s testimony is clear:” comments Pate, “Jesus is the Messiah, not him.”[86] The Apostle Paul too associated Jesus’ self-sacrifice with the Passover Lamb, “For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed,” he wrote (1 Corinthians 5:7b).

Universalism

Now we turn to the issue raised by Young’s quotation of John’s statement about Jesus: Does John the Baptist’s mention of “the world” imply universalism, that all will be saved? If understood, the Apostle John’s concept of the world answers “No!” W. Robert Cook offered the following definition of “world”: “It is a way of life ordered apart from and contrary to God, ruled by Satan, and encompassing all mankind who are not in the family of God through faith in Jesus Christ.”[87]

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