Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christ or Allah

Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?

This is eternal life, that they may know You,
the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

—Jesus, John 17:3, NASB

A Gutenberg Bible (Source)

By Pastor Larry DeBruyn
For demonstrating solidarity with Muslims by wearing a head scarf and stating that Christians and Muslims worship the same God, a Wheaton College professor was recently placed on administrative leave by that evangelical Christian institution. This incident again raises issues about the compatibility of Christianity and Islam. With Pope Francis, Christians are stating both religions worship the same God, and that between the deities the Bible and Koran reveal there’s no essential difference (Or for that matter, with the God of Judaism either.). The reasoning promoting sameness might go something like this:
  • Judaism is monotheistic;
  • Christianity is monotheistic;
  • Islam is monotheistic;
  • Therefore, all three religions worship the same God.
But before dealing with the question as to whether Muslims and Christians worship the “same” God, some preliminary points need to be made regarding the issue.

Both Jesus and Paul ordered that Christians are to love, pray for and do good to all people, neighbors and enemies (Luke 10:27). Counteracting the established attitude of His day—“You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy”—Jesus said, “But I say unto you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:43-44). The Apostle Paul added that Christian believers are to “do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith” (Galatians 6:10; Compare Romans 13:9; Galatians 5:14.). So the Christian faith gives no warrant for its believers to hate and do violence toward those people whose religions do not agree with theirs.

Unfortunately, Christian history informs us that Christians have not always acted the way Jesus tells them to, whether to those inside the church or outside the faith (e.g., martyrs, Crusades and Counter-Reformation, etc.).[1] So all confessed Christians should share Miroslav Volf’s belief that, “Commitment to the properly understood love of God and neighbors makes deeply religious persons... into dedicated social pluralists.”[2] Even though their faith differs, Christians are to seek to peacefully coexist with Muslims. But the overriding question becomes, will Jihad and the Islamic vision of a worldwide Caliphate or Christian Dominionism allow for it?
The Crusades
In an effort to seek some moral equivalency between Christianity and Islamic terrorism, some news commentators attempt to make an analogy between the Christian Crusades of the past and Islamic Jihad today, as if what the Crusaders did then provides understanding, if not justification, for what Islamic Jihadists are doing now. But between the two there is no equivalency, either historical or moral.

First, the historical circumstances are different. This is the modern world and not the Middle Ages (1096-1290). Though Christians used the sword back then, they do not appear to be doing so now. (To this point, it should be pointed out that the United States is not a Christian nation, either politically or morally. Where in any of this nation’s founding documents do you see Christ’s name mentioned? Do you think that the moral filth promoted in and by our culture arises from a “Christian” nation?) Furthermore, to the extent that Crusaders used the sword then they disobeyed Christ even if the goal was to liberate Christian holy sites from Muslim control. We should also note that today Islamists, not Christians, are pursuing Jihad. Islamic extremists are decapitating Christians. Christians are not decapitating Muslims. And finally, the goal of radical Islam is to establish a world government on earth (a Caliphate) governed by Shariah law as codified from The Quran and Muhammad’s sayings (i.e., the hadith). The difference between the Crusades on the one hand and Jihad on the other is that of liberation as opposed to domination. When the kingdom comes then let Jesus bring it (Matthew 6:10). Until He does, we are to remember what Jesus told His disciples.

My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.
—John 18:36, NASB

In short, there is no moral equivalency between the Christian Crusades of the Middle Ages and Islamic Jihad today.* This having been stated, we turn now to the question: Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God?

The Question
On the dedication page of Allah: A Christian Response (the book which stimulated the Wheaton professor Larycia Hawkins to take her public solidarity-stance with Muslims), Yale theologian Miroslav Volf dedicated his book as follows:

To my father, a Pentecostal minister who admired Muslims, and taught me as a boy that they worship the same God as we do.[3]

In advocating some sort of solidarity between the Gods (i.e., Christ and Allah, and by implication, Jehovah too), Volf is not alone.[4] In 2009, in a document titled A Common Word Between Us and You, scores of Muslim leaders and scholars sought reconciliation with Christians for purpose of mutual understanding and peace between the great monotheistic faiths descended from Abraham; Judaism, Christianity and Islam.[5] In response, numbers of Christian leaders, in a full page advertisement that appeared in the New York Times, responded to the overture by publishing a document titled, Loving God and Neighbor Together: A Christian Response to A Common Word Between Us and You. The document’s signatories included such well known evangelical and emergent church leaders** as Leith Anderson (President of the National Association of Evangelicals), Bill Hybels (Founder and Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church), Tony Jones (Emergent Village), Brian McLaren (Author, Speaker and Activist), Bob Schuller (The Crystal Cathedral), Rick Warren (Saddleback Church), George Verwer (Operation Mobilization) and Jim Wallis (Sojourners).[6] Further, in a recent translation of the Bible into Arabic, Wycliffe Bible Translators have substituted name of Allah for God.[7] All of which is to say, the Wheaton professor’s stance only spotlights again an issue (called a “conversation”) that has been simmering among Christians, evangelical and liberal, for some time.

Semantic Game—does “similar” mean “same”?
Some evangelicals equate that because Christianity and Islam are monotheistic faiths (belief in one God), Christians and Muslims worship the same God, the synthesis being labeled, “Chrislam.”[8] Mega church leader Rick Warren called the merger the King’s Way.[9] Advocates for the fusion of the faiths view that any differences between the two religions are but superficial. So to promote an ecumenism between the two faiths, the word “same” is skewered to mean “similar.”[10] The Gods both faiths espouse are thought to be “sufficiently similar” so as to be understood as identical.[11] The difference between the Gods therefore becomes one of semantic metaphor (i.e., depending upon what the meaning of “is . . . is.”). So to promote similarity, ecumenists appeal to the “nobler side” of the two faiths; that is, the common ground of religious experience or feelings for which metaphors give vague expression.[12] This of course, is mysticism, and entails all devotees—whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, etc.—worshipping at the shrine of shared religious experiences.[13] Any cognitive differences between various faiths are lost in the sea of subjectivity or existential dump. After all, in the cosmos “sufficiently similar” experiences of God in the immediate can only mean that all religions worship the “same” God in the ultimate; never mind that Yahweh told Israel, “you shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3; See Deuteronomy 6:4-5.). Should it be accused that Christians break the 1st Commandment by worshipping a god besides Yahweh, it should be stated that Jesus declare Himself to be the “I am” of the Old Testament (Compare Exodus 3:14 with John 8:24, 28, 58). According to Holy Scripture, to worship Jesus Christ is to worship Jehovah. But the converse is not true. To worship Jehovah, but reject Jesus, is not to worship Christ.

So the gods are all believed to be the same because religious experiences of worship are similar. One can only wonder whether this subjective template works in real life. For example, in the counterfeiting industry, whether it be fake dollars, brand name products, art, and so on, whether “sufficiently similar” qualifies as “same.” I don’t think so, and neither does the law! We turn now to the impassible gulf which exists between the Gods of Christianity and Islam.
Gutenberg Bible (Source)

Who God Is
Of His being, the New Testament declares, “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16). Love defines the essential inter-personal nature of the Triune God out of which all His actions and relationships arise.[14] But loving is not a separate activity of God, but rather is integral to all that He does! Out of love God created the universe and in love He rules and judges it. In all of this, God loves personally, this heavenly love being mirrored in the most sensitive of human relationships—the earthly love of family and other people created in the image and likeness of God. So whether to Israel or the church, Scripture pictures God as either married or betrothed to His people (Isaiah 54:5a; Revelation 19:7; Ephesians 5:25-32). In God’s family, believers are His “children” and His “sons.” As the Apostle declares,

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage [i.e., ‘slavery,’ NASB] again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
—Apostle Paul, Romans 8:14-15, KJV

Because humans have been created in God’s image, we desire to be accepted and loved. But because Islam denies the Trinity, the religion possesses no ontological basis for affirming God is love. In its view, God is essentially will. So in comparing the Christian God to Islam’s, Samuel Zwemer (1867-1952), noted scholar of and missionary to Muslims, commented:

The human heart craves a God who loves; a personal God who has close relations with humanity; a living God who can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities and who hears and answers prayer. Such a God the Koran does not reveal.[15]

Zwemer then takes this theological observation a step further by noting that, “A being who is incapable of loving is also incapable of being loved.”[16] This essential difference causes fallout between what the two religions believe about and how they practice their distinct faiths.

Because Allah is not love, there can be no reciprocal love between subject (God) and object (humans) and vice versa, only submission; and that is the meaning of the distinctive name Mohammed chose to promote his religion. “The word Islam... means ‘submitting [oneself or one’s person to God]’.”[17] In other words, a Muslim is one who submits, period. Because ideas have consequences, the role of submission colors the whole fabric of the Islamic way of life, in everything from the way women dress to saying Daily Prayers to practicing The Five Pillars and to being governed by Sharia law (i.e., living in strict agreement with and submission to the law contained in The Quran and hadith, Mohammed’s sayings).

The Muslim religion is one of will, not emotion, of action, not affection. The essence of being a Muslim is submission to Allah and observing Islam’s Five Pillars (e.g., profession of faith, prayer five times daily, alms giving, fasting during Ramadan, and pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime). Even the head, face, and body coverings worn by Muslim women communicate submission to Allah, their husbands and governing authority. Islam expects veiled women to submit without equivocation to their husbands and the state. If anyone, male or female, does not submit they are considered kafirs (unbelievers) or apostates, the latter category possibly being punishable by death.

So having studied Islam for several years, Marvin Olasky noted that the “father-son” relationship existing between God and Christians is unknown to Muslims. Islam means “submission,” and the Islamic model of the divine-human relationship is therefore that of “master-servant,” a relationship that becomes mirrored throughout the Islamic world.[18] In comparison to Jesus’ command to Christians to “make disciples of all nations,” the order for Muslims is to make subjects of all nations, and Bill Warner notes that, “political Islam has subjugated civilizations for 1,400 years.”[19] Dominion theology, it seems, is not only the “domain” of some Christians. In short and in contrast to Christianity which is based upon love, grace and faith, Islam is a religion based upon submission, laws and works, and these beliefs affect behavior. So it becomes difficult to see how two polar approaches to God and life can derive from the same deity. In their beliefs, observations and applications to life the religions are neither similar nor same. So in his argument that Christians and Muslims worship the same God, Miroslav Volf admits to the impasse between Christianity and Islam:

In addition to contesting the Trinity and the incarnation, Muslims also contest the Christian claim that God is love—unconditional and indiscriminate love. There is no claim in Islam that God “justifies the ungodly” and no command to love one’s enemies. But these are the signature claims of the Christian faith. Take redemption of the ungodly and love of enemy out of the Christian faith and you un-Christian it.[20]


The evangelical church today has demeaned worship to mean feeling good about ourselves and God, something Ralph P. Martin called “the tyranny of subjectivism.” This is the level at which evangelicals find “sameness” in the worship of God. But worship is not whipping up enthusiasm to give people a psychological boost. As Martin tells readers, “God’s love expressed in Christ’s cross, suffering, and victory is no cheap idea or sentiment.”[21] So in its simplest understanding, worship is the acknowledgement of the “worth-ship” of God. But who are Christians to worship?

To cut to the point, Christians worship, as Jesus affirmed, the Triune God who in the being of His divine essence eternally subsists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). As regards worship of the Triune God, Scripture informs us that the heavenly reality of it accords with “the seven Spirits” before the throne who direct worshippers to give glory, honor and praise equally to the Throne-sitter and to the Lamb (Revelation 5:6, 11-14; See Hebrews 1:6.). In and by the Holy Spirit Christians are to worship the Lord Jesus Christ who is ascended to the right hand of Majesty on High (Hebrews 1:3; 8:1). It is He to whom the Spirit bears witness (John 15:26). As one theologian, with whom I disagreed on many issues while he was yet alive, bluntly stated, “Worship, if done in response to anything other than the mystery of God in Christ, is idolatry.”[22] So the worship of the church on earth ought to mirror the Christ-centric worship the Bible describes as taking place in heaven. This brings us to the heart of the matter concerning whether or not Christians and Muslims worship the same God.

In contrast to orthodox Christians, no Muslim would ever confess “Jesus is Lord” (1 Corinthians 12:3) or worship Him as God (John 20:28; Jude 24-25). Granted, Jesus is declared to be a high ranking prophet by The Quran, but Islam considers it blasphemy to believe He is God (See John 10:30-33.).[23] Therefore because they do not worship the Lord Jesus Christ, Muslims, as well as Jews, do not worship the same God as Christians.*** We worship the Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:9-11), and one day so will the rest of the world. Muslims cannot, do not and will not worship “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). To imagine a hypothetical, but straightforward, conversation between a Christian and his/her Jewish or Muslim friend, the Christian might ask, “Do you worship Jesus Christ?” If the answer is: “No!” (And invariably if the Muslim or Jew is informed regarding his or her faith, the answer will be, “No!”), then the only response of the Christian can be, “Then we do not worship the same God for I worship the Lord Jesus Christ and you do not.”
The resurrection of Jesus Christ (Source)

When this impasse is understood, the best we can do therefore, is peacefully agree to disagree and let God sort all this out in the end, something that, personally, I am comfortable with (Revelation 20:11-15). Hopefully, neither religion will fanatically demand that its devotees can nowise tolerate or abide the others’. Meanwhile, Christians ought to understand that as the Apostle John stated,

We are in Him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols.
—Apostle John, 1 John 5:20b-21, NASB

It is evident that Christians (some deliberately, many mistakenly and others naively) are equating that because Christianity and Islam are monotheistic (believing in one God) faiths, they worship the same God. To the contrary, in that Christians worship Christ and Muslims will not, we do not worship the same God.

[1] See John Foxe, Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, W. Grinton Berry, Editor (Fincastle, VA: Scripture Truth, n.d.). To this point, historians note that during the 20th Century greater numbers of people were put to death in the name of irreligion (i.e., Hitler, Stalin, etc.) than in previous centuries. People, it appears, have far more to fear from the state than from the church.
[2] Scot McKnight, “The ‘Same’ God? Volf Speaks,” Jesus Creed, December 16, 2015 ( In his blog post McKnight references Volf’s book (p. 32) on this point.
[3] Miroslav Volf, Allah: A Christian Response (New York, NY: HarperCollins eBooks, 2011) Front Matters, Kindle Sample (
[4] Miroslav Volf, “Wheaton professor’s suspension is about anti-Muslim bigotry, not theology,” The Washington Post, December 17, 2015 (
[5] A Common Word Between Us and You (Jordan: The Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, January, 2009). A copy of the document is available at:
[6] Loving God and Neighbor Together: A Christian Response to A Common Word Between Us and You. A copy of the advertisement is available at: Joe Schimmel of Good Fight Ministries, has produced a DVD with the title, The Submerging Church. In the presentation, he draws attention to evangelicals and emergents who attempt to merge Christianity and Islam. For a cameo from the video, see
[7] Michael Carl, “Wycliffe Defends Changing Titles for God,” WND Faith, February 2, 2012 ( Carl notes: “Involved is the removal of any references to God as ‘Father,’ to Jesus as the ‘Son’ or ‘the Son of God.’ One example of such a change can be seen in an Arabic version of the Gospel of Matthew produced and promoted by Frontiers and SIL [i.e., Wycliffe’s Summer Institute of Linguistics]. It changes Matthew 28:19 from this: “baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit”; to this: “cleanse them by water in the name of Allah, his Messiah and his Holy Spirit.”
[8] Rob Kerby, “What is ‘Chrislam’ and who preaches it?” beliefnet: Inspiration. Spirituality. Faith. (
[9] Rob Kerby, “Internet spreading new accusations connecting Rick Warren with ‘Chrislam’,” beliefnet: Inspiration. Spirituality. Faith. (
[10] Recognizing that the postmodern mindset argues about what the meaning of “is” “is,” the noun same deserves a dictionary definition: “Same = one in the same “ 1. Being the very one: IDENTICAL. 2. Alike in kind, quality, quantity, or degree. 3. Conforming in every detail....” See Webster’s II New College Dictionary (Boston/New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1995): 977.
[11] In a war of meanings, Volf advocates that “sufficiently similar” nuances “same.”
[12] Scot McKnight, “The ‘Same’ God? Volf Speaks,” Jesus Creed, December 16, 2015 (
[13] Rapprochement between Christianity and Islam may be found at the level of the experiential-expressive model of religion which theorizes there’s “a common experience of the divine which is nevertheless expressed in different terms and concepts.” This approach, hypothesized by neo-liberal George Lindbeck (1923-    ), is both ecumenical and mystical. Lindbeck’s experiential-expressive approach “interprets doctrines as noninformative and nondiscursive symbols of inner feelings, attitudes, or existential orientations.” See Michael J. Vlach’s review of Lindbeck’s book The Nature of Doctrine: Religion & Theology in a Postliberal Age (Philadelphia, PA: The Westminster Press, 1984). Review online at the Theological Studies website (
[14] I would argue that absent the Trinitarian understanding of God, there exists no ontological reason for believing that God is love (e.g., Jesus to the Father, “You loved Me before the foundation of the world,” John 17:24, NASB). A divine monad is incapable of love for in eternity past there was no one interpersonally to love.
[15] S. M. Zwemer, The Moslem Doctrine of God (New York, NY: American Tract Society, 1905): 111.
[16] Ibid.
[17] H.A.R. Gibb, Mohammedanism: An Historical Survey (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1970): 1.
[18] Marvin Olasky, “Brutality and dictatorship: How Islam affects society.” World: Special Issue, November/December, 2001, 19. The whole issue was devoted to the religion of Islam.
[19] Bill Warner, “A Short Overview of Sharia Law,” Political Islam, February 23 2009 (
[20] Volf, “Wheaton Professor’s Suspension,” The Washington Post.
[21] Ralph P. Martin, The Worship of God (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1982): 5.
[22] Ibid: Quoting J.R. Neuhaus, Freedom for Ministry (New York, NY: Harper and Row, 1979: 105.
[23] In that Jesus was the Prophet of God who Moses predicted would come, I choose to believe Jesus’ claim that He and the Father are one in essence. To Jews and Muslims I would respectfully say that you cannot both affirm Jesus was a true prophet and not believe what He said about His relationship with the Father; that is, that they are one. The Jews who heard Jesus make this claim understood it, for they picked up stones to stone Him “for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make yourself out to be God” (John 10:33).

*Ed. Note: It should be noted that over the past ten years this blog has published numerous articles warning about the Dominionist goals of certain sects within evangelicaldom including International House of Prayer (IHOP) and the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), as well as Reconstructionists and Neo-Calvinists. These groups aim to create a Christian nation and forge a world "kingdom" ruled by their elite leaders, often done under the guise of being "missional," and based upon enacting their various mystical millennial eschatologies. See Herescope posts such as:;;;;; See also: and and the six part series that begins at 

**Ed. Note: For further reading on these common ground efforts, see the following Herescope posts:;;; and

***Ed. Note: For further reading see the excellent book Idolatry in Their Hearts by Sandy Simpson & Mike Oppenheimer which explains the troubles with using names for God that arise from other religions, and how this these other names are currently being adopted in evangelical mission work.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Undertaker, Come Quickly. . .

. . . Neo Evan Christianis Has Died

Accommodation, accommodation.
How the mindset of accommodation grows and expands....
For the evangelical accommodation to the world of our age
represents the removal of the last barrier
against the breakdown of our culture.
And with the final removal of this barrier
will come social chaos and the rise of authoritarianism
in some form to restore order.

~ Dr. Francis Schaeffer[1]

By Dr. Orrel Steinkamp

The Neo (New) Evangelical Christian experiment has failed. It reminds me of the Titanic. This unsinkable ship left England amid cheers and high festivity. For many it represented the latest in human achievement. But, alas! It was not to be. On the high seas amid the turbulence of the seas and surrounding icebergs its underwater hull was ripped open and seawater was pouring in. But on board gala and gaity was in full swing. Only a few noticed a minor listing of the mighty ship. But the band played on even while the water compartments were taking on water from the sea.

The Neo-Evangelical Gospel ship was also launched with great promise. This was to be the beginning of prominence for the American and International Evangelical movement. They openly wanted a recognition by the religious academia and to dialogue with culture. In no time Neo-Evangelicalism was birthed, led by Harold Ockenga, Carl Henry, Billy Graham and the Fuller Seminary personnel. In due time Christianity Today became its publishing oracle and Carl Henry its editor. The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) became its constituency and Fuller seminary its training ground.[2]

In what seemed like no time the new movement quickly built schools and institutions. But the next generation, and the generations following, gradually were swallowed up by the surrounding culture. And rather than maintaining its biblical stance, they, in very small ways at first, began to become what the reformers would have called Sola Cultura rather than Sola Scriptura (only the Bible). Others have used this term previously but here is our definition:

Sola Cultura: 
  1. Culture alone—in contrast to the Reformation, which set forth the doctrine of Sola Scriptura (the Bible alone) as the basis for spiritual authority. Social experience and cultural norms as modern evangelicalism's basis for final authority.
  2. An abandonment of the twin doctrines of separation and non-conformity, i.e., "come out from among them, and be ye separate" (2 Cor. 6:17) and "be not conformed to this world" (Rom. 12:2)
  3. Giving undue credence to peer pressure and group consensus, now especially via social media, by heeding the winds and shifting trends of popular culture. 
  4. Comfortably adapting oneself to ever-changing societal norms, adopting the most current fashions, fads, worldviews and fantasies.
  5. Accepting cultural norms over reason, rational thought or biblical Truth. Placing sole or final authority in knowledge gleaned from the current cultural paradigm.
  6. Placing sole or final authority in the ever-evolving views of spiritual and global leaders, famous speakers and authors, popular TV and movie stars, trending politicians and pundits, and other celebrities (whether real or fictional).[3]
Oh! In the early days the Neo-Evan presses were still rolling and the Bible colleges were bursting. But, except for a few discerning ones, a trajectory of cultural dependence was discernible. In his book New Neutralism II: Exposing the Gray of Compromise, Pastor John Ashbrook described why the Sola Cultura mindset was adopted by the early Neo-Evan leaders:

From its inception new evangelicalism has been determined to impress the world with its intellect. It has craved the respect of academia. It has determined to earn the plaudits at the fountainheads of secular learning. Why should this be a goal for the Christian?…

The goal was to be published by publishers that the world respected…. [T]his craving for acceptance shows itself…in the desire to make the gospel more palatable to the natural man…. New evangelicalism made it acceptable to water down the gospel.

Ted Haggard (Source)
Now, after only after seven decades of church history, Sola Cultura has completely seized the moment, abandoning the Sola Scriptura of those very first years. Fuller Seminary is no longer even evangelical by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, the once impregnable evangelical castle Wheaton College has visiting Catholic scholars for their Evan-Millennial students.[5] The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) is in shambles. Ted Haggard resigned because he was outed for his homosexual activities.[6] Fuller Seminary now makes no pretense to being evangelical.

"Evangelical scholar" Mark Noll transferred himself over to the Catholic University of Notre Dame.[7] And J.P. Moreland abandoned the Bible and became a leading spokesperson for common ground[8] and Sola Cultura, complaining in 2007 that those who were "over-committed" to Sola Scriptura were "irrational, harmful" and exhibiting "mean-spiritedness":

“In the actual practices of the Evangelical community in North America, there is an over-commitment to Scripture in a way that is false, irrational, and harmful to the cause of Christ.... And it has produced a mean-spiritedness among the over-committed that is a grotesque and often ignorant distortion of discipleship unto the Lord Jesus.

[The problem is] "the idea that the Bible is the sole source of knowledge of God, morality, and a host of related important items. Accordingly, the Bible is taken to be the sole authority for faith and practice.”

There were ever so many small steps toward Sola Cultura. But the pace of this diminishing of biblical doctrine and the inclusion of purely cultural expressions gradually took on speed. Just slow enough that most of the people in the pews could and did adjust. Our leaders and intellectuals must, after all, be right?

Post Modernism Arrives
At about this time the wider culture recognized that the Enlightenment worldview had morphed into what was given the name of Post Modernism. Supposedly we no longer had to contend for biblical Truth, for the Post Modern culture just shrugged and said everyone's truth is right for each individual. How well I remember a youth pastor with glee saying now we can do our own thing and we don't have to always be proving it. But Post Modernism was no gift but rather a curse to the church. Perhaps it could be better stated as Post Mortem-ism (i.e., "relating to examination of the body after death"[10]). It well describes the effects of the new cultural dependence of the Neo Evan movement.

The Neo Evan Marketers Take Over
Next the old simple Gospel needed a makeover in order to be sold to the cultural customers. The customers (biblical unbelieving sinners) liked entertainment so the church provided it. Our pastors became corporate officers, and they quickly realized that too much talk of sin and the atonement needed to be diminished. Oh! Not rejected outright, but simply not emphasized.

Next pragmatic church growth appeared. If we are going to have sell the revamped gospel (small "g") we are in competition with other gospel salesman. So evangelicalism subtly became a race to adjust to the culture and gain more converts (customers). This New Evangelism became "how do reach unchurched Harry," rather than announcing to the world that we are all helpless sinners and Jesus came not sell something but came to buy something -- namely sinners with His blood ("the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood," Acts 20:28). The Gospel of Salvation morphed into a therapeutic pill, like the snake oil advertised on TV. The new gospel is marketed as a cure for your disappointing life-experiences in the culture, rather that the blood of Jesus Christ that washes us clean and prepares for us a place in heaven.

Finally someone realized that the culture wasn't all that interested in us, no matter how hard we tried. We not only had to change, but we must join together with others. Then the customers would see that we were really a force to be reckoned with. So we started the ecumenical endeavor. Evangelicals and Catholics Together (ECT) shot the first salvo.[11 And then there were numerous successors, each with more common ground agendas.[12]

In the process, the marketers produced the Mega Church movement. Now every little church was challenged not only to sell the the glossy new gospel but to grow thereby into a Mega Church or at least a Mini Mega Church. In all this salesmanship of the re-fabricated gospel (not primarily biblical evangelism) the local little churches were willing to do their best, and many did. Maybe they didn't sell much, but they became ecumenized by the effort.

Ecumenical Mergers Became the Next Answer
We can't keep competing with one another so let's just join them. If we want to roll back abortion and compete with international Islam, then the culture must see us a force to be reckoned with. But this requires negotiation.... In the process of this sort of ecumenical negotiation sacrifices in the message had be made. So the Neo Evans arising out of the 1950's must now be willing to join with other quasi-religious groups. This is so that Christianity represents a larger piece of the cultural pie, politically and otherwise. Sola Cultura. We must all become subsidiary offices of an even larger cultural expression of the broad-based christian (small "c") umbrella. This all seems to be the current strategy.

Now the Christians still have to sell their wares to the public but they have to become related to a larger parent company as well. But all this requires serious negotiation and collaboration and, finally, change. The usually involves our biblical distinctives. They have to be less distinctive. Now if Christianity was just another company, so what? But the original product of the Gospel has to be soft-pedaled for the good of the larger interests of the new corporation, which in this case is just cultural christianity, i.e., Sola Cultura.
CharismaNews, 2/20/15

We have moved so far in the adaptation for the "greater good" that we have to make room for those who are only quasi-quasi christian (small "c") and even to those who historically have heard no true Gospel of Salvation message. So under the Sola Cultura we can say that unrepentants, eastern mystics, Buddhists, and whoever else, can come under the cultural umbrella. In this big tent christianity denominations are dying and are losing their importance yearly. This evangelical denominational decline, however, has only begun.

As stated above this broadening ecumenical negotiation phase was first started by the Evangelicals and Catholics Together (ECT). The first negotiations were with Roman Catholics. In fact, Chuck Colson, in charge of this endeavor, believed that “Redeeming the culture is the never ending mission of the church."[13] Colson also stated his view about the new mission of the church under the new guiding light of Sola Cultura as Dominionism:

All of life is under the lordship of Christ, and therefore, we have been given two commissions: the Great Commission, to make disciples, baptize them, and teach them all Jesus has taught us; and the Cultural Commission, to be fruitful, multiply, take dominion, and restore a fallen creation.[14]

Leadership Network's Ed Stetzer (Source)
Hey! The wording of these ECT negotiations had to subtly hide the Catholic belief and practice system (the wafer Jesus, semi-god Mary, etc.) but still leave room for the New Evans joining up. It contributed to and cemented a ecumenical mindset. Right at this juncture the Post Modern culture gave a valuable assist towards Post Mortemism. Let everyone believe what they personally believe and everybody can be happy. (Oh, we still have some disagreements, but what matters is that we are together and all our congregants will be happy and continue to give $$$.)

But the culture is moving on much faster now. Post Mortem Evangelical culture began to call for an ancient but future church (notice not a biblical church). So suddenly medieval candles were in and Emergent or Emerging Evans could now insert any non-biblical mystical experiences they personally liked. Hell didn't fit, so Bob Bell[15] and and the New Age Oprah[16] just eliminated it. This caused a little ripple but it is a part of church history now.

A Post Modern Post Mortem
A few examples exhibit the depth of the ecumenical abyss we are in. Surprisingly only a handful on the Internet, and a still too few pastors, seem to realize where we have landed. These examples below should illustrate the ecumenical landscape that seems acceptable. The pace and speed of Sola Cultura is going further and faster.
(Source and YouTube Source)

1. Hillsong songwriter Darlene Zschech a former Autralian Roman Catholic has affected the Neo Evan worldwide by her new Post Modern Music. She and Don Moen, also a famous pop christian (small "c") worship leader, recently attended a world gathering on worship. Indeed the new Pope came and gave them a pep talk. Zschech's music is used in surely every Neo Evan church in the world including the RC church. As a former pastor I know that every use of her music commands a royalty for them to produce even more music. Indeed Zschech and Moen and others are promoting international music for purely religious consumption. She attributes this to the Holy Spirit, but doesn't the Holy Spirit lead us out of apostasy and not into it?[17]

2. Newly Elected Southern Baptist president, Ronnie Floyd, opens the door to the false church of "Shock and Awe" at this year's IHOP "OneThing" conference.[18] This also opens the door as well to the New Apostolic Reformation, Bill Johnson's Bethel, and the laughing Toronto-ites, etc.[19]
Floyd is concerned about his largest denomination the SBC worldwide. His concern is warranted. I talked to a SBC missionary from Texas last week and he estimated only 7% of Southern Baptists were born-again. Baptized as a teen, and that is apparently the end of it. But Floyd's solution is to reach out to current semi-New Age expressions of like piety such as "drawing a circle" (a la Batterson[20]) and demanding God to answer, etc.

More of Floyd's expectation's for a general religious American revival can be found on the Internet. But his first attempt to lead his church, and especially America, back from the brink is to endorse the IHOP conference called "OneThing" in December 2015. This does not bode well for the future of Southern Baptists. But this also opens the door to the "Shock and Awe" tactics of Mike Bickle's IHOP, including the bizarre theologies and activities of the NAR and their cohorts. The Bethel musicians will be there at OneThing, especially including Misty Edwards.[21] A worship leader from the Pope's visit will lead worship. From this date Southern Baptist young people from the former southern Bible belt will be invited to feel the intoxication of all of the extra biblical "stuff" that IHOP has to offer. Sola Experientia![22] Sola Mystica![23]
Ronnie Floyd on the IHOPKC website promoting the OneThing conference 2015

Francis Chan another popular Neo-Evan Neo-Calvinist will be back at OneThing again this year.[24] A full afternoon track will be offered for Catholic young people with teaching on entering a contemplative a prayer state so they can find a current mythical conversation with Jesus buried deep in their inner man.
Francis Chan with Mike Bickle at OneThing 2013[25]

Yes, Ronnie wants an American revival, but this is a foolhardy action to share the stage with Latter Rain cult leader Mike Bickle, who leads teens and youths into his extreme warfare doctrines and practices. This association will give credence to every other religious mystical experience America has to offer.

In this bid for popularity Floyd seems to following Rick Warren. Warren is yet another Southern Baptist who promotes his purpose driven material to Muslims, Catholic and New Agers. Warren's associates include Dr. Mehmet Oz, a Swedenborgian cult follower, and Dr. Daniel Amen, a promoter of eastern tantric sex.[26] And Warren promotes mystical contemplative activities. Hey! They work and produce church "growth", so quit your quibbling....

3. The cell phone conversation from Pope Francis to Word Faith pastors. In my Plumbline Newletter titled "Who is Winning the Infiltration Battle?" I examine the spiritual union with Rome and reported Kenneth Copeland's and James Robison's responses to the Pope's cell appeal:

More recently the New Pontiff Francis was able to call for and get a remarkable response from Evangelicals. Bishop Tony Palmer was able to organize a cell phone visible connection from Pope Francis with Kenneth Copeland at his annual pastors convention in Fort Worth. Tony Palmer, a former worker for Kenneth Copeland in South Africa, later was ordained a bishop in a quasi Catholic convergence movement seeking to combine evangelical Christianity with Rome. Palmer later befriended Cardinal Jorge Bergogio, later to become Pope Francis, in Argentina. Bishop Palmer then became the conduit for an appeal for spiritual unity with American Charismatics. Surely, with Copeland's knowledge, Bishop Palmer showed Copeland and hundreds of Word/Faith pastors via a cell phone camera the Pope's tearful plea for unity with Charismatics. Kenneth Copeland promptly prayed in tongues for guidance and then responded back by cell phone to Francis at the Vatican. An elated Copeland announced, "Heaven is thrilled over this." Copeland's assembled pastors burst into applause. A week later James Robison invited Bishop Palmer to his TV program Life Today. After hearing the Pope's same cell phone plea, Robison, a longtime Southern Baptist evangelist/politican/Charismatic, responded, "In Christ we are brothers." Then on national TV Pope Francis's plea was played for a national audience. Bishop Palmer then arranged for Robison and Copeland to visit the Vatican. Surprisingly, Palmer was shortly killed in a motorcycle accident in the UK. Pope Francis insisted that Palmer be buried with full Catholic rites.[27]
Henri Nouwen (Source)

4. The Roman desert fathers once fathered a Catholic revival of mystical prayer and everybody. Now everyone is into mysticism. Sarah Young publishes books widely that purport to be new words from Jesus.[28] Dozens of others have written about their visits to heaven.[29] The apocalyptic prophecy teachers are now touting a space alien invasion rather than the return of Jesus Christ. I mean everybody is into the new mysticism! The Dutch Catholic priest Henri Nouwen is now the devotional choice of huge numbers of Neo Evans, and no person or christian (small "c") college even swallows hard. In fact, one can readily find his books in even the most conservative college bookstores. All of this mysticism is the new approved devotional recipe for "revival".

So the Neo Evangelical Post Modern experiment is hastening its own Post Mortem. It is obviously over even if most are not yet aware of its passing. What happens next? Well the Sola Cultura has just expanded the product line and there will be more to come. But what remains for the true biblical Jesus? Not that there are no children of Jesus in the Neo Evan mixed soup, but they are in dangerous territory. Nevertheless there are still many of the pastors of true church simmering in the Neo Evan cultural stew.

Sustained by the Word
What is a body to do? This is current Evangelicalism, right? You will look far and travel far to find a church body who see what is going on. Nevertheless, Jesus the True shepherd knows each one of His own and will protect them. He is the true shepherd of His sheepfold. The majority of the Neo Evans have come too far and would never go back go back to purely biblical Christianity. Especially now. There is money to be made, fame and stardom, popularity and pizzazz to be found, by aligning with Sola Cultura.

The sheepfold of the biblical Jesus is the only safe place left. The true Shepherd of God described in Scripture. He calls his own sheep. There He guards them and keeps watch at the gates entrance of His sheepfold. At the decision of the Shepherd and his Father His sheepfold will be taken to heaven. So for true believers that is the only place of safety and solace.

America is falling apart. Donald Trump cannot save us, nor Hillary, nor whoever. If the Shepherd calls you He will make you righteous before His father by His blood. And if He is for us who can be against us, be it Muslim or whoever.

As Pastor Larry DeBruyn reminded us in his article "Accommodating the Culture," 

Reformation by Regeneration
Is is not time to go back to God’s formula; to the biblical basic of evangelizing to achieve reformation by regeneration? Is not that what the word evangelical means, one who believes in the power of the Gospel to change a person’s life, something neither dominionist legalism nor emergent libertarianism can do? Christian laws, however valuable they might be to live under for the common good, do not in the end, make Christians. Neither will the denial of law serve as a basis for the common good. Who wants to live in anarchy, which is where this society and nation, absent any absolutes, are headed. A long time ago Jesus told a man that in order to see the kingdom of God persons must be born from the outside in, or from the upside down. Jesus told Nicodemus that in order to see the kingdom of God, to experience the reign of God in his heart, that he had to be born from above (John 3:3, 7). If God truly rules within us then He can rule among us. But His rule will come neither by Christian subjugation nor accommodation. In part, God’s reign will only arrive as persons are regenerated by the Holy Spirit (In popular parlance, it’s call being “born again.”). And then if enough persons experience God’s rule inside them, their number might reach critical mass and society will experience relative transformation, though that will still fall far short of the one that will accompany Christ when He comes to establish His kingdom in the world (See Isaiah 9:6-7; 11:1-9; Matthew 19:28; Revelation 20:4-6). Only as people’s constitutions are changed will change occur around us. That’s the message of the biblical prophets; that is of “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21).

A truly compassionate response to those in sinful bondage is to tell them about Jesus Christ and His salvation. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

“The Word of the Truth of the Gospel [has] come unto you,
as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit,
as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it,
and knew the grace of God in Truth....”

Colossians 1:5-6, KJV[30]

1. Schaeffer, “The Great Evangelical Disaster,” The Complete Works of Francis A Schaeffer: A Christian Worldview, Volume 4, Second Edition (Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1985): 401. Bold added.
2. Read Paul Smith's book New Evangelicalism: The New World Order, reviewed at this Herescope post: and available for purchase from Discernment Ministries at
3. For further research see:
4. John Ashbrook, New Neutralism II: Exposing the Gray of Compromise (Here I Stand, 1992), p. 8, 10. For more description of this see the Herescope post:   
5. See "To Be a Christian College,"
6. The Deception in the Church website has archived much of this history. See: and scroll down to the Ted Haggard subheading here:   
8. Bio: J.P. Moreland was also a key signer of the Evangelical Manifesto:
9. J.P.Moreland quoted in "Postcard from San Diego: Fighting 'Bibliolatry' at the Evangelical Theological Society," by Ted Olsen, Christianity Today, 11/14/07. This quote can also be found in a previous Herescope post titled "Dumping Sola Scriptura,"
11. See and also: Also read: 
12. Herescope has published 4 articles specifically detailing some of these covenants and their agendas:
Part 1 "The New Global Civility"
Part 2 "Manifestos, Declarations and Covenants"
Part 3 "The Manhattan Declaration: Another Dominionist Covenant" 

Part 4 "A Covenant for Civility"
13. See the articles cited in footnote 9. This quote is attributed to Chuck Colson, Breakpoint, Jan.2, 05, KLHT, by Mike Oppenheimer in his article "The Global Transformation of Redeeming Cultures,",. bold added. See the Herescope post "Redeeming Cultures" for more quotes concerning Colson's agenda:
14. Colson wrote an article for Rick Warren's "Ministry Toolbox" (Issue #248) titled "Why worldview matters," bold added. This and other quotes are detailed at the Herescope post "Marketing the Global Worldview," May 31, 2006,, emphasis added. To understand how this "restoration of creation" agenda fits into the entire Sola Cultura worldview, read the article "What Is Dominionism?" posted at the late Pastor Ken Silva's website and be sure to watch the Eric Swanson video where he eschews the Gospel of Salvation. Read also this Herescope post that describes the Cultural Mandate:  
15. Read "Love Loses," Also see:
16. Read "Emergent MIND Change,"
17. Documentation for this paragraph can be found in the following articles such as "Hillsong’s Darlene Zschech Condemns Christians and aligns herself to Roman Catholicism," and others posted at this webpage:; and view the YouTube video: 
18. See pre-conference reports posted at and also at
19. Read the article "The Passion of the Presence and the Purpose of the Passion" on Herescope. This is the first in a 6 part series that details the heretical teachings of Mike Bickle and his IHOP movement: The reference to Toronto is to the laughing phenomena of the 1990s. Start reading Part 1 of Ed Tarkowski's multi-part series at:
20. For more on Mark Batterson and his circles, as well as other personnel in the NAR and connected with Bill Johnson and Bethel, see:  
21. See: and read:
22. Sola Experientia:
23. Soia Mystica:
24. Read: and also
25. This graphic was designed by the late Pastor Ken Silva and is posted at his Apprising Ministries website: See also:  
26. For more information on these doctors and Rick Warren's health and mental health agenda, see the following articles:
The Mental Health Church:
Part 1: Rick Warren’s New Age Health Gurus
Part 2: Reiki "Power"
Part 3: The “WOO” Factor
Part 4: Changing Science, Changing Mind
Part 5: The Aquarian Conspiracy

Also see: "Emanuel Swedenborg's Occultic Beliefs" and the compilation of articles posted at:
27. For more on Palmer, see and for fun also see Chris Rosebrough's analaysis: Also:
28. See the previous Herescope post: and an earlier one: 
29. For example, read: