Books, Movies, TV, etc

Under development


Science Fiction

The Sparrow– Mary Dora Russell -Amazon link

Out of the Silent Planet (trilogy) CS Lewis -Amazon link

Lamb Amongst the Stars(trilogy) -Chris Walley -Amazon link

       -Dee's personal favorite

The Arena– Karen Hancock-Amazon link

The Ingathering-The Complete Stories of the People– Zenna Henderson-Amazon link

Mind Game

The Reality Chronicles: RL Copple

Reality's Dawn:

Reality's Ascent

Ethereal Worlds Anthology 




Georgette Heyer-author

When Sparrows Fall-Meg Moseley


Books, Movies, TV, etc — 67 Comments

  1. You absolutely HAVE to see The Last Sin Eater. The book was written by Francine Rivers and the movie was produced by Michael Landon JUNIOR. It has suspense, a murder, covers old traditions and is a haunting story about a little girl in Appalachia. PLEASE see it, and I know you will like it, and then can tell about it on the blog so others can see it as well. It is beautifully produced and acted. My new favorite, now TO Kill A Mockingbird is number TWO.

  2. Jim Butcher’s “Dresden Files” is a rather fascinating series of urban fantasy novels. While they’re definitely not “Christian fiction”, they provide a gripping portrayal of a man trying to do right in a world filled with darkness, including in part his relationship with God (still not really resolved). It also contains one of the finest portrayals of a true Christian that I’ve read in fiction, in the form of Michael Carpenter, a knight wielding a sword containing one of the nails from the One True Cross. Content-wise it certainly doesn’t fit into the bubble of Christian fiction, though it’s not exactly gratuitous either, especially in consideration of its genre. Overall, some of the best I’ve read, with a whole lot of books written and a whole lot left to come as well.

  3. In light of all the horrible things that need discussion, I do feel some guilt for asking, but here goes……Is is possible to occasionally post on Falling Skies when it starts again? I don’t know anyone IRL that likes it as much as I do, and not just because Noah Wyle is totes adorbs…..

  4. I highly recommend the movie: “The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry.” While it won’t go down in history as a classic and may seem a little slow moving at first, it is well worth watching to the end. I can’t imagine anyone not being touched by this movie.

  5. Evelyn Christianson,”battling The Prince Of Darkness.” The Pink Swastika”, by Scott Lively. “The Call”, by Os Guiness. “Peace Like A River”, by Leif Enger

  6. @ ForgivenMuch:
    I completely agree with you except on one small thing – I think it will become a classic film within the Christian movie genre. We took our kids to see it at the theater when it came out – really believe the Holy Spirit opened the doors to get this film into secular theaters, no one left with dry eyes. Such a moving story on the power of love and forgiveness!

  7. Movie and book, Hell and Mr. Fudge. the book is ‘Hell a final word’ by Edward Fudge. Basically his life story and how he came to the conclusion that eternal torment is not a scriptural concept, rather total destruction/death. Also ‘Hypergrace’ by Michael Brown phd.

  8. @ StephenC:
    I love Dresden! I completely agree about Michael. Though I will say that I was startled to see an Urban Fantasy reference here. Maybe I shouldn’t have been.

  9. I have been reading and reviewing the book, Jesus Calling by sarah young. It concerns me that she uses Jesus speaking to her in the first person???!!!! Only the apostles, Moses, David, etc. were given words inspired by God, am I correct? Does it mean anybody who chooses her approach can dictate words directly from the mouth of Jesus? Appreciate your thoughts.

  10. margaret pikey wrote:

    It concerns me that she uses Jesus speaking to her in the first person???!!!!

    Hi Margaret! If I may chime in…

    At the very least, if someone makes a claim to have heard from Jesus directly, you have a case of extra-Biblical revelation. That is to say you have an example of the Eternal Word speaking outside of the revealed Word of God (a.k.a. the Bible) to a single human. One has to ask, for what reason did this event occur?

    Problem: It is completely unverifiable. If you question it, you can be accused of everything from doubting God to blaspheming the Holy Spirit. The fear of questioning (for the one who makes the claim) offers a type of protection if you think about it.

    A lot of authors, preachers, and pastors use the phrase “The Lord told me…” or something like that. So one needs to do a little digging to find out exactly what that means. Did they hear an audible voice? Did the actually see Jesus with their physical eyes and He spoke to them? How did this happen? Were there witnesses?

    It all comes down to the question of revelation outside of the pages of Scripture, and if you believe that revelation takes place today.

    Personally, I am very leery of anyone who makes the claim that God spoke to them. I do not accept the concept of extra-Biblical revelation primarily because of what the writer of Hebrews opens with regarding Jesus, the Book of Revelation, and the fact that Christians are just not very good at listening to what God has already said. Do we really need more revelation anyway when we don’t pay attention to God in the first place? I wonder. However, like all questions of this type, and our faulty conclusions, your mileage may vary…

    So here is your chance to do some investigation, ask questions, and come to your own conclusion. I would be interested to hear what you come up with.

  11. I went and saw Ridley Scott’s new movie Exodus: gods and kings. Some blogs are abuzz over it. I’ve read everything from how it’s insensitive to the plight of African Americans, to an almost absolute certainty that the Exodus is pure myth and never happened. Big eye-roll to them all. Does everything on the silver screen always have to have an ideological screed stretched over it nowadays? I for one was thoroughly entertained by the skill and artistry of one of better film makers (Scott) in the business.

  12. What? No more contributors for this thread? C’mon y’all we could have a rollicking good time here!

  13. @ Muff Potter:

    Ok, hello! Thanks for directing us to this thread. I am a sucker for book reccomendations.

    Right now I am reading x”Without Conscience: the Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us” by Robert D. Hare, PhD.

    I find it fascinating in light of all the stuff that’s going on in the leadership of evangelical Christianity these days. Maybe some of these leaders aren’t true psychopaths, but I believe they would score high on the Psychopathy Test.

    This book is as good as “The Sociopath Next door” By _____ Stout but is actually more in-depth IMO.

  14. @ Bilbo Skaggins:

    I’ll have to have a look see. I just finished Joshua Greene’s Moral Tribes Greene teaches at Harvard and the main thesis of his book is that humans have a common moral currency regardless of race, culture, or religion.

  15. I will check it out. My wife rolls her eyes, but I am fascinated by mental aberrations in certain people as well as biographies/autobiographies.

    I’m also looking for something I can read to my 8 yo daughter as well. She loves mysteries and fantasy but I suspect that Harry Potter is a little too teenage/adult for her. I just started “Portal through the Pond” by David K Anderson and she seems to like it. It is the first in a series of four (so far). I’d like any suggestions.

  16. @ Albuquerque Blue:

    For the most part yes I do agree with Greene and here’s why:
    He attempts to strike a careful balance between emotion and reason; black and white absolutism based on tribal mores vs. a reasonable pragmatism based on, but not solely upon the utilitarian model. More than anything else (in my opinion) Greene’s treatise is a good guidebook for conflict resolution based on the the tried and true principles of consensus and compromise. Not for Crusaders and Jihadists, but for the rest of us I think Greene makes sense.

  17. I just finished reading All the Light We Cannot See a novel by Anthony Doerr. The guy truly is a wordsmith extraordinaire and I can see why his novel won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

  18. @ Muff Potter:
    I read this a few weeks ago, and agree completely! Truly a superb book.

    Right now, I’m reading Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms, by Gerard Russell. Highly recommended to folks here, especially because his focus is on the vanishing minority religions (and people who practice them) in the Middle East (Arab countries, Iran, even Pakistan and Afghanistan). Though I do wish he had said more on the Copts.

  19. @ numo:

    You might like the film Woman in Gold, I know I sure did! Helen Mirren plays a Jewess who escaped Vienna and the Nazis as a young woman while the gittin’ was good. Needless to say her family left behind didn’t fare so well and all their art and jewelry was stolen by the Nazis, very common for those horrific times. Anyway she and a young attorney sue the Austrian government to get her family treasures back. Charles Dance has a minor role in the film, as distinguished and stately as always. I looooooove Helen Mirren, always have. It’s a good movie, so much more engaging than a lot of the trash out there.

  20. @ brad/futuristguy,

    I’m hoping that Herbert & Anderson will continue on with their Dune novellas. What I’d really like to see is a fuller expansion of how the Guild came to be, starting with Norma Cenva. She and the Guild are touched on only teasingly in their previous works.

  21. A great documentary on HBO about the obesity epidemic in adults and children in the U.S., excellent medical and scientific research, stories of people who have serious health problems from same, and inspirational stories of those who kicked it into gear and made serious changes and have improved health!

  22. Muff Potter wrote:

    I’m hoping that Herbert & Anderson will continue on with their Dune novellas. What I’d really like to see is a fuller expansion of how the Guild came to be, starting with Norma Cenva. She and the Guild are touched on only teasingly in their previous works.

    My understanding is that a focus on the Guild will be the final book in the prequel trilogy of the “Great Schools of Dune.” Publication date looks to be May 2016-ish, with probable title of Navigators of Dune.

    My plan is to read the entire saga in chronological order — after I finish my own mega-project of this curriculum series. Maybe it’ll be done by May of next year …

  23. Max’s insightful comment yesterday on 8/15/15 about New Calvinism on a blog post here on TWW:

    Education does not produce one ounce of revelation. Flesh controls New Calvinism, not the Spirit. Just a bunch of flesh babies rebelling against the way their parents do church. Intellectual, but not very smart. They pride themselves on being reformed, but have not been transformed by the love of Christ.

  24. @ brad/futuristguy:

    Thanx brad !
    I look forward to when Navigators will be available in hardcover.
    I have always been fascinated by Norma Cenva and her story. How Tio Holtzman stole her Mathematics, made it his own, and used it for his own aggrandizement.
    Cenva is one of my fictional heroines.

  25. Commenter/poster/author/researcher Barb Orlowski, Canada, (blog is Church Exiters) posted these books on 8/25/15 on another Wartburg Watch article regarding the whole comp discussion as recommended reading.
    I would like to recommend three books by Susanna Krizo which attempt to expose the Complementarian agenda.

    *“Recovering From Un-Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Patriarchy”

    “Recovering From Un-Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Patriarchy” examines the main arguments in an easy-to-read dialogue format that allows the reader to reach his/her own conclusions while enjoying a deep, yet lighthearted, theological discussion.

    Here is an excerpt from one book review:

    “Thank God for Susanna Krizo! She makes complicated theology easy and fun to read. This is one of the most entertaining books we’ve ever read. At times it is so funny that you find yourself laughing and having a good time, and totally forget that theology is usually a dull topic to read! What we love most about her writing is that she works so hard to develop a full logical argument, address both sides of an issue, and really thinks things through to reasonable conclusions, all the while staying faithful to the Bible. Many theologians don’t like answering questions because they don’t really want to think things through because then their conclusions fall apart. But the Bible says “come let us reason together” because we need to really test all doctrine before accepting it. That’s what this book does so well.”

    *“When Dogmas Die: The Return of Biblical Equality”

    “When Dogmas Die” begins with a comprehensive look at Genesis 3:16 and the view that women are born inferior.

    Book Quote: “Always ask why—not who, but why—for if you ask who gave the man authority over the woman, you may not find out why the man was given the authority, but if you ask why the man was given authority over the woman, you will find that it was the man’s idea.

    Book Review Excerpt:

    “When Dogmas Die” is a stunning critique of one of the great handbooks of Patriarchy in the Church: “Restoring Biblical Manhood and Womanhood,” the collection of essays on gender roles compiled by John Piper and Wayne Grudem.

    Grudem is considered a scholar by many in the church, so it comes as quite a surprise to find his work so tainted with errors and omissions, as this book aptly demonstrates and documents.

    The subjection of women by men began as a result of the fall in the garden, and Krizo begins the book with a Chapter entitled “Genesis 3:16” to prove that point, and to show why Piper and Grudem’s attempt to teach a God-ordained hierarchy prior to the fall is in error.
    *“Genesis 3: The Origin of Gender Roles”

    Book Review Excerpts:

    “Witty and insightful, Susanna Krizo’s new book joins an ever-growing body of literature calling for the full recognition of women’s equality in all corners of the Christian faith. Challenging patriarchal assumptions carried over from ancient cultures, Krizo paints a picture of women and men sharing authority and celebrating what it means to be created in the image of God.”

    “If the creation account doesn’t mention the man’s authority, and if Ephesians 5 instructs husbands to love their wives the way they love themselves instead of exercising authority over them, why do our theologians nevertheless insist that Ephesians 5 confirms that the man was given authority over the woman as part of creation” (from Chapter 7)

    “The answer is simple: because men desire to rule women as a consequence of sin and no longer love their wives the way humans were created to love — unselfishly.” (from Chapter 7)

  26. Some books dealing with Spiritual Abuse, to add to the others already mentioned here:

    Twisted Scriptures: Breaking Free From Churches That Abuse by Mary Alice Chrnalogar (has spent 20-years helping people break free of destructive churches and helping their families)

    Healing Spiritual Abuse: How to Break Free From Bad Church Experiences by Ken Blue

    The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse: Recognizing & Escaping Spiritual Manipulation and False Spiritual Authority by David Johnson and Jeff Van Vonderen

    Churches That Abuse by Dr. Ronald Enroth (famous book that he has made available for free now in electronic form), here:

    Recovering from Churches That Abuse by Dr. Ronald Enroth (his other famous book that he has made available for free in electronic form), here:

  27. For folks desiring to get your heads around TWW comments pertaining to the ails of reformed theology (Calvinism), I recommend a couple of books pertaining to the essential tenets of Calvinism and its 21st century progeny, “New” Calvinism, that is causing so much trouble in Christian ranks. Both are scholarly works, but written in a way that you can grasp the problem and begin to see it being manifested where you live … no doubt about it, New Calvinism is coming to a church near you!

    “What Love is This? Calvinism’s Misrepresentation of God” by Dave Hunt

    “Against Calvinism” by Roger Olson

    One of the first articles that caught my attention about “New Calvinism” continues to be a good read on the subject, even if it is becoming dated a bit on the who’s-who of the current movement (TWW is doing a fine job flagging some of the new folks on the scene and problems associated with their ministries). You can find the article at:

    “Young, Restless, Reformed: Calvinism is making a comeback—and shaking up the church” by Collin Hansen

  28. @ Velour:
    Looks like Christianity Today put the article I cited into limited view, by subscription only. Must have received too many hits! Too bad, that was a good intro to New Calvinism, as it emerged onto the scene about 10 years ago.

  29. Max wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Looks like Christianity Today put the article I cited into limited view, by subscription only. Must have received too many hits! Too bad, that was a good intro to New Calvinism, as it emerged onto the scene about 10 years ago.

    Max wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Looks like Christianity Today put the article I cited into limited view, by subscription only. Must have received too many hits! Too bad, that was a good intro to New Calvinism, as it emerged onto the scene about 10 years ago.

    Thanks, Max. I have access to a database that gives me access to all kinds of magazines, academic journals, etc. I will try to read the full article through that.

  30. I highly recommend “Blight In the Vineyard: Exposing the Roots, Myths, and Emotional Torment of Spiritual Tyranny” by John Immel.

    The book was specifically written in response to Immel’s experience in Sovereign Grace churches, specifically Covenant Life Church, but it has broad application to all churches run by a heavy-handed authoritarian pastor. My former 9Marx/Mark Dever type church in Dubai (United Christian Church of Dubai) is in this category.

  31. Recommended article by Baptist pastor Wade Burleson, The Wartburg Watch’s EPastor on Sundays, on the whole comp doctrine/patriarchy and the Eternal Subordination of the Son:

    “Here’s the catch. Southern Baptist leaders have made the tragic error of believing that a husband should rule and a wife should be submissive because the Bible demands it. Truth be known, the Bible calls any desire to control and dominate–be it the husband or the wife– “the curse.” The divorce rate increases when Southern Baptists call “the norm” what the Bible calls “the curse.” When the first man (Adam) sought to rule over the first woman (Eve), Adam was manifesting a curse, not meeting a commandment (Genesis 3:16).

    Jesus came to reverse the curse. Redemption causes curse-filled people to become grace-filled people. Those who seek to rule over others by exerting authority, when they come to see what Jesus says about life, will turn loose of trying to control other people and will only seek to love and serve, NEVER exerting any alleged authority. Again, Jesus said that “the Gentiles lord over others” and “exert authority,” but “it shall not be this way among you” (Matthew 20:24-26).

    Southern Baptist Convention leaders have wrongly pushed for men to lord their authority over their wives, and called on wives to submit to the authority of their husbands because of a belief in and promotion of “the eternal subordination of the Son.” I’ve written about this doctrinal problem among Southern Baptists for years, but I recently came across a brilliant article by Dr. Keith Johnson (Ph.D. Duke), the director of theological development for Campus Crusade for Christ. Johnson’s article is called Trinitarian Agency and the Eternal Subordination of the Son: An Augustinian Perspective.”

    Dr. Keith Johnson’s article:

  32. A website recommended by someone who posts here and over at the Spiritual Sounding Board. This is called Finding a Healing Place by Clara Hinton.
    It deals with the topic of sexual abuse in the church.

    Also here is Clara’s son Pastor Jimmy Hinton giving an excellent workshop on child sexual abuse and its prevention.

    Jimmy Hinton turned in his pastor/father for sexually abusing children at the church they have both pastored. The father is now serving a life sentence in prison.

    The Hinton family has bravely tackled the topic of child sexual abuse and not lied or covered up for a pedophile in their own family. Instead the Hintons have ministered to victims of sexual abuse in their church community and at other churches.

  33. Refugee’s helpful instructions for those who would like to bold and italicize on The Wartburg Watch.

    refugee UNITED STATES on Wed Sep 16, 2015 at 04:55 PM said:

    Janet Varin wrote:

    (I capitalized the last paragraph because I don’t know how to modify the font on these comments.)

    Janet, just fyi

    When you highlight some text and quote it, look at how it appears in the comment box before you post. See the [blockquote] and [/blockquote] bracketing the text? The principle is the same for bold and italicized text.

    You italicize by typing a less-than-sign, followed by the letters em, followed by a greater-than sign.

    Then type the text. Then close the special font (see next line).

    To close, you type a less-than-sign, a slash that goes from lower left to upper right, then the letters em, then the greater-than-sign.

    It would look something like this (if it works in this medium)
    I am going to quote with [em]italicized text[/em] and everything else will be normal text.

    To bold, you simply put the word strong in place of (in the italics instructions) the letters em.
    I am going to emphasize with [strong]bold text[/strong] and everything else will be as usual.

    Just replace the square brackets with angle brackets (less-than and greater-than symbols). And don’t forget to close the special text, or *everything* that follows will be bolded and/or italicized. It can be tricky.

    Hope this helps.

  34. Thanks Velour, it’s true, I have written a few books on the subject of equality, loving our neighbors, and how to live all of that. I’m glad you found the recommendation useful :)

  35. Any Blacklist fans here? I gave up the glass teat (TV) some years back because the quality got as bad as an African waterhole with nothing but crocs in it.
    Finally! Somebody hired some writers who can actually write for more than just a bevy of pretty people with perfect teeth and little more.
    James Spader is awesome as Raymond Reddington.
    I never miss an episode.

  36. Susanna Krizo wrote:

    Thanks Velour, it’s true, I have written a few books on the subject of equality, loving our neighbors, and how to live all of that. I’m glad you found the recommendation useful

    Thanks, Susanna! I and others appreciate your work. We are trying to consolidate resources that people will find helpful. If you have recommendations, please add them to this page.

  37. Good movies seem to be few and far between nowadays.
    I just went and saw Bridge of Spies and I think it fits the bill as one of the better flicks.
    Tom Hanks is magnificent!

  38. “I experienced what you are experiencing when I first looked into the theory of divine determinism. Jerry Walls’ lecture at Evangel University “What’s Wrong With Calvinism?” was of great help in dealing with it. It is on Youtube. Roger Olson has some excellent material on the topic on his blog and the website of the Society of Evangelical Arminians is exceptionally helpful.” – John D on 5/14/15 on TWW

  39. Recommended by Max on 5/15/16:

    Other good resources on the ails of Calvinism are “What Love is This? Calvinism’s Misrepresentation of God” by Dave Hunt and Roger Olson’s “Against Calvinism.”

  40. Leonard Verduin’s “The Reformers and Their Stepchildren” is a scholarly work that sheds light on the shenanigans of Calvin and his followers and also reveals who the true reformers were … the Anabaptists (the stepchildren).

  41. Posted by Ken F. on May 15, 2016:

    From Piper’s website today:

    This particulate theory of atonement was invented during the reformation. If true, it means that the church got it wrong for 1500 years. Some go so far as to say one cannot be a Christian without believing this theory, which means there were no true Christians until about 500 years ago.

    So let’s take a look at the theory. First the definition:
    Penal substitutionary atonement refers to the doctrine that Christ died on the cross as a substitute for sinners. God imputed the guilt of our sins to Christ, and he, in our place, bore the punishment that we deserve. This was a full payment for sins, which satisfied both the wrath and the righteousness of God, so that He could forgive sinners without compromising His own holy standard.

    Now let’s ask where to find all of this from the Bible. I developed this list of questions about six months ago. I based it mostly on the above definition, but just about any definition will due. So far I have yet to get any convincing arguments that Penal Substitution is true based on answers to these questions.

    1. Where does the Bible explicitly state that on the cross Jesus bore the punishment that we deserved?
    2. Where does the Bible explicitly state that Jesus paid the penalty for our sins? To whom was the penalty paid?
    3. Where does the Bible explicitly state that Jesus satisfied the wrath of God?
    4. Where does the Bible explicitly state that God’s wrath can and must be satisfied?
    5. Where does the Bible explicitly state that God cannot forgive without first being appeased?
    6. Where does the Bible explicitly state that God cannot simply forgive without compromising His own holy standard?
    7. How is it justice to punish the innocent in place of the guilty? (see Deuteronomy 24:16 – Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin)
    8. How can an infinite being, who needs or lacks nothing, be unsatisfied based on human sin and then consequently satisfied by sacrifice? If God’s wrath can be satisfied, how does it not imply that God lacked something prior to being satisfied? What did the satisfaction change about God (e.g., His mood?, His attitude?, His disposition?)?
    9. Was God’s wrath fully satisfied or partially satisfied? Where does the Bible state this?
    10. If fully satisfied, why does the Bible describe it as something that remains for unbelievers? (see John 3:36 – He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.)
    11. If fully satisfied, why does the Bible describe it as something that will still be poured out in the last days? (see Rev 16:1 – Then I heard a loud voice from the temple, saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.”)
    12. How does full satisfaction not logically lead to universalism, since there is no wrath left for anyone to endure if it was fully satisfied?
    13. If not fully satisfied, what distinguishes the wrath that was satisfied from the wrath that was not satisfied? Where does the Bible most clearly state this?
    14. If not fully satisfied, what was “finished” on the cross? (see John 19:30 – Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.)
    15. Since we have been crucified with Christ, did we also participate in satisfying God’s wrath by being punished with Him? Why or why not? If we were not punished with Him, in what essential way were we united with Christ in the likeness of His death? (see Romans 6:5 – For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death; see also Romans 6:6 – knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him; and see Galatians 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ)
    16. Was our debt fully paid by Jesus or fully forgiven by God? If fully forgiven, what was left to be paid and what was accomplished on the cross? If fully paid, what was left to be forgiven? Or was it partially paid and partially forgiven. How is it just to forgive a debt by requiring payment? Doesn’t forgiveness negate the requirement for payment?
    17. If the penalty for our sins is eternal separation from the Lord (see 2 Thessalonians 1:9 – These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power), how could Jesus pay that penalty? How would it not require Him to be eternally separated from Himself? Where does the Bible say that Jesus paid an eternal debt or suffered eternal destruction or suffered eternal separation from Himself or the Father?
    18. What does it mean for God to command us to forgive others in the same way that He forgave us? (see Ephesians 4:32 – Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.) Does God needing to vent His wrath as payment before He can forgive us mean that we must also vent our wrath as payment in order to forgive others? Does God hold us to a higher standard than He holds himself? Why or why not?

  42. Posted by Ken F. on May 15, 2016:

    As a companion to the questions I posted above, here is a list of some of the better links I found over the last year that critique penal substitution. It’s a lot of reading.

  43. Posted by Todd W. on May 17, 2016:

    I think it was Brad the futurist guy that recommended a book to me titled “The Shepherding Movement: Controversy and Charismatic Eccliesiolgy” by S. David Moore.

    I am currently reading the book and the similarity between 9Marx and the Shepherding movement is erie. It is almost as if Dever has lifted all the Shepherding concepts and repackaged them for our day.

  44. Brad/FuturistGuy posted this on May 23, 2016:

    After doing some background research, the book I picked as probably the best one for overall history and analysis is *The Shepherding Movement: Controversy and Charismatic Ecclesiology* by S. David Moore.
    It would be really helpful to have a summary of key activities and indicators that demonstrate the presence of an underlying pro-Shepherding/authoritarian discipleship paradigm, and what contemporary groups function from that paradigm, and the history of the who and how that system got into those groups. I don’t yet know of any books that cover those details. Maybe a group can take that on sometime …

  45. Posted by Brad/FutuistGuy on May 23, 2016:

    I thought about some key indicators, and remembered that a lot of them are in the lists for this post I wrote on “Calvinistas” a few years ago. Although Shepherding-type authoritarianism isn’t only in Neo-Calvinist/Neo-Puritan or Pentecostal settings, there is a common paradigm of thinking that always separates things into classes and categories, and that similarity goes far deeper than the doctrinal differences.
    FWIW, here’s a bullet list of some of the items on those lists, and I’ll leave the descriptions of them over there.
    * Dualism
    * Reductionism
    * Perfectionism
    * Patriarchalism
    * Totalism and Authoritarianism
    * Dominionism
    About the only other thing I think I’d add to this is something having to do with the ways these groups tend to “collaborate.” If they engage in ministry partnerships at all, it’s like to be where there is high overlap on those other essential approaches to thinking processes, systems, personal growth or behavior modification, authority and subservience, and stance toward culture. And the rest of the churches-theologians-Christians are labeled as either non-gospel, heretical, etc.

  46. Posted by Velour on 5/23/16:

    Has anyone here read Jerome D. Frank’s book Persuasion and Healing?
    (He was a professor of Psychiatry at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.)
    It was recommended to me post-bad church experience/heavy Shepherding. (I bought a used copy online.)
    I’m reading the chapter on Thought Reform right now, and it’s what we’ve also been discussing
    about these cultic practices that the NeoCalvinists have embraced. I’m looking forward to reading the chapter on Non-Medical Healing, which from what I’ve skimmed reminds me of Nouthetic Counseling (“Bible is sufficient counsel for everything”, aka malpractice, the unauthorized practice of medicine by untrained pastors/elders).

  47. Gram3’s post on 5/24/16 about the roots of Patriarchy that we are seeing in Christian churches, NeoCalvinism:

    I would add to BradFuturist that Rousas Rushdoony was the fount of Reconstructionism (the Reformed version of Dominionism) which led to Federal Vision which plagues many PCA churches to this day. Federal Vision is Doug Wilson’s theology, though it is taught by Peter Leithart who is still inexplicably tolerated by the PCA.
    Dominionism was also promoted heavily in charismatic circles via TBN and other outlets. The connection between the charismatic form of Dominionism and the Reconstructionist version was Gary North who is Rushdoony’s son-in-law.
    Reconstructionism is a perversion of standard Covenant Theology. Some consider it merely an extreme form of Covenant Theology, but I disagree. As Brad said, they wish to establish a theocratic state modeled on the OT theocracy. They take that as a pattern for how we should do government and church and family. This includes the idea of Patriarchy.
    Federal Vision shifted the focus from establishing a theocracy to establishing a church that is the center of everything. There is much talk of priests, fathers as priests of their family, etc. Rather than a focus on individual conversion, the FV focuses on baptism and communion. One becomes a Christian by being baptized and one is baptized because one is born into a family headed by a Christian man.
    The word “covenant” is plastered all over a lot of different things, and I think it is important to keep those things separate lest we blame people who hold to standard Covenant Theology for the weirdness.
    I think a lot of Reconstructionist baggage got ported over to the YRR by guys reading Greg Bahnsen who was an affiliate of Rushdoony. He was a brilliant guy who was highly respected as an apologist in the Van Til school as was Rushdoony.
    Gothard is another thing entirely, as far as I know. Wheaton in the 60’s was not a Reformed stronghold. I believe that Gothard’s views were primarily shaped by a fundamentalist mindset in reaction to a liberalizing culture. The answer was more laws and rules rather than an emphasis on regeneration and the internal work of sanctification in the individual believer. He began his work helping parents who were frustrated with their teenagers’ rebellion. Any of us who have raised teenagers can identify with their desperation for answers, and Gothard offered a System for that just like our current Female Subordinationists offer a System which supposedly produces happy marriages and families.
    I think there was a lot of cross-pollination among these various streams of thought back in the 60’s and 70’s to get us where we are today. The Christian homeschooling movement is another place where ideas crossed over. Rushdoony decreed that homeschooling is the only Biblical way.
    The bottom line is that people will use whatever means works if what they desire is to rule over others. We have all been useful idiots, but typically in the present it is much easier to see when other people are being useful idiots. Retrospectively, some of us have been able to realize that we were useful idiots.
    That’s enough for a comment box. If you Google these names and movements, you will find a wealth of information.

  48. BL’s post on 5/24/16 adding to the information about Patriarchy’s players in American churches:

    Excellent synopsis, Gram!
    The charismatic river of Dominionism that came through the shepherding/discipleship movement was via Ern Baxter. He had worked with William Branham from whom Dominionism came through the Manifest Sons of God, The Latter Rain, and the End-Time Harvest Movements.
    This particular branch also flows through Mike Bickle (IHOP), C. Peter Wagner (NAR, & ‘Convening Apostle of the International Coalition of Apostles’), Francis Frangipane (River of Life), Che Ahn (former PDI pastor for 19 years, and one the NAR’s apostles), Kenneth Hagin & Kenneth Copeland (health & wealth quacks), Rick Joyner, Paul Cain, Lou Engle, James Goll, Chuck Pierce (Kansas City ‘prophets’), Jack Dennison (CityReach), Paul Cedar (Mission America Coalition), Ed Silvoso (Transformations), Tom White (City-Wide Prayer Movement), George Otis (Sentinel Group), Loren Cunningham (YWAM), Os Hillman (Marketplace Leaders), John Dawson (Taking Our Cities for God), Rick Warren (PDL), Bill Bright (Campus Crusade).
    That’s not an exhaustive list. The above folks are connected and interconnected together in mulitple ways.
    Finally, one pivotal man who connects the charismatic stream of C. Peter Wagner & the reformed stream of John Piper is Ralph Winter (US Center for World Mission, Perspectives on the World Christian Movement). Winter’s teachings on the Abrahamic covenant (as being the only covenant) – that this (the Abrahamic Covenant) is the ‘secret mission’ of the church.
    Quoting Winter:
    “Neither Matthew 26:28 nor mark 14:24, in the scene of the Last Supper, speak of the “new covenant, They read, “this is my blood of the covenant” not, as does Luke 22:20, “the new covenant in my blood.”
    “Apparently the word “new” is not the principal point of the passage but rather the fact that this act of outpoured blood finally ratifies and enables the same covenant in a new and ultimate sense. The sacrifice of the Cross is thus, at the very least, a definitive renewal of the Abrahamic Covenant, as we have already seen.”
    So, there you have it. There is no new covenant. Just a ‘ratification’ and ‘enabling’ of the Abrahamic covenant…
    Terms to search: City Transformations, Seven Mountains Mandate, Marketplace Movement, Prayer Marching, Taking Our Cities for God, Spiritual Mapping, Spiritual Warfare, Latter Rain, Manifest Sons of God, Coalition on Revival, Global Mapping Project, The Lausanne Covenant, The Lausanne Movement, Loving Our Cities to Christ,

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