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HomeFree89
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Joined: 2007/1/21
Posts: 797
Indiana

 Re:

Quote:
Even though I don't agree with everything said by men like Lewis, or Nee, or even to a lesser extent, Brother Ravenhill, it doesn't mean that I dismiss them as anything less than a man who believed himself as a lover of God. I don't agree with some things that some men say, but that doesn't lead me to spit upon or trample everything that they have to say.



I think the fundamental difference between men like Ravenhill and Lewis is that Ravenhill didn't teach things that were actually anti-biblical, whereas Lewis did. You may not agree with everything Ravenhill said and neither do I, but I can't say that most of his don't have some scriptural basis.


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Jordan

 2008/11/23 7:27Profile
theopenlife
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Joined: 2007/1/30
Posts: 926


 Re:

Cchrriiisss said,

Quote:
I don't agree with some things that some men say, but that doesn't lead me to spit upon or trample everything that they have to say.



I'm sure you were not grouping me with those who would "spit upon or trample" Lewis, or any other man, seeing as I went out of my way to admit that Lewis gives many valuable insights.

However, you and some of the other posters thus far have entirely neglected to comment on the original point. Should new believers receive books which, however otherwise helpful, teach universal salvation on the basis of works, a subtle denial of salvation by grace alone through faith alone, and that Christ Himself was ignorant and erred in his prophesies? (All of which errors are plainly stated in the direct quotes provided, and not second hand, as one mistakenly suggested.)

I wonder why their is such furor over Robbins' ill motives, and almost nothing said about the quotes of Lewis himself, when the article was no more than a vehicle to show the passages Lewis wrote?

Once again, I foresaw the insinuations of "theological nitpicking" and stand by my concerns. I readily accept the small faith of weak brothers, and will not disown a man at first signs of stumbling. But how did Paul respond to the Galatians? When some began returning to works as the basis for why God would save them, even in part, our inspired Apostle said, "Who has bewitched you? ... I fear for you, lest you have run in vain."

And now I only parrot the writer of the epistle, that those who would "lay aside differences" to lock arms with ones whose errors include denials of the Gospel itself, show little value for what they are holding. One must lay aside Christ to pick up the Law, for in the arms of justification both grace and worksism cannot be grasped.

Many are eager to tie upon the Law the red ribbon of the first born. These do not realize God has ordained a different heir, by which His promised children should be born. Grace, though second to appear, has received the sole title and parentage of the Kingdom. So said Isaac, "I have given him all." And, as it relates to justification, "Esau I have hated, but Jacob have I loved." God will not tolerate a mingled fabric of works and faith for justification, no matter how surely good deeds are the necessary result of being justified.

I have made no sovereign judgment, nor would I think in such a situation to say that with assurance Lewis trusted in the Law and was damned. Without flinching, however, I contend that if he was in truth taken to heaven, it was by a Jesus and a Gospel quite different from the one he described in his books.

I ask again, how should we respond to the energetic distribution of fundamentally flawed writings to new believers, as Lewis' so often are?

 2008/11/23 10:59Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
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Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4499


 Re:

Hi theopenlife...

Quote:
I'm sure you were not grouping me with those who would "spit upon or trample" Lewis, or any other man, seeing as I went out of my way to admit that Lewis gives many valuable insights.

...and you're surely right! I wasn't lumping you into those who would spit upon or trample upon C.S. Lewis. However, I think that others raise some important points regarding Lewis' role as an apologist. I am not a big fan of the writings of Lewis (or Watchman Nee, etc...); however, I have read some great insight in the things that I have read.

I've read [i]Mere Christianity[/i] and [i]The Screwtape Letters[/i] (along with portions of some of his other works). I am not a big fan of books on doctrine (probably because I don't trust someone else to introduce or "spoon feed" doctrine to me). However, these books introduce some Biblical truths.

I know some brethren here at SermonIndex who admit to having changed a position about certain doctrinal issues. Some even admit to having embraced some of the more questionable "charismania" views at one time. I imagine that none of us would view them as anything less than a brother in Christ -- even though they might have been in error.

The problem with any sort of analysis of C. S. Lewis is that we can't speak with him...because he is dead. We can discuss, debate or argue against his words and writings -- but we can't determine whether this is something that he embraced for the duration of his life.

I remember reading [i]Beyond the Cross and the Switchblade[/i] by David Wilkerson. I know that David Wilkerson doesn't hold to some of those same beliefs that he did at that time in his life. Brother Wilkerson went through a drastic change in the 1980s (with encouragement from Brother Ravenhill). We don't know everything about C.S. Lewis -- including what doctrinal or spiritual views that might have changed over time.

It is perfectly acceptable to scrutinize...and "prove" the words of any man. Paul did this to Peter -- whom "seemed to be pillars" for the Church (Galatians 2:9). We should always be aware that we are men confined to the flaws of our own intellect and human nature. All that I am saying is that we should "rightly divide" EVERYTHING that we encounter as believers. It doesn't mean that we can simply dismiss every person -- or assume that they are anything less than lovers of God. They may, in fact, simply be wrong in a particular area. I don't agree with the teachings of Calvinism or "eternal security" (or other views, like Christian "pacifism") -- but that doesn't give me a right to dismiss the relationship with God of those who do. I can even receive instruction from such men, even if I strongly disagree with them on some issues.
Quote:
I ask again, how should we respond to the energetic distribution of fundamentally flawed writings to new believers, as Lewis' so often are?


How about touch on the issue rather than the man?

:-)


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Christopher

 2008/11/23 13:31Profile
MJones
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Joined: 2008/10/31
Posts: 320
Missouri

 Re:

Quote:

ccchhhrrriiisss wrote:

I remember reading [i]Beyond the Cross and the Switchblade[/i] by David Wilkerson. I know that David Wilkerson doesn't hold to some of those same beliefs that he did at that time in his life. Brother Wilkerson went through a drastic change in the 1980s (with encouragement from Brother Ravenhill).



Chris,

Could you clarify what you're referring to here? I spent a year in training on the Wilkerson ranch in '76. Ravenhill was there a few times and spoke a little. Very cool stuff. Impacts me still today. Just curious.

Thanks,

MJ




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Mike Jones

 2008/11/24 18:51Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
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Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4499


 Re:

Hi MJones...

Quote:
Could you clarify what you're referring to here? I spent a year in training on the Wilkerson ranch in '76. Ravenhill was there a few times and spoke a little. Very cool stuff. Impacts me still today. Just curious.

It has been a while since I read [i]Beyond the Cross and the Switchblade[/i]. I loaned out my copy a few years ago and never received it back. However, I was struck by just how "different" that Brother Wilkerson is now from then.

One example: He said that he regretted that he seemed to take a "hard line" stance against TV in his first book ([i]The Cross and the Switchblade[/i]). He stated that he enjoyed "family time" in front of the TV as he and his children watched certain shows (I think he mentioned [i]Bonanza[/i] by name). This is entirely different from the David Wilkerson of [i]Set the Trumpet to thy Mount[/i] (published around 1985) in which he pleads with believers to remove it from their homes.

The point, however, might get lost in the specifics. None of us are the same people that we were just ten years ago. I have read comments by some very wonderful men here at SI who testified that they, just a decade ago, were caught up into some very questionable doctrines or churches. Ten years ago, they might have defended such doctrinal views. Yet they are no longer the people they were then. In fact, some of us change constantly -- as we feel the Spirit leading us. We might not be the same person that we were just last year, especially in regard to a particular doctrinal view. Why? We all mature as we walk with Christ. The more time spent with Christ, the more we become like Him.

In this regard, C.S. Lewis might be like all of us. Whatever doctrinal views that he held or promoted at one time does not necessarily mean that he held those to the day of his death. The views in question may have been propogated for a while, until he discovered otherwise. Yes, it is probably unwise to promote a particular doctrinal view or stance that could be deemed as, at the least, controversial to the Body of Christ. Yet this goes on each and every Sunday in our congregations. We hear pastors and teachers share a particular view as "truth" that is simply a persuasion or interpretation. For instance, how many people preach about "eternal security?" Regardless of where you stand on the issue, is this something that should be preached as an indisputable truth? I don't think so. However, I don't think that we should quickly judge those who share any such doctrines without viewing them as men who might truly love God (even in error) or to simply dismiss EVERYTHING that they said based upon some of their views.

If we were to dismiss everything that individuals who preach, teach or believe something "questionable," I seriously doubt that we would ever hear ANYONE. Martin Luther was the leader of the Protestant movement, yet he himself held to some very questionable doctrinal views. So did many other men that we embrace at least some of their views. Do we dismiss men (and the things that they say) on the basis of a few things that they say? Or do we judge those spoken things on their own merit -- regardless who they came from? While there are some people that I would avoid due to the gross extremism of their views as a whole, I lean toward the latter.

BTW, I enjoy the words of Brother Wilkerson. I see him as a wonderful example to the Body of Christ. I cherish many of his words as truths preached with passion for the honor of God. Yet I am so aware that he and other great men (like Brother Ravenhill), are still mere [u]men[/u] given to the same flaws, limitations and temptations of this present world.

I hope this clarifies my remarks just a bit.

:-)


*edit*
As far as Brother Ravenhill's influence and encouragement to Brother Wilkerson, I have read and heard several testimonies from Dave Wilkerson about it. Wilkerson talks about how God used Brother Ravenhill during a difficult time and temptation to spiritually point at him and say, "[i]Thou art the man![/i]" Wilkerson testifies to how Ravenhill gave him a copy of William Gurnall's work, "[i]A Christian in Complete Armour[/i]." This book helped change Wilkerson's life.


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Christopher

 2008/11/25 11:55Profile
ginnyrose
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Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7460
Mississippi

 Re: The Theology of C. S. Lewis. Questionable?

So, you would like to have some comment about the specifics you raised in this original post.

Personally, I am not a fan of any contemporary writer of theological works because I think they are boring - it is like eating warmed over food that has sat in the frig for a week! Go to the original and study it: now that is like eating freshly cooked food, some that had not been frozen, or canned. Fresh, delicious! and one can relax and allow these words to penetrate your heart with no reserve. My opinion - just explaining why I find most religious works boring.

Anyhow, when I was a young mother, with children who loved to read, we purchased the "Chronicles of Narnia" for our children based on the recommendation of "Christianity Today" magazine and others. I considered fantasy boring as well... :-? so I did not read them. But our children loved them.

Now after reading this post, methinks I will HAVE to read it to make sure...I would hate to give my grandchildren any of these books to read if they actively promote a doctrine that is antithetical to basic Bible doctrine.

Thanks for sounding the alarm...

ginnyrose


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Sandra Miller

 2008/11/25 12:29Profile









 Re:

While I liked Narnia, and my kids love it as well... the fact remains that C.S. Lewis had some very strong Catholic leanings. He was a thinker, and he had some good things to say, but to recommend him as a theologian that Christians should pay attention to...? Not so much.

Krispy

 2008/11/25 15:01
MJones
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Joined: 2008/10/31
Posts: 320
Missouri

 Re:

Quote:

ccchhhrrriiisss wrote:
We all mature as we walk with Christ. The more time spent with Christ, the more we become like Him.

Wilkerson talks about how God used Brother Ravenhill during a difficult time and temptation



It's funny the things we remember. While there in '76, I remember seeing a pile of TV's that were evidently a result of a little purge. I think there were about 7 or 8 families that lived on the ranch, members of his evangelism team. They all went TV free for at least a while.

I like what you've said about the more time we spend with Christ, the more we become like Him. 5 years ago I did the same think David Wilkerson writes about in the Cross and the Switchblade. He traded in his 10 to midnight TV time for 2 hours with God. I've never forgotten that after 30 years. After a slight case of burn out in church work, I decided to take my mornings. I find the more time I spend, the more time I want to spend. It has transformed my life.

In relation to the temptation comment; I can't remember how it came about that I heard this, but I have never forgotten it. A good friend of his told him that high strung people are high strung in many areas. The drive that God instills in us is pure and simple drive. If it is not properly harnessed it can result in some pretty bad stuff. I have had occasion to recall that comment a few times over the years.

I think the time I have spent with God has resulted in a harnessing of that drive. It is now very focussed on seeking Him. New ministry is beginning to flow out of it. I feel like a horse who can't wait for the starting gate to open. God in His wisdom is opening it slowly.

It is sometimes difficult to express opposing views cordially. This thread got a little close to the line. I partly regret commenting, but at the time, another part of me could not resist. I was trying very hard to not be at all malicious, but in the end, it probably didn't accomplish anything. I think my point was in light of the change that has taken place in me, I am now focussed and have seen all too much of the different, even well meaning, distractions that obscure that focus.

I see and have been a part of a slumbering church that seems to be waking up. My passion is first to keep my passion alive, and in a sense, as I feel I have cleared a path to God, to then help as many as possible to see that path.

(Sorry about that. I'm back. Had to help the wife fold laundry and vacuum stairs. She helps me keep my feet on the ground.)

Now where was I? Oh yeh! Well it actually seems like as good a place as any to stop. I've enjoyed reading your comments and especially these that were at my request.

One last thing, since it is actually the original purpose of this thread. I would be hesitant to recommend anything to a new Christian that was not nearly flawless and very easy to understand. I lean more to recommending certain books of the Bible with a little guidance as to what to look for. It is hard to go wrong there; at least to begin with.


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Mike Jones

 2008/11/25 22:53Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
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Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4499


 Re:

Hi MJones...

Thank you for the encouraging testimony, brother. I agree with the notion of not recommending anything to a believer that we can't be sure of the validity or truthfulness.

I remember two twenty-something believers who came to the Lord at the same time (when I was a teen). Both of them came from quite sinful "party" lifestyles and both were saved out of some nasty sins. The first was converted at a Church play, and the other came to the Lord one night at a grocery store.

However, one of the young men (the one converted at a Church play) immediately began to read everything that people recommended to him. He purchased dozens of books by popular preachers from the local Christian bookstore. He became extremely involved in the Church (weeks following his salvation). Several "spiritual" people would "prophesy" to him that he was "called into the ministry" ("youth" ministry, to be particular). The pastor would constantly boast about this young man's conversion during various meetings.

The other guy (the one saved at the grocery store) was just as eager in his faith. He told his family, coworkers and friends about his relationship with Jesus. He was bold, but very kind with those around him. He even made a list of all of the women that he had slept with (quite a few) and apologized to them all. He even went to his alma mater, confessed a past sin and returned some items that he stole from his college biology department (he has a biology degree). I remember feeling really comfortable talking with this guy. I loaned him a recorded sermon of a preacher that I know. About six months later, I asked this brother whether or not he had ever listened to it. He told me that he had not...because he felt that the Lord led him to NOT listen to it. I was surprised (because it was a good sermon), so I asked him, "Why?" He told me that the Lord had impressed upon him to not read books or even listen to many sermons UNTIL he had grown closer to the Lord (via the Word and through prayer). He said that the reason was so that he could better distinguish between what is really from the Lord and what is not.

My respect grew for this second brother.

Both of these guys are still walking with the Lord. However, the first guy (the one converted at the play) has turned into a typical charismatic preacher. He still consumes many, many books by famous charismatic preachers. He has hopped from Church to Church as a youth pastor, but he dreams of building a giant "megachurch." He attends many of the Church growth seminars, and even teaches that "small churches are unbiblical." The second guy (the one who met the Lord in a grocery store) is simply a good husband, father and witness for the Lord.

I've often thought of these two guys. They were both converted at nearly the same time. They were both baptized on the same day. But one of them has gotten caught up into charismania, while the other is...uh...a lot like the guys who meet here at SermonIndex. I suppose that it always demonstrated the problems that can arise from those who recommend books with questionable doctrines to young believers. The proverb about raising a child is true -- even for newborn babes in Christ!


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Christopher

 2008/11/26 0:23Profile
MJones
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Joined: 2008/10/31
Posts: 320
Missouri

 Re:

Quote:

ccchhhrrriiisss wrote:
but he dreams of building a giant "megachurch."



If our passion is anything other than God, we may get it, but with it, we will also get lienness of soul.

The desire to build a 'megachurch' is nothing more than being about self. We can easily convince ourselves it is about reaching many for God and console ourselves in the thought, but, when it all boils down, if we pursue anything more than we pursue God, we have missed the mark.

T. Austin Sparks, in a sermon he calls 'This Ministry', makes the point that it is out of this nearness to God that true ministry is born. I am experiencing the truth of that. I am accidentally doing more ministry now than I ever did in all my effort before.

We don't pursue ministry, we pursue God. Out of that pursuit will come ministry.


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Mike Jones

 2008/11/26 8:20Profile





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