Saturday, June 16, 2007

EMB: A Father's Love

Every Man's Battle: pt 1, ch 1, pg 11-14

On Page 11, we hear from Steve's good buddy and co-author, Fred Stoeker:

It happened every Sunday morning during our church worship service. I'd look around and see other men with their eyes closed, freely and intensely worshiping the God of the universe. Myself? I sensed only a wall of separation between the Lord and me.

I just wasn't right with God. As a new Christian, I imagined I just didn't know God well enough yet. But nothing changed as time passed.

When I mentioned to my wife, Brenda, that I felt vaguely unworthy of him, she wasn't at the least bit surprised.

"Well, of course!" she exclaimed. "You've never felt worthy to your own father. Every preacher I've known says a man's relationship with his father tremendously impacts his relationship with his heavenly Father."

"You could be right," I allowed.

I hoped it was that simple. I mulled it over as I recalled my days of youth.

He then goes on to speak of his father and the kind of man he was while Fred was growing up, referring to him as "handsome and tough", "a national wrestling champion in college and a bulldog in business". He tells us of his typical boyhood desire to be like his father leading him to join his junior-high wrestling team.

Now, I don't think Fred meant to do this, but what Fred writes next sounds to me like a cry for help. He describes one incident in the ring where his opponent, before the start of a match, blew his nose on his gym-shirt. Fred, while attempting to grab him, felt the snot and as a reflex let go, a move that cost him the match.

We then see another side of Fred's father:

Dad, seeing him escape so easily, dressed me down. "What kind of man are you?" he roared. Staring hard at the mat, I realized that if I had a wrestler's heart, I would have cranked down tightly and ridden out my opponent, maybe grinding his face into the mat in retaliation. But I hadn't.

I still wanted to please Dad, so I tried other sports. At one baseball game, after striking out, I remember hanging my head all the way back to the dugout. "Get your head up!" he hollered for all to hear. I was mortified. Then he wrote me a long letter detailing my every mistake.

Fred then tell us that he "read some books" and "counseled with" his pastor. He tells us that his "feelings toward Dad improved", but he "continued to feel that distance from God during the Sunday morning worship services".

So no, Freddie's inability to have a completely subjective religious "experience" (dependent on factors running from the type of music being played to his upbringing to what he had for breakfast that morning to the history of epilepsy in his family tree) had nothing to do with his poor relationship with the primary authority figure from the part of his life when he was his most impressionable and vulnerable (He knows this because he "read some books" and "counseled with" his pastor). Nope, not that at all:

The true reason for that distance slowly dawned on me: There was a hint of sexual immorality in my life. There was a monster lurking about, and it surfaced each Sunday morning when I settled in my La-Z-Boy and opened the Sunday morning newspaper. I would quickly find the department store and begin paging through the colored newsprint filled with bras and panties. Always smiling, always available. I loved lingering over each ad-insert. It's wrong, I admitted, but it's such a small thing. It was a far cry from Playboy, I told myself.

Now, before we continue, I'd like to take this time to explain something about the Christian faith (particularly the protestant branches). Here is a simple rundown* of what is known as the atonement* in Christianity:

  1. Our sins separate us from God (some would use the symbol of a "wall of separation" or a "void").
  2. God the Father, out of his love for us, sent his Son, the Messiah, lord of all creation, and second person of the Trinity -try to guess his name (come on, you can do it)- to die shitting himself while nailed to a pair of sticks. This act act of status-degradation propitiated the wrath of the Father and reconciled us unto God.
  3. Now, because of God's honor being satisfied, anyone who places their trust in Christ's payment will be forgiven for their sins and can now enter into a "patron-client" relationship with God (with God being the Patron, the man as the client, and Christ serving as the "broker" with his sacrifice closing the void.
  4. This gift cannot be lost (some would say unless one intentionally decides to reject it later on) as the sacrifice of Christ cannot be undone.
  5. That man should do good not as a way of scoring brownie-points with the Big-dude, but out of gratitude to God and compassion for others. Likewise, one should not do wrong out of fear of loosing said relationship with God, but out of same reasons as for doing good.
And now, onto my problem with what Fred wrote:

I sensed only a wall of separation between the Lord and me.

That "wall" was broken when Christ died on the cross atoning for his sins and Fred accepted the gift of his grace. Christ's sacrifice, judging from what Fred writes later, was undone because he looked at partially-covered boobies in a newspaper's ad-insert.

Blood of Christ { Boobies.

As I examined myself more closely, I found I had more than a hint of sexual immorality. Even my sense of humor reflected it. Sometimes a person’s innocent phrase–even from our pastor–struck me with a double sexual meaning. I would chuckle, but I felt uneasy.

Why do these double entendres come to my mind so easily? Should a Christian mind create them so nimbly?

Now, I partially agree with Fred here on the dangers of wordplay. I happen to believe that usage of puns can destroy a marriage.

But seriously, for double entendres to come to mind easily, you need a good knowledge of how certain English terms are used throughout our society. I actually think this is a good thing for Christians to have, otherwise they end up writing books with that have weird-sounding chapter-titles like "The Swapping Place" and creepy metaphors like "Pornography's tentacles are reaching for your young son's throat".

So once again: Blood of Christ { Snickering when the pastor talks about being "on your knees before the man from Galilee".

I remembered that the Bible said that such things shouldn’t even be mentioned among the saints. I’m worse…I even laugh at them!

The passage he's thinking about is Ephesians 5:4. Which raises questions in what constitutes obscenity considering how Paul himself laid some rather foul rhetorical smackdown when expresses his wish that those who promote adhering to "purity" codes (circumcision) as a pre-requisite for entering the reign of God would chop their dicks off. (Not to mention the vulgarity of certain passages in the Old Testament as well) .The passage in Ephesians isn't about certain words and subjects jokes being taboo simply because they are "dirty", it's about consideration for others and the first century church maintaining a good reputation among the pagans as to avoid persecution.

And my eyes? They were ravenous heat-seekers searching the horizon, locking on any target with sensual heat. Young mothers leaning over in shorts to pull children out of car seats. Soloists with silky shirts. Summer dresses with décolletage.

Blood of Christ { Soccer-moms dressed for warm weather.

Not to mention how, as a child, he stumbled across his dad's collection of nudie-magazines, and then there's this gem:

Once I came across a nude photo of his mistress. On another occasion I found an eight-inch ceramic dildo, which he obviously used in his kinky “sex games.”

Easter was always interesting at the Stoeker house. ^_^


"Disgusting Pervert!" Fred's god roars at him,"What kind of man are you?" But by grabbing onto slippery snot-covered "purity" and holding tight, Fred is able to make it on his own steam and earn the approval of his Heavenly Father (and Jesus helped a bit too, holding Fred's bottle of Holy-Ghostorade)

Now, I'm not a psychiatrist, but neither is Fred Stoeker and I'm not sure if co-author Steve Arterburn is either (and if they can spout off like experts without citing sources, I don't see why I can't), but judging from what I've read, Fred Stoeker has severe father issues that result in problems with guilt regarding his sexuality. What I find even more disturbing is that Steve Arterburn is the founder and chairman of New Life ministries, an evangelical organization whose mission it is to provide counseling services for Evangelical Christians...:

Our Mission


TO IDENTIFY AND COMPASSIONATELY RESPOND TO THE NEEDS OF THOSE SEEKING HEALING AND RESTORATION THROUGH GOD'S TRUTH



Our Core Values


CONNECTION, TRUTH, TRANSFORMATION

...AND TYPING IN ALL CAPS SO PEOPLE CAN SEE HOW SERIOUS THEY ARE ABOUT IT!

Basically, Arterburn is the "Dr Phil" of Christianity. Wait, Dr Phil says he's a Christian, my bad. Arterburn is the "Dr Phil" of "be ridiculously vague about your credentials on your own website" Christianity.

Seriously though. Why did Steve choose to co-author a book with Fred Stoeker? Shouldn't he have recommended actual psychiatric help to Fred and instead have co-written a book on sexual-addiction with a sexologist, psychiatrist, or some other person with actual qualifications. He even has some head-shrinks on his staff, why not use those guys?

What's even sadder is that Fred Stoeker, a man who admits to having no training** in psychiatry, counseling, or Biblical studies in the introduction to this book (see page 5 of Every Man's Battle), has founded a ministry for the purpose of helping men "struggling" on their "path to sexual integrity".

Blind leading the blind, man. Blind leading the blind.

Long story short: My opinion is that when Steve Arterburn decided to write this book, dealing with this kind of subject matter, with a man like Stoeker, he was either being very foolish or just plain unethical.

----------------------------------------
*It probably is more complex than that, but I don't have all the time in the world and tend to agree with C.S. Lewis statement in his Mere Christianity in this respect:

We are told that Christ was killed for us, that His death has washed out our sins, and that by dying He disabled death itself. That is the formula. That is Christianity. That is what has to be believed. Any theories we build up as to how Christ's death did all this are, in my view, quite secondary: mere plans or diagrams to be left alone if they do not help us, and, even if they do help us, not to be confused with the thing itself. All the same, some of these theories are worth looking at.

**On his site's "About Fred" page he says he reviewed "his studies on Human Sexuality at Stanford" before writing this book. I find this very hard to believe as he makes no citations or references to anything like that in EMB. Not to mention that he promotes common misconceptions about sex ("women don't masturbate" ect.).

Saturday, June 9, 2007

EMB: Steve Arterburn's "White Sneaker Diaries"

Every Man's Battle: pt 1, ch 1, pg 9-11

At the beginning of the first chapter, Steve Arterburn tells a story of a car-trip he made in 1983 to the town of Oxnard (insert Beavis and Butthead reference here):

FROM STEVE: COLLISION

I never intentionally set out to be girl-watching that day, but I spotted her about two hundred yards ahead and to the left. She was jogging toward me along the coastal sidewalk. From my sheepskin-covered leather seat, I found the view outstanding, even by California's high standards.

My eyes locked onto this goddesslike blonde, rivulets of sweat cascading down her tanned body as she ran at a purposeful pace. Her jogging outfit, if it could be called that in the days before sports bras and spandex, was actually a skimpy bikini. As she approached on my left, two tiny triangles of tie-dyed fabric struggled to contain her ample bosom.
Man, that is one hell of a way to start off a book that tries to help "good Christian men" avoid "impure thoughts". Giggity giggity aw-riiiiight. B-)

He then goes on to tell how when he turned his head to follow her "lithe figure" in order to record "this banquet of glistening flesh" on his "mental video camera" only to end up rear-ending someone on the Pacific Coast Highway and how he lied to his wife about the accident in order to hide his shame.

I know there are some of you out there that were probably thinking that I was being overly cynical (need I remind you the title of the blog you are reading) when in my earlier "Pimping Purity" blog-entries, I expressed my opinion that the purpose of the "Every Man" franchise was not to help men with in their relationships with women but instead to capitalize on the shame, guilt, and fear surrounding the subject of sex (and especially the male sex-drive) in modern evangelical culture, but I don't think that's the case. Here's why:

After reading this book for the first time, I google-searched for reviews of the EMB. I stumbled across this article in Rolling Stone by Jeff Sharlet:

Every Man operates a hot line, 800-NEW-LIFE [sic], for men who've "threatened" their relationships through their use of pornography. When I called to confess that reading about tight nylon shorts in Every Young Man's Battle had aroused me, a professional masturbation counselor named Jason told me that pornography is "probably the number-one cause of divorce." Then he suggested I sign up for a five-day, $1,800 Every Man's Battle workshop (held monthly in hotels around the country) in which I would take classes on shame, "false intimacy" and "temptation cycles" and work with other men in small groups toward "recovery."

And another interesting snippet on Every Young Man's Battle from a book review site:

The badly done interpretation is only part of the failings of this book, however. While preaching total purity in regards to pornography of all kinds, the authors present some unconscious raciness of their own: when describing his "decadent past" one of the authors lovingly relates in graphic detail the Playboy centerfolds he once sinfully perused ("I can still see the nude Playboy model cloaked in a clear plastic raincoat as the shower cascaded over her...every detail, right down to the curvature of her spreading thighs are imprinted on my brain"). Imprinted indeed- perhaps a little too much. It's almost as if the author's intent is to titillate their young audience.

Now, I'm gonna give you the heads-up. Later in EMB the authors tell the reader that any thoughts about sex (unless they about your wife) are "sinful" and that said thoughts must be "taken captive" right away for one to "fully function as a Christian".

This causes me to ask the question: "How the hell did they write their own books?" Now, I know it's not the most erotic passage in the history of western literature, but keep in mind these "tasty tasty yummy poision cookie" moments appear occasionally throughout this book and others in the "Every Man" series (although mostly when it is Fred Stoeker doing the "talking").

Seriously, it's like what if one of those fad weight-loss books opened with a description of a freshly baked double-layer chocolate-fudge marble cake and later told you that even thinking about food would cause you to gain weight. It only makes sense in two contexts: The authors want you to "fail", or their formula for "freedom from bondage" is a failure in and of itself are they are simply as deluding themselves in believing that it works.

What's really sad is that is that I'm beginning to believe that one of the victims of the "Every Man" movement may happen to be one of it's founders, co-author Fred Stoeker (more on that next time).

I'd like to share more of it here, but I lent my copy of Every Man's Battle to a friend a week ago and when I got it back some of the pages were stuck together. B-) He he!

EDIT: Arterburn's changed his workshop prices to $1,175 for a weekend seminar some time after the Rolling Stone article was published. Just thought you'd like to know.

Groupies of the Web: Kirk Cameron's

I was reading some news on yahoo when I stumbled across this. Nevertheless, it grabbed my interest.

Apparently, when Yahoo wanted to do a People of the Web story on religion and the internet, and of all the people available, they chose the guy famous (in the context of "religion on the web") for whipping out some photoshop humor pics in the middle of a live debate and sitting next to a man watching him play with his banana*.

And boy, from reading the comments, I can see their are alot of Kirk Cameron groupies on Yahoo:

prsh_12: kirk watched u as a kid on t.v shocked to c u on TBN testifying about ur faith in Jesus. so awesome how Jesus had a plan and & purpose in ur life...from Hollywood star...to a witness for Christ. they wld hear u and respect u and u wld have a chance to use that popularity u gained(or the Lord help u gain) for the Glory of HIs name. May Jesus give u grace to finish ur race VICTORIOUSLY.

Wow, that guy has a point. It is shocking see a celebrity openly declare faith in Jesus Christ while appearing on TBN. Wow! Seriously, what are the odds?

ALPER O: i am so happy for kirk, for he has found salvation through Lord Jesus..Jesus is so wonderful that he knows his sheep and calls them from everywhere, no matter what their life style, culture, background or social position is..Thank you oh Son of God for loving us when we were once enemies..let your righteous offspring grow faster and faster and your kingdom advance till the end of this world.halleluja

What is it with people posting their prayers on the internet? Do they think God will stumble across them when he googles his name?

And there are even more words of encouragement for Brother Kirk:

ryn: hi kirk its gd u kno christ now please make him known even the more to others coz thats the greatest commandment,above all pray that God will give you the grace to stand amidst all the challenges of life,God bless you, Daniel 11:32b,be encouraged

Wait, some of those were words, right?

sonipeni: Hey Kirk! I´m glad you found Jesus and something as big as religion to fight and live for. I am a 30 year old girl from Spain, who watched absolutely every episode of Growing Pains. If it makes you fell better I learnt a lot of good values in that show, like how important family and love is. It made me laugh, and happy. Of course, as a teenager that I was I loved your character too.I´d have loved to have a brother as funny as Mike since I am an only child. Now I´m about to get married and all I can say is that I admire the fact that u are a wonderful father and husband. Regards to you all from Spain where u have always been admired and loved. One of your fans, Sonia.

sonipeni: Hey! Your fan from Spain again- i´d love to receive an email from u, why don´t u email me at my nickname@yahoo.com- Thank you!

I bet a chimichanga and a large coke that on her wedding day, this "30 year old girl" will be glancing towards the church doors when she and her fiancée exchange vows, hoping against all hope that those doors will be thrust apart and she will be set free into the arms of her true-love. For she was saving herself not for Don Pablo DelaVega Martinez, but for the man that showed her the importance of family and love (and is already married and has six kids).

KC: I have a deep respect for the work that Kirk and Ray Comfort are doing. I contacted them last year after coming to a crossroads in my life. I did not know where to go or where to turn. My life turned on a dime 7 years ago and began a downhill spiral. I lost everything I had worked my entire life for. I received death threats. My home was burned down. My wife left me after 12 years of a healthy and happy marriage. I lost my business. I was jaded. One day, everything was "normal"...nice home, wife, kids, career, savings, three cars paid for and everyone healthy and happy...the "American dream" right? Then, I accidentally discover dismembered body parts wrapped in plastic while on the job at the largest rural healthcare organization in the United States. I asked what they did with severed arms, feet, hands and heads and I went from a "role model, trusted employee to a "person of interest" in a flash. I was watched, followed and fired and "banned" for life from this huge money machine that ran the entire city and employed thousands of people. I launched a crusade to find the truth. Why was I fired for asking a question? Why was I being followed? Why did the FBI show up at my home and take my trash and mail? Why did an assistant D.A. get so angry with me in a public parking lot discussing the issue of the "illegal body parts market" to the point where he pulled a loaded 9 mm bereta handgun on me and put it to my head in front of my two sons? I had many questions but it wasn't until I contacted Kirk and Ray through their website and poured my heart out to them that things began to make sense to me. A few days after they replied to my via email..I received a book and dvd in the mail that led me in a new direction (one other than the "legal" direction) a path with Jesus, who became my only judge in life. As I opened up my eyes and heart to the word, I began to see with clarity. I thank God for Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort! They are making a difference in so many lives and it's in their eyes...the "truth" is in their eyes. Thank you both for helping me see the light through your leading by "example". This is Kevin Curtis from Booneville, Mississippi and I approve this message! :) www.myspace.com/kcandthebayouband

I know it's probably a gag, but that one is my favorite one of all.

Too many to go through 'em all. Enjoy yourselves.

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*No matter what anyone says, that never gets old. ;)

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Pimping Purity Part 3: Ooh Tek, you've OBVIOUSLY had so very few girlfriends!

A few blog-posts ago I posted a list of books published in the "Every Man" christian self-help book series. I thought it would be good to let you know that those books listed aren't the only ones in the series. Yes, year after year they keep coming out with more self-help books and workbooks and CDs and DVDs and study guides and personalized Bibles and day-planners and lunchboxes and breakfast cereals, and flamethrowers, but that's not what I'm going to talk about today, oh no no noooo.

Today, it's time for a very special Judging Books by Their Covers:

First off: The Hunted, by Fred Stoeker and D.W. Smith.


The Adventure of a Lifetime
Becomes an Unimaginable Nightmare.

A thrilling new novel from the Every Man series!

John Majors and three friends–Mike, Hollis, and Dave–go to Thailand for the eco-adventure of a lifetime rafting on the Pai River. But they find more than they bargained for.
From the fleshpot temptations of Bangkok to the beautiful and terrifying environs of Northern Thailand’s vast wilderness areas, they find themselves tested at every turn. When separatist terrorists attempt to kidnap them in the wilderness, the four men are stranded deep in the jungle, pursued by gunmen toting AK-47s, and finally trapped in a cave with nowhere left to turn. If they hope to escape, they must face their deepest fears and put their lives–and their souls–on the line. Their struggle to survive, escape, and experience God’s grace through it all forms a thrilling tale of courage and endurance.
Fred Stoeker–one of the men behind the phenomenal Every Man series–and best-selling novelist D. S. Smith join forces to bring you a compelling novel that combines the action and suspense of a thriller with real-life faith and insight for God’s men.
Y'know, finding an action/adventure novel being marketed as part of a series of books designed to help men with with things like sexual-addiction and broken families is alot like finding a pez-candy in the drug-cocktail the doctor prescribed for your HIV infection.

"John Majors and three friends–Mike, Hollis, and Dave–go to Thailand for the eco-adventure of a lifetime rafting on the Pai River." An "eco-adventure"? What are they gonna do to make it an "eco-adventure"? Are they planning on collecting river-water samples? Save the endangered Mekong Giant-Catfish (albeit wrong river)? Putting their magic rings together to summon Captain Planet? What?

I think I tried a "fleshpot temptation" once. I was at an ethnic food-fair. The seasoned pork was good, but the dough was a bit too sticky for my tastes. Seriously though, who says "fleshpot temptation" anymore?

And wait! "best-selling novelist D.S. Smith"? The book's cover says it was co-authored by "D.W. Smith". If that ain't a typo, all I gotta say is that guy needs to be more creative when thinking up a nom-de-plume.

And then: The Forsaken, by Steve Arterburn and Mike Moscoe.


One man faces his worst nightmare—twice.

A thrilling new novel from the Every Man team!


Ben Taylor’s just a regular guy. Married to his beautiful Annie, with good kids, and a career that brings him great joy. But the world as he knows it suddenly shifts beneath his feet. While his job is suddenly in jeopardy, Annie gets promoted into the position of a lifetime–with a bigger salary than his…and a requirement to move across the country.
The blow to his ego, not to mention the disruption to his family, shatters Ben’s confidence in himself–and in God. But just as he comes to grips with this new reality and accepts these major changes, the unimaginable happens. His wife is kidnapped!
Desperate, Ben travels across country to help the police hunt for the kidnappers by risking his life and everything else in the process. Can he really trust the God he thought he knew to get him through this shocking twist in life? Or is he destined to be just as forsaken as he feels?
Now Stephen Arterburn–one of the men behind the phenomenal Every Man series–and bestselling novelist Mike Moscoe join forces to bring you a compelling novel that combines the action and suspense of a thriller with real-life faith and insight for God’s men.

"One man faces his worst nightmare twice"?

"Ben Taylor endures soul-crushing spiritual agony, his life has become a living hell and his family teeters on the edge of destruction, all because his wife makes more money then he does. Then suddenly his kind and loving wife is kidnapped by dangerous, bloodthirsty criminals. He finds this equally as unpleasant."

Note to the authors: Now, I'm no author of science-fiction books or books about men's psychological, relational, and sexual health where I am open and authentic enough to share stories from my past but not enough to include a bibliography or a list of of credentials that isn't vague, but can I give you a tip? Okay, here goes.

Equating your male protagonist's "worst nightmare" of being at risk of becoming a stay-at-home dad with his "worst nightmare" of his spouse being kidnapped doesn't make him a "Peter Parker", a character that the all readers can relate to (because he goes through the same everyday troubles as we do) yet allows us to partake in the joy of escapism (because he goes on adventures and "beats the bad-guys" that we ourselves cannot). It makes him a "Rayford Steele", a character the author and a select few can relate to - in your book's case; insecure men that feel threatened by both strong, assertive, mature, independent women as well as western-culture's continuously evolving gender-roles (namely child-molesters, men with small penises, repressed homosexuals, men who pick their wives from a mail-order catalog, and Promise Keepers) - but other readers will view as a total douche (examples #1, #2, and #3).

Now, keep in mind that I haven't actually read your book yet, but I know you two can fix it up before I happen to stumble across it in a House of James bargain-bin. I recommend you do something kinda like what you did with Every Woman's Desire (turning it into Every Man's Marriage, thereby making it the "tranny" of the "Every Man" series) but this time you can change more than just the title. And while you're at it, see if you can do anything about Smith's initials on the cover of The Hunted.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Archie: The Jurassic Pigeon

HU-HEY THERE KIDS! I'M ARCHIE, THE JURASSIC PIGEON! I'm just one of many attractions at Answers In Genesis' brand-spankin' new Creation museum.

You should come visit me, and I'll introduce you too my friend Carl, the coconut-eating T-Rex, and we can all go have some fun surfing on plate-tectonics.

But there are some people out there that don't want you to come over and have fun at my place, people that says our museum in anti-science. Well that's not true, folks. Just look at this banner link from the AIG website:


Of course it's not "anti-science". Just look at all those test-tubes I filled today. You can't have that many test-tubes and be "anti-science". If anything, the museum is "pro-science", with each additional test-tube of my urine making it more scientific. And not only are there test-tubes, but they are being examined by an attractive female scientist that hasn't bothered to tie back her hair before entering the lab as to avoid cross-contaminating the samples, so you know the Creation museum is just as scientific as an episode of C.S.I or House.

And I'm not just godless atheist evolutionistic scientists that hate God's museum. No, apparently there are some Christians that don't like it too. Christians like Pastor Bob Cornwall. Sadly, these Christians that believe in evolution are called "half-born" Christians. Just listen to what John Whitcomb, co-author of The Genesis Flood and professional elderly opinionated person, has to say:

What do you think becomes of these ‘half-born Christians’ you mentioned?

They become very susceptible to all the spiritual diseases that Satan and our own sin nature make available to us wherever we live, move and breathe. We find distortions, denials, and rejections of every basic moral standard the Bible establishes for us as His creatures and His people. We therefore need the whole armour of God, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God—a two-edged sword, not half a sword, or a broken or rusted one, but one fully designed by the Holy Spirit to deal with the enemy (Eph. 6:12–18). Without it, we become dangerously vulnerable. The enemy is not some little force that can be easily crushed by our finite human resources. It’s Satan, the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4), and he will attack us at the weakest places in our armour. And if we’re not really solid on the whole Bible, we won’t be able to stand.

Now I don’t believe that a true, born-again Christian can lose his salvation, but he can lose his effectiveness, and at the judgment seat of Christ before which all Christians must appear, we are warned repeatedly that we could be ashamed before Him at His coming (1 John 2:28), and suffer great loss—not our soul, but our reward—at the time when Christ appears (1 Cor. 3:10–15).


Whitcomb is right. The Bible is a collection of divinely-inspired middle-eastern literature that encompasses a wide variety of different genres and is therefore meant to be taken as all literally. And Christians that don't believe in the entire literal Word of God (except for certain parts that are supposed to to be taken figuratively, like Romans 13:5-7) are more prone to falling into sin than those who place their trust in man's incredibly fallible, well-researched, and peer-reviewed empirical knowledge.

And what's even more sad is that those kind of Christians lose their effectiveness in being "salt and light" in the world around them. I mean, sure there are guys like Dr. Francis S. Collins, Head of the Human Genome Project, whose work will help bring upon many medical advancements that could help save millions of lives, but that's not really helping the Kingdom of God. No, it is when creation-scientists like Ken Ham build rock-solid super-logical scientific arguments that teaching Evolution in public schools leads to mass-murder that Christ is glorified.

So be sure to keep on your guard, kids, against the deceptive tactics of the Enemy. Especially his most insidious tool of deception: Hard, physical evidence.