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Calvinists are not Christians?

August 9, 2009 Comments off
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James White’s commentary on atheist Christopher Hitchens’ debate with Frank Turek

August 9, 2009 Comments off
Categories: Apologetics Tags: , ,

Richard Dawkins answered from Scripture

August 9, 2009 Comments off

Mat 11:25  At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
Mat 11:26  Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.

Praise God!

The atheist’s leap of faith

August 6, 2009 Comments off

According to the News Bureau at the University of Illinois, “Life did not begin with one primordial cell. Instead, there were initially at least three simple types of loosely constructed cellular organizations. They swam in a pool of genes, evolving in a communal way that aided one another in bootstrapping into the three distinct types of cells by sharing their evolutionary inventions.”

I have some news for the University News Bureau. If you talk about life beginning as a “loosely constructed cellular organizations” that swam “in a pool of genes,” then it wasn’t the beginning at all, because loosely constructed cellular organizations swimming in a pool of genes already existed.

Ex-atheist, Lee Strobel said, “Essentially, I realized that to stay an atheist, I would have to believe that nothing produces everything; non-life produces life; randomness produces fine-tuning; chaos produces information; unconsciousness produces consciousness; and non-reason produces reason. Those leaps of faith were simply too big for me to take . . .”

For the beginning to be the beginning, there must be nothing. Zilch. If you disagree, in simple language, explain to me where I am going wrong. Tell me what was in the beginning–what was it that began the evolutionary process? Let me guess your answer. You don’t know what it was, but you know that it wasn’t God.

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Scientific evidence against evolution (short and concise)

July 5, 2009 Comments off

Definition

The word ‘evolution’ is used in the following contexts:

  • Stellar / Planetary Evolution – An explosion (the ‘Big Bang’) supplied non-living material and over billions of years, supposedly this material became organized into planets and stars
  • Cellular Evolution – At some point, non-living matter supposedly become living, forming cells that could reproduce
  • Evolution of living things – Supposedly over time, living things appeared which include fish, reptiles, birds and mammals. Human beings are said to be the last to appear in this process. According to evolutionary theory, this change in living things was achieved using time, chance, natural selection (‘survival of the fittest’) and mutation (random changes in genetic code)

This evolutionary process is said to have taken place without an outside intelligence, plan or guiding force.

1. Living things never come from non-living things

To produce a living thing you must start with a living thing.

Evolution requires non-living matter to turn into a living thing and this has never been observed.

A Biology textbook puts it like this: “As we have seen, the life of every organism comes from its parents or parent. Does life ever spring from nonliving matter? We can find no evidence of this happening. So far as we can tell, life comes only from life. Biologists call this the principal of biogenesis.” 8

So when it comes to science (i.e. things we can establish by observation and experiment) life always comes from life. Evolutionists say life came from nonliving matter. But just saying something doesn’t make it true!

More information (external link)
Why Is Abiogenesis Impossible?

2. The missing links are still missing

If evolution was true, there should be large numbers of intermediate fossil organisms present in the fossil record. These ‘links’ are conspicuous by their absence.

After well over a hundred years of intensely studying the fossil record the ‘missing links’ are still well and truly ‘missing’.

Evolutionists such as Stephen Jay Gould concede this when they say, “The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not based the evidence of fossils.” 2

More information (external link)
What does the fossil record teach us about evolution?
Who’s who & what’s what in the world of “missing” links?

Is there fossil evidence of ‘missing links’ between humans and apes? Did ancient humans live millions of years ago?

3. Complex systems never evolve ‘bit by bit’

No mechanism has been put forward that even begins to explain how something like the human eye could have been produced by time, chance, natural selection and mutation.

Darwin said: “To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.” 3

In spite of this high degree of absurdity, Darwin clung to his theory but he should of rejected it because the formation of the eye by natural selection is absurd!

A baby needs a number of very complex, interdependent systems to live and survive. These systems include the nervous, digestive, excretory, circulatory, skeletal, muscular and an immune system. For the baby to survive and live each system requires all the other systems to be functioning. Therefore all these systems must be in operation at the same time and could not have evolved slowly over millions of years. Think of the male reproductive system coming about by time, chance and mutation! Now this alone would be of no use unless the female reproductive system had evolved at exactly the same point in time!

There is no evidence (in the fossil record etc.) of the evolution of such systems. More than that, not even an imaginary process can be thought of to explain how something like the brain and the digestive system could have evolved bit by bit over time!

More information (external link)
Can evolution be the source of life in all its complexity?

4. Second Law of Thermodynamics says ‘no’

The Second Law of Thermodynamics tells us that a system will always go from order to disorder unless there is a plan or outside intelligence to organize it.

World-renowned evolutionist Isaac Asimov when discussing the Second Law of Thermodynamics said:
“Another way of stating the second law then is: ‘The universe is constantly getting more disorderly!'” Viewed that way we can see the second law all about us. We have to work hard to straighten a room, but left to itself it becomes a mess again very quickly and very easily. Even if we never enter it, it becomes dusty and musty. How difficult to maintain houses, and machinery, and our own bodies in perfect working order: how easy to let them deteriorate. In fact, all we have to do is nothing, and everything deteriorates, collapses, breaks down, wears out, all by itself – and that is what the second law is all about.” 1

As Isaac Asimov says, everything becomes ‘a mess … deteriorates, collapses, breaks down, wears out, all by itself’. Now in complete opposition to one of most firmly established laws in science (the Second Law of Thermodynamics), people who support the theory of Evolution would have us believe that things become more organised and complex when left to themselves!

Some people argue that the earth is an open system and therefore the Second Law of Thermodynamics does not apply. Simply pouring in energy (sunlight) into the earth does not override the Second Law of Thermodynamics. As shown in Isaac Asimov’s quote above, the Second Law still applies on earth. Pouring energy into a system makes things more disordered!

The brilliant scientist Lord Kelvin who actually formulated the Second Law of Thermodynamics says for very good scientific reasons; “Overwhelming strong proofs of intelligent and benevolent design lie around us … the atheistic idea is so non-sensical that I cannot put it into words.” 9

As Dr John Ross of Harvard University rightly states: “… there are no known violations of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Ordinarily the second law is stated for isolated systems, but the second law applies equally well to open systems. …” 7

Evolution has no plan or outside intelligence and according to the Second Law of Thermodynamics can never take place.

More information (external link)
Second Law of Thermodynamics – Does this basic law of nature prevent Evolution?

5. Mutation never produces evolution

Natural selection (better adapted organisms surviving to pass on genetic material) cannot produce evolution because it produces no NEW genetic material. Mutations are random changes in the genetic makeup of organisms. Evolutionists say that mutations supply the new genes needed for evolution to proceed.

For over 1500 generations, fruit flies have been subjected to radiation and chemicals.4 This caused mutations in the flies. If you take a human generation to be 25 years, this is equal to around 37 500 years (1500 x 25) in human terms. What happened to these mutated flies over this time? Firstly, they were still flies and had not evolved into anything else! Secondly the flies as a population were worse off with many dying, having curly wings or stubby wings.

Mutations are an example of the Second Law of Thermodynamics (when things are left to themselves they become more disordered over time). It is amazing that evolutionists would put forward mutations as the mechanism by which evolution could somehow take place!

A person with one sickle-cell anaemia gene (a mutation) and malaria has more chance of surviving malaria than a person without the mutated gene. Evolutionists point to this as evolution in action. Now if evolution is the introduction of a debilitating potentially fatal disease like sickle-cell anaemia into the the human race, I think we can well do without this so called ‘evolution’! Read more on malaria / sickle-cell anaemia

Evolution (things becoming more ordered) and mutations (things becoming more disordered) are processes going in opposite directions!

Mutations are not a friend of evolution but an enemy that ultimately cuts the theory down and destroys it!

More information (external link)
Can genetic mutations produce positive changes in living creatures?

6. Probability says ‘no’ to evolution

Evolutionists such as Sir Fred Hoyle concede this when they say “The chance that higher life forms might have emerged in this way (time and chance) is comparable with the chance that ‘a tornado sweeping through a junk-yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein.'” 5
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In a desperate attempt to override the very powerful argument that life could never arise by chance, Richard Dawkins conjectures that “If the odds of life originating spontaneously on a planet were a billion to one against …” 10 A billion to one is only (yes only!) 1 in 10.

BUT the probability of even one single protein molecule consisting of 200 amino acids arising spontaneously by chance is 1 in 10260. This is calculated by raising 20 (the number of different types amino acids available) to the power of 200 (the number of amino acids in the protein chain). Even if the whole universe was packed with amino acids combining frantically for billions of years, it would not produce even one such protein molecule let alone produce a living cell.

Read more on the question of impossibility of producing life by chance at How Antony Flew (an atheist for 60 years) came to believe there is a God.

More information (external link)
Probability Arguments in Why Is Abiogenesis Impossible?

Great scientists from the past speak out

“Overwhelming strong proofs of intelligent and benevolent design lie around us … the atheistic idea is so non-sensical that I cannot put it into words.” (Lord Kelvin)

“I am a Christian … I believe only and alone … in the service of Jesus Christ … In Him is all refuge, all solace.” (Johannes Kepler)

“The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator. Science brings men nearer to God.” (Louis Pasteur). Pasteur strongly opposed Darwin’s theory of evolution because he felt it did not conform to the scientific evidence.

Robert Boyle believed in Jesus Christ’s “Passion, His death, His resurrection and ascension, and all of those wonderful works which He did during His stay upon earth, in order to confirm the belief of His being God as well as man.”

“Order is manifestly maintained in the universe … the whole being governed by the sovereign will of God.” (James Prescott Joule)

“There are those who argue that the universe evolved out a random process, but what random process could produce the brain of man or the system of the human eye?” (Werhner Von Braun)

“Almighty Creator and Preserver of all things, praised be all Thou has created.” (Carl Linnaeus)

“I am a believer in the fundamental doctrines of Christianity.” (Sir Joseph Lister)

“Atheism is so senseless. When I look at the solar system, I see the earth at the right distance from the sun to receive the proper amounts of heat and light. This did not happen by chance.” “The true God is a living, intelligent and powerful being.” (Sir Isaac Newton)

Michael Faraday was careful to “Thank God, first, for all His gifts.”

If you believe that “Christians can’t think for themselves” we encourage you to read “21 Great Scientists Who Believed the Bible” by Ann Lamont published by Answers in Genesis, P.O. Box 6302, Acacia Ridge D.C., Queensland, 4110, Australia, 1995. (The above 6 quotes were taken from this book.)

Present day PhD. scientists speak out

“The evidence points to an intelligent designer of the vast array of life, both living and extinct, rather than to unguided mindless evolution.” (Nancy M Darrall, Speech Therapist at the Bolton Community Health Care Trust in the UK. She holds a PhD in Botany from the University of Wales.)

“Evolutionary theories of the universe cannot counteract the above arguments for the existence of God.” (John M Cimbala, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University. John holds a PhD in Aeronautics.)

“The correspondence between the global catastrophe in the geological record and the Flood described in Genesis is much too obvious for me to conclude that these events must be one and the same.” (John R Baumgardner, Technical Staff Member in the Theoretical Division of Los Alamos National Laboratory. John holds a PhD in Geophysics and Space Physics from UCLU.)

“We have already seen that no such system could possibly appear by chance. Life in its totality must have been created in the beginning, just as God told us.” (John P Marcus, Research Officer at the Cooperative Research Centre for Tropical Plant Pathology, University of Queensland, Australia. John holds a PhD in Biological Chemistry from the University of Michigan.)

“The fossil record is considered to be the primary evidence for evolution, yet it does not demonstrate a complete chain of life from simple forms to complex.” (Larry Vardiman, Professor from the Department of Astro-Geophysics for Creation Research, USA. Larry holds a PhD in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University.)

“I … have no hesitation in rejecting the evolutionary hypothesis of origins and affirming the biblical alternative that ‘in six days the Lord God created the heavens and earth and all that in them is’. (Dr Taylor is senior lecturer in Electrical Engineering at the University of Liverpool. Dr Taylor has a PhD in Electrical Engineering and has authored over 80 scientific articles.)

“I believe God provides evidence of His creative power for all to experience personally in our lives. To know the Creator does not require an advanced degree in science or theology.” (Timothy G Standish is an Associate Professor of Biology at Andrews University in the USA. Dr Standish holds a PhD in Biology and Public Policy from George Mason University, USA.)

“At the same time I found I could reject evolution and not commit intellectual suicide, I began to realise I could also accept a literal creation and still not commit intellectual suicide.” (AJ Monty White, Student Advisor, Dean of Students Office, at the University of Cardiff, UK. Dr White holds a PhD in the field of Gas Kinetics.)

“So life did not arise by natural processes, nor could the grand diversity of life have arisen through no-intelligent natural processes (evolution). Living things were created by God, as the Bible says.” (Don Batten, a research scientist for Answer in Genesis in Australia. Dr Batten holds a PhD in Plant Physiology from the University of Sydney and worked for 18 years as a research scientist with the New South Wales Department of Agriculture.)

“In the words of the well-known scientist, Robert Jastrow, ‘for the scientist who has lived by faith in the power of reason, the story [of the quest for the answers about the origin of life and the universe] ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.” (Jerry R Bergman, Instructor of Science at Northwest State College, Archbold, Ohio. He holds a PhD in Evaluation and Research from Wayne State University and a PhD in Human Biology from Columbia Pacific University.)

Read why 50 PhD scientists from all around the world choose to believe in creation in the book “In Six Days (why 50 scientists choose to believe in creation)” edited by John F Ashton PhD, New Holland Publishers, 1999. (The above 10 quotes were taken from this book.)

Conclusion

Darwin said, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” 6

After well over a hundred years of intense scientific research and investigation, we must conclude that no-one has shown how the human eye could have come into existence by numerous, successive slight modifications.

By using Darwin’s own criteria and viewing the other aspects of science that relate to evolution we can conclude that Darwin’s theory has broken down.

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

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The history of heresy

June 27, 2009 Comments off

Five Errors that Refuse to Die
by Phil Johnson
Introduction: In this seminar, we will look at five major heresies that have plagued the church again and
again throughout history. Here are the five heretical groups we’ll talk about: the Judaizers, the Gnostics, the
Arians, the Pelagians, and the Socinians. We will deal with these in chronological order:
1. LEGALISM
􀂃 The relationship of Christianity to the law of Moses has always posed some very difficult problems.
A heretical brand of legalism, practiced by the Judaizers, posed a major and continual threat to the
New Testament church even while Scripture was still being written. The apostles’ war with legalism
permeates the book of Acts and most of the epistles.
􀂃 The Judaizers claimed that in order to become a Christian, Gentile converts needed to be circumcised
and obey all the ceremonial and civil laws of Moses. This was a very compelling system for people
who had grown up in Judaism, because they were conditioned from their infancy to view Gentile
practices as unholy, unclean, and morally abhorrent.
􀂃 The culmination of the legalism controversy, and the first major defeat for the Judaizers, took place
in Acts 15. Notice what transpires here: “The apostles and elders came together for to consider of this
matter” (v. 6). There was much disputing (v. 7), and then Peter rose up and recounted what had
occurred at the conversion of Cornelius (vv. 7–10). And Peter very clearly takes Paul’s side (vv. 10–
11): “Why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor
we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be
saved, even as they.”
􀂃 Peter has honed in on the crucial issue: salvation by the grace of God. This is what was at stake. This
first great controversy was a soteriological conflict. The issue was the gospel, and the doctrine of
justification by faith in particular. That’s why the apostle Paul wrote and preached so earnestly
against the doctrines of the Judaizers: they were nullifying the very heart of the gospel message. If a
person had to be circumcised in order to become a Christian, then that ritual work was a prerequisite
for justification, and justification would not be by faith alone.
􀂃 Scripture clearly teaches that we don’t have to perform any religious ceremonies or legal obedience
as a prerequisite to our justification. None of the works of the law can earn us any merit in God’s
eyes. All the merit that is necessary has been acquired for us by Christ. It is freely imputed to all who
believe. As Roman 4:5-6 says, “To him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the
ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. . . . God imputeth righteousness without works.”
􀂃 That’s the gospel in a single statement. That’s what the legalism of the Judaizers obscured. And that’s
why the apostle Paul fought this heresy with every ounce of energy he had.
2. GNOSTICISM
􀂃 Gnosticism is at the opposite end of the spectrum from the heresy of the Judaizers. The legalism of
the Judaizers was a synthesis of Pharisaical Judaism and Christianity. Gnosticism was a blend of
pagan philosophy with Christianity. The Judaizers stubbornly clung to the past; the Gnostics radically
broke with the past.
􀂃 So in many ways the error of the Gnostics is exactly the opposite of the Judaizers’ heresy. As so often
happens, the church swung from one extreme to the other. When the false teaching of the Judaizers
met with resistance, it was as if Satan simply pushed the pendulum to the opposite extreme, and the
result was Gnosticism.
2
􀂃 Ancient Gnosticism is as hard to define as the modern New Age movement. Both are complex, not
simple. Both suggest that Divine wisdom is hidden in a mystery revealed only to enlightened
followers.
􀂃 And it is this idea that gave Gnosticism its name. It’s from the Greek word gnosis, which means
“knowledge.” Here is the central idea of all forms of Gnosticism: Gnostics believe that the key to
saving truth lies in a hidden knowledge beyond what is revealed to us in Scripture. According to
Gnosticism, “salvation” is a question of possessing the secret knowledge.
􀂃 Christian varieties of Gnosticism did not really come into full form until sometime in the second
century. And Gnosticism had the ability to mutate into new forms. As one version of Gnosticism
would decline, another would arise to take its place. So Gnosticism continued as a very strong threat
to the church for several centuries.
􀂃 When Gnosticism first assaulted the church, Christianity survived only by confronting the heresy
head on. Men such as Iranaeus, Tertullian, Ignatius, and Justin Martyr were willing to fight for sound
doctrine—even to the point of laying down their lives for it.
􀂃 There are three major errors common to almost all forms of Gnosticism: dualism, syncretism, and
docetism.
o dualism is the idea that everything in the universe is reducible to two fundamental realities
o syncretism is the merging of two different systems of belief
o docetism is a heresy that claimed Christ only appeared to be human
􀂃 Though Gnosticism involves all kinds of errors, including soteriological ones, it introduced the
problem of Christological error into the church. The epistles of John are written chiefly to answer
incipient forms of Gnosticism, and the apostle John attacked the error primarily on Christological
grounds.
3. ARIANISM
􀂃 The history of Arianism is a case study in how heresy often arises from within the church. Arianism
spread by quiet infiltration and gained strength through the personal charisma of the false teachers. It
took advantage of a climate of tolerance. It developed to massive proportions before anyone rose up
to oppose it. This is Satan’s favorite tactic, disguising himself as an emissary of light.
􀂃 Arianism was a flat-out attack on the deity of Christ. The Arians claimed Jesus Christ was a created
being, higher than humanity, but less than truly God.
􀂃 The gnostics had attacked the doctrine of Christ from the fringe of Christendom. Gnostic heretics
were generally outsiders, people unafraid to attack the apostolic tradition and apostolic teaching.
Their approach was to draw people away from the church and into their little factions. Arianism took
a different approach, bringing the false doctrine right into the church. The Arian goal from the very
beginning was to get the church to place the stamp of orthodoxy on their false doctrine.
􀂃 Arius was the heretic who invented this doctrine. He devised a view of Christ that made Him a
created being, neither divine nor truly human, but a mediator between God and humanity. According
to Arius, Christ was a sort of demigod, the firstborn of all creation—higher than other angelic
creatures, godlike—but a creature nonetheless. This is exactly the same doctrine held by modern
Jehovah’s Witnesses. And Arius used the very same arguments they use.
􀂃 The Nicene Creed was the church’s response to Arianism, but it marked the beginning, not the end,
of the controversy in the church. After their doctrine was condemned by the council, the Arians
pleaded for tolerance, broad-mindedness, and acceptance at the grass-roots level, and they succeeded
to an amazing degree in infecting the church worldwide with their doctrine.
3
􀂃 Emperor Constantine became frustrated when the Nicene Council was not successful in quelling the
Arian controversy, and he became friendly with the Arians. Within the next fifty years or so, virtually
all the leading bishops of the church embraced Arianism. Only one man stood against them:
Athanasius. He refused to give up the fight against heresy. When people pointed out that the whole
world was against him, he replied that he was against the world.
􀂃 Over the long haul, Athanasius’s arguments won out, because he employed Scripture so skillfully and
so persuasively to demonstrate the error of the heresy. But the episode is a classic example of why
Scripture, not majority opinion, ought to be the church’s first and last test of every doctrine.
4. PELAGIANISM
􀂃 The next great heresy in the church was Pelagianism. This error returned to the issue of soteriology.
It is a fact of history that every major error that has ever assaulted the Christian faith fits under one or
both of two categories: they are either Christological or soteriological. Other forms of error have
arisen, but all the truly dangerous heresies have attacked on one or both of these two fronts.
􀂃 That’s because heresy is most serious when it results in a different gospel or a different christ. The
true church has always recognized that those who worship a false christ or preach a false gospel are
not true Christians (Galatians 1:8–9; 2 John 10–11). It is as simple as that.
􀂃 Pelagianism represented a different gospel of the most sinister kind. The first major proponent and
the man who lent his name to this doctrine was Pelagius. His main opponent was Augustine.
􀂃 The conflict between Pelagius and Augustine involved some of the very same issues Calvinists and
Arminians argue over, and the history of this heresy shows how vitally important those issues are.
􀂃 Pelagius was motivated by a concern to elevate human free will, because he was (wrongly)
convinced that was the only way to preserve human responsibility. Augustine defended the
sovereignty of God, because he (rightly) knew that was the only way to preserve the centrality of
divine grace in salvation.
􀂃 Probably the most notable aspect of Pelagianism is its denial of original sin. The Pelagians denied
that Adam’s sin resulted in any guilt or corruption to the rest of the human race. Pelagius believed
that the human will must be free from all fetters or else people are not responsible for what they do.
Pelagianism insists that if people are born sinners by nature—if sin is something we inherit—it
would be unjust for God to hold individual sinners responsible for their sin.
􀂃 Pelagianism therefore said the human will must be totally free—inclined to neither good nor evil—or
else our choices cannot be free. And if our choices are not free, then we cannot be held responsible
for what we do.
􀂃 Pelagianism inevitably results in the purest form of works-salvation. Deny the fallenness of
humanity, and you have in effect denied the need for divine grace.
􀂃 Augustine saw this problem from the very outset, and he responded to the Pelagians by
demonstrating from Scripture that the human will is not free in the sense Pelagianism taught; our
wills are hopelessly bound by sin (Romans 8:7–8). Sinners are utterly helpless to change for the
better apart from the working of divine grace in their hearts (Jeremiah 13:23).
􀂃 The Council of Ephesus in 431 condemned Pelagianism as utterly heretical. But as is true with every
one of the major heresies we are discussing, the ruling of a council was not enough to end the threat
of this false doctrine. Pelagianizing influences continued for the next hundred years. There emerged a
modified Pelagianism, known as semi-pelagianism—which is virtually identical to modern
Arminianism—and that doctrine was condemned by the Council of Orange in 529.
4
􀂃 Still, Pelagianizing influences continued to assault the church. By the sixteenth century, the Roman
Catholic Council of Trent adopted a soteriology that is in effect semi-Pelagian.
􀂃 In the Protestant Reformation, it was the Reformers who sided with Augustine in affirming the
sovereignty of God, the necessity of divine grace, and the utter inability of fallen man to contribute to
his own salvation. Roman Catholicism, especially from the Council of Tent on, has taught a kind of
watered-down semi-Pelagianism.
􀂃 Pelagian and semi-Pelagian influences have affected Protestantism, too, and continue to do so today.
5. SOCINIANISM
􀂃 Socinianism is the culmination of heresy—an amalgamation of all the other heresies—and it is
without a doubt the most widespread of all the heresies in our generation. Modern theological
liberalism is nothing more than a variety of Socinianism.
􀂃 The heresy of Socinianism was born almost immediately after the start of the Protestant Reformation.
It takes its name from two Italians: Laelius and Faustus Socinus. They were disaffected with Roman
Catholicism and originally identified with the Reformers, but unlike the true Reformers, the
Socinians ended up rejecting virtually everything about the Catholic religion, including whatever was
orthodox.
􀂃 Since they rejected everything Catholic, the Socinians ended up with a doctrine that embraced
virtually every serious error that had ever assaulted the church. Like the legalists and the Pelagians,
they taught works-salvation. Like the Gnostics and the Arians, they were anti-Trinitarians. In fact,
they denied not only the deity of Christ but also every miraculous element of Scripture. They blended
the skepticism of the Sadducees with the humanistic rationalism of the enlightenment era, and that
deadly combination is what gave birth to this heresy. Then they threw in the error of universalism to
boot.
􀂃 In effect, Socinianism did away with the authority of Scripture and made human reason the supreme
authority.
􀂃 Worst of all, they destroyed the meaning of the atonement. The Socinian argument against
substitutionary atonement was simple: They claimed that the ideas of remission and atonement are
mutually exclusive. They said sins can either be forgiven or they can be paid for, but not both. If a
price is paid, they said, sins are not really “forgiven.” On the other hand, the Socinians argued that if
God is willing to pardon sin, then no atonement-price should be necessary.
􀂃 The subtlety of that argument still confuses many people. But it is completely contrary to what
Scripture teaches about grace, atonement, and divine justice. Hebrews 9:22 demolishes the Socinian
argument: “Without shedding of blood [there] is no remission [of sins].”
􀂃 Why are these heresies important? Every cult and every false doctrine extant today has something
in common with one or more of these five false doctrines. Here is a chart that shows the pertinent
facts about each of these heresies. Notice especially the column that lists modern proponents of
each error. These are only samples. Every major cult and –ism borrows from these five heresies.
If we learn anything from church history, we ought to see how vital biblical discernment is, and
we ought to understand how destructive such errors can be. Above all, we ought to gain an
appreciation of how courage, persistence, and biblical skill are required to defeat the devil’s
doctrines.
5
A Survey of Heresies
Date Heart of the
error
Chief historical
proponents
Character Modern
proponents
The
Judaizers
1st
century
soteriological,
adding works
to grace as
grounds of
justification
a group of former
pharisees in the
Jerusalem church
legalistic, blending OT
Judaism with Christian
ideas
7th-day
Adventists,
Roman
Catholics
The
Gnostics
2nd
century
Christological,
denying the
reality of the
incarnation
various early heretics mystical, blending
paganism with Christian
ideas
Most New-
Age
religions,
Mormonism
The Arians 4th
century
Christological,
denying the
deity of Christ
Arius, several bishops unitarian, denying the full
deity of Christ and the
Trinity
Jehovah’s
Witnesses
The
Pelagians
5th
century
soteriological,
denying the
primacy and
sufficiency of
divine grace
Pelagius, Coelestius anthropocentric, denying
human fallenness,
elevating free will above
divine sovereignty;
making the sinner
responsible for his/her
own salvation
Charles
Finney and
his heirs
The
Socinians
16th
century
soteriological/
Christological
Lelius and Faustus
Sozzini
rationalistic, absorbing
the worst elements of all
heresies
Unitarians,
Theological
liberals,
Open
Theists

Source

Categories: Apologetics, Heresies