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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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    We are a community of confessing believers who love the gospel of Jesus Christ, affirm the Biblical and Christ-exalting truths of the Reformation such as the five solas, the doctrines of grace, monergistic regeneration, and the redemptive historical approach to interpreting the Scriptures.

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  • « 1 John 5:1 by Pastor John Samson | Main | Sola Scriptura & the Gifts of the Spirit by Pastor John Samson »

    What's Wrong With This Picture?

    The 50 Most Influential Christians in America

    According to The Magazine for Church Business Administrators and Para Church Executives: The Church Report - The 50 Most Influential Christians in America has voted T.D. Jakes (a non-Trinitarian modalist) and Joel Osteen (whose books and preaching are merely pep talks that are completely void of the gospel) in their #1 and #2 positions. The top 10 also includes Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Paul Crouch and Joyce Meyer. The list was derived from over 150,000 nominations from its readers. While there are a couple of notable names down the list, the lack of discernment among evangelicals as to what constitutes the gospel and historic orthodox Christianity is made evident by many of the questionable selections.

    Instead of despairing, this should bring us to prayer that the Lord would move within our leadership our rank and file to desire God-honoring, Christ-centered, gospel-driven churches. That He woud send his Spirit to open our eyes and circumcize our hearts to to embrace a full-orbed Trinitarian gospel that preaches the whole counsel of Scripture among all our leaders and churches. If this current trend continues in America, our days are numbered but God, who can bring life out of death hears our prayers. The situation being this critical means that we must pray to the Lord for His mercy. Perhaps the greatest task facing us is the re-evangelization of the Church itself.


    Click Here for Full List:
    http://www.thechurchreport.com/content/view/823/32/

    J.W. Hendryx

    Posted by John on February 13, 2006 03:02 PM

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    » Seen Round the Wide World AM Edition from Pseudo-Polymath
    Good morning. On chasing fame and the recognition of those who do the same. John at Reformation Theology notes the top 50 “Most Influential Christians” as is duly distressed. John Piper on the cartoon kerfuffle. (HT: Adrian Warnock) Joe Ca... [Read More]

    Comments

    This is... disturbing. I recall seeing a similar list a year (or two) ago which placed Rick Warren at the top. But somehow this one seems worse. Sean Hannidy and Dr. Phil make the cut, but John MacArthur doesn't? I checked into what you said about Joel Osteen (having never heard of him before). Here are some of the comments on his (bestselling?) book from Publisher's Weekly: "Houston megachurch pastor and inspirational TV host Osteen offers an overblown and redundant self-help debut. Many Christian readers will undoubtedly be put off by the book’s shallow name-it-and-claim-it theology; although the first chapter claims that 'we serve the God that created the universe,' the book as a rule suggests the reverse: it’s a treatise on how to get God to serve the demands of self-centered individuals."

    I guess I never realized that things were getting this bad. It seems as if whoever's books are most popular in a given year wins the votes of the people. And that frightens me. The professing-Christians of our nation need Spirit-led, scripture-founded discernment desperately. I believed it before, but this makes it seem so much more urgent than I ever expected. Thank you for this eye-opening (though distressing) information and for the exhortation to pray for this much-needed discernment in our nation.

    It's refreshing to know that T.D. Jakes, Robert Schuller, Benny Hinn, Pope Benedict, and Dr. Phil are at the helm. We can't lose!

    Sheesh. At least I can take the Pope seriously!

    Just a question:

    I have heard that T.D. Jakes has (since his fame peaked) backed off of his previous position (on the heretical modalistic stuff) and that now he has publicly moved into the orthodox camp on the Trinity.

    Anyone else heard this? Was it in Christianity Today or someplace?

    If R.C. Sproul isn't #1, then something is wrong there.

    Oh, wait... I thought this was a 'greatest modern theologians' list. It is just a 'most influential' list. Well, anyone can be influential. But not everyone is influential in a good way.

    Ah well...

    God bless,
    A. Shepherd
    Aspiring Theologian
    http://aspiringtheologian.modblog.com/?show=blogview&blog_id=807815

    Toby,

    The statement of faith at the website for Jakes' ministry still clearly begins by stating a belief in one God who exists eternally as three *manifestations*, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I don't know whether there was ever any sort of retraction of the modalistic position, but if there was, it didn't make it to his homepage :)

    Most of the people on this list, in my humble (and unsolicited!) opinion, will be influential until their fads pass, or until the next great showman arrives on the scene. The influence of teachers like Sproul will be felt for generations, with or without any limelight.

    At least D.J. Kennedy and John Piper are considered influential...and they even beat out Dr. Phil!

    Indeed, I consider this list very disturbing, and sad. It says a lot of the true and real conditions, not only of the North American churches, but even of churches here in Mexico. I really feel sad that hundrend, thousand or even millions are listening (at least) every sunday to trivial preaching void of the real gospel. We should feel sorry for ourselves as the church of Christ, be thankful for the God's given ability to see the real condition of the "church" (I'm sorry, but I cannot speak of people like Benny Hinn as christian or part of the church of Christ), and pray that we can continue to walk in His light only. In this way we could get hope to reform or own lives every day and the lives of every person we call our brothers in Christ.

    Johan

    I want to be clear here, are we saying these people are not "Christians"? The list has nothing to do with the correctness of their theology (obviously) but is merely a list of those who have the most influence both inside and outside the Body of Christ. Maybe this is an indictment on the inability of those who consider themselves Reformed to effectively communicate their message and influence the Church?

    Chuck

    This goes way beyond simply being Reformed. They are not even evangelical. The first two persons on the list do not even preach the gospel and one rejects the Tri-une God.

    A look at CR Online top 20 Christian movies of 2006 (link in upper left corner of home page) speaks much about the nature of the website. It is more about what is popular that what is Christian.
    Also, I think Dr. J. Vernon McGee, who went to the Lord over twenty years ago, is more influential in reaching people for Christ with his Thru The Bible radio ministry that any of the 50, with the possible exception of Billy Graham.

    Pretty much, if it's on the "Top Sellers" shelf at Mardel, LifeWay, and Family Bookstores, then the masses are gonna buy it. The last time I saw anything decent on those racks was John Piper's Desiring God. That was three tears ago. I just returned from a stint in Korea and Iraq, back to back, and went to the store see if anything had changed. It had! They even had more junk on the bestsellers racks. It seems as if it reeks with Oprah Inter-spirituality then anybody will buy it...good riddance. Helps me to spot the phonies and feel-goodies quicker. I prefer the personal, omnipotent God of the bible, not this creep that confuses everyone with his differing gospels and shifting shadows...

    Billy Graham? He is the biggest heretic in America except the catholics. He does not preach a true Gospel of Christ and when people come forward he turns them over to catholics, methodist and the other cults. He may have been OK at one time, but not for many many years.

    I am so confused with this blog...how can you all think that these people do not preach the gospel (good news) of what Jesus did on the cross for us?! All of these people may have "found favor with God and man" like Jesus himself did...but they do not take any credit for the work of God...They may touch the surface and make people feel good, but they are BRINGING PEOPLE INTO THE CHURCH...INTO THE LIGHT the first step to bringing people TO KNOW GOD...church. They do not judge, and encourage people to reach out to the unloveable...with aids, in clubs, Hey, that sounds like JESUS?! and all of these posts about "MONERGISM" sounds very much like the RULES of the pharasees...can anyone explain why there is a need to judge so harshly and not spend that energy in loving others and bringing souls to Christ?! Sounds like someone with a board in their eye trying to take the speck out of another's eye!

    What do you think of John Piper’s comments on the earth is billions of years…”Whatever science says it is, it is…”?

    “In verse 1, “In the beginning he made the heavens and the earth,” he makes everything. And then you go day by day and he’s preparing the land. He’s not bringing new things into existence; he’s preparing the land and causing things to grow and separating out water and earth. And then, when it’s all set and prepared, he creates and puts man there.

    So that has the advantage of saying that the earth is billions of years old if it wants to be—whatever science says it is, it is—but man is young, and he was good and he sinned. He was a real historical person, because Romans 5 says so, and so does the rest of the Bible.”

    http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/what-should-we-teach-about-creation

    This is were you get into the problem that you would have to believe that death and dying occurred before original sin of man and that suffering, and dying in the world wasn’t caused by man. If you try to mix evolution with the Bible, it will blow your theology apart.

    Exo 20:9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work,
    Exo 20:10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God.
    Exo 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day.

    Jesus Christ said in Mark 10:6…”But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.” Here, Christ is saying that they were created at the beginning.

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