Critiquing Mysticism and Pietism: Six Points (Bavinck)

 In his first volume of Reformed Ethics, Herman Bavinck spent quite some time discussing mysticism and pietism.  At the end of the section on mysticism and pietism, Bavinck wrote the following critique.  (For the record, I wish he would've expanded a bit on these points since they are helpful.) However justified mysticism and Pietism were in… Continue reading Critiquing Mysticism and Pietism: Six Points (Bavinck)

God Told Me!? (A Critique of Mysticism)

What do you do when a friend says, "God told me I needed to go on a diet," or "The Holy Spirit spoke to me last night and said you should make more friends"?  How do we even begin to respond?  It's not easy to respond to such comments; it takes patience and wisdom!  If… Continue reading God Told Me!? (A Critique of Mysticism)

Avoiding False Spirituality/Spiritualities

There are many popular quasi- and pseudo-Christian spiritualities in existence today.  The “Christian” bestsellers typically include books about spirituality without a clear explanation of or belief in the gospel.  Some popular “Christian” authors deny key aspects of the historic faith and others talk about being spiritual without much dependence on Scripture.  You can find bestselling… Continue reading Avoiding False Spirituality/Spiritualities

No Inherent Stock of Goodness

Between the years 1768 and 1779 John Newton wrote several letters to a friend of his who was also a pastor.  Apparently, his friend was skeptical about the doctrines of grace (aka Calvinism) and tended towards the mystical writers of his day.  Newton, in a loving way, explained why he himself believed these doctrines and… Continue reading No Inherent Stock of Goodness

More Machen

The church today is facing something similar to what Machen faced less than 100 years ago: Jesus divorced from Scripture, history, and the church.  We saw it a few days back in Deepak Chopra's "third Jesus."  Deepak's jesus used scented lotions and came so we could realize our inner potential, so we might find self-actualization… Continue reading More Machen