Refuting the “Messianic Secret Argument” against the historicity of the gospel of John


Posted in Apologetics, Gospel according to John, Gospel according to Mark, Historical Jesus, Historical reliability of the Bible, Inerrancy

Does the Bible teach that there is only one God or many gods?

One God or many gods? at Triablogue

Steve Hays provided an excellent quote by Bruce Waltke that refuted Peter Enns’ comment and some liberal theologians/commentators about “many gods”.

Then I added some comments: (edited here a little for smoothness)

Was the Mormon Kwaku (in the debate with James White and Jeff Durbin) trying to employ John Walton’s interpretation of Genesis, (The Lost World of Genesis 1 and other books) in order to somehow say that the worldview of the Hebrews was in reality, Polytheism?

This seems like a good analysis of John Walton’s theory of the ANE narrative put over on top of the OT.
Seems the motivation behind all of this is Theistic Evolution and attempts to square modern Darwinian scientific theory with Genesis and the rest of Scripture. (connection to BioLogos, etc.)


I should have written:
attempts to square Genesis and the rest of Scripture with modern Darwinian scientific theory. (connection to BioLogos, etc.)

Similar to Bruce Waltke’s refutation of Enns, James White cited Psalm 96:5 and Jeremiah chapter 10 as clear texts that refuted the polytheism / ANE worldview of Walton, etc.

“For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
But the Lord made the heavens.”
Psalm 96:5

In total harmony with Deuteronomy 4:39 and 1 Corinthians 8:4-6.


Then Sam Shamoun, (I appreciate him identifying himself  in an earlier post there at Triablogue, under that moniker) going by “Ben Malik”, had to add his snarky and always insult laced comment:
  1. Psalm 96:5 doesn’t refute the existence of other gods as Heiser shows, since even Paul admits that behind the idols lies a spiritual presence, namely demons. 1 Corinthians 10:19-21. So you’re going to have to go better than parrot the arguments of your idol and try to actually engage the responses made by Heiser and others.


    My response:

    My understanding of Psalm 96:5 (and Psalm 82) was in my own heart and mind, long before I even knew of Dr. White, who, by the way, is not my “idol”.
    Amazing that you are not learning to get rid of your bombastic and snarky and -always having to throw out an insult- style – you always have to have some kind of level of “in your face” comment that is a bad witness for Jesus Christ. Your whole demeanor exudes an angry spirit. Repent of it. It is amazing that you keep acting bad on line for so long. You are a bad witness.

    That said, I will have to review Heiser’s “divine council” view for more details. I read it several years ago.

    Without reviewing it again, the emphasis, IMO, in Psalm 82 is upon the human judges and rulers of the earth that are arrogant and unjust, and think they are like “gods” because of their arrogance and power and wickedness of doing unjust political and social actions (injustice to the poor and widows, oppressed, etc. verses 2-4) Since the king of Babylon (Isaiah 14) and the king of Tyre (Ezekiel 28:1-19) are also called out for their sins and arrogance, etc., and at the same time, those texts, especially Ezekiel 28, show that the spirit behind the political evils of those real kings was indeed Satan himself, the fallen angel/cherub, who was in the garden of God (Ezekiel 28:13-17), therefore, I have no problem with understanding Psalm 82 as including both human kings and rulers who think they are “gods” (see Ezekiel 28:2 – “because your heart was lifted up and you have said “I am a god” . . . – “. . . yet you are a man and not God, although you make your heart like the heart of God”.

    So, when Jesus rebukes the Pharisees and the leaders of political Israel in John 10, He is accusing them of the same arrogance as the pagan rulers and unjust leaders and showing the contrast between the eternal God who make the heavens and earth (Psalm 96:5Genesis 1:1) and also rebuking the evil spirit of pride and arrogance that seems to be behind political evils – the powers of darkness, principalities and powers – as in the Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 passages and Daniel 10 (“the prince of Persia” and the “prince of Greece” and warfare with good angels, like Michael the archangel); and that harmonizes with what 1 Cor. 10:19-21 says also.

    It seems the emphasis in Psalm 82 is upon the human rulers / leaders/ political leaders / kings, both of Israel and the nations (verse 8) is that those kind of human rulers are so arrogant in their hearts, and they have physical and military power to call servants to do their bidding, etc. – they think they are “gods”, but in reality they are not; and they do not even realize that Satan and the powers of darkness are behind them influencing them in their sins and injustice.


    I left out reference to Psalm 82:6-7 – which in context seems to be saying that unjust political rulers who have allowed evil spirits to influence and control them, are going to die, just like all human beings will. “sons of the Most High” includes created human beings and created spirit beings, (angels and demons), but the evil humans will die and the demons will be judged. (verse 8)

    Psalm 97:2-20 and 89:14 and 11:3 also show the contrast between the justice of the one true Creator God and His foundation of His just judgement on His throne, vs. the unjust human rules and evil spirits behind them.


    sorry, I left out: (in bold)

    therefore, I have no problem with understanding Psalm 82 as including both human kings and rulers who think they are “gods” (see Ezekiel 28:2 – “because your heart was lifted up and you have said “I am a god” . . . – “. . . yet you are a man and not God, although you make your heart like the heart of God”. and also evil spirits who are behind them, influencing them.

    includes both evil human unjust rulers and also evil spirits.


    John 10:33-39
    Jesus turns the tables on them – it is they are who mere humans who because of their arrogance and injustice, make their hearts like God. (verse 33 – they accuse Jesus of what actually they are doing, like the king of Tyre in Ezekiel 28:2.

    In John 10:34, Jesus is just saying that the law (word of God, including the Psalms) says that God mocks them and “calls them gods” (I said), but in reality they are not “gods”, but they are humans who will die. Psalm 82:6-7) and John 10:35-36, Jesus says that word of God is true in that God called them “gods’ mockingly, but Jesus is saying that He is the true Son of God, whereas they just think they are “gods”, being deluded.


    Psalm 82:7 – you will die “like” men and “like” princes, does not necessarily mean a contrast between unhuman spirits and humans, rather is saying “just like all other humans, you will also die” (because you are mere mortal humans, created beings); (while not excluding judgment on evil spirits)

    and because it seems to include evil spirits (per previous comments above), the dying would include the eternal judgment/perishing against the evil spirits also. (Revelation 20:10-15; Matthew 25 – “go into the eternal fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matthew 25:41)


    Also, Jesus’ rebuke to the Pharisees in John 10:33-39 is even more clearly confirmed earlier, when Jesus said that they were of their father, the devil, who was a murderer and father of lies. (John 8:44) – shows they are the unjust human rulers who are being influenced by the evil spirit / evil spirits, just as the unjust political leaders are rebuked in Psalm 82.


    So, in conclusion, the Bible, both OT and NT teaches pure Monotheism (Trinitarian Monotheism), that there is only one Eternal Creator God – not many gods.  “gods” are the idols of the nations and the vain imaginations / delusions of sinful human beings and the prideful arrogance / delusions of sinful humans, political leaders, rulers, and the demons / evil spirits behind them that influence them.

Posted in Apologetics, Demons / evil spirits, Monotheism vs. Polytheism, Mormonism, Psalms, Sam Shamoun, Theology, Theology of God

Reliability of the New Testament Text

A very important subject to get a handle on.

Apologetics and Agape

Dr. James White teaches on the reliability of the New Testament Text.

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Posted in Apologetics, Bible is not corrupted, Reliability of the Bible, Textual Variants

What can we learn from the Jordan Peterson phenomenon?

This is an excellent analysis of the Jordan Peterson phenomenon (the massive response, good and bad, from many on social media, his You Tube videos, interviews with left-wing journalists, and his best selling book, “12 Rules for Life”).  Alastair Roberts analyzes Peterson from a Biblical, Christian view-point.  It covers the good things about him and his ideas, and the problems with his basis / presuppositions.  He is not an Evangelical Christian, but he respects the Bible as one of the most important foundations of Western culture and civilization and understands the principles in Scripture that explain the psyche of man (the soul and heart of humans, in regard to sin, pride, jealousy, bitterness, etc.), – from his psychological (Jungian – see Carl Jung article) viewpoint, as true.  His Darwinism is a big problem for Bible believing Christians; but his amazing respect for the Bible make him very different from other Darwinian Atheists who are militant in their hatred / antipathy of the Bible, God and Christians. Peterson is very different than the late Christopher Hitchens or Richard Dawkins, or Sam Harris. (the “New-Atheists”) Peterson seems to be more “agnostic” than a hard-line atheist, in what I have seen when interviewers ask this question to him. (Of what I have seen. I have not had time to watch every thing.)

Be sure to read the entire article. Alastair Roberts provides an excellent and helpful analysis of Jordan Peterson’s entire philosophy of where he is coming from.  What Alastair Roberts says at the end is very important about men, fathers, pastors, authority, and caring.  Part of Jordan Peterson’s appeal is that he exudes genuine caring about young men.  Well worth reading and thinking about.


See also this video and my other comments about Jordan Peterson, where I really agree with him on this issue of what has happened to our modern western Universities for the past 30-40-50 years:

Posted in Apologetics, moral corruption of culture, Morality and Ethics in Government, Truth, Western Universities and cultural Marxism

About the Canon of Scripture and church history

The original meaning of the word “canon” κανων is “standard”, “rule”, “law”, “measuring rod”, “criterion”), based on the Hebrew קנה (= reed, rod, measuring stick). The later meaning “list” of God-breathed books, is based on the original meaning of “standard”, “rule”, “criterion”.

If a book is “God-breathed” (2 Tim. 3:16), then it is automatically “canon” (standard, rule, criterion) when it is written.

The discernment/process/discovering of all the God-breathed books written in the first century, took a while for all the churches to get all the scrolls together, since all were scrolls in first and second century, and early forms of “codex” (sheets flattened and tied together) only started becoming standard practice (from what I understand) in the later part of second and third centuries.

The second meaning of “canon” as “list” of authoritative books, is based on the first meaning of “standard” / “rule”, which is based on the quality of being “God-breathed”.

Thanks to Dr. Michael Kruger and Dr. James White – who are a great blessing in this area of the canon and the early church, in equipping the saints in apologetic answers as we do evangelism and missions.  For more, see here.

Apologetics and Agape

Canon Revisited, by Michael J. Kruger

Michael J. Kruger has some excellent books and a very informative web-site on the issues on the New Testament canon.

I recommend his book, Canon Revisitedfor people wanting to study the issue of the New Testament canon more accurately and deeply.

Professor Kruger has another book coming out later this year on the canon.

Also, he co-wrote another important book, the Heresy of Orthodoxy, with Andreas Kostenberger which deals with the whole Bauer-Pagels-Ehrman thesis that Gnostics and other heretical groups like Ebionites, Sabellians, Montanists, Arians, etc. were equally valid as expressions of early Christianity.  The thesis claims that it was the political power of Rome in the 4th and 5th Centuries that won the victory over them by force and persecution and the result was that “the victors wrote the history”, which is a common modern attack against orthodox Christian doctrine regarding the…

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Posted in Apologetics, Canon of Scripture, church history, Truth

How our suffering Glorifies God


See the link where John Piper preached the same message at a different venue – see the written text of his message.

Posted in Sanctification/Holy living, Spiritual growth, Suffering and God's Sovereignty

Make War on your own self-pity and temptation to sulk

“Make War on your urge to sulk” by John Piper

One of the reasons John Piper is such a blessing to me (and to so many) is that he is so honest and real about his own sinful tendencies; and also probably for me, these characteristics describe my sinful personality also. This is a good message for all who struggle with self-pity and sulking, introverted kinds of selfishness.

This quote is really good on how the gospel brings the power of God into our sanctification, because justification is first and the ground and basis, and we work out our sanctification from the foundation of our justification by faith alone in Christ alone.

“Now, Charles Wesley taught us to sing, “He breaks the power of canceled sin.” When he did, he was teaching the fundamental truth about how the cross of Christ relates to our battle with our own sin.

The cross cancels sins by faith for all who believe in Jesus. Then on the basis of that cancellation of our sins, the power of our actual sinning is broken. It’s not the other way around. There would be no gospel and no music if we tried to sing, “He cancels the guilt of our conquered sins.” That’s not gospel. First the cancellation, then the conquering, which means that the link between the cross and my conquered sin is a Holy Spirit–empowered willing. It works a willing in me.” John Piper

This reminds me of Romans 6:6-7 and 6:11-14 – the sanctification part of our lives that we can fight against sin, is only because we were first set free from the slavery to sin, verse 7= “for he who has died is justified from sin.” Most times it is translated “freed”, but the word is “justified”. ( δεδικαιωται – from δικαιοω – “to justify”, “to declare righteous”, “to declare not guilty”. This truth points back to the foundation of chapters 1-5 about sin (chapters 1-3) and justification by faith alone (chapters 4-5). Chapters 6-8 then show us how sanctification is possible by the foundation of justification.


Listen and read the whole thing:
Posted in Sanctification/Holy living, Spiritual growth | 1 Comment