Therapeutic Humanism seems to sum up the erroneous aim and focus of so much of the contemporary Church.
From Grudem's Systematic Theology regarding “Kenosis Theory” page 551: It just seemed too incredible for modern rational and “scientific” people to believe that Jesus Christ could be truly human and fully, absolutely, God at the same time...Smith points out that one of the primary influences leading some to adopt Kenotic theology was the growth of modern psychology in the nineteenth century: ‘The age was learning to think in terms of the categories of psychology. Consciousness was a central category. If at our ‘center’ is our consciousness, and if Jesus was both omniscient God and limited man, then He has two centers and was thus fundamentally not one of us. Christology was becoming inconceivable for some.’...In other words, pressures of modern psychological study were making belief in the combination of full deity and full humanity in the one person of Christ difficult to explain or even intellectually embarrassing: How could someone be so different from us and still be truly a man?... In this as in many other points of doctrine, our understanding of what is ‘possible’ must be determined not by modern empirical study of a finite, fallen world, but by the teachings of scripture itself.
This same type of erroneous thinking and belief is what has led to the prevalence of therapeutic humanism in the modern Church as evidenced by the prevalence of the modern recovery movement/industry in the modern Church.
Journal entry from October 15, 2018
"Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; - Luke 21:34
This verse really speaks to me this morning, because it addresses what I have struggled with so much - my mind being pulled because of “worries of life.”
By the Lord’s command, I must “be on guard” in order to overcome and rise above the worries of life. To be on guard I must abide in Christ, in His word, rejoicing always, praying without ceasing, in communion with the Lord and fellowship with His Church.
Thank you Lord for this wonderful light of truth, of clarity, of wisdom from you. Praise the Lord!
Humans by nature view free will as something humans possess that is not affected or influenced by God - as separate from God. But in truth, there is no will outside the sovereignty of God. If the human will is outside of God, then God is not completely sovereign and omnipotent.
To claim that man has a will that is free of the sovereign influence and control of God has got to be rebellion. The fact of the matter is that no human can understand complete human free will because it does not and has not ever existed - there is no will outside of God’s will.
in Him we live and move and exist - Acts 17:28a
Also, it seems that if the human will is required, if it is the initiating force to accept the working of God’s will - especially through His plan of salvation, then the truth of God’s word being living and active would have to be rejected. God’s word is living and active because of God’s will working through it. If the choice to accept or reject the gospel in God’s word is reliant upon the decision of man, then how could the word be living and active? Why would it need to be living and active?
The argument that God is only justified in pouring out His wrath on those who reject the gospel because they had an opportunity to make a free will choice is absurd. God would be justified if He chose to save no one. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and are saved only by God’s merciful grace.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, [it is] the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. - Ephesians 2:8-9
It’s as if God is saying, “I am far more than you can see and comprehend. So, I have given you my word in scripture so that through it you may see and know enough of me to keep you and guide you until I bring you home. Abide in me, abide in my word on your journey. Do not leave the narrow path that I have set before you through my word - and there will be many who will try to entice you to do so.”
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. - 1 Corinthians 13:12
Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the LORD, "You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you." - Psalm 16:1-2
In light of the person and work of Jesus Christ, in all that we see of Him in just this one Psalm, in light of the gospel, what is it so many Christians are looking for?
How does the Holy Spirit work? What is the Holy Spirit's purpose in God's plan of salvation? In the gospel?
Why the trinity?
In much of the modern Church, the Holy Spirit is treated like a genie or a spiritual force that can be called forth according to the will of man.
What is the truth of the Holy Spirit?
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. - John 16:13
David was greatly distressed, for the men spoke of stoning him because the souls of them all were bitterly grieved, each man for his sons and daughters. But David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God. - 1 Samuel 30:6
The calamity David was in now came about because he had been acting according to his own will and council rather than the Lords. Here, David had gone on his own, without the Lord's leading, and was off the narrow way. He was plotting and scheming like an unbeliever. He was no longer trusting in God in spite of all the Lord had done for him, blessed him with, and delivered him from throughout his life.
Jesus said to him, "Get up, take up your bed, and walk." And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. Now that day was the Sabbath. - John 5:8-9
Where is the man’s will and choice in this narrative? Where is there any evidence in this story that testifies to this invalid making a choice to let Jesus heal him?
This miracle is a glorious affirmation of God’s sovereignty and grace in saving invalids with no power to save ourselves. This man had no idea who he was speaking to. Jesus commanded him, the man was healed and he took up his bed and walked.
In honor of my friend Terry who went home to be with the Lord.
Death, are you ready for it?
When someone dies we should reflect on the reality of death. What happens when we leave this physical existence?
"O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. - 1 Corinthians 15:55-57
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. - 2 Timothy 3:16-17
The Christian life is one of mountains, valleys, streams, and deserts. Times of communing with God and times of reaching for Him. Times of abounding happiness and times of depression and suffering. Times of victory and times of being attacked. But in Christ there is always joy. Because we must be in this world for a period of our existence we are given the Word to revive us, restore us and keep us on the narrow path of Christ.
Chad Prigmore is Pastor and President of The Way R122 Ministry USA & Kenya.