On Scholars & Pseudo-Scholars

In my occasional inroads with heresy, I sometimes run across across “experts” whose purpose it is to defend their respective systems. In a movement like Full Preterism, which claims that 2,000 years of Christian teaching is fundamentally false, these experts can be a dime-a-dozen. Several years ago, I counted around 75 fully operational, active “teachers” within the movement; many of whom had websites, were selling books, and hosting and/or speaking at conferences. Some of those teachers are still around today, though many are dormant–having not posted anything relevant in years. Some of them appear semi-comatose; awakening from their comas once or twice a year to weigh in someone else’s content, or speak at one of the very few remaining FP conferences.

Due to the intensely competitive nature of FP, it is necessary for some of these guys to pose as theologians, so that their teachings can gain traction. Case in point: One of the foremost leaders of the FP movement is a loud-mouthed, obnoxious old man who poses as a “Doctor of Divinity.” However, when one actually researches his alleged “degree,” one finds that it is actually an honorary doctorate obtained from a paper mill in California. That doesn’t stop, however, this false teacher from writing “academic” articles and “scholarly” books promoting the view that all prophecy and eschatology was fulfilled in AD 70. Some actual scholars on the “gray area” side of Preterism have, regrettably, legitimized this man’s ministry and writings.

Now, I have never claimed to be a scholar. I don’t pretend to be one. I am simply an old-fashioned, regenerate Bible-teacher who happens to have read a lot of books, but who would never dare to “compete” with actual world class scholars. Frankly, I would be ashamed to do anything of the sort. What I’m seeing, however, is that some within the FP movement, while having no legitimate credentials, are not only not ashamed to pose as theologians, but promote themselves as such. This is false advertising. At this point, the principle of “caveat emptor” becomes absolutely needful. We are living in degenerate times, both morally and theologically.

Of course, the problem is that there are many legitimate scholars who are also spreading false doctrine. One must beware of them as well. The burgeoning fields of mythicism and post-Christian thought have provided a platform for degreed, fully-credentialed critics to spew their vomit against the Christian faith. While their vomit doesn’t seem to hurt themselves much, it is toxic to Christians who sincerely believe that Christ was “delivered for our offenses and raised again for our justification” (Romans 4:25).

As I’ve said often throughout the years, and as I keep reiterating, the only prescription for all these maladies is: “Back, back, back.” It’s time to return to the old paths and the old ways (Jeremiah 6:16). The principles that our Reformed forefathers fought for, and in many cases shed their blood for, are still the principles of today. The faith that the apostles and their successors strove to maintain is still OUR faith. And we must embrace it, cherish it, and defend it when necessary. This is not a joke. It involves every one of us–whether we realize it or not.

Although bleak times may be in the offing for Western Christendom in general, there will always be a core of true believers–pure worshipers, as it were–who will not bend the knee to Baal or fall for the trickery of deceivers. It is time to start preparing for our future, if we haven’t already, and dissafiliate from those who are not maintaining the faith delivered to the saints. Not giving pseud-scholars who preach heresy a platform is certainly a great place to begin. Staying aloof from neologians–scholarly or not–who concoct novelty after novelty, in an attempt to gain attention and notoriety, is another practice that will stand us in good stead in the days to come. Let us be more proactive when it comes to the faith. Let us remember the armor we have available, and the spiritual gifts we’ve been given. In all things charity. But above all, circumspection.

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