There Is A Difference
In contemporary religious literature, publishing, radio, television and the Internet - there are some men who enjoy wide popularity: John Stott, John MacArthur, Max Lucado, Tony Campolo, Dr. James Dobson, Philip Yancy, Charles Colson, Charles Stanley, Chuck Swindoll and many others.
The books these men publish are nice looking books, professionally printed and marketed. And I've never picked up any of these books and found everything to be false. In fact, you may find some good and helpful information in some of these books and perhaps some good insight into what the Scriptures teach.
But I think - ever so often - we just need to stop and remember, THESE MEN ARE NOT INSPIRED WRITERS!!
Luke, Paul and Peter were writing as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. That claim cannot be made of Swindoll, Dobson or Lucado!! And I'll just say to you - on some fundamental matters, I have decided that these men are teaching things contrary to God's Word!! Most of them are under - to some degree - the influence of John Calvin. Many of them write to uphold and advance some denominational viewpoint or political agenda.
Lucado is associated with a church of Christ in San Antonio - yet he is almost embarrassed to stand up and tell people what the New Testament says about baptism for the remission of sins. If he ever really bought the truth, he has apparently sold it (see Prov. 23:23).
Now - you don't need to go home and throw all your books away. But I think - ever so often - we just need to stop and remember, these men are not inspired writers!! Do not accept and do not get excited about anything they write - unless you are convinced it is in God's word. That's the rule we all need to apply. And you need to apply it to Berkley and Quinn, and everything in Expository Files too!
There is a difference between the oracles of God, and the words of men! (See 1 Pet. 4:11; Gal. 1:6-12; 1 Tim. 1:3).
"If any man speak let him speak as the oracles of God." In our teaching and preaching; in our work as a local church - in our attitude and behavior as individuals, we must be loyal to the Word of God! We owe no loyalty to the religious world around us; none to history, any movement or association of people. But we must be loyal to the Word of God.
By Warren E. Berkley
The Final Page
From Expository Files 5.2; February 1998