Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Hug me, I'm a false apostle

I'm currently reading through, with great profit, Phil Ryken's commentary on Galatians in the Reformed Expository Commentary series. Here's a snippet:
We cannot simply assume that we have the gospel. Unless we keep the gospel at the center of the church, we are always in danger of shoving it off to one side and letting something else take its place.

Martin Luther rightly warned that "there is a clear and present danger that the devil may take away from us the pure doctrine of faith and may substitute for it the doctrines of works and of human traditions..." The good news of the cross and resurrection must be preached, believed, and lived. Otherwise it will be lost.

The church's greatest danger is not the anti-gospel outside the church; it is the counterfeit gospel inside the church. The Judaizers did not walk around Pisidian Antioch wearing T-shirts that said, "Hug me, I'm a false apostle."

What made them so dangerous was that they knew how to talk the way that Christians talk. They used all the right terminology. They talked about how they "got saved." They told people to "trust in Christ." They "presented the gospel."
Only they did not have the gospel after all.

We should expect, therefore, that the most serious threat to the one true gospel is something that is also called the gospel. The most dangerous teachers are the ones who preach a different Christ but still call him "Jesus."
Ryken, Galatians, p. 21


Bill Hornbeck said...

Dear Rev. Downes:

I have recommended your web site to my readers in an email.
I have added a link to your web site at my web site.
I have pointed out your book "Risking the Truth" to my readers in an email.
I have quoted from your "Anecdotes from Church History" to my readers in an email.
Now, I just want to copy and paste your entire post "Hug me, I'm a false apostle", T-shirt and all.*

It is about time that I thank you. Thank you so much for your web site! It is a real blessing and protection against heresies!

* Is it OK (may I have your permission) to copy and paste that post ("Hug me, I'm a false apostle") in an email to my readers?

Yours truly,
Bill Hornbeck

Martin Downes said...


Be my guest, you are more than welcome to copy this post.

Bill Hornbeck said...

Dear Rev. Downes:

Thank you. I copied and pasted it under this title: "Copy and Paste" of recent post by Martin Downes in his Against Heresies blog".

Please accept my sincere thanks and encouragement for your good work! May God continue to bless you!

Your work makes me think that you are described in these verses:
"1 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers." Psalm 1:1-3.

Yours truly,

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