Apologetics End of Days

Published on October 6th, 2010 | by Gary DeMar

17

Bad “Howse” Keeping

For the past two weeks, I have let you in on a debate I’ve been having with Brannon Howse of Worldview Weekend conferences (see here, here, and here). I objected to the numerous articles that populate his site that deal with end-of-the-world issues. I described this preoccupation as “worldview schizophrenia.” It’s difficult for me to understand how anyone can claim to be teaching Christian worldview while at the same time arguing that there is incontrovertible evidence that the end of the world is upon us. Brannon’s so-called response was one of the worst examples of critical thinking I have ever read. It was filled with red herrings, ad hominem and straw man attacks, and riddled with factual errors, a surprising piece of work from someone who is in the business of pointing out the errors in contrary worldviews at Worldview Weekend conferences.

I’ve received emails from people who have tried to post objections to Brannon’s “response” to my articles. Here’s one of them: “Gary, I tried to post a comment on Brannon Howse’s site today after reading your article about the frustrations with trying to get him to directly respond to your concerns. I was respectful and did not even link to your site. He refused to post it and sent me [this] terse email

“We are not going to promote Gary DeMar’s website. We are in the top 15,000 of websites in America. We are not going to direct our traffic to his silly website.” – Brannon Howse].(1)

The emailer continues: “I just wrote back. Here is what I wrote to [Brannon Howse].”

Is Jesus Coming Soon?

“I obviously don’t always agree with you . . . , but I do thank you for pointing out when the emperor has no clothes and for working so hard trying to remove blinders. It’s a difficult job. My comment was very respectful and did not include a link to Gary’s site. I only asked you to be fair and honest in your criticism, addressing directly what he wrote. Here is what your feedback page says: ‘We would like to post your feedback, but please keep your feedback short and clean. All feedback will be reviewed before it is posted. We encourage healthy debating but will not accept feedback with personal attacks. Commenting on a person’s public statements, actions and writings is not considered a personal attack. Please limit your feedback to less than 750 words. Comments written in ALL CAPS will not be posted.’ You are not being truthful when you say you encourage healthy debating. By your silly response to me you only confirm what Gary wrote, when you have a chance to directly address and refute what he said rather than foster misunderstanding and misrepresentation, something that is reprehensible for any Christian, particularly a leader who purports to teach discernment.

“You know, Gary DeMar has written things supportive of Glenn Beck, and I have commented on the American Vision Facebook page with my concerns and complaints about that. They did not refuse to post my comment and responded to me in a fair way. To characterize the very respectable ministry of American Vision as ‘silly’ because of its support for postmillennialism, a view held by many respectable and important people in the Christian Church (as I mentioned in my comment, Isaac Watts, Jonathan Edwards, R. C. Sproul), is to do the very thing you criticized—portray as enemies those who are really fighting on the same side.

“I am very disappointed in your response, one which is full of pride and not the humility which is a mark of true leadership. Apparently you only allow comments from those who agree with you. That’s too bad.”

To confirm my original criticism, the following appeared on American Vision’s Facebook page:

“The first W[orldview] W[eekend] I went to a couple of years ago was all about worldview, and almost nothing about the rapture. The second was mostly about end-time conspiracies. I never went to another one but I kept reading their emails, and they have become more and more obsessed with the end times. I cancelled my subscription for the emails. No need to read the same nonsense that we’ve been reading for a century now. It’s sad Howse refuses to listen to common sense.”

Here’s another one:

“[T]his dispensational theology has really helped to cripple and neuter our evangelical churches. It is also the reason many young people are leaving the church. This theology gives them no future hope—only escape via the mythical rapture. They don’t buy it!”

American Vision is in the teaching business. One of the things we teach is how to think critically. I know that many of you don’t like Christians arguing with Christians. If we don’t get things right, then how can we expect the world to get things right? The critical apparatus that we use with non-believers should not be any less honest when we deal with those of our own Christian household. As I pointed out in an earlier article, I addressed these concerns to Brannon privately. The last straw was when he posted a 1987 article by Dave Hunt on “Dominion Theology.” It was poorly argued in 1987, and it was poorly argued in 2010.

If Brannon Howse wants to be an advocate for a biblical worldview, then he needs to do a better job in his analysis of those who point out some critical points to him. He needs to be honest and accurate in his responses.Endnotes:

  1. Actually, I have several websites. Vision to America’s website is of today ranked 3,742 in the United States, while American Vision’s ranking is 39,935. For Brannon, a site is only worthy if its ranking is high. (The low number, as in golf, is the better number. Google and Facebook are 1 and 2.) Given Brannon’s logic, Ligonier (22,765), Summit (362,453), Worldview Academy (not even high enough to be ranked), and Vision Forum Ministries (303,491), highly respected worldview ministries, are also “silly” websites because they are not at the 15,000 mark. Very poor reasoning considering that the atheist Richard Dawkin’s website is ranked 14,523 in the United States, nearly 500 ticks better than Worldview Weekend’s ranking!()
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About the Author

Gary is a graduate of Western Michigan University (1973) and earned his M.Div. at Reformed Theological Seminary in 1979. He is the author of countless essays, news articles, and more than 27 book titles, His most recent book is Exposing the Real Last Days Scoffers. Gary lives in Marietta, Georgia, with his wife, Carol. They have two married sons and four grandchildren, Gary and Carol are members of Midway Presbyterian Church (PCA).



17 Responses to Bad “Howse” Keeping

  1. Roderick says:

    I was amazed to hear a supposed “Christian elder” recently appear on a hyperpreterist hosted podcast and chastise Christians for “rooting” against the heresy.

    This occurred Oct 13, 2010 when supposed Christian elder, Phil Naessens said on a hyperpreterist podcast called ironically enough “The Antithesis Hour” that:

    “You don’t want to root against anyone. Especially if you’re a Christian. You don’t want to root for others to fail. Do you ever see people that have done that. Just rooted for people to fail?”

    Then the hyperpreterist host, Mike Loomis goes into how people have rooted that his podcast fails (implying a reference to my article here). Yet Naessens never backs off his comments or clarifies that it would be okay to root for heresy to fail…because Naessens doesn’t really think hyperpreterism is heresy (except perhaps with a little “h”)

    Hear the clip: http://thekingdomcome.com/sites/default/files/naessensclip.mp3

    What does Naessens want then? For hyperpreterism to succeed?

    • Hi Dr. DeMar,

      How are you today?

      I see Mr. Edwards has decided to use for forum in his ongoing vendetta against anyone who publicly disagrees with him. This isn’t the first time he’s done so and most likely won’t be the last. I’ve been dealing with this behavior for over a year now. You can learn more regarding this man by searching my site using the keywords “Roderick Edwards” at http://phillyflash.wordpress.com.

      What Edwards has done here is offer a 10 second snippet of a live 60 minute program attempting to injure my reputation. Where is a link to the original program you ask? It’s not there is it? This is highly unethical and dishonest. The link to the original is
      http://thepodcast.org/antithesis-hour/the-antithesis-hour-with-phil-naessens-10-13-2010/

      Listen to the show and it will become apparent why Edwards doesn’t want his readers to hear the entire program.

      Thanks,

      Phil Naessens

      • Roderick says:

        By all means people should listen to the entire show, a show Phil is co-hosting with a HYPERPRETERIST and acting like he is a “brother”. The context of the quote doesn’t change and even Phil’s own supporter, Dee Dee Warren (who has no love for me) rejected Phil’s ideas TWICE:

        ” I don’t think it is wrong to root for someone to fail, if the way we are doing it is to pray first for their repentance, and if they don’t repent, for God to sovereignly cause their failure.”

        And then after Phil tried to play it off like he was only talking about not rooting for people’s financial failure, Dee Dee rebuffs him again:

        “I still respectfully disagree. I pray for the financial ruin of abortionists. FIRST for their repentance but if not, then for them to be foiled in every way.”

        So if Dee Dee rejecting Phil’s idea wasn’t a “vendetta” why is he claiming my rejection of his ideas are a “vendetta”. Maybe because the REAL “vendetta” originates with Phil.

        This reminds me of Rush Limbaugh saying he “hopes Obama fails”. That drove the political liberals nuts and it appears to drive the theological liberals nuts when we root against those who oppose God.

  2. Kerry says:

    I knew it. I’m not a movement, I’m a Christian. Roderick, men like you are not brothers, you are accusers. Good luck explaining your mission to Christ. Self appointed judges of other men have some real problems. I won’t waste anymore time with this site. Good luck brothers.

  3. Roderick says:

    Thanks for posting my comments Gary and for the response. I have moved closer to your reasoning on why you don’t engage hyperpreterists — they have no clear definition of their own movement (as demonstrated by Kerry), however, until recently the most basic definition was a person that advocated at least 4 things:

    1. That Jesus already came once and for all in the 1st century.
    2. That the collective resurrection of the believers is past (and often non-physical).
    3. That the collective judgment of the wicked and righteous is past.
    4. That there will be no end of sin or culmination of earthly human existence.

    Now, if ANYTHING is to be considered a “heresy”, hyperpreterism fits the definition because whether we look at pre-RC, RC, Greek/Eastern Orth, Syrian, Protest/Reformed, Anabaptist, or Modern Evangelical; ALL of these expressions of historic Christianity have been UNITED on those 4 points over and against what hyperpreterism advocates. Even Arminians, Calvinists and Dispensationalist agree with this minimal eschatology, even if they vary with details.

    So, I NOW appreciate your desire to wait it out a little longer. However, I could post quote after quote where hyperprets credit you with being their gateway. I’d just like to see you be a bit more vocal in discouraging them from that path. Lastly, as for being a “one-trick-pony” — Although that hardly fits my profile (look at my website: http://thekingdomcome.com) where I rarely discuss eschatology let alone hyperpreterism; but if in fact God called me to be a “one-trick-pony” against the heresy of hyperpreterism, it would be as much my role as it was Athanasius’ role to be a “one-trick-pony” against Arianism. Contra Mundum! :-) Thanks again Gary.

  4. Gary DeMar says:

    No, I don’t have it all nailed down, a point a made in my previous post: “There are passages that I’m still dealing with. I’ll spend my time with those.” There is nothing wrong in debating issues. It helps all of us become better students of the Bible. It is important to define terms. There’s nothing wrong with brothers in Christ engaging in critical thinking. The Bible requires it of us. Some of your comments don’t make sense to me. Maybe you’re being sarcastic. I don’t know. Sarcasm does not come off well in print.

    • Kerry says:

      Gary, sarcasm does come off good in print, but I get your point. Thanks for your response, and I do mean thanks, like I have said before, for all the hard work you and others do on this site. I have some real problems with Roderick, and he’s not the only one.

      However, the points I made are valid. Do we go back to the shadows of the real or not? That should make sense. Do we need Christ to do more “work” for us or not? Believing that we do is futurism, and I don’t need it, He’s done enough for me. Make sense. Now, in my daily walk, yes, I need Christ every day.

      And to the comment about brothers in Christ engaging in critical thinking, most of what I have received once brothers find out what I think about the end times is just plain “criticism” and name calling. You should know, you’ve been called the same. So, you’ll have to forgive me if I’m not to excited about having a pleasant debate, I haven’t seen it yet myself. I’ve been called names by former brothers that would make most men want to fight, and I won’t repeat them here.

      The last time I checked, being called “hyper” anything is considered outside, and not debate. (I know you did not use the term hyper today, but many of my so called brothers on the internet do) Being a “one-trick pony” is not critical discussion either. Having someone else define who you are, and then have them slam you isn’t fun, and it’s not brotherly. I could go base nature myself and begin slamming anyone who believes I’m a heretic, but I cut them some slack because I was brought up Dispy, and then a brief stop in the Post-mill camp. I consider myself a Full Preterist, but I define it, not you, Roderick, the Pope, Jack Van Impe, or any other person who seems to find FP’s an easy target.

      So, if you have a good definition of who I am in regards to eschatology, based on what I said I believe, I would like to hear it. I am serious. I want to know if you, or anyone else thinks I’m “hyper” or outside the faith. If what I’ve told you makes me something different than a FP, I want to know the term so I can describe myself when I talk to people like yourself, apples to apples so to speak. If I am a FP in your terminology and definition, so be it.

      I’m a Christian first, and then, as far as eschatology goes, I stated in my last post what I believe and do.
      I don’t have an axe to grind with anyone, I just don’t like the names, especially when in all probability the people using them are the ones with the problems.

      Once again, thanks. I know you are busy, keep up the good work.

    • Kerry says:

      Thanks , and take care. I’m sure you understand my post.

  5. Gary DeMar says:

    Roderick, I’ve listened to FPs for quite some time, and they tell me that it’s the Bible that was their “gateway.” In fact, JWs and Mormons say the same thing about their beliefs. So do dispensationalists. Gentry is also said to be their “gateway,” and yet Ken is vocally anti-FP. You can’t have it both ways. If you read enough of what I’ve written on the subject, I do make a distinction between partial and full preterism. My response to John MacArthur’s book ‘The Second Coming: Signs of Christ’s Return and the End of the Age’ is a perfect example. I don’t have to do this all the time since there aren’t that many FPs out there, and my goal is to move people away from dispensationalism. Yes, I did have ONE FP on my podcast, but not to talk about eschatology. I’ve also had dispensationalists on as well. I didn’t call them out because of their dispensationalism. In act, I’ve had lots of people on who I don’t agree with across the board. You’re a lot like the FPs–a one-trick pony. Your obsession with FP is ruining what little ministry you may have. Likewise, FPs are mostly one-trick ponies, and as one-trick ponies, all they care about is FP. I’m not willing to engage the FP tar baby because I will be barraged by a handful of FPs to answer this objection and that objection. To what end? Let the FPs battle among themselves, and when they come up with a unified FP paradigm, then it will be time to respond. There are passages that I’m still dealing with. I’ll spend my time with those. If God has called you to be a FP heresy hunter, then go at it.

    • Kerry says:

      Who defines who as a Full Preterist, Partial Preterist, heretic, separated brethren, apostate, false teacher, scoffer, one trick pony, anti-Christ…Just wondering, you Roderick? I’ve read your words many times Roderick, and you don’t even know me, I’m just out in internet land reading. You Gary? Do you have it nailed? I’ve seen many defectors from all kinds of denominations, so what! I’ve yet to see anyone come up with a good system of eschatology that is of any future use. What? We need Jesus to do more for us in the future? If what has been done is not enough, it never will be, and I’m glad to say it.
      Isn’t being rejected and dying for us, rising for us, giving us eternal life, and restoring us back to spiritual life and contact with God enough for you? Not enough? Maybe we need Jesus to return and kill more enemies for us, defeating death was not enough for you…Who made anyone the sheriff around here? Maybe we need a new temple and Jesus to be in charge of slaughtering the animals for us as High Priest. Go back to the shadow and not stay with what is eternal? Go ahead you heresy hunters.

      Please, define a Full Preterist for me. Please tell me who I can go to that has the best answers, because I certainly don’t want to be labeled a heretic or false teacher like I have been called in the past. Is Post-millennialism the best eschatology for me?

      Just to be clear, I believe in a past fulfillment of scripture based on the text and my own study. I still assemble with other Christians, go to and support baptisms, partake of the Lord’s Supper, and study.
      Am I a Full Preterist? Or just a brother in Christ? I can’t tell.

  6. Roderick says:

    Although it is a welcomed thing to see Gary at least diminish HYPERpreterism to some degree, but isn’t it about time Gary address WHY so many hyperpreterists credit him for being their “gateway” into hyperpreterism. Sure, Gary might claim he can be held accountable for how people “misuse” his teachings, BUT if some minister’s teachings were said to be generating tons of new Mormon converts, wouldn’t it be responsible for the minister to address it and figure out why it is happening? Gary to date, not only doesn’t “write articles denouncing Full Preterism” but Gary supports hyperpreterists by having them on his radio show, allowing them to talk about “preterism” without ever making a distinction to his audience. Gary it is time to come clean.

  7. theresa angeletti says:

    I am saddened to see Brannon’s reaction to Gary’s biblical instruction. Brannon frequently mentions the scripture “have I become your enemy because I tell you the truth?” I heard a teacher on a favorite radio show and a teacher in my own Sunday school say that a person is a heretic if they did not believe like they did about the Rapture and end times.
    I was “caught up” in the end time popular views also because it was what I grew up with at home and in my church. I felt so freed when I heard the scripture explained by Brother Demar and American Vision. I pray that our brother in Christ Brannon will grow in his understanding of God’s wonderful work accomplished already and be freed from the bondage of the “end times” that has deceived so much of the church today. I have met him and I know he loves the Lord with great zeal.
    Our enemy must enjoy sowing division in the family by twisting God’s precious clear words and causing such controversy and stumbling. Brother Gary, I thank you and your staff for your diligence and perseverance in teaching the whole counsel of God. You are in our family’s prayers.

  8. Micah Martin says:

    I am not sure? Mr. Howse must be listening to Gary a little bit. His argument for not engaging Gary is the same argument AV uses for not engaging Full Preterist! How Ironic. Somewhere I hear a pot yelling at the kettle….

    • Gary DeMar says:

      The Full Preterist crowd is small, and there are defectors every day. But there are millions of people like Brannon Howse. That's why I engage them. Then there's the problem of the nearly dozen views of Full Preterism. Further, I don't write articles denouncing Full Preterism , although there are many partial preterists who argue I should. And I certainly don't misrepresent Full Preterists. Engaging Full Preterists would end up being a big tar baby. For what? A few Full Preterists who can't agree among themselves. I don't spend much time dealing with amillennialists or even historic premils. I've only done a little with historicists and idealists. The same is true of progressive dispensationalists. I spend my time on views that are having a substantial impact, and that's dispensationalism.

  9. Gary DeMar says:

    Why don't you suggest this to Brannon. I would love to "debate" him or even sit down with him privately. I'll be "prophetic" and tell you what he will say if he even responds: "I don't want to give Gary a platform for his false views." Of course, this is "begging the question." This was also Tim LaHaye's reason for not debating. He also said that he was not a good debater. I found this surprising since he has appeared on numerous talk shows where debate is standard operating procedure.

    Let me know what Brannon says.

    • Tammy says:

      I actually wrote the same note on his website, switching names of course. Just visited his website and my comment is not posted yet.

  10. Tammy says:

    I think it would be a marvelous idea for you and Brannon to have a debate.

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