Brannon Howse of “Worldview Weekend” responded to my article “A ‘Howse’ Built on Prophetic Sand.” The title of his response article is “Howse, Markell, Hunt, Ice, Reagan, McTernan, Salhus, and Rosenberg, Are Not the Enemy or the Problem with America.” As anyone who read my original article can see, Brannon never responded to a single point I made. This is bad form for the head of a worldview ministry. It sets a bad example for the church and the world. The following is an example of how the head of a Christian worldview ministry should respond to a critical article: (1) Quote what a person writes and (2) respond to what was actually written. Simply tell the truth, even if it hurts. The following email was sent to Brannon from a supporter of Worldview Weekend and American Vision. It says it all:
I will make this short: You really need to sit down with Gary DeMar sometime and hash things out. I appreciate the work to which each of you has been called, but I am pained to have to admit that he absolutely destroyed your rebuttal to his original article, “A Howse Built on Prophetic Sand.”
None of us likes to be the point of criticism—and I have been the target of significant book content, unfairly delivered, so I feel the pain—but I hope you can take a deep breath and see that your reply was just as he characterized: full of misstatements and weak arguments designed to rally your troops, but which largely did not even come close to accurately representing his original complaint.
Brannon’s comments are in bold throughout my following response article:
A man by the name of Gary DeMar wrote an article this week attacking me. I was not going to respond because I believe he is only seeking exposure and by writing about him, I am playing into his hand. However, someone on my Facebook page wanted my response and so here goes.
The first thing you will notice about Brannon’s article that he never mentions the title of my article or links to it. I wonder why? Of course, I didn’t “attack” Brannon, and my article is not about “seeking exposure.” My article points out that the message of Worldview Weekend is schizophrenic. On the one hand Howse emphasizes a Christian worldview, and on the other hand he publishes articles that argue that the world is coming to an end very soon. The amazing thing about his response article is that he does not deal with this or any other point I made in my original article. You can see for yourself in my original article. Brannon talks about everything else but what I specifically wrote about. In fact, he does not quote one thing I wrote. I wonder if he follows the same methodology when he critiques anti-Christian worldviews. Yes, Worldview Weekend conferences do expose humanist lies (no argument here), but they also engage in unbiblical and destructive end-time speculation that will in the long run immobilize Christians. Here’s just one example of an article published on Worldview Weekend’s site written by Jan Markell:
The church is not in the business of taking anything away from Satan but the souls of men. The world is a sinking Titanic ripe for judgment, not Garden of Eden perfection. Jesus will take dominion of the cleansed earth. For men to speak of doing that before the judgment of this earth is spiritually arrogant. I encourage you to flee such false teachers.
Why bother teaching a Christian worldview since (1) our message is only about “souls” and (2) “the world is a sinking Titanic”? Why be concerned with a world that will inevitably sink in your lifetime? This is Gnosticism. For the Gnostic the material world is on a lower plane. Only “spiritual things” are useful and profitable. Francis Schaeffer dealt with type of dualism years ago. Why teach about worldview when Satan is in control of the world and Jesus won’t regain control until He reigns on earth? (You can read my response to Markell’s article here.) Brannon also mentions Thomas Ice as not being part of “the problem.” Ice also writes for the Worldview Weekend website. So how does Ice’s article on “The Late Great U.S.A.” fit into the development of a Christian worldview? Should the attendees at the Worldview Weekend conferences bother with America since it’s inevitably doomed?
Brannon can dish out criticism, but he can’t take it when some of the articles he publishes are subjected to critical analysis. It’s OK for Markell, DeWaay, and Dave Hunt to attack positions other Christians hold (dominion theology, preterism, postmillennialism), but it’s not OK for me to point out the errors and schizophrenia in articles he publishes on his site. Can anyone say “double standard”?
From what I understand, Gary DeMar thinks the rapture has already occurred and as silly as that belief is, I do not write articles attacking him, making fun of him or ridiculing him. Mr. DeMar is free to have his end time belief and he is free to attack those that disagree with him.
If you are going to hold conferences on Christian worldview and deal with opposing worldviews, it is imperative that you teach about them accurately. The worst thing you can do in this business is misrepresent your opponent. Notice that Brannon starts by stating, “From what I understand.” This is an admission that he doesn’t really know. He should have taken the time to find out. The next statement proves he doesn’t know: “Gary DeMar thinks the rapture has already occurred.” If Brannon actually read what I’ve written on the subject, he would know that I don’t teach any such thing. (On June 30, 2008 I sent him a PDF copy of one of my books that he requested, so he should know.) I’ve never argued that the “rapture” has already taken place. He next states, “I do not write articles attacking him, making fun of him or ridiculing him.” He implies that I’ve written articles attacking him, making fun of him, and ridiculing him. I haven’t. I’ve written articles critical of some of the articles he posts on his site and how those articles are contrary to the worldview message of his Worldview Weekend conferences. No, he doesn’t write articles attacking positions I and others hold. He lets his surrogates do it and then offers this disclaimer: “Worldview Weekend, Christian Worldview Network and its columnists do not necessarily endorse or agree with every opinion expressed in every article posted on this site. We do, however, encourage a healthy and friendly debate on the issues of our day.” I pointed out the following to Brannon in 2008:
Are you going to be a worldview ministry or an end-time ministry? You criticized John MacArthur about not caring about the election, and here you go dealing with end-time nonsense. You’re creating doublemindedness with your WV attendees. What are you training them for if it’s all a prophetic inevitability?
I’ve brought this subject up to you before with Jan Markell’s articles. You dismissed my criticism claiming that her views were not necessarily the views of Worldview Weekend.
If it’s an “attack” when I write articles critical of some of the articles he posts on his site, then what is it when he posts articles that attack positions other Christians hold? It was OK for him to criticize John MacArthur for his stand on politics (something I’ve done my self), but somehow the views of writers on the Worldview Weekend site are off limits.
Unfortunately, Gary has come to be known, by many of my friends, as a man that shows very little Christian love and encouragement to those of us that are preaching a solid Gospel, warning about the Emergent Church, and proclaiming Biblical evangelism.
This statement by Brannon is a classic red herring (as is his entire response). I have never been critical of anything other than his linking Christian worldview with a this-generational end-time view of prophetic events. For example, David R. Reagan, one of his worldview lecturers, speaks on “Jesus is Returning in Our Time: The Key Sign.” If the “key sign” is in place, and Jesus is returning in our time, then why spend any time addressing worldview issues since there won’t be a world to view? I have not been critical of those who are “preaching a solid Gospel, warning about the Emergent Church, and proclaiming Biblical evangelism.” Where have I ever been critical of Brannon for this? For the record, American Vision has published a six-part series of articles critical of the Emergent Church movement (see here). Brannon’s friends are upset with me because I have been critical of their teaching regarding eschatology. To Brannon’s prophecy writer friends being “unloving” means disagreeing with them and pointing out numerous interpretive errors in their arguments. So far, Brannon has not dealt with what I wrote in the article he is responding to. In fact, he never does. By the way, even if I’m unloving, it doesn’t by definition make me wrong. Another red herring.
Why would DeMar want to spend his time attacking people that do not agree with him that the rapture has already occurred or that do not see dominion theology in the Scriptures? Mr. DeMar is straining at gnats and swallowing camels. Brannon Howse, Jan Markell, John McTernan, Bill Salhus, Dave Hunt, Tom Ice, David Reagan, Joel Rosenberg, and the other individuals DeMar trashes are neither the enemy nor the problem with America or the American church.
To repeat, I’ve never taught that “the rapture has already occurred.” But back to his claim: “Why would DeMar want to spend his time attacking people that do not agree with him that the rapture has already occurred or that do not see dominion theology in the Scriptures?” I can ask a similar question: “Why does Brannon Howse post articles on his website that attack preterism and “dominion theology?” I suspect that those who write for him believe that the topics are important. Are they “straining at gnats and swallowing camels” when they do it? I’m sure they don’t think they are, and Brannon mustn’t think so since he publishes their articles. So it’s OK for them to address the topic in a critical way, but it’s unloving for me to do it? Prophecy is important. That’s why I write on the topic. It’s has societal consequences as I pointed out in my original article “A ‘Howse’ Built on Prophetic Sand,” the article that Brannon claimed he was responding to by ignored everything in the article. Eschatology is fundamental to a Christian worldview. It affects the way the future is viewed and life is lived in the present. At this point in his “response,” he continues to ignore my argument. Anyone reading his response would get the idea that I’ve said a whole lot of nasty things about Brannon, that I believe the “rapture” has already taken place, and I’m against “preaching a solid Gospel.”
DeMar would do well to spend more time equipping people to recognize and oppose those that are preaching a false gospel and a false Jesus and spend less time attack those of us that are laboring in the fields. I have not seen DeMar at one of our conferences in years so he has no clue what we present to adults or students despite his claim.
Now Brannon’s getting personal as well as throwing out another red herring. What does he think American Vision has been doing for more than 30 years? We’ve taken on the humanists, secularists, abortionists, homosexual lobby, and numerous others through radio, conferences, books, articles, and debates. Check out the thousands of articles posted on American Vision’s website. There are hundreds of back issues of The Biblical Worldview Magazine that include even more, not to mention the dozens of books we’ve published and hundreds of other titles of other authors we carry. As Brannon intimates, I’ve spoken at two of his Worldview Weekend conferences. He used to sell my three-volume God and Government series at his conferences. American Vision has been laboring in the worldview fields for a long time. American Vision is one of the original “Worldview Ministries.” I wrote a book on the subject of Christian worldview: Thinking Straight in a Crooked World: A Christian Defense Manual.
It’s not the stated purpose of his conferences that I’ve criticized. It’s the posting of end-time speculative articles that dilute his worldview message that I’ve been critical of. If the above named speakers continue to teach a defeatist and unbiblical view of prophecy then of course they are a problem. Adding a disclaimer that “Christian Worldview Network and its columnists do not necessarily endorse or agree with every opinion expressed in every article posted on this site” is a copout.
We had dozens of young people at our Worldview Weekend Rally this past Sunday night. In fact, the entire front row was filled with teenagers. The message I gave to them was to be aware of false teachers. I also spoke on the philosophies contending for hearts and minds. We looked at over 25 passages of Scripture. Does DeMar have a problem with that?
Good for him, but that’s not what my article was about. Brannon knows that I “don’t have a problem with that.” Again, another red herring. Maybe he needs to have someone teach a course on logical fallacies at his Worldview Weekend conferences. American Vision has published a very good book on the subject. It’s called Biblical Logic in Theory and Practice. The section on “red herrings” begins on page 332. American Vision sponsors a number of worldview conferences each year, and I am invited to speak at several conferences sponsored by other ministries. Brannon is attempting to divert the attention of his readers away from the one thing I am critical of, the coupling of Worldview material with end-time speculative eschatology. By the way, American Vision also deals with “false teachers,”
that is, false prophecy teachers. We published The Day and the Hour: Christianity’s Perennial Fascination with Predicting the End of the World. How many times have Christians been duped into believing that Jesus was returning “soon,” specifically, in their lifetime?
I challenged both adults and students to keep the faith and proclaim the faith as 72% of students that are between the ages 18 to 29, now call themselves spiritual but not religious. According to the Denver Post, June 2008, pagan spirituality is doubling in America every 18 months. Mr. DeMar is offended that I am warning the church about this and equipping students and adults to respond for the sake of their family and friends that are being spiritually deceived?
Once again Brannon diverts attention from the specific reason for my criticism. I’m not “offended that [he is] warning the church about this and equipping students and adults to respond for the sake of their family and friends that are being spiritually deceived.” My concern, to repeat, is that Brannon claims to teach on Christian worldview while denying that articles that argue that “Jesus is returning in our time” and “the church is not in the business of taking anything away from Satan but the souls of men” has no impact on young minds. It’s schizophrenic.
Mr. DeMar thinks my focus on the rise of false teaching makes my message one of doom and gloom? I guess Mr. DeMar would have to say that of Jesus as well since Jesus spoke about false teachers in Matthew 7 and Matthew 24.
Brannon, it’s not your “focus on the rise of false teaching [that] makes [your] message one of doom and gloom,” it’s the speakers who insist that the rise of false teaching is a certain sign that Jesus is coming back soon, and if He’s coming back soon to “rapture” the church, then why bother with all this worldview stuff. For the record, Jesus didn’t say anything about “false teachers” in Matthew 7, although He and others certainly had them in mind. He did mention “false prophets” (Matt. 7:15). Peter mentions “false prophets” and “false teachers” (2 Pet. 2:1). There is no mention of “false teachers” in Matthew 24. Once again, it’s “false prophets” (24:11), who, according to John, had already “gone out into the world” in his day (1 John 4:1). Yes, the Bible does mention a lot of false teaching and false teachers. I think it’s great that speakers at Worldview Weekend conferences and those who write for Brannon’s site expose “false teachers.” Why would I object? I haven’t objected. I object to Brannon’s obfuscation by diverting his readers away from the point of my article: Worldview Weekend is schizophrenic in that it combines Christian worldview teaching with end-time prophecy claims like these: “666 surveillance system,” the inevitability of the “world on the verge of being divided into 10 regions” whose “10 world leaders will give their power and authority to the anti-christ,”1 the “blessed hope” is around the corner, and so many more.
The most loving and hopeful thing we can do is to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to encourage adults and students to do the same. Whether the rapture occurs next year or 100 years from now; the calling is the same-preach the Gospel in season and out of season and contend for the faith.
The only disagreement I would have is with the idea of a “rapture” that could be 100 years in the future. Those who are teaching on end-time events at Brannon’s worldview conferences do not have 100 years in view, and that’s the problem.
Despite Mr. DeMar’s claim, I spend very little time talking about the rapture. In fact, I have made it clear that I believe the church in America may have to go through some very deep waters, as have our Christian brothers and sisters in China, and that we cannot count on the rapture to occur before we go through some very difficult days.
Brannon, your site is filled with articles on the topic. I’ve already listed some of them in this article. There are many more. Your site’s “disclaimer” is no remedy. If Christians can’t count on a rapture, then quit talking about it! Quit having speakers and writers fill your site with talks and articles about how we are living in the last days.
Why does it make Mr. DeMar so angry that I believe we are living in the last days and that the deception by false teachers that Jesus Himself spoke of as a sign of the last days can be clearly seen? Anyone with Biblical discernment knows this to be true.
So you do believe we are living in the last days. There were false teachers and false prophets in Jesus’ day (1 John 4:1) and before Jesus’ day (2 Peter 2:1). There have always been false teachers, false teachings, and false prophets, so how can they be a sign of the last days as this idea is generally understood? The “false prophets” that Jesus describes in Matthew 24 (vv. 11 and 24) were part of a series of signs preceding the destruction of the temple that took place before “this generation” passed away (Matt. 24:34). The Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24. Mark 13; Luke 21) is not about some future “last days” followed by a “rapture” of the church. Brannon needs to read more on this subject if he’s going to put on worldview conferences. One has to wonder how accurate his analyses of contrary worldviews are at his conferences when there are so many uninformed statements in his response article to my original article.
Perhaps Mr. DeMar should read the signs given by Jesus-such as those that scoff at the idea of the last days and the eventual rapture.
It’s taken this long for Brannon to make my point. His emphasis is on the “rapture” and the last days. I don’t “scoff at the idea of the last days and the eventual rapture.” First, there is not a single verse in the Bible that says anything about the church being taken off the earth (the “rapture”) prior to or just after a seven-year tribulation period. If Brannon or any of his prophecy writers can prove otherwise, I will retract my criticism of the “rapture.” It’s obvious that Brannon does not know much about the topic of Bible prophecy. Here’s what Tim LaHaye has to say on the subject:
One objection to the pre-Tribulation Rapture is that not one passage of Scripture teaches the two aspects of His Second Coming separated by the Tribulation. This is true. But then, no one passage teaches a post-trib or mid-trib Rapture, either.2
No single verse specifically states, “Christ will come before the Tribulation.” On the other hand, no single passage teaches He will not come before the Tribulation, or that He will come in the middle or at the end of the Tribulation. Any such explicit declaration would end the debate immediately.3
So when I object to the “rapture,” it’s only because there are no verses that teach it. It’s a nineteenth-century invention. To scoff at the General Resurrection, now that’s a different story. But the “rapture” and the General Resurrection are not the same thing. The burden of proof is on Brannon and/or his speakers/writers to prove the exegetical case for a “rapture” and that we are at this present moment living in the last days. The last days were operating in the first century. The phrase referred to the last days of the old covenant: “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world” (Heb. 1:1–2) and “but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (9:26). Note that they are “these last days”; not some distant period in the future prior to a so-called “rapture” of the church. Paul writes, “Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Cor. 10:11). Brannon should do some reading on the subject of eschatology beyond his comfort zone so he can make an informed argument. He might want to begin with Last Days Madness or Is Jesus Coming Soon?
Mr. DeMar says I need to decide whether I am in the rapture rescue business or dominion business. The fact that Mr. DeMar does not know what my clearly stated and daily proclaimed objective and calling in life is reveals he does not listen to my program and that he has not read my most recent book Grave Influence. Yet, he thinks himself qualified to trash me because I do not want to work for a theocratic government that has dominion over America and the world? Good luck Gary, you keep working at that dominion thing, I however am going to work on fulfilling the Great Commission by making disciples that defend and proclaim Biblical truth whether America turns back to God or whether God judges America. That is a winning and Biblical strategy despite Mr. DeMar’s opinion.
I read the articles that are posted on his site. What more can I do? He wants me to read his book Grave Influence. Maybe I will. But given what I’ve read in his rebuttal article to my article, I don’t know if I can trust what he says. He sure hasn’t represented my beliefs accurately. The topic of Grave Influence has been done before. Paul Johnson’s Intellectuals, Dave Breese’s Seven Men Who Rule the World from the Grave, Benjamin Wiker’s 10 Books that Screwed Up the World and 5 Others that Didn’t Help, D. Bruce Lockerbie’s Dismissing God: Modern Writers’ Struggle Against Religion, and John P. Koster’s The Atheist Syndrome come to mind. These are all good and helpful books. Now that we’ve identified the problem, what do we do? He claims he’s “making disciples.” To do what? He doesn’t like “dominion” (another topic misrepresented by him). But like Obama who left “Creator” out of his Declaration of Independence citation, Howse leaves out “disciple the nations” out of his Great Commission reference. So after the disciples he makes “defend and proclaim Biblical truth,” then what? What’s the offensive strategy? Let’s assume America repents. Then what? Are Christians always on defense? Brannon, how will you know when America repents? Because Americans say they’ve repented? True repentance is submission to Jesus Christ and His authority and all that He commands (Matt. 28:18–20). Jesus was describing “dominion.” You must believe in some form of “dominion” or you wouldn’t be putting on these conferences. So what is your plan? What are you telling these young people to do? How much time do they have to do it? Some of your speakers and writers are telling they don’t have much time, and even if they do have time, “the world is a sinking Titanic.” It’s not just the “Late Great U.S.A.,” we’re back to Hal Lindsey’s 1970 blockbuster The Late Great Planet Earth. Chicken Little is back in the roost.
My main goal is to prepare all Christians to be leaders of the remnant so that they can equip, encourage, and add to the Bride of Christ even in the face of growing persecution. Even Mr. DeMar would have to admit the persecution of Christians in America and around the world is getting much worse and spiritual deception is greatly increasing.
What will these leaders do? Continue to talk about how bad things are? What will they do to change things? Are we just about stopping persecution? Defense is good, but it doesn’t win a culture back. Is it possible that one of the reasons Christians are being persecuted is that for decades they have followed what Jan Markell believes? It was a “defense-only” posture that led to the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazism, and a two-kingdom approach to theology and Christian worldview.
I wonder if Mr. DeMar would have been writing articles against Dietrich Bonheoffer and Martin Niemoller for starting the Confessing Church in Germany if he were alive then. It is very sad, and someone suspect, that Mr. DeMar wants to degrade me because I simply want to warn the church about spiritual deception and train, equip, and encourage students and adults to do the same. No true Christian should criticize another Christian for wanting to challenge and equip God’s people to stand firm for Biblical truth in the face of growing apostasy and persecution.
To even intimate that I “would have been writing articles against Dietrich Bonheoffer and Martin Niemoller for starting the Confessing Church in Germany if” I had been alive then is an insult. Brannon is either ignorant of my body of work or he’s being purposefully dishonest in order to hide from his audience that my articles have hit their mark. My book Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths: How Misreading the Bible Neutralizes Christians and Empowers Liberals, Secularists, and Atheists is a theological and historical study of the many arguments Christians conjure up to justify their worldview and cultural “neutrality.” Yes, there’s even a section on Martin Niemoller. Brannon should take a look at it some time. I have an extensive discussion of Martin Niemoller in my book Whoever Controls the Schools Rules the World.
First, I never “degraded” Brannon. I disagreed with the posting of some badly argued articles, especially the one by Dave Hunt that was originally published in 1987 and has been thoroughly refuted by me and others. See the book The Reduction of Christianity. Second, I’ve never criticized Brannon for wanting “to warn the church about spiritual deception and train, equip, and encourage students and adults to do the same.” Here is my sole criticism of Worldview Weekend in case you’ve missed it: It links teaching Christian worldview with an end-time eschatology that argues that we are on the edge of prophetic history. As David Reagan puts it: “Jesus is Returning in Our Time.” Not 100 years from now, but in “our time.” Brannon needs to read the works of Niemoller and Bonhoeffer. He will notice that neither of them brought into their discussion talk about an imminent prophetic end. Bonhoeffer especially had a “strong aversion to Christian dualism. . . . [He] denied ‘two sphere thinking’ in the context of his own eschatological position on the present situation.”4 Another writer remarks, “Bonhoeffer was not an otherworldly person. If he were, he would not have been accused by the Nazis of being part of the resistance movement.”5
It would do Brannon well to take a look at Dwight Wilson’s book Armageddon Now! And the effect eschatology had on how the rise of Hitler. Prophecy writers advocated a “hands off” policy regarding Nazi persecutions of the Jews. Since, according to their prophetic position, “the Gentile nations are permitted to afflict Israel in chastisement for her national sins,” there is little that should be done to oppose it.6 Wilson writes that “It is regrettable that this view allowed premillennialists to expect the phenomenon of ‘anti-Semitism’ and tolerate it matter-of-factly.”7 Of course, I am not accusing Brannon or his worldview speakers of holding such a position. My point is to show that eschatology matters.
Wilson describes “premillenarian views” opposing “anti-Semitism” in the mid-thirties and thereafter as “ambivalent.”8 There was little moral outcry “among the premillenarians . . . against the persecution, since they had been expecting it.”9 He continues:
Another comment regarding the general European anti-Semitism depicted these developments as part of the on-going plan of God for the nation; they were “Foregleams of Israel’s Tribulation.” Premillennialists were anticipating the Great Tribulation, “the time of Jacob’s trouble.” Therefore, they predicted, “The next scene in Israel’s history may be summed up in three words: purification through tribulation.” It was clear that although this purification was part of the curse, God did not intend that Christians should participate in it. Clear, also, was the implication that He did intend for the Germans to participate in it (in spite of the fact that it would bring them punishment)—and that any moral outcry against Germany would have been in opposition to God’s will. In such a fatalistic system, to oppose Hitler was to oppose God.10
Wilson maintains that it was the dispensational (premillennial) view of a predicted Jewish persecution prior to the Second Coming that led to a “hands off” policy when it came to speaking out against virulent “anti-Semitism.” “For the premillenarian, the massacre of Jewry expedited his blessed hope. Certainly he did not rejoice over the Nazi holocaust, he just fatalistically observed it as a ‘sign of the times.’”11 Prophecy matters.
Mr. DeMar’s organization is called American Vision; I think that says it all don’t you? The problem with most American Christians today is they have an Americanized Christianity and not a Biblical Christianity. I highly doubt the millions of persecuted Christians in China today are interested in our American view of Christianity and I am certain most of them have the hope and longing of the soon return of Jesus Christ. Persecution has a way of causing true Christians to long for heaven. After all Mr. DeMar, the book of First John says that having an eagerness and yearning for the return of the Lord is one of the signs of a true convert.
For the record, I inherited American Vision. It would not have been my choice of a name had I started the company. I would have preferred World Vision, but it was already taken. Having said this, equating a name of an organization with a worldview methodology is outlandish and one of the worst arguments I’ve ever encountered. Brannon should be ashamed of himself. He would be laughed off the stage in a debate if he pulled this type of argument. That’s like saying James Dobson’s organization Focus on the Family has the wrong focus. The focus should be on God. American Vision started out dealing with America’s Christianity, thus, the name. We expanded our efforts to include issues related to a Christian worldview when I was hired in 1981. If Brannon is so concerned about an American view of Christianity, then why does he have David Barton speak for him? His ministry seems to be all about America. Why did Brannon have me speak at one of his conferences on the topic of America’s Christian history if he is so against “an Americanized Christianity”? I’m not sure what verse Brannon is referring to in “First John.” He may have in mind Philippians 3:20 and 1 Corinthians 1:7. Brannon, the question is, “What are you training these young people to do in the meantime?” John actually states that for him and his time it was “the last hour.” “[E]ven now many antichrists have arisen; from this we know it is the last hour” (1 John 2:18). What the New Testament writers were dealing with was the passing away of the old covenant era. The coming referred to in many NT passages (see Matt. 24) refer to Jesus coming in judgment against Jerusalem, an event that took place in A.D. 70. This is what they were eagerly awaiting because it meant that they would be free from the encumbrances of the old covenant. This is why the writer to the Hebrews could say with confidence, “When He said, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is near to disappear” (Heb. 8:13). Near for whom? Near for those in the first century. If you had taken the time to read what I actually believe on the topic of prophecy, you would not make so many uninformed accusations.
Let me bring this to an end. My only criticism of Brannon’s Worldview Weekend is that it addresses worldview issues in a schizophrenic way. It’s preoccupation with end-time speculation of the worst kind creates double mindedness. “If Jesus is coming back in my lifetime, then why bother with this world?”
Next time Brannon, tell the truth.
- Dispensationalists used to teach that it would be ten nations. When more than ten nations entered the EU, the interpretation was changed to “10 regions.” [↩]
- Tim LaHaye, No Fear of the Storm: Why Christians Will Escape All the Tribulation (Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 1992), 69. This book was later republished as Rapture Under Attack. [↩]
- LaHaye, No Fear of the Storm, 188. [↩]
- Daniel Tutt, “Bonhoeffer and Living for Others.” [↩]
- Hans Schwarz, Eschatology (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2000), 1. [↩]
- Dwight Wilson, Armageddon Now!: The Premillenarian Response to Russia and Israel Since 1917 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1977), Reprinted by the Institute for Christian Economics in 1991 with an updated foreword by the author. [↩]
- Wilson, Armageddon Now!, 16. [↩]
- Wilson, Armageddon Now!, 94. [↩]
- Wilson, Armageddon Now!, 94. [↩]
- Wilson, Armageddon Now!, 94. Emphasis added. [↩]
- Wilson, Armageddon Now!, 95. [↩]