1 Kings 18 records a conversation between the great prophet Elijah, and Obadiah, the steward over the house of King Ahab. Despite his close association with the evil king, scripture describes Obadiah as a man who “feared the Lord greatly” (18:3).
Elijah gave Obadiah instructions to set up a meeting between him and the king. The two were mortal enemies, and Ahab had been searching for him ever since Elijah had instigated a drought in the land in response to Ahab’s evil practices. As Obadiah told him, “As the Lord your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom where my master has not sent someone to hunt for you; and when they said, ‘He is not here,”’ he took an oath from the kingdom or nation that they could not find you” (18:10). Elijah was now ready to reveal himself to the king, and recruited Obadiah to set up the meeting.
A number of lessons can be learned by becoming familiar with these two men, and examining the conversation they had on that eventful day.
Continue reading » Lessons to Learn from Elijah and Obadiah
Which Way: Academic Freedom or Biblical Accuracy?
There is a sure and certain conflict of interest between academic freedom and Biblical accuracy. Those who endorse academic freedom insist on the right of every position on any issue to have equal weight. Those who believe the Bible to be the inspired and inerrant word of God endorse only “the faith” (Jude 3) which is inspired by the Holy Spirit (John 16:13). When conflicts arise between so-called “science” and Biblical accuracy, Christians cannot endorse total academic freedom.
Continue reading » Associate Editorial: Florida College at the Crossroads
In a final handout to the preachers and other invited guests assembled at Florida College this summer, brother Phil Roberts, under the heading Do You Accept the Literal Sense?, persisted in his argument against believing the Genesis account of creation is to be taken literally. Regarding Genesis 1:7 and Joshua 10:12-13, he wrote, "What would a person who knew nothing about modern astronomy assume that the passages were saying? What is the "plain sense" of the passages? Would somebody who rejected the "plain sense" in favor of an interpretation adjusted to fit modern knowledge of astronomy be a false teacher?"
Continue reading » The Plain Sense of Scripture
In the next section of brother Robert’s response to my own article and the writings of brethren who maintain a literal approach to the creation week (six consecutive 24 hour days), he derides simple and straightforward principles of biblical hermeneutics. To begin with, he questions our usage of terminology such as "the normal sense of the word ‘day’." Surely he does not imply by this that words do not have what we might describe as a "normal sense"? Such talk as this reminds us of the double-talk which we so commonly hear from the modernist and liberal who does every sort of dance around the ordinary and accepted meaning of words in order to avoid what common sense would suggest is the "normal sense" of the words employed by the inspired writers of Scripture. We have become accustomed to these word-games from them, but it will take us a while to acclimate ourselves to this new hermeneutic which is presently making itself felt among our brethren. Most pronouncements which we make in our language are not subject to interpretation. They simply say what they say. It is only the occasional remark which is subject to interpretive methods, because of certain contextual features which require a second look.
Continue reading » Phil Roberts’ View of "Days"
How Many Extra Generations Needed?
The second presentation handout about which I would like to comment is a page entitled How Many Extra Generations Needed/Allowed by King’s Methodology? It begins with a relative date of 1700 BC which he claims is the "approximate date of Abraham give(n) (sic) by King." More than once in his material Phil misrepresents me on this point. He takes off from the relative date which was cited in my article: "The approximate dates for the life of Abraham obtained from the biblical data and archaeology are 2000 to 1700 BC" (p. 1). He knows that liberal critics date the life of Abraham at 1700 or thereafter, since they offer the Nuzi and Mari material cultures and their documentary evidence as establishing a late date for the patriarchal age. Phil is well enough in tune with that argument to know that I do not accept the late date for the age of the patriarchal period. Many archaeologists do, however, opt for this later time slot. That is why I mentioned it in the article — not because I accept it. Note that in our earlier quotation from Hill’s handout, Hill himself mentions a date as late as 1800 BC!
Continue reading » Speculation Gone to Seed
We shall begin our treatment of these matters with a word about our earlier article: Let it be understood that we stand by what we wrote, and are happy to offer comment upon the criticisms of others as to the soundness of our essay. Our detractors make it sound as if they wish to maintain the sacred text against the speculations of one who compromises it with observations from history and archaeology. Nothing could be further from the truth. And it assuredly sounds as if the “pot is calling the kettle black” when we read such allegations flowing from the pen of someone who is defending Hill Roberts’ views as more inherently biblical than our own! Believe it who may! No one among conservative brethren in the past half century, in my experience at least, has represented an agent of change on such matters related to science and the Bible any more than brother Hill Roberts. And his brother Phil is now publicly casting his lot with him.
Continue reading » The Biblical Chronology
In the April, 1999 issue of Watchman Magazine, this writer penned an article on The Primeval Chronology wherein we reviewed an essay under the same title by Dr. William Henry Green of Princeton University, which appeared originally in the journal Bibliotheca Sacra in April of 1890 (more recently reprinted in Classical Evangelical Essays in OT Interpretation, edited by Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Baker: 1980). The general topic of discussion was the question of what the age of the earth actually might be, especially in relation to Archbishop Ussher’s date of 4004 BC (or his alternative date of 4138 BC). We asked, “What is the foundation of a chronology of this sort? It is the assertion that the chronologies of Genesis 5 and 11 do not allow more than a few thousand years from Adam to Abraham” (p. 1).
This being the assumption which underlies Ussher’s date, in that brief article we set out to discuss the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11 under the guidance of Green’s helpful dissertation. At the time the material was not viewed as particularly controversial or even important, because most everyone assumed that the points made in it were fairly simple and non-threatening, and especially so since everyone seemed to agree on that which was the basic thrust of the material. Certainly, no one raised public objection to that article at the time. And I received no correspondence taking issue with that study. This is so, I believe, because in my experience as a preacher and teacher of the Word, I have yet to encounter anyone who seriously entertains the propriety of Archbishop Ussher‘s chronology. This does not mean that they do not exist, it just means I have not run into them yet. I am sure they are out there! But they are rare, of that I am certain from my own experience.
Continue reading » The Seminar at Florida College
The obligation to correct a brother who is entangled in sin is clearly revealed in scripture. In Galatians 6:1-2, Paul wrote, “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
This call to correct or restore the one caught in sin is in fulfillment of our responsibilities under Christ’s law. This law can be encapsulated in the command to love. If I truly love my brother, when I see his soul in jeopardy I will seek to warn and correct him.
James revealed the value of such correction while instructing brethren in this responsibility. He wrote, “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20). Surely all agree that “save (-ing) a soul from death and cover (-ing) a multitude of sins” is a laudable and important work. Continue reading » Editorial: The Bible and Academia
As one of the signatories of the Open Letter, brother Ron Lloyd received a form letter response from brother Colly Caldwell, president of Florida College, that was dated June 30, 2000. Both the Open Letter and brother Caldwell’s response have been widely circulated, in this journal, and elsewhere. On the 23rd of July, brother Lloyd responded to brother Caldwell in a private letter. Several months have elapsed since Ron mailed his letter to FC, but to my knowledge, no response has been forthcoming.Sadly, brother Ron Lloyd passed away on September 11, 2000. Before his death, Ron shared a copy of this letter with me. Now, his wife, Lolita, has given me permission to share it with others.
Brother Lloyd’s letter to brother Caldwell was well-written, to the point, and deserving of wide circulation. It manifested a good and honorable disposition throughout. If heeded, it should cause the recipient to seriously reflect upon the direction in which the institution over which he presides is headed. Whether it, or other letters like it, will receive proper consideration is something that only time will tell. Unfortunately, early signals from Tampa have not thus far been encouraging. Continue reading » Ron Lloyd’s Letter to Colley Caldwell
A Review of Ferrell Jenkins’ Lecture at Florida College, February 8, 2000
Brother Ferrell Jenkins gave the above lecture in the Puckett auditorium as part of this year’s lecture series. This writer was in attendance to hear this lecture. Later that same evening, I had the opportunity to talk with Ferrell about it, differing with some of the things he had said. When the lecture was later transcribed I wrote an informal review of it which was circulated via e-mail. This review led to a brief exchange of posts with brother Jenkins via e-mail. In all of my dealings with Ferrell, Ferrell has been kind and I certainly have no axe to grind with him personally. It is simply a case of his speech deserving a more formal review because of its implications on matters troubling brethren today.
Because of Watchman Magazine’s format a more in depth review is possible. In spite of this, all of brother Jenkins’ speech is not included in this article. A copy of his speech, in PDF form, can be accessed by visiting Ferrell Jenkin’s web site, www.bibleworld.com. Clicking this link will take you away from Watchman. Use your back button to return to this page. Continue reading » “Making Sense of the Days of Creation”
Editor’s Note: This article is a response to Bill Robinson’s article which appears elsewhere in this issue. To read Bill Robinson’s article, click here.
As a teenager, Bill Robinson, Jr. was baptized during a gospel meeting I conducted in California. His father and I were good friends and I had no one on whom I could depend any more than Bill Robinson, Sr. I encouraged Bill, Jr. when he decided to preach and continued with help and encouragement long afterward. I was supposed to have performed his wedding ceremony when he got married but was too ill to travel at the time. I have felt a special warmth for him and his family through the years and have been a good friend to them. Because of this close association in the past, I am especially disappointed with his article. I took it as a personal insult, publicly proclaimed. He accuses me and the other signatories of the most heinous crime, that of being a party with premeditated intent on dividing the church as well as being a group of creed makers forcing our will on the church! Continue reading » Response to “The 29th Question and Beyond…” (Barnett)
Editor’s Note: This article by Bill Robinson, Jr., is reviewed elsewhere in this issue by Maurice Barnett. You are encouraged to read both articles.
An “Open Letter” has been circulated about the alleged consequences of what some have taught regarding Genesis One, especially at Florida College. I am not an alumnus of the school even though I have managed to preach the gospel for the past 27 years (tongue firmly planted in cheek). Furthermore, I am not an apologist for those named in the “Open Letter” or the college – its merits or demerits must be evaluated by each individual. What those accused have written in their defense has not only been articulated extremely well but it has been presented in an obvious spirit of “sweet reasonableness” (Phil. 4:5). For the record, I am personally acquainted with all of those named in the “Open Letter,” with the exception of one, and count them as friends. Florida College is a human institution. Thus it exists apart from the church (universal and/or local) and from any other institution. The 50+ signers of the “Open Letter” are acting as if Florida College is amenable to the church when it is not even supported, much less promoted as part of the work of the church. If brethren ever become like the very thing they oppose then the “Open Letter” is a classic example of it. The very nature of the letter is an attempt to determine the boundaries of fellowship for Florida College as if there were boundaries of fellowship to be imposed on Florida College. Continue reading » The 29th Question and Beyond…
Editor’s Note: This article by Dan King is a review of Hill Roberts article appearing elsewhere in this issue. We encourage you to read both articles.
In spite of the fact that brother Hill Roberts has declared repeatedly that he will not discuss these matters with those of us who wrote and signed the Open Letter, he has recently posted another response on his web site to what has been written regarding his positions, and by this writer in particular. It appears that he will discuss them, but only on his terms, when and where he determines. Since we could not get him openly to debate these issues, we are happy to receive this response and have another opportunity to, in this limited sense at least, answer his quibbles and reply to the additional points he has made.
Hill divides his response into five sections and offers comments on these five separate topics. Since these are the only points he wishes to address at this time, we shall limit ourselves to the same five areas of discussion. At the end, we shall add a few concluding thoughts and questions regarding this controversy and Florida College. Continue reading » Reply to Hill Roberts’ “Floods, Science and Religion…” (King)
Floods, Science and Religion, Kinds, Evening and Morning – Sustained
(c) 2000, Hill Roberts, Permission granted to publish whole and without alteration
Editor’s Note: This article by Hill Roberts continues the discussion generated by the Open Letter found elsewhere in this issue. You can find other articles written by Hill Roberts and those who have reviewed him and his teaching. In this issue, brother Daniel H. King, Sr. reviews this article.
A. Concerning the Flood:
I believe in a worldwide flood. I believe it was global. However, for physical reasons, I do not expect to find any global deposits in evidence of the global flood of Noah. There has been misunderstanding of this. In a recent public virtual-forum I wrote: Continue reading » Floods, Science and Religion, Kinds, Evening and Morning…
It is clear that an effort is underway to characterize the Open Letter as a “creed” written by a “council” of preachers who seek to direct churches. Though it is a diversionary matter, a refutation of the charge is in order. Before proceeding to consideration of the charge, however, I would like to make a few preliminary observations.
A good brother recently wrote to me saying such had been “brought to his attention.” Several discussion lists have been sent to me where such charges have been made. An anonymous post containing unclean language made the charge to the editor of Watchman Magazine. A co-editor of one paper has made this charge. In his response to the Open Letter, which was never sent to this writer, Shane Scott makes the same charge. Brother Ferrell Jenkins has readily allowed his website to be used in spreading this charge. Yet, my young brother’s post is the first time someone has made the charge to me. The fact that Dan King and I wrote the Open Letter is well known, having been pointed out in print several times. Why do the ones charging such not address those charged? Better yet, why not seek to discuss the situation to see if agreement could be reached before making such a charge? Is this an example of the higher ethical standard to which they are calling us? Or are they exempt from the standards they seek to impose on others? Continue reading » Open Letter: Creed, Council, or Expression of Concern?
(Editor’s Note: This article is a review of the response Hill Roberts gave to the Open Letter. You may, for context, wish to read Roberts’ article first.)
It is comforting to note that brother Hill Roberts has finally “come out of the closet” to respond to our Open Letter. Up until now his silence has been deafening, and this is especially noteworthy since his writings and teachings are the major reason for the present controversy. However, it is sad that he has come out of hiding only momentarily. He informs us that it is true that he will not debate the issues regarding his views on Genesis 1– “sort of.” He says that he will debate the issue with those “demonstrating a spirit in accord with 1 Peter 3:15,” but “brothers who introduce themselves to me with the verbal equivalent of ‘Put ’em up’ will be disappointed.” We will let the reader decide for himself as to the spirit of the Open Letter and that of those who composed it. With respect to attitude, though, it is clear that brother Roberts has his own problems to deal with.
The Fools Who Wrote and Signed the Letter
As brother Roberts admits in his response, the two of us have never met, and I personally have no axe to grind with him nor reason to have any ill feelings toward him whatsoever. In spite of some of his very personal insults toward us, I still do not. I have known his parents for better than 30 years and love and admire them greatly. His brother Phil has been a colleague and friend for 25 years or more. He has obviously sprung from a wonderful Christian family. But that does not remove the taint which attaches to the doctrinal positions which he himself espouses. Those of us who signed the letter are sorry that he has not seen fit openly to discuss these matters. We have no desire to misrepresent or malign brother Roberts, but a man’s public writings and teachings are certainly subject to public review, and that is primarily what we had hoped that we could accomplish. We are sorry that he has seen fit to react by calling us all fools repeatedly in his response. Perhaps brother Roberts ought to pay some heed to the words of Christ on this subject, “Whosoever shall say, ‘Thou fool,’ shall be in danger of hell fire” (Matt. 5:22). Continue reading » Hill Robert’s Response To Our Open Letter (King)
Response by Hill Roberts To The Open Letter of King, et al.
— Final Version —
“Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Lest you also be like him.” Proverbs 26:4
(Editor’s Note: Brother Daniel H. King, Sr. reviews this article in his article entitled “A Review of Hill Roberts’ Response To Our Open Letter”. After reading this article, please read brother King’s response.)
Heeding good advice, ordinarily I would not respond to such a letter. Such attacks bring me no harm. However, because I am being used as a means by which to attack and attempt to bring real harm on others, I must now respond. I offer these blunt comments in hopes of exposing and defeating this weak and ungodly attack on Florida College staff and other godly men who are busy preaching the Word.
“Answer a fool as his folly deserves, Lest he be wise in his own eyes.” Proverbs 26:5 Continue reading » Response by Hill Roberts to the Open Letter
Friday, August 4, 2000 Watchman Readers,On Wednesday, July 12, 2000, I mailed the following letter to brother Ferrell Jenkins. Thus far, I have received no answer. In his public response to the Open Letter, brother Jenkins said that the signatories of the same who have written privately to him should not expect any sort of personal reply. “Brethren, you know that we don’t have time to engage each of you in a personal correspondence,” he said. “Don’t expect it.”
Beyond his public response to the Open Letter, entitled, “The Creation Controversy and Florida College,” available for viewing at BIBLEWORLD.COM, it appears that no further dialog will be forthcoming. On a variety of levels, this response was extremely disappointing. Instead of addressing the genuine concerns of many faithful brethren regarding current compromises on the days of creation, brother Jenkins’ reaction was both combative and evasive. It raises more questions than answers. Continue reading » A Public Letter to Ferrell Jenkins (Mayberry)
Where Does Brother Jenkins Stand?
(Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted from the Gospel Anchor web site, with permission. It is a response to the article written by Ferrell Jenkins, entitled: “Connie W. Adams, Shane Scott, Tim Haile, Miracles, Truth Magazine and the CD.” The reader is encouraged to read that article in connection with this one.)
Brother Jenkins has had several great opportunities to clear the air and tell us exactly
where he stands on this issue. Instead, he is continuously shifting the issue
to something that it is not. I find the course of this controversy very interesting considering the fact that my original concerns were not over brother Jenkins’ views
at all! I was concerned about those of Hill Roberts and Shane Scott. Whether he intended this or not, brother Jenkins’ actions have done nothing but shift attention away from the teachings of Roberts and Scott and focused it on other things. It appears as though Jenkins has thrown himself on the
in an effort to spare these men. This course of action may have succeeded in drawing fire away from Roberts and Scott, but it has also weakened brother Jenkins’ own position. It has caused him to use questionable methods and arguments. It only creates confusion. Continue reading » Response to Ferrell Jenkins (Haile)
Observations on the Article by Brother Ferrell Jenkins
entitled, “Connie W. Adams, Shane Scott, Tim Haile, Miracles, Truth Magazine, and the CD”
(Editor’s Note: This article is a review of Ferrell Jenkins’ article, noted in the title. You may, for context, wish to read Jenkins’ article first. In fact, brother Reeves specifically requests that you do so, and suggests that you print out the article for comparison as you read his review.)
Much of the article is directed to the ones named above, and, of course, they can (have or will) speak for themselves. I will direct my remarks to such matters as evasive attitude, and tactics, used by brother Jenkins. His article, he says, is “about some inconsistencies, even hypocritical conduct I have observed recently”. Well, “thou art the man” (2 Sam. 12:7).
- Complaining about what he calls “A New Criticism” in the Open Letter signed by 67 gospel preachers, he says, “If Hill Roberts taught evolution at Florida College in Feb., 1999, I said I disagreed with it in my speech (Feb., 2000). That should clear me. I had no idea that anyone would ever think I had ever entertained any idea of the truthfulness of the theory of evolution of either the animate or the inanimate universe. There is no teacher at Florida College who believes or advocates a naturalistic origin of the universe”. Continue reading » Observations on the Article by Brother Ferrell Jenkins (Reeves)