Copyright and Evangelism

© Rev. Dr. Curtis I. Crenshaw, Th.D. 2016

What a strange title for a blog article, but it is very pertinent for us today, as I hope to demonstrate.

At present, the world can be divided into three time periods regarding the written word, copyright, and evangelism. The three time periods are (1) from the beginning of mankind and writing to Gutenberg in A.D. 1440-1450;[1] (2) then from the invention of the printing press to today, and (3) today (2016) with eBooks and the Internet, which began in earnest about 1991. Let us consider each of these in order.

First, for thousands of years the only way to preserve ideas was for someone to write them down, sometimes on stone, or vellum (animal skins), or “paper,” which would be papyri hammered into a kind of paper. Before the printing press, professional scribes copied books for the wealthy. Generally, the public could not read well so they rarely had access to good literature. When a catastrophe occurred, such as the huge world-wide library of handwritten manuscripts that burned in Alexandria south of Jerusalem in Egypt, much learning was destroyed. It was most likely set fire around AD 270 or so. This was a loss that set the world back centuries. Now with multiple copies of eBooks all over the world, it is very unlikely that we’ll lose so much knowledge again. Copying manuscripts was slow and inaccurate since the copyists did not copy perfectly. Few people could afford hand copied books. Today we duplicate manuscripts by storing them electronically, and no about of copying these stored manuscripts downgrades their integrity.

Moreover, to send a hand copied manuscript to someone would take considerable time since it had to travel by some kind of animal, personal mail carrier, or boat. For example, if one wanted a copy of the Bible in Greek, it would take a scribe about a year to copy it. If the scribe wanted to maximize his profit, he would in turn hire other scribes, and a reader would call out the text for several scribes to write down at the same time. How would they know that each manuscript was correct? Of course, there were no copyright laws for thousands of years. The idea of intellectual property rights would have been laughable.

But one can see how slow it would be to spread the word of God, or any area of knowledge, by copying text by hand. Of course, no one could copyright a hand copied manuscript.

Second, when Gutenberg invented the printing press, everything changed—everything! Now one could set a Bible to type and not have repeated errors. At this point, textual criticism, that art and science whereby scribes would look at various ancient Greek texts to determine which manuscripts were accurate and which not, essentially took on new dimensions. One could now look at printed books to determine the text, not run all over the world finding Greek manuscripts in hand written form. No one needed to correct manuscripts because the text was now fossilized in printed books. BUT—and this is the important point—now anyone for a moderate price could purchase some books to read. Thus reading became more popular and many were being taught to read. As Erasmus, that great humanist Roman Catholic scholar, who was considered to be the best Greek and Latin scholar of his day by both Catholics and Protestants, said: “When I have money, I buy books. If I have any money left over, I buy food.”

Again, producing books was still relatively expensive, and there were no copyrights. Anyone could print anyone else’s book, undercut the price, and make a few dollars.

The questions now was who was going to control the printing. Of course, kings did not like information disseminated that was not favorable to him. Thus they wanted control over printing, and often assigned printing to someone of the king’s choice. Now he had a monopoly over printing, but could only print what the king approved.

There could have been no Protestant Reformation without Gutenberg. Luther nailed up his 95 Theses on the door of Wittenberg, October 31, 1517, which was the door of a church that served as a community bulletin board for scholars. His theses were written in Latin, and someone took them down, translated them into German, printed them, and distributed them to the people. Thus, the Reformation was born.

Printed books continued to be the blessing of nations for several centuries. In America there was no king to control the printing, no thought police. Books printed in England, and usually with copyright, were reprinted in America at less cost, without copyright. We had no copyright laws until Noah Webster fought for decades not only to recognize intellectual property in America but also to establish international copyright laws. Congress finally passed such laws in the late 19th century. Now copyright laws have to be updated because the form of intellectual property is changing all the time, from printed books to eBooks. Also, Webster started many libraries in various cities of America to make books available to those who could not afford them. Consequently, the literacy of the world was given a huge boost from printed books. Eventually, due to competition and reduction of printing costs, the price of books has really come down since the late 19th and 20th centuries.

Third, we have now entered the information age. When the printing press came along, hand written manuscripts in the great libraries of the world that were not printed were lost. Even today there are scholars who can read those old manuscripts, and they discover manuscripts worth making into books. For example, one of the great Anglican Scholars of the 19th century was J. B. Lightfoot. He had forgotten more Greek and background material to the New Testament that most of us will ever know. In the past year or so, someone discovered more of his work that no one knew about, existing in handwritten manuscripts. These new works are being put into print. Also today, printed books that never become digitized will be lost to the world.

But in the 1960’s and 1970’s some scientists (not former VP Al Gore!) were talking about connecting some computers and having access to everyone’s data on each computer. Then around 1991 the Internet began to take off. Google has caused its growth exponentially with its search engine that can “crawl” the web, find all kinds of data, and make it accessible to all who have a computer and Internet connection.[2] Most searches today use Google’s search engine, (which has only indexed about ten percent of the Internet) though other search engines are available, such as bing.com, msn.com, yahoo.com, etc. No one really knows how large the Internet is. (Go to https://books.google.com/ and enter a line of your favorite book between quotes; see if it pops up.) Moreover, Google for a couple of decades now has been digitizing whole libraries, most of which are in the public domain so that copyright is not an issue. But they have challenged copyright law. They will digitize a whole book, and if someone finds a quote he likes of a copyrighted work, he can find out from Google where to purchase it. He is not able to see the whole book but only the passage searched for. But anyone can send them his book and ask for it to be scanned and put their book on the web. No one knows how many millions of books Google has scanned. If one has his book in pdf file, he can send that to Google, who will put that eBook on their books site, no scanning necessary, which makes it faster and more accurate.

Now we have books at light speed that one can read, copy parts out, even “borrow” (download the book for, say, two weeks, and then it will erase itself). One can rent, read, and “return” all without leaving his computer. Economically, the price for a book has dropped dramatically over the centuries. Until AD 1450 and Gutenberg, owning “books” would have to be hand written manuscripts. Then printed books were optional for those who could read and had the money, or they could have books read to them. As books were printed and technology improved, the price of books came down. In our day, say from 1900 to today (2016), one could go into most bookstores and purchase a Bible for a few dollars. Now what has happened from 1991 and the Internet to today is beyond imagination. One can send eBooks from one part of the world to another, from Houston, TX to Uganda in a few seconds.

And many of these books are free. An example might help. In 1985 I paid $1,000 for a ten meg hard drive. About two weeks ago I purchased a 5T (five terabytes) hard drive for $153, tax included. The ten meg hard drive cost me $100 per meg. The new drive cost me $0.0000306 per meg. To put this another way, I do not have to keep inventory for any of my eBooks (www.ftstl.com), will never run out of inventory, because they are stored as electrons. Anyone can order them from anywhere in the world and receive them in a minute or about. Yet I can still copyright them if I wish.

But how does copyright law, the Internet, and evangelism go together? When we first began Cranmer Theological House in September 1994 in Shreveport, all students had to come to our campus. We invited three Ugandan students. We had to pay their airfare to our campus, pay their room and board, any medical problems they had, pay for their tuition and books. Now with the Internet and eBooks, we can hold live classes through Google and YouTube. We can send them eBooks for many of the classes. Thus, while the world sleeps, we can train pastors in Africa, evangelize others in China, and spend next to nothing on materials. We can video our classes and make them available also on YouTube. And we are protected by international copyright law that our materials will not be stolen that we’ve spent years making. We must use the Internet to evangelize Muslim groups like ISIS; they are using the Internet against us.

I can evangelize in my sleep, not have to get an order shipped, but just open my account to see who ordered what. The money is automatically deposited into my account. Of course, we sell printed books also, which are not going anywhere for some decades yet, and those we do have to ship, our buyers are worldwide. It cost me very little to have a web presence for these things. Indeed, some of those who carry my books do so for free, taking a small percentage of the money when orders come in; i.e., Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Google Books, etc. It costs them virtually nothing to list my books and eBooks.

Moreover, we can now send a whole library by fiber optics in a few seconds with 100% accuracy and send it as many times as we wish. There is no delay from idea to writing to print to delivery. There is much time for tyrants to stop the presses, but with the Internet, it is very difficult to control the content or the speedy distribution. One can send eBooks anywhere at light speed. Why are we not doing this to reach the world? A few are. Consider the multiplication factor: I send a book to someone in Canada, having pulled the copyright, who likes it and sends it to his friend in Australia, who knows Mandarin. He then translates it into Mandarin, sends it to his friends in China, who in turn send it to their friends. It goes to Germany in English, is translated into German, then Dutch, etc, You get the picture. This is just not possible with a paper printed book. In theory, all that multiplication could take place in a few days or weeks or months. Can there be a better opportunity?

The printing press made books possible, and everyone wanted his own copy of good books. The manuscripts in the monasteries and ancient libraries that were not printed have basically been lost to mankind, though there are still a few scholars who comb those institutions. Also, those printed books that are not being digitized will be lost to the world. We may think printed books will never vanish, but are you watching the millennials who do everything on a hand held device, including reading books?

No one can now control the content—no king, no group of publishers, no thought police. Each individual, by himself, can write and publish an eBook without censorship and disseminate it to the world. He can copyright it by simply this formula: Name of person who wrote book, date finished, and this symbol: © (Look at my copyright at the top of the first page of this article.) One can send a copy to the Library of Congress if he wishes to have more protection for a written and printed book, but how does one copyright an eBook? Just that way. One does not need a literary agent to copyright his book or get it printed. One writes it, then promotes it through his own web site, blog, or submits it to Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Moreover, there are sites on line that will take your eBook virtually sight unseen.

THE POINT:

Thus, for the first time in history, we can evangelize the world from our home offices, and most people in the world either speak or read English. What an opportunity! The copyright would help us stay in business, but of course we give away some of our eBooks, especially those oriented to evangelism or spiritual growth. (See www.ftstl.com) Let us take advantage of this new opportunity the great Lord of the Church has given us!

The Lord of glory said:

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matt. 28:18-20 NKJ)

AMEN.

 

[1] The Chinese may have predated the West in printing, but that is out of my area.

[2] Some say that there are several aspects to the Internet: the world wide web (WWW), which is a subset of the broad Internet (https://, or http://), the intranet (business), the extranet, and today even the dark Internet that is used by crooks, such as ISIS. Anyone can access to the WWW or http:// versions but the others only with a password.

Our Lion

We’ve all heard the hymn: “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness”. This time of the year (as well as the whole liturgical year), reminds us of Hebrews 10:9-13:

9 Then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.He takes away the first [covenant] that He may establish the second [covenant]. 10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.”  (Heb. 10:9-14 NKJ)

Some years ago I heard a Roman Catholic Priest from Rome, Italy, testify to a group of Protestant ministers say something like this, after hearing that passage read in their worship service: “If that is in the Bible, we just got put out of business.” Three times Hebrews emphasizes the finality of the death of Jesus. (See the bold print above.)

One of the things that separates us from Rome is these verses from Hebrews 10, where not only the necessity but also the sufficiency of His completed work on the Cross is given. In these trying times, we are tempted to want to bail out of the Christian life. The Middle East is a powder keg, hundreds of thousands of Christians are being murdered, young girls raped to death as their parents are forced to watch, liberalism is destroying our country from the inside as “laws” are passed by the Supreme Court promoting the murder of the unborn (Roe v. Wade in January 1973), the states try to make laws more difficult for the baby killers (and sometimes we win, such as Texas in recent years), Marijuana has become legal, wholesale theft through terrible tax laws and health laws, the Supreme Court continues to destroy the families with its LGBT “laws.” We are tempted to give up, throw up our hands and say something like, “We know things must get worse before the Lord returns.” Really? What do the verses above in quotes say?

The Lion is not defeated but delivers to His Father a conquered kingdom (1 Cor. 15:22-26). The Gospel is not defeated, but heaven and earth belong to Him and us (Matt. 28:18-20). The Lion crushes the head of the serpent and so do we (Rom. 16:20). The Lion rules and so do we (Rev. 2:26-29). We must stop bearing fearful, for the fear of man is a snare; the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Prov. 1:7; 29:25). The Lord is getting things arranged, disciplining a recalcitrant Church, so when suffering comes, we’ll win by His sovereign grace, His sovereign Gospel, and His sovereign judgments that He is bringing on the world.

We have victory not only in His “once for all” death on the cross but also in His bodily resurrection (also once for all), and in His ascension and thus enthronement. But also in these dark times of our world, or in these light times of opportunity, we must make Him known. We need to be reminded who rules and why—Jesus rules BECAUSE of His victorious death, punctuated by His bodily resurrection, as His trickle down kingdom has been forming a tsunami through His gospel to envelop the world. He is not the meek, weak, milquetoast kitty cat who meows (click it) and crawls back to his lair with His tail between His legs, but the LION (click it) of the tribe of Judah, who roars with majesty, sovereignty, and power such that the earth trembles under His omnipotent breath. As C. S. Lewis put it, “He is not a tame lion”. Indeed, sir. Let us bow willingly now or by force later to the glory of the Father. The choice is His. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LION’S ROAR:

Outstanding poem, as usual. “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness”. It is a joy to read your poems, especially this one, that gives us not only the necessity but also the sufficiency of His completed work on the Cross, in His bodily resurrection (also once for all), and His ascension and thus enthronement. In these dark times of our world, or also, in these times light times of opportunity to make Him known, we need to be reminded who rules and why–Jesus rules BECAUSE of His victorious death, punctuated by His bodily resurrection, as His trickle down kingdom forms a tsunami through His gospel to envelop the world. He is not the meek, weak, milquetoast kitty cat who meows and crawls back to his lair with His tail between His legs, but the LION  of the tribe of Judah, who roars with majesty, sovereignty, and power such that the earth trembles under His omnipotent breath. As C. S. Lewis put it, “He is not a tame lion”. Indeed, sir. Let us bow willingly now or by force later to the glory of the Father. The choice is His. Amen.

Gordon J. Wenham, Ph.D., Genesis: 2 Volumes, 1987, 850 pages

(© review by the Rev. Dr. Curtis I. Crenshaw, Th.D.)

Bruce Waltke is my favorite Hebrew scholar, and Wenham is my favorite, conservative Old Testament commentator. His two volumes on Genesis are monumental, stunning, leaving no stone unturned. His 50 page Introduction is worth the price of the first volume.

It is a scholarly work and requires some Hebrew to benefit completely, but even lay people will find help. Somewhat disconcerting we find Wenham introducing JEDP in the Introduction as if it were true or at least helpful, but Wenham seems to attack it in The Face of Old Testament Studies: “Pondering the Pentateuch: The Search for a New Paradigm attacks.” Moreover, Wenham validates how that Genesis attacks the new eastern gods with all their silliness, such as the gods creating mankind so we would feed them, and they would not have to work!

His exegesis verse by verse and insights regarding context, both immediate and throughout the Old Testament, are nothing short of spectacular.

Recommended. AMEN. Ὡ

Umberto Cassuto

(also called Moshe David Cassuto, 1883-1951)

Old Testament Scholar second to none in Hebrew grammar

(Review by the Rev. Dr. Curtis I. Crenshaw, Th.D., 2016)

I was introduced to the Jewish scholar Cassuto when I was in seminary, and I’ve collected most of his works. His devastating work against JEDP crushes the head of that liberal theory, demonstrating repeatedly in his work (The Documentary Hypothesis) that JEDP is just imagination with no objective evidence. In fact, if you search for JEDP on this blog (www.curtiscrenshaw.wordpress.com), you can find a summary of his work and a paper I wrote against the theory. Here are some of Cassuto’s works:

  • From Adam to Noah
  • From Noah to Abraham
  • Commentary on the Book of Genesis
  • Commentary on the Book of Exodus
  • The Goddess Annath
  • The Documentary Hypothesis and the Composition of the Pentateuch
  • Biblical and Oriental Studies

Cassuto is blind as a bat in seeing the Messiah in the Old Testament, but his grammatical insights and contextual analysis are often superb.

Recommended.

AMEN. Ὡ

A. Skevington Wood, Captive to the Word, 1969

(review by the Very Curtis I. Crenshaw, Th.D.)

This is not so much a biography of Martin Luther as it is a survey of his theology and beliefs. It is less than 200 pages and an easy read. We have such chapters as these:

  • Luther as Commentator
  • Luther as Preacher
  • Luther as Translator
  • Luther as Reformer
  • Luther and the Authority of Scripture
  • Luther and the Revelation of Scripture
  • Luther and the Inspiration of Scripture

He deals with such things as the analogy of Scripture, Luther’s idea that the best interpreter of the Bible is the Bible itself.

For a detailed biography of Luther, Roland Bainton is considered one of the best: Roland Bainton, Here I Stand.

Recommended.

AMEN. Ὡ

Taya Kyle, American Wife (Love, War, Faith, and Renewal), 2015, 300 pages, easy read

(Review by the Rev. Dr. Curtis I. Crenshaw, Th.D., 2016)

Taya was married to the Seal who had the most kills as a sniper. They had a very strong Christian love. After several tours, and after begin proclaimed a hero, Chris Kyle was finally home for good, to be with his wife and children. I saw the movie, American Sniper, directed by Clint Eastwood. Here is what the movie is about:

“Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) takes his sole mission—protect his comrades—to heart and becomes one of the most lethal snipers in American history. His pinpoint accuracy not only saves countless lives but also makes him a prime target of insurgents. Despite grave danger and his struggle to be a good husband and father to his family back in the States, Kyle serves four tours of duty in Iraq. However, when he finally returns home, he finds that he cannot leave the war behind.”

[Quote from https://www.google.com/#q=american+sniper]

I had followed his career on Fox News, and had prayed for his safety. Having been in Vietnam, and having gone through the Tet Offensive, I know how precarious life is in war, and how quickly one can be killed. I lost friends over there in the blink of an eye, walking around one minute and dead the next.

This is their story, Chris and Taya, and it is full of beginning love, his overseas duties, (he held the all-time number of confirmed kills as an American Sniper, and the way Chris put is: “I was saving American lives.”

The tragedy that happened after he was home, how Taya overcame by faith in the Triune God, her renewal, is a true story that will lift you out of despair and set you firmly on the Rock, Christ Jesus. AMEN. Ὡ

Finding the Will of God for Our Lives

(© Feb 2016, review by the Rev. Dr. Curtis I. Crenshaw, Th.D.)

Bruce Waltke, Th.D., Ph.D., Finding the Will of God, 1995, about 200 pages

Priscilla Shirer, M.A., Discerning the Voice of God: How to Recognize When God is Speaking, 2012, 200 pages+

Never could two people be so different, and I’ve been hesitant to do a book review of Priscilla Shirer, though I’ve done reviews of Dr. Waltke. For full disclosure, I studied under Dr. Waltke at Dallas Theological Seminary (1972-1976) before he read his way out of dispensationalism and went into Presbyterianism. (I think I beat him on leaving dispensationalism! I’ve heard that he is now in the Reformed Episcopal Church, my denomination.) He has an earned doctorate in Greek (Th.D.) from Dallas Theological Seminary, and his dissertation was two volumes, each volume 500 pages, on the topic of the theological significance of two Greek prepositions (anti, meaning substitution; hyper, also often meaning substitution). Example: “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for [anti: “in the place of] many.” Dr. Waltke also earned his Ph.D. from Harvard in Hebrew. He is recognized as one of the greatest scholars in the Old Testament alive today, and he is a man who loves the Lord.

I’ve taught in one of our REC seminaries 20 years, and my staple courses are Hebrew, Greek, some theology courses (Christology, Hermeneutics, etc), and other courses. I’ve written six full length books, thousands of pages for classes I teach, and I hope to put out about 20 more books and booklets before the Lord takes me.

Her father, the Rev. Dr. Tony Evans, Th.D., has a world renowned ministry with his mega-church in Dallas, TX, and Dr. Evans and I were fellow students at Dallas Theological Seminary, graduating the same year (1976), each with a four year Th.M. My majors were Greek and Hebrew, and I’ve taught those languages for 20 years in seminary. (I was not allowed to write a thesis in both Greek and Hebrew departments, so I chose Greek. I took everything offered in Hebrew, and Dr. Glenn invented courses for me, such as diagramming Malachi in Hebrew.) Tony has a Th.D. from Dallas Seminary, and I also have a Th.D. from a small seminary in Florida. Tony has a very broad speaking ministry, first at his mega-church, on radio, at conferences, etc., and likewise a huge writing ministry. The Lord has blessed him with such, and I’m grateful to the Lord for his outreach with the gospel. It is natural that his daughter would go to the same seminary as her father. She is stated to have a master’s degree from Dallas Theological Seminary in biblical studies. Perhaps that program has been discontinued as I could not find it on the seminary’s web site. The closest I could find was an online two year degree introducing the English Bible, theology, but no biblical languages. Maybe I overlooked it on the site.

Google says this about Priscilla:

“Priscilla Shirer is an African American speaker, author and actress. She has spent more than a decade addressing major corporations, organizations, and Christian audiences across the United States and around the world.”

Very impressive.

It is, of course, not fair to contrast these two books. One could do the same with Dr. Waltke and me, and I would not look so good. It is not my goal to demean her but to point out some problems with this book she has written, which Waltke address in his book given above, though his book was written before hers.

Priscilla’s book is a labyrinth of rules about how to discern God speaking to us. Moreover, much of what she says is based on the speculative trichotomy view of humans: body, soul, and spirit. We are told that it is not the black and white commands at scripture that are at issue, for those are clear, but

            You genuinely want to hear from God [her emphasis]. You want to know whether the recent circumstances you’ve noticed around you are more than mere coincidence, or whether the comments you heard someone make to you might truly be a signal of God’s will and direction. You want to make sure that this conviction you’re feeling is not just your own creation (p. 21).

There are no coincidences in God’s providence:

13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will1 go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; 14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” 16 But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. (James 4:13-17 NKJ)

Moreover, the Reformation fought long and hard to recapture the truth that the Bible is not only necessary for life and godliness but also it is sufficient. As Luther and Calvin pointed out, the Bible is our only infallible standard of truth, not impressions, feelings, etc. The Roman Catholic Church said the Bible was necessary but not enough, but the Reformers said both.

I don’t want to list long quotes from her book; suffice it to say that it is saturated with mystical, subjective statements on how to “sense the Spirit’s prompting.” The book is saturated with “cat and mouse” statements how to manipulate oneself—and sometimes even the Holy Spirit—to divine His will apart from Holy Scripture. If I were wanting to know God’s will for my life, I would be very frustrated after reading her book. Trying to find God’s will that is not given in Holy Scripture is a very dangerous thing:

19 And when they say to you, “Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,” should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living? 20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. (Isaiah 8:19-20 NKJ)

In other words, God through Isaiah states that it is paganism to seek God’s will outside His written word. We are to be satisfied with what He has given us. [See Waltke’s book above, p. 22ff]

Trying to divine God’s will apart from God’s written word, or in addition to it, is a low view of God’s word as sufficient:

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJ)

Notice that scripture is not just necessary but also sufficient to equip one, mature one, for “every good work.” What more can we ask for, and if we do ask for more, is not that an affront to the Triune God who gave us the Bible?

If we receive additional “revelations” besides the Bible for God’s will for our lives, we are actually adding to the completed canon of the Bible. That is what Isaiah 8 above commands us not to do.

Here is how I evaluate a “word of knowledge”: “If it contradicts the Bible, it is wrong. If it says the same as the Bible, it is not needed. If it goes beyond what Scripture says, it has no authority.” That drives me back to Holy Scripture.

Here is an easy way to find God’s will: Obey the bible, trust God’s providence, submit to godly authority. Then do what you like. A suggested acronym is: O-P-A (O-bey, P-rovidence, A-uthority).

Shirer’s work is not recommended, but Waltke’s work is highly recommended. AMEN. Ὡ