Wild at Heart

It seems that whenever someone or something becomes popular, it’s never long before the attacks begin. The Christian subculture is no exception. Perhaps the logic goes something like this: “I’m teaching the truth, and I’m not popular. Therefore, the truth cannot be popular. Hence, if something is popular, there must be something wrong with it.” Another possibility is that sometimes a new perspective challenges people to change what they are doing. If someone is convinced that they are doing things the right way, then they may feel the need to poke holes in the viewpoint that expresses a need for change.

I can’t defend everything John Eldredge says, and I’ll admit that some of what he says leaves me a little uneasy. I’ve also been challenged and refreshed by the two books of his that I’ve read (Wild at Heart and Waking the Dead). After reading a very critical review of Wild at Heart, I wrote the following response:

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Chick Tracts

I like the idea of putting Bible doctrine and gospel messages in comic book style tracts. I haven’t read all of the Chick tracts, but I assume there are some that I could give to someone without any qualms. However, there are also some that I would never give to anyone. “Angels?” (about Christian rock) and “The Attack” (about the KJV Bible) are two that are utterly ridiculous.

All (or at least a lot) of the tracts can be read at www.chick.com. I looked at one about Mormonism, and all the claims are footnoted. Anyone who cares to investigate the claims can go to the LDS sources to see if they are taken out of context or come from legitimate LDS authorities or just random LDS adherants.

Let’s look at a couple specifics of The Attack.

He calls the Alexandrian Manuscripts “satanic.” You can argue that they aren’t as accurate, but to call them “satanic” is ridiculous. He says the Alexandrian Manuscripts “down-play the diety of Christ, the virgin birth, salvation by grace through faith, etc.” This is a bogus claim. The only way to support this claim is by taking isolated verses and comparing them to the KJV, with the assumption that if it doesn’t match the KJV it’s corrupted. This is circular reasoning. Every translation of the Bible I have seen affirms the diety of Christ, the virgin birth, salvation by grace through faith, etc.

He claims that the NASB “denies the virgin birth” by changing Luke 2:33. First off, the NASB doesn’t “change” anything. They simply translated the Greek word “pate?r.” If you want to argue that the word was changed in the version of the Greek manuscript they used, fine, but don’t blame the NASB translators for the change. It’s also false to say the NASB denies the virgin birth. If they were going to do that, they would also have changed Isaiah 7:14 (“a virgin will be with child and bear a son”), Matthew 1:18 (“before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit”), Matthew 1:23 (“the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son”), Matthew 1:25 (“but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son”), and others. If you want to be picky about calling Joseph Jesus’ father, let’s see what the KJV has in Luke 2:48. Mary says to Jesus, “thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.” Mind you, this is the KJV, and Mary obviously knows that Jesus is not Joseph’s biological son, and yet she calls Joseph his “father.”

He goes on to accuse other Bible versions of being “corrupted” and “tampering” with Scripture for leaving out the Comma Johanneum in 1 John 5:7. He doesn’t bother to tell you that of the 8 Greek manuscripts that have these words, it was written in the margin by a later hand on four of them. That doesn’t speak well to it’s authenticity. (http://www.bible-researcher.com/comma.html)

Now that I think about it, his willingness to twist the truth and spread misinformation would cause me to have some qualms about handing out even some of the tracts that have only good content. I wouldn’t want someone to think that Chick Publications was a trusted authority on Biblical issues and be misled by some of their outlandish teachings.

I don’t mind someone defending the KJV as the “best” translation, but when they attack any other translation as satanic, they go overboard and lose their credibility.