Bill Muehlenberg runs a website https://billmuehlenberg.com/
His views are fairly typical of serious Protestants from recent years.
On his site, he has tried to attack Infidelity. He has done this largely by confronting various social issues. This is like trying to kill a hydra by cutting at its heads.
Here’s how the battle used to be illustrated by Protestants:
This image from the old Creation Science Foundation should have put “Infidelity” as the foundation of the bad side, and added the flag of evolution to the castle. On the other side, “God’s word” is the actual foundation.
The way to really defeat the issues is to get the right foundation (on our side) and to strike at the foundation of the other side.
“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3).
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6a).
So how can all the issues, the multiple bestial heads of Infidelity, be defeated?
The Word and Spirit approach can provide solutions to Mr Muehlenberg’s cultural war.
1. KNOW THE NATURE OF THE BATTLE
As already shown, know that in fact there is a spiritual battle going on.
The spiritual battle is not a fantasy battle.
Some people seem to be approaching the issues just in the natural. Mere “propaganda” is not going to adequately win the cultural battle. On the other side, no one would be able to accuse Mr Muehlenberg of relegating the battle to just “prayer”.
2. KNOW THE TIME AND SEASON
We are living in a time of lukewarmness and a time when the work of spiritual antichrist is all about. It would be wrong to say that antichrist was all over and done with in the past, or that antichrist will all be to come.
Mr Muehlenberg’s apologetics reflect that he has an understanding that there are issues within Christianity related to this.
3. DON’T ATTACK THE KING JAMES BIBLE’S PERFECTION
This is where Mr Muehlenberg gets it wrong. Yes, there are extremist people who say you have to use the King James Bible alone, but there are extremes in all areas of doctrine. Some actually claimed that there is no such thing as dinosaurs, just to naively preserve the doctrine of creation.
The foundation of the modern version approach, which Mr Muehlenberg has wrongly accepted, has the same foundation as all the other social issues he is attacking. Modern versions come from Enlightenment philosophy. Infidelity was a complete rejection of all religion, including the Reformation. Therefore, to essentially reject the correctness of the KJB on a wrong foundation of modernism and the like, and yet fight against other evils, is inconsistent (which could eventually be said to be hypocritical). And yes, Higher Criticism, Liberal Theology and whatever are right there along side modern textual criticism, etc.
You see, the whole argument about textual criticism, and the like, is extra-Scriptural. It is essentially all based on theories about the age of manuscript copies and assumptions about how errors come through the copying processes, etc. That view is essentially deistic, because it says that the God who inspired had nothing to do with the real preservation or recovery of Scripture in later years. A providentialist who receives from history the truth as promised by Scripture would definitely see how various Bible passages are pointing to the King James Bible.
4. DON’T ATTACK FAITH, HEALTH AND PROSPERITY
Again, there are a lot of unbalanced ideas around the place — false teachers and charlatans — but Mr Muehlenberg follows along with a lot of attacks on health, prosperity and the sure mercies of the goodness of God.
There are numerous Scriptures promising health and wealth for the believer in the New Testament era, as based also on the Old Testament blessings. It is always funny that those rejecting faith doctrine want to use their experience and hundreds of years of wrong theology to nullify what Christ said in the Gospels on these points. Again, they quickly pull up Job and Paul as examples of suffering, rather than accepting what the Scripture plainly teaches and what the Holy Ghost promotes on these subjects.
The Bible said mountains are movable. Who are all these people to say that Jesus didn’t mean what He plainly said? The foundations of the faith message may be found in Wesley and Finney. They taught Christian Perfection. It seems that today most hardly dare to believe that God can do anything good in them, in opposition to what even the Puritans believed, as one wrote, “pray for me, that He who hath begun a good work would perfect it in the day of Christ.”
This could be put another way, which is, don’t reject sound doctrine about God’s present time blessings. It is abundantly clear that God wants to bless, not curse, His children.
5. GET INTERPRETATION RIGHT
The real root of wrong doctrines arises because of wrong interpretation. In theological terms, this is called hermeneutics, which in many ways has been “leavened” with the false presuppositions or philosophies of the Enlightenment, Higher Criticism, Modernism … Infidelity.
(They say that the real truth is locked away in a far away time, a far away language and a far away culture. Apparently the Reformation failed to get God’s truths into English properly.)
Mr Muehlenberg is a sincere Christian, but the past few decades show so many sincere Christians being mistaken in these areas, because they have not been deaf and blind to the world (it would seem that I have an ultra-controversial interpretation of Isaiah 42:19, 20 if I were to regard their view).
A believing interpretation leads to a view that there are right and good aspects of sticking with the King James Bible and having mountain moving faith. These two ideas combined may be termed the Word and Spirit movement.
6. CHURCH UNITY
There is a Bible prophecy in Ephesians chapter four which speaks of Christians coming into unity. Nearly every Christian says this is impossible today, even the Postmillenialists would relegate this away from the present. But this promise is not impossible. There is one God and He is at work. His solid promise must come to pass.
“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13).
Church unity does not mean becoming tolerant, middle of the road, non-committal panmillennialists. While the Holy Ghost is at work, on one side, to guide people in the truth, He is not, on the other, saying to let go of absolutes, or that truth is relative or subjective. (Like that nonsensical saying, “unity in essentials, liberty in non-essentials”. Which part of the doctrine of Jesus descending into Hell is non-essential? The Holy Ghost is not playing flexible word games on the clear distinct meaning and Christian tradition of Jesus going to actual Hell.)
The worst position to be in is to glorify the fallibility of man and to say that we just do not know the fine details of correct doctrine (sadly most Protestants are in this position). Often those people at the same time, are too ready to condemn and attack anything which seems certain, sure and is attaining the higher things, like the Word and Spirit view.
Too much of even the “best” Christianity has been the namby-pamby surrender to the world or compromise on various issues, and this should not be the way of courageous cultural warriors. Yes, there’s been a lot of retreat going on in Christianity, but that’s not our glorious future. A person cannot come into the glorious future without coming on board with a triumphalist view about what God is planning for Australia.
Mr Muehlenberg is right to have a pessimistic view about the recent past, but there is a solution to all this, called the coming great Church Restitution.
7. GET ON BOARD WITH THE CHURCH RESITITUTION
Here is a free book on the Church Restitution:
Here is an overview of Bible prophecy:
And here is a book about the Word and Spirit movement:
The Bible shows that we are on the winning side, that we are to win this so called “cultural war” against Infidelity. That will not be in some distant future when the pendulum finally is swinging the other way. No, “I the LORD will hasten it in his time.” (Isaiah 60:22b). All the “social action” labour is not in vain.