14 Signs that the Person you’re Talking to has Terrible Theology

Guest blogger Patrick Durkee has submitted this entry for discussion. Patrick is a US Air Force Chaplain and operates the website http://www.theologyofomaha.com.

14 Signs that the person you’re talking to has terrible theology

1. They insist that they don’t follow any theology, only the bible.
2. They are opposed to any form of theological education.
3. They ignore church history.
4. The words “Left Behind” are visible on their bookshelf.
5. The verses they quote are from The Message.
6. They reject your theology by saying, “God hasn’t revealed that to me yet.”
7. They accuse you of “spiritualizing” scripture, while patting themselves on the back for their “literal” interpretation.
8. They look to any member of the Chuck-trifecta as their theological mentors:
Chuck Smith, Chuck Missler or Chuck Currie.
9. They believe that people who study Hebrew and Greek do so only to use it to twist the bible to say anything they want it to.
10. They make a comment to the effect of, “I haven’t sinned in the past year, why have you?”
11. They believe that the purpose of Lord’s Day services are to attract unbelievers and evangelize
12. They say, “I’ve believed in
Christ my whole life.”
13. They believe it’s deeds that matter, not creeds.
14. They reject the idea of doctrinal confessions.

14 thoughts on “14 Signs that the Person you’re Talking to has Terrible Theology

  1. Just curious why would you have Chuck Smith in their with Missler and Currie. I have listened to Chuck Smith for decades and never heard terrible theology, Missler on the other hand….

  2. “God hasn’t revealed that to me yet.” This should be at the top of the list. Very insightful!

    Phil: I agree….this could be a very interesting discussion!

  3. First time to the blog I thought there was something serious to consider, guess not.

    Phil: Chuck Smith teaching heresy isn’t something series to consider?

  4. Good question Isaac.. as a matter of fact I think it’s even more important that people know who to listen than knowing who not to listen.

  5. Jim Goodman and Patrick,
    What can you tell me about Missler? I followed over to Currie–he’s no good.
    I don’t know anything about Missler.

    AND tell me why tripartitism leads to heresy.

    In Christ,
    Phil Perkins.

  6. Phil,

    Chuck Missler is an extreme premillennialist (which while I don’t agree with the eschatology, I certainly don’t consider premillennialism heresy), it’s the extreme part of that sentence that makes him a problem.

    See Missler’s comments here where he blames amillennialism for the holocaust:

    As for Chuck Smith’s views on trichotomy, just to clarify, they don’t lead to heresy, they are heresy. Smith’s position on trichotomy leads him to conclude that there is a class of Christians which is unknown to the bible – the carnal Christian.

  7. Patrick,
    Thanks for the answers.

    I agree with you on a number of things. I read Chuch Smith’s little-trinity thing and that’s silly. Biblically unsupportable. Platonic influence is present, too. However, he isn’t calling man divine so far as I know. And you’re right–“carnal Christian” is an excuse for the unsaved to claim they are saved, a very bad heresy.

    Here are the two positions formulated so that both are easier to think about in relation to the other:

    Dichotomy and Trichotomy–

    BOTH AGREE…..Man is made of two parts–material and immaterial.

    BOTH AGREE…..Man’s material side has one part, the body.

    THEY DISAGREE…..Dichotomy says man’s immaterial part has only one part–soul/spirit. Trichotomy says man’s immaterial part has two parts–soul AND spirit.

    BOTH HAVE PASSAGES THAT SPEAK OF MAN IN THEIR SCHEME–two parts (body and soul/spirit) for dichotomists, and three parts (body, soul, and spirit) for trichotomists.

    So far, I haven’t taken a strong stand on the dichotomy-trichotomy debate because I think both are shorthand used in Scripture for a very complex being, man. And I haven’t taken a stand because I fail to see that either side could damage one’s standing with God any more than the other could.

    In other words, I think both are wrong, but not signigicantly so. It is wrong, I believe, for either side to make a big stink of it.

    THE FIRST PROBLEM WITH BOTH SIDES: Both sides claim man’s material side is one part. The Bible doesn’t say that. It speaks of eyes, hands, feet, livers, kidneys, hides, heads, and tails.

    THE SECOND PROBLEM WITH BOTH SIDES: While both side can give passages that speak of man in their schemes, neither deal with those passages which deal with all those passages which deal with the PARTS OF THE BODY. Thus, we know that any passage that speaks of the body as a whole, isn’t intending to speak of the material parts of man in a comprehensive descrition of all its parts. Thus why would we assume that any passage lists all the parts of man’s immaterial side?

    THE THIRD PROBLEM WITH BOTH SIDES: The Scripture actually speaks of the immaterial side at times in parts, too. It speaks of heart, mind, and will, for instance.

    Thus, man is multipartite, but at times it’s easier for us and for the authors of Scripture to use a shorthand and mention only a few overall parts or categories.

    And here is logical trap we can fall into: Drawing conclusions about a doctrine because that particular doctrine is used to support a certain bad doctrine isn’t always right. For instance, Jude, James, and Paul all deal with the doctrine of Grace being used to excuse unrepentant sin in the assembly. Grace is right and biblical. Sinning is wrong and unbiblical. Someone using trichotomic doctrine to support something evil like the “carnal Christian” silliness doesn’t negate the underlying doctrine unless it can be shown that the underlying doctrine logically MUST lead to the concluding doctrine. Another example is the amils. I know some and two of them are antisemitic. That doesn’t mean amil doctrine is wrong. The Bible is the final word.

    At any rate, I am willing to be taught on this. Is there something I’ve missed in the Scripture? Tell me. I want to be right.

    In Christ,
    Phil Perkins.


    Many these days are abandoning the pretribulation rapture view, and the June, 1995 article by Chuck Missler (”Byzantine Text Discovery: Ephraem the Syrian”) reveals why there is such a mutiny! First of all, the authoritative scholar that Missler cited, Dr. Paul Alexander, referred only to “Pseudo-Ephraem” and not to Ephraem the Syrian. (If an unsigned ancient manuscript resembles the real Ephraem but there is a question of authorship, they assign it to “Pseudo-Ephraem” – the word “pseudo” meaning “possibly.” For some groundless reason, Grant Jeffrey, the one who reportedly found the “discovery,” changed Dr. Alexander’s terminology! For more info on Jeffrey, Google “Wily Jeffrey.”) And Missler’s scholarship is also questionable. According to the Los Angeles Times (July 30, 1992), about one-fourth of Missler’s 1992 book “The Magog Factor” (which he co-authored with Hal Lindsey) was a daring plagiarism of Dr. Edwin Yamauchi’s 1982 book “Foes from the Northern Frontier”! Four months later Yamauchi’s publisher revealed that both Lindsey and Missler had promised to stop all publishing of their book. But in 1995 they were found publishing “The Magog Invasion” (which was either a revision or a replacement of “The Magog Factor”) – which had a substantial amount of the same plagiarism! (Dave MacPherson’s 1998 book “The Three R’s” has complete documentation on this and other pretrib scandals.) After listing “1820″ as the reported date of the birth of pretrib (he should have said “1830″), Missler sees a pretrib rapture in that Medieval writer’s phrase “taken to the Lord” and, since he evidently favors rewriting others instead of researching, is unaware that Dr. Alexander explained that this phrase really means “participate at least in some measure in beatitude” – which has reference only to doing acts of virtue on earth and not being raptured away from earth! Alexander added that the same ancient writer held to only one final second coming (and not to any prior coming) which would follow the time of Antichrist! (Readers can Google “Deceiving and Being Deceived” by MacPherson to see how groundless the Pseudo-Ephraem claim is and to learn how desperate pretribs are to find any pre-1830 evidence for their escapist view. Dr. Robert Gundry of Westmont College has also demolished the Pseudo-Ephraem claim in his 1997 book “First the Antichrist.”) Since Missler also leans on Thomas Ice, readers can evaluate Ice’s qualifications by Googling “America’s Pretrib Rapture Traffickers,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “Thomas Ice (Hired Gun),” and “Pretrib Rapture Diehards” (the latter part). For further light on the 179-year-old, fringe-British-invented pretribulation theory, Google or Yahoo “Pretrib Rapture – Hidden Facts.” Finally – why would anyone who has the brains of a rocket scientist want to be taken up with the concept of an any-moment pretrib rapture? The answer may well be that there’s more money in elevating a rapture than launching a rocket!

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