Friday, November 27, 2015

Studies in Colossians #7

Prayer Report of the Apostle (Colossians 1:9-14)  - Part 2

To Undertake the Will of God (1:10-11)

Paul prayed that these believers will understand the will of God (1:9). Once the will is known, it is to be undertaken. Knowing the will of God in all spiritual wisdom and understanding enables one to do the will of God.  Straight thinking leads to straight living. We are to know God’s will “so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord” (1:10). The word walk is the Greek word “peripateo” meaning to walk about in the ordinary, the ordinary conduct of one’s self. It signifies the “whole round of the activities of the individual life.”[1]  It is an infinitive of purpose.[2] Lightfoot reminds us that, “The end of all knowledge, the Apostle would say, is conduct.[3] Paul often uses the word walk for conduct. He points out in his epistles the characteristics of a worthy walk:
·         In Newness of Life – Rom. 6:4
·         According to the Spirit - Rom. 8:4, Gal. 5:16
·         In Holiness – Rom. 13:13
·         By Manifestation of the truth – 2 Cor 4:2
·         By Faith – 2 Cor. 5:7
·         In Good works – Eph. 2:10
·         In love – Eph. 5:2
·         As Children of Light – Eph. 5:8
·         Circumspectly – Eph. 5:15

The aim or object is to change conduct or lifestyle of believers to bring it in line with the will of God. In other words, to fulfill His will for us. The will of God pertains to all of life, starting at salvation and ending when this earthly body is set aside.

(a)  Its Object – to be worthy of the Lord
The object of our undertaking the will of God is to “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.”  The word “worthy” is the Greek word axios, meaning that which has weight, value or substance. It is living a life of substance, “in conformity with our union with God and with His purpose for our lives.[4] Wuest notes that it is to live a life where “their conduct, weights as much as the character of their Lord.[5] Paul reminds us to walk worthy of the Lord, God (1 Thess. 1:27), our calling (Eph. 4:1), and the gospel (Phil. 1:27).
(b)  It’s aim – pleasing God
The aim of our conduct is “to please Him in all respects.” The Greek word is the noun areskeian, and found only here in the New Testament. The word is “used to describe the proper attitude of men towards God.[6] It carries the meaning to meet ones wishes, or to give pleasure, to please one. It denotes a subservient spirit and an eagerness to please another. Its essence is that we as Christians are to please God in everything we do. It is our duty and desire. This cannot be done by the flesh (Rom. 8:8). To please God we are following the example of Christ (Rom. 15:1-3). In meeting the aim, we find worth for we are conformed to His character which is flowing through us.
(c)  Its threefold results.
Undertaking the will of God has a threefold outcome:
(1)Fruitful works
Undertaking the will of God results in “bearing fruit in every good work” (1:10) In contrast to above where the word “fruitful” is used in the middle voice (1:6), here it is in the present active voice. It speaks of us actively yielding ourselves on a continuous basis to the Holy Spirit in order to produce good works (cf. Romans 12:1-2). It speaks of our responsibility. Paul prays that we will live up to our responsibility and thereby be fruitful in every good work. The present tense of the phrase indicates that we should constantly produce the fruit of good works. This is the reason we are saved by grace. In grace God saved us, so that we might walk in good works that He has already prepared for us (Eph. 2:10). In other words, undertaking the will of God results in us being fruit pickers. This fruit is ‘every good work.’ God prepares these works beforehand. According to Paul in Titus (his epistle of good works), we are to be a pattern of good works (Titus 2:7), zealous of good works (Titus 2:14), ready for good works (Titus 3:1), engaging in good works (Titus 3:8), and learning to maintain good works (Titus 3:4). Grace is not an enemy to good works, but an enabler of good works.
(2) Increasing in Knowledge.
Increasing in the knowledge of God;” (1:10). The participle “increasing” (auxanomenoi) is the word growing, signifying to make an increase. It speaks of a tree that yields fruit and keeps growing, whereas other plants give fruit and die. We are like trees planted by the river of life bringing forth fruit and whose leaves does not wither (Psa. 1:3). This growth is to be “in the knowledge of God.” The word knowledge is epignosin, which is personal experiential knowledge, thus it is a relational knowledge. As we undertake the will of God we not only bear fruit, but we get to know our Lord better and more completely as we experience Him and His work in us. The participles are in the present tense stressing the idea of continual growth in the knowledge of God. Believers are to continually grow in our knowledge of God. Peter tells us that we are to grow (auxanete) in grace and knowledge (2 Peter 3:18). This was the aim of the Apostle Paul who counted all but loss “for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord” (Phil 3:8). God grows dearer to us as we experience His grace, greatness, and faithfulness in everyday living.
(3) Strengthened with all might (1:11).
The power of God is a common motif of Paul (cf. Romans 1:20; 9:17; 1 Corinthians 1:18, 24; 6:14; 2 Corinthians 13:4, but especially Ephesians 1:19; 3:7; 16, 20; 6:20). In this prayer he prays that believers will be “strengthened with all might.” It designates how it is possible for our conduct to achieve being worthy of the Lord. The word “strengthened” is dunamoumenoi, meaning to be empowered, enabling, or inherent power residing in a thing or person by virtue of its nature. The root word is where we get the word dynamite. It’s a causative verb and carries the idea of empowering someone that is inherently weak. The adjective “all” is inclusive; meaning that every type of power is always available. It is present tense indicating continual empowerment. It speaks of being strengthened by His enabling power. It is power that comes from God, not from man’s own power. God is the source of this power. This is the imparting of God’s strength by the Holy Spirit in the inner man (Eph. 3:16). Our own strength is not sufficient. God empowers the undertaking of His will. It is nothing less than Christ Himself working through us, for He “who is able to do abundantly beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works within us” (Eph. 3:20). The endowment of Godly power will enable us to stand in the face of the test of life. God never asks us to do anything without providing the power and the ability to do it. However, it requires us to freely accept and surrender by allowing that power to work in and through us.
The standard is “according to His glorious might.” The Greek word kata (according to) means the measure, force, or standard by which something is done. The word “might” is the word kratos, and refers to supernatural strength. It is found 12 times; 11 times it refers to God, and once to Satan. Here it speaks of God and the standard or measure of His power. This might is described as glorious (doxa). The basic idea of glory is brightness or splendor, but theologically, as applied to God and speaks of the various outward expression of God’s inward character. Dunn observes that the thought here is that of divine glory being a manifestation of power.[7] Gromacki notes that God “reveals Himself through what He enables the believer to do with the ability which only He can provide.”[8] In Ephesians 3:16 we see this is done “by the Spirit in the inner man.” In Paul, this is understood as beneficial power, transforming us for the better. The empowerment available to us is unlimited.
The aim or purpose of this power is “for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience;” (1:11). Steadfastness is hupomone, which is a compound of two Greek words, meaning abiding under, thus to bear with, to be patient, endure or steadfast. The second word is also a compound word, markrothumia, meaning long temper (2 Pet. 3:9). Lenski says it is “holding out long against provocation of decisive action.”[9] It is used of the patience of God and of his people. These two words are closely related, both being in many instances by the word patience. Both are used to reinforce the idea of endurance and faithfulness. We are to demonstrate all patience and longsuffering in the face of the storms of life, which we are empowered to endure. They are the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). His strength is manifested in endurance, patience, and joy (Phil 4:13; 2 Tim. 2:1). Patience brings forth fruit as well (Luke 8:15). It perfects our character (James 1:4). Patience with others is love.  Patience speaks of hope, while steadfastness with God is faith. 

[2]  O’Brien, WBC: COLOSSIANS 22.
[3]  Lightfoot, COLOSSIANS, 137.
[5]  Wuest, Kenneth S., WUEST’S WORD STUDIES: COLOSSIANS, 176.
[6]  Lightfoot,  COLOSSIANS, 137.
[7]  Dunn, NIGNT: COLOSSIANS, 74.
[8]  Gromacki, STAND PERFECT, 52.
[9]  Lenski, COLOSSIANS, 39.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Review: What N.T. writers cared about

Kenneth Berding & Matt Williams (Editors), WHAT THE NEW TESTAMENT AUTHORS REALLY CARED ABOUT: A SURVEY OF THEIR WRITINGS, Grand Rapids MI, Kregel Academic, 2015.

The moment one picks up this volume, one cannot help to be impressed. From the production standpoint it is top notch. a beautiful presentation. The layout is balanced but not as well as the companion volume on the Old Testament. This may be due to the number of photos lacking as compared to that of the Old Testament. However, the photos and charts are top quality.  The layout is the same in both volumes, which gives consistency and helps the ease of reading.

As to the content of the book, it begins with a historical background leading up and including the first century. The points are somewhat brief, but still enough to give one the impression of the first century. He gives enough to give the reader a feel for the conflicts of the time, out of and within Judaism. He captures the feeling of Jewish expectation. From there he goes on to the books of the New Testament and the authors.

In each book of the New Testament there is a consistency of presentation. He opens with a brief background page answering who, when, where and why. These are very brief, maybe too brief, but give the readers the jist of the background of the text. Each chapter gives an overview in chart form, and then the text goes on to give some meat to the skeleton.  He captures the basic teaching of each book well and aids the reader. There needs to be some caution because his presentation has some debatable areas that not all will agree with. Each chapter is well presented with charts, out-takes, and summary. Included at the end of the chapter you will find a list of key words and concepts, with a few key resources for further study (although they are not necessarily ones I would recommend).

One unique feature that is different from most surveys of the New Testament is that the books are arranged by author, not in the order that they appear in the New Testament. Thus, they present John and his works (Gospel, 1-2-3- John, and Revelation together). I happen to like that. It helps one to grasp in one setting what the authors really care about. It brings cohesion to their views, instead of being broken up by sections.  However, the emphasis is not simply the thoughts of the author, but the content of the books themselves. Content does reflect the view and thinking of the author.  However there are a few places in which I believe the authors missed the mark—especially in regard to Paul. While they are correct that he is concerned about unity in the church, they miss Paul’s thought about the uniqueness of the church. They miss the importance of revelation that played an important part of Paul’s thought. The work on Ephesians is weak to say the least.

Other features of this work include:
·          An evangelical view of the Bible.
·          A strong Calvinistic point of view at times.
·          An absence or acknowledgement of critical theory.
·          They give focus to the reader by presenting the books in relationship to them and their relationship with Christ.

It is written clearly for laymen and undergraduates, but I find it too basic and brief in parts. It is written as a textbook, but I would not use it as a main text for a course, but maybe parts of it as supplemental reading. I find it an OK survey; not the best. It is however, helpful in drawing ones attention to the thought and care each writer displayed in the biblical text. It is very readable and understandable.

I received this book free from Kregel Academics for the purpose of reviewing it. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Friday, November 20, 2015

Studies in Colossians #6

Prayer Report of the Apostle (1:9-14)

A. Reason for the Prayer 1:9

Paul records his request and desire through prayer. This section is one sentence in the Greek. The phrase “for this reason” refers back to the information, being a connective conjunction.[1] While some simply take this to refer to the last phrase of verse 13—“your love in the Spirit”—it should cover all that is said of them in verses 3-8. There are three things that commend this view: (1) The phrase Dia touto  which can be translated because of this, on account of this, or for this reason, but refers back to all that is said in the previous paragraph (1:4-8).[2] (2) This is confirmed by phrase “since the day we heard [of it] (1:9).  The word heard refers back to the same word in verse 4, which explains that Paul had heard of their faith, love, and hope. All of this must be included as the reason for the prayer. (3) It is also confirmed by the echo of 1:4-6 in this section the prayer report of 1:9-14. Notice:
Colossians 1:3-8
Colossians 1:9-14
From the day we heard
Thank / Thanks
Always / not stopped
We pray for you / praying for you
Understood / knowledge
1:9, 10
Bearing fruit and growing

There can be little doubt that Paul is referring to their experience and echoing the language of thanksgiving. The prayer comes directly from the above thanksgiving. Paul now is turning from thanksgiving to prayer—“we have not ceased to pray for you” (1:9). This phrase marks three elements of Paul’s prayer life:
·         His prayer was persistent—“have not ceased
·         His prayer life was intense—as seen by both the word pray and asks.
·         His prayer was intercessory—“for you.” It was for their benefit. It was a precise request which was brief, explicit, and directed to their spiritual needs.

He specifically prays for them to:

To Understand the Will of God (1:9b)

That you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (1:9). His desire is expressed by the word “filled(plerothete), meaning to fill up to completion. It is an aorist passive subjunctive, meaning the believer cannot fill himself. It is referred to as a “divine passive” indicating God is the agent of the filling. There are two things a believer is to be filled with:
·         First, this filling is to be with the Spirit (cf. Eph. 5:18). The fullness theme is one of the favorites of Paul. The word is used eight times in Colossians, and four times in Philippians.
·         Second, in this case, Paul wanted the believers to be filled with “the knowledge of his will.” The word “knowledge” appears twice in this prayer (1:9, 10). The Greek word is epignosis, meaning to know completely, a clear and precise knowledge, to fully perceive. It is knowledge directed towards an object, in this case it is God’s will, which comes from God’s Word. God’s will is knowable, and it can be understood. God has expressed His will, which originated in His mind, and recorded in His Word. God is an active God who orders the universe and shapes events according to His will. God has revealed His will in His word. It is necessary to know His will, but it is accomplished by reading the word of God.
This knowledge of God’s will is “in” the sphere of “spiritual wisdom and understanding.” The word for “wisdom” is sophia; it involves the whole range of excellence in the mental process, the intellect. Campbell notes that Paul uses this word with reference to a distinct body of truth for the Church, the Body of Christ.[3]  It is the truth for the church that was taught to them by the Word of God revealed to Paul for this dispensation (Rom. 16:25; 1 Cor. 2:6-10; Eph. 3:2-10). It was his prayer for believers to know the truth of the mystery that was revealed to and through him (cf. Eph. 1:17, Phil. 1:9). It is insight that is Spirit-given and revealed through the Word of God.
Understanding” is the critical, apprehending, and discriminating faculty of the intellect. The will of God is revealed in the Word of God and manifested under the guidance and empowerment of the Holy Spirit. In this context it means mature spiritual thinking. We have the means to comprehend and understand God’s will by the word of God. The Gnostic made a pretension of wisdom and of understanding and claimed a special relationship to wisdom as almost a private possession.[4] It was only a show of wisdom (Col. 2:23). It did not edify; rather it puffed up one with pride. It was simply wisdom of the flesh and the world (cf. 1 Cor. 1:18-2:8). We must have knowledge in all wisdom and understanding. “The divine will is in that Book, and when it, the Word of God, is illuminated by the Spirit of God we, His children, come to know His will concerning us.”[5]

To be continued...

[1]  Wallace, BEYOND THE BASICS, 271.
[2]  Campbell, COLOSSIANS & PHILEMON, 27.
[3]  Campbell, COLOSSIANS, 30.
[4]  A.T. Robertson, PAUL AND THE INTELLECTUALS, 34.
[5]  W.H. Griffith Thomas, STUDIES IN COLOSSIANS AND PHILEMON, [Grand Rapids MI, Baker, 1973], 33.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Survey of Sanctification


What is sanctification? The Hebrew word (qodesh) and the Greek word (hagiazo) both carry the meaning of being set apart, to separate, or separation. It is translated by many different English words: sanctify, set apart, sanctuary, sacred, saint, and holiness. The noun is never found in the Old Testament, but in the New Testament it is found a number of times (Rom. 6:19, 22; 1 Cor. 1:30; 1 Thess. 4:3-4, 7; 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Tim. 2:15; Heb. 12:14; 1 Pet. 1:2). The verb is found in the New Testament 28 times and has three meanings.

·         First, to hallow, or acknowledge or render to be venerable (Matt. 6:9).
·         Second, it means to separate or dedicate to God, to consecrate (Matt. 23:17;  2 Tim. 2:21; John 17:19).
·         Third it means to purify (Eph. 5:26; 1 Thess. 5:23; Heb. 2:11)

The term is used in both Testaments referring to places (Num. 7:1; 2 Chron. 7:16), things (Ex. 40:10-11; 1 Tim. 4:4-5), and people (Ex. 13:2; Gal. 1:15; 1 Peter 1:1-2), all of which are set apart for some purpose.

One point of confusion about sanctification that is widespread today is the idea that it means primarily to improve practical holiness. That is not the case. I direct you to John 17:18-19 where Jesus says, “For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” If the word sanctify means primarily to improve practical holiness, then we have a big problem. Jesus Christ, who is God, cannot improve His holiness either in character or in practice. To improve His holiness would mean that He had to be less than holy in the first place. God cannot improve His holiness: He is Holy (Lev. 11:44-45; 1 Peter 1:16). No, the primary meaning of sanctification is to set apart. Christ sanctified Himself, setting Himself apart for the special work and will of God the Father that was His purpose in coming to earth. He set Himself apart to come into the world, to be obedient to the point of death, to die, to be separated from the Father to accomplish our salvation. Thus, to be sanctified, holy, or a saint, means primarily to be set apart for God use,s and purpose.

How does sanctification affect the believer? That is a very important question. Sanctification is revealed in Scripture to have a threefold affect on the believer. It affects our salvation, state, and glorification.

Sanctification & Salvation

This is what many theologians call “positional” sanctification. We are “sanctified in Christ Jesus” (1 Cor. 1:2). Every believer is sanctified at the moment of salvation. That is we are set apart for God’s use. “We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb. 10:10). This is a one time event with continuing results. At salvation, “He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified” (Heb. 10:14). The NASB reads “He has perfected for all time….” Perfected is the Greek word teleioo, meaning to bring to a state of completion. We are complete in Christ. This is an act of God Himself to all that have salvation, for He who “sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one (Heb. 2:11 cf. 1 Cor. 1:2). Christ has been made unto us who are saved “sanctification” (1 Cor. 1:30).

Sir Robert Anderson observes:
Sanctification in this sense, therefore, is not a gradual change or a progressive work, nor yet a moral attribute; it is an act, like justification, accomplished once for all. Just as the guilty sinner passes, immediately when he believes, into a new condition relative to sin and a righteous God, and becomes thereby and thenceforth righteous; so the defiled sinner gains, as immediately and in the same way, a new standing relative to sin and a holy God, and becomes thereby and thenceforth holy.”[1]

Sanctification & State

Positional sanctification is our standing before God as holy. Practical sanctification is the process whereby the believer conforms to his position in Christ in everyday living. This is the area where we are to grow in Christ, from glory into glory (2 Cor. 3:18). This type of sanctification is not imputed (as is Positional sanctification), but imparted. Sanctification is imparted by three means:

·         THE WORD OF GOD.
Christ prayed for believers to be sanctified “through thy truth: thy Word is truth” (John 17:17). A channel of sanctification is the Word. As we walk in the light of the Word, we are set apart from evil. This is the practical outworking of God’s Word in us. It reveals to us the plan, purpose and will of God. Arthur Pink means a vital connection in the prayer of Christ for His own. The connection is between two petitions in the prayer: “keep them from the evil” (17:15) and “sanctify them by thy truth (17:17). He points out that “the former is secured by the latter.”[2] Practical sanctification comes in obedience to the Word. These things were written that we might “sin not” (1 John 2:1).
It is the Holy spirit who empowers us in our daily life. The Holy Spirit indwells us (1 Cor. 3:16). It is “by the Spirit” that we mortify the deeds of the body (Rom. 8:12-13). A.J. Gordon reminds us that, “Biblically, mortification is not asceticism. It is not self-inflicted penitence, but a Christ-inflicted crucifixion[3] (Gal. 2:20; Rom. 6:6). The Holy Spirit delivers us from the law of sin and death (Rom. 8:2). When we “walk in the Spirit” we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Gal. 5:16-18). Thus, set apart from sin unto a closer relationship with Christ. The believer needs the Holy Spirit to “put to death the deeds of the body” (Rom. 8:13). This is only possible by our submission to the Spirit who abides in us.
·         FAITH
In Acts 26:18 we read that the means of sanctification is faith. Faith not only “sets us apart” positionally, but also practically. Throughout the ages God had declared that the “just shall live by faith” (Gal. 3:11 cf. Hab. 2:4). Faith empowers us as believers to accomplish extraordinary things for God (Hebrews 11). It sets us apart as servant of God. It enables us to believe, act, and endure in this life.

Sanctification & the Final Stage

The final stage of sanctification awaits our glorification. “No matter how much progress we may have made in the life of holiness, entire conformity to Christ will only be realized when ‘that which is in part shall be done away’ (1 Cor. 13:10),” notes Thiessen.[4] Bible students refer to this as “ultimate sanctification.” It is then that we shall completely be what we should be. He will “present to Himself the church in all its glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy [sanctified] and blameless” (Eph. 5:27). This is the final stage of sanctification for which we await. Then our signification will be complete.

The Bible teaching on sanctification is clear. Sanctification begins in salvation, grows in Christian living, and is completed in the presence of our Lord.

[1]  Sir Robert Anderson, THE GOSPEL AND ITS MINSTRY, (Kregel, Grand Rapids, 1965), 121-122.
[2]  Arthur W. Pink, EXPOSITION OF THE GOSPEL OF JOHN, (Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 1971), 3:135.
[3]  A.J. Gordon, THE MINISTRY OF THE SPIRIT, (Bethany House, Minneapolis, 1985), 81.
[4]  Henry Clarence Thiessen, LECTURES IN SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY, (Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1963), 383.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Chart: Witnesses in John's Gospel

John the Baptist
John 1:7-8
Jesus Himself
John 8:14, 18
Jesus’ Works
John 5:36; 10:25; 14:11; 15:25
The Scriptures
John 1:45; 5:39, 46
People whom He comes in contact
John 4:39; 9:25, 38; 12:17
God the Father
John 5:37; 8:18
The disciples, including John
John 15; 19:35; 21:24
Holy Spirit
John 15:26


David E. Wilhite, THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO HERETICS, Grand Rapids MI, Baker Academic, 2015.

I must confess I am no church historian. Like most Pastors I have been more concerned with the teaching of the Bible than the history of the church. However, I wanted to read this book precisely because of my lack of knowledge on the subject.

The author deals with 10 heresies, after introducing the subject of orthodoxy and heresy. In his introduction he reports to revise our view on the subjects. He states that he is attempting to revise or reinterpret the heretics in light of the postmodern condition (p. 7). His says the approach is that of impartialness, although true objectivity is impossible (p. 10). He admits that the terms orthodoxy and heresy are both contested and illusive terms, and do not give precise definitions. Two factors must be considered: First, we must remember many of these heresies were formed before the books of the biblical canon were fully established. Second, the claim of the heretics was that they were orthodox.  His purpose is to look at how each heretic and teaching came to be seen as unorthodox (p.17). At the end of the book he makes a good concluding observation: Orthodoxy is a response to heresy, and heresy is an attempt to be viewed as orthodox (p. 247). Is this not true today? He tries to get beneath the embellishments of the opponents of these labeled heretics, which is the source of most of what we know of these men and their views. At times he seems a little too dismissive of the orthodox defenders writings against these heretics. He views the heretics as mistaken more than spiteful. That there views were more inadequate views of the gospel (p. 248); not necessarily a denial of it (although that is the case as well).  

He endeavors to boil the early heretics down to their primary errors. There are ten early heresies he examines:
  1. Marcion and the doctrine of Supersessionism, with God of the New Testament supersedes the God of the Old Testament.
  2. Ebion and the doctrine of Adoptionism, which viewed Jesus as simply human.  
  3. Gnostics and the doctrine of Docetism, that Jesus is God simply looking like man.
  4. Sabellious and the doctrine of Modalism, hold that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are just costumes of God.
  5. Arius and the doctrine of Subordination, that Jesus is almost God.
  6. Apollianaris and the doctrine of Subhumanism. Christ has a human body, but a divine soul or mind.
  7. Nestorius and the doctrine of Dyoprosopitism, God the Son is a different person who inhabits man Jesus.
  8. Eutyches and the doctrine of Monophysitism, Jesus is half God and half human.
  9. Iconoclasts and the doctrine of Antirepresentationalism, holds a nonincarnate Jesus.
  10.  Muslims and the doctrine of Reductionism, that Jesus was a prophet, not God.

Forms of these heresies are with us today. Thus, it is important to know and see their roots are longstanding in the history of the church, they rarely go away. Heretics are good at mixing the truth with what is false or inaccurate. Wilhite holds that which heresies presented an inadequate gospel; they did do a service to the church in that heresies helped formulate what was orthodox. (This seems to be the underlying thesis of the author).  Heresies may not be equal, but they are equally dangerous by the perverting Christ and His gospel.

I found the book informative and interesting. There are times I felt the author was a little too hard on those who stood up against the heretics, and a little soft on the heretics. It is reader friendly and will give an insight both in understanding these heresies and the development of orthodoxy in the early church. It is a helpful work.  

I received this book free from Baker Academics for the purpose of reviewing it. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.