Volume 5 / Issue 9 | September 2018
The Apologetics Newsletter
of the Missouri Baptist Convention
In this issue: Subordination and Scripture; scoffers without the Spirit; incarnational heresies; the divisions false teachers create ... and more! Take the survey on false views of the Trinity, and see the results from last month's survey on influential false religions.
Subordination and Scripture
The Bible is clear that Jesus is one person with two distinct, but undivided, natures: human and divine. This means, at least in part, that by adding sinless humanity to His deity, Jesus did not become less than coequal with the other members of the Trinity. At the same time, we must address several verses of Scripture that seem to say Jesus is a lesser being than God.

Merely natural: scoffers without the Spirit
First-century false teachers honed the art of ridicule long before mean-spirited, modern-day brigands learned to light up late-night television and social media. Jude, in his short epistle, reminds his readers that the apostles warned about such people who would infiltrate the church. We should be on guard but not surprised.

Incarnational heresies
As we complete our study of the Incarnation -- the eternal Son of God taking on human flesh in the person of Jesus of Nazareth -- it's important to identify a number of heretical views that have plagued the church throughout its history. Some of these heresies effectively have been countered, while others continue to rear their ugly heads and cause people who sincerely seek the truth to embrace "another Jesus" (2 Cor. 11:4).

The divisions false teachers create
Jude writes that false teachers "create divisions" (Jude 19). The Greek word  apodiorizo  refers not only to divisions, but to the motives behind them and the results they produce. The term means “to make a distinction.” It describes these interlopers as ones who present themselves as superior to other leaders in the church. Marvin Vincent, the Presbyterian minister best known for his  Word Studies in the New Testament , writes that these false teachers “draw a line through the Church and set off one part from another.”

But you, dear friends ...
J ude begins the final segment of his short epistle with four exhortations for erecting a defensive perimeter around our spiritual lives: We are to build ourselves up in our faith, pray in the Holy Spirit, keep ourselves in the love of God, and expect the mercy of Christ for eternal life.

Shame, honor, and the gospel
Many Muslims reject the gospel because it does not align with their cultural perspective that stresses shame and honor rather than guilt and innocence. So, how can Christians, who embrace the doctrines of original sin and the substitutionary death of Jesus, present the gospel cross-culturally? Is it even possible?

New resource from the MBC
The MBC has released a new resource for personal or group study. What Every Christian Should Know About Salvation explores 12 Bible terms that describe God's work of redemption. Each chapter concludes with summary statements and probing questions that help individuals and groups dive deeper into the crucial doctrine of salvation.

Which false definition of the Trinity do you encounter most often?
A "freakish-looking three-headed god" (Jehovah's Witnesses)
Three gods (LDS, Islam, polytheists)
God, Jesus, and Mary (Islam)
Three modes of divine revelation (Modalism)
One god, but others exist (henotheism)
Results from last month's survey:
Which false belief system do you think is most likely to deceive the average American? Fifty-seven responses:
The Prosperity Gospel - 36
The Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints - 10
The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society (Jehovah's Witnesses) - 4
Islam - 3
Scientology - 2
Christian Science - 2
Missouri Baptist Convention | 400 E. High St., Jefferson City, MO 65101 | 573.636.0400 | mobaptist.org