columns from the Christian Research Journal, Summer 1987, page 30. The Editor-in-Chief of the Christian Research Journal is Elliot Miller.
Review of the book: "That the World May Know," by Earl Paulk, (K. Dimension Publishers, 1987.) Reviewed by Craig S. Hawkins.
That the World May Know is a response to the allegations made in Dave Hunt's The Seduction of Christianity that false teaching, even heresy and sorcery, are entering the church under the guise of practical and profound biblical truths. Believing that Hunt maligned and misrepresented many ministries by being inaccurate, excessive, and unscriptural in his approach, Paulk attempts a balanced and biblical assessment of many of the issues and people discussed by Hunt. Among those defended are Kenneth Copeland, Oral Roberts, Paul Cho, Robert Schuller, and Jim and Tammy Bakker. Although Paulk does not concur with everything these people say and do, he is nonetheless in substantial agreement with them.
Unfortunately, Paulk's answer to Hunt is neither balanced nor biblical. That the World May Know is literally filled with glaring theological and logical mistakes. Half-truths, oversimplifications, failure to understand issues (Paulk beats up many a "strawman"), "loaded" or inflammatory language, false analogies, etc., abound in a work which bills itself as the corrective to excesses in Hunt's book. Furthermore, he misquotes and consistently gives confused and distorted interpretations of Scripture.
A central theme of the book is a supposed scriptural mandate for unity of the church universal through submission to the "fivefold ministry" -- a concept based upon Paulk's (mis)understanding of Ephesians 4:11. This unity of "covenant brothers" can only be achieved as the church submits to the above authority structure. As the church complies, it will experience not only unity, but also new insights and revelations from the Bible, while at the same time being protected from false teaching and counterfeit gifts of the Holy Spirit. Moreover, only through this hierarchy can and should doctrines and ministries be judged, because only those of the fivefold ministry possess the right and ability to correctly interpret Scripture, let alone identify false doctrine. The point then is made that Hunt, not being in the fivefold ministry, has no business passing judgment on the teachings of those who are.
Another major doctrinal issue is Paulk's stand on the deification of man (specifically of the church). Claiming that people have misunderstood and taken out of context such statements as "Just as dogs have puppies and cats have kittens, God has little gods," Paulk tries to clarify and justify this view. In short, he makes a distinction between unbelievers trying to be "like God," that is, being autonomous and rebellious against God, versus believers as little gods who are in complete subjection to the sovereign God (pp.132-40). The former is sinful, he argues, but the latter is scriptural. He fails to comprehend that both of the above views are heretical according to historic orthodox Christianity. (See Robert Bowman's article "Ye Are Gods?" in the previous issue of this journal.)
This book can best be characterized by the word "irony." It purports to be a sound and biblical response, yet it is filled with mangled theology and logic. It accuses Hunt and others of maligning godly ministries, yet Paulk slanders those who disagree with him, even stooping to insinuate that Hunt wrote his book for money and/or other ungodly motives (pp.108-109). It states that Paulk's own views and those of others were misunderstood, yet Paulk misunderstands issue after issue (e.g., he falsely accuses Hunt of denying the perpetuity of spiritual gifts). To the point: everything Paulk accuses Hunt of, he is guilty of himself.
Finally, while the reader may recall that we have some disagreements with Hunt's analysis of certain issues in his previous two books, it needs to be clearly understood that we are in complete agreement with him when he says that the beliefs of Paulk (and those of similar persuasion) are dangerous. The problems with Hunt's books pale by comparison! Paulk's book is an insidious work of sophistry, an atrocious treatise. That the World May Know does not vindicate Paulk's theology, but sadly only confirms our suspicions: he is teaching rank heresy and leading his followers into the quicksands of deception.
Recent Releases on Jehovah's Witnesses
"Point/Counterpoint: A refutation of the Jehovah's Witness Book: Reasoning from the Scriptures, Volume 1: False Prophets" by Duane Magnani (Witness, Inc., 1987.) Reviewed by Robert M. Bowman Jr.
This is the first volume in a series of refuting the JW book Reasoning from the Scriptures, a handbook used by the JWs to defend their beliefs. This volume focuses on refuting pages 132-37 of that book in which the JWs attempt to rebut the charge that they are false prophets. With nearly 30 large pages of analysis and over 60 pages of photo-documentation, Magnani's book is as thorough as it is easy to read. This is one of the very best of Magnani's many excellent manuals for witnessing to JWs.
Duane Magnani is the head of Witness, Inc., a ministry emphasizing the use of accurate and thoroughly documented literature to reach JWs for Jesus. For further information, please contact Witness, Inc., P.O. Box 597, Clayton, CA 94517.
"Jehovah's Witnesses Answered Verse by Verse" By David A. Reed (Baker Book House, 1986.) Reviewed by Robert M. Bowman, Jr.
Following short chapters on what JWs believe and their Bible translation, in the main part of this book Reed provides helpful discussions of key Bible verses misinterpreted by the JWs. These are presented in the order the verses appear in the Bible, from Genesis 1:1-2 to Revelation 19:1. The book concludes with a brief chronology of the JWs, suggestions for witnessing, and Reed's personal testimony. This is an excellent introductory book on the JWs, as well as a helpful resource for experienced apologists.
David Reed (a Contributing Editor to the JOURNAL) is the head of Comments from the Friends, a ministry to JWs which publishes a very enlightening newsletter and provides a variety of other services. For further information, please write to Comments from the Friends, P.O. Box 840, Stoughton, MA 02072.
"Defending the Faith and Refuting Jehovah's Witnesses" By Randall Watters (Bethel Ministries, 1987.) Reviewed by Robert M. Bowman, Jr.
This is a two-volume set, with each book treating a variety of subjects of concern to JWs in alphabetical order, from Apostasy to War. Refuting focuses on giving arguments against the JWs' teachings, with extensive quotations from JW literature, while Defending presents a positive discussion of the same doctrinal issues and avoids references to the JWs or their literature. The books are well-written on a simple, layman's level, yet avoid superficiality.
Randall Watters, a former JW worker at the international Watchtower headquarters (called "Bethel") in Brooklyn, is the head of Bethel Ministries. This ministry distributes a wide variety of materials, and fosters fellowship among ex-JWs with an emphasis on evangelism. For further information, please contact Bethel Ministries, CP-258, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266.
End of document, CRJ0013A.TXT (original CRI file name),
"Book Reviews" and "Recent Releases"
release A, February 7, 1994
R. Poll, CRI
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