Thursday, November 24, 2016

it's after Thanksgiving now, time for...

...the Star Wars Holiday Special!!!

Yes, I am very determined to prove by my sterling example that the Fall of humanity in Eden really did happen. Nothing else can explain both the existence of this thing, and my glee in sharing it.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

book review—The Physics of Heaven

How can one adequately review the sheer stupid in this book?

First, understand that I'm not a scientist, physicist, or anyone like that. But this book is less a work of science then of something pretending to be theology, and about that I think I can say a few things. Because taken as theology, there is pretty much nothing of any value that can be gained from reading this nonsense.

The account in Acts 2 of the events of Pentecost comes in for special abuse by the contributors to this book. “I began thinking about the day of Pentecost. One hundred and twenty believers were in an upper room in Jerusalem when they heard a sound like a mighty rushing wind. It wasn’t a wind, it was a sound. And when that sound ended, the thinking of those men and women was completely changed.” (p. 3). “Just as the people were in the upper room on the day of Pentecost, when suddenly there came from heaven a noise, and this noise was like a violent rushing wind, there will come again a noise that I will release from heaven.” (Introduction). “Clearly, one of the greatest revivals in human history— the vibration of heaven in Acts— set all kinds of things in motion. Why? Because, the 120 believers in the Upper Room didn’t get hung up on sound alone. They let the sound take them somewhere else, triggering all their senses to the point that they were drunk from the vibration.” (p. 102). If you read this book, you might come away thinking that the big thing that happened at Pentecost was that there was a noise. It wasn't, the big thing was that the Holy Spirit came on the people in the upper room. In Acts 8 and 10, where accounts are given of the Spirit coming on other people, no such sound is mentioned.

But to the contributors to this book, sound is pretty much all-important. “When you connect to the spirit realm, you make an alliance with that sound of heaven and all things move to that sound.” (p. 164). Funny how the Bible teaches nothing about this. “We began having prophecies in 1995 that there is a new sound coming, a new heavenly sound.” (p. 25). I don't doubt it, but considering that the person being interviewed here, Bob Jones, was a known false prophet who by his own admission got it wrong hundreds of times, I hardly see why these prophecies would be believed. “God began to teach me through this angel about sound and the power of the spoken word. He said that because God spoke His creative will, man can also speak words that create.” (p. 92). Huh? Really? Where is that in the Bible? “I later met a man God had taken to heaven and shown how to produce four dimensional objects with sound. This man told me he has used sound to project a house that is two and a half inches square and is three dimensional so you can walk around and look inside the windows.” (p. 91). Funny how Pierce doesn't give the man's name, and not even a google search shows any info about this supposed feat.

Some have tried to defend this book by pointing out that one contributor, David Van Koevering, is a scientist. Maybe, but in this book, he isn't writing as a scientist, but as a theologian, and a rubbish one at that. “This Scripture makes sense only when you understand it at the atomic and subatomic level.” (p. 135). Well, that just puts paid to a couple of thousand years of Church history. What did those idiots like Irenaeus, Augustine, Luther, and Calvin know? “The spiritual realm operates above the speed of light.” (p. 136). Says the Bible nowhere. “When man fell, the speed of light slowed down.” (p. 136). Ditto. “Understand that your healing or miracle is within the next nanosecond! In the blink of a nanosecond, He can cause your healing. Observe your healing, your miracle, your deliverance, and be filled with all Truth by observing the future God has for you. Take that quantum leap!” (p. 139). Well, he's sure got the faith-healer schtick down pat, doesn't he? “Have you fixed your past? Have you removed all curses? Have you blessed the things you own? Have you blessed your house, office, car, belongings, money, computer, and phone? Are those things and places free from your past actions, words, and thoughts? You or someone else can speak a blessing or curse on your things. Somebody is about to take a quantum leap!” (pp. 142-143). Umm...dude, here's a hint, just between you and me. Tacking the phrase “quantum leap” onto everything doesn't make unbiblical ideas an better. You have no business being any kind of Christian teacher, because what you're teaching isn't at all biblical, it's just some junk you've made up.

Then, there is Bill Johnson, who is always good for some unbiblical nonsense. “Our role in shaping the world around us through creative expression is never more at the forefront than when we joyfully learn to pull tomorrow into today. God trains us for this role whenever He speaks to us, for in doing so He is working to awaken and establish our affections for His kingdom.” (p. 171). Yeah, calling tomorrow into today, whatever that means, is never taught in the Bible. “If you can see God’s coming future promises, and He hasn’t blinded your eyes to His intent, then He is hoping to hook you into the role of calling “into being that which does not exist.””(p. 178). Nowhere in the Bible are we told to call things into being, that is a pretty silly misreading of a verse that talks about God calling things into being. “There are anointings, mantles, revelations, and mysteries that have lain unclaimed, literally where they were left, because the generation that walked in them never passed them on.” (pp. 30-31). Read or listen to NAR types long enough, and you'll conclude that they are addicted to anointings, mantles, revelations, and such stuff. They are constantly passing them along, saying they are getting them or giving them away, et al. And as you may guess, none of it is biblical.

And that brings up what this book is really about, the NAR and their version of dominionism. They want to rule the world, and they have latched onto quantum physics as a way of justifying certain aspects of their rubbish theology, like how they think they are the ones who can call things into existence, or that vibrations somehow mean that their words have supernatural power.

Finally, if nothing else shows just how stupid this book is, check out this statement. “The four universal elements are water, wind, fire, and earth.” (p. 67). Yes, he's being very serious.

This book is junk. There are so many much betters works of both physics and theology out there, and it's simply sad that a bunch of so-called church leaders wrote this work of utter stupidity.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

non-PC excerpt--The Butcher, the Baker, and the Coffee Makers

This is an excerpt from the middle of the book, so there will be characters in it who weren't in the excerpt posted earlier.

"Oh, boy, this could get interesting!" She muttered to herself, then took the role of leading the discussion. "Mary, could you read that first question to us."

"Sure. Let me see... "What are some good ways we as a church can show a loving welcome to those who are involved in alternative lifestyles". Wow, that's quite the question."

"So, any thoughts."

As expected, it was Cindi who took up the gauntlet. "Well, I think this definitely is a step in the right direction. A church should be a place where everyone is welcomed and accepted, and not just put up with. We need to be just as welcoming to the gay couple as we are to the family with five children, maybe even more so, since the gay couple isn't overpopulating the planet."

Tony was nodding his head with vigor. "I agree, I agree, and I'd go further. While I appreciate this as a good first step, the church really needs to get with the times, and finally accept and embrace any form of love that two or more people have for each other. God is love, and where there is love, God is there, and as someone who knows several gay people in college and knows that they truly love each other, I cannot with a clear conscience condemn their love and the expressions of their love for each other."

"So what are you saying?" Naomi asked him.

"I'm saying that if this church wants to truly have a loving welcome to those in alternative lifestyles, it needs to do more than just adopt a version of the "don't ask don't tell" policy. It needs to see the gay couple, or the group of bisexual lovers, as being just as much a family as the hetero couple. It needs to lose the language of sin in regards to outdated sexual taboos, and see that the Bible nowhere condemns the loving and caring expressions of love between consenting adults. Homosexuality itself is never condemned in the Bible, only unhealthy forms of domination in any sexual practice."

"That is wrong." Bob interrupted. "When the Bible speaks about any such sexual practices, it always says they are wrong."

Tony wasn't going to back down. "There are only like, what, six or seven verses in the Bible that deal with homosexuality? And Jesus never said anything about it, so it's hardly that big of an issue."

Naomi knew already that Bob wasn't one to shy from a confrontation. "There are very few verses that deal with many important issues. If we're staying in the realm of sexual issues, how many verses deal with sex with animals? Not a whole lot, but they are there, and are you going to say that it isn't a big issue nowadays simply because nothing is recorded of Jesus saying anything about it? And there are few verses concerning parents having sex with their children, or vice versa, but are you going to say that practice is ok now simply because it's not something addressed in every other chapter of the Bible?

"And you're wrong, again. Jesus plainly said that in the beginning, they were to be husband and wife, male and female. The overall teaching of the Bible is that marriage is between men and women. The closest you can come to any divergence from that is that polygamy was an accepted practice in Israel during the Old Testament times.

"But even granting the complication of polygamy, at not time was any form of same-sex practices ever accepted in the Bible. And there are liberal theologians who know that the Bible cannot be used to support their own acceptance of such practices, so they have to come up with their own ideas to somehow make it seem like God is more accepting of such things nowadays."

Tony was pretty mad, and Naomi wasn't sure she blamed him. Not that she disagreed with Bob, but he spoke rather bluntly on the matter. But before she could say anything, Evan asked, "So, how should we welcome people in such alternative lifestyles?"

"The same way we welcome all people. It doesn't matter that their sins might be sexual, or greed, or lying, or any others, Christ died so that they can be forgiven of those sins through repentance and faith in Him."

Evan nodded in a thoughtful matter, but Cindi now jumped in again. "Don't talk to us about sin." her face was contorted in an ugly manner. "How dare you try to put on a holier-than-thou act!"

"I'm not." Bob was getting a bit heated, too, though he was trying to stay calm. "I am a sinner, it was for my sins that Christ died. I am not holier-than-thou, I am well aware of my fallen state and sinful nature, that I am the vilest sinner that I know of, and if Christ can save me, he can save anyone."

Her head set in a haughty manner, Cindi replied. "It's such a shame when you use your religion to hurt people. You should feel ashamed of yourself, because all you see in your religion is a bunch of Thou Shalt Nots, and all you end up doing in hurting a bunch of good, caring, loving people, who want nothing more than to live in the love that they have for each other. They aren't doing you any harm, they aren't demanding that you stop loving women, all they want is for you to love and accept them as they are, as God made them, as they have no choice but being. You're not better than those stupid bigots back in the sixties, saying white people shouldn't marry black people."

For the first time in the few weeks she'd known Bob, Naomi heard real anger in his voice. "You are the one who is not showing them real love, ma'am. You are the one who is telling them that their sinful sexual choices are acceptable to God, a lie that leads them to believe in a false god, and will ultimately lead them to Hell. You are the one who is really and ultimately hurting them. You are not showing them godly love, you are simply showing them politically correct cowardice."

"And your analogy to racism is absolutely ludicrous." Evan jumped in with some heat in his voice. "Skin color is nowhere near the same thing as choices concerning sexual activities. There are many black people who resent how gays have tried to use the civil rights movement to justify their immorality, and are comparing their sin to our skin."

"Guys, guys, we're all friends here." This discussion was threatening to get out of hand, and Naomi was afraid it would cross some serious lines, and might even come to look bad on her. "I think we can discuss this without insulting each other."

"I doubt that." Evan muttered. " I agree with Bob. I hope this church makes gay people welcomed, just like a church should make thieves, liars, porn watchers, and all sinners welcomed. They should be welcomed, but not made comfortable in their sins. Bob has said nothing that any Christian through the past couple of thousand years wouldn't agree with."

"This isn't two thousand years ago, it's now." Tony obviously wasn't ready to concede anything. "Whatever backwards views of sexuality they had in ancient times, I hope it can be expected that we have advanced beyond those homophobic morals. If this church wishes to succeed and grow, it will have to change with the times, it will have to not only welcome, but accept and celebrate all forms of caring, loving relationships, no matter how those relationships may violate the church's arcane and outdated moral codes.

"People like you have been around the past two thousand years." Bob said. "You've been wrong all that time, and you, sir, are wrong now. The church is not a bull horn by which the world proclaims what it has declared right and wrong. The church does not echo the world, but speaks the Word of God as God has given to us in the Scriptures. The commands against homosexuality are no more outdated then the commands against murder, adultery, or theft.

"If Lanover Church wishes to grow in godliness and holiness, it will not hold the opinions of the world over the commands of God. It will speak the Gospel, telling sinners of their sins, including homosexuality, and telling them that even for those sins, Christ died. If it does not do those things, if it accepts the world's twisted moral codes or even tries to play nice by remaining silent, then it will have lost any notion of being a Christian church, and the anathema should be pronounced over it."

a bit of music: bluegrass Thriller by Honeywagon

Saturday, November 5, 2016

lunacy in writing: “to be” is not to be?

Apparently, I've not been keeping up so well with the latest trends in writing.

Apparently, in the not so distant past, the foremost grammarians of the English-speaking world gathered upon some rocky, craggy, storm-wracked island in the middle of the ocean, thousands of miles from any contaminating outside influence, where with grim visages and grim grimoires they discussed amongst their privileged few the ultimate and absolute answer to that grim and troubling question proffered by the great English playwrite centuries ago, spilling red ink like blood upon the that fabled and mysterious altar of the proofreading editor, and finally with grim and absolute certainty and with authority like unto Moses coming down from Mt. Sinai they did state that, indeed, forthwith, unto eternity future, and from this time forth and even forever more, “to be” is no longer to be.

In case, like myself, you have not heard the news, you need only look into that ultimate resource for all authority, the internet, to learn about this great proclamation. There are several sites which make the claim that they have advice which will help on write better, and maybe they are right, but they are sites which claim using “to be” verbs, words like “is” and “are” and “was”, are to be avoided because they for some reason weaken one's writing and are essentially useless.

Perhaps the best answer to this idea is something pithy, like “Bollux!” Or, more appropriately, "That is bollux!"

When this new and strange rule was recently brought to my attention, when someone in no uncertain terms said that I should never use “was” or “had”, one of my first thoughts was to check with writers who have had no small amount of success as writers, and see how their writings measured up to this rule. For example, I went to look at one of the classics, Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, and looked at the first few paragraphs of that story, and saw several examples of these evil “to be” words. In fact, looking now at the first couple of paragraphs of the story, I count “was” being used 7 times, along with one time for “were”, and 3 times for “had”.

And I didn't stop with what some might call an old fuddy-duddy of a writer, either. No, I needed to look at more contemporary examples, too. Like Terry Pratchett's “Guards! Guards!”. The story opens with a small section about dragons, and in this small section, I counted 7 usages of “is” counting an “isn't” and “there's”, as well as an “are” and a “were”.

I also looked at some examples from modern popular writers, like James Patterson and Tom Clancy, and with them, too, I saw those dreaded and forbidden words being used.

Now, I know, some of the people who say that we should not use “to be” verbs are not trying to make it some kind of absolutely absolute rule. But the fact that it's even a rule is simply disturbing on all kinds of level.

"To be" verbs are among the most common words in English, and there is a reason for that—they do important work. They are humble, noble, useful words. To deny them their place, to pretend they are not important, is simply lunacy, and I will take the practices of the real writers who can skillfully use these words over the people who for whatever reasons consider them to be no longer useful.

To forbid the use of “to be” verbs, or to try to create some kind of artificial limit on how often they should be used, is hardly addressing the problem. “Is” was, is, and will never be the problem.

No doubt, “to be” verbs can be used wrongly, and that is something a writer should be wary of. But that is also the point. The problem is misuse, not use. To say that we should wholly scarp these verbs because some unidentified person somewhere at some time has determined them to be no longer needed, that they somehow weaken our writing and show laziness, is absurd.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

excerpt--The Butcher, The Baker, and The Coffee Makers

The late Thursday afternoon traffic in the city of Lexington, KY was in its usual state of chaotic motionlessness. One lane of the inner loop of New Circle Road was at a crawl, and the other lane was doing little better, because of all of the automobiles trying to get into the slower lane to reach a desired exit ramp, or trying to merge into the faster lane. Somehow, the result of all of this mess was only a couple of fender-benders and no serious injuries.

The exit ramp for Tates Creek Road was backed up to New Circle itself, which wasn't helped by a traffic light programmed to keep cars from turning onto Tates Creek for just a few seconds less than a geological age. Several drivers sat through two full cycles before they were finally able to make their turn.

After that, things got a bit easier for most of the drivers. On this day, Tates Creek had no back-ups, so the only delays were at the traffic signals.

At Brown Road, several cars turned right into a suburban maze. One of those cars was a dark brown sedan, of a foreign make known for reliability, a car no longer new though far from being an antique. This car wended through the suburban maze at a slow pace, turned right at one stop sign then left at the next, and finally stopped at the curb in front of a narrow two-story house.

The driver stepped out of the car, and immediately had to wipe the fog from his glasses. It was an early September day, but felt as if August was not yet ready to give up its fiery hold on the weather, even this late in the day. He cleaned his glasses, then turned to the house's driveway. At the open garage door, a man was setting up a grill, and he waved at the man who had just arrived. "Hey, Bob, glad you could make it."

"Hello, Nick. Wouldn't want to miss it. Here in about an hour or so, all will be right with the world."

The man at the grilled laughed. "You do take your football seriously, don't you."

"Especially now, with the season getting ready to start. I missed a lot of the past few seasons, being overseas and all, so I'm anxious to enjoy some games."

"Well, I'm getting this thing ready for the meat. We should have quite enough for everyone."

"Who all's coming?"

"Carrie and I invited some people we met at the church we've been going to, Steve and Amy Fairfax. Nice folks, a lot like us, married a bit over a year, trying to make some headway at work, stuff like that. I think you'll like them."

"No doubt."

The door at the back of the garage opened, and Nick's wife Carrie came out. "Hello, Bob."

"Carrie, hello."

Nick said, "I was just telling Bob about Steve and Amy."

"Oh, good, you haven't yet met them, have you?"


"I do hope you'll get along with them. In fact, Amy's sister Naomi is coming with them this evening. I've met her a few times, she's a sweetie. I think you'll like her, Bob."

"Oh. Maybe."

"Don't be like that, Bob. I'm not trying to set you up or anything, but if something should work out between you and her..."

It was a bit of an irritant to Bob, that his friends seemed to want to press him into dating. "We'll get along, but I'm not promising anything else."

"I know, I know. Well, I'll call Amy, and see if they're going to arrive soon. If so, you can start grilling, Nick."

"I am armed and ready, some might even say dangerous"

Carrie shook her head in mock exasperation. "I swear, Bob, put Nick in a kitchen, and he's completely lost, but put a grill in front of him, and he thinks he's all that."

"Only because I am." Nick replied with a mischievous tone.

"Anyway, I need to get back inside, and find my phone, wherever it was I last left it." Carrie walked back through the garage and into the house.

"I'm sorry about the whole thing with trying to set you up." Nick said.

"No big deal."

"You've only been back a few months, and the break-up with Darla was..."

"I'm not going to say I'm over it. We both know better than that."

"You cared for her, Bob. Heck, how long did you two date? I know it was while you were in high school with her."

"A few years." Actually, Bob had known of Darla while they were both in high school, but she had been a couple of grades behind him. He had not felt anything special towards her until the summer he'd returned home after his first year of college. He had taken her out for a couple of dates that summer, and they kept in contact over the next school year. It was after that year, with college seeming to be more and more useless to him, that Bob had enlisted into the Army. He had proposed to Darla a few days before going to boot camp. He had been in the military for five years, including over two years in Afghanistan, and Darla had gone to college. Their plans had been to marry after she graduated.

"Still, to break up with you while you were off like that..."

"Let's leave it be." The nerves over what had happened between him and the woman he'd loved were still raw, and it was difficult to talk about, especially since his own reactions were not the types of bitter diatribes many people seemed to expect. Of course, there were ill feelings and bitterness in him over it, and he struggled with them. But he didn't want those feelings to overwhelm him.

"If it helps, Naomi is about as pretty a young lady as you could hope to meet. Only the best for you, man. Well, the best after Carrie, you know."

"Of course."

The door opened again, and Carrie returned, this time carrying a tray of steaks, burgers, and brats. "They're on their way, maybe about ten more minutes, if traffic stays good."

Nick visibly livened up."Good, good. By the way, Bob, thanks for all of this food."

"Being a butcher does have its advantages." Bob worked at a place called MacCutcheon's Meat Market, and got the employee's discount.

"You're not kidding. Ah, I love the smell of barbequing meats in the evenings. Thanks, hon."

Carrie had also brought some cold cans of soda, and the friends stood and talked while the food was cooking. A few minutes later, another car pulled up in front of the house, and the rest of the party arrived.

"Hey." The man, who had to be Steve, was a lot like Nick--a bit over six feet tall, looked like he obviously spent some time in the gym, dressed in a formally casual way, professionally short hair and a smile that showed glowing, perfect teeth. The woman walking with him had to be Amy, and she was tall, tan, blonde, and dressed in some kind of short sun dress.

Now being in on what was going on, Bob couldn't help having a bit of interest in the young lady whom his friends had decided to target him with. She walked a little behind the couple, but smiled brightly at Carrie when they greeted each other.

Bob had to agree with Nick, she was quite pretty. A few years younger than her sister, maybe college age, and a couple of inches shorter. She wore her blonde hair long and tied back in a simple pony tail. "Steve, this is our friend Bob. I think we've mentioned him a few times." Nick said, pointing to Bob with the spatula.

"Yeah. Hey, I'm Steve Fairfax."

"Bob. Bob Smith."

Nick spoke up. "Bob's the one who brought the burgers and brats, so you'd best be nice to him."

"Oh, really! Yeah, I'll play nice, sure. This stuff looks good, where did you get it."

"I work at Mac's Meat Shop, one of the butchers there."

"Oh, wow, a butcher, that's cool!"

Some part of Bob's mind whispered the word "Twit", but he said nothing.

Steve kept going. "Honey, this is their friend Bob. Bob, my wife Amy, and her sister, Naomi. She's going to the university here, what year are you in?"

"Junior." The girl said with a bright voice. "Hi, you're Bob, right?"


"Happy to meet you." Bob was annoyed with himself for not being able to think of any better way to describe the girl than "bright", but it was simply an accurate description. Her blue eyes were bright and alert, her smile was bright with a hint of mischief to it, her personality was bright and sunny.

He had to admit, he was struck.

"What are you studying?" He asked, noticing that the other two couples were leaving the two of them alone.

"Social work. I want to be able to help people, you know."


"Yeah. The school year just started, so things aren't very stressful yet. If I remember, Nick said you were in the Army?"

"Yes. Spent some time overseas, in Afghanistan."

"Did you do any...fighting?"

"Some, yes. I missed the initial conflict, but did have some encounters with insurgents and other kinds of rowdies."

"So you've shot people."

"Yes." He could see her face get a troubled expression, and immediately got the impression things weren't going to go very well between them. There was no blame in him, she was simply one who didn't like to think of things like violence and killing, and his own blasé manner about his actions bothered her a little.

But Bob wasn't going to pretend to feeling badly about what he had done. Some years before, he had developed a certain mindset, based around his theological views. He knew that he was a fallen, sinful person, and that he had very real reasons to feel guilty. But he also knew that there were people who tried to create guilty feelings in others based on bad reasons, while also trying to tone down the guilt of really sinful and wicked acts.

Bob's view was that anyone who wanted to make him feel guilty had numerous ways of doing it, but that he was not going to feel guilt for things that were not wrong. Bob had shot and killed men who had been trying to kill him and his fellow soldiers. He saw no reason to feel guilty about having done those things.

"How was your summer break?" He asked, thinking it may be a more comfortable topic for the girl. She jumped at it, and for a while they talked about more normal things. Then Nick announced that the food was ready, and they all went into the house to get plates and drinks.

Pre-game programs were on the wide-screen television in the living room, and they made their way to the couch and chairs to eat and wait for the game to begin. After a bit, Steve looked over at Naomi. "Hey, have you asked Bob yet to the single's ministry meetings?"

The girl, who had been seated next to Bob on the couch, blushed a little. "No."

"You should. That's where Amy and I met, back about the time the church's size really exploded, two or three years ago. We went when the single's ministry was still new, and, well, yes, we met, and started seeing each other, and, well, the rest is history, as they say."

"Really?" Bob said.

"Yeah, you should go. Naomi will probably be there, it's a good place to go and meet people, and they have some good teachings, too. Well, I guess so, I haven't been there for a while. We've been going to the newlywed's meetings, along with the small groups we're both a part of. The single's ministry still meets Saturday evenings, right?" He asked the last of Naomi.

"Yes, at seven." She said.

"Check it out. Do you have a church, Bob?"

"I think I've found a good one, yes."

"That's fine. But take a look over at Lanover Christian, if you get the chance. We've really been growing! If nothing else, come listen to the praise band on Sunday. Man, they rock the house! And Pastor Mike is always finding great ways to make sermons interesting. He did a good series a few weeks ago, talking about spiritual lessons in movies from the past year. We even had an indoor fireworks show for the Sunday before the Fourth of July."

"Really?" Bob wasn't sure what to make of that. "Maybe I will."

 "Hey, I think they're coming to the kick-off." Nick said, and the rest of the evening was mostly devoted to enjoying the game.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

book review-- Burning Ones by Jerame Nelson

A steaming pile of pseudo-theology

The author of this book should be credited with at least this much, that he states his premise for this book right at the first, “I believe that God is raising up the Burning Ones in this hour.” (p. 15). He also calls these Burning One dread champions, for what it's worth, which isn't much, since he never tells us where the Bible tells us God is raising up these Burning Ones. No, he only tries to hammer his ideas into scriptural passages that don't teach those ideas.

Of course, to become one of these “Burning Ones”, you have to work for it, you have to earn it. “One of the marks of the dread champions will be that they will be a generation who will embrace the fire of God, not run from it. They will be those who are willing to pay the price necessary to become carriers of His glory.” (p. 71). Yep, it's all up to you. Too bad for him, though, that the Bible refutes this notion, in Galatians 3, “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. 2 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5 Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— 6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?” This passage puts paid to any notion that we can do any works to receive the Spirit or receive any miracle.

One of his main tactics is to use biblical passages as metaphors for his Burning Ones. He does it, for example, to some biblical descriptions of David's mighty men, claiming these descriptions are somehow applicable to his Burning Ones, when there is nothing in the Bible that supports such a view or teaching. He tries it with Deuteronomy 11, claiming that the things mentioned there are metaphors for his Burning Ones, which has no biblical support, either.

Another main tactic of his is to constantly refer to these bizarre dreams and visions he claims to have gotten from God. If anything, these things are more important for his book's teachings then anything he tries to shoehorn into the Bible. In fact, it wouldn't be unfair to say that his faith is much more in these unscriptural visions then in the scripture itself.

Of special audacity, and not in the good sense, is the last chapter. It's simply hilarious when someone peddling strange fire like he is tries to warn others of strange fire. At one point in this chapter, he wants to try to warn people of those who are “toking the ghost”, and while I can agree with his warning to some degree, he does this just after bragging about a time he was “hammered in the Spirit” (p. 206) and trying to get people to come to God by comparing God to a marijuana hit. There's an old saying about pots and kettles that seems very applicable here.

A third tactic, one pretty closely related to the second, is his constant referring to miracles he claimed happened during his ministry. My response to these claims is a complex but important one, and it follows here...

“I remember preaching in Lakeland, Florida, during the time when a revival burned through GodTV to the world known as the Florida Outpouring.” (p. 195). The Lakeland Revival was the event that spun around the person of Todd “Kicking Grandma in the Face with my Bike Boots” Bentley. One of the big elements of this “revival” was claims of healings. World Magazine did an article called Heal or Heel?, telling about when they looked into some of the claims of healings from Bentley, and got a short list of people healed. But when World investigated further, they learned that these people weren't really healed at all, that Bentley was lying.

This World Magazine article is especially relevant to the claims in this book of people being healed of cancer, because the article mentions claims by Bentley of people who were healed of cancer, but who later died of that same cancer.

Here's the truth—faith healers lie. It's been shown that Benny Hinn's healings are fake. Tricks like the fake leg-lengthening “healing” have been well-documented. The entire thing has been exposed as a falsehood, a scam to whip up enthusiasm, create followers who have tossed discernment aside, and of course make the minister filthy rich. And worse then that, people die when they think they've been told they are healed when they really aren't, something shown in the World Magazine article, but not just there. Foreign Policy Magazine did an article called Angels and Demons, which tells about how in Africa people with AIDS are dying because Pentecostal faith healers are telling them they are healed, so these people stop taking their anti-retroviral drugs.

Some people might think the title of this review is crass and too much, but it's not. This book is exactly what the title says it is. It is filled with false teachings, it is filled with twistings of biblical passages. The only place this book should be found is in a trash bin.