The Mail Room
Letters from Volume 22
Welcome to the Mail Room for Present Truth Magazine! This is where we post some of the interesting letters which we receive from our viewers. All of our viewers are invited to E-mail us your comments and views and we will post these views for all to consider!
"Exposed Naked to Satan"
In his article, "Exposed Naked to Satan" Geoffrey Paxton mentioned the "high-priestly critics" and the "high-priestly champions of holiness," and he is "right-on" in his observations. However, I'm surprised that he failed to mention one of the most glaring scriptural hijackings of modern fundamentalism (falsely so called), that is, the dispensationalists' method of "rightly dividing" (?) the Word of truth. By designating most of the New Testament (the Gospels through the triumphal entry, Acts through chapter 9, and the Revelation) and large portions of the Old Testament as little more than a "Jewish Tribulation Handbook," they have in fact closed these for ordinary reading and exposition as surely as Rome did by putting the Scriptures on its "Index of Forbidden Books."
Your issue of Present Truth Magazine had an article so terrible that I do not want to see your periodical again. I am utterly unable to read anything that refers to some of the great leaders of biblical truth in the last generation under the title, "Exposed Naked to Satan." Please drop my name from your mailing list at once.
Easy to be Understood
I enjoy reading every issue of Present Truth Magazine and am benefiting from it very much, especially from your clear presentations of the doctrine of justification and all its implications. The tone of your articles is precise, plain, easy to understand, and yet so charitable — it is indeed refreshing.
Voice of Confusion
". . . .there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets . . ." Matt. 24:24. You misrepresent the beliefs of others; you twist the Bible to fit your doctrine. The world needs another voice of confusion like yours like it needs more sin and death. . . . I presume you have never been born again (Christ's coming in) and therefore have no hope of glory.
I have read the December issue of Present Truth Magazine with care and have found it to be very interesting. I'm a Lutheran pastor and am known among my brother pastors as one who is conservative. I have felt that I had a fairly good grasp of the doctrine of justification by faith, yet found that your article, "Justification by Faith and the Clarity of the Bible," gave me added insights into this basic teaching.
I am perplexed at your frequent barbs toward the Pentecostals. Your statement in the December issue of Present Truth Magazine , "No one can come to grips with the realities of justification by faith and at the same time subscribe to the basic principles of Pentecostalism," could hardly be further from the truth. Justification by faith and faith alone has been one of the mighty bulwarks of the Pentecostal faith throughout its history. This has been a firm foundation on which evangelists and ministers have built their ministry, and through this they have brought countless thousands into the kingdom of God. No one could have greater respect for Luther than these.
Unfair and Unscholarly
I find your "educated" and unscholarly attack against Pentecostalism unfair. How much of what you say in describing Pentecostals and Catholics is incorrect and distortion! Why don't you produce evidence to verify your assertions? Is it not because you are too full of bias and too opinionated to do so? Your magazine would be worth reading if it were documented with notes to demonstrate the accuracy of what you say. I regret that you are persuading so many people with what is a mixture of truth and error and not just "present truth."
Scriptural and Scholarly
As a Southern Baptist minister, I find your magazine to be a breath of fresh air in this polluted theological atmosphere we live in today. I have spent hours reading and rereading your articles. My compliments to your scriptural and scholarly approach to complex doctrines which, after you have exegetically spoken of them, are not so complex after all!
Out of Focus
It seems that Mr. Brinsmead, in seeking to press his point in the October Present Truth Magazine ("Understanding the Roman Catholic Doctrine of Justification by Faith"), has pushed things out of focus. Pluralism reigns in today's Catholic Church. Most Catholics are wandering humanists who hold to Catholicism out of religious convenience rather than conviction. The truth is that contemporary Catholics make good Arminians rather than the other way around (e.g., Catholic charismatics).
I find only sadness in your hairsplitting debates with Rome (who couldn't care less what you think!) or the hassles over "justification by faith" (which interest the vast majority of Protestants even less, who are primarily concerned with their local liturgical customs!).
You can't imagine how encouraging your issue on "Understanding the Roman Catholic Doctrine of Justification by Faith" was. I was raised in a very staunch Roman Catholic home with the idea of becoming a nun, and I praise God for how He has given me the understanding of the objectivity of the gospel. A relative is studying to be a Roman Catholic priest, and I pray that this issue will cause him to understand Catholic/Protestant differences.
Lack of Objectivity
Present Truth Magazine seems to be lacking progression, diversity and also objectivity. Though having dedicated your magazine "to the restoration of New Testament Christianity in this generation," you have limited yourself to the central issues of the sixteenth century Reformation controversy and the charismatic movement. Beyond that, little, if anything, has been done to restore the New Testament. To be sure, justification by faith is doubtless a central doctrine, but there are other important issues within the New Testament.
Your issue on "Understanding the Roman Catholic Doctrine of Justification by Faith" is fantastic! I see that I've been Catholic in thinking most of my life. I've been in five or six churches, devoured much literature, and was thoroughly confused in my thinking. Your magazine has slowly but surely straightened out my thinking. Thank God for your publication.
"How to Live the Victorious Life"
I want to be among your many readers who will be writing to say they appreciate the little booklet, How to Live the Victorious Life. It is a great work, clear in content, well documented, and satisfying to my soul. Thank you for sending it to me. I love it.
I am elated. The reason? Your publication, Present Truth Magazine. I have received your booklet entitled, How to Live the Victorious Life, and it seems that with each mailing you outdo yourselves in clarity and common sense. After reading the first few pages of your booklet, my mind was silently applauding the merit of Brinsmead's work — a few pages later the roar became deafening—and at the end a full-scale "Encore, encore!" standing ovation and bravos.
How could Christians have lost sight of these truths? How have we permitted the gospel of Christ to become bastardized? It is so reassuring and refreshing to come in from an atmosphere of such distortion to enlightenment and understanding. Present Truth Magazine places the proper perspective on the Bible to do just that.
Charles Nash, Methodist Minister
Sir: I believe that it was by the providence of God that I came across the special issue of Present Truth Magazine, "Justification by Faith and the Charismatic Movement." It had been buried in a pile of papers, and I just happened to uncover it the other day, for which I thank God. It's one of the most thought-provoking and inspiring magazines I have ever come across.
I believe you are really restoring New Testament Christianity in this age of confusion. I live in a Catholic country; the majority of its citizens don't care very much about Jesus. I'm very grateful to you for such a sincere, powerful, really Christian message.
I greatly enjoy your publications. They are like a course in systematic theology.
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