false teaching

Deepak Chopra vs. R. C. Foster

Deepak Chopra was teaching his audience that each person is god (and this event taking place in a Protestant church, no less). Several times he used (that is, misused) Scripture to try and lend credibility to his points. I was reminded of something R. C. Foster (a longtime, beloved professor at Cincinnati Christian University) had written as he denounced promoters of the social gospel back in the earlier 1900s. He described how eagerly they tossed out the doctrine parts of Scripture but used what we might call the feel-good parts that suited their purposes. Of such teachers R. C., with his typical wit, said: “They would create ‘a new religion for this new age,’ but find themselves forced to go to the New Testament for their material.” (Studies in the Life of Christ: The Middle Period, p 489)

Studies in the Life of Christ (book)I’ve found new appreciation for R. C. Foster’s classic Studies in the Life of Christ. I had not grasped what an expert R. C. was on the attempts in the early 1900s to rid the church of the authority of the Scriptures, belief in the deity of Jesus and the atonement, etc. (I didn’t even understand that all that had happened anyway). His Gospels material is written from this perspective. He takes every opportunity to highlight “controversial” Scriptures and—with startling and scholarly precision—convincingly exposes the errors of false teachers. As I watch the early 1900s repeating themselves today (with Bible colleges and churches using material that denies the same foundational doctrines) . . . well, R. C.’s work reads like today’s news alongside great Gospels commentary.

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