Sunday, 26 April 2009

Dominionist church in Hamilton loses its charitable status

And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. Luke 12:15

As reported by Kevin Donovan in The Toronto Star on February 18, 2009:

An evangelical church that used donor money to pay for gym memberships, Gucci fashion accessories and trips to Hawaii and elsewhere for its directors has been stripped of its charitable licence by the federal government. The Dominion Christian Centre of Canada was set up in Hamilton by charismatic leader Peter Rigo, a former decorator who says a divine power summoned him in the year 2000 to "encourage believers to live effectively as Christians."...The audit, obtained by the Star, says the transgressions of Rigo, his wife, Peggy (also a pastor), and assistant pastor Dave Barhouma were many.

I don't know if these people will be making these types of purchases now that the economy has gone downhill, but times like these are the perfect opportunity to put the prosperity gospel to the test; after all, it's easy to proclaim such a "gospel" when times are good. And beware of any church where a husband and wife are "co-pastors."

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Finding God in The Shack?

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. James 1:8

Finding God in The Shack is the title of a recent book by Roger E. Olson, professor of theology at George W. Truett Theological Seminary of Baylor University. My immediate reaction to the title is that if God really were in The Shack (go here for my post on that book), a book such as Dr. Olson's would be unnecessary.

When I read the transcript of an interview with Dr. Olson, the words of the apostle James, cited above, came to mind. Here are a few quotes:

But, in brief, a postconservative evangelical affirms the absolute authority of the Bible without privileging the literal interpretation in every portion of it.

Neither do I believe in the inerrancy of the Bible.

I'm working on two books. First, for InterVarsity Press, a book about universalism. My own position is what I call (borrowing from von Balthasar) a "conditional universalism of hope."

Dr. Olson claims to be "postconservative," but not liberal. He claims to believe in the absolute authority of the Bible, but not in its inerrancy. How you can trust in the absolute authority of something that contains errors is beyond me--I guess you have to be a professional theologian to be able to perform such a balancing act.

According to this review of Finding God in The Shack, Dr. Olson affirms the authenticity of The Shack because it conforms to his experience. It's apparent, therefore, that Dr. Olson uses his experience, and not the Bible, as his authority in evaluating the spiritual authenticity of The Shack.