Critique of The Way of the Master

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by John of Japan, Jan 5, 2017.

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  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Since McCree79 asked about it, I'll go ahead and point out Comfort's problems in the area of pneumatology (the study of the Holy Spirit). IMO, this book has an even poorer pneumatology than The Way of the Master.

    There are several mentions of the Holy Spirit in passing (p. 74, etc.). Also, once again he briefly acknowledges the role of the Holy Spirit in convicting sin on p. 296. However, in Comfort's mind the Law (meaning only the Decalogue in his mind, though the term also means "OT") convicts of sin, and he says so on p. 171 about Peter's sermon in Acts 2: "Only after the Law convicted them of their sinfulness did Peter offer them grace (v. 38)." This is a false statement. Nowhere in the Bible does it say the Law convicts of sin. It is the Holy Spirit who convicts of sin, though He may use the Law.

    On the page before he quotes a paragraph from a book by Jim Cymbala, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, in which Cymbala writes, "With the gracious manifestation of God's Spirit in the Upper Room, the disciples encountered their first audience" (p. 170). In answer, Comfort writes, "The inference is that the key was the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. This is true. However, we have the same Holy Spirit toda, yet we rarely see such a harvest of souls. Why not? Simply because Peter properly prepared the ground upon which he was sowing. His audience was composed of 'devout men' who were gathered at Pentecost to celebrate the giving of God's Law on Mount Sinai" (ibid).

    Do you see what Comfort is saying? He is teaching that the power of the Holy Spirit is not as important as using the Law in evangelism. Furthermore, he is confusing the indwelling of the Holy Spirit with the filling of the Holy Spirit--two different things indeed. We all have the indwelling Holy Spirit. We are not all filled with the Spirit, something absolutely vital to evangelism. But Comfort's perspective is that of the Charismatic, that the fullness of the Spirit means tongues speaking, not power for evangelism.

    So, as I said, Comfort's pneumatology has gotten worse, not better, contrary to my hopes.
     
    #101 John of Japan, Jan 9, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
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  2. Baptist Believer

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    Thanks for this.

    I had a short window of time to read this book and I found it so frustrating, it was slow going and I ran out of time. Moreover, our resident advocate for this book/method was telling me I didn't really understand what I was reading (ha!), so it was really a pointless exercise for me to continue. I had Bible study materials to write and my wife needed me to help her with a project, so I dropped the review.

    You caught a number of the same things I did, and a few more. I look forward to any other insights you have.
     
  3. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Trust me, this is not a hard book to understand--as you have found out.
    I have a few more things to post, especially concerning his hermeneutics, which has gotten worse down through the years--a typical Charismatic approach.
     
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  4. evangelist6589

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    Not true. Not true. I do allot more than passing out tracts when I go witnessing.
     
  5. evangelist6589

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    Charismatic approach? If this is true this will explain why Mac has never allowed him to preach at his church. But I heard Kirk has spoken at events. Hmm. But I also heard that WOTM tracts and books are not carried in the grace bookstore.
     
  6. evangelist6589

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    Also to note to JOJ. If Comfort was such an Arminian why then Do some Calvinist churches use his program? I know of a large church in Texas that is very big on WOTM. Blast I can't remember the name at this time but I see their stuff on FB all the time.
     
  7. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Well, the interesting thing is that Comfort quotes quite a few Calvinists. Charismatic Calvinists are rare, but they do exist, so it is possible that Comfort is one. However, I've seen no direct evidence of Calvinism in Comfort's books. By and large, Charismatics are Arminian, standing as they do in the lineage of the Pentecostal movement, and the Holiness before that.
     
  8. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    There you go. John MacA. would certainly not have a Charismatic in his pulpit.
     
  9. JonC

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    I've always heard that before you say something bad about someone, you should say something good.

    One thing about Ray Comfort, he doesn't seem to let theology get in the way. :)

    One thing about Ray Comfort, he doesn't seem to let theology get in the way. :(
     
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  10. McCree79

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    Hahahaha

    Sent from my SM-G935P using Tapatalk
     
  11. evangelist6589

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    Ray's critics multiply [Edit]!
     
  12. Rippon

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    But if the criticisms are valid, what's your complaint? I have seen some legitimate criticisms of Ray here.
     
  13. evangelist6589

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    Well Ray is not perfect but he is a Godly man and has a testimony to keep and in heaven Jesus will say "well done thou good and faithful servant." So so what about the criticisms?
     
  14. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    You cannot name a single place where I've criticized Ray Comfort personally. I've critiqued his teachings. And he should expect that, since he has a strong public presence.

    I reserve the right to disagree with and even critique anyone's teachings, including my family members. And you used to reserve the same right, judging from your website.

    "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24).
     
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  15. Baptist Believer

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    How can you claim to know this?

    I certainly hope it is true, but you are making a claim that you have no right to make.
     
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  16. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    One crucial teaching for evangelism is the power of God. When we witness for Christ or do personal evangelism, we can access three sources of God's power:

    1. The power of the Word of God (Heb. 4:12, 1 Peter 1:23, Rom. 10:17, etc.)
    2. The power of the Holy Spirit, received through being filled with the Spirit (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:8, 4:31, etc.)
    3. The power of the Gospel itself (Rom. 1:16, etc.)

    In the two books by Comfort I've read, he only gives credit for power unto salvation to one portion of the Word of God (the Law, which he defines as the Decalogue), and never to the Gospel itself or to the Holy Spirit.

    This explains why Comfort and his followers see some success in using his method. Using the Ten Commandments is powerful, and they can be used by the Holy Spirit to produce conviction.

    However, this lack of emphasis on the complete Gospel and the power of all of the Word of God limits Comfort's method. It also allows him to criticize other good methods that use the Word of God (powerful) and present the complete Gospel (powerful) such as what he mistakenly calls the Roman (sic) Road (p. 156-157), the 4 Spiritual Laws (pp. 123-128), and Evangelism Explosion (p. 311). This is sad to me. Instead of rejoicing that the Gospel is proclaimed, even if by what he considers by a mistaken method, he opposes the proclamation of the Gospel by these methods.
     
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  17. Jerome

    Jerome
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    Please explain the siccing here.
     
  18. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    The method is not the "Roman Road" but the "Romans Road," since it is strictly from the book of Romans.
     
  19. Yeshua1

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    Neither, Jesus gave to Paul the full Gospel message, wich was His death/resurrection was means to have God freely save sinners!
     
  20. Jerome

    Jerome
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    I don't think it merits the Rippon treatment at all. The Roman Road is a well-attested alternate name for the method.


    https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/trevinwax/2015/01/30/know-your-southern-baptists-chuck-kelley/

    Fundamentalist Journal Feb. 1985, p. 21
     
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