Monday, October 6, 2014

My Review Of Joseph Mattera's Review Of "Destined To Reign" - Part 2

For the past year, Charisma Magazine has been running many articles against the grace gospel, labeling it "Hyper Grace". One of those articles was written by a regular contributor, Joseph Mattera  (JM). It is a short review of Pastor Joseph Prince's first book, "Destined To Reign" (D2R). Perhaps tellingly, the title of the article was not something along the lines of "Book review: book title" but a rather provocative "Is Joseph Prince's Radical Grace Teaching Biblical?"

Typical of a few reviews of  D2R which I have read, this review also follows the same pattern: "Well, D2R is generally OK, got some useful tips for new Christians BUT...", and these "buts" actually contradict the very essence of what Pastor Prince is trying to teach in his book. JM listed down 7 "buts" and I will deal with them one by one.

I have dealt with JM's first "but" (which you can read  here) and will now tackle the second "but".  To facilitate my review of JM's book review, I will reproduce excerpts (in blue) here but you can read JM's full article by clicking his article title (highlighted in bold) above.

2. Prince Bases His Theology Only on the Writings of Paul

I find it interesting that Prince says he only preaches the gospel Paul preaches. Although I admire Paul, Prince has to be careful with statements like this because he can give the impression that the other writings of the New Testament are not inspired or even canonical. (Even the gnostics only cited Paul and disregarded the other epistles as well as the Old Testament.)

Prince seems to quote the Gospels only occasionally, which gives me the impression he probably believes much of the teaching is not relevant to the church age because the Gospels were written before the Resurrection. This enables Prince(and typical hyperdispensationalists) to avoid dealing with the command for believers to take up their cross (Mark 8:34-36) and other such passages that demand high commitment.

I believe any teacher who is called to preach like Paul the apostle must preach the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27), which means they need to include equally the Gospels and the epistles of John, Jude, Peter and James as well as the book of Hebrews and the Old Testament.
Let me say this upfront: I am very irritated by those Pastor Prince's critics (especially those who are also in the ministry like BISHOP Joseph Mattera) who accuse him of basing his theology only on the writings of Paul. I am very irritated because it shows a blatant lack of effort to research into Pastor Prince's ministry and also a measure of disrespect towards a fellow preacher.

Pastor Prince's resources are easily available on his online store, and there are more than 200 sermon CDs listed there. I have personally listened to more than one hundred of his sermons multiple times during my last eleven years in NCC, and I can vouch that Pastor Prince has preached from the Old Testament (including Leviticus!), the Gospels and Epistles and even Revelations, but the key is that they are all preached in the proper context.

It is just plain tardy to conclude that Pastor Prince bases his theology only on the writings of Paul based on reading only ONE book written by him. Perhaps Joseph Mattera should listen to Pastor Prince's 5-sermons CD album, "Principles For Interpreting The Bible" to understand Pastor Prince's methodology.

Pastor Prince places a lot of emphasis on the writings of Paul because they were mostly addressed to the church, and he says he preaches the gospel Paul preaches in Acts 13:16-41, but by no means does he preach solely Paul's writings. I can easily recommend a few sermons based on the Old Testament, the Gospels and even Hebrews:

Unveiling A God Of Grace—Leadership Truths From Moses' Mistake
What is uppermost in God’s heart for His people? How does He want Himself to be represented to His flock? Find out the answers to these questions as Joseph Prince expounds, from the Book of Numbers, on the story of Moses striking the rock before God’s people instead of speaking to it.

Uncovering Your True Identity In Christ—A Visual Study Of The Tabernacle’s Golden Boards
If you’ve ever wondered why the Bible describes the tabernacle in such detail, or why God required it to be so lavish, then this message is for you! You will be amazed and touched as Joseph Prince explains how each part of the tabernacle, especially the golden boards of the Holy Of Holies, shows the value that God has imputed to you through Christ’s redemptive work on the cross.

The Love Story Of Ruth (CD Album)
This is romance, biblical style! Hidden in the unlikely love story of a lowly Moabite widow and a gentleman of great strength and wealth is a beautiful picture of our Lord Jesus' relationship with the church. Through an in-depth exploration of the Book of Ruth in this six-CD series, Joseph Prince reveals a love beyond human understanding and one that culminated in glorious redemption. You will not go away untouched by the exceeding love and grace that Jesus has for you after you discover what He has redeemed you from and what your inheritance in Him is today!

See The Father's Love For You (Part 1)
Jesus came to reveal the most awesome name of God—Father—to His people and it is an awesome name for good reason: A father’s love goes a long way in making a person whole and strong. In these last days, we need to know this more than ever. In this powerful message, Joseph Prince carefully delves into and mines the Bible’s parable of parables—the story of the prodigal son—to open up fresh revelations about our Father’s deep and unending love for us.

See The Father's Love For You (Part 2)
In this second part of his riveting message on the parable of parables, Joseph Prince shows how the prodigal son’s extravagance and excesses were all outdone by his father. Upon the son’s return, the father not only gave him unconditional love and acceptance back into the family, but also many precious and expensive gifts—the robe, ring and sandals. Find out the spiritual significance of each of these items, and how they point to the blessings that your heavenly Father has for you today. Listen and realize how your Father’s heart beats for you and you will never again doubt how much He loves you!

Can You Lose Your Salvation? Part 1—The Truth About Hebrews 6
Is it possible for a Christian to lose his or her salvation? Those who say that it’s certainly possible point readily to the warning in Hebrews 6 as Bible proof. But what is Hebrews 6 really all about? Who are the people being warned here? Joseph Prince tackles these questions head-on in this exciting message and sheds light on this controversial topic.

Can You Lose Your Salvation? Part 2—The Truth About Hebrews 10
Can a Christian “sin willfully” in the context of Hebrews 10:26 and lose his or her salvation? Join Joseph Prince as he tackles this difficult question many Christians grapple with, and outlines the context for the warning that has frightened many sincere believers. Discover also what the judgment for this particular sin is, whom it is really meant for and whether a Christian can ever be subject to it. Listen to this important message and gain for yourself a clear biblical understanding of this oft-misconstrued portion of Scripture, as well as a deeper revelation and appreciation of the efficacy of Jesus’ sacrifice and blood.

If anyone wishes to criticize Pastor Prince's theology, you can say whatever you want EXCEPT "Prince Bases His Theology Only on the Writings of Paul" because that is absolutely not true.

I will deal with JM's third "but" in Part 3 (to be continued))...

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