Thursday, January 3, 2013


Ralph Ovadal of Pilgrims Covenant Church, Monroe, Wisconsin has an article about corrupt Neo-Reformed/Neo-Calvinist activity, involving Joel Beeke, president of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, at: After reading Ovadal's prior article, "Of Ducks and New Calvinists" at, then read the follow-up article released today in its entirety below:

Pilgrims Covenant Church <>Thu, Jan 3, 2013 at 5:48 PM

What a Difference Six Months Does Not Make!
Joel Beeke’s Involvement with Refo500, ETS, and WRF
by Ralph Ovadal, pastor of Pilgrims Covenant Church, Monroe, Wisconsin
January 3, 2013
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Ephesians 5:11
As I take pen in hand to write this article, I do it with the fervent hope that it will be the last time I address the issue which is the subject of this report. I write now only because circumstances dictate that to not write would be to leave a duty partially undone, given certain developments of the last six months. What follows is anything but a “hit piece.” Rather, it is a simple setting forth of very public information which is of very great importance to the spiritual welfare of the Lord’s own people. The facts shared in this report are as they were meticulously documented at the time this article was written.
On the May 20, 2011 edition of the Heart of the Matter program, my guest Rev. Ivan Foster and I voiced our concerns about the very influential Dr. Joel Beeke yoking in preaching fellowship with the charismatic, deeply compromised John Piper as a guest speaker at Piper’s 2011 “Conference for Pastors.” Then on the June 15, 2012 edition of HOM, I did a report on a Roman Catholic-Protestant ecumenical consortium called Refo500. And when I say “Protestant,” I am using the term in the broadest way imaginable! For instance, as I reported in the course of that HOM program, Refo500 partner organizations which are apostate Protestant include, among others, Fuller Theological Seminary (Richard Mouw, president), Beeson Divinity School (Timothy George, dean), and the Remonstrant Church which openly denies essential doctrines of the true faith and just as openly boasts of being “the first church in the world to open marriage for same-sex couples” and “one of the first churches in the Netherlands to ordain women as ministers.” During the course of that June 15, 2012 HOM report, I documented the deep involvement of two Reformed ministers, Dr. Albert Mohler and Dr. Joel Beeke, in Refo500.
Next, on this past June 25, Rev. Foster and I published a written warning concerning Dr. Beeke’s blatant disregard of the Scripture’s commands on separation from those brethren teaching and practicing error, not to mention even false teachers; and we documented also the horrible mixture of truth and error, in some cases even heresy, being merchandised by Reformation Heritage Books (RHB) under the leadership of editorial director Joel Beeke. The name of that article is “Of Ducks and New Calvinists.” Mr. Foster and I followed up that article with a July 6, 2012 Heart of the Matter discussion on our article and also Dr. Beeke’s involvement in Refo500.
In fact, I would strongly urge those who decide to read the rest of this report to first read our “Of Ducks and New Calvinists” article since it is my intent in this present article not to republish the information in that well-documented earlier report but to only give a brief update (relatively speaking!) on that article which was packed with very specific information as far as names, dates, organizations, and so forth. Sadly, this new article will contain documentation of Dr. Beeke’s continuing deep involvement in Refo500 and also his involvement with two grossly ecumenical organizations we were not aware of at the time of those HOM programs and that article just mentioned. One of those organizations is the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) which, practically speaking, is a mishmash of Protestants, Roman Catholics, the Orthodox, Seventh Day Adventists, and, I suppose one could almost say, who knows what? The World Reformed Fellowship (WRF) is the other organization this article will profile since Dr. Beeke is a member of it. The WRF is also an organization no faithful Christian should have any part in, especially a minister of Christ! The word of God very forcefully and clearly forbids the Lord’s people from all worship, ministry, and spiritual/religious fellowship with false religions and religionists. I have preached, spoken, and written on that topic many times. But the focus of this factual report is to further document the extreme, persistent, open—one could almost say proud—ministry entanglements of Dr. Beeke with false religions and false teachers.
Now, in all of those reports I mentioned earlier, we dealt only with information made very public by Dr. Beeke and his ministry and by ministry organizations closely connected with Dr. Beeke. We certainly avoided anything personal, and such will be the case with what you are now reading. In the “Ducks” article, Rev. Foster and I closed with this statement: “We are not interested in ‘smearing’ in any way Dr. Beeke. Our prayer is that he will repent and return to ‘the old paths, where is the good way.’ Our great concern is for the glory and honor of Christ Jesus and His blood-bought church. It is that heartfelt concern and heartfelt conviction that prompted us to write this warning.”
Within a few days after the “Ducks” warning was published, we received several reports which prompted us to issue a short P.S. to the warning. The impetus for the P.S. is summed up by this excerpt from it: “. . . this week, we have been informed by a minister close to Dr. Beeke that he has just agreed to sever all ministry connections to Refo500.” Six months later, I am now sorry to have to report, as will be irrefutably shown, that this has most certainly not happened!
Now, earlier I urged those reading this article to first read the article this one only updates. Also, since this report, like all previous ones oral and written, delves into a very deep, broad situation which defies anything close to an exhaustive documentation and explanation, it would be most helpful if the truly concerned reader—or as far as that goes, the skeptical reader—could find the time to access the links given in this update article and the previous “Ducks” article as well. All the information contained in the two articles was, at the time each was written, very carefully checked and documented to assure accuracy.
But, in the interest of orderliness, let us approach this update one issue at a time. Now, what has become of Joel Beeke’s entanglement with the various organizations and ministries we specifically mentioned in the “Ducks” article, other than Refo500? Concerning the ones mentioned—and our list was definitely not exhaustive—the answer as far as we can see is “absolutely no change.” By way of just several “for instances,” Dr. Beeke is slated to speak at the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals (ACE) March 15-17 and April 19-21, 2013 conferences titled In the Beginning: God, Adam, and You. The ACE council and executive staff roll is loaded with New Calvinists, such as Piper, Mohler, Mahaney, Begg, Dever, Duncan, Sproul, MacArthur, etc., etc.
Dr. Beeke is also currently scheduled to speak at the October 31-November 2, 2013 National Center for Family-Integrated Churches’ The Worship of God Conference.
Dr. Beeke is scheduled to give an optional session at New Calvinist R.C. Sproul’s Ligonier National Conference in February, 2013. At that conference, Dr. Beeke will labor in the word with several other New Calvinists as well as Cal Thomas and Ravi Zacharias. The latter’s various claims to dubious fame include joining with leaders of the Mormon church as well as apostate “evangelical” Richard Mouw to preach and worship “God” with a congregation of Mormons and evangelicals in the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. Believe it or not, the theme of the Ligonier National Conference this year is “No Compromise: Standing for the Truth of God’s Word.”
But again, the reader who wants a better understanding of Dr. Beeke’s ministry relationships with various ministries such as the three just mentioned would do well to read the “Of Ducks and New Calvinists” article. This article will only focus on three very large organizations Dr. Beeke is involved with on an ongoing basis.
Still Together: Dr. Beeke and Refo500
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” 2 Corinthians 6:17
So, in the past six months, what has become of Joel Beeke’s entanglement in Refo500? Well, after our article came out this past June 25, 2012, Dr. Beeke was personally confronted with the information it contained while he was in the UK for several speaking engagements. We were informed by more than one minister with close ties to Dr. Beeke that upon being confronted, he made comments to the effect he would sever all ties to Refo500. And, within several days, the logos of Reformation Heritage Books (Joel Beeke, editorial director) and Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary (Joel Beeke, president) were removed from the Refo500 list of partnering organizations and ministries. The RHB blog is also cleared of Refo500 links and promos.
But Joel Beeke certainly has not severed his relationship with Refo500! There still are two videos of Beeke on the Refo500 site, one in which he promotes Refo500. Reformation Heritage books, including ones authored by Beeke, are still available through Refo500. On the English Refo500 site, there appear forty-nine items for sale; twenty-five are from Reformation Heritage Books. It is also very curious that while Reformation Heritage Books and Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary are NOT listed on the “Sponsors and Partners” page, they ARE both listed on a page titled “Who Where What” which includes this description: “Find here the locations and contact details for all the worldwide partners and sponsors of Refo500. The map shows the locations for all the partners, sponsors, and the reformation cities who are connected with Refo500. You can sort by all all [sic] partners and sponsors and by city.”
On Dr. Beeke’s blog, he openly speaks of his ongoing involvement with Refo500. Consider, for instance, this excerpt from November 9, 2012: “Let me invite you to two opportunities to make use of its historic 450th anniversary to enrich yourself personally and spiritually. This winter, on January 18-19, 2013, Canadian Reformed Seminary in Hamilton, Ontario will host a special conference on the Heidelberg Catechism. Lyle Bierma, Herman Selderhuis, Jason van Vliet, and I will speak about the rich heritage we have in the catechism.” This “special conference” is titled Your Only Comfort Conference. So, what does this have to do with Joel Beeke and Refo500? The answer is, plenty. The Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary is an official Refo500 partner; Herman Selderhuis is the director of the Refo500 Foundation; and the PDF schedule the seminary provides for this upcoming conference carries the Refo500 logo. Lastly, the Your Only Comfort Conference is also being promoted on the Refo500 web site.
And then there is the second of the opportunities Dr. Beeke promoted on just that one particular blog post: “This summer, on July 11-19, 2013, Dr. Van Vliet and I will lead The Legacy of the Reformation Tourthrough Germany and the Netherlands. In addition to learning more about the history and doctrines of the Reformation, you will enjoy delightful scenic excursions to the Het Loo palace and gardens, the Bad Bentheim castle, the Gothic Dom church in Cologne, a cruise on the Rhine River, and, of course, Heidelberg Castle. Those interested may also register for the Heidelberg Conference on Reformed Theology from July 18-21, 2013. It will be a fitting way to cap off our tour through Europe to Heidelberg. Speakers include Lyle Bierma, Michael Horton, Jason Van Vliet, Jon Payne, Victor d’Assonville, Sebastian Heck, and myself.” The link to the tour promotion Dr. Beeke provides in this blog goes directly to the official Refo500 web site. In that link to the tour info, one can see that Dr. Selderhuis is also scheduled to preach during the tour on Sunday morning, July 14. By the way, Joel Beeke also waxed eloquent about the tour in that promotion, stating that he looks forward to “playing an active role in enjoying fellowship.”
I should mention here that Dr. Beeke himself provided the links contained in the two blog excerpts just quoted as well as the links in another blog entry dated August 30, 2012 in which Dr. Beeke also enthusiastically promotes The Legacy of the Reformation Tour, ending his comments with “Check out this summary, and a 10-page, detailed brochure. I’d love to have you along, God willing. Send in your reservation today!” This Legacy of the Reformation Tour is a Refo500 event, involving Refo500 personnel; and even the travel agency handling trip details is an official Refo500 partner!
Now, for those uninformed readers who may be charmed by the very phrase Reformation Tour, I would again encourage them to go back to the article Mr. Foster and I published on June 25. Read what is written and view the links provided. The deeply ecumenical Refo500 is nothing less than a manifestation of Rome’s Vatican II strategy, desensitizing unwary evangelicals to Romish idolatry, blasphemy, and heresy by ecumenical relationships and dialogue. Very clearly, Joel Beeke is giving that process a very influential helping hand by urging Christians to follow him to Refo500 events.
I mentioned that Joel Beeke and Dr. Herman Selderhuis will be joining each other in speaking at some upcoming events. Dr. Selderhuis is not only the director of the Refo500 Foundation; he is also chairman of the Refo500 Reformation Research Consortium. 2012 interview with Acton Institute for their Religion and Liberty publication. The particular question was on the state of Christianity in Europe. “. . . Christianity as a way of life and a way of faith has a future and there are developments among young people. A perfect example is the young Catholic convention in Spain and the Pope attended the event there and hundreds of thousands of young people attended that Mass, and they were enthusiastic about it…. . . . now who will give us straight talk? Who tells us what way to go? There is a need for that and the Pope is preaching a clear message and young people are attracted to that.”
Now, there is more that could be said concerning Dr. Beeke and his ongoing relationship with Refo500. But taking into account the information provided in this update, the previous oft-mentioned June 25, 2012 article, and the Heart of the Matter programs, those who have a sincere concern for the glory of the Lord, the good of His church, and even for Dr. Beeke have been given enough information to draw the logical conclusion that Dr. Beeke is and remains active and entangled with Refo500. Given the breadth of his ministry and the extent of his influence, all faithful Christians ought to be grieved and concerned by that plain, undeniable truth.
They Must Mean “Ecumenical” Theological Society.
“If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.” 2 John 1:10-11
We come now to the subject of Joel Beeke and his involvement—in fact, since at least 2002—with the Evangelical Theological Society (henceforth ETS). Of course, the ETS web site provides much information on the organization, including this summary: “Founded in 1949, the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) is a group of scholars, teachers, pastors, students, and others dedicated to the oral exchange and written expression of theological thought and research. The ETS is devoted to the inerrancy and inspiration of the Scriptures and the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Society publishes a quarterly journal, the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (JETS), an academic periodical featuring peer reviewed articles, as well as extended book reviews, in the biblical and theological disciplines. The ETS also holds national and regional meetings across the United States.” Under the purpose statement of the ETS is this: “The Evangelical Theological Society was formed in 1949 to accomplish the following purpose: ‘To foster conservative Biblical scholarship by providing a medium for the oral exchange and written expression of thought and research in the general field of the theological disciplines as centered in the Scriptures.’ (Constitution, Article II.).”
Well, that all sounds pretty good. But, as is so often the case in these days of confusion and deception, when it comes to the ETS, the devil is found in the details. Under “Affiliated Societies” on the ETS web site is this: “The following organizations are affiliated academic and scholarly societies who currently meet with the Evangelical Theological Society in its Annual Meeting. Evangelical Philosophical Society, Near East Archaeological Society, Adventist Theological Society.” A link provided to the Adventist Theological Society takes one to their web site, on which it is stated, “A Theological Resource for the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.” I will assume the reader knows enough about the Seventh-Day Adventist Church to know it is a counterfeit Christian church. We have not taken the time to check out the Near East Archaeological Society.
As for the Evangelical Philosophical Society, those who think wisdom can be had from the likes of Thomas Aquinas, C.S. Lewis, Søren Kierkegaard, and Aristotle will be right at home at the Evangelical (so-called) Philosophical Society. And, for the record, the EPS folks do more than talk, talk, talk and issue papers about the mental meanderings and mutterings of deep-thinking dead men now in hell; one can also access the “wisdom” of living philosophers. But, this is one of those “you have to see it to believe it” situations. So, here is the link to the EPS:
Those who access that link will find things such as an interview with Chad Meister, professor of philosophy at Bethel College (Indiana) and book review editor for Philosophia Christi, the journal of the Evangelical Philosophical Society. In the interview, Meister makes such comments as “I have been engaged with the works of philosophers of religion from across religious and philosophical spectrums. It has been a most enlightening experience working with atheists, pluralists, feminists, Continental philosophers, and Hindu, Buddhist, and Islamic scholars. I have leaned [sic] much from them and am deeply indebted to them, and this dialogue has enriched my own thinking about a number of issues.” To reiterate, the Evangelical Philosophical Society is an affiliated society with the Evangelical Theological Society.
To say the Evangelical Theological Society is grossly ecumenical is on par with saying the pope is Roman Catholic. The individuals involved with Joel Beeke in the ETS include apostate Protestants and New Evangelicals (including charismatics) as well as Romanists, Orthodox, and Seventh-Day Adventists—and, with a view to the information I just shared in the past couple of paragraphs, my apologies to anyone I may have left out.
For a very up-to-date, typical overview of whom Dr. Beeke religiously, spiritually yokes with through ETS and at ETS conferences, we could take a glance at the ETS annual meeting, Caring for Creation, held November 14-16, 2012 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. One of Dr. Beeke’s yokefellows at that event was flaming “Christian” feminist Mimi Haddad (pp. 33, 43), longtime president of Christians for Biblical Equality. Herbiography on the CBE web site includes this: “She is a founding member of the Evangelicals and Gender Study Group at the Evangelical Theological Society.” Another of Dr. Beeke’s conference co-laborers was N.T. Wright (p. 51), a key leader of the New Perspective on Paul movement. Dr. Beeke apparently enjoyed not only the ministry fellowship of the conference but the social fellowship as well, having posted on one of his blog entries a picture of the event’s banquet.
The Orthodox Church was also on hand at that ETS conference in Milwaukee in the person of one “Father” Wilbur Ellsworth (p. 24) whose presentation had an interesting title: “Why I Had to Leave Evangelicalism to Find ‘Something More.’” A number of Roman Catholics delivered papers as well. One such Romanist who spoke—in fact, twice and also appeared as a panelist—was Francis J. Beckwith (pp. 24, 40, 61), professor at Baylor University and the author of a number of books, including Return to Rome: Confessions of an Evangelical Catholic. The title of one of Beckwith’s papers was “From Catholic to Evangelical and Back Again: Reflections of a Revert Five Years Later.” In a subsequent article which he wrote about that ETS conference, Beckwith closes with this concerning his many ecumenical friends he fellowshipped with at that event: “I continue to hope and pray with our Lord, ‘Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.’” That article can be found at The Catholic Thing. Its title is “Evangelicals, Catholics, and the Ecumenism of Conviction.”
By the way, a paper given right after one of Dr. Beeke’s was titled “Confessing before Barmen: Karl Barth’s Early Lectures on the Reformed Confessions” (p. 52). Karl Barth was, simply put, a modernist heretic. This particular session of the conference was constructed by the ETS Reformation Studies Steering Committee. Dr. Beeke is on the Reformation Studies Steering Committee as well as another ETS steering committee.
Another Roman Catholic who spoke at the Milwaukee ETS conference Dr. Beeke took part in is Priest Robert Sirico of Acton Institute. He teamed up with Dr. Timothy George of Beeson Divinity School, chairman of the board for the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, for a presentation titled “The Life and Legacy of Charles W. Colson” (pp. 12, 88). In the “Of Ducks and New Calvinists” article, we included some background information on Timothy George. To add to that brief summary of the man’s “accomplishments,” I would just mention that George recently attended and spoke at the 13th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, October 7-28, in Rome where he addressed the assembly thus: “Dear Holy Father, Venerable Fathers of the Synod, brothers and sisters in the Lord.” By the way, books with contributions by Timothy George can still be purchased from Reformation Heritage Books.
This might be a good place to mention that the ETS conference in question also featured a panel discussion on purgatory (p. 61). The three-member panel included Romanist Beckwith and two Protestants. Rest assured, such panel discussions at ETS events are not the equivalent of Luther v. Eck! Rather, it is Vatican II in action. It is the friendly “ecumenical dialogue” which “serves to transform modes of thought and behavior and the daily life” of the “separated brethren” for the purpose of “preparing the way for their unity of faith in the bosom of a Church one and visible” (Vatican Council II Doc. 42, Sect. II).
The more one delves into the ETS—or for that matter, Refo500—the more he feels as if he is staring at a horrific theological car wreck, a tangled mass of truth and error which to the faithful Christian reeks of destruction and death. For instance, consider this statement from a presentation given by Chris Castaldo titled “Crossing the Tiber: Reasons for Conversion at the Catholic/Protestant Intersection” (p. 56) which was given at the ETS conference in Milwaukee: “One becomes a Catholic when he recognizes the sacramental presence of Christ embodied in an institutional church, receiving from it sanctifying grace that leads to salvation. On the other hand, one is an evangelical Protestant when he has embraced Scripture as the supreme authority, coupled with a born again experience that appropriates justifying grace by faith alone.” Castaldo is the director of the Ministry of Gospel Renewal for the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College. In his presentation, Castaldo spoke of the conversion of John Henry Newman to Romanism and Peter Martyr Vermigli to Protestantism. Those who read the paper he presented will find that Castaldo equates conversion in either direction to be moral, spiritual equivalents.
This then should give the reader at least a very brief insight into the Evangelical Theological Society Joel Beeke is tangled up with. As for the particular ETS Milwaukee event which I have just spoken of and which Dr. Beeke attended and spoke at, it certainly would be remiss of me not to mention that each day began with a time of corporate worship and prayer (pp. 9, 18). This daily time was thusly described by conference organizers: “Let your day of theology flow from doxology in a service of corporate worship. Join us for a simple worship service of Scripture and Prayer.” In addition, a worship service (p. 48) was held on the Thursday afternoon of the conference. Speaking of that service, the event schedule states, “All are invited for a time of corporate worship including Scripture reading, singing, and prayer. Join us as we glorify God together and pray for the work of ETS, the ministries of her members, and the church as a whole.”
As I mentioned earlier, ETS truly resembles “a horrific theological car wreck,” and there is almost no end to what could be said to prove just how horrible a wreck it is. Did I mention that the 2012 ETS conference also featured a presentation titled “A Biblical Worldview and an Ancient Earth” (p. 30) by theistic evolution champion Gregg Davidson, University of Mississippi? But no, we must leave it there and move on to another organization, the World Reformed Fellowship.
Dr. Beeke and the Stunningly Corrupted World Reformed Fellowship
“Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.” Romans 12:9
Joel Beeke is a member of the World Reformed Fellowship (WRF) and has been since at least 2007. The WRF is a “Reformed, evangelical, worldwide fellowship” with individual, church, and ministry members all around the globe. A survey of the World Reformed Fellowship Statement of Faith reveals a mixture of sound doctrine and gross error. WRF individual, church, and ministry members include not only the deeply compromised—including many New Calvinists and New Evangelicals, that is, Arminian brand—but also the outright apostate. As an example of the latter, I refer the reader to St. Francis Anglican Church (Dallas, Texas, USA). The picture at the top of that church’s web site is labeled “Saint Francis Receiving the Stigmata.” The following is part of a welcome message on the same church’s web site: “May Our Lady, Blessed Francis and All the Saints pray for you. May Holy Michael and All the Angels watch over you. And the blessing of God the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost be upon you. Amen. Fr. Allen.”
The WRF also includes a fair number of Pentecostal and charismatic churches and ministries. The WRF appears to run the full theological spectrum, including the theology-of-ecology types, such as Dr. Sam Logan. A paper by Dr. Logan, the international director of the World Reformed Fellowship, is posted on the WRF web site and titled “Evangelical, Reformed approach to environmental issues.” I offer this one excerpt from Logan’s article: “Alternatively, one can recognize in the Creator a commitment to his original purposes for man and the earth. Eden sees man in harmony with the land as its ruler and guardian, the fall involves alienation between man and the land, redemption brings substantial healing of man’s attitude towards his environment and the restoration at the consummation is a renewal of Eden. As I outline a biblical theology of land moving from creation to new creation I will seek to establish that care for the earth is a central concern of the kingdom.”
It is worth noting that Dr. Beeke’s Reformation Heritage Books carries Confronting Kingdom Challenges, which contains the writings of a “diverse group of contributors” and is edited by Dr. Sam Logan. Suffice it to say, concerning those contributors, I personally would not want to be in any way responsible for spreading their teachings. The contents of this book were actually the messages of the 2006 General Assembly of the World Reformed Fellowship.
As just one more example of the organizations Dr. Beeke has joined himself to in the World Reformed Fellowship, I offer the International Peacemaking Church of Christ. That organization’s web site states: “We are preparing our students to collaborate with people of all faiths interested in the theology of human rights and development. . . . We work together with all Christian Denominational and Non-denominational Churches or Ministries ‘to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.’ (Ephesians 4:12-13) We are Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Wesleyans, Puritans, Baptists, Mennonites, Evangelicals, Pentecostals, and more.” The International Peacemaking Church of Christ links include United Nations, Roman Catholic, and Liberation Theology web sites. There is much, much more that could be said about this one World Reformed Fellowship member organization or of any number of other individuals, churches, or ministry members of the WRF. Those wanting to know more about the WRF of which Joel Beeke is a member can do so at
A Polluted Well: Reformation Heritage Books
“Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!” Luke 17:1
Now then, six months after Mr. Foster and I published the well-read “Of Ducks and New Calvinists” article, what is the situation at Reformation Heritage Books? Summed up, it is only worse. Of the authors we spoke of in the article, only Mark Driscoll is gone, although book endorsements by Driscoll can still be found at RHB. In addition, RHB also does offer books written by ministers involved in Driscoll’s Acts 29 Network.
As to the other authors we warned of in the article, authors whose works are for sale at RHB, in about half of the cases, the number of books by those men and women has increased! How bad is it? Quite frankly, you will simply have to read the “Ducks” article to get a detailed list of the veritable rogues gallery of deeply compromised, church-corrupting, evangelical—in some cases, apostate—authors whose books RHB is currently promoting and selling to the body of Christ. In truth, one can even find books which include and positively recommend the writings of Roman Catholics. That is not to say our report on such RHB offerings, shocking as it is, comes even close to being exhaustive. And the list is constantly expanding. For instance, to give one example of authors found at RHB, we could make such additions as Maarten Wisse who teaches systematic theology at the Roman Catholic KU Leuven university.
Of specific books we mentioned in last summer’s article, these two only have been removed: The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World and Pages from Church History. But since our June article, RHB has added books such as Shapers of Christian Orthodoxy: Engaging with Early and Medieval Theologians, a series of essays by various authors, edited by Bradley G. Green. Here is an excerpt from the RHB promotion:“These essays examine eight key theologians, from Irenaeus to Aquinas, and suggest how to view and appropriate their insights.” On the web site for InterVarsity Press, which publishes this book, it lists the following as the theologians examined: Irenaeus, Tertullian, Origen, Athanasius, The Cappadocians, Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas. Without getting into a discussion on each of the theologians listed, it should be enough to point out that Origen was a rank heretic while Thomas Aquinas was a Thirteenth Century Roman Catholic priest, and among the claims to fame of that great Doctor of Popery is being the father of modern-day “Liberation Theology.” In his History of Protestantism, the faithful J.A. Wylie likened the writings of Aquinas to a polluted fountain. Apparently, Joel Beeke and RHB have a different opinion on that.
The book just mentioned has plenty of company—simply put, books of a similar nature—at RHB. By way of examples, I offer the following three book listings.
Sweet Communion by Arie de Reuver“. . . Sweet Communion examines the quality, form, and roots of this period’s spirituality. De Reuver determines that each of the Further Reformation authors promotes a spirituality in which the heart experiences communion with God by the Word and Spirit. In examining the roots of this spirituality, de Reuver reaches back to the Middle Ages and the spirituality of Thomas à Kempis and Bernard of Clairvaux.”
Of course, the two men mentioned were Roman Catholic monks. This is another of many books which has Joel Beeke’s personal endorsement, as does the next book.
Soul Recreation: The Contemplative-Mystical Piety of Puritanism by Tom Schwanda
“. . . This book provides a distinctively Protestant foundation for recovering the contemplative life while recognizing the significant contributions of the Western Catholic tradition.”
The Medieval Church by Carl A. Volz
“Why does one’s concept of the medieval church have a direct bearing on one’s attitude toward ecumenism? . . . What common practices of public worship and personal piety have their roots in the medieval church? The Medieval Church: From the Dawn of the Middle Ages to the Eve of the Reformation addresses these questions and many more to demonstrate the pervasive influence of the past on modern piety, practice, and beliefs. For many years the Medieval period of church history has been ignored or denigrated as being the ‘dark ages,’ an attitude fostered by Enlightenment assumptions. . . . The Medieval Church, written in an easily accessible style, introduces the reader to the fascinating interplay of authority and dissent, the birth and development of doctrinal beliefs, the spirituality of the common person, and the enduring allure of Christian mysticism.”
I obviously whittled down the RHB descriptions of the just mentioned books for the sake of space. The reader can easily access the full descriptions at RHB.
It is very relevant I should mention that RHB also offers three books by Herman Selderhuis and three books with endorsements by him, including one actually published by RHB. As I stated earlier, Mr. Selderhuis, a friend and ministry associate of Dr. Beeke, is the director of the Refo500 Foundation and chairman of the Reformation Research Consortium of Refo500.
Without going back over the detailed documentation of our June 25 article, I would simply stress there are also many, many other additional books at RHB which are anything but beneficial for the spiritual growth and sanctification of the Lord’s people, including because of who wrote them. In this article and the last, we have only provided a sampling of such books. As for the various book endorsements which can be found at RHB, endorsements by men and women who are anything but sound and uncompromised, the examples we mentioned still remain. In fact, many more examples could be mentioned, such as from Notre Dame University professor Mark Noll and from Roman Catholic Francis J. Beckwith.
I also cannot help but mention that, at the time I am writing this, RHB has posted on its web site an endorsement from “Alice Cooper, Rock Star” for the book No Ordinary Marriage: Together for God’s Glory. Yes, for those who are wondering, “Alice” Cooper is still doing on stage just what he has always been doing, dressed and made up just as he always has been. The “Christianity” of Alice Cooper is a subject in itself. But Dr. Joel Beeke’s friend and sometimes co-laborer R.C. Sproul has stamped his imprimatur on Cooper’s testimony while at the same time Dr. Beeke’s RHB presents Cooper as a Christian.
In the “Ducks” article, it was mentioned that RHB offers a good many books—in fact, an increasing number of books—written by women Bible teachers, for instance, such women as Joni Eareckson TadaNancy Leigh DeMossJoanne Jung (associate professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at Biola University); and, as declared at RHB, seasoned Bible teacher Nancy Guthrie. If a recent RHB endorsement posted for a Nancy Guthrie book is any indication, the biblical ban on women from the office of “teacher” carries little weight in the multi-ministry complex under Dr. Beeke’s leadership. The endorsement is by David Murray, Professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology of the Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary of which Dr. Joel Beeke is president. Murray’s endorsement is as follows: “I love Nancy’s infectious passion for teaching the Old Testament in a relevant, practical, spiritual, and Christ-centered way. I’m confident that this book will ignite that same passion in many others – transforming lives, families, churches, and communities.”
By the way, RHB also carries a Liz Curtis Higgs endorsement of a Guthrie book and also of a book by a different author. According to RHB, Higgs is the New York Times best-selling author of Mine Is the Night andBad Girls of the Bible. For those with strong stomachs, here is a link to the web site of “Bad Girls” Higgs.
But with that, I draw to a close. The “leaven” rule set forth in the Scriptures is plainly manifested in the ministry of Dr. Joel Beeke. Given the great gifts and very great influence the man has, we can only grieve the damage he is inflicting on the cause and body of Christ. To those who say I should mind my own business, I answer, as a minister of Christ, this is my business! Dr. Beeke, by his bold anti-scriptural compromises and by his corrupted ministries, is dishonoring the Lord Jesus whom I serve and doing injury to His blood-bought flock. Having once been shown the grave seriousness of this matter concerning Dr. Beeke and then being urged by certain faithful brethren to speak out, I felt a great burden to “contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” In all of this, I fervently hope that I have acted with integrity, including towards Dr. Beeke. As I said at the start of this report, it is my fervent hope that I have now fulfilled my duty in this matter.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”
2 Corinthians 6:14-18
Read and endorsed by Ivan Foster