Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Tony Evans

Dr. Tony Evans is well respected amongst evangelical circles and has been one of the few black somewhat solid teachers that we can be somewhat proud of his accomplishments and Biblical faithfulness. He has some wonderful accomplishments. I honestly had never heard of him until I began to attend Bible college in the fall of 2006. While attending our teacher asked us to read a book called "Free At Last." It was an elementary book to say the least but Evans spoke out somewhat harshly about the Word of Faith/Prosperity Gospel movement. So I decided to dig a little deeper to see what he was about. Found out he was the first African-American to graduate with a doctoral degree from Dallas Theological Seminary. (By the way I don't get into "The first black man this" and "The first black man that"-It is really is not important but just an interesting fact.) With this mans background you would assume that he understands basic Biblical Hermeneutics without a shadow of a doubt. Lionel sent me this daily word that Evans issues out to email recipients and to our amazement we found this quote by Evans...

Evans says, "Did you know that many problems people face are linked to choices their parents, grandparents and even “great-grandpa” made? This may be a new way of thinking for you, and it is certainly not about placing blame. Yet we need to know God´s truth about generational curses and how to live free of their bondages.A generational curse is passed down from one generation to another due to rebellion against God. If your family line is marked by divorce, incest, poverty, anger or other ungodly patterns, you’re most likely under a generational curse. The Bible says that these curses are tied to choices.Deuteronomy 30:19 says we can either choose life and blessing or death and cursing.
Freedom comes when we confess the ungodly patterns, ask God for forgiveness and then walk in obedience by consistently choosing His ways.

Wait a minute...this would be the proper time for me to be improper and say.. NO HE DIDN"T!!
Dr. Tony Evans didn't say that! Please wake me if I am dreaming.. OK enough sarcasm.

Lionel wrote about his HERE. So I would like to come at this from a different angle. Let me preface this and say that I am saddened by this; in which this might seem like a small minor slip up that Evans has done but this is not just a slip of the pen. This has been a consistent habitual behavior that Evans has been rehearsing(for lack of a better term). Subtle to some but obvious to others. We know that typically when the cash flow starts coming in and you have thousands of members-people begin to change. They become more compromising and less Sola Scriptora.

September 10-12, 2006. Tony Evans spoke at New Birth, the pastor here is Word of Faith Expositor Eddie Long. Along with Eddie were Creflo Dollar, Bishop Gary Hawkins, Dr. Robert Schuller, and Dr. I.V. Hillard. We are told by Apostle Paul in Eph 5:11 not to have fellowship(sygkoinōneō) with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them]. You may say that me using this scripture is a harsh description but I think it is accurate. Look at some of the key words to describe these people in Ephesians 5-foolish talking, jesting, covetous, and idolater. This is a much deserved description of the prosperity preachers of our day.

Furthermore Tony Evans was the man who coined a phrase known as "transdispensationalism" in the book he wrote called, "Totally Saved." Here is the answer John MacArthur gives to a question regarding this issue....

"At the end of the book, there is a chapter in which the question comes up about people who have never heard the gospel. And, in that section, Tony writes that people who never hear the gospel, if they will accept whatever light they have, God will acknowledge that as sufficient for their salvation. That, in itself, is a—that is a departure from historic Christian gospel. We would say that if someone lives up to the light they have, then the Lord, who is not limited in His capacity to deliver the truth, will bring the full light—and that no one could ever be saved apart from Christ.
"And that’s essentially the argument of this book, that in the world, there are going to be people who never hear the gospel, and they are not going to reject the light they have. They’re going to accept the light they have, and God will count that as sufficient to save them. "

***There was a radio interview that followed that book that’s available. You can get the transcript of that radio interview, in which the host was interviewing Tony Evans and said to him, “You’re saying, if a Hindu looks up and says, ‘I know you’re up there somewhere. I don’t know who you are, but I’d really like to know you,’ God will count that as sufficient as salvation?” And the answer to that was “Yes.” ***

Transdispensationalism is somewhat hard to define but it seems to be an off shoot of universalism. It is so sad when these people start to go this direction. It hurts because this is not salvific-meaning I don't know if Tony Evans is saved or ever was, or he may be saved-i don't know. What I do know is a lot of these somewhat solid teachers or preachers we know end up going down this slippery slope and we know it only gets worse. Lionel Woods did a good job referencing the New Testament evidences that discredits any possibility of a believer in Christ being bogged down with any generational curses. So I encourage you to read his argument and also let us glance at Ezekiel chapter 18.

1 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge? 3 As I live, declares the Lord God, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. 4 Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die. 5 If a man is righteous and does what is just and right 6 if he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor's wife or approach a woman in her time of menstrual impurity, 7 does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, commits no robbery, gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, 8 does not lend at interest or take any profit, withholds his hand from injustice, executes true justice between man and man, 9 walks in my statutes, and keeps my rules by acting faithfully—he is righteous; he shall surely live, declares the Lord God.
10 If he fathers a son who is violent, a shedder of blood, who does any of these things 11 (though he himself did none of these things), who even eats upon the mountains, defiles his neighbor's wife, 12 oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, does not restore the pledge, lifts up his eyes to the idols, commits abomination, 13 lends at interest, and takes profit; shall he then live? He shall not live. He has done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon himself. 14 Now suppose this man fathers a son who sees all the sins that his father has done; he sees, and does not do likewise: 15 he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor's wife, 16 does not oppress anyone, exacts no pledge, commits no robbery, but gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, 17 withholds his hand from iniquity, takes no interest or profit, obeys my rules, and walks in my statutes; he shall not die for his father's iniquity; he shall surely live. 18 As for his father, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother, and did what is not good among his people, behold, he shall die for his iniquity. 19 Yet you say, Why should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father? When the son has done what is just and right, and has been careful to observe all my statutes, he shall surely live. 20 The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son.
The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.
21 But if a wicked person turns away from all his sins that he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is just and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 22 None of the transgressions that he has committed shall be remembered against him; for the righteousness that he has done he shall live. 23 Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live? 24 But when a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice and does the same abominations that the wicked person does, shall he live? None of the righteous deeds that he has done shall be remembered; for the treachery of which he is guilty and the sin he has committed, for them he shall die. 25 Yet you say, The way of the Lord is not just. Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way not just? Is it not your ways that are not just? 26 When a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice, he shall die for it; for the injustice that he has done he shall die. 27 Again, when a wicked person turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he shall save his life. 28 Because he considered and turned away from all the transgressions that he had committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 29 Yet the house of Israel says, The way of the Lord is not just. O house of Israel, are my ways not just? Is it not your ways that are not just?
30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, declares the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin. 31 Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.

We are called to Biblical faithfulness-Sola Scriptora. Therefore even if John MacArthur, John Piper,or who else ever goes astray,(God forbid) we stay faithful to God first and man second. We stick with the Lord at all cost. We don't make excuses because someone is our favorite teacher. We cannot compromise the truth of the scriptures for anyone. Regardless of your theology, we all agree that what Evans has done is eisegesis and continues to go down the slope. Let us pray for men like him, for we know not what the Lord has in store for him. Sola Christus.