When I was a young naval officer my parents gave me A Sailorís Reader, copyrighted 1943, which contains a literary assortment. My parents echoed the authorís sentiments in his frontispiece at right. And as much as I appreciate the book my parents gave me, it wasnít until I had devoured Godís Book that the meaning of the frontispiece blossomed. That sentiment is behind my hope and prayer that The Age of Reason will help you grow into the kind of man who appreciates the whole new life Godís Book can give you.
If you are a true, humble, and committed Bible believer, and if you have the kind of love for the Lord Jesus Christ that gives you the strength necessary to actually follow Him in accordance with what Scripture says, then yes, The Age of Reason is for you. If the above description fits you, you have the spiritual qualities and characteristics necessary to deal with the fact that coming out of modern apostasy will make you different from most Christians, different from those who will continue to follow religious, social, and moral traditions that are contrary to the word of God. If you really do love the Lord and want the Bible to be your sole authority in all matters of faith and practice, then yes, you should study The AOR Ė but, understanding that most Christians will not be able to handle learning what real apostasy is, you should first humbly and fearfully gird your loins by going to the Lord in prayer.
You must also understand this Bible study is unique in two ways: first, it is for mature Christians; and second, it really does reveal the apostasy that afflicts the modern church. There are going to be things in this book that will offend you at first (as our brother says here). Those things will cause immature Christians to quit because they donít yet have the faith, love, and strength to trust God and His word without the comforting reassurance and social support of the modern church system. But mature Christians will take the hard sayings in stride because their purpose isnít to find a Bible study they donít need because they already know and agree with everything in it, their purpose is to find a meaty Bible study that will help them understand the big picture about Biblical Christianity. Therefore, the constant feeding they get from their studies will sustain them through any rough patches they may encounter. Learning is a growth process, and those who stay the course will gradually understand why I put some of the hard sayings in AOR, and will eventually Ė as other things in the Bible begin to fall into place Ė be glad I didnít leave them out.
Many of you have heard about this Bible-preaching website and have come here because 1) you want to know and understand the Bible, and your church Ė as great, as comforting, and as reassuring as it is Ė hasnít given you the type of confidence in your Christian service that is essential to walking in the light in these dark days of modern sophisticated Christian denominations, and 2) there are things in modern Christianity that make you wonder if the church is as spiritually and doctrinally healthy as most people think it is. You sometimes think there is something wrong with a church that has so many Biblically-ignorant Christians in its pews every week. And instead of requiring them to properly master the Bible, much money and effort is spent coddling and entertaining them in order to persuade these doctrinally inept sloths that because they are members of an ďexcitingĒ evangelical church they are exemplary frontline Christian soldiers. You quietly think that type of compromising/coddling is more characteristic of a modern timid politician hoping to remain popular than it is of the fearless and straight-talking Christ who always strove to correct centuries of harmful traditions. Over the years youíve probably seen well-intentioned preachers try different things to get more people actively involved: Youíve participated in Bible study programs (that failed to engender genuine and lasting interest in mastering the Bible), support groups, youth groups, athletic activities, fund-raising drives, social functions, community involvement, political activism, missions support drives, etc. And in spite of overly-enthusiastic feedback from some of the active church members, you still wonder if something is missing that, if added, would remove your doubts and give you the type of confidence, clarity, and courage the apostles and prophets had when they carried out the will of God by fighting the rampant apostasy among Godís people. I say again for emphasis: All of Godís prophets in every era, and all saints whose salt had not been diluted by religious tradition, had to war against the apostasy that leavened the vast majority of preachers and pewsters of their own church! Thatís why I often say, to be affiliated with any denomination is to be linked with apostasy.
Most Bible study curriculums fail to impart a proper understanding of Christianity. Theyíre like most high school and college history texts: They are full of facts and figures that only seem relevant and valuable until you finish the course and realize you still donít have a confident understanding of history; it still seems like a mass of confusing facts, dates, and events Ė because your teachers and texts never enabled you to see and understand the big picture. For example, a Christian in his 50s whoíd been active in his church for decades told me he didnít feel doctrinally mature enough to handle The AOR, so he put it off until he completed a one-year Bible study curriculum recommended by his church that would (he thought) make him better grounded in the word and in doctrine. It didnít; instead the course left him feeling more insecure because he wondered if maybe he ďjust didnít get it.Ē Christians who have endured those kinds of ďever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truthĒ Bible studies are impressed when they study The Age of Reason; it enables them to see the big picture and confidently understand God, world history, the Bible, and Christianity...as our sister attests above.
When Christians reflect on what theyíve learned from AOR they realize why other Bible study curriculums were so confusing and unsatisfying Ė they were written by well-intentioned men who couldnít properly, completely, and clearly teach a subject they didnít fully understand. Theologians, professors, and preachers who do not properly understand the Bible donít realize most of the stuff they teach is a waste of your time and money. For these reasons, and after a lengthy period of evaluation, AOR was selected by a Bible institute as a teaching text for both students and instructors.
The Age of Reason is not a quick fix, but it is a complete Bible study that will enable you to see from the Scriptures that Satan has been very effective over the last several thousand years in his efforts to deceive the church. The AOR will help you find out if the Bible really has been your sole authority in all matters of faith and practice. When studying The AOR you are going to find yourself on the horns of a dilemma: either I am correct and Scriptural in my book about how and why the church has used Reason to become blindly mired in tradition and apostasy, or the system youíve been a part of is correct, Scriptural, and pleasing in the eyes of God.
Preachers often appreciate the message of AOR more quickly than pewsters because preachers generally have a broader understanding of the Bible. But my book is usually more difficult for preachers to accept for the simple reason that repenting from apostasy is a threat to their incomes. In fact, some preachers who browse through AOR put it down and walk away as soon as they realize its purpose is to expose modern apostasy! They donít know if AOR is true and if it really will reveal them to be Pharisees in need of repentance Ė and they donít want to know! Yes, Biblical Christianity really is a matter of the heart: For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged swordÖand is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb 4:12). When we think we love the Lord, but we arenít basing our doctrines on what His word says, weíre just fooling ourselves. If you search the Scriptures and find The Age of Reason is not in accordance with Godís written truth, simply trash it and continue the search for Biblical knowledge, understanding, and wisdom that brought you here in the first place. If you find The AOR to be correct, however, thank God for answering your prayers, and ask Him to help you gird your loins as you begin serving Him by submitting to His Bible.
You will find The Age of Reason to be well written, well organized, chronological, and very readableÖwith two caveats.
First, I am told by all hands that it is pithy. That is, it is packed with relevant information that will help you grasp the big picture. Students often have to go back and read sentences and paragraphs again in order to digest them. That takes some discipline for Christians who have grown accustomed to quickly skimming the lightweight publications (that are 90% filler) put out by our modern churches; they will find their brains need to start paying attention: The Age of Reason is neither light nor fast reading, but neither does it waste time beating around the bush. I usually tell you right up front where Iím going with a subject. The risk of that directness is you might be so offended by my position or so sure the Scriptures will prove me wrong that youíll stop there and trash the book without bothering to read my explanations and look up the referenced Scriptures (which is why this Bible study has QuikLinks) in order to learn the Bible doesnít teach what tradition told you it does. But the payoff of my directness is youíll know exactly what Iím doing. You may think Iím wrong at first, but at least youíll know Iím not trying to hide anything from you or to manipulate you. How you ultimately react to my book and to the Bible isnít my business; that is between you and the Lord.
Second, there will be things in my book that offend you, that scare you, and that you think (at first) are Scripturally incorrect. In other words, you are going to come face-to-face with real apostasy. That means my book is going to affect you deep inside where you live. You are going to experience what it feels like to find out that traditions accumulated over centuries really have made the word of God of none effect in your life. That means you are going to have to stay very close to the Lord via His Scriptures as you study your way through The Age of Reason. As you study keep in mind that any and all doctrines that have ever been taught in churches and Bible schools were supposed to have come solely and exclusively from the Bible. Iíll say that again: Any doctrine Ė no matter how popular and widespread Ė that is not supported by the written word of God is unscriptural.
Some Christians have benefited from my book even though they havenít yet been able to come to terms with a few of its many points. Thatís normal; itís the way we all learn and grow. My book isnít an attempt to force-feed anybody; itís an attempt to help my fellow servants.
While you are going through this Bible study youíll realize you really are being fed. And youíll see why I say itís for mature Christians. But later, after years have combined with knowledge and experience to produce wisdom, youíll understand with a touch of sadness that AOR actually covers basic fundamentals of ChristianityÖthat AOR only seemed to cover advanced material because you were viewing it from the type of blindness, immaturity, and apostasy that afflicts the modern church. If youíre an older Christian youíll feel a sense of helpless sorrow as you realize you should have been taught the fundamentals in AOR when you were young so you could have the time to think, do, and learnÖso you could grow into the kind of mature wisdom that is the gradual result of building on a proper foundation. If you are a younger Christian the Lord, by the time your righteousness is crowned with a hoary head (Proverbs 16:31), may have given you the kind of knowledge and wisdom that can be used to truly feed His sheep and turn them into spiritual warriors.
The wife of one preacher (in one of the cults I mention in the Introduction) who was helped by The Age of Reason when it made all of his years of Bible studying fall into place and make sense (thus exposing the false doctrines of his church), told me her husband stayed up late at night wrestling with my book. Heíd rant about me and angrily fling my book onto the sofa. But he determined to keep going because my Scripture references were valid and he really was learning. The historical section wasnít particularly new to him because he was already widely read in history. But he said almost every time he turned a page in the doctrinal section he found another challenge to his understanding of Christianity. He submitted to the Scriptures, repented, and eventually began a series of sermons designed to help his church wake up. He also wrote to the authorities in his denomination. They never answered him, the church board banned him from the pulpit, he quit the cult when he realized the Bible wasnít its real authority, moved to another state, and is happily and confidently serving the Lord in accordance with His word. He turned out to be more than a man of the cloth; he turned out to be a man of God.
Iím not telling you this because Iím trying to scare you off. Iím telling you this out of respect because the fact that you are on this web page is an indication that you are a sincere Bible believer who just wants to find out if my book can help you or not. Youíd also like to know if I really do go by the Bible, and if my book really does reveal Reason to be the fundamental source of apostasy in the church...or if Iím just another pet-peeve-oriented nitpicker who canít see the forest for the trees. You cannot know for sure unless you open your Bible and study The Age of Reason.
May God bless you in these dark last days.
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself
unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,
rightly dividing the word of truth.
Promoting Bible study over theology
because of the truth, the authority,
and the necessity of the Bible.
|Faith, belief, and humility
lead to Bible study.
Reason, doubt, and pride
lead to theology.