19 Jun 2023

The God That Answers

It blows my mind that I’ve written this column for almost 17 years, and Todd and Terry are great to me, allowing me this platform. I hope to continue writing it until Maranatha! I am also trying something new, and if you’ll indulge me, I’d like to take the space this week to tell you about it. One of the best outcomes of this gig is the personal feedback I get (good AND bad!). All of it helps me learn and hopefully grow.

Most of you are aware of an injury I had a few years ago. It took a while but I am back to the level of writing schedule I was at before that happened. I tried a couple things but couldn’t maintain them and then I had a serious talk with myself and decided that if I could recover my old writing workload, I could fulfill a dream I’ve had for some time, stretching back decades to my time as a Christian book editor. That perch gave me a marvelous gift: the ability to see the whole landscape of American Christianity. I had access to the best Bible prophecy teachers in the world. I had the privilege of working with authors that speak to origins issues, creation vs. evolution. Men like the peerless Henry Morris. I also did quite a bit of advocacy for Israel, inspired by my late friend and mentor, David Allen Lewis. Of course, Terry James’ books fast-tracked my learning, as well.

Over time, I came to a firm belief that Bible prophecy was perhaps the most-attacked doctrine in the Bible, in our culture. (Ironically, not so much abroad; there I find many clergy and rank-and-file believers are very solid in their biblical beliefs. Perhaps we’ve been too spoiled in America and we got lazy. Biblical illiteracy in this country is stifling.)


There are many reasons for the decline in Bible prophecy teaching in our country. And please don’t think I am making a blanket statement; many great teachers are out there. The problem, as it were, is the change in how Americans “do church.” The overall culture bears no resemblance to what it did even two decades ago. Or ten minutes ago. This is another subject for another time—and I’ve written a lot about it already—but the Church Growth Movement I think is largely responsible. Because I think it was prophesied in the New Testament (see Jude, for starters), the Church Growth/Seeker Driven Movement was hatched by men and women that were either dupes or complicit in negatively changing the American Church. In short, the goal was to gut Bible teaching from individual congregations. Paul Smith’s New Evangelicalism is perhaps the best resource for studying this, in my opinion.

In any event, we are in a place where prophecy is not often taught in pulpits across the country. Whole denominations have checked-out from teaching it, at least at the top levels. Again, I’ll deal with this important subject more later, but I want to establish that in my lifetime, we have gone from what I’d call the “Hal Lindsey Era” to the Andy Stanley Era, in which congregants are encouraged—incredibly—to stop reading the Old Testament.

Most importantly, then, how are we to understand who God really is if we don’t read His Word?

In the Word, He has talked a great deal about prophecy, which we can say is history written in advance. A dear friend of mine recently said to me, “Prophecy is proof that God exists!” Most of you have heard variations on that sentence. It is indeed true.

Okay, now to my own personal solution. I believe each of us as individual believers can participate in ministry, even if we have not been called to pastor or otherwise serve in an organized entity.

Six months ago, I decided that I wanted to teach Bible prophecy “in a new way” using social media. I will maintain the perspective I’ve had since I was a boy, that is, all the Bible is true and we are to be looking for the soon return of Jesus. How I talk about that now will change somewhat from classical methods. I want to make Bible prophecy accessible to all people, regardless of religious or no religious affiliation. For people that don’t understand our terminology or concepts. For those that don’t quite understand why the identity of the antichrist fits her life, crammed as it is with raising children or advancing a career, etc. People today are so busy, so stressed in our chaotic world. I came to a place where I had to accept that most people will not read a 700-page book written by a Dispensationalist. Please understand, I am neither dissing this “author” just described, nor am I advocating jettisoning the concepts and truths revealed I believe in a plain-sense reading of Scripture, particularly as it relates to predictive prophecy.

To that end, I am launching this weekend a new project, “The God That Answers.” It is largely a Patreon page, with an upgrade of my already existing website (which I was struggling in the past to maintain due to factors mentioned above).

I’m back and ready to go with the time I have left.

Patreon is a “content creator” site that allows writers, artists, etc. to offer “product” to an audience interested in their area of expertise. Most of these pages have several “tiers” in which a patron (like in the old days, with artists) pays for access to that material. This solves a problem for me: I have never liked, for myself, the concept that someone just gives me money so that I can pursue my interest. If I’m not offering something tangible in return…why should someone just give me money? It works for some just fine and that’s great, but Patreon gives me a chance to maintain my Bible prophecy teaching model.

Most of these pages offer multiple “tiers,” separate amounts someone pays each month. Along with that, many of these content creators really don’t offer anything! This makes it, again, for me, more akin to a “Go Fund Me” site. I don’t expect anyone to pay my bills while I sit and do nothing, or offer nothing in return (for the record, some Go Fund Me efforts are legitimate; I get that). Many Patreon pages ask for a serious chunk of money each month, over the multiple tiers.

I don’t need to be that complicated.

I am offering two tiers, the standard lowest of $5 per month, and one more that gives patrons a chance to pledge any amount they want above that. I believe this is the fairest, because I want all participants in this community to have access to what I’m offering.

Speaking of, here it is:

To be part of my The God That Answers community, you will receive access to my weekly 30-minute podcast (which I think won’t tax anyone’s busy schedule); a substantive, monthly newsletter; two brand-new, downloadable books each year; “out-of-the-box” articles on a variety of subjects, and a monthly online chatroom where we can discuss what you want to talk about. I am also in the process of creating what will be a YouTube channel using images and video taken on my trips to Israel.

And please don’t think I’m being crass in talking about this; ministry in our world is too often all about marketing and revenue. What I am talking about is basically a business venture that will fund my model for teaching Bible prophecy. One of the positives for you is that the choice is totally up to you. You can participate or not participate.

My fundamental goal is to introduce Bible prophecy to people trying to fill their spiritual void. I want to reach people that have no peace but would like to find God. My little corner of the world I sincerely believe can help nudge them in that direction.

In my monthly offerings, I might write a column about Humphrey Bogart movies, a musician, a current event. I will relate prophecy to Darwinian philosophy. I will show you images from Israel (and other places) that will boost your faith.

Bible prophecy is very, very simple. We have made it complicated. Millions and millions of people want to know more about it. I am going to present it in a way that will intrigue you. And if you are already a believer and solid in your understanding of Bible prophecy, I will provide resources that will help you reach friends and family that are not where they need to be spiritually.

Last month when I was in Israel, I was standing in the very dry streambed that David stopped at to pick up five stones before meeting an invincible foe just over the hill. The idea that the Bible is very easily defensible settled over me in an incredible way. We can have total confidence in standing up for the historicity of the Bible. It’s the critics that don’t have a leg to stand on. Also, I visited the site in Jerusalem where Zechariah 2:4 was fulfilled, literally, in great detail. This is what I call the most obscure-but-huge prophecy in the Bible. I have done original research on this and other prophecies and am excited to share that with you.

I will be talking a lot about such things in the days to come. I firmly believe fulfilled prophecy reveals the power and majesty of the Living God. Either you or someone you know needs to hear that.

Thanks for listening, and as always, thanks for reading each week. That is appreciated!