Those of you who have read my books (especially, The Unseen Realm) or heard me on interviews will enjoy this — it’s about what happens when people who don’t read my books talk about what I believe. I usually don’t respond to this sort of nonsense, because the people who produce it might benefit in web traffic. But this one is so inept that I couldn’t resist.
Someone sent me this ode to poor reading today: “Michael Heiser’s Gnostic Heresy, Part 1” (I can only anticipate Part 2 being as inept as Part 1).
I know what some of you are already thinking …. Wait, doesn’t Mike have a couple of lectures on YouTube about the heresy of Gnosticism? As a matter of fact, I do. Gnosticism is a heresy. I reject it. How then, you ask, does that headline make sense? Answer: it doesn’t, because its content is produced by someone who either cannot read my material, or won’t — and won’t listen to me on YouTube, either. In a word, they are either inept or dishonest. I’m going with inept as we proceed.
If you click through you’ll see how I’m accused of being a polytheist. I have to wonder how “Truth Watchers” missed the following statements in my books and articles, given their powers of research and concentration.
There’s no doubt that Psalm 82 can rock your biblical worldview. Once I saw what it was actually saying, I was convinced that I needed to look at the Bible through ancient eyes, not my traditions. I had to navigate the questions that are probably floating around in your own head and heart now that you’ve read—really read—that passage. First and foremost, you should be aware of some of the ways the clear meaning of Psalm 82 is distorted by interpreters and why it isn’t teaching polytheism. (Unseen Realm, p. 25)
Many scholars believe that Psalm 82 and other passages demonstrate that the religion of ancient Israel began as a polytheistic system and then evolved into monotheism. I reject that idea, along with any other explanations that seek to hide the plain reading of the text. In all such cases, the thinking is misguided. (Unseen Realm, pp. 29-30)
Many scholars use these passages to argue that the biblical writers at one point in Israelite history were polytheists. This thinking is misguided and rooted in a mistaken notion of what the word ʾelōhı̂m means. We tend to presume that the biblical writers thought about ʾelōhı̂m in the same way we think about capitalized G-o-d. When we see the word “God,” we instinctively assign a unique set of attributes (e.g., omnipresence, omnipotence, sovereignty) to the letters G-o-d. But this presumption is incorrect and leads our thinking astray when we encounter instances where ʾelōhı̂m is intended to describe a group of beings instead of the lone God of the Bible. (Angels, p. 11)
I could go on and on. But you can already see what I’m dealing with here. The great minds at Truth Watchers can’t even get 25 or so pages into my work without screwing up.
Honestly, the folks at Truth Watchers are either illiterate or they’re reading my work blindfolded. If this is what passes for a defense of biblical truth, the church is in serious trouble. But of course it isn’t. There are many apologetics folks out there who can read and who see my work as valuable for defending things like orthodox Trinitarian theology and the uniqueness of the Godhead in biblical theology. Instead of amateur “truth sleuths” like “Truth Watchers,” well-known apologists like Frank Turek and Sean McDowell have interviewed me about Psalm 82 and Unseen Realm and see it for what it is: an asset to clear thinking about biblical theology.
Basically, “Truth Watchers” translates to “audience seekers.” That’s too often what you get on the internet–bloggers who cannot think carefully about anything that isn’t articulated the way they’d do it — and then that’s supposed to help people defend the faith.
It’s more than cringeworthy. It’s sad.
For those who want more detail, or who might wonder about common questions I get on Psalm 82 and other things, you can check out the material I have placed on my divine council website, or the archive of my published articles. (And hey, Truth Watchers, it’s “council” not “counsel”). Sigh.