Preface

This book, though informative to read, is intended to be taught and to supplement such teaching. Therefore, it is not structured for the popular audience. Instead, it is arranged to match a teacher’s cadence—both in the presentation of the content as well as in the necessary repetition of this content when teaching. Also, this book cites internet sources wherever possible in order to provide the greatest level of convenience for the teacher to verify the information himself. Furthermore, when a cited source relies upon another source for its information, every attempt has been made to find and provide within the footnotes both the original source information as well as the cited source. This too is intended to make it as convenience as possible for the individual who wishes to verify the material cited in this book.

 

At times additional information to support or clarify various statements would be helpful, except that this information would interrupt the flow of thought if included within the body of the book. For this reason, such information is included within the footnotes. To distinguish these among the over 800 footnotes, these particular footnote numbers have been marked with an asterisk sign (*). Also, unless otherwise noted, all Bible verses are taken from the English Standard Version of the Bible. This translation was chosen because the English rendering of the original manuscripts is similar to contemporary English speech while also maintaining as literal a translation as possible.

 

Because this book is intended to be taught, extensive appendices have been included to supplement the body of the book. Some of these appendices are included in the back of this book, and others are available online at www.InquisitiveChristianity.com. These appendices are designed to provide the reader with a fuller understanding of issues which are mentioned within the book but are not expounded upon. Also, they are intended to provide those who wish to teach through this book with enough information to field many of the questions that are likely to be asked. Given that this is the intended purpose of the appendices, this book relies upon the works of others wherever such works seem sufficient. By doing so, not only is valuable information relayed to the reader, but hopefully the reader will also be encouraged to further investigate the works of these other authors.

 

Also included online at www.InquisitiveChristianity.com is an entire database of supplemental websites, media content, blogs, and books related to many of the topics addressed in this book. These resources constitute some of the best resources the author could find both in favor and against these topics. Readers are strongly encouraged to visit the website.

 

The author’s prayer is that this book will be helpful. It is the result of many years of research. The included content is the author’s best understanding regarding these issues. He has sought to be as fair and yet simplified in his explanation of these topics as possible; nevertheless, he remains fallible. For this reason, any who disagree, are intrigued, or are confused regarding these topics are encouraged to study them further. However, given the spiritual nature of these issues, anyone interested in studying these subjects is strongly encouraged to place himself underneath the guidance and accountability of another pastor. Hebrews 13:17 teaches that God has provided His church with pastors who can help guard our souls. Some of the popular teachings addressed in this book appear to be spiritual and seem sound, but they are heresy and cancerous to the soul. For this reason, everyone would do well to take advantage of this safe-guard that God has provided for our spiritual well-being.

 

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