1988 Last Word Columns

The Return of the Heresy Hunters (January 1988) – Just when I had begun to believe it was safe to think out loud again, the heresy hunters returned. I had hoped, once the controversial The Seduction of Christianity had slunk back into the murky depths where all back-listed books go to die, that the flurry of heresy-hunting would subside…

Owe No Man (February 1988) – I bought my first pair of shoes — I mean the first pair I bought by myself without my parents being there to approve — when I was 13 years old…

Greatness (March 1988) – As an entering graduate student at Ft. Worth’s Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1954, I had virtually no concept of what the term “greatness” meant…

Free From the Press (April 1988) – The morning after the Swaggart scandal broke I woke to the inner words “Beware of the tumblebugs.” It’s been a long time since I thought of tumblebugs. Lying in bed, I remembered kneeling as a child in our barnyard watching those little beetles at work. A tumblebug finds a pile of manure. With his front claws he pulls out a small amount, mixes it liberally with beetle spit, works it onto a ball, then rolls it across the barnyard in front of him — pushing it with his nose…

The Spirit of the World (May 1988) – The head of a large missionary organization told me they are being sued by two of their members. These people had earlier dedicated their lives to missions. Now they have various ailments. One man has ulcers. A woman, who lived in the tropics, has skin cancer. A “Christian” lawyer, hearing of their problems, advised them to sue the missionary organization. Their afflictions, he says, are “job related….”

Confessions of a Hypocrite (June 1988) – Recently I’ve been praying, asking God about my gifts and calling. Then one morning it came to me, very clearly, that I had the unique gift of being a hypocrite…

God’s Last Hope? (July 1988) – James Dodson and Jerry Falwell raised an incredible furor over the Civil rights Restoration Act in late March. They, along with others, called on Christians to bombard Congress with letters and phone calls, demanding the legislators uphold the President’s veto…

Reagan and the Stars (August 1988) – Ronald Reagan’s involvement with Star Wars took a different twist recently when we discovered his interest in outer space was apparently not limited to SDI (Strategic Defense Initiative). It seems that the Reagans – and Nancy in particular – believe the stars possibly control their fate. According to the former White House Chief of Staff Donald Regan, the Reagans are followers of astrology…

ORU –“Our” University (September 1988) – Despite what some think of Oral Roberts, there is no denying God has used him in a powerful way. In the early ’60s, saying God told him to do it, Roberts set out to build a university for a church that didn’t exist at the time – the church renewed by the holy Spirit…

Prophets for Profit (October 1988) – If Arkansas evangelist Edgar C. Whisenant was correct in his calculations, most of you will be reading this from heaven…

Blacks and Whites (November 1988) – From all outward appearances, this is the most unlikely time in history for revival to break out among blacks. Never has the black church been in such disarray. Never has male leadership been so week. Never have blacks been so anti-church. Yet I believe the next move of the Holy Spirit will be among the blacks in America…

Wasted Time (December 1988) – Well, it’s the end of another year and I’m looking back on things I wished I hadn’t done in 1988. Especially do I wish that I hadn’t wasted huge amounts of time doing things which later proved to be totally unproductive…