About

Definition and Purpose

[Lamb’s Harbinger is not associated with, nor in agreement with Jonathan Cahn’s Harbinger]

An harbinger is one who seeks proper lodging for royalty when the crown travels. Of course, that means the harbinger goes ahead of the royal figure in order to prepare the way, so that when the King arrives, all is ready. Consequently, the harbinger is also responsible for everyone’s knowing royalty will soon grace the city or town. “Lamb’s Harbinger,” indicates Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, as the Royal Person who wishes to reside in every heart.

Lambs Harbinger exists to confess the sins of Christianity to the masses in a way that describes how things might have been better said or done. Many people either have been hurt or put off by Christian “religion,” by people who call themselves Christian, or by things done in the name of Church or Christ or God. Furthermore, the Bible, which is apparently meant to be a revelation of God to mankind, often has been misinterpreted, misunderstood or misrepresented, to the abuse and dismay of many. Traditions are commonly placed (knowingly or unknowingly) on the Bible like a bad wood veneer on solid gold. Only when apology is made for such atrocities and lies, can the Light and the Truth begin His freeing work. Only then is the heart opened to receive the Lord Jesus.

Lamb’s Harbinger is, at the same time, an exercise in preparing room in the reader’s beliefs for Jesus Christ by presenting accurate descriptions of reality. That is, Lamb’s Harbinger is about thinking from a biblically-informed worldview (seeing from God’s perspective). Its end is not Christianity; its end is the Lamb. It is not about denominationalism, movements, trendy theology, or popular leaders; though posts may coincidentally expose their blindness, weaknesses or oversights. It is not about pet doctrines. Rather, it is about being honest with already-relevant Scriptures, about normally interpreting the Bible’s books and passages in their varying genres, as one would interpret any other piece of literature–according to kind, in all of its context, with an eye to historic setting and original audience, and with special attention to the grammar… all in an effort to discover the Author’s intent–in this case, to know what God has had written about this or that. When one thinks with a biblically-informed worldview, then one will ultimately find out Jesus is the focal point of all existence, past, present, and future. The rest is detail.

Chances are, despite my sincerity, I will get some things wrong at one point or another. But, I am still learning, and my desire is to be biblically accurate above all else. All I desire for the reader is to know and love Christ as He can and should be known and loved. In that effort, I beg the critic’s indulgence.


Testimony, Doctrine and Affiliation

Sam Kean obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Bible (2005) and a Master of Biblical Studies (2008) from the independent, fundamental Baptist College of Ministry and Theological Seminary, which he now rejects as cultish, under Wayne Van Gelderen, Jr. and family. [see LinkedIn profile for Sam Kean’s professional history; here for his interview with TBN and here for his interview with Almost Heretical]. In brief, Kean identifies as a survivor and critic of an Independent Fundamental Baptist cult. Kean rejects fundamentalist evangelicalism as a movement, due to its national (USA) & global connotations and trivial, cultish perversions by late 20th century. Moreover, Sam Kean is post-denominational, paleo-orthodox, and a former pastor & foreign missionary, having resigned fundamentalist evangelical professional ministry, due to his conscience regarding the corrupt, ecclesiastical paradigm of professional ministers and the movement’s stodgy and harmful pastoral, ecclesiastical and systematic theologies. There is inestimable worth in scholars aiding the Church by providing its pastors reliable content. But, the worth of the Church’s pastors is in their readiness to assimilate & dispense content (FREE of charge) for the relational maturation & spiritual discipleship of believers.

Since his departure from the independent, fundamental Baptist movement in 2010, Sam Kean seeks to “relearn the Bible,” particularly finding agreement with the works of Michael S. Heiser, Stephen Dempster, Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Gustaf Aulén, Mako Nagasawa, Greg Boyd, L.S. Chafer, the early works on Paleo-Orthodoxy by Thomas C. Oden, Marcus Warner & Jim Wilder (and other Deeper Walk International authors/speakers), Dan Allender, Frank Viola, N.T. Wright, Francis Schaeffer, Søren Kierkegaard, C.S. Lewis, Charles Ryrie, Scot McKnight, George E. Ladd, Dallas Willard, Norman Geisler, and Ray Stedman.

Other examples of poor evangelical theologies include:


Orthodoxy & Orthopraxy

Without question, the writer of Lamb’s Harbinger is a supernaturalist in worldview and theologically a Trinitarian Christian, who seeks to preserve the matters of 1st importance (as found in 1 Corinthians 15), due to their being essential to the supernaturalist Christianity presented in the New Testament and in the earliest (post-Apostolic) Patristic writings (see also written works by J. Gresham Machen, R. A. Torrey, B. B. Warfield). Because he identifies as paleo-orthodox, Kean affirms the Apostles Creed (See Britannica) as the historical standard for orthodoxy, and he is non-denominational & “de-churched” (with regards to institutional hierarchy in churches but not in regards to gathering with believers). By ‘non-denominational,’ or post-denominational, he means: “a refusal to acknowledge those denominations, which deny the Lord Jesus Christ’s hypostatic union (full Deity/full humanity), bodily death & resurrection, His exclusivity and supremacy as mankind’s Savior; the essentials of the Christian Good News (1 Corinthians 15), and/or create carnal divisions based on extra-biblical, man-made teachings (1 Corinthians 3; ex. required denomination-specific tenets and “Church membership covenants”). Sam Kean positively describes his faith as historic Anabaptist in theology and pacifist Pietist in practice (see also Wikipedia and Britannica for overviews and books list, and works by Søren Kierkegaard on radical pietism).

Concerning the Atonement of Christ & God’s Justice, Kean holds to a paleo-orthodox Christian view, such as are found in the writings of Gregory of Nanzianzus. Sam Kean particularly finds agreement with Mako Nagasawa’s expression of a Medical Substitution View and Restorative Justice View. One’s eternal soul can be healed from sin and delivered from the destiny of a Godless eternity, by grace alone, through faith (trust, reliance) alone in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone. All of this is based on the completed and final standard—the Holy Scriptures (Christian Bible) alone. The Penal Substitution (Retributive Judicial) view of the Atonement can be in harmony with the Medical, Reconciliation and Victor (and Liberation) views, so long as PSA concedes a robust Trinitarian relationship between Father and Son at the Cross, as well as an Aikido aspect of God’s using evil spirits and humanity as agents in satisfying God’s just wrath against an infestation of sin, death & Satan (see Gustaf Aulén and Greg Boyd).

While not ordained or commissioned under any faith group, and before identifying with the Unchurching movement and the paleo-orthodox / non-denominational movements, Kean would say the following church traditions would have best expressed his faith: the Brethren Church & Charis Fellowship, the Calvary Chapel and Harvest Christian Fellowship association network, the Church of God (Anderson), the Christian and Missionary Alliance (PDF Handbook), the (new) Mennonite Church (and HERE), the Bible Church movement, and the Missionary Church —see also Wikipedia).

Moreover, regarding the inspiration, inerrancy and the authority of the Bible, Sam Kean takes a conservative-leaning, yet moderate view, consistent with Anabaptist tenets. A moderate view of the inspiration and authority of the Bible might say Divine Revelation is limited to only the redemptive concepts, special themes and overarching message present within the Bible. Kean would rather say,

Special, Divine Revelation is more than the words but not without (or, apart from) the specific words.

By this, he means not to lose the proverbial forest, while scrutinizing the trees (as Fundamentalists & Conservative Evangelicals do… and liberal text critics); but also, not to degrade the Bible to the level of subjective testimony as do progressive and liberal theology. The Bible is a collection of human-divine books that form the Divine Book for humanity; and it must be approached and interpreted as such.

One must concede the humans who wrote were Divine spokespersons, yet not Divinely inspired in their personhood (ex. omniscient, infallible or inerrant). Only some of their messages are Divinely inspired, which messages are inexorable from the writers’ own Sitz im Leben. In other words, their understanding of God was limited to what He revealed in the course of progressive revelation. The texts occasionally reflect this phenomenon and must be accounted for by responsible interpretation (see below). However, the phenomenon being thus acknowledged, said limitation is surpassed by the Divine breath, propelling the authors/editors thoughts and intents into recorded oration and text… even sometimes in ways they themselves do not fully comprehend.

These things being held, Sam Kean does not affirm any notion of direct dictation in inspiration (unless indicated in the text, (ex. “This says the LORD”), …but neither does Kean affirm any concept of inspiration that refuses to note the real, human-sourced scribal discrepancies (from copying), factual inconsistencies (due to separate curation if oral tradition evident in the originals) or even theological contradictions (paradoxical or not) present in the texts by appealing to the originals (autographs, as represented in the majority of extant manuscripts).

Similarly, Kean sees intellectual dishonesty in rejecting the phenomenon of redaction / editor revision or compilation. The work of a compiling / collating editor can be just as inspired as the original autograph(s); and just as the Hebrew Scriptures were compiled and approved, even so, representatives from the churches similarly trusted the Spirit to superintend the closing of the Canon of Scripture at Nicaea (325 A.D.). The Holy Spirit is the Authority of Scripture and the Church, and He does not lead these 2 into conflict. The Scripture was settled by consensus of the Church, as directed by the Spirit. Having submitted itself thereto, The Church should not contradict itself by asserting itself to be above Scripture or discarding (as secondary) the Scriptures it once hailed. So, Kean upholds the supreme Authority of the Bible for informing one’s faith life, the Soul Liberty (of each believing Conscience), and the priesthood of the believer.

Interpretation should not be confused with inspiration. Conservatives in the doctrine of Divine Inspiration will say the Bible is authoritative in all matters to which it speaks (ex. The Chicago Statement, article XII on Creation and the Flood or other matters of scientific evidence), and while that is technically true, one cannot and must not assume the Bible speaks specifically, exhaustively or exclusively to a current-day matter of scientific discovery. Such assumptions are often made by fundamentalists and conservative evangelical Protestants, while they disregard the passages’ contexts, particularly the context of genre (which indicates purpose and demands appropriate interpretation approach). A Bible passage must be understood by recognizing and bowing to all its contexts and to the presence of literary devices & contours of the text!

Due to his Anabaptist moorings, Sam Kean believes and advocates a freedom of religion that includes the Church being independent of the State.

The Church is the community that redemptively confounds the categories imposed upon it. Right/left, conservative/liberal choices are crucified as the body of Christ is resurrected. To adopt a given ideology decapitates Christ as the head of the church. —@TimothyRGains, https://twitter.com/timothyrgaines/status/1008704447239872512?s=21

We must resist, always, the Culture Wars work of making us see each other as monsters rather than image-bearers. –@danwhitejr, https://twitter.com/danwhitejr/status/1008765022976249858?s=21

Manifest Destiny doctrine is from the pit of Hell. American Civil Religion is both aberrant to and abhorrent of genuine Christianity, and when the Church gets entangled in politics, then politics corrupt and drive the Church. Kean is non-partisan, politically. He supports service personnel & veterans, but he (in accordance with the earliest Christians) does not support the notion of Christians as soldiers or the USA’s war culture, especially use of toxins, experimental vaccinations , biological augmentation (DNA, hormones, chemical substances, bionics) and WMDs, in the name of spreading “freedom,” democracy and/or “greatness.” There is a difference between the War and the warrior; and none should forget the USA government’s long and explicit (and well-documented) history with mind control, psychotropics & psychedelics, and psychotronic weapons. See here, here, here, and here.

Kean is a pacifist in the face of religious persecution but is proactive in averting the suffering of others, especially the oppressed & defenseless. Therefore, Kean affirms non-combative, reparative military service (ex. Chaplaincy, Medic) as a Christian ideology. Some Christians like to think their love for weapons and patriotic militarism is warranted by the Bible and the Christian “kingdom.” It is not. Defense of the innocent and defenseless is something indeed warranted and expected of Christians. Weapons love and a militant, Church victorious are not taught by Jesus or the Apostles! In fact, what Jesus teaches goes both against Christian love for weapons and against the professional ministry paradigm so prevalent in the hierarchical institutions that masquerades as the Church. If someone wishes to kill a believer over faith, and you cannot otherwise escape, the pattern which Jesus and all the Apostles give is surrender to martyrdom and forgiveness of attackers.

Furthermore, as Francis Schaeffer and George E. Ladd understood Christ’s Kingdom is nothing institutionally physical/political until the return of Christ Himself, Kean affirms the same understanding (i.e. inaugurated eschatology: “already but not yet”). Frank Viola puts this reality in more contemporary terms. So, neither the democracy of the enlightenment nor the historic state churches of Europe are the rule of Christ. Thus, there is no legitimate claim to theonomy, or reconstructionism, let alone a perverted ecumenism, which seeks to engineer society religiously through sociopolitical or governmental lobbying. These ills are rooted in erroneous Covenant Replacement Theology and its offshoots. Therefore, Kean is not a religious sociopolitical (governmental) activist but seeks to aid the plights of mankind and animals and ecosystems as much as possible through non-partisan, peaceful protest, civil disobedience, individual relationships and Christian (non-government) organizations. When governmental lobbying, activism or advocacy must be done, it should be done in a non-partisan platform, as a citizen, and should not be done to advance a Christian quasi-theocracy.

Kean asserts the following about the “Kingdom of God/Heaven” and the Church: every believer is both the space (temples) and the subjects of God’s kingdom at present. And, the law of God at present is Christ’s Law, being the laws of faith in Christ (Phil. 3:9; Rom. 3:27; Gal. 3:11) and agape love (Matthew 5-7; John 14-17). The collective Body (as baptized by the Holy Spirit into Christ) of all true believers is the universal Church. The Church is designed by God to be and function as a living organism rather than an hierarchical organization or institution, which separates clergy from “laity” (ref. Ray Stedman). Authentic, non-abusive church leadership is R.A.R.E. these days and rarely taught. The professional ministry paradigm must be reformed, along with our broken discipleship factories, through cultivating unfailingly loving communities via the Solution of Choice; but Unchurching is the more likely route for most awakened believers while “churchianity” is slow to release its power grab and corporate leadership dynamics.

Kean opposes Reformed theology (a.k.a. Calvinism), taking strong exceptions with irresistible grace & limited atonement (as opposed to unlimited provision of atonement – see C. Ryrie, L. S. Chafer). Kean rejects the faulty notions of preterition and reprobation, since they each are built on a faulty premise. Predestination is toward the benefits of salvation, not to salvation itself (see The Faith of God’s Elect). Only those who are elect (have already received salvation) can and do say that God chose them “in Christ” (Eph. 1:4). As Christ is the elect (Is. 42:1), even so those who place faith in Christ, at Divine invitation (Gospel call) by the Spirit, step into the sphere of that election; and so, receive the title, elect. [please see Jesus Christ, the Elect of God]. God’s foreknowledge does not equate His determinate will (i.e. force). All in all, there is a balance between Divine Initiation (grace) and human responsibility (faith): Ephesians 2:8-9. This is Traditional Theology’s statement regarding God’s plan for mankind’s eternal salvation. Touching ordinances, Baptism and Communion (and foot washing) are not sacramental means by which saving grace is conferred on a soul, but they are symbolic acts of personal testimony, done by those who have already received eternal pardon and new spiritual birth by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ.

In his views on Bible prophecy, Kean is partial-futurist (“already-but-not-yet”) in eschatological interpretation and pre-millennial in his view of the return of Christ, finding these the result of a both patristic evidence and a normal, literary (genre and device), historical, grammatical and Analogia Scriptura approach to Bible interpretation. There are clear foundations in Bible prophecy for a future, physical kingdom of Jesus on earth. [please see Evangelical Hermeneutics: The New Versus The Old, The Hermeneutical Spiral and Dominion and Dynasty, ch. 1] For an example of this approach applied, please see HERE.

Kean is moderately dispensational (as opposed to classic, progressive, hyper, ultra) in his view of biblical covenants and distinctions between Israel and the Church. The Church does not replace national/ethnic Israel. The Church is spiritual Israel but not to the elimination of ethnic (national) Israel from God’s Plan for the ages. Messianic Jew and believing Non-Jew (the Bride of Christ) enjoy all the spiritual blessings promised in the New Covenant to ancient Israel (the divorcee Wife of YHWH to be remarried) through the Lord Jesus Christ. Currently, those of Abraham’s faith (as distinct from physical lineage) are the children of promise (Romans 4; 9:4-8; Eph. 2:11-19; 3:4-6; Gal. 3:29). Non-ethnic-Jew believers (gentiles) have been made one new Mankind with believing Israel (Messianic Jews of Hebrew ethnicity) through Christ Jesus, and now they are together the branches of the “Olive Tree” (Romans 11), until the fullness of the Gentiles is brought in… also the time that national/ethnic Israel is redeemed—in all of its northern tribes (“all Israel”)—to rule the gentile nations during the Millennial Kingdom of Jesus. This view is categorically distinct from and spiritually reticent to political/secular (disbelieving) Zionism; but it is supportive of YHWH’s revealed plan—in every stage—to bring about the redemption of the Hebrew nation (again, the 10 tribes from ancient northern Israel with the 2 southern tribes). [For examination of the errors of replacement theology, see Covenant & Controversy, Part 1 and Part 2.]

A genuine dispensationalist will not see contemporary, national Israel as anything other than a secular nation, gathered in disbelief; and therefore, it is needy of YHWH’s correction—Jacob’s Trouble (per Jeremiah 30). Said correction can only be delivered by YHWH in the course of that Great Tribulation. Moreover, according to a proper interpretation of Romans 11 & 12, the Church (redeemed gentiles + redeemed ethnic Jews) should be mindful that it is not better than the disbelieving, national/ethnic Hebrew people (particularly the ancient, northern 10 tribes).

Modern, national Israel does not deserve carte blanche treatment from the USA or any other nation. But the modern nation of Israel does deserve the same rights and privileges due any other (sovereign) nation, and those who bless the Hebrew people will be blessed… just as those who love both their neighbors and their enemies are blessed.

Regarding sanctification, Sam Kean holds to the Antiochian Orthodox articulation of Theosis, which begs the believer to fully “participate in Christ.” There are four aspects to the Gospel: “Christ our Savior/Redeemer, Christ our Healer/Deliverer, Christ our Sanctifier, Christ our Coming Lord.” While Kean sees the definite biblical prescription for repentance of the sin nature (the “fallen self”) and false gods/religion in order to turn toward God by placing faith in Christ, he does not hold to extreme Lordship Salvation (whereby one must somehow completely do away with sins before he can be saved), but he agrees with scholars like John Walvoord and Zane Hodges… and the Apostle Paul… that salvation is by grace and no works (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 4). That being said, after someone is redeemed by God’s grace, the life will certainly show fruits of repentance and a submissive, thankful love for the Lord Jesus. A believer desires to become like Jesus. Also, if salvation comes by grace and no works, then it is kept by grace and no works (Galatians 3:3). Yet, unfrustrated grace leads to true holiness and a correct definition of the world / worldly. One’s view on eternal security affects both one’s sanctification and reveals whether one truly understands the Good News. For lasting transformational growth, heart focused discipleship must happen alongside discipleship of the mind; and a believer cannot successfully run the Christian marathon of life until he is freed up of spiritual hindrances (see Deeper Walk International).

Regarding spiritual gifts in sanctification, Sam Kean does not teach Apostolic Succession (as claimed by Rome) but does reject “cessation” of sign/spiritual gifts. Even today, signs and wonders are performed “as God wills,” particularly in situations and communities which require a supernatural affirmation of the spoken Good News, and especially when other spiritual powers are at play or when the written Word is inaccessibile or restricted. The Spirit has not yet been removed from the earth, and the Bible describes ways and rules to function in (as well as verify) the exercise of spiritual gifts, which are bestowed, directed and empowered by the Person of the Spirit (see Romans 12, 1 Cor. 12-14, Eph. 4 & Whatever Happened to Gifts of Language Prophecy and Healing by CT, Spiritual Gifts by CMAlliance.org, Exploring Spiritual Gifts by Brethren.org, Strange Fire: A Calvary Chapel Response and Spiritual Gifts Chart via Precept Austin).

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Disclaimer

Any links, articles, books or videos featured on Lamb’s Harbinger are not endorsements of the all the views of all organisations or individuals represented. Rather, they are provided for the convenience of the viewer’s own discretionary study and education. All postings, references, citations, shares and expressed opinions about said materials are thusly categorized under the designation of “free speech” & “freedom of religion” and are intended only for fair use educational, informational and instructional purposes.

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