Index of Responses to Criticisms of the Local Churches

On January 9, 2007, a group of evangelicals published an open letter on the Internet calling on Living Stream Ministry and the local churches to disavow certain teachings of Witness Lee. On February 13, 2007, a new site entitled “The Testimony of the Local Churches and Living Stream Ministry” was launched to respond to the issues raised in the open letter. Among the materials published on that site are an initial, short response and a later, more detailed response. These two responses were subsequently published in book form and are available in electronic form on this site as A Defense of the Gospel: Responses to an Open Letter from “Christian Scholars and Ministry Leaders” (1). In a special issue of the Christian Research Journal entitled “We Were Wrong,” the Christian Research Institute, the largest and most respected apologetics ministry in the world, retracted their earlier criticisms of the local churches and published their own critique of the shortcomings of the open letter (see the “Dialogues” section of this site for more information). Almost immediately two signers of the open letter, Norman Geisler and Ron Rhodes, wrote a rather acrimonious critique of the CRI reevaluation. Their rebuttal contained many errors of fact and of biblical truth. Beginning in July 2010, DCP began publishing a series of articles under the general title “A Response to Norman Geisler and Ron Rhodes’ Defense of an Open Letter and Critique of the Christian Research Journal‘s Reassessment of the Local Churches” to correct some of the more egregious errors.

Many of the issues raised in the open letter have been the subject of responses in the past, responses that have gone unanswered. For example, in the 1970’s, members of the local churches wrote and published a number of booklets and articles in response to inaccurate or uninformed criticisms. These booklets and articles address and clarify a wide range of critical truths of the Christian faith. Many of these writings are out of print and are not generally available to the Christian public. Here on these pages we reproduce them in full so that the Christian public can read and decide for themselves where the truth is. A topical index is provided to assist you in finding discussion of particular areas of Biblical truth. The following is a list of the booklets published at that time:

Booklets

TITLE AUTHOR DATE
1. The Beliefs and Practices of the Local Churches The Co-workers in the Lord’s Recovery 1978
2. The Clear Scriptural Revelation Concerning the Triune God Witness Lee not dated
3. Concerning the Person of Christ Witness Lee 1971
4. False Accusations Exposed and Refuted in the Light of the Scriptures Witness Lee and his Co-workers not dated
5. Mind Bending or Mind Renewing? Ron Kangas 1977
6. Modalism, Tritheism, or the Pure Revelation of the Triune God According to the Bible Ron Kangas November 16, 1976
7. The Revelation of the Triune God According to the Pure Word of the Bible Witness Lee 1976
8. The Triune God: A Testimony of Our Belief and Experience Ron Kangas 1976
9. The Truth Concerning Exclusivism Ron Kangas not dated
10. The Truth Concerning Salvation Ron Kangas not dated
11. What a Heresy—Two Divine Fathers, Two Life-Giving Spirits, and Three Gods! Witness Lee 1977


A Response to Norman Geisler and Ron Rhodes’ Defense of an Open Letter and Critique of the Christian Research Journal’s Reassessment of the Local Churches

Answers to the Bible Answer Man

In addition, in 1977 Walter Martin, the founder of CRI and the original “Bible Answer Man,” spoke publicly against Witness Lee and the local churches. In 1977 and 1978 various members of the local churches wrote articles responding to what Walter Martin said. It is important to note that the current “Bible Answer Man” and President of the Christian Research Institute, Hank Hanegraaff, was not a party to this dispute. Since 2003 the local churches have been engaged in a very fruitful dialog with Hank Hanegraaff, Gretchen Passantino, and Elliot Miller. They now receive us as Christian brothers, and we value their fellowship in the Lord (see “A Brief History of the Relationship between the Local Churches and the Christian Research Institute“). To see the list of articles related to Walter Martin’s criticisms, click here.

We also recommend to you the Web site for Affirmation & Critique, which addresses many of the same theological issues discussed in these pages from a more scholarly perspective.