30 March 2017

The Heritage Howse of Cards

Brannon Howse runs a popular 'discernment ministry'. Of course the only discernment one requires is to determine that he's something of a charlatan.
I stumbled on his worldview survey and from the get-go I knew what it was. It was a scam. It's the same kind of survey that The Heritage Foundation sends out. The questions are completely rigged.

They're usually set up along these lines...
Do you believe Feminism leads to Marxism and Gnosticism?
Well golly gee Mr. Howse, let's see. If I say yes, then I'm dishonest and falling into your stupid misrepresentations of reality, ideas, motivations and history. If I say no, then I must be an earth-worshipping pantheist baby-killing sodomite that loves Muslims.
The questions are set up and then you have 'strongly agree' or 'mostly agree' or 'somewhat agree' etc. down the line to strongly disagree.
How am I supposed to answer these ridiculous questions? There's no way to do it honestly because about 85% of the time I don't agree with the question itself. He's some kind of apologist and yet he appears unfamiliar with the concept of petitio principii i.e. begging the question. His survey questions are arguments that assume the conclusion.
Does that mean I don't have a Christian worldview?
Unlike Howse and Heritage, let's instead be honest. They're fake surveys.
Of course I was informed that I did not have a proper Christian worldview. I failed the test and was encouraged to look into their ministry and perhaps purchase some materials. Hey, I could even pick up some gold while I'm at it, since Howse peddles the stuff.
The funny part was that unless I basically was Right-wing Free Market Christo-American Dominionist Nationalist who buys into all the myths regarding Capitalism and American history... then I guess I don't have a Christian worldview.
Howse is so clueless that as he attacks the Seven Mountains theology of the Charismatics he doesn't realise that their Dominionist doctrine is more or less the same theology he's advocating. While not as explicit or thought out, Howse wants a Christian state controlling all spheres of society.
Of course silly me the one thing I know about a Christian worldview is that I'm called upon to be truthful and honest.
Howse's questions are dishonest at a basic level. They're not real questions. He doesn't really care what your opinion is. It's not a real survey. It's tool of manipulation. At its most basic level, his survey and thus his worldview and indeed his ministry are unchristian. In fact he's taking the Lord's Name in vain.
His little worldview minute appears on CrossTalk, another equally fraudulent pseudo-Christian ministry/radio show that falls toward the lame end of the Fundamentalist spectrum. I say that as one who actually appreciates many things about Fundamentalism. These shows and 'ministries' testify to the serious downgrade in Christian intellectual endeavour. The call-ins are both amusing and frightening.

I guess that's the kind of audience he depends on because anyone who's the least bit reflective, let alone who has studied the Scriptures and perhaps read a history book or two is bound to be put off by his manipulative nonsense.
By the way I think Feminism is deplorable and anti-Christian but I don't think it necessarily or even normally leads to Marxism or Gnosticism. The question demonstrates that Howse is unfamiliar with all three concepts.


  1. Maybe the reason he attacks 7 Mountain Charismatic-type Dominionism is because it is a rival. You have to distance and revile, making them into the loopy strawman, because otherwise you might have a defection. A principle you repeat enough, and it's always true, but it's the people closest to your position, but different on some fundamental or key point, are those who will be your bitterest foes. Those people will always be the real danger to any position.

  2. That's actually a very good point. I hadn't thought of it that way.

    The question is... is it something intuitive and instinctive or is it calculated?

    I do get the impression he doesn't see the similarity. I suppose I could point to similar instances in Reformed circles. You'll find Dominionist Kuyperian Calvinists lambasting Theonomists and yet from my 2K standpoint... it's po-tay-toe vs. poh-tah-toe.

    1. I would say it's intuitive. Charismaticism is, by every report, the highest expanding form of "Protestantism", even among "Romanists" it is exploding. This includes, I think, the US. So here you are, a reasonable, solidly vanilla Reformed, with some sort of Patriotic edge. You're not trying to take over the world, you're just trying to make America a godly nation. And here's comes some lunatics who have a similar objective, but they're talking about speaking in tongues, prophecies, turning America into some quasi-theocracy. You don't want any of that, you just love your country in the most theologically correct, God-fearing, sort of way. So, lest your listeners think you're the same thing, whether fans or "secular liberal media" critics, you want to put some distance between the honest and respectable Christian position (you) and the lunatic fringe (7 Mountains).

      That's my offhand attempt at a strategic analysis.


    2. I think that's valid.

      And yet again from my standpoint... there's not a lot of difference. It's just a question of how over the top one gets about the agenda.

      Vanilla Reformed? Hmmm...