Interview with EJ Hill – Former Reformed Evangelical Christian Minister

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen 

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: You are a former missionary an church planter. What were moments for the crisis of faith or something akin to it? Were these singular momentous deluges or slow drips of doubt upon which you built an ocean to sail your non-religious boat?

EJ Hill: I was a very dedicated believer, until the moment I realized that there were errors in the Bible, that no-one denied. What these folks seem to miss, however, is that the God of the Bible promised to protect His Word against corruption, meaning that he either lied or failed. That, along with the fact that we do not have an original copy of the ‘original Bible’ led to a ‘singular momentous deluge of doubt’ that left me devastated and depressed for months.

Jacobsen: How does the religious and skeptical environment compare in North America and South Africa (your place of residence)?

Hill: Well, I have never had the opportunity to travel to North America, but I do have a couple of online friends and follow a number of atheistic websites from there. It would seem like non-believers in North America has way more support in the sense of support groups, magazines, fraternities, and a number of celebrity intellectuals to champion their cause – Neil deGrasse Tyson, James Randi, Penn Jillette, and until recently Christopher Hitchens. While, here in sunny South Africa we have very little of that. But we are working on it, and we also benefitting from what is happening in North America.

Jacobsen: If you could take some of the big preacher names such as the late Billy Graham, Rick Warren, T.D. Jakes, Matt Chandler, Mark Driscoll, Francis Chan, Tim Keller, Dr. Ed Young, Sr., Craig Groeschel, Chris Hodges, Joel Osteen, and others, what tends to describe their approach in bringing people into their fold?

Hill: As a former Reformed Evangelical Christian Minister I had very little time for most of these guys, including Benny Hinn, Jesse duPlantis, Jerry Savelle, Kenneth Copeland, and Kenneth Hagin.

As far as I was concerned, Billy Graham was an ecumenical hypocrite, who watered down the gospel to accommodate as many people as he could via an appeal to emotion. Rick Warren promised God’s “blessings” to everyone, and that based on a flawed interpretation of the prayer of Jabez. T.D. Jakes is a typical prosperity preacher who fleeces his simple-minded flock with promises of wealth and prosperity. I initially liked Mark Driscoll, because of the somewhat reformed evangelical nature of his ministry, but I did not approve of his arrogant leadership style. He seems to be employing the “cowboy approach” to bringing men, in particular, into the fold with gimmicks like mixed martial arts, sex talks, etc. Joel Osteen is yet another prosperity preacher, promising his flock wealth and prosperity for a quick buck. I know too little about Matt Chandler, Francis Chan, Tim Keller, Dr. Ed Young, Sr., Craig Groeschel, or Chris Hodges, to comment on them.

Jacobsen: What seems like the 10-year future of the ex-pastor community in terms of becoming public, telling their stories, and becoming accepted members of mainstream society rather than fringe?

Hill: By “ex-pastor community” I assume you referring to The Clergy Project, which will have a bright future, if they could manage to work out some organizational technicalities. If not, they will become nothing more than a mailing list, most of the members being swallowed by local atheistic groupings, where they will provide invaluable consultation.

Jacobsen: Any final thoughts or feelings in conclusion?

Hill: To my atheistic friend. Please double-check what you say. If you do not know what you are talking about – consult. But, whatever you do, do not spread misinformation. Most of those “bible contradictions” I see thrown around the Internet, are not contradictions by a long shot. The only reason why you think they are, is because you lack understanding. These types of flawed attacks on Christianity only serves to strengthen believers in their belief, that the Bible is inerrant, and atheists do not know what they are talking about. Do everyone a favour, and do not speak on a subject, until you earned the right to do so, having done your research. And, no, reading a single article or book does NOT constitute research.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen founded In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal.

One thought on “Interview with EJ Hill – Former Reformed Evangelical Christian Minister

  1. It is unfortunate the Hill has decided to leave off from the narrow way. Perhaps he demonstrates the apostle John’s description of those identified as antichrists where he had written to his congregation, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us, they went out from us” (NASB).

    Just some points:

    1. Hill says, “What these folks seem to miss, however, is that the God of the Bible promised to protect His Word against corruption, meaning that he either lied or failed.”

    First, it depends on what you mean by God protecting His Word from corruption. If he means that there are discrepancies in the Bible that do not effect in any way the intended purpose of the Bible, which is to reveal the true God and His way of salvation, then Hill is incorrect. The Bible is consistent, even as it has progressively disclosed who is God from Creator (Genesis 1:1) to, finally, His visible coming in Christ (Revelation 22:20-21).

    Second, I don’t think (correct me if I am wrong), although he may have done some study of the issue to one degree or another, Hill is an qualified expert on Biblical criticism. There are many reliable Biblical authorities and sources who would disagree with him. In addition, I believe in the last 200 years, archeological finds have demonstrated over and over the the reasonableness, at least, to maintain belief in the Bible as a reliable source of divine revelation.

    Third, as I understand it, there exists a profuse amount of manuscript copies and Scriptural quotes and allusions so as to establish with a high degree of certainty the reliability of the textual transmission in particular and the Bible as a whole. That is not too say that there are many problems with the texts of Scripture, even to the point that some texts are too difficult or vague for any confidence in the accuracy of translation or that there are no discrepancies whatsoever between texts but only to suggest that there is positive reasons to be confident in the readings and claims found in the Bible.

    Fourth, the internal evidence for the Bible, especially in it’s prophetic declarations, is one more way that one can confide in the Bible as the trustworthy communication of God to Man.

    I am not claiming to be an authority in Biblical criticism but I do believe that Hill’s claim that suggest the Bible is unreliable, perhaps, more of a fantasy, is open to serious dispute on many fronts if not altogether erred.

    2. His reference to Christian leaders, regardless of what we may think of them personally, is irrelevant to the reality of God’s existence and the reliability of the Bible, which only clouds the issue. If it were true that Christopher Hitchens was an alcoholic, should we dismiss his arguments for the non-existence of God?

    Although hypocrisy definitely gives God a bad reputation, it is no argument for or against the reliability of the Bible or the reality of God’s existence.

    3. As to his last remark, I can only wholeheartedly agree. And so I send this, not being a qualified authority in the Biblical criticism, theology, church history, etc. I am only one who studies the Bible as best he can with what sources he can determine are reliable. However, to the degree I have learned, I feel it is to that degree, perhaps, which is only in general, I dare to speak.

    Since Hill claims that most of the “bible contradictions” he sees in the Internet, “are not contradictions by a long shot,” it would be interesting to see which texts of Scriptures he believes are actual contradictions and why.

    Finally, it is always sad to find that someone has fallen away from the faith and, although there is no Scriptural text that I know of that reads the angels in heaven cry over one believer he turns back to unbelief, I do think it is not improbable. I do pray, in the near future, Hill will come back to his senses and give those angels who now weep good reason to rejoice.

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