Wycliffe’s Richard (Rick) Brown Heresy?

For those of you who heard me on the radio, here is a link to the quote from Wycliffe/SIL expert Rick Brown on Salvation. No wonder ‘Son’ is gone from Matthew 28:19 in both Wycliffe’s Turkish and Arabic Muslim-Idiom Translations:

There is no statement that one must believe Jesus is the Lamb of God or Image or Word or Wisdom of God incarnate or even that he is God himself incarnate. There is no requirement for  belief in the virgin birth nor other such teachings. There is no statement saying that people must use one particular title for Jesus in order to be saved.

What Must One Believe about Jesus for Salvation? IJFM 17:4 (Winter, 2000)

Relevant links:

Biblical Missiology petition


Why the Petition was started


Biblical Missiology Fact Check for Wycliffe’s initial response


More about me HERE and HERE.

  • Salaam Corniche

    Hussein and Angela:
    Greetings. As I read the post and the responses, I could not help but think of the word “the church of the lowest common denominator.” Hey, keep it light, keep it simple, keep it [I was going to say stupid but that could have a wrong connotation], mindless.
    The quote by Mr. Brown seems so smooth. Can’t you just feel them glisten by into ears that would like to be tickled?
    John Newton the slave trader said, “My memory is nearly gone; but I remember two things; That I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Saviour.” This was a use of his mind even in its feeble state. He knew he needed the Lamb of God because of the heniousness of his sins. The more of the Lamb he knew both in the head and the heart level, the more he would love Him, and the more he would be convinced of his own sinfulness. Newton knew that nothing but God Incarnate would be able to reach into his world and execute the rescue plan.
    Curious, that Rahab, Jethro, Naaman all made the statement “Now I know…” and they declared something of the wonder of God. Curious that they who were Gentiles could say they knew in their heads and their hearts as the Hebrew word communicates.
    This dumbing-down, making excuses for propositional truth has got to go.

  • A L

    This kind of confuses me.

    You are a Lausanne blogger: http://conversation.lausanne.org/en/people/profile/husseinwario

    And, yet, it appears that Lausanne supports the insider movement. This was in the Cape Town Commitment: http://www.lausanne.org/en/documents/ctcommitment.html#p2-3

    IIC. Living the love of Christ among people of other faiths

    4. Love respects diversity of discipleship
    So called ‘insider movements’ are to be found within several religions. These are groups of people who are now following Jesus as their God and Saviour. They meet together in small groups for fellowship, teaching, worship and prayer centred around Jesus and the Bible while continuing to live socially and culturally within their birth communities, including some elements of its religious observance. This is a complex phenomenon and there is much disagreement over how to respond to it. Some commend such movements. Others warn of the danger of syncretism. Syncretism, however, is a danger found among Christians everywhere as we express our faith within our own cultures. We should avoid the tendency, when we see God at work in unexpected or unfamiliar ways, either (i) hastily to classify it and promote it as a new mission strategy, or (ii) hastily to condemn it without sensitive contextual listening.

    A) In the spirit of Barnabas who, on arrival in Antioch, ‘saw the evidence of the grace of God’ and ‘was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord,’[72] we would appeal to all those who are concerned with this issue to:

    Take as their primary guiding principle the apostolic decision and practice: ‘We should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.’[73]
    Exercise humility, patience and graciousness in recognizing the diversity of viewpoints, and conduct conversations without stridency and mutual condemnation.[74]

    Your working with Lausanne, and they support this?

    • http://www.cracksinthecrescent.com Hussein

      I am not a Lausanne Blogger. Do you know what it means? I share my articles on Lausanne Global Conversations. I have always been against Insider Movements. You can find my article, Convert Drought Fatigue and New Bible Translations. I have made it “sticky” on my blog so that you don’t go around confusing people.

  • AJ

    I love that verse. It makes me tear up sometimes when I hear it. But there are many people who came to Christ without saying the same words that Peter said in that verse – the woman who touched Jesus’ garment, the blind man, the thief on the cross, the man with the demons….

    “Jesus said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’” – Luke 7:50

  • PD

    Perhaps there is no statement that says, except for the Son himself reveals his titles and if we go about changing his titles then appropriate knowledge for belief about Jesus gets distorted. I believe Jesus, who has said and shown himself to be the lamb, the Shepherd, the Door, the Son.

    I have appreciated your ongoing efforts to inform others of this story.

  • AJ

    That first article “What one must believe about Jesus for Salvation” is so well written and I think very important for any evangelist to read! It so clearly lays out what Jesus taught, and how Christians all throughout history have viewed it and added in their own requirements for salvation, when really Jesus taught that we simply had to receive Him as our Lord and Savior. I grew up thinking that I had to get every doctrine exactly right (which of course is impossible for anyone but God) in order to be accepted by God. Thank you so much for posting this Hussein! I hope to use it in the future.

    • http://www.cracksinthecrescent.com Hussein


      Some of Wycliffe linguists and missiologists share Rick Brown’s views. Matthew 16:16-17 disagrees with Dr. Brown:

      Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.

      • AJ

        I love this verse. It’s one of my favorites, but it doesn’t contradict Rick Brown’s article. (Ironically enough, its right before Jesus says “Get behind me Satan” to Peter, but I digress…)

        Rick’s not saying that Jesus isn’t the Son of God, just that you don’t have to understand every single aspect of His character in order to put your trust in Him completely. I sure didn’t understand everything when I accepted Him 27 years ago. I still don’t, but I certainly understand more of who He is now than I did before. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that no Christian understands every aspect of God’s character.

        What about when Jesus tells the woman who grabbed his cloak that “your faith has saved you.” She never said all the different titles of Jesus in order to be saved. Or the blind man, or the man with the demons, or the man whose friends lowered him through the roof, or the theif on the cross?

        I’m not saying Jesus isn’t the Son of God, just that it’s still possible to believe in Jesus and accept Christ without having a clear understanding of the trinity.

        • http://www.cracksinthecrescent.com Hussein


          You wrote,

          I still don’t, but I certainly understand more of who He is now than I did before. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that no Christian understands every aspect of God’s character.

          Nice try trying to defend Rick Brown. Of course we cannot know of all God’s character to be saved. We are talking about Jesus Christ here who came to show us the way to Father. And you are arguing, agreeing with Mr. Brown, we don’t have to believe He was born of a virgin to be saved? Where did your Gospel start? With the resurrection?

          Jesus Christ knew what was in people’s hearts and mind. He knew the state of all these people you have mentioned.

          One cannot be saved without believing He was of the virgin birth and He is the Son of God. He or she doesn’t have to articulate his/her beliefs to be saved.

          • AJ

            While it is definitely true that Jesus was born of a virgin and that He is the Son of God, I’m wondering where in Scripture Jesus was ever recorded as mentioning that He was born of a virgin and that you had to believe that in order to be saved?

            I wonder how many young children who put their faith in Christ, who have no concept of what a virgin is, would not be saved under your definition.

          • http://www.cracksinthecrescent.com Hussein


            You wrote,

            I’m wondering where in Scripture Jesus was ever recorded as mentioning that He was born of a virgin and that you had to believe that in order to be saved?

            Your line of thinking is exactly what proponents of Insider Movement have all along promoted. There are some who go around telling people, “Jesus did not call Himself a Christian,” “I am going to convert to Islam in order to reach Muslims” who will “remain Muslims after they accept the Islamicized Jesus.” Before you know it, you will start dismissing the teachings of the Apostles. Yes, you must believe in His virgin birth to be saved. Check this. Jesus Himself said it:
            For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
            How is He God’s Son? Because He was, among other things that happened, born of a virgin.

            As for young children, they have faith even “stronger” than adults. They are saved because they believe Jesus was born without an earthly father.