If it's new it ain't true

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Luke2427, Nov 15, 2011.

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  1. Luke2427

    Luke2427
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    I have changed a GREAT DEAL doctrinally over the span of my Christian life.

    I used to be a THOROUGH Arminian. I was educated at a Free Will Baptist Bible College.

    I used to be dispensational premil.

    I used to be King James ONLY- and I mean that in the worst sense of the phrase.

    I used to be a fierce preacher of IFB type doctrines and philosophies. I even helped establish a very legalistic, cultic IFB church with a friend of mine who went to the Free Will Baptist college with me.

    I am almost the dead level opposite now, and I thought I'd share part of the reason why.

    Among the cults and heresies we battle today, I noticed a common thread that tied them together. It was a total lack of concern for the historic Christian Faith. Whether it is Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, United Pentecostalism, etc... each one could not care less about what the church has always believed. They do not care that their beliefs are new (or at least have only been espoused by cults sporadically throughout history). The UPC's, for example, are convinced that we baptists are all going to hell because we have not been baptized in Jesus' name and we have not spoken in tongues. Certainly that is not exegetically supportable. But we would not even have to battle over texts, it would not have even gone that far if the people who started the UPC had stopped in the origin of the movement and said, "Wait a minute guys. So almost EVERYBODY in the history of the Christian church is in hell? And we are the first ones, besides the heretical Sabellianists which existed for a short time, to come to the truth on this? And all of those Christians- Spurgeon, Carey, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, John Knox, John Calvin, Martin Luther, John Huss, John Wycliff, Thomas Aquinas, Augustine of Hippo, etc...- ALL of them and those that followed them are in hell!? And we alone are right??" It seems to me to be UNSPEAKABLE arrogance that moves people to keep right on preaching beliefs that undermine and even DAMN the whole history of the Christian church. How much authority must one think he has to have the right to do such a thing?

    So I began to seriously scrutinize anything that is new. For example, dispensational premillinealism. It is new. There is a historic premil that is old. But dispensational premil is very new (Darby established it in 1830), so I began to really question my confidence in this doctrine since I was, myself, for years a premil dispensationalist. And I concluded that this was not biblical and THAT'S WHY the Body of Christ never saw it before- it is not there.

    The historic Body of Christ is not STUPID. If the Church has not discovered a major doctrine with two thousand years at her disposal to do so- guess what- it probably isn't there. You and I are not more brilliant or more spiritual than the whole of Christianity put together for 2,000 years. It requires untenable arrogance to think otherwise.


    I think we ought to give great credence to the importance of historicity of doctrine before we embrace it. And I think we ought to examine any doctrines we hold to now, which we got in this hyper autonomous age and culture in which we live, which have no real historicity.

    A doctrine can most certainly EVOLVE over 2,000 years of history. That is fine and good. But when it has no roots- it is probably BAD WRONG.
     
  2. Ruiz

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    I think this is one of the most needed discussions on this board, as it seems that people here are bent on theologies that are fairly recent and seems to condemn most older theologies. Yet, this is a serious discussion. I noted the following in another thread within the last week, so I thought I would repost it here.

    The greatest error on this board, in my opinion, is that Sola Scriptura means almost anything new is fair game. Yet, if the Bible is clear, we must state that it has been held throughout history.

    Here is my previous post.

     
  3. Amy.G

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    So we should be baptizing infants? Partaking of the sacramental flesh of Christ? Bow to the Pope? Kneel to Mary? These are very old doctrines you know. Even your beloved Calvinistic theologians practiced these things.
     
  4. Ruiz

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    No, but those were also later inventions in Christianity.

    It wasn't until after Augustine did people really think we were actually partaking in the flesh of Christ.

    The Pope's office came later too as did Mariology.

    Baptism was originally by believers only, while paedo-baptism was instituted by the time of Augustine, believer's Baptism was the early belief. As well, the rationale used by most churches today didn't come about until the 1500's.

    The only one of these doctrines that were accepted earlier than Augustine was paedo-baptism. The others were later inventions.

    If you remember, Calvin when he addressed the heresies of the Catholic Church, he approached it historically and Biblically. He proved his case using both methods because he believed that if he was right, it would not be just "discovered" in the 1500's.
     
  5. 12strings

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    I will agree with the primary points of your post, while pointing to a few exception:

    1. Galileo challenged the predominant teaching of the church about the centrality of the earth.

    2. I would say that it is primarily in the last few hundred years that the majority of christians have grown to understand that racism and/or slavery should not be practiced. (I know, paul was at the forefront of this, but for the most part christians either tolerated it or practiced it for the majority of church history).

    3. It has taken us almost 2,000 years to finally discover that if we simply pray the "Prayer of Jabbez" every day, we can have our "Best life Now" with abundant material blessings.... Oh, wait...I think that's your point.... :)
     
  6. freeatlast

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    While I certainly agree in principle I do not agree to absolute application. When history is the sole and final determining factor to the idea that something is true and false then we can get rid of the bible and read the historians.
    I certainly think that history should hold a certain amount of credence in determining truth, but if what is being claimed as truth disagrees with scripture then history is wrong.
    The proposal that history is the final authority or at least that which holds the greatest test is not even biblical, We are told to test the spirits not history. One of the problems today in the church is because it has used history to determine truth instead of the bible. Each denomination uses its history to say they have truth based on that particular denominational history and thus each one defends the denominational beliefs above the written word.
    So while I agree history should be looked at I do not agree it should carry more weight then what is written in scripture or used to sway or interpret clear passages into obscure interpretations.
     
  7. Luke2427

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    No Sis. The idea is not that the historic church cannot stray and that we should not bring her back to her moorings.

    As to bowing to the Pope and Mariolatry- those things do not have historical roots. They lasted a long time but they do not have roots all the way back to the Apostles.

    Take indulgences for example. That was the catalyst for the Protestant Reformation. That was the main subject which Luther condemned in his 95 theses. It was NEW.

    What you may be doing is making the mistake of thinking that just because it is Roman Catholic that it is OLD or historical.

    That is not true.

    What the Reformation did was bring about a revival of moving the the Body of Christ back to her sacred moorings.

    This culture of ours needs that desperately today.

    I contend that the reason Rob Bell and Joel Osteen and Mormonism is able to THRIVE in our culture is because we have lost respect for the Historic Christian Faith.

    BTW, I am saying that Calvinism is the only way to go. am not saying that at all. The fact of the matter is that Arminianism has far reaching roots.

    Even though the Church sided with Augustine against Pelagius much of the church settled very quickly in a sort of happy medium between the two which I think Classical Arminianism seems to grasp.
     
  8. Amy.G

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    So "new" is just a relative term? "New" to who is the question.
     
  9. Ruiz

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    BTW, the modern idea of the "Evolution" of theology, where theology becomes better and more accurate, is false. Thus, when people rise up and say that they discover a new theology, they are usually espousing the "Theological Evolution" view.

    Not that all people in the early church were right, but if the truth has escaped us for most of history, it is most likely in error.
     
  10. Amy.G

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    I think it's because no one reads their bible anymore. You don't have to know anything about Historic Christian Faith to know that those guys are unbiblical. Just read God's word.
     
  11. freeatlast

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    :thumbs::thumbs:
     
  12. Amy.G

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    Luke, I will say that you are right in that church history should be taught and churches these days are woefully ignorant of it.

    (And thanks for calling me sis. I thought you thought I was a heretic :))
     
  13. Ruiz

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    New may be deemed as a relative term, however, if you are espousing a doctrine that has not been espoused throughout history, you are probably wrong.

    Do we believe that Doctrine evolves or do we believe the Bible is clear and held by faithful men and women throughout history? If we believe that we "discovered" the truth within the last few hundred years, we fool ourself.

    Another point I often make is that if the Bible is perpicious (clear) then it must have been held throughout history.

    Those who believe in theological evolution must truly deny perspicuity.
     
  14. Luke2427

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    I understand. But this is not a theological issue (though many tried to make it that); it is a scientific issue.

    The church has been wrong on all kinds of scientific issues. And is to this day in my opinion.

    I expect the church to be a bastion of theology- not science.

    Again, this is not a theological issue. It is a social issue.

    Very funny. You had my dander up there for a minute!:laugh:
     
    #14 Luke2427, Nov 15, 2011
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  15. Ruiz

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    I read my Bible. The issue is that you can be decieved by coming to the text with improper preconceptions, cultural barriers, and even philosophical preconceptions. We can be fooled.

    Thus, you study the Bible to see how others saw the text.

    If you get a theology never before taught... then it is not because the people in the past didn't read their Bible, but probably because you place onto the text ideas that are not Biblical. To help, we need to understand what the past has said.
     
  16. Luke2427

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    Let me clarify what I mean by "evolve".

    I do not believe that the doctrine itself evolves, but rather our understanding of it.

    Take for example the Trinity.

    The doctrine was settled unchangeable in the scripture at the close of the canon- the REAL close of it- not the point at which the church officially recognized what God's canon was.

    BUT, since it is a TREMENDOUSLY complex doctrine it took the church nearly 300 years to iron out all the wrinkles in her understanding of it. That understanding was refined in the fires of battle against heretics until the Church produced the Nicean Creed- that great statement upon which all NONHERETICS lean, including IFB's, whether they are willing to admit it or not.
     
    #16 Luke2427, Nov 15, 2011
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  17. Luke2427

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    Nope, I do not think you are a heretic at all.

    I think you misunderstand my passion for hatefulness. (EDIT- not that I have a passion for hatefulness!:laugh: That was unfortunate wording that I am sure some will capitalize on. But that my passion is often misunderstood as hatefulness)

    I regret that that is so.

    I wish I could have my cake and eat it too.

    I wish I could be as aggressive as I believe God requires against those things that I sincerely believe hinder the Kingdom work of God in our culture and at the same time not have good folks like yourself think that I am THEIR enemy.

    But I am afraid I cannot have my cake and eat it to here.
     
    #17 Luke2427, Nov 15, 2011
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  18. Ruiz

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    I wouldn't say it evolved. Rather, the doctrine of the Trinity was espoused early on in Christian history. However, the doctrine became more exact because of theological challenge. Orthodoxy always said that Jesus was God and the Father was God, and the Spirit was God, but there is only one God... etc... That seems clear in early writings. However, the exactness in the Nicean or Athanasius creeds was not early. Why? There was not a need early on.
     
  19. Ruiz

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    A biblical argument I use for this case is that the "Gates of Hell will not prevail" against the church. For people to say that an important doctrine has not been taught until the last couple hundred of years is conceding that the gates of hell prevailed for a time.
     
  20. Luke2427

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    That language suits me just fine. Evolve may not be the best word. But what you are saying is what I mean by it.
     
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