The Challenge of Pragmatism - Part 2

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Revmitchell, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,378
    Likes Received:
    790
    Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, and others from the Emergent camp write and speak winsomely about what they are offering, but history, not to mention Scripture, suggests great caution must be exercised at this point. Church historian Iain Murray reminds us that 19th century “liberal theology very rarely presented itself as being in opposition to Scripture. On the contrary, its exponents claimed the authority of the New Testament for the view that Christianity is life, not doctrine.”[1] Some using this line of reasoning, like the eventual Archbishop of Canterbury William Temple, could say, “An atheist who lives by love is saved by his faith in the God whose existence (under that Name) he denies.”[2] It was living by love that mattered, not what one believed about God. Nineteenth century liberal theologian Schleiermacher went so far as to bar doctrinal preaching from the pulpit for “experience, not teaching, is to be the object of the preacher.”[3]

    As theologically the 21st century seems to be an echo of the 19th, so too is the reaction by evangelicals. While there was a concerted effort to combat liberalism on the part of some of the most conservative believers toward the end of the 1800s,[4] many chose to hang back and express tolerance. Murray reports, “There were some who were unsure what to think, and in their uncertainty they erred on the side of neutrality and false charity. It was probably the attitude of this group which eventually allowed the new teaching to become so general.”[5] This is the error often being repeated today by well-intentioned evangelicals who don’t want to make waves and fear, above all things, that they might be called “Fundamentalists.” Historically, Fundamentalists in America marched to the frontlines to do battle with the opposing liberalism of the early 20th century. On the other hand, evangelicals in Great Britain took a more relaxed approach and unintentionally, as Murray would confirm, allowed liberalism to ultimately win the day. Much criticism has been launched at the Fundamentalist movement, some of it deserved, but arguably it is the Fundamentalist who should be given much credit for the preservation of the evangelical faith in America .

    More Here
     
  2. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,378
    Likes Received:
    790
    ...................And what seems to be working right now? On an ecclesiastical level the churches and parachurch organizations that are most likely to be successful, if you define success as “nickels and noses,” are the very ones who are giving people what they want to hear rather than what God wants them to hear. People want to hear about how to be successful, how to have a happier marriage, and how to feel good about themselves as opposed to the biblical concepts of how to glorify God, how to have a godly marriage, how to deny self, how to take up ones cross and follow Him. Since most Christians have the wrong goals for their lives, having derived them from conforming their thinking to the world rather than being transformed by the renewing of their minds ( Rom. 12:2), it is not surprising that they live by the world’s methodologies as well. Individual Christians now wanting the same things the unbeliever wants must use the methods the unbeliever has created. When we have accepted that the purpose of life is being successful, popular, powerful, wealthy, having a healthy self-image and so forth, the Scriptures have little to offer because these are not biblical categories. That is, God does not define true life in the same way the world does. The Lord has much to say about denying self but nothing about loving self. He has much to say about joy but nothing positive about amusing ourselves to death (as one author calls it). He offers loads of principles concerning finances but little about how to be rich, and even warns about the desire for wealth (1 Tim 6:9-10). The Bible is filled with ways of bringing honor to God and lifting up His greatness, but calls us to focus on personal humility (Luke 9:46-48)........
     

Share This Page

Loading...