My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you shall be no priest to me: seeing you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children.
All this reveals a disastrous failure of evangelical discernment. It is hard not to conclude that theological discernment is now a lost art among American evangelicals — and this loss can only lead to theological catastrophe. . . The popularity of this book [The Shack] among evangelicals can only be explained by a lack of basic theological knowledge among us — a failure even to understand the Gospel of Christ. The tragedy that evangelicals have lost the art of biblical discernment must be traced to a disastrous loss of biblical knowledge. Discernment cannot survive without doctrine.
When I finally get around to publishing my screed as to why I repudiate Evangelicalism, the Christianity Today conglomerate of magazines will be enumerated among my Letterman Top Ten List. I peruse Christianity Today, not with any great expectation of learning any significant theological or pastoral insight. Rather, perusal of “evangelicalism’s flagship magazine” is mandated by the need to keep tabs on the current state of degeneracy of the American church; the historical heartland of the Evangelical movement.
Most of the articles are of the feely-goody supercilious type; often self-adorning paeans to the Bride, which invariably makes her open to flattery and whoredom. Apparently, it is “the local church [which] is the hope of the world.” And here I was under the delusion that it was the Christ.
So, being the ever theologue, I was intrigued by what appears to be a more serious piece, namely “Ten Reasons Why Theology Matters” by David W. Congdon and W. Travis McMaken. Before continuing with this rant, I would seriously invite the reader to peruse that article. I would further invite the reader to scribble a 100 word (or less) impression of the piece as a thought experiment.
. . . fingers tapping desk . . .
. Continue reading “The Dearth / Death of Discernment”
Many, who give Christianity a go, so to speak, do so on the basis of emotive appeals and/or yearning. And many, who eventually and effectively fall away, do so because Christianity seems incoherent. This may manifest itself as outright rejection, as neglect, or in wayward departure from essential verities and their application. Application is an entailment of genuine faith; much as technological applications entail genuine faith in underlying principles of scientific theories.
Proponents of Christianity can do little in regard those who honestly cannot reconcile Christianity with perceived realities; or those who exalt their own reason and/or psyche as the ultimate arbiters of Truth and the Good, especially whenever the counter-intuitive wisdom of the God of Scriptures comes into conflict (which shall inevitably occur); or those who were never sufficiently serious.
However, proponents of Christianity ought to, at least, ensure that the Gospel and Full Counsel of God that is transmitted is scripturally faithful and thereby rationally coherent. It is cause for deep grief and great disgust when it is the errant teachings of ecclesiastical orthodoxy, which prove contrary to Biblical orthodoxy, which are the reasons for initial or eventual rejection. It is cause for deep frustration when more time is required disabusing what Christianity is not, perpetuated by those self-identified and supposedly Christian, than in explaining what Christianity is.
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The Atonement of Christ, as the sating of the wrath of God unto our Justification, is one such ecclesiastical orthodoxy, deserving of such disdain. Continue reading “Substitutionary Atonement: The Satisfaction of the Wrath of God? (Long Read)”
Virtually all of my Evangelical life, I have operated upon the belief in the existence of Natural Law. Or so I thought. Of late, I discover a subtle but substantive difference from how the larger part of Christendom, including Reformed Protestants, has understood the concept.
The form of Natural Law, upon which I have always operated, is ontological. The purpose behind natural laws is to provide experiential benefit and prevent experiential harm to the cosmological and psychosocial order in natural cause and effect fashion. This ontological understanding of Natural Law allows for the theoretical possibility of epistemologically ascertaining those ethical principles and their ontological effects through natural human faculties (e.g. reason and empirical evidence), although this can be quite difficult even with highest commitment to intellectual integrity. This enables genuine social discourse between all members of society regarding the nature of the Good, while being realistic as to the success of that project.
Nevertheless, just like the law of gravity, natural moral laws operate at the objective level of being, existence, and actuality; quite independent of the (subjective) knowing. Continue reading “Reclaiming Natural Law (Excerpt)”
Christian faith has appeared to many an easy thing; nay, not a few even reckon it among the social virtues, as it were; and this they do because they have not made proof of it experimentally, and have never tasted of what efficacy it is. For it is not possible for any man to write well about it, or to understand well what is rightly written, who has not at some time tasted of its spirit, under the pressure of tribulation; while he who has tasted of it, even to a very small extent, can never write, speak, think, or hear about it sufficiently.
It is not my current desire to formulate a comprehensive framework of understanding concerning biblical inerrancy. But in encountering some on the Internet who have likewise suffered under the tyranny of The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (CSBI) creedal understanding, I feel it incumbent to make some interim comments. Continue reading “Biblical Inerrancy”
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! – Isaiah 5:20
In an article, selected by an Evangelical magazine which is going the way of the United Church Observer; a missionally-minded blogger serves as proxy to reflect that magazine editors’ disdain towards those who advocate and join a boycott of Target; a retail outlet, which is spearheading a campaign for transgender rights in the use of their public bathrooms. The essence of Aaron Wilson’s argument is that taking a firm, public, and meaningful ethical stand in this manner will undermine efforts to “engage our culture with conversations that gracefully illuminate the reason for our hope.”
Continue reading “Spineless Christianity”
Imputed Injustice – Calvin Against the Calvinists
It is my empirically justified belief that modern Protestant Evangelicalism, and particularly its seminarian elite, have little comprehension of the nature and principles of Justice, including that of due process. In this, the seminarians have seriously failed to uphold the triumvirate of concerns that Christ Jesus deemed primary: judgment/justice, faith, and compassion (Matt 23:23). And if one does not comprehend the nature and principles of Justice, one cannot comprehend the Justice in the Justification in the Atonement.
A, if not THE primary argument deployed to validate the notion of humanity’s collective guilt in Adams’s sin is proof by blackmail. If one repudiates the imputation of Adam’s sin and guilt upon all, neither can one subscribe to the imputation of Christ Jesus’s work on behalf of those who put their faith in Him. We would thereby still be hopelessly dead in our sins. Continue reading “Imputed Injustice – The Judicial Importance of Consent”
The Zenith of French Glory – The Pinnacle of Liberty
by James Gillray
Publisher: Hannah Humphrey (London)
Date: February 12, 1793