August 29, 2014

Kiffin Letters: To a brother with a wayward child

Note from P&D – the following article is a letter from a concerned friend to a couple with a child who has fallen into sin. The author has requested anonymity to protect personal relationships. Since this is unfortunately not a totally uncommon experience, we believe the advice is worth your attention.

Dear Brother and Sister X,

Most people do not want advice, even if they say they do. For that reason, I am reluctant to give it, especially since you have not asked for it. Nevertheless, I will offer my counsel, based on the Scripture and my experience.

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The Gospel Coalitions Accommodation to Postmodernism in their Statements on Inerrancy

New Evangelicalism and New Calvinism: The Same Disaster, part 6

Matt Recker

In the Christian Life article, “Is Evangelical Theology Changing?” the seventh point of the New Evangelical agenda was “A re-opening of the subject of biblical inspiration.”[1]

That re-opening of the subject of Biblical inspiration in the 1940’s-50’s unlatched the door later for broad evangelicalism to fully question Biblical inerrancy by the mid-1970’s. At that time controversy erupted over the Bible’s authority when Harold Lindsell wrote The Battle for the Bible, unmasking “the hypocrisy of many New Evangelicals who publicly affirmed inerrancy but inwardly did not.”[2] Please note that it took about thirty years for the bad fruit of an original tenet of New Evangelicalism to arrive.

In similar and subtle ways there has been an analogous re-opening of this subject, especially in the foundation statements of The Gospel Coalition network (TGC). Those involved in this network of churches ought to be aware of their weak statements in reference to the Word of God and the accompanying fruit this compromise may yield over time.

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  1. “Is Evangelical Theology Changing?” Christian Life, March 1956, pp. 17-19. See part 1 or 2 for a complete listing of New Evangelical principles. []
  2. Rolland McCune, Promise Unfulfilled, p. 189. The Battle for the Bible was written by Lindsell in 1976. []

THE LITERAL INTERPRETATION OF GENESIS 3 (Part 1)

John Mincy

This is Part 1 ♦ Part 2 ♦ Part 3

For centuries most of Christendom believed that a historical Adam and Eve sinned in a real garden by means of the deception of a real snake. According to a recent survey, however, almost three-fourths of the members of America’s protestant churches do not believe that Adam and Eve were historical persons. The early chapters of the Bible form the foundation upon which the rest of Scripture is built, and any question about the historicity of early Genesis, whether in the name of scientific information or Biblical knowledge, is a serious matter.

The majority of Christian theologians now reject the literal Fall, and conservative theologians also are doubting and denying that Genesis 3 has to be taken as literal history. Why do theologians feel the necessity of reexamining the early narratives of Genesis? What effects do their conclusions have upon their whole Biblical theology? Does Biblical exegesis determine the historical character of Genesis 3? How historical does Genesis 3 have to be theologically? Is there another method of interpretation which explains scientific information and Biblical knowledge better? These questions suggest the magnitude of the problems associated with the examination of the literal interpretation of Genesis 3.

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Eclectica: Shrinking the Church

Just one article to call to your attention for this edition – and we think it is a pretty significant one:

How To Shrink Your Church In One Easy Step
(link below the jump)

The basic thesis of the article is summed up by this:

Every major American church that has taken steps towards liberalization on sexual issues has seen a steep decline in membership.

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The Threat to Freedom of Religion

Don Johnson

A recent survey by George Barna has garnered some attention: “Many pastors wary of raising ‘controversy’“ (HT: SharperIron). The linked article suggests that theologically conservative pastors are unwilling to raise political issues in their congregations. Here is Barna himself:

“What we’re finding is that when we ask them about all the key issues of the day, [90 percent of them are] telling us, Yes, the Bible speaks to every one of these issues. Then we ask them: Well, are you teaching your people what the Bible says about those issues? – and the numbers drop … to less than 10 percent of pastors who say they will speak to it.”

The survey and comments are interesting enough by themselves, but my question is this: do pastors and churches have any reason to fear if they are outspoken on any public issues? (No issues are specified in the linked article.) My thoughts on this topic are influenced by a bit of American history that most readers might find surprising.

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