For those of you who received my e-mail I appreciate you taking the time to come and read my thoughts. For those of you who did not receive my e-mail I would greatly appreciate and you would greatly benefit from listening to Ed Stetzer’s message Toward a Missional Convention. This was delivered at the Baptist Identity II Conference for those of you listening to the other messages. If you want to know more about Ed Stetzer I would recommend going to his blog (click here). Above all listen to Ed Stetzer’s message and I have listed suggestions of similar messages at the end of this post.
If you want to know my thoughts here, they are. While taking church history over the past two semesters and talking to others one of the things that has really stood out. Has been how the church has, during different periods in time, banded together to stand for Truth and combat error. The most obvious is when the Reformers, who disagreed on numerous aspects of theology, banded together to combat the works-based message of the Catholic Church. Even before that, the Nicene Creed and many other creeds served to affirm truth and refute error. In recent times, one can look to the 1978 Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, where numerous Protestants across a wide range of denominations gathered to defend the validity of Scripture itself. While we may look to these as triumphs in church history I have began to see them as our most visible failures. The Reformation fell short of a true reform due to the Reformers inability to come to a consensus on various issues, and they inevitably committed some of the same atrocities that the Catholic Church committed, they just did so with a more Biblical Soteriology. While they gained an initial triumph, they were unable to bring about complete reform. In early Puritan America, religious freedom quickly became a freedom to practice Puritanism; however, thanks to Baptist ministers such as Roger Williams and John Clarke, who was arrested and whipped for preaching in a home, this is not still the case.
Do not miss understand me I am not one to shy away from controversy, just look at my previous posts or ask for my honest opinion on something, but I think over the past year I have grown frustrated with the lack of progress I see coming out of controversy (Ironically that statement may be controversial.). If you wanted me to, I could list off every “theological heritage” which I feel apart and if you want to challenge the Biblical validity of any of my views, I would quickly respond. However, I think I have grown to the point now where I realize that that is not the point. Perpetual theological debate is not the aim of theology, the glory of God is, and I do not think we glorify God when we ignore God’s commands to engage the culture so that we can retreat from culture and fight amongst ourselves. There are aspects of theology that we must contend for, others that we can agree to disagree on, and there are culturally contrived convictions that we must completely rid ourselves of. But are we willing to do that for the Gospel?
For more sermons addressing this topic, I would recommend:
The Supremacy of Christ and the Church in a Postmodern World by Mark Driscoll
The Supremacy of Christ and the Gospel in a Postmodern World by Tim Keller