“The emergence of revisionist or reformist evangelicals raises all the questions of evangelical identity anew. Put bluntly, their proposals amount to what can only be described as a new form of Protestant Liberalism. Their proposals, though informed by various intellectual movements that emerged in recent decades, are really quite at home within the world of Protestant Liberalism that the early evangelicals explicitly rejected as sub-evangelical.
Those evangelicals painfully and courageously left the mainline denominations and their institutions precisely because those churches and denominations had been lost to liberalism. They left positions, pulpits, and pensions behind as they did what they believed fidelity to Christ and the substance of biblical Christianity required. Now, all that the early evangelicals sought to defend is under sustained subversion from within the movement they gave their lives to build.
A strange new ground has appeared on the theological landscape. A post-liberal movement has emerged from within Protestant liberalism, influenced by post-foundationalist thought and elements of postmodernism. These figures are clearly distinct from the older liberal models they dismiss as hopelessly mired in modernism, but they are not seeking to return to what theologian Edward Farley has called the old “House of Authority.” At the same time, many of the revisionist evangelicals have been deeply influenced by the same intellectual currents. Moving from the right, these reformist evangelicals now meet the post-liberals in something of a new third way in Protestant theology.”
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Best of MCP!
From the original broadcast in March, 2008, How can so many who claim to be Christians, not have a proper, scriptural understanding of salvation? As Dr. John MacArthur states in the teaching series Salvation Survey: Saved or Self Deceived?, “I am convinced that in the name of Christianity there are many places that call themselves churches and they’re not churches. And they have men leading them who call themselves pastors and they’re not pastors.” On this program, Mike asks the question are many saved or deceived?
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Paul Alexander writes for 9 Marks.org; “…there are many churches out there that sing the last stanza of Have Thine Own Way just one more time as they wait for the convicted sinner to step out of the pew and into a new relationship with Christ. But even though it is still somewhat popular, we think that the invitation system has done more harm than good among many evangelical churches.” On this edition of Theology 101, Mike and Pastor Scott Reiber examine the history, meaning, and concerns with the altar call/invitation.
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What do you believe?
Mike shares from a recent article he wrote along with audio clips from a recent Glenn Beck program to examine what we believe and if what we believe is the truth, or not.
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The following is an excerpt of an article by Ken Silva at Apprising Ministries on the ongoing debate over Glenn Beck and his sudden popularity in the religious realm. This clip highlights a recent interview with Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, as he appeared on NPR Radio’s All Things Considered with Melissa Brock and Robert Siegel. It is my humble opinion that Land’s comment are sadly far too common among evangelicals today. You can listen to the interview or read the entire transcript at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129535008.
SIEGEL: And Mr. Beck’s assertion that most Americans wouldn’t recognize the kind of Christianity that President Obama practices obviously you would disagree with. You say we know what that is.
Dr. LAND: Well, I do. I do know what it is. And I disagree with it. But, you know, it’s a free country, and that’s one reason we have freedom of religion. There were lots of differences of religion that were present at the rally. I mean, you know, you had Jewish rabbis, and as you can imagine, I would have some differences of opinion with Jewish rabbis and with Muslims and with Catholics.
But we were all there together talking about the fact that we need we believe that America needs a return to a greater faith in God, that this country is in trouble, and it’s in trouble at a very basic level. And it’s going to have to be rebuilt at a very basic level and that politics is not the answer.
SIEGEL: Glenn Beck is a Mormon. Is that brand of Christianity as distant or more so from yours than the National Council of Churches mainline Protestantism you…
Dr. LAND: Probably more so.
SIEGEL: More so.
Dr. LAND: And look, Glenn knows this. He said, look, I’m a Mormon. Most Christians don’t think that I’m a Christian. And so, you know, I’ll quote the pope, when he’s talking about liberation theology.
I do not think Mormonism is an orthodox Christian faith, with a small O. I think perhaps the most charitable way for an evangelical Christian to look at Mormonism is to look at Mormonism as the fourth Abrahamic faith.
SIEGEL: Not a Christian faith.
Dr. LAND: Not a Christian faith. (Online source)
Being an SBC minister myself, and having studied Comparative Religion and non-Christian cults for 23+ years, I can assure you that Islam and Mormonism are not Abrahamic faiths, As you’ll read in Keeping You Apprised Of: Islam, the god of the Quran is not the God of the Bible; and Mormonism teaches polytheism (many gods), which is in complete conflict with the monotheism (one God) of the Bible. And so I’ll close this out, for now, with the following from Land Calls Mormonism “The Fourth Abrahamic Faith” While The SBC Calls It a “Cult”, a post today by Kyle Mantyla of the secular site Right Wing Watch. Of Land’s outlandish opinion writes:
Really? That is pretty amazing that Land would place Mormonism on par with Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, especially considering that the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board labels Mormonism a “cult” [PDF]… (Online source)
As I essentially asked in Why Glenn Beck Wants To Save America, what does it say about the current state of the man-loving visible church when those who do not even claim to be Christian are showing more discernment than our so-called evangelical leaders?
Read the entire Apprising article…
CHRISTIANPOST.COM-About one out of every eight adults is an “ex-Christian,” a new survey reveals.
These include those who left the Protestant or Catholic tradition that they were a part of as a child and who now report being atheist, agnostic or some other faith, according to the Barna Group.
Meanwhile, those who switched from a non-Christian faith or non-belief (from their childhood) to Christianity as an adult represent three percent of the American population.
Findings are based on telephone interviews derived from a random sample of 2,004 adults in the U.S. The interviews were conducted in the fall of 2008 and summer of 2009. Participants were asked to identify their childhood faith and their current faith allegiance.
A second survey asked respondents if they had ever “changed to a different faith or significantly changed their faith views” or if they were “the same faith today as they were as a child.”
According to the Christian research group, the most common reasons for leaving Christianity included life experiences, such as gaining new knowledge or education; feeling disillusioned with church and religion; feeling the church is hypocritical; having negative experiences in churches; being in disagreement with Christianity about specific issues such as homosexuality, abortion or birth control; feeling the church is too authoritarian; wanting to express their faith outside of church; and searching for a new faith or wanting to experience other religions.
The top motivations for becoming a Christian, meanwhile, were going through difficult life events; getting older and seeing life differently; wanting to connect with a church and grow spiritually; discovering Christ; or wanting to know what was in the Bible.
….could we witness a government and leadership so spineless, so lacking in decency and courage, that they would send and pay for the trip of a clergy of the satanic religion of Islam, that murdered over 3000 Americans, to a foreign land to “discuss Muslim life in America and promote religious tolerance”….only in America! My 2 cents….I don’t give a rats tail if Muslim countries like us or not….and Muslims are as free as anyone in American to worship as they please and should have that freedom, in spite of the fact that Muslim countries around the world deny Christians the same freedoms. But…we shouldn’t be wimping out to their demonic system just because we are scared they may not like us or call us names. This is what happens when our government is runs by pansies, when a culture rots in it’s own selfishness, and when American Christianity thinks it knows more and has more sovereignty, than God Himself!
U.S. sponsors ground zero imam’s trip
WASHINGTON — The imam behind controversial plans for a mosque near the site of the Sept. 11 attacks is being sent by the State Department on a religious outreach trip to the Middle East, officials said. The department is sponsoring Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s visit to Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, where he will discuss Muslim life in America and promote religious tolerance, spokesman P.J. Crowley said. He said the imam had been on similar State Department-sponsored trips in 2007 and last January. "His work on tolerance and religious diversity is well-known," Crowley said. Crowley said the Obama administration has no position on Rauf’s mosque plans, which he called a local zoning matter for New York.