“Saving” Christianity… from Christianity itself?

Ravi Zacharias, Al Mohler, and R.C. Sproul on post modernism and the Emergent Church.

Along with the issues that Ravi, Al, and R.C. make,  at the very heart of the Church’s embrace of post-modernism is the fact that Christians in this generation do not want to carry “their cross”.  The Gospel (which first calls men to repentance) and biblical Christianity is simply too offensive – it brings the promised persecution and tribulation (Matt 13:23) today in the form of ridicule, scorn, and mockery.

With the introduction of post-modernism into Christian theology, a convenient way to eliminate the offensiveness of the gospel message and biblical Christianity has been found.  If you eliminate “truth” itself or make it unknowable (as Emergent folks do) than the need to stand for anything conveniently disappears. The offensiveness of biblical Christianity can be taken away and thus save Christianity and make it less offensive to today’s culture. The Emergent Church and I dare say an ever increasing element within evangelicalism today, is hell bound on “saving” Christianity – from Christianity itself.

The world is becoming increasingly hostile to traditional biblical Christianity, to those who claim they know truth, and those who use offensive biblical words like, sin, repent, wrath, wickedness, abomination and hell. The Emergent Church and this ever increasing element within evangelicalism that I speak of, is seeking to move away and to distance itself from traditional Christianity and from those who hold to it, because they are embarrassed.  They are more and more embarrassed by traditional Christians who continue to call men to repent and believe the gospel. They are embarrassed by a biblical Christianity which divides the the world between the righteous and the wicked (Matt 10:34). They are embarrassed of those who who would speak authoritatively about objective truth in a world given to radical post-modern skepticism.

I recently heard one of these evangelical leaders say that they are trying to “restore the reputation of Christ” in the community. Maybe I’m wrong, but when he said it, I couldn’t help but think he was trying to “restore the reputation of Christ” among unbelievers by telling them Christianity is not what people like me (a traditional christian) say it is. He’s embarrassed of Christians like me who make (in his opinion) Christianity offensive. If I am right, than he and others like him too are trying to save Christianity – from Christianity itself.

As comfortable north American Christians we need to be reminded that Christ himself calls us to partake in his suffering. We, just as Christians of old are called to carry “our cross” – we too are called to suffer “for righteousness sake” (Matt 5:10-11). Suffering usually comes when we preach and stand for the “truth” of God and of His Christ in this wicked and perverse generation.

Let us let us not shrink from our cross but embrace it, let us remember the words of Christ: “he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me” (Matt 10:38). Does the one who bore the cross on our behalf deserve any less from us?

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“Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets.” Luke 6:22-23

The Antithesis and “Common Cooperation” Theology

There is a lot of talk today of Abraham Kuyper’s “common grace theology” in the evangelical world today – even men like Rick Warren and many of the Emergents have gotten on the “Kuyperian” bandwagon lately.

As I have listened to these folks, I have noticed a subtle difference between their view of “common grace” and Kuyper’s.

For a while I have been trying to put my finger on exacly what the differnce is and I have come to the conclusion that what they lack is the doctrine of “the Antithesis”.

Without Kuyper’s theology of “the antithesis” his “common grace” theology has metastasized into a doctrine of “common cooperation”. This metastasized doctrine preaches cooperation with the unbelieving world for the “common good” of mankind… and this being done in the name of advancing the kingdom of God.

I believe this metastasized “common grace cooperation” theology is largely contributing to a dialectical assimilation of the contemporary Church into the modern pagan culture and an adoption of its ethical values, values like radical egalitarianism, socialism, and environmentalism. This hybridization of biblical ethics and modern pagan ethics will eventually lead the Contemporary Church to abandon or minimalize true biblical ethics in favor of pagan ones…

A few weeks ago I listened to a couple of very good messages from the Kuyper Foundation. These messages I believe have helped me clear up a lot of the differences between the two theologies and I higly recommend them to you.

You can find them here