Posts Tagged ‘David Wells’
I finally managed to find my CD copies of my manuscripts from The Dangerous God sermon series of which I have posted a couple of the mp3′s here. I will be posting more of the mp3′s, but for now I would like to provide you with the sermon manuscripts. These sermons are filled with quotes from authors like David Wells, PT Forsyth, Mark Buchanan, Philip Yancey and more. Expository sermons from the lives of Gideon, David, Joshua, the disciples and more. I hope they are a help to you.
Dangerous God, pt 2: 1 Samuel 17:1-58, The God Who Does Greater with Smaller
Dangerous God, pt 3: Joshua 1:1-18; 5:13-27, The God Who Does the Impossible with the Improbable
Dangerous God, pt 4: Matthew 1:18-25, Revelation 12, The God Who Enters Chaos to Bring Order
Dangerous God, pt 5: Luke 23; Various, The God Who Saves in the Midst of Loss
Dangerous God, pt 6: Acts 2:22-36, The God Whose Life is Greater than Our Death
Dangerous God, pt 7: Acts 9:1-18, etc., The God Who Uses the World’s Rejects
Dangerous God, pt 8: Matthew 5-7, The Dangerous God’s Message to His People: A Radical Way of Counterculturally Living
Thanks for stopping by. Again, I hope you find these sermons helpful.
And, as always,
Soli Deo Gloria!
This is the audio version of my sermon in the 90 Days with Scripture series from 2 Samuel 5-7. The sermon is simply titled, The King. (The manuscript version is also published here at this blog.) The sermon is about 31:28, but goes fast. God bless. Soli Deo Gloria!
You can download here: The King, 2 Samuel 5-7
Or use the inline player here:
Print version available here: Exodus 7-12, Freedom For God’s People (or at Box.net)
Part 1: Genesis 3, Where it All Went Wrong
Part 2: Genesis 12:1-9, A Blessing for All People
Part 3: Exodus 7-12 (a), Freedom For God’s People
Part 4: Exodus 7-12 (b), Freedom For God’s People, b
Part 5: 2 Samuel 5-7, The King
Part 6: Isaiah 60-66, The New Heavens and New Earth
Other download options are available through feedburner and archive.org.
Always for His glory!
This sermon manuscript is from this past Sunday (Oct 26) at the church. This is sermon 5 in my short series exploring the narrative high-points of the Scripture from Genesis through Revelation. This sermon focuses on the promised king who was exemplified by the man David. My original intent was to make a few observations about David’s kingship based on 2 Samuel 5-7. Indeed, that’s where I begin the sermon with some excerpts from chapters 5, 6, and 7 of 2 Samuel. As the research progressed I realized that I would not be able to merely talkabout the Israelite king without going back to Deuteronomy and then going into the prophets and eventually tracing this history to the New Testament books of Matthew, John, and Revelation. So, I limited my own thoughts and simply let the congregation hear a great deal more of what Scripture says about the ‘root and offspring of David.’ David is important, as I note in the sermon, but David is not (and was not intended to be) an end in himself. He points us forward to the Great King that the Israelites were to expect and the King we now serve and under whose authority we live.
90 Days with Scripture
Week 5: October 26, 2008
2 Samuel 5-7: The King of God’s People
1 All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, “We are your own flesh and blood. 2 In the past, while Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the LORD said to you, ‘You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.’ ” 3 When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, the king made a compact with them at Hebron before the LORD, and they anointed David king over Israel. 4 David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years. 5 In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years. (2 Samuel 5)
20 When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, disrobing in the sight of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!”
21 David said to Michal, “It was before the LORD, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the LORD’s people Israel-I will celebrate before the LORD. 22 I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.” 23 And Michal daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death. (2 Samuel 6)
18 Then King David went in and sat before the LORD, and he said:
“Who am I, O Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? 19 And as if this were not enough in your sight, O Sovereign LORD, you have also spoken about the future of the house of your servant. Is this your usual way of dealing with man, O Sovereign LORD ? 20 “What more can David say to you? For you know your servant, O Sovereign LORD. 21 For the sake of your word and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made it known to your servant.
22 “How great you are, O Sovereign LORD! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears. 23 And who is like your people Israel-the one nation on earth that God went out to redeem as a people for himself, and to make a name for himself, and to perform great and awesome wonders by driving out nations and their gods from before your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt? 24 You have established your people Israel as your very own forever, and you, O LORD, have become their God.
25 “And now, LORD God, keep forever the promise you have made concerning your servant and his house. Do as you promised, 26 so that your name will be great forever. Then men will say, ‘The LORD Almighty is God over Israel!’ And the house of your servant David will be established before you. 27 “O LORD Almighty, God of Israel, you have revealed this to your servant, saying, ‘I will build a house for you.’ So your servant has found courage to offer you this prayer. 28 O Sovereign LORD, you are God! Your words are trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant. 29 Now be pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever in your sight; for you, O Sovereign LORD, have spoken, and with your blessing the house of your servant will be blessed forever.” (2 Samuel 7)
David’s story sits in a particularly interesting place in Scripture: after the Judges before the prophets. After the Judges means that he is coming into being at the time when ‘there was no king in Israel and everyone did what was right in his own eyes.’ Before the prophets means that he was a powerful figure before the prophets started to lament the corruption of Israel and her magnificent downfall and predict the coming of a King who would be the King who truly followed in the footsteps of David.
There’s a lot that can be said about the Davidic king. David is named in the Scripture almost a thousand times. By way of contrast, Moses was named only around 800 times. I could also note that David seems to be the reason why the book of Ruth was included in our canon. David is the culmination of the books of Samuel & Chronicles. David is the author of most of the Psalms. David is the standard by which all other kings of Israel would be measured. We are told that it was David’s kingdom that would stand in perpetuity. David is no insignificant figure in the history of Christianity. In fact, in our last canonical book, the Revelation, David is prominently mentioned. But more importantly, it is the role of David that is of more significant-his role as king of Israel.
King wasn’t a new idea. The Lord had anticipated that Israel would want a king. In Deuteronomy 17, we read:
14 When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, “Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,” 15 be sure to appoint over you the king the LORD your God chooses. He must be from among your own brothers. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not a brother Israelite. 16 The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the LORD has told you, “You are not to go back that way again.” 17 He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold.
18 When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the priests, who are Levites. 19 It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees 20 and not consider himself better than his brothers and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel.
By the time we arrive at the book of 1 Samuel, following closely on the heals of Judges when ‘there was no king and every one did as he saw fit,’ we should be expecting what would happen:.
6 But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. 7 And the LORD told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. 8 As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. 9 Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do.”
David was the height of a righteous king. After David, it pretty much went downhill. There were occasional bright spots, but for the most part the kings of Israel did evil in the eyes of the Lord and did not walk in the ways of their father David.
It got so bad that eventually the kingdom split, the people, including the king, were carried into exile. The prophets would prophesy that at some point David would regain his throne. Isaiah prophesied: (9:6-7)
6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.
And also: (11:5)
5 In love a throne will be established;
in faithfulness a man will sit on it-
one from the house of David-
one who in judging seeks justice
and speeds the cause of righteousness.
I am a huge fan of David Wells, Andrew Mutch Distinguish Professor of Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and he was recently a guest on the White Horse Inn. You can access the episode here (a short registration is required).
Wells is a profound thinker who has analyzed the culture of churchianity and demonstrated rather thoroughly how deficient much of our current evangelicalism is in America.
White Horse Inn has also provided a couple of links to essays by Wells that are worth the read. In The Changing of the Guard and What It Means For Christians Today Wells writes,
We are living, I believe, in a unique cultural moment. Every generation, I know, imagines that it is unique. And most generations, unfortunately, believe that their uniqueness lies in their superiority over all that lies in the past. Mark Twain once observed that when he was a boy he was embarrassed because of his father, who appeared to know so little, but when the younger Twain was a few years older, he was amazed at how much his father had learned in so short a period of time! Every generation tries to get airborne on the plastic wings of this kind of conceit, and in this atmosphere it is almost inevitable that we become breathless about the present and begin to say and do foolish things, as did the pastor whose morning prayer in church began: “O Lord, have you seen the New York Times today?”
In a second link, On My Mind: The Skinny God, He writes:
Many years ago, J. B. Phillips wrote a book called Your God is Too Small. It was quite popular at the time, in 1952, although it now seems rather quaint. The juvenile understanding of God Phillips was attacking then is, by contemporary standards, rather innocent. This, however, is a book which I believe should be written afresh every decade. For is it not the case that our internal bias (cf. Rom. 1:21-5) constantly tilts us away from God’s centrality and toward our own? And does this not lead us to focus more on ourselves and less on him? Even worse, don’t we then substitute our importance for his greatness?
This inward bias is now being mightily encouraged by our experience of the modern world, the upshot of which is our fascination with our self. Those who are well fed seldom think about food but for the hungry this becomes a consuming preoccupation. And for modern people, the self has likewise become an obsession. We are the starved. How else can we explain the fact that America has half the world’s clinical psychologists and one third of the world’s psychiatrists? Over approximately the last thirty years, the number of clinical psychologists has increased 350%, clinical social workers 320%, and family counselors 680%, so that today we have two psychotherapists for every dentist and there are more counselors than librarians. The plagues of the modern self are providing sustenance for an extraordinary number of professionals, as well as driving a burgeoning publishing industry.
Wells is dead-on in his analysis of the church culture and the culture at large. I highly recommend his writing. Follow this link to find links to four of Wells’ most important books. I’m not suggesting that you will fully agree with everything he has to say because at times his ideas of Sovereignty are a bit much, but I am confident you will resonate with his thoughts.
Soli Deo Gloria!
I preached this sermon back in November of 2006. It was the first in a series of 8 sermons I preached on the subject, The Dangerous God. Sometimes I think that we Christians are more content to put our faith in places where there is obvious power or obvious safety. But this is not the way of God. God operates in rather ironic ways and a careful reading of the Scripture demonstrates that God is, in fact, dangerous. The sermon takes a little more than 35 minutes and is based on Judges 7. When I can, I’ll post the manuscript version. Illustrations are from Your God is Too Safe by Mark Buchanan, The Jesus I Never Knew, by Philip Yancey, Rosie O’Donnell, and David F Wells’, No Place for Truth.
Listen Here: The God Who Does More with Less, Judges 7
Or use the inline player below.
Other download options are available through feedburner and archive.org.
Always for His glory!
Prof. David F Wells wrote God in the Wasteland as part 2 of four boelanoks that were (are) a tour-de-force examination of what is typically referred to as ‘evangelicalism.’ That’s a rather nasty term, and I dislike it precisely because it has no concrete referent. Be that as it may, Wells’ books are remarkable examination of where the church is and has gone wrong and where it will continue to go wrong unless a significant shift takes place soon. His newest volume The Courage to be Protestant brings all the ideas together in one tidy place.
Anyhow, Wells comments on a certain Martin Luther’s struggles ‘before he came to a more biblical understanding of Christ and of justification. In many of his writings he speaks of his Anfechtung, the terrible burden of unrelieved anxiety that arose from his guilt and the seeming inaccessibility of God’s grace.” (127) Wells then quotes Luther:
Hell is no more hell, if you can cry to God…But nobody would ever believe how hard that is, to cry unto the Lord. Weeping and wailing, trembling and doubting, we know all about them. But to cry unto the Lord, that is beyond us. For our bad conscience and our sin press down on us, and lie so about our necks, so badly that we feel the Wrath of God: and the whole world could not be so heavy as that burden. In short, for our nature alone, or for the ungodly it is impossible to stand against such things and cry out to God himself, who is there in his anger and punishment and not go elsewhere.”
Nor did Luther find his approach to Christ to be any easier: “I knew Christ as none other than a stern judge, from whose face I wanted to flee, and yet could not,” he wrote. “I used to turn pale, when I heard the name Christ.” And again, “I have often been terrified by the name of Christ, and when I saw him on the Cross, it was a lightning stroke to me.” All of Luther’s anxiety was finally resolved by his discovery of Paul’s explication of the doctrine of justification and God’s complete conquest over his own wrath in the person of his Son, through whom freedom from judgment is offered by grace through faith.” (128 )
This is yet another example, a stunning example, of the need and importance of preaching God’s grace, not to the exclusion of God’s wrath, but in significant disproportion to it (at least 10:1). Even the mighty Luther, even he, was not completely overwhelmed, free, satisfied until he learned of God’s grace and rested in it.
Soli Deo Gloria!
On my ‘Books’ pages, I have listed four books by an author named David Wells. At Albert Mohler.com there is a podcast of a recent program where David Wells was interviewed. Wells’ newest volume The Courage to be Protestant is also discussed.
David Wells has been one of the most astute critics of what ails contemporary evangelicalism. His most recent book, The Courage to Be Protestant, is a summation of his previous four-volume series and offers evangelicals not only a somber picture of their current condition, but also a hopeful prescription for what might correct their course. He joins Dr. Mohler as a special guest on today’s edition of the program.
The interview starts around 11:22. I recommend this highly.
David Wells has written some of the most important books I have personally read. (I referenced four of them on my ‘Books’ page.) Here’s an excerpt from an essay I found online:
The nature of evangelical theology is determined for it by the nature of that Word of which it is the exposition and application. The Word of God is the unique, written disclosure of God’s character, will, acts, and plans. It is given so that men and women who have come to faith through its teaching might learn to five [sic.] in God’s world on his terms, loving and honoring him in all that they do and seeking to make known to the world his law and gospel. That is the purpose of God’s revelation and the task of theology is to facilitate this.
This facilitation begins with the recognition of the bipolar nature of biblical revelation. Biblical revelation was given in a particular cultural context but it is also intended to be heard in our own context. This revelatory trajectory, then, has a point of origination and a point of arrival. It is the fact of inspiration and the contemporary work of the Spirit which secure a consistency between its terminus a quo and its terminus a quem. The work of the Holy Spirit was such that the responsible human agents who were used in the writing of Scripture were able to employ cultural materials and, indeed, to shape the revelation in terms of their own understanding, but what God the Spirit willed should be revealed was exactly what was written, and the content and intent of this revelation were alike transcultural. The biblical revelation, because of its inspired nature, can therefore be captive neither to the culture in which it arose nor to the culture in which it arrives. It was not distorted as it was given, nor need it be distorted as we seek to understand it many centuries later in contexts far removed from those in which it was originally given.
It may sound naive, but I think a lot of arguments that we have concerning Scripture could easily be settled if we remember the role of the Holy Spirit in the transmission of Scripture. This simple fact is all too easily forgotten or neglected.
Soli Deo Gloria!
The busy weekend is now upon us. Soccer in the AM, then sermon writing, then worship on Sunday, finally a community wide prayer meeting on Sunday evening. This weekend is certain to be a blessed one in the Lord.
I have never met David F. Wells, but I have read four of his books (in a span of about 3 months) and listened to numerous of his lectures. He says and writes the sort of things that the church needs to hear–and listen to! His book Above All Earthly Pow’rs is a tour de force of cultural and church analysis and critique. And his most powerful words are directly squarely at the church.
Well I’d like to quote four or five sentences from every page, but tonight I’ll lead us into the weekend with words from Prof. Wells on our understanding of the relationship between the Creation and Jesus:
It has been said that in the Bible we have not so much a doctrine of creation as that of the Creator; and, within limits, this is true, for part of the creation is never finally or fully meaningful until it is understood in relation to its Creator. From this flow the man distinctive ways in which the Christian faith thinks about life. If everything is made by God, then everything belongs to him and is used rightly only when it is used in accordance with his will. Not only so, but if God is the source of all life then all meaning derives from him in much the same way as it is the artists who can say definitively what the work of art means. The purpose of God’s redemption, then, is that, on the one hand, we should take our place in his world, through Christ, and own him as our Maker, and on the other hand, live in his world by his ethical will. Then it is that we see with new eyes God’s power in creation (Is. 40:26-28; Amos 4:13), his greatness (Ps. 90:2; Acts 17:24), his wisdom (Is. 40:12-14), and from our experiences as frail, fading creatures we are also constantly reminded of his eternality (Ps. 103:14-18). Thus it is that creation is connected both with redemption and ethics, with worship and service.”
What is said of Yahweh therefore can be said of Christ. No part of the creation is ever finally or fully meaningful until it is understood in relation to Christ. Everything belongs to him and it is used rightly only when it is used in accordance with his will. And if he is the source of life, it is he who can say definitively what it all means. The purpose of God’s redemption, then, is that, on the one hand, we should take our place in his world, through Christ, and own him as our Maker and, on the other hand, live in this world by his ethical will.” (255-256)
But I suspect a lot of this is lost entirely when such things as evolutionary doctrine are accepted and Genesis 1 is disregarded or undermined. There is a reason why The Holy Spirit directed Moses to begin writing the Torah with these words: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” If this verse is not true then how can we reasonably believe anything in the Bible is true? But if these words are true, then Wells is right: All worship and ethics are built on that foundation (and cannot possibly be built upon the materialistic premise of Darwinian Evolution). The church ignores these words to their own peril; the world must necessarily challenge this premise at every turn. Thus, evolution.
So what we see, then, is that the battle that rages on between Creationists and Evolutionists is a significant battle that must be waged (where we wage the war is the question!). The evolutionist, perhaps, might deny this, but what is at stake for the Christian is the veracity of the Word of God. The Word of God will not be undone, or rendered invalid by anything, least of all Darwinian Evolution. Indeed, Scripture declares that the Word of God stands forever. And does any Christian really believe that Darwin has more authority than the Word of God? There is a lot at stake and the church is up against it because kids are taught this stuff of evolution, indoctrinated in it, from the ground up. What does the church do? Insist that Creation be taught in schools? I don’t think that is terribly reasonable because the battle is not between Christianity and science per se, but between the Word of God and unbelief. (But I think a good science teacher, teaching Darwinian evolution, will be certain to point out that Darwinism is not a rock solid theory or hypothesis without any holes. There are opposing points of view and those opposing points of view can and should be presented.)
Where exactly is the right place for the Church to preach the Gospel? This is, I think, one question we have to ask and answer. Where should the battle be waged? Where should the church confront Darwinism which is necessarily opposed to the Word of God? I might also ask, When will the Church start preaching this doctrine of Creation and challenging the monopoly that Darwinists have in the world of origins and ownership? Darwinian evolutionists do not control the conversation of our origins, they are not the only voice concerning life on earth, and they are not even an important voice since they have very little to offer in the way of hope, salvation, grace, and forgiveness among other things, and since they ultimately must reject the Word of God. (Again, I know there are sincere believers in Christ who are theistic evolutionists. I don’t buy into that, and I think it is oxymoronic. However, I offer this caveat, my challenge is not necessarily to the theistic evolutionist, but to the Darwinists and atheists and materialists and humanists who think this world is their playground and not God’s World, who have necessarily and stridently exercised their will to remove all reference to God in our culture, who have sought to consolidate the enemy’s power by perpetuating lies that are contrary to the Word of God.)
The Church has a powerful voice, not to mention the Word of God, that needs to be exercised and heard on these matters. And the fact is, if the world continues to listen to the Darwinists, the world will continue to destroy itself because Darwinists think we can solve problems by using the same level of thinking that we used to create the problems in the first place. And all their thoughts are based on this: Materialism & Humanism.
Soli Deo Gloria
I just cannot resist. I have heard of some stupid things before, but this one takes the cake. Here’s a new way to learn what common sense and the ability to read should already do.
The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) will offer this fall an undergraduate program with a concentration in homemaking, aiming to prepare women to model the characteristics of the godly woman as outlined in Scripture, according to the course description.
I can’t believe I agree with the following statement:
Patsy Eastwood, who describes herself as an emerging evangelist, couldn’t disagree more with the wives.
“A seminary degree in homemaking. I cannot imagine a bigger waste of money,” she wrote on her blog. “Wives need to be their husband’s closest ministry partner.”
“We are moving against the tide in order to establish family and gender roles as described in God’s word for the home and the family,” Patterson said at the meeting, according to Parham. “If we do not do something to salvage the future of the home, both our denomination and our nation will be destroyed.”
I don’t necessarily disagree that it is a good for the family for the wife to stay home and tend the children. For some families, this can be done; for others, like mine, the wife works outside the home and it benefits greatly the family that she does. But that’s not really my issue with this story. My real issue is in this line: “…aiming to prepare women to model the characteristics of the godly woman as outlined in Scripture…”
Now, I think if a woman wants a degree, she should go to college, work hard and earn a degree. My issue here is not with women, women working outside the home, women getting an education or anything of that sort–so please don’t accuse me of those things. (My wife works outside the home and contributes a substantial amount to our family budget–especially as far as insurance is concerned.) My issue here is with this college because this has nothing to do with preparing women to model…Scripture. A woman can learn that by having a godly mother and father, by reading Scripture, by using her mind, and by regularly attending a worship service or bible study. She doesn’t need a college education to learn how to be a woman and frankly, I can’t see anywhere in Scripture where it says that a woman should do all the cooking, sewing and cleaning anyhow. Is a college degree really requied to know how to wash dishes, make a bed, take a child to baseball practice? And, furthermore, I would be offended if I couldn’t participate in those things. I have two thoughts about this. One is, admittedly, cynical, the other is more of a challenge to men, and churches.
I think this is about money. This is the cynical comment. Why would a woman go into that much debt to learn how to cook and sew when she can learn it for free by studying with her mother at home, or by reading, or by watching the Cooking Channel? (Unless the mother isn’t home because she has to work.) The ‘emerging pastor’ above is right: It’s a waste of money.
Second, a challenge. It think there are two reasons married women work. One, they have ambition and interests and a genuine desire to improve the world in which they live.; they want to work, they enjoy it. Two, they have to because their husband doesn’t make enough to support the family. So, here’s the challenge. If we are talking about men who work for churches, then the churches need to pay the preacher more so his wife doesn’t have to work if she doesn’t want to. A homemaking degree in hand won’t help put bread on the table if the husband isn’t making enough money. And where else can such a degree be used? If we are talking about a woman with ambition, then let her earn a degree in something useful–that is, let her spend her money more wisely. But the other challenge is this: Churches, Preachers: Start preaching the Gospel! Give up all the purpose garbage, give up relevance, give up your best life now, and preach the unfiltered, unadulterated Gospel, the Cross of Christ, and see if it doesn’t make a difference in your congregation’s families.
Don’t you think that the best way for a woman to learn about how to be a godly woman is to go to worship, study the Scripture, practice? I can’t believe this is a serious offer by Southwestern. I can’t believe women will enroll. I can’t believe that this is what a theological seminary is offering to train people. Shouldn’t they be a little more concerned about teaching Scripture? The problem is not that families are falling apart. The problem is that there is no reason for families to stay together because they don’t know what Scripture says. I’ll explain.
This does not start at the seminary level. That is not where the church is losing the battle for godly sex roles or biblically defined families. That battle is being lost at the congregation level. That battle is being lost in every town where the preacher won’t preach the Gospel. The battle for these things is at the smallest level: the Church. And as long as preachers are content with status quo, are content with a ‘culturally relevant’ gospel, as long as preachers are content with their own ideas, there will nothing any seminary can do to stem the tide. David Wells, is so right, “The reason theology is disappearing has little to do with the technical skills of the fine tuners and much to do with the state of the Church. So it is not with the technicians that I begin but with the Church. It is not with the prfessionals in the learned guild that I start but with the whole people of God” (No Place For Truth, 6)
If Southwestern Baptist Seminary wants to save the family, they should train better preachers, better theologians, men and women, who will rightly divide the Word of Truth for the next generation. All the cross-stitching, crotcheting, knitting, and darning will not save the family but I suspect that a good theology, bolstered by sound biblical exposition, might help.
ps-this is a ‘rant’ against the college, not women. Please, ladies, don’t jump down my throat with accusations of misogyny or anything of that sort. I’m on your side!
I listened to a lecture by David Wells today, “The Disappearance of Evangelical Theology, pt 2″. It was an amazing lecture touching on many key points that have led to the demise in Evangelical Christians being taken seriously.
At one point he comments about how ‘worldliness’ has managed to find a home in, of all places, the church: “Our world has made normal the values of our fallenness. Worldliness in any culture is the centering of man and the exiling of God and His Truth. It makes sin look normal, and righteousness strange.” (A bit of that is paraphrase, but it captures the heart of his comments.)
This is, I think, what is going on in the church when it comes to homosexuality. Homosexuals began by wanting to have the freedom to ‘come out of the closet’ (much like Richard Dawkins is now encouraging atheists to do). Once they are ‘out’, they want radical normalization to take place. This includes, special rights, insistance on not be discriminated against simply because they are homosexuals, and they want to ‘educate’ which means ‘evangelize.’ (Seinfeld made a joke about this one time. He said something like, “I’ll bet that’s one of the selling points when they’re recruiting” (He was talking about clothing. But even he, tongue in cheek to be sure, recognized an underlying current.)
Well, in our culture, homosexuality has been rather successfully normalized and now their is a popular trend of indoctrination. I seriously doubt anyone is going to stop this, but this one thing I must say. It must stop in the church. Here’s what we read:
A day after the nation’s largest Lutheran denomination voted to encourage its bishops to practice “restraint” in disciplining gay ministers who are in “faithful” same-sex relationships, St. John’s Lutheran Church – Atlanta’s oldest Lutheran church – celebrated Sunday the continuing pastorship of the Rev. Bradley Schmeling.
Earlier this year, Schmeling, who announced that he found a lifelong gay companion, was ordered to be removed immediately from the clergy roster. The order by the Committee on Appeals overruled an earlier decision by a disciplinary committee which said Schmeling should be allowed to remain on the clergy roster until after ELCA’s biennial churchwide assembly, Aug. 6-12. The committee also suggested that ELCA reinstate gay clergy who were removed or resigned because they were in a same-sex “lifelong partnership.”
Despite the removal, Schmeling refused to leave St. John’s and said he planned to continue to follow his call in ministry there.
Furthermore, although the gay clergy debate was expected to come up in 2009, Schmeling was a major part of the push at this year’s assembly to lift the ban on non-celibate homosexual clergy. By
Christian Post Reporter
Tue, Aug. 14 2007 01:00 PM ET
The homosexuals in the church are becoming more and more militant. Lest I be construed as a bigot, allow me to say that culturally there is not much anyone can do, but the church is not defined culturally. It is defined by Jesus Christ. Homosexuality has been far to rationalized, normalized, and too many have been evangelized and indoctrinated for the culture to turn back. However, in the church, this has got to stop. Who is going to take a stand? When will the church realize that this is damnation in the house of God, judgment from God? When will people realize that just because the culture normalizes sin doesn’t mean that it is no longer sin? In Wells’ words, quoting Yeats, we have lost the center. This is man-centered doctrines advancing forcefully, and the church is welcoming it in with a smile and the right hand of fellowship.
If Islam doesn’t do it first, homosexuality will be the undoing of the evangelical church in the United States.
8 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers. And it is for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me. (1 Timothy 1:8-11, TNIV)
Lord have mercy on your people! Lord forgive! Forgive! And yet, Lord, purify your church! There is no compatibility between homosexuality and the Church of Jesus Christ.