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Archive for the ‘theology’ Category

I’ve spent a fair bit of time pondering where the divide lies between orthodoxy and heresy, that divide famously defined by J. Gresham Machen as Christianity and Liberalism (whatever the latter happens to go by; it often assumes Christian names for its gods and churches).  Al Mohler is the President of Southern Seminary; he thinks that abandoning a young-earth, six-day view of creation is a great gateway to apostasy.  Others point, with more validity, to the cruciality of particular understandings of atonement and inerrancy and sufficiency of Scripture.

Machen himself, however, pointed to one great door through which so many enter, and I think this may be the grandaddy of gateways to another religion:

The truth is that liberalism has lost sight of the very centre and core of the Christian teaching.  In the Christian view of God as set forth in the Bible, there are many elements.  But one attribute of God is absolutely fundamental in the Bible; one attribute is absolutely necessary in order to render intelligible all the rest.  That attribute is the awful transcendence of God.  From beginning to end the Bible is concerned to set forth the awful gulf that separates the creature from the Creator.  It is true, indeed, that according to the Bible God is immanent in the world.  Not a sparrow falls to the ground without Him.  But He is immanent in the world not because He is identified with the world, but because He is the free Creator and upholder of it.  Between the creature and the Creator a great gulf is fixed.

J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism (Eerdmans, 1923), 62-3.

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RTS has put on its website the opportunity to study here in Memphis. The information is HERE. The opportunity to study and grow is here, in Memphis. What a gift to our community and what a privileged door to have open and available.

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theology from the South

This summer I spent some time in Argentina on a mission trip with the young adults from our church. There were many things the Lord did in my heart, on our team, and in the church we were working with that testified to His faithfulness and intimate involvement in our lives.

At the top of the list for me was being able to speak at a church whose pastor is Alberto Roldan, a foremost theologian in South America. Dr. Roldan is the Pastor of the Presbyterian Church San Andrés in Buenos Aires, Argentina; The Director of the Masters in Science of Religion of the Theological Institute FIET; and the director of  the magazine: Teología y cultura. He is an amazing man of faith and practice and it was a privilege to speak at his church (I will spare you the story of one of his members calling me out in front of everyone for having gum in my mouth. Wow, talk about embarrassing… nothing like promoting the image of arrogant Americans!).

Dr. Roldan has sent me one of his articles to read, Evangelization & Worship; towards a doxological evangelization. You can read the whole article here. Reading his words and hearing his heart remind me of the need our church (both 2PC and the evangelical church in the States) has to  learn from our brothers and sisters outside of our Western Cultural context. We need their perspective, insight, wisdom, experience, and accountability. I pray the Lord opens the door for a deeper relationship with Dr. Rolan, more relationships with our Family from around the world, and more unity in the Bride that is marked by a reciprocity of edification. 

Thank you, Dr. Roldan, and may Jesus have mercy on us all. Enjoy the excerpt below:

It is necessary to revise our concepts of Gospel and evangelization.  Such words, many times have fallen into reductionisms that do not represent the totality of apostolic kerygma.  A doxological evangelization is trinitarian in both its content and exposition.  In this sense, all true evangelization must demonstrate that it is not speaking of a mere “salvation of the soul” or an “encounter with Christ” in purely individualistic terms that signify obtaining “a passport to heaven.”  To evangelize is to proclaim what the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit bring about within the plan of salvation that not only includes persons created in his image, but also all of God’s creation that today groans while waiting for redemption. Doxological evangelization promotes the glory of God and not ours, and, as such, is very far from highly praising “successful ministries”, or “ecclesiastical enterprises” that are presented to us as models to imitate.  True evangelization makes it possible for the persons who receive it to live for the glory of God.  Finally, doxological evangelization is a kind of anticipation of the eternal glory that all God’s creation will experience in the new heavens and the new earth when God will be all in all.  

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