Social Network Links
Powered by Squarespace
Search the Riddleblog
"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources
« The Bible's History Books | Main | And Who Might This Be? »

Who Is Reformed?, N. T. Wright (Again), and "How to Fix Your Church"

Who gets to call themselves, or otherwise be identified as "Reformed?"  Kevin DeYoung wants to be inclusive and include people like John Piper within the "Reformed" camp.  But Richard Muller (How Many Points?), Darryl Hart (What Does "Reformed" Modify?), and Scott Clark (Is John Piper Reformed?) all say, "not so fast!"  And I whole-heartedly agree with them.  The Reformed confessions tell us what it means to be "Reformed" and if you do not (or cannot) sign one of them, you are not "Reformed."  Simple as that.  That leaves out John Piper and John MacArthur.

Well, I can sleep in peace knowing that N. T. Wright will finally be able to tell us what Paul really means when he speaks of "justification."  Don't get me wrong, I read as much N. T. Wright as I can, and often find him very insightful.  He is always compelling, even when he's wrong.  But waiting with bated breath for Wright to explain what everyone else has missed about Paul's doctrine of justification is beyond me.  And besides, isn't the whole project a tad arrogant?  Wright's new book on Paul.

If your church is in decline, maybe these guys can help you.  The three "experts" featured on the new TV program "Church Rescue" (along the lines of Restaurant Impossible or Hotel Impossible) will come and show you how to fix your church.  They will tell you to get air conditioning, improve seating and signage, be friendly to visitors, and follow-up with them, and they'll show you how to advertise and promote (none of these things are bad in themselves).  But I know without watching that a renewed focus on preaching Christ crucified will never be mentioned. 

Yes, I know, this is an easy target, but since easy targets don't often come into my view, let me add that such a program, no doubt, will probably appeal to the same kind of people who watch Honey Boo-Boo and the Cajun guys without teeth who chase down gators.  Church Rescue

Reader Comments (5)

I just read DeYoung's article and was confused.
----I hadn't heard about the church fix-it program! I thought you were kidding. Incredible. Absolutely incredible...
November 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHBO
My mother always used the expression "gemixte pickles" to describe a church that included all of the latest fads along with some of the traditional forms of worship (liturgy, etc.). [When I finally decided to the term I found that it was used as the title for a book by an author named Kurt Stein back in the 1920's to lampoon German-American immigrants who mixed together words from their native tongue with recently acquired English (often in the same sentences).]
I agree with her observation that much of what we seem to have in churches nowadays goes beyond even what is often called "cafeteria Chrisitanity," i.e., picking and choosing what one wants to accept as valid and true from Scripture, to forms that are more representative of a dog going through the contents of a knocked over garbage can, sniffing and mulling around in the mess until he finds something he likes. And yet they still want to hang an easily recognized label over it all, under the pretense that it was intended to mean whatever they say it means, all along.
November 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge
If I may offer a partial defense from the Baptist side of things, there is a need/intention to differentiate from Arminian (Free Will) Baptists. I understand that Reformed wrongly implies agreement with the confession(s) but Calvinistic is the next best shorthand.
November 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpb
Does anyone else find it odd that the church rescuers are titled "church hoppers"?
November 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterp. barr
In what I think is listed as pg. 429 in "How Many Points", Mueller says the following: Gill held forth an antinomian gospel that could declare in its preaching of grace that no obedience to divine commands was required for salvation...

I'm not sure the context clarifies this well, but the wording makes it seem like salvation is contingent upon an individual's obedience to what God commands (sounds synergistic). Am I wrong? I don't think he believes that we persevere or are saved by being faithful. Am I misunderstanding or should Mueller have expressed it differently?
November 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlberto

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.