Hip social action and apologizing for Christians isn’t the Gospel.

Kevin DeYoung (coauthor of Why We’re Not Emergent and Why We Love the Church, both highly recommended) has a great post today: The Gospel Old and New. He outlines the typical presentation of what he calls the New Gospel (my summary):

  1. Start with an apology for how terrible all [other] Christians are.
  2. Appeal to “God as love,” with no reference to his wrath.
  3. Give an invitation to “join God’s mission,” defined as working for peace and justice on earth.
  4. Close with a “studied ambivalence” on eternity: Is there a hell? Who am I to say? But let’s work for the here and now.

His conclusion:

This is no small issue. And it is not just a matter of emphasis. The New Gospel will not sustain the church. It cannot change the heart. And it does not save.

Read the whole thing.

3 Christian phrases there’s nothing wrong with, but I’m sick of.

  1. “I struggle with…”
  2. “Prayer request”
  3. “Quiet time” (Actually, there might be something wrong with this one.)

Yours?

Mike Kruger Dismantles Bart Ehrman

Read my professor/pastor/mentor/friend Mike Kruger’s review of the latest book from the predictable-but-always-available-for-an-NPR-interview Bart Ehrman.

Ehrman is chair of the Religious Studies department at UNC-Chapel Hill, and in odd-numbered years he tends to put out a book basically alleging that everything orthodox Christians believe is wrong. This year it’s Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don’t Know About Them).

***

UPDATE: More than one intelligent person hasn’t picked up on it, so I need to point out that I’m being sarcastic/ironic/less than serious in the following.

(Incidentally, In the process of making sure I got Ehrman’s title right for this post, I noticed this:

Bart D. Ehrman is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He came to UNC in 1988, after four years of teaching at Rutgers University. At UNC he has served as both the Director of Graduate Studies and the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies.

This is the most confusing thing I’ve ever seen. Which is it? Is he a Distinguished Professor, or is he the department chair? Or is he head of Graduate Studies? We’re obviously looking at a conglomeration of at least 3 original sources, all of which had differing– and mutually exclusive– views of Ehrman’s job. Someone doesn’t want us to know the truth.

Moreover, if Ehrman can’t even get his own story straight, why are we supposed to trust that whatever he says about the Bible is right?)

Coexist?

coexist

You’ve seen these, right? They make me mad. Why? Because they don’t really mean what they say.

Let’s break it down. We’ll call each worldview by the letter it’s supposed to represent. So:

  • C = Islam
  • O = Pacifism
  • E = “Gender equality” (=the LGBT agenda)
  • X = Judaism
  • I = Wicca / Pagan / Bah’ai
  • S =Taoism / Confucianism
  • T = Christianity

And let’s assume a very broad definition of “coexist”: living together without calling for the destruction of each other. Here are the problems with that:

  • C wants to kill E, X, T, and (by implication) O. If they achieved the world they wanted, I and S would also no longer exist.
  • O doesn’t allow for effective resistance or defeat of C.
  • E stands in direct opposition to C, X, and T, and accuses those who speak against them of hate speech. Also, they’re trying to edge X and T out of public schools in favor of their own agenda. (They’re afraid C will be offended, so they get less trouble.) E is actually very, very intolerant.
  • X’s existence is threatened not only by C but also by O, who invariably supports C over X.
  • I and S are statistically insignificant and are mainly on there to complete the bumper sticker.
  • T is who the bumper sticker is really arguing against, but poses no physical threat to any of the others.

Historically, T has brought about more tolerance– “coexistence” if you will– than any other movement. But the kind of “coexistence” the people who make this sticker envision is one where at least X and T are completely marginalized.

UPDATE: My wife reminded me that I was supposed to mention this: Worldview issues aside, on a purely graphics basis, this bumper sticker is awesome.

FINAL UPDATE: Comments are now closed, because I feel like all the negative ones have sufficiently reinforced my point. Plus, being cursed at and called a terrorist just stops being fun after a while.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,089 other followers