My big concern is not just that the world church should become more evangelical, but that world evangelicals should become more biblical.Then since he takes biblical prophecy seriously, he socks it to us:
For there are scandals and abuses in the world-wide evangelical community that are reminiscent of the worst features of the pre-reformation medieval church in Europe.Read it the full short article!
Will we have the courage to identify and renounce such scandals and to seek a reformation of heart, mind and practice?
- There are some mega leaders, like ancient prelates, wielding vast wealth, power and control – unaccountable, unattractive and unChristlike
- There are multitudes of ordinary Christians going to so-called evangelical churches, where they never hear the Bible preached or taught. They live in scandalous biblical ignorance.
- Instead they are offered, in the ‘prosperity gospel’ a form of 21st century indulgences, except that you pay your money not for release from pains after death, but for receipt of material ‘blessings’ here and now.
- And there are evangelicals parading ungodly alliances with secular power – political, economic and military – identifying themselves (and the gospel they claim to preach) with agendas and ideologies that reflect human empire not the kingdom of God in Christ.
The 16th Century Reformation was criticized because it lacked missionary awareness and energy until much later. They were so obsessed with tackling abuses in the church that they
neglected world mission. How ironic and tragic will it be if 21st Century evangelicals are so obsessed with world mission that we neglect abuses in the church, and remain wilfully blind to our own idolatries and syncretism?
The Lausanne Covenant, like the Bible itself, commits us to the integration of both.
- If reformation without mission was defective,
- then mission without reformation will be deluded, self-defeating and even dangerous.
May God grant us the will and humility to respond with equal commitment.
4. Faith teaching: My seminary students asked mostly exegetical and interpretive questions — my college students wonder if Christianity is true, why it doesn’t seem to make more of an impact, why their life is so thin and shallow and not joyous and fulfilling. They ask bigger questions in class than I was accustomed to in seminary — did the resurrection happen? Which texts in the NT show that Jesus was God? How can a God of love take out a whole city in Joshua? Not that my seminary students didn’t ask these questions, but that my college students seem to live with these questions more existentially.The difference is not so strongly marked for me, but since the University students come from a much wider range of backgrounds:
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