Monday, August 28, 2006

Sinning Boldly - Books & Culture

From a book review:
"Americans are doubtless a religious people, but we don't believe in the hard stuff any more. Certainly not in the doctrine of sin, original or otherwise, which seems to have gone missing, even among evangelicals, sometime around the time hell disappeared."
Do Seventh Day Baptists still believe in the hard stuff? Do we preach it?

5 comments:

  1. I hope so.. Pastor Robert Vanhorn here in Ohio, has been preeching much holiness and santifcation this last year, and many are seeing that there is a better way to be happy in the Lord!

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  2. I can't speak for all our churches, but I know that in Texarkana we haven't forgotten the hard issues. We are sure that Hell exists and we are thankful that we don't have to go there by the grace of Jesus Christ and His shed blood. We're willing to call a sin a sin. But we also realize that screaming at the world to repent, without giving them any real reason to listen to us, would be pointless. If we want to spread the gospel, then we must first show God's love by our actions, then teach what sin is, that everyone has sinned, and that we can have an advocate to the Father if we are willing to repent and receive Christ as our savior.

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  3. I'm not convinced that we don't believe it. I think that a majority of Seventh Day Baptists do believe in the "hard stuff." I think the problems arise when we meet the challenge of taking that message (the "hard" one) to the postmodern, relativistic, pluralistic world. There are disagreements about how that ought to be done, with the arguments essentially falling along two sides. The first group wants to soft sell the message, sell people the good stuff and the gradually make them aware of the hard parts of the message. The other group wants to put the complete bill of sale out for all to see, and welcome those to the church who know the hard message and choose it anyways. Both methods, at least theoretically, have their advantages and disadvantages.

    In my opinion, the "hard" Gospel will do just fine in the marketplace of ideas without our attempts to protect people from it. The original environment where the Gospel thrived was a very pluralistic world, where there were literally temples to nearly every "god" imaginable. Our times are certainly no worse, and the Word spread like wildfire in those times. If God can make himself known in that environment by simple preaching of the word, then it stands to reason he can do the same in our times.

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  4. Nick, Thanks for making the point that the "original" "hard" gospel was sold in a marketplace of ideas not unlike ours today.

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  5. We do live in chaotic times and the "hard" gospel is being preached. It is uncomfortable for some, but it always has been. We must be careful we don't "soften" or cheapen the sacrifice of our Lord.

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