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A Sober Assessment of the Present State of Evangelicalism

March 4th, 2008 Posted in 21st Century, Church Fathers

Talk about Spurgeon redivivus: here is Phil Johnson’s take on the current state of Evangelicalism and he couldn’t be more right! Gospel Lite.

Some people, well-meaning, tell us that we should not be so critical, we need to be kind with all of our words and not cause any divisions, lest the true enemies of the Christian faith, namely, the Muslims, come in and take us over! Well, I for one am glad that Martin Luther, with the Muslims at the gates, did not hesitate to criticize the Pope. Or Augustine, with the barbarians about to sweep over the Roman Empire, was not slow to tell those who recognized Pelagius and his error that they were on the high road to hell because of heresy. Or Paul, facing persecution at the hands of the Jews, was not afraid to tell his readers to have nothing to do with theological error.

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6 Responses to “A Sober Assessment of the Present State of Evangelicalism”

  1. Steve Says:

    “And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being capture by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:24-26).

    We, as ambassadors of Christ, must be patiently kind in how we present the truth. Our method and attitude of trying to win people with the truth of Christ must be done in gentleness.

    This patience, this kindness, this gentleness, and this non-quarrelsome nature is still, however, to teach God’s truth, be righteous (guided by God’s truth), correcting those who are against him (hostile environment) so that by the truth they may repent and escape the devil.

    I must not be offense, but truth by its very nature—in connection with the depraved heart—is offensive. It seems so often our ministry or gospel declaration is hindered due to the negative consequences that may occur; we try to avoid the inevitable of affliction and persecution. My relationship with so and so might be hindered, if I preach on this I might get fired, that group of people might get upset, etc.

    As a pastor I have felt the urgency, within the context of 2 Timothy 2:24-26, to teach our people to be right because its right to be right! We must move beyond the potential negative costs and proclaim the whole counsel of God’s Word even if the whole world is against us.

    Phil’s right and thank you for posting this!

  2. Michael Haykin Says:

    Steve: Thanks for this balance. We need to proclaim truth, in the ambience of kindness.

    As McCheyne once said to a friend: “Did you preach on hell? Was it with tears?” (a loose paraphrase).

    Michael.

  3. Jeff Kilmartin Says:

    To speak the truth is one thing; to speak it in love is quite another – so much so that the first kind of speaking might not even be “true truth” at all.
    For me, even pastorally, this is a constant struggle, so I thank you for the encouragement in this direction.
    Jeff

  4. Mark Jones Says:

    I think M’Cheyne said “tenderly” …

  5. Michael Haykin Says:

    Thanks Mark. I wrote on the fly as it were and did not check the source.

  6. Mark Jones Says:

    It’s always good to make a mistake once in a while :)

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