Sunday, December 19, 2004

Surfing Christian Carnival XLVIII

Fasten your seatbelts...

David Wayne is a Presbyterian minister from New Jersey calling his weblog Jollyblogger.
Here he touches on an issue that bears on any discussion of political, cultural or social topics. His message will resonate clearly with my buddy Bob. Taking a lead from writer D.A. Carson and quoting directly, he drives home the point that [w]here "wisdom" [in I Cor. 2] is conceived to be a public philosophy of life and not simply healthy endowments of a common sense or the like, there are only two alternatives: ultimately wisdom is from the world and is opposed by God, or it is God-given and tied to the cross.

I have argued many times before (as have many others) that one of our problems today is that we are fighting battles that were caused by evangelical withdrawal from social and political spheres. So we certainly don't want to withdraw. However, I am not so sure that our re-engagement in these things as an extension of the gospel, or the message of the cross.

One of the things that I hear many evangelicals saying today is that we are involved politically and socially in order to enable the preaching of the gospel. In other words, our activities in these spheres will facilitate gospel ministry. Carson says that it's the other way around - gospel ministry facilitates activity in these spheres.

That's a distinction that has some merit, it's not merely a semantic thing. If Carson is right, and I think he is, too many of our evangelical leaders simply assume the gospel, while they are really energized by other issues. Michael Scott Horton has said that in evangelical churches today, you can have a completely heterodox view of the person of Christ and be warmly accepted, but if you have a differing view on abortion you will be shunned. Of course its not an either/or, but it does illustrate that our views on social issues far outweigh our views on the weightier issues of the bible and theology.

What I fear is that, in such a climate, we may be giving birth to a generation of Christians who know not the gospel, simply because we have assumed they do.

Really, take the time to do it: Read the whole thing so I don't have to post it all here. It is worth the time.
Meantime, Christian Carnival XLVIII is up at Parableman, with every participant enshrined in a beautiful thematic layout. The presentation reminds me of a crowd of folks dressed out in their Sunday best, but a much shorter pick-list at Siris is a lot easier for me to navigate.

It is a rich repository of good (and some marginal) stuff. I am overwhelmed at the volume of writing that is proliferating in the blogosphere. This dose is more than I can handle and it's only a flashbulb on a sunny day.

Who Shook The House? at Reasons Why linked to an alphabetical apologetics resource that listed our friend Bill DeArteaga as a leader with the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship! I already emailed Fr. Bill so he can bring them up to speed on at least his little piece of that mountain of unsifted data.

It's like jumping on a trampoline. It's been decades, but I still remember what it was like to stop.
It makes me tired to think of it.

1 comment:

Jeremy Pierce said...

When I'm not the host of the Christian Carnival, which is by far most of the time, I do a roundup of my favorite posts or any that I think I have something worthwhile to say about. It sometimes doesn't show up until days later when I've had a chance to read through the posts, but I always try to get it up before the next week's carnival appears. I know there are others besides Siris and me who do this, but I think I'm the only one who does it as regularly and comprehensively as I do. I know many people don't read all the entries, and I try to make an effort to do that every week before posting my highlights. Unfortunately, I couldn't do that this week as the impartial host.