It’s time to bury the myth that liberal theology is causing the decline of mainline churches in America — and with it, the twin falsehood that because of their conservative creed evangelicals will own Christianity’s future.
Both are incredible swimmers, but one is focused on the goal and one is not. One is determined and one is distracted. One is pressing forward and the other is looking to the periphery in comparison. The result is that Phelps comes home with yet another gold medal and le Clos goes home without one, placing fourth.
The young, restless, and… liberal? Are younger evangelicals really more left-leaning than their parents? The easy answer is, “Of course they are! Look at how many of them are voting for pot legalization and driving those tiny cars!” But not so fast—the swerve into liberalism may not be as drastic as we think, according to a study from 2010 conducted by Buster Smith and Byron Johnson of the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University.
If we just live good enough lives, we can forgo the conversation entirely, and people around us will almost magically come to know Jesus through our good actions and selfless character. This style of evangelism is becoming more and more prevalent in a culture constantly looking for the fast track and simple fix.
About 88% of Americans have a Bible in their home, and when they reach for their Bibles, more than half of them are still reaching for the King James Version (KJV). It is interesting that the KJV translators themselves had particular ideas about translations other than their own, and they lay out their views clearly and forcefully in the published Preface of the original edition of their eloquent translation. Ironically, their views are very different from those who champion their translation today.
We begin by acknowledging not just the possibility of false teaching, but the certainty of it. We should not be surprised to find false teaching in the church today. Jesus and his apostles are very clear that false teachers will arise. They promise it.
Jesus was the world’s worst at messing up all our lines. Who is a neighbor or an enemy, who is a sinner and who has great faith, who is against us and who is for us – it all gets very confusing when Jesus shows up. He’s constantly asking us to look again. Wherever we find ourselves on the lines of this world, we have to be willing to open our eyes and look around one more time. And when we do, we may be amazed to see who we are standing next to.
Once saved, always saved? If so, how do we explain friends, family, and even church leaders who walk away from the faith? In this lab, John Piper explains eternal security and what it means for those who have walked away from the faith.
Somebody asked me why, given the inference to design, I held Christian theism to be superior. This is my response. The inference to design is not going to carry a person all the way to Christianity. Personally, I am very impressed by a consilience of phenomena and evidence that drives home the point for me:
If God’s word seems boring, there’s either a problem with the reading or the reader. For some, the Bible seems dull because they assume they know what it says. For others, the Bible appears boring because they read the text without engaging with it. Additionally, the Bible feels irrelevant if we forget who we are.