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No Need to Panic

March 12, 2011

Some very wise words (basically calls us to take a deep breath) over the latest Rob Bell missive by Carl Trueman:

“If we really believe Matt. 16:18, I would suggest that we will not panic with every wind of false doctrine which comes our way, nor will we be intimidated by astronomical sales figures for bad books or tickets to hear false preachers.  We will rather focus on what we should be doing: humbly preaching and teaching and believing the word.  Sometimes, I suspect the over-the-top panic and outrage of the orthodox when faced by the latest challenge are really functions of self-importance and an impoverished doctrine of God.  They seem to imply that our age is unique, the future of Christianity really does depend solely on us, and the church is really jeopardised by the latest heterodox blockbuster.”

You can read the entire article here.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Chris permalink
    March 12, 2011 11:55 AM

    Steve, I like the perspective and it is refreshing and needed, but I am not ready to go the “cynical indifference” route.

    I wonder if in the past when the great battles for orthodoxy were waging and the great councils met to hammer out what we now take for granted if the great men of that day had been “cynically indifferent” or “accidentally apathetic” to the high-profile heretics and the constant drift from the orthodoxy by the church–what would have happened?

    Yes, God is sovereign and Christ will build his church but he used Peter and the rest of the Twelve to do it. God uses means to accomplish his purposes and we are those means. Paul was not afraid to name names of those who hurt him and his ministry (Alexander did him much harm and Demas forsook him). The Spirit agreed and inspired the record for eternity.

    But there is no need to panic or implode with angry tirades (not sure that anyone has done that, anyway). I want to be like the men of Issachar who understood the times and knew what to do for God’s people. A major part of that for me is what Truemen recommends: humbly preaching and teaching and believing the Word. But the other part is set forth clearly by the apostle Paul: I must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that I may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

    Those who contradict are not just in the blogospehere, they are sitting in our pews (or comfy theater seats) and they are not outright contradicters, they are just comfortable, likable people being swept along by a tsunami of wordily thinking and ear-tickling teachers, authors, bloggers, and tweeters.

    I find when these issues are raised in the local church, people are refreshed by the discussion, challenged in their beliefs, and open to change. I never met Clark Pinnock and will probably never meet Rob Bell, but I have encountered their man-centered approach to determining who God is and what God really says right in our church. Heck, I encounter it in the mirror everyday. That’s the fight–to remain surrendered to a God-centered worldview that affirms that the Bible as the absolute source of knowing who God is and what he says rather than my preferences and opinions.

    And while that surrender is owing wholly to God’s sovereign grace in my life, it did not come through my cynical indifference or accidental apathy or naive piety. It comes like it did for Paul––fighting the good fight, running the long race, and guarding the sacred trust.

    Thanks for sharing this. The above was shared on a different list and a different context but it was in response to this article. I liked it and benefited from it.

    Chris

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