A Vitally Important Reread—David Short’s Are We Stronger than He on 1 Corinthians

Posted by Kendall Harmon

An excerpt:

Gospel ministry is not just proclamation, evangelism, and pastoral care; it involves contending for the faith once for all delivered to the saints. If, at the end of the day, we have maintained Christian orthodoxy but failed to proclaim the gospel, we cannot claim to have pleased Christ nor fulfilled the New Testament ministry. In just the same way, if, at the end of the day we have proclaimed the gospel but failed to maintain Christian orthodoxy, we will have failed Christ.

Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians is a brilliant example of contending for the faith. If the church is the temple of the living God and if that temple is holy, then tolerance of what God calls unholy will provoke his jealousy. There is an astonishing campaign at present in Canada and the USA to portray the blessing of same sex unions as a little in-house issue for the church, that those opposing this constitutionalization of sexual immorality are somehow missing the point and being side-tracked from gospel ministry. I received a letter this week from someone in the diocese of New Westminster who referred to the stance of biblically orthodox Anglicans as a “tedious and unnecessary conflict.” If that is the case then 1 Corinthians is a tedious and unnecessary book and the holiness of the people for whom Christ died is also tedious and unnecessary. We cannot just be pragmatic about this. We cannot believe those who say: “Peace, peace, when there is no peace.” Christian ministry which pleases Christ and is faithful to the New Testament will involve both gospel proclamation as well as contending for the faith once for all delivered to the saints.

Read it carefully and read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Anglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchSexuality* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

Posted October 31, 2009 at 3:27 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Phil wrote:

I’m sorry to say that this is exactly what I think revisionists do believe: that Scripture (not just 1 Corinthians) is “tedious and unnecessary,” and, more, so is “the holiness of the people for whom Christ died.”

Those who have taken over ECUSA are cavalier about what we believe, happy to indulge not only those who place sexual satisfaction at the center of their religious experience, but also those who dabble in rejecting what Christians believe about Christ’s work in His life, and, especially, on the Cross and beyond.  I’ve always seen it as a remarkable contrast to place this attitude against the saints who refused to deviate even one iota from their beliefs, even under penalty of gruesome torture and death.  How easy it would have been to yield a little to satisfy the governor/prefect/Emperor; after all, one could always return to a nondescript life later and beg forgiveness from the Almighty God for rejecting Him when it counted.  He is, after all, all-merciful.  But the martyrs did not.

Episcopalianism and its companions implicitly reject these holy men and women as dupes and fools.  In some ways, that is the greatest, and most shameful, desecration of [so-called] “progressive Christianity.”

October 31, 7:06 pm | [comment link]
2. Undergroundpewster wrote:

Excellent paper from 2004. Five years later, and what have we learned?

November 1, 12:23 am | [comment link]
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