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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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There is an intrinsic connection between spiritual vitality and theological integrity. The debate over homosexual practices within the mainline denominations is not the root cause, but only the most visible issue in the devolution Ross Douthat has described so well. At the heart of this issue is a broken doctrine of biblical authority, a loss of confidence in the primary documents of the Christian faith. The patina of pietism, and the lushness of a well-rehearsed liturgy, are no substitute for what the Thirty-nine Articles calls “the sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures.” Absent a commitment to this truth, it will not be long before other cardinal tenets of the Christian faith become negotiable, including the Trinity, the full deity and true humanity of Jesus Christ, and redemption wrought through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
The trajectory from Friedrich Schleiermacher to John Shelby Spong is a well-worn path. As Peter Berger once said, “He who sups with the devil had better have a long spoon.”
The continuing saga and approaching collapse of mainline denominations should prompt us to pray. Within each of the mainline denominations, there are many faithful believers who have not “bowed the knee to Baal.” Often they face harassment, discrimination, and litigation. Pray that they will remain faithful in the face of such assaults, and pray that they will find communities of love and support in what for many will be an increasingly isolated position.
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Next entry (above): Bishop Howard: Same Sex Blessings not to be Authorized in the Diocese of Florida
Previous entry (below): A Letter from Bishop Scott Benhase to the Diocese of Georgia
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