Much has been written in recent months on several topics that I feel are important:
Not that my voice is important or meaningful – I just decided that I should add some thoughts to the conversations that are going on. I don’t have a lot of time these days, but feel we are at a tipping point in culture and that some alternative viewpoints may be helpful.
The discussions on the topic of the decline of the church and the rise of the none & done has been intriguing to me. Evangelicals have responded “it’s not us – it’s them” (them = mainline church) implying the decline is only among certain churches not church in general. But those in evangelical churches, even the biggest mega-churches, know they are experiencing declining numbers, income, and interest in the programs and services they offer. IMHO the decline is not a shift in style - it is a substantial shift in epistemology and the decline will continue to grow. The “it’s turtles all the way down” response to questions of theology/philosophy/hermeneutics/understanding is at the core of the decline.
In the future I’m going to expand my thoughts on this. I will post in the near future some thoughts on what I believe is the cause of this tipping point:
The Death of Truth and the Commodification of Christ
The Death of Truth
The enlightenment project and the shift in the concept of truth
The elevation of human reason
The new god of empiricism
The embrace of absolutism
The shift in first order assumptions
Co-opting theology to the new first order assumptions
The death of truth
The reduction of God
The Commodification of Christ
Omni-competence of human reason and the elevation of mankind
The reduction of the Bible
The embrace of Maslovian motivation
The elevation of human “needs”
Positioning Christ as the ultimate to human needs
The church’s new position as service provider
The branded church
The franchised church
The decline of church
I haven’t posted in three years. I realize no one reads my blog ~ so this is a message in a bottle. I do hope someone finds this and stays tuned – more to come.
I am not a blogger - by evidence that I never post, so most will never read this, but I should write this just the same - it is the right thing to do. I am posting in defense of Mark Driscoll.
There is recent discussion/posting about Driscoll’s cussing, in part due to the NYTimes Magazine piece that labeled him the “cussing pastor” and dust-ups at evan-fundy conferences like the Shepherds conference and some Southern Baptist stuff where Mark is on the line-up; but also in part to Tony’s Book, The New Christians, about Mark’s behavior at Axxess in Arlington, TX over a decade ago.
Mark contacted me when the book came out to apologize and ask for forgiveness. I forgave him with no hesitation and passed on his thoughts to the people in our community. I have accepted his apology and forgiven him and have no problem with Mark regarding the language he uses. Mark is a good man - IMHO
My problem with Mark is his theology. I think neo-calvinism is cowardly and weak! It is just cuddling up with thought leaders that were brilliant/forward thinking/thought provoking theologians for their time - but today - not so much.
My opinion is that the failure of modern philosophical/theological assumptions caused this return to “calvinism” as people grasp to the comfort of the convoluted evangelical concept of “sovereignty” that exists in that circle. neo-calvinism is such a waste - classic calvinism was built on a covenant hermeneutic and, at least, held a “cultural mandate”; neo-calvinism is built on a dispensational hermeneutic and has no mandate at all. neo-calvinism is cheap, easy and good-for-nothing and it is not at all “true to scripture” as is often claimed.
let me say again: Mark “manned-up” and ask for forgiveness regarding his cussing. His neo-calvinism that is another matter.