Archive for January, 2009
In 2003, Steve Chalke wrote:
God affirms the original goodness of humankind
In 2004, Brian McLaren created his own tulip theology, the “T” representing “Triune Love,” as opposed to “Total Depravity.” One’s view of Calvinism is really not the issue here; in his Generous Orthodoxy he created a new Tulip because he believes that the evangelical church is overemphasizing sin and judgment. What world is he living in?
In 2005, Rob Bell weighed in with:
God has an incredibly high view of people. God believes that people are capable of amazing things.
When I first read the above works, I believed that these men were denying serious doctrines of the faith. My detractors argued that those within Emerging/Emergent were somehow rephrasing biblical terms in order to reach a generation that isn’t accustomed to theological jargon. If you missed it then, get it now: the apostasy is becoming much more explicit and “in your face.” And this is only the beginning.
Just this week, Tony Jones has announced that he does not believe in original sin. He writes,
Since then [college years], I’ve become more uncomfortable with the notion that people are inherently bad, prideful, etc. I don’t deny the reality of sin. But I do doubt that human beings are depraved from birth.
So, without quoting the Bible, what do you think? Are human beings predisposed to good or evil?
I don’t know which bothers me more – that he doubts we are born sinful or that he doesn’t want people to answer using the Bible. I think the latter problem explains the former. If you reject the Bible as the only authority, then of course it’s irrelevant to such a discussion!
If anyone wondered what Jones meant by “original sin,” he actually defines it for us in a later post; he writes,
Original sin is a Christian doctrine that says that everyone is born sinful. This means that they are born with a built-in urge to do bad things and to disobey God.
Original sin is not just this inherited spiritual disease or defect in human nature; it’s also the ‘condemnation’ that goes with that fault.
I’ll stand with Jeremiah that the heart is both deceitful and desperately wicked…
Today we will be looking at chapters 2-3 of Marcus Borg’s book Jesus.
Honestly, I am really beginning to grow tired of reviewing this book. Rob Bell cites him so unashamedly that I figured that his ideas would be covertly dangerous, not explicitly so. Was I ever wrong…
When Borg uses the word “mainstream,” we would do well to substitute the words “theologically liberal.” Read the rest of this entry »
Naselli continues: “This is not an isolated example. When Bell talks about ancient history, customs, language, etc., he not infrequently undermines his credibility.”
Today, we will look at chapter 1 (“Jesus Today”) of Marcus Borg’s book, Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary.
Borg begins by explaining that our culture is “Christ-haunted” and “Christ-forgetting.” He, then, points to the observation that Christians are divided over the origin of the universe, over the Iraq war, over gay marriage, and over economic/social policy.
He then moves to the different ways that the “story of Jesus” is told in the United States. However, before getting to the different ways of viewing Jesus in our culture, he first takes some shots at Sola Scriptura and inerrancy.
Christians find the decisive revelation of God and life with God in Jesus, just as the Jews find the decisive revelation of God in the Torah and Muslims find the decisive revelation of God in the Qur’an.
Take note that the correlation made above is intended to be parallel. Just as the Muslims find God’s revelation in the Qur’an, so Christians find the revelation of God in Jesus.
Anticipating my frustration, he continues,
Of course, Christians also speak of the Bible as the revelation of God, indeed the ‘Word of God.’ Yet orthodox Christian theology from ancient times has affirmed that the decisive revelation of God is Jesus. The Bible is ‘the Word’ become words; Jesus is ‘the Word’ become flesh, God’s revelation in a human life. Thus Jesus is more decisive than the Bible.
Honestly, I think he’s both begging the question as well as presenting a false-dichotomy between the revelation of Jesus and the Bible (cf. John 1:14; Luke 1:2; 2 Peter 1:16; 1 John 1).
He continues and actually begins to self-destruct,
Importantly, Jesus is not the revelation of ‘all’ of God, but of what can be seen of God in a human life. Some of God’s traditional attributes or qualities cannot be seen in a human life…a human being cannot be all-powerful and still be human. So also omniscience: what could it mean to say that a human is ‘omniscient’ and that Jesus in particular was? That he would ‘know everything’ – including, for example, the theory of relativity or the capital of Oregon.
So Borg holds that Jesus is the decisive revelation of God (even “more decisive than the Bible”), but yet he admits that a human body cannot display omnipotence or omniscience, characteristics he knows to be true concerning God. Where did he get this conception of God if not from the Jesus? Beyond that, where did he find out that Jesus is a person? I’ll spell it for you: B-I-B-L-E. It’s the Scriptures that reveal these things so plainly about God; one cannot know the Father or Jesus in any significant way apart from the Bible. Read the rest of this entry »