Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Pertinent Warning To The Church

Tim Challies wrote a book review some time ago and is still recieving emails concerning the "unfair" review he gave from readers who "benefited" from the book in question. He has since wrote a response to those emails and addressed the two main arguments being given for his review being unfair. Even though he is addressing a singular topic, I think his thoughts here have wide-sweeping ramifications for us as believers. Please see the snippets below and then go to the link to read the complete article. Also, I would recommend you add his blog to your list of daily reads as it is a great resource to those who believe.

Pragmatism necessarily causes us to lose our focus on the absolute standard God has given us in His Word to determine right from wrong. When we lose that focus the church is placed on the slippery slope to becoming like the world. When we discard God’s standards we must depend on our own deeply flawed standards. We begin to trust in ourselves and lose our trust in God. We lose our reliance on His Word as the tool for discernment.

Fiction is a powerful medium for communicating truth and the evidence of this is in every positive review of the book; the evidence is in the fact that Jesus Himself often communicated using fiction.

The reader who complained about “stodgy old religion” exhorted me to “try to re-read the Shack with a more open mind.” But from her email and the others like it, I can see that in this case an open mind would require a closed Bible. We cannot set aside Scripture even when we read fiction. There is no such thing as only fiction.

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Does pragmatism (do it because it works) have a place in the church?
-Why do you think we readily exchange hard truths for pragmatism?
-Are there ill consequences for this exchange?
-What are your thoughts concerning the last quote from Challies?
-Did Jesus teach truth through fiction?
-Should we be more careful with how we handle truth and take in those things labeled as "only fiction"?
-Overall, do you agree with or find yourself at odds with Challies?

1 comment:

Craig said...

Pragmatism should have no place in the church. In my opinion churches have strayed this way because it attracts people. The focus has become on numbers and not on God. Many think that because they are increasing numbers it is a blessing from God. The result is that people do not grow spiritually and that is proven. The founder of Willow Creek acknowledged this.