J.I. Packer is a theological giant in Reformed circles. Because I’ve only just become aware of reformed theology over the last three years or so, through the preaching of Mark Driscoll and Matt Chandler, I hadn’t read any of his...
I’ve been reading a few books lately. I’m a bit ADD, so it helps if I can switch books if I get antsy about the subject matter. I’ve been deep into physics and cosmology and philosophy with Case for a Creator, so I decided to change up and take on the next quarter of Four Views,.
The first chapter was John Hick’s position of pluralism: all “ethical” religions lead to God (air-quotes mine).
Here we are. Ryan has summarized the project pretty well, so I’ll send you there to see his post first (if you’re returning, or started there, read on).
I’ll follow his lead in just a moment to give you a little background into me and my perspective, but I do have some comments about Dawkins preface to the God Delusion. Judging from the preface, much of his argument centers around the premise that Christians believe what they do because they were inculcated as children, and that teaching is so ingrained that they refuse to see the “truth” of his arguments. Unfortunately, none of this applies to me.
You may or may not be familiar with the series by Zondervan in which people from different viewpoints each write a chapter and the others write a response. Though it was difficult at times, I’ve enjoyed reading Four Views on Salvation in a Pluralistic World, and Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches. The format is interesting and fulfilling to see the arguments responded to immediately.
In light of that and the ridiculous discussions I have with my brother-in-law, we’ll be having a counterpoints-style discussion of our own.
One of the hardest things about being on the conservative/traditional side of a Christian theological debate is dealing with statements like this:
Rather, I see the grand statements about Jesus â€“ that he is the Son of God, the Light of the World, and so forth – as the testimony of the early Christian movement. These are neither objectively true statements about Jesus nor, for example in this season, about his conception and birth. To speak of him as the Son of God does not mean that he was conceived by God and had no biological human father. Rather, this is the post-Easter conviction of his followers.
In this paragraph Marcus Borg, of the Jesus Seminar, states these things as fact: Jesus did not say he was the Son of God or the Light of the World and the statements about Jesus’ divinity are not true. He states this as fact and it’s accepted as fact by many. The problem? It can’t be substantiated. Read on…
So, now that I have some distance from the emotions I experienced while reading Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches, I’m looking back at it and trying to gather some more insight about what it means to me, what it means for the church, and what it says about the postmodern generation. Adam at Pomomusings has a series of posts, reviewing each chapter(parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). I disagree with him in most places, but it’s worth reading.
One of the major implications for the whole postmodern generation is that it may not be all it’s cracked up to be. It seems that there aren’t nearly as many people out there who want a soft, pliable, alterable faith as opposed to a firm, unchanging faith. For example, look at Mark Driscoll’s Mars Hill Church and Karen Ward’s Church of the Apostles.