I posted the following comment over at Mike Ratliff’s Possessing the Treasure in his thread entitled The Root of Liberal Theology in response to an apparent sniper shot by what I suspect to be the appearance of an all-too-common Internet fauna known as the Bottom Feeding Blog Troll (Blogus Interruptus Maximus). This particular specimen was named “Ed Darrell”. My comment was as follows:
It’s telling that Ed Darrell sets up the absurd false-dichotomy straw man argument that fundamentalist Christians are “stuck in advocacy of racism, slavery, ignorance (such as creationism) and family violence” in apparent contradistinction to the “enlightened” and “moderate” progressives. Egads! I actually chuckled when I read Mr. Darrel’s silly, intellectually clumsy, and cartoonish caricature of the unthinking, mindless, so-called “fundie-Christian” which is in fact non-existent outside the cult fringes of Christianity. He also tips his hand by inserting “creationism” into the mix and effectively equating it with racism, slavery and family violence. The illogical stream is connected so as to make them part and parcel of one another. It’s akin to Mr. Darrell being asked if he is still beating his wife and children each evening or if he has stopped – in other words it’s hogwash and smacks of a disingenuous a priori motivation. In my experience only manipulative women, politicians, and the weak minded use such emotionally charged language when trying to frighten their respective audiences into the suppliant’s position.
The scary “boogey-man” Bible-thumping “fundie-Christian” of Mr. Darrel’s fevered high-noon fantasies is a myth, a vapor, and a hoax. It’s a self-serving sham that’s perpetrated by those who esteem themselves as refined and sensible, and who often draw close to the Lord with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him. These have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof. How sad for them in this life, not to mention their fate in the hereafter.
In point of fact over the past couple of thousand years true born-again Christians have by the power of The One True and Living God been the driving force behind the advancement and betterment of human civilization and culture in this sin sick and fallen world. The world has benefited immensely by the mystery of God’s common grace and His work through His people, the Body of Christ, the church invisible, though the world is unworthy of both.
I don’t care to venture a guess as to why Mr. Darrell would spew such vile, false, and bigoted rhetoric, but it does speak volumes about his sad and badly misinformed worldview.
May we who are called by the Name of the Lord pray for those who would compromise His Truth for a temporal false unity! May we never fear the sideways glances, raised eyebrows, and disdain of the world that would look upon us with contempt for taking up our crosses daily and following after King Jesus! May we esteem the praise of God above the praise of men and never be ashamed of the scandal of the Eternal Gospel, of Christ crucified, dead, buried and victoriously raised on the third day to life everlasting! May we embrace the shame of our Lord and count ourselves unworthy to share in his sufferings!
After dealing with first things first I proceeded to expand on Mike’s article by adding a few more thoughts in a follow up comment which incorporated portions from a recent post of mine entitled “It Stands Alone” and material gleaned from Dr. Robert L. Reymond’s magnificent tome entitled “A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith”:
My apologies for chasing after a red herring in my prior comment, Mike.
Back to your point at hand. I’d like to add a few thoughts to your damning indictment of Bultman and his modern day spiritual progeny. As you’re no doubt aware Bultman was among the early primary architects of neo-orthodoxy which is enjoying a not so surprising resurgence among the recent crop of emergent/emerging heresy-mongers. Yet just like neo-orthodoxy which was theologically D.O.A. – stillborn if you will – the emergent/emerging ooze will find themselves relegated to the dustbin of church history because their false views are based on the shifting sands of subjectivism and cultural relevance instead of being set upon the solid Rock of the Eternal Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Eternal Gospel stands alone.
Culture changes, the Eternal Gospel doesn’t.
Intellectual fads come and go, the Eternal Gospel doesn’t.
Men who are filled with the pride of life rise and fall, the Eternal Gospel doesn’t.
The big hint and easy explanation for this phenomenon is given away in the descriptor “Eternal”. I used to wonder why so many would fancy themselves as autonomous arbiters of truth; setting their own sinful reasoning powers up as the highest court of appeals by which all truth claims must be scrutinized, up to and including the truth claims of Almighty God Himself. I state that I used to wonder about this in times past because I’ve come to know the simple truth: It’s because of sin. Every area of fallen man’s being has been wholly corrupted by the dreaded perversion of sin, including his reasoning powers.
Christians are not called to compromise the Word of God by adulterating it with the hodge podge spirituality and so-called wisdom of this fallen world. In fact to compromise the infallible, immutable, eternal, and plenary counsel of the One True and Living God as contained uniquely within the Holy Bible is the very pinnacle of satanic hubris and wickedness!
Shouldn’t Christians go to God’s Word alone to discover His solution to the problems of our day and the solution to the culture? For in God’s Word we find that the Eternal Gospel is the solution to the culture! There’s nothing new or fancy here! God’s plan, His strategy hasn’t changed one bit and not one jot or one tittle of His Word needs modification to make it “relevant” or to make it “work” neither yesterday, today, nor tomorrow. This is because it is the ETERNAL GOSPEL! It changes not!!
In point of fact it is ONLY the Eternal Gospel that changes men; GOD FORBID IT SHOULD EVER BE THOUGHT TO BE THE OTHER WAY AROUND!!
Oh! How far modern Christianity has fallen from the Lord Jesus Christ! Surely men have made gods of themselves and perverted the ETERNAL GOSPEL in favor of a watered down, man-centered, cotton candy, sinless, bloodless, compromised, Nerf theology that’s fit for nothing! The modern non-gospel embraced by vast swaths of professing Christianity is no gospel at all!
It’s a tool of political expediency!
It’s wide tent of paganized spirituality!
It’s an idolatrous abomination and offense to the One True and Living God!
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. (Revelation 3:16)
Look, the Holy Bible contains God’s strategy for changing the culture – preaching the gospel!
The Holy Bible contains God’s strategy for changing men’s hearts – preaching the gospel!
The Holy Bible contains God’s strategy for making foolish the wisdom of this world – preaching the gospel!
The Holy Bible contains the cure for the culture – preaching the gospel!
So why is it that so many within the broader professing church itself insist on corrupting the simplicity of the gospel by blending it, marginalizing it, ignoring it, assimilating it, being ashamed of it, hiding it, twisting it, perverting it, allegorizing it, spiritualizing it, and
thereby outright denying it?
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie; That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thess. 2:11-12)
Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils (1 Timothy 4:1)
They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate (Titus 1:16)
“God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty” (1 Corinthians 1:27)
According to the Holy Bible the preaching of the gospel is God’s chosen strategy to change men’s sinful hearts and the church is not permitted to modify it. Men are not permitted by God to substitute their own strategies in place of His own Holy Counsel!
Another neo-orthodox advocate, James Barr, gave a telling admission that it is the “fundamentalist” who has read the scriptures correctly in his book “Revelation Through History in the Old Testament and in Modern Theology”. This admission reminded Dr. Robert L. Reymond in his magnum opus “A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith” of Kirsopp Lake’s oft-quoted acknowledgement in his tome “The Religion of Yesterday and Tomorrow”:
“It is a mistake often made by educated persons who happen to have but little knowledge of historical theology to suppose that fundamentalism is a new and strange form of thought. It is nothing of the kind; it is the partial and uneducated survival of a theology which was once universally held by all Christians. How many were there, for instance, in Christian churches in the eighteenth century who doubted the infallible inspiration of all Scripture? A few, perhaps, but very few. No, the fundamentalist may be wrong; I think that he is. But it is we who have departed from the tradition, not he; and I am sorry for the fate of anyone who tries to argue with a fundamentalist on the basis of authority. The Bible and the corpus theologicum of the Church are on the fundamentalist side. (emphasis mine).
Quote taken from Dr. Robert L. Reymond’s “A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith”, page 16.