Saturday, December 16, 2006

Part 8 of Grudem interview

Whew! This is some interview!
We're now up to Part 8 of Adrian Warnock's interview with Dr. Wayne Grudem. Today's post focuses on the future, with Dr. Grudem's thoughts concerning how churches will resolve the feminist issue, as well as hopeful signs for the future of the evangelical Church in the US and the UK.
What Dr. Grudem says about churches where an egalitarian view has taken hold remind me of my former denomination. In many ways, from what I observed during my time there (and I've only been gone eight years), the denomination is but a depressing shadow of its former self. Every kind of influence is rushing in to fill the vacuum created by the absence of real spiritual substance: liberal theology, feminism, Pentecostalism, health & wealth heresy, etc. Some of the local churches that I know about have declined terribly in just the past 15 years. My own "home church" has "Ichabod" written all over it. It's heart-breaking.
The future for the Bible-believing evangelical Church is much more hopeful, according to Dr. Grudem, but in addition to hopeful signs he sees indications that God is "exposing sin and 'cleaning house' ". This made me think. When the Ted Haggard scandal broke, a male prostitute was pointed to as the one that exposed Haggard. But, had it occurred to us that God is the one who exposed Ted Haggard, and all the rest who have fallen by the wayside over the years?
This is sobering. Are we prepared to be "exposed" by God?
Now, there's something to think about.

1 comment:

Ali said...

G'day Wyeth

I can relate to some degree. I was raised in a liberal Presbyterian Church amongst 2nd and 3rd generation theological liberals. It was interesting to see where they had got to - I only remember one sermon that used the Bible - it was about "David, the Overachiever". Amazingly, the grass-roots of the Church rose up and is in the process of turning the Church around.

However, I have also seen the other side - churches that are rabidly legalistic in their doctrine and as a result are dying a horrible spiritual death - out of step with the culture (at least liberals have that comfort) and devoid of spiritual life.

I have a theory about this that suggests that egalitarianism is not the whole story - though I certainly agree that those who consistently apply the interpretative principles used to biblically justify egalitarianism will move in a more and more liberal direction. My position has been for a long time that egalitarianism is a generational danger - in the same way Grudem sees it, I guess. But as long as Jesus and the cross are the centre, it is possible for the danger to be kept in check. It's really when doctrine relating directly to Jesus is touched (or ignored) that the worst begins to happen. Unfortunately, the path from egalitarianism to the doctrine of Jesus (yes, most times aided and abetted by the erosion of Scriptural authority) seems to be getting shorter.