Monday, July 12, 2010

"Vaguely religious quasi-theism"

In my previous post I link to an article by Phil Johnson concerning Biologos and their exotic handling of the Scriptures and historic Christian doctrine. In the comment thread Tom Chantry contributed some thoughts that are worth your time to read:
I met a guy on Saturday who told me about his conversion from Catholicism. He was raising his kids in the Catholic church, having grown up there himself. Somehow he got the idea that as a dad he needed to know enough to teach his kids, so he started reading them the Bible. Then one of his kids came home from Catholic school with a pamphlet from a religion teacher entitled, “The Genesis Myth.” And of course his kid said, “Dad, I thought you said Genesis was the truth!”

So he started digging. He discovered that none of the other parents, few of the teachers, and not even the nun who was the principal of the school knew what the church taught about creation, but when he talked with the priest, he was told, “The church teaches that you can’t take the Bible too literally.” He didn’t quite know what that meant, but he came to two conclusions: The church didn’t believe the Bible, and the people in the church didn’t know about it. He had to leave, because, as uncertain as he was about what he believed, he couldn’t see the point of being a “Christian” if you didn’t believe the Bible. Only later did Bible-believing Christians introduce him to the gospel of grace.

Obviously the same situation is developing in “Evangelical” churches today. The comparison raises some questions:

What sort of witness is it when we assure the world that just because we are Christians doesn’t mean we believe what the Bible says?

What point is there, indeed, in being a non-Bible-believing “Christian”?

If we don’t doggedly believe what the Bible says, how exactly are we going to hold onto the gospel of grace, a message which runs counter to every instinct of natural man?

At this point, just what distinguishes Evangelicals from Rome? From Mainline Protestantism? From vaguely religious quasi-theism?

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