Sunday, April 29, 2012

If we must offend, let it be for the right reasons...

I have posted before (here & here) about my concern over claims made by some that they died, went to heaven, and were miraculously returned to earth. Evangelicals love this stuff. A recent article in The New York Times by Maud Newton, although misguided in many ways, illustrates the heart of the problem with such tales. There is no source of authority for such claims outside of the person's subjective experience. This, unfortunately, is becoming normative within evangelicalism. Books that rest on internal claims of authority are all the rage. A woman goes into the woods, Jesus dictates a book to her and it sells a gajillion copies. And how do we know Jesus dictated the book to her? Because she says so. Oh, she's careful to point out that what Jesus dictated to her is somehow less authoritative than the Bible, and certainly not inerrant. But one wonders, why? Why should Jesus' direct revelation to her be less authoritative than his direct revelation to Paul? But I digress. 

If we must offend let it be on account of the gospel which is a stumbling block. Let it not be because of fanciful claims and false promises.

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