In his 2010 book, If the Church Were Christian: Rediscovering the Values of Jesus, Quaker pastor Philip Gulley offers a recipe for, well, making the Church Christian. Richard Rohr thinks that the recipe is ‘superb’, and restates it in the following words:-
Jesus is a model for living more than an object of worship.
Affirming people’s potential is more important than reminding them of their brokenness.
The work of reconciliation should be valued over making judgments.
We read that Daniel and his three friends were educated in, among other things, ‘the language of the Babylonians’ (Daniel 1:4).
There is great pressure on us today to avoid the language of the kingdom of God and to adopt instead the language of our culture. John Lennox observes that ‘the wave of relativism now swamping Western thinking has increased the pressure to drop certain words from our languages and replace them with others that drive forward the secularist agenda of deconstructing the very nature of human beings and the society we live in.’
Some words are increasingly frowned upon in public discourse: ‘truth, commandment, dogma, faith, conscience, morality, sin, chastity, charity, justice, authority, husband, wife’. …
Kent Dobson, who succeeded Rob Bell as pastor of influential Mars Hill Bible Church, has recently announced his decision to step down.
He had begun, he says, with a desire to follow Paul by offering the traditional gospel in culturally-relevant dress. But he had come to question not only the packaging as traditionally offered by the church, but also the message.
“I have always been and I’m still drawn to the very edges of religion and faith and God.
To be an evangelical is to seek to be true to Scripture because of the conviction that to be true to Scripture is to be true to Christ. A contemporary evangelical approach to Scripture has the possibility of combining appropriate pre-modern, modern and postmodern elements.
1. It will be pre-modern in the sense that it submits to the will of God as revealed in the text and thus puts the human will and its capacity for detached reason or local special pleading under that authority.…
One of the most frequently-heard objections to the Christian faith is this: ‘You Christians are perfectly entitled to belief whatever you want. But it’s arrogant and narrow-minded of you to suppose that you have an exclusive claim on the truth. Stop trying to tell us that you are right and that everyone else is wrong. In a pluralist society it’s too exclusive a way of talking, and in a democratic society it’s too divisive.’
Tim Keller recently addressed this issue in a talk given at the University of Berkeley:-
He began by acknowledging that there is frequently a problem with religious dogmatism. …
Emerging church people of a more philosophical bent often speak critically of ‘foundationalism’.
Nancey Murphy explains:-
Foundationalism is a theory about knowledge. More specifically, it is a theory about how claims to know can be justified. When we seek to justify a belief, we do so by relating it to (basing it on, deriving it from) other beliefs. If these other beliefs are called into question, then they, too, must be justified. Foundationalists insist that this chain of justification must stop somewhere; it must not be circular, nor must it constitute an infinite regress.