Monday, August 28, 2006

The God Who is There

I'm doing a Bible study with my three sons and two men from my church, and we're using Francis Schaeffer's The God Who is There as our launch pad for digging into the Scriptures. I read that book quite a few years ago, and it's good to get back into it. I recommend it highly for those who enjoy a look at the degradation of thinking in our culture--how modern man has forsaken rationality and either languished in despair or latched on to an irrational leap of faith in order to keep some semblance of hope.

Studying this book has helped me understand how most conservative evangelicals (by the way, I am a conservative evangelical) have embraced certain illogical doctrines. The acceptance of irrationality is pervasive enough to invade even the most Scripture-minded churches, as the Bible says:

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires." (2 Timothy 4:3)

They seem to be fulfilling Paul's prophecy:

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

The desire to hang on to doctrines that make church-goers comfortable in their sin has led them to maintain a form of godliness, teaching that one ought to be godly, though they have denied that anyone really has the power to be godly. It's a strange, irrational position to hold, yet, it seems, that most evangelicals hold it with tenacity, some even aggressively so.

I still passionately disagree with such illogical, unscriptural doctrines, but at least now I understand a little better how they have inflitrated the church.

2 comments:

John Kuhn said...

You mentioned that "conservative evangelicals have embraced certain illogical doctrines" and I was just wondering what illogical doctrines you mean. Please don't think I'm a defender of conservative evangelicals. I'm a Christian. I'm just wondering what illogical doctrines you're referring to here. I think you're probably right, but I would like a concrete example to hang my hat on here. By the way, I love Francis' Schaeffer's books and the video series "How Should We Then Live" impacted me greatly several years back.

Clefspeare said...

John,

I don't want to give the impression that I oppose conservative evangelicals, because I would certainly be considered one myself. But, as I mentioned in the blog post, most of them teach "that we ought to be godly, though they have denied that anyone really has the power to be godly." They say that we should obey God in everything, yet turn around and say that it's impossible to do so, almost in the same breath. This is an illogical pairing of doctrinal positions.

Thank you for chiming in. I also enjoyed the Schaeffer video series.