31 March 2008

Whose church is it anyway?

On this rock I will build my church. -- Jesus Christ (Matthew 16.18)

This is not your grandfather’s church -- Gerald Kieschnick

That’s what I can never help thinking when I read stories like this one. It’s not that I deny the need for any and all change. But it depends upon the nature of the change. As C. S. Lewis once observed, all theology needs to be translated into the vernacular as it were. But some changes are simply a nod to a culture which may be in need of transformation. Nodding to a culture in need of transformation doesn’t make much sense.

But what really ought to concern people is not so much the sort of changes Kieschnick and his fellow travelers advocate. What really concerns me is the way Kieschnick replies to objections. If someone objects to changes, the appropriate response is to demonstrate that Scripture (whether explicitly or implicitly) either warrants the changes or at least does not forbid the changes. Telling objectors, “This is not your grandfathers church” is no reply at all. It is also not very respectful of one’s opponents (one’s supposed brothers in Christ) for it simply dismisses an objection out of hand as not even worthy of consideration, much less reasoned response. It's just a way of saying, "Shut up."

Besides its not the present generation’s church either.

H/T: Centurion

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James Frank Solís
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 26 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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