I was looking over the top ten stories in the “Christian” world according to CT. Some were probably not even noticed by most in post-evangelicalism, such as the civil war in the Anglican communion over homosexuality. The Robinson ordination was big news, but the resultant fully appropriate reaction by Christians in the denomination hasn’t gotten quite as much notice. Persecution is noted in a couple of stories, but not nearly as much as it really should be. I personally don’t find the political stories at all relevant from an eternal viewpoint.
But of course what brought me to the list was the 8th story:
8. Francis Beckwith returns to Catholicism
No doubt many Protestants convert to the Roman Catholic Church every day. But most aren’t serving as president of the Evangelical Theological Society, as Beckwith was when he returned to the faith in which he was raised.
I at least agree with the use of the term “returns,” for in the weeks that followed one of the main issues that cropped up, at least in my reading and listening, was his repeated assertion that when it came to natural law, grace, the will of man, etc., Beckwith had never left. And so some—ok, very few, but some—have hopefully seen the important lesson in the Beckwith saga: there is a foundational context to the doctrines of the Reformation, a bedrock level of beliefs we might say, that, if missing, leaves one’s profession of these doctrines empty and shallow, and more easily abandoned. Combining Rome’s doctrines of revelation, grace, and the will of man, with the Reformation’s sola gratia and sola fide results in an (all too common) hybrid faith that is internally inconsistent and incapable of serious examination. In other words, again, “Theology matters.” When one then surveys the post-evangelical landscape and realizes that a majority of those contained within that huge category have no clue what the real issues were at the Reformation, let alone how those issues remain front and center today, the state of that conglomeration of humanity is all the more clearly seen.
One story that surely did not make the top ten, and deservedly so, was that I preached both services, and the adult Bible Study class, at PRBC yesterday; AM Bible Study on John 6, moving into the section so grossly abused by Roman Catholics (mentioned Steve Ray’s doing so in passing); Sunday AM sermon was on having as our ambition to be pleasing to the Lord, and the evening service was a survey of 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12, all found here.