Can Liberal Christianity Be Saved?

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SharperIron's picture
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Mon, 6/29/09
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Can Liberal Christianity Be Saved?

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Aaron Blumer's picture
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Relevance

Where "relevance" eventually leads . . .

...the Episcopal Church ... still has priests and bishops, altars and stained-glass windows. But it is flexible to the point of indifference on dogma, friendly to sexual liberation in almost every form, willing to blend Christianity with other faiths, and eager to downplay theology entirely in favor of secular political causes. Yet instead of attracting a younger, more open-minded demographic with these changes, the Episcopal Church’s dying has proceeded apace.

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Can it be saved?

Yes, but only if it becomes something like a Good Works Club or the United Way.  Once you get rid of theological underpinnings based on absolute truth, there's nowhere else to go eventually.   It's simply a matter of time and the willingness to say "I don't believe that anymore."

 

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Chip Van Emmerik's picture
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Jay wrote: Yes, but only if

Jay wrote:

Yes, but only if it becomes something like a Good Works Club or the United Way.  Once you get rid of theological underpinnings based on absolute truth, there's nowhere else to go eventually.   It's simply a matter of time and the willingness to say "I don't believe that anymore."

How is this saving it? Seems more like losing it altogether.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Joel Shaffer's picture
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I just reread "The Kingdom is

I just reread "The Kingdom is Always but Coming: A Life of Walter Rauschenbusch" by Christopher Evans.   The sad fact was that Rauschenbusch, the father of the social gospel, attempted, but could not pass on his liberal Christian faith to his kids.  None of his five children continued to follow Jesus.  Yet 3 of his sons were architects of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal of the 1930's.   All of his kids had an overriding passion for the changing of the social order, but lacked any type of love or faith in Jesus.  

But unlike Rauschenbusch, who went to his grave heartbroken over the faith loss of his kids, many liberal Christians seem to justify their demise, with the line that they influenced modern policy and culture.   Michael Horton has a piece about this attitude among liberals.  http://www.whitehorseinn.org/blog/2012/07/11/culture-changers-mainline-denominations-losing-members-but-making-their-mark/

Rob Fall's picture
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Why

should we be worried if heresy and apostasy survive?

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

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Rob Fall wrote:should we be

Rob Fall wrote:

should we be worried if heresy and apostasy survive?

No. But we should consider their path from orthodoxy and the weaknesseses which contributed to it. To the extent one can generalize, fundamentalism is hardly healthy, and a wise man learns from the error of others.

 

Brent

Things That Matter

As the quantity of communication increases, so does its quality decline; and the most important sign of this is that it is no longer acceptable to say so.--RScruton

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Sure it can be saved, but not

Sure it can be saved, but not AS liberal Christianity. I'm terribly excited about conservative congregations in otherwise liberal denominations like the local Falls Church, who broke from the Episcopal Church and lost its building and resources in the process. They're the kind of church that the "liberal" church needs: the conservative kind: the kind that's growing and vibrant.

Rob Fall's picture
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I fear you are ignoring the

I fear you are ignoring the battles that took place back in the 20s, 30s, and 40s.  If not ignoring, the you are minimizing them.   The weakness was in the enablers of the Modernists.  Men who would meet in the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship pre-meeting and then vote for the Modernist position on the floor of the convention.

Brent Marshall wrote:

Rob Fall wrote:

should we be worried if heresy and apostasy survive?

No. But we should consider their path from orthodoxy and the weaknesses which contributed to it. To the extent one can generalize, fundamentalism is hardly healthy, and a wise man learns from the error of others.

 

Brent

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

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Thu, 6/4/09
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We ought to encourage conservatives to get out...

While (if) they still can. That really is the message from history. If you know you aren't going to have the ability to see things turn around and you don't like the direction, get out!

I fear, as Machen pointed out many years ago, that liberalism really isn't Christianity. Therefore, any kind of "reform" is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Rob Fall's picture
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Concur

That if nothing else is the lesson to be learned from the first battles in the war.

Steve Newman wrote:
We ought to encourage conservatives to get out,while (if) they still can. That really is the message from history. If you know you aren't going to have the ability to see things turn around and you don't like the direction, get out!

I fear, as Machen pointed out many years ago, that liberalism really isn't Christianity. Therefore, any kind of "reform" is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

jimfrank's picture
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Should Liberal "Christianity" be Saved?

Why?