• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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  • June 2008
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Church of England Should Stop Avoiding Hard Questions On Faith

Some Church of England leaders and Muslim leaders have reacted with angry opposition to a proposal urging the church to proclaim that Jesus is the only way to salvation and Muslims should be evangelized. A motion was proposed to develop strategies for evangelizing Muslims by Paul Eddy who is a lay member of the Church of England’s General Synod and is currently training to be a priest.

Church leaders are divided on this issue, but Eddy and other orthodox Anglicans believe that the church should make its beliefs clear. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) Eddy and others want the Church of England to be upfront about this in its dealings with the Muslim community.

Many in the Church of England have chosen political correctness over sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. This has given the Muslim community reason to believe that the Christian faith is weak. The leaders of the Church of England would do well to remember this comment by C. S. Lewis: “Jesus did not say, ‘Go into the world and tell the world it is quite right.'” No, this is certainly not the command of Christ. The command to evangelize is the command of Jesus Christ.

The Covenant Way: Learning Christian Grammar by Roger Wiles

Roger N. Wiles is Pastor of Covenant of Grace Presbyterian Church in Winston Salem, NC.  He is also the host of the radio program Reformation Today on 830 AM (WTRU). His email address is wiles.roger@gmail.com.  You may read his blog at http://www.reformationblog.com/.

“Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?” I’m not speaking of the television show; I’m speaking of a well taught and catechized covenant child of God of that age.   I suggest that if adults on a television program struggle with a 5th Grade response to “What was the 49th state admitted to the Union?” it is doubtful they would know the answer to “What is God?”

Christian and non-Christian alike bemoan the “dumbing down” of America.  Sadly the Church did not escape the “dumbing down.”  This intellectual decline reduced the Christian faith from a biblical, historic, objective, cognitive religion into a cultural, contemporary, subjective, feel good experience – Christian faith went from “I believe” to “I feel.”

Let me get back to 5th graders.   If Christian parents are increasingly unable to articulate their faith imagine how this adversely effects the communication of biblical faith to children.  Children learn to pray “Now I lay me down to sleep . . .” which is only one word away in meaning from “Twinkle twinkle little star. . . .”  Children are told that Jesus wants them to be “good little boys and girls.”   The “gospel” for children is singing “Jesus loves me this I know. . . .”

The Church has not helped the problem.  Children often spend their early and teen years in segregated Sunday School hearing the same stories of Noah and the Ark, David and Goliath, and Zacchaeus up in the tree, over and over and over again.  Then we move them to Children’s Church to hear moral stories from the Bible and that Jesus loves them and then they color, play and eat snacks.  It is uncommon today for children to sit in worship under the preaching of the Word and the administration of the Sacraments during their formative years.

The Christian faith “once for all delivered to the saints” is not being passed to the next generation.   We have lost the language, the grammar if you will, of the Christian faith.   God’s people do not know the words of God – creation, sin, covenant, law, atonement, grace, justification, sanctification and gospel, to name a few.   To reengage God’s people with God’s Word is at the heart of another Reformation.  To do so is to go against the culture and return to the “ancient paths.”

Continue reading. . . .

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