Evangelical Crisis: Contemporary Church vs Traditional Church

In her Washington Times article, "Beware: Hell Exists, There's No Christianity without Sin, Death, and the Resurrection," Janice Crouse addresses the growing theological crisis of our times, saying that the Evangelical Church has become divided against itself. Citing First Things, she writes: "This month's issue of First Things addresses the problem of "Evangelicals Divided." The article notes that on one side are a certain type of evangelical theologians (evangelical in name only), who "vent their own religious experience and call it theology." This reduction suppresses Scripture's own claim for itself as "words taught not not by human wisdom but by the Spirit" (1 Corinthians 2:13). On the other side of the divide are those who are "bound by the Word of God" and take the Bible to be a transcendent, authoritative revelation from which springs both faith and theology. First Things warns, "If evangelical theology...does not exercise the kind of intellectual humility required by Traditionalism, it will not survive...it will risk disintegrating into ever more subjectivist and individualistic sects, many of them neither evangelical nor orthodox."

Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary addresses this crisis in his book, "The Disappearance of God." There is a growing chasm, notes Mohler. On one side are the traditionalists and on the other, the self-autonomous contemporary church, which defines itself over and against Traditionalism.

The contemporary church is influenced by and deeply drawn to the "new kind of Christianity" proposed by the Emerging Church, whose leaders include Brian McLaren, Rick Warren, and Rob Bell for example. The Emerging Church however, is setting out on the very same road to perdition taken by the Liberal Church so many years ago.

The Liberal Church is in fact not authentic Christianity but a type of pantheism (neo-paganism). Its' immanentist god is a dead god of forces. In other words, Liberal Christians are in fact worshipping forces of nature which exist and are divine only within their imaginations. Their dead god of forces cannot see, think, hear, or speak, and cannot offer them salvation for the reason that it is dead, therefore it obviously does not know they exist. Their "religion" and "alternative salvation" are therefore utterly futile.

In that the contemporary mind embraces the pseudo-theology of the Emergent Church, it is therefore uncomfortable with Traditional doctrine, said Mohler. It prefers "change" "relevance" "tolerance" and "feelings," especially what "feels good." It wants humanistic feel-good messages and diversionary entertainment rather than expository sermons. Its' God is a one-sided feel-good deity of "love" that never speaks of wrath and judgement, hence hell, sin, and repentance are not just unwelcome, but are in fact "intolerable" to the self-autonomous contemporary mind, noted Mohler.

Christian apologist Marsha West also warns of the evangelical crisis and details the contours of the contemporary church in her three-part series, "Purpose-Driven Dismantling of Christianity." In part one she writes:

"Grievous wolves (Acts 20:29) masquerading as evangelicals introduced false religious beliefs (abominations) into mainline churches. ...Their main goal (is) change. The plan (yes, they have a plan) is to dismantle historic Christianity and usher in a "new paradigm," a "new kind of Christianity."

In preparation for the "new kind of Christianity," the following steps are required:

"Toss the cross...Eliminate essential doctrine...Chuck the creeds...Discard dogma...Shred sound teaching...Throw out tradition..Give Bibles the boot...Scrap stained glass...Hurl hymnals...Out with the organ...Purge the pews...Cart away conservative clothing."

Read Wests' 3 part series here: http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/mwest/110318

Albert Mohler defines Authentic Christians over and against contemporary, emergent, and liberal Christians. He says:

“All Christians across a vast denominational range who stand together on first tier doctrines are authentic Christians."

First tier doctrines are Revealed Truths and are:

1. The Trinity: full deity and humanity of Jesus Christ 2. Justification by faith 3. The authenticity of Scripture: The Revealed Word of God the Father Almighty 4. Essential truths of the incarnation: death, burial, resurrection

In addition, Authentic Christianity must address the following, says Mohler:

1. Sin: humanities willful revolt against God the Father 2. The traditional doctrine of hell 3. God's absolute sovereignty

Because theological liberalism is really pantheism disguised as Christianity, it comes as no surprise that it denies first-tier doctrines, for its' god is a dead god of forces rather than the living, personal, supernatural God the Father Almighty. Mohler writes that the mark of theological liberalism, and by extension the emergent and contemporary church "is evident in its basic disrespect for biblical authority and refusal to admit that first-tier doctrines even exist."

Authentic Christianity is very narrowly defined. Hence Authentic Christians are all who embrace and stand together on first tier doctrines, sin, hell, and Gods' sovereignty notes Mohler, while those who deny "these revealed truths are, by definition, not Christians."

In short, the Way is narrow and strait, while the highway to perdition is broad, easy, relevant, popular, and feel-good. In attractive neon colors, the beckoning sign at its' entrance reads: "This way to change!"