Sunday, February 26, 2006

Theological Diversity in the SBC (and everywhere)

Disclaimer: I am no longer a Southern Baptist, but grew up in that denomination and still follow its current condition with interest.

In Dr. Ascol's latest blog over at The Founders Blog he discusses what he sees as the different visions that are represented today in the Southern Baptist Convention. Among them he mentions the Theonomic and the Theonomic light visions. Aspects of these visions include ""taking back America for Christ"", "recovering our great Christian nation for Jesus", and getting "prayers back in our public schools and the Ten Commandments posted in our courtrooms and classrooms again." Finally about the latter vision he says, "By issuing boycotts and economic threats these folks believe that they are heavily involved in cultural engagement and combatting worldliness on major fronts. Neither Disney nor Hollywood should expect to be ignored if this vision carries the future in the SBC."

Now, let me say I highly respect Dr. Ascol and his views, and agree with him 99% of the time. But my comments will reveal, I believe, a disagreement over his implied disparagement of those who participate in the above activities. In the comments section of this blog post by Dr. Ascol, number 23 I believe, a commenter named "Rod" asks this: "What's wrong with a "theonomic" and a "Tom's View" blend? Can a serious Calvinist who cares about church reform, also care about America's reform?"

This is my question exactly. What is inherently wrong with fighting for the right for prayer in public schools or to display the 10 commandments in public venues around America? Now, if Dr. Ascol is speaking of Christians who ONLY boycott, and whose only Christian duty is to get the 10 commandments placed in public places, then I have to agree that these activities in and of themselves are not enough for the Christian. But I have to continually ask myself and others, why do we think people who do this do not also love the church and seek Biblical fidelity for the church? Why can't we fight for the right to have the 10 commandments displayed, and at the same time proclaim to the lost that they are under God's wrath because they continue to defy these 10 commandments? For some, this may be their only introduction to God's law. Why can't we be upset when corporations want to deny us the right the call Christmas Christmas, and at the same time explain to these same people that they are currently under the condemnation of the God they want to try and supress. What is inherently wrong with trying to work within our culture to make it a better place for all people, and at the same time being faithful to our churches and communities and living out our lives as servants of Christ? Isn't that what part of loving our neighbor is all about? Do we just share the gospel with our culture and if they reject it tell them fine, go ahead and continue killing your babies, that is of no eternal significance to me? I am continually amazed and the false dichotomy that is forced on this issue. Either you are a cultural warrior, or you are a cultural wimp.

Rather, lets let the gospel saturate our entire lives, from family decisions, to church decisions, to work decisions, to political decisions, to every decision we make. That is about $.03 worth.

3 comments:

Jason Lee said...

Russ,

Thanks for the email!
How did you know about my blog? I didn't think you were on my email list, I
figured Chris Bosson or A Tyson (who never calls or writes:) linked you. I
haven't been able to keep up with it like I would like. For one reason I have
been personally corresponding & dialoguing with IMB trustees over the current
controversy and it has been time consuming.

A big congrats & Psalm 127 to you for Emma Catherine!
And I know you said "when I say beautiful, I mean beautiful" but did you see
baby pictures of our BEAUTIFUL Rebekah, (who is now 2 years & 2 months).
Every marriage hasn't really taught you your utter dependence on the savior &
been a humbling means of sanctification then parenthood will:)
Oh, we are learning that the TOTAL part of "total depravity" is fully
manifested when they turn 2, just blatant rebellion :)
We think having a girl first is a great blessing. We are expecting our son to
be born on 4/9! We are currently praying as he is breeched that he will turn.

Send a congrats & blessings to Heather. We love the name Emma Cathering.


Are you still considering coming to Southern?
Have you thought about starting online, saving some $$ & maybe moving up here
for a year or 1.5 years and cramming all you can then finishing online or
extension?

We are still proclaiming the Gospel to muslims here in Louisville but praying about the future.

your profile didn't have an email so personally email me at:

psalm963 [at] bellsouth.net

by his grace & for his glory,
Jason Lee

Jason Lee said...

Oh, since the post has to be approved by you consider it a personal message and don't post it.
Hope to hear from you soon and read your blog.
Jason Lee

Russ said...

Hey Jason,

Wow, thanks for the encouraging comments (even the Total Depravity part!)

I forgot I had comment moderation on so I am just reading your comment today on 3/23. I'll shoot you an email. I know you are looking forward to you new arrival. Please keep us informed!

Russ

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