October 5, 2011

Fixing The Indemnity (Carl Trueman)

Fixing the Indemnity

Carl Trueman has also weighed in on the Elephant Room controversy with some brilliant observations:
"One preliminary note, however, relates to the appeal not of Jakes but of the Furticks, Nobles and those who apparently like to be seen with them. To be blunt: why so much noise about Jakes when Furtick and Noble have already apparently been established in this Elephant Room circle for some time? Frankly, they hardly seem any closer to Paul's description of what an elder or overseer should be than the Bishop. Why all the hoohah and handwringing now about TD? Is it just because he is more notorious and thus harder to hide from public view? Are Furtick and Noble less well known and thus easier to ignore? Surely it is the same horse, just a different jockey, as one former colleague of mine used to say? Are people really surprised that someone comfortable with Furtick has no problem with Jakes? If they are, they should give me a call: I could do them a really good deal on the Brooklyn Bridge."

This still goes back to people like Hybels and Warren who are the ones who by their faulty, semi-pelagian methodology and "innovative", pragmatic, "whatever it takes" approach to both (cough) evangelism and ecclesiology, give license to the Furticks and Nobles of the world to do what they do. Who wants to argue if "God is blessing it"? So while I applaud the current outcry over Macdonald's promotion of Jakes and the backtracing to his endorsement of Furtick and Noble, Where was the similar outcry over Piper's blatant endorsement of Warren? Warren isn't a modalist, of course. Warren claims an orthodox confession (at least, behind closed doors) but doesn't see it as important enough to proclaim it clearly from the Pulpit, or even write books about it. I have yet to hear a clear presentation of the gospel from Warren in 6 years of listening to a large portion of what is available.

Instead he writes books, best sellers, that promote a sort of Pelagian or at best semi-pelagian methodology. Is no one even concerned enough about that to make a big deal out of it? No, we have very solid men saying nice flattering words to Rick, appreciating his kindness and generosity, and saying stuff like "It’s great to be able to discuss our differences as well as our common convictions in a spirit of friendship as well as mutual challenge."

How do you actually say that with a straight face, about someone with a Finney-esque methodology? At least Finney was honest about his!

Groups of people DO pick up the contradiction between Rick's actions and his words/beliefs. A few are able to actually articulate it, but other members of the group just hear contradictory messages - and then sit there and wonder why the church is divided and they can't come to agreement with the people sitting right next to them every week.

Methodology is not doctrinally neutral. Bad methodology will undermine good doctrine because the methodology's bad underlying doctrine will be 'picked up' surreptitiously but picked up, in varying degrees, nonetheless. And then of course, as that leaven works its magic on your formal belief system, ALL the lines get blurred and you have T D Jakes being welcomed as a fellow Christian. So why should we expect any different?