6 “HERETICS” WHO SHOULD BE BANNED FROM EVANGELICALISM (OR, A LESSON IN CONSISTENCY)

What does it mean to be “evangelical”?

What must you believe?

What must you reject?

Can you be an evangelical Christian and believe…

…in evolution?

…that Hell is only temporary?

…that all people, even those in Hell can/will eventually be saved?

…that people from other religions can be saved without even knowing it?

…that the atonement is not about God’s wrath being poured out on Jesus in our place?

…that Scripture is errant?

I think many evangelicals would say “no” to most—maybe even all—of these. That’s why, in an attempt to protect the name of evangelicalism (or, more accurately, to keep certain ideologies in power), some of the most prominent leaders within evangelicalism have made it their responsibility to publicly denounce those with whom they disagree on issues like these.

To be clear, I have no problem with publicly denouncing ideologies (that is, after all, what I’m doing right now). I also believe it is, at times, necessary to publicly call out false teachers. However, one must fully consider whether they promote a different gospel before coming forward with such a bold claim.

But, I’m not talking about denouncing ideas or exposing real false teachers. I’m talking about needless schisms and inconsistent, prideful exclusivism.

Self-appointed gatekeepers of evangelicalism tear apart what could be a noble, diverse movement of the Spirit. In what critics have affectionately named, “excommunitweets,”these gatekeepers take it upon themselves to pronounce who is “in” and who is “out” of orthodox Christianity.

In a previous post I’ve listed a few of the people tossed out of the evangelical community for their slightly-divergent-yet-still-completely-orthodox beliefs. As a moderate evangelical, I’ve found myself on a few occasions, directly or indirectly, accused of not following Christ and even heresy.

By the standards of these gatekeepers, the definition of “evangelical” is becoming so narrow that it really doesn’t describe anyone but themselves. As I’ve said before, evangelicalism is shrinking, and pretty soon even the gatekeepers will have to bid themselves “farewell” due to their inability to meet their own standards.

That, or they will continue to reshape the definition so that it will describe exactly (and only) what they believe.

(Probably the latter.)

So, if we are going to be consistent, then I think it’s time to weed out all of the heretics—especially those who have the most influence—not just Rob Bell, Rachel Held Evans, or World Vision.

For starters, I suggest these 6:

1. C.S. Lewis: Guilty of Inclusivism and rejecting the Penal Substitutionary Atonement theory

12877851623Perhaps the most celebrated Christian writer of the last century, C.S. Lewis is respected by most Christians, no matter what theological corner they occupy. And that’s what confuses me. Lewis was no evangelical by the standards of modern evangelical spokespersons. Lewis’ seven-volume, fictional masterpiece, The Chronicles of Narnia, reveals Lewis’ belief that it is possible for people in other religions to inherit the Kingdom of God without knowing it.1

Lewis also rejects the Penal Substitutionary theory of the atonement, which states that Christ “diverted” God’s wrath toward us and took it upon himself. Instead, in part three of Chronicles, Lewis describes what is called the “Christus Victor” view of the atonement, which holds that the cross is not an image of God’s wrath against us, diverted to his son, but it was the defeat of evil through an act of selfless love. Here is a video of Greg Boyd giving a good description of that view using Lewis’ imagery.

2. Martin Luther: Guilty of rejecting biblical inerrancy

Lucas_Cranach_d.Ä._-_Martin_Luther,_1528_(Veste_Coburg)Where would evangelicalism be without Martin Luther? He is the father of the Reformation and the champion ofSola Scriptura.

According to one evangelical leader, inerrancy, “…is the only position that is fully compatible with the claim that every word of Scripture is fully inspired and thus fully true and trustworthy.” To the dismay of every evangelical Calvinist (including the one who made the above statement), I fear I must be the bearer of bad news that Martin Luther apparently didn’t believe the Bible is fully inspired, true, or trustworthy.

Speaking of inaccuracies in the books of Chronicles, he states,

“When one often reads that great numbers of people were slain—for example, eighty thousand—I believe that hardly one thousand were actually killed.”2

With that in mind, maybe it’s time we vote Mr. Luther off of the evangelical island.

3. St. Augustine: Guilty of rejecting a literal reading of the Creation Story

In his work, The Literal Meaning of Genesis, Augustine (to put it bluntly) thought Christians who took the Creation Story literally were a laughingstock and looked like idiots among non-Christians because they denied science and reason. This is Augustine, people…the one to whom we can give credit for the doctrines of original sin and Hell as eternal conscious torment (which are at the core of reformed theology).

Augustine_LateranHere is his statement:

“It not infrequently happens that something about the earth…may be known with the greatest certainty by reasoning or by experience, even by one who is not a Christian. It is too disgraceful and ruinous, though, and greatly to be avoided, that he [the non-Christian] should hear a Christian speaking so idiotically on these matters, and as if in accord with Christian writings, that he might say that he could scarcely keep from laughing when he saw how totally in error they are. In view of this and in keeping it in mind constantly while dealing with the book of Genesis, I have, insofar as I was able, explained in detail and set forth for consideration the meanings of obscure passages, taking care not to affirm rashly some one meaning to the prejudice of another and perhaps better explanation” (emphasis mine).3

Few are the pulpits he would be allowed to fill among conservative churches in our day.

4. William Barclay: Guilty of Universalism

I’ve seen William Barclay’s iconic little blue commentaries on the shelves of many pastors. I find it odd, however, that Rob Bell would be utterly rejected for holding essentially the same belief as this celebrated theologian.

Barclay writes,

“I am a convinced universalist. I believe that in the end all men will be gathered into the love of God…the choice is whether we accept God’s offer and invitation willingly, or take the long and terrible way round through ages of purification.”4

In that work, Barclay also lists early church fathers, Origen and Gregory of Nyssa, as two other Christian Universalists.

5. John Stott: Guilty of Annihilationism

8658113460John Stott is one of the great evangelical Christian thinkers of the last generation. Stott rejected the view that Hell is eternal conscious torment of the wicked and suggested, instead, that the unrepentant cease to exist after enduring the penalty for their sins.

He wrote,

“I believe that the ultimate annihilation of the wicked should at least be accepted as a legitimate, biblically founded alternative to their eternal conscious torment.”5

6. Billy Graham: Guilty of Inclusivism

Billy Graham is, perhaps, the epitome of the evangelical identity.

Or, so we thought…

Like C.S. Lewis, Graham believes that those who do not hear of Christ may, indeed, be saved without explicitly confessing him as Lord.

In a 1997 interview with Robert Schuller, Graham said,

Billy Graham“I think that everybody that loves or knows Christ, whether they are conscious of it or not, they are members of the body of Christ. . . . [God] is calling people out of the world for his name, whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world or the Christian world, or the non-believing world, they are members of the Body of Christ because they have been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus but they know in their hearts that they need something that they don’t have, and they turn to the only light they have, and I think that they are saved and they are going to be with us in heaven.” (This statement starts at 1:18 in this video)

#####

After we finish with these most important aspects of what it means to be evangelical, we can focus on weeding out people for less important things, such as their immorality: George Whitefield’s lobbying for slavery, Martin Luther’s hatred of Jews, John Calvin’s approval of burning heretics at the stake, etc. etc.

Now, I’m sure you, as well as I, find it ridiculous to reject these great and godly people. Which is why it’s amazing to me, the things we ignore in order to protect ourselves from the truth. We want our “heroes of the faith” to be perfect in theology and conduct, so we ignore or justify the parts we don’t like.

We all do it.

So, maybe it’s time to extend a bit more loving kindness to the evolutionists, to those who reject inerrancy, to those who take the Bible literally when it says that God will redeem all people to himself, to the Rob Bells and the World Visions.

For those of us on the moderate-progressive side: maybe we can find it in ourselves to turn the other cheek and forgive those who wish us gone. Then, when we find someone who will accept us–”heresy” and all, let’s embrace and learn from them.

For fun: Here is a list of universalistic quotes from our early church fathers. 

  1. See the conversation between Emeth and Aslan in “The Last Battle” in The Chronicles of Narnia (New York: HarperTrophy, 1984), 204-206. 
  2. As quoted in Marcel Sarot, “Christian Fundamentalism as a Reaction to the Enlightenment as Illustrated by the Case of Biblical Inerrancy”  (2011), http://www.academia.edu/4006242/Sarot_M.2011._Christian_fundamentalism_as_a_reaction_to_the_Enlightenment (Accessed April 16, 2014), 5. 
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegorical_interpretations_of_Genesis#cite_ref-17 
  4. William Barclay: A Spiritual Autobiography, pg 65–67, William B Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, 1977. (Read excerpt here
  5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annihilationism#cite_note-40 

Guest Post By Tylor Standley who writes and blogs on issues of faith over at http://tylorstandley.wordpress.com

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  • http://www.davidbibee.com/ David Bibee

    I think the biggest issue at stake is in finding out what are those particular things that are truly essential for one to be a Christian. Certainly there are heretical views that were dealt with by excommunicating people from the New Testament church communities because of the danger those views posed to the overall health of the Church at large. So I think there is some real instances where removal from Church office or even membership may be necessary to protect the body, but those would have to be central issues.

    I would have no difficulty affirming that Lewis, Augustine, Luther, Stott, and Graham as genuine Christians (I don’t know much of anything about Barclay). While they may not be “evangelicals” in the fullest sense, I don’t know many evangelicals who would deny that Stott or Graham were part of their team. Obviously being an evangelical isn’t what makes one a Christian. I think most evangelicals would acknowledge that (or at least most of the ones I know).

    I would have to say that our real boundaries are the creedal boundaries that have persisted throughout the ages. I would also throw salvation by faith alone through grace alone into the mix as being absolutely essential. Other than that, I think we’ve got some wiggle room.

  • http://www.www.patheos.com/blogs/andygill/ Andy Gill

    yea – i mean, you know me, i’m down with “evangelical theology” and would honestly disagree with liberation theologians who say that calvinism verbiage is useless to the “oppressed” class (though admittedly I am an american saying this) it’s just the frustration that our doctrine is so guarded, and well systematized but seemingly is not translating into action.

    If our gospel is not translating into action then it’s just hypothetical theory that’s built in vain to puff up our intellectual ego’s…

  • http://nailtothedoor.com/ Dan Martin

    May I offer a broader definition? I think that the word “Christian” is so much wider than Evangelicalism and all the various “isms” and could be brought to a fairly basic (but I think biblically-based) summary:

    http://nailtothedoor.com/what-is-a-christian-anyway/

  • stevix

    I’m sorry, I was going to participate until you misspelled “egos”. Now I decided not to. If you can’t be taught where to leave out an apostrophe, how are you going to learn to leave out unhelpful divisive blog posts. Instead of poking the people who are probably trying to defend (what they’ve been taught is) correctness and truth, maybe offer some constructive advice on how teaching can transition into modern biblical interpretation from dogmatic cultural error. Anyway, like I said, I am not going to participate.

  • http://www.davidbibee.com/ David Bibee

    I think the biggest issue at stake is in finding out what are those particular things that are truly essential for one to be a Christian. Certainly there are heretical views that were dealt with by excommunicating people from the New Testament church communities because of the danger those views posed to the overall health of the Church at large. So I think there is some real instances where removal from Church office or even membership may be necessary to protect the body, but those would have to be central issues.

    I would have no difficulty affirming that Lewis, Augustine, Luther, Stott, and Graham as genuine Christians (I don’t know much of anything about Barclay). While they may not be “evangelicals” in the fullest sense, I don’t know many evangelicals who would deny that Stott or Graham were part of their team. Obviously being an evangelical isn’t what makes one a Christian. I think most evangelicals would acknowledge that (or at least most of the ones I know).

    I would have to say that our real boundaries are the creedal boundaries that have persisted throughout the ages. I would also throw salvation by faith alone through grace alone into the mix as being absolutely essential. Other than that, I think we’ve got some wiggle room.

  • http://www.www.patheos.com/blogs/andygill/ Andy Gill

    yea – i mean, you know me, i’m down with “evangelical theology” and would honestly disagree with liberation theologians who say that calvinism verbiage is useless to the “oppressed” class (though admittedly I am an american saying this) it’s just the frustration that our doctrine is so guarded, and well systematized but seemingly is not translating into action.

    If our gospel is not translating into action then it’s just hypothetical theory that’s built in vain to puff up our intellectual ego’s…

  • http://nailtothedoor.com/ Dan Martin

    May I offer a broader definition? I think that the word “Christian” is so much wider than Evangelicalism and all the various “isms” and could be brought to a fairly basic (but I think biblically-based) summary:

    http://nailtothedoor.com/what-is-a-christian-anyway/

  • stevix

    I’m sorry, I was going to participate until you misspelled “egos”. Now I decided not to. If you can’t be taught where to leave out an apostrophe, how are you going to learn to leave out unhelpful divisive blog posts. Instead of poking the people who are probably trying to defend (what they’ve been taught is) correctness and truth, maybe offer some constructive advice on how teaching can transition into modern biblical interpretation from dogmatic cultural error. Anyway, like I said, I am not going to participate.

  • Nathan

    I have two main thoughts about this:
    (1) Being a Christian means having accepted Christ as Lord of your life. That’s just a basic, super-simplified version of being a Christian. Sure, I believe that there are clear doctrinal positions that are biblical, and that the vast, vast majority of evangelical denominations agree upon. Are there some fringe thinkers out there on those “core” beliefs? Sure. Are there some major differences in denominations when it comes to beliefs that are not central to salvation? Absolutely. But does disagreement over doctrines outside of those central to salvation make us not be Christians? Of course not. Romans 10:9-10 is about as clear as it gets concerning salvation. And according to John 8:36, you are indeed free if the Son has set you free. So no…I don’t feel the need to kick somebody off the evangelical island because we disagree on something not central to salvation.
    (2) Old saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.” I often read and listen to Christian authors / speakers / pastors with whom I do not 100% agree doctrinally or theologically. But, because I am more mature in my faith, I am able to hear and receive the solid teachings that they offer. I can learn from their areas of skill and expertise. But then I recognize when I come across their teachings that do not line up with my belief system. So I hold fast in those areas, ignoring their teaching in that arena, without having to disregard the very good things from them.

    But I do indeed believe that there are teachings that are patently inconsistent with Christianity. And the NT is replete with statements concerning false teachers, or those who will not endure sound doctrine. And the NT mentions several times for us to withdraw ourselves from such people. It’s a fine line between slight disagreement over non-central themes, over to disagreement on core truths.

  • Martin Ketteringham

    Nathan, in your comment you mention a couple of things that trouble me and a couple of things that encourage me. First of all, by your definition of being a Christian, the statement by Billy Graham contradicts that. He stated clearly that he believed that there were those who are saved who do not believe in Christ, who have not heard of Christ. The second statement you made that concerns me is “But then I recognize when I come across their teachings that do not line up with my belief system. So I hold fast in those areas, ignoring their teaching in that arena, without having to disregard the very good things from them.” It almost seems as if you are unwilling to allow the fact there might be something to what they said, and that it can be a teachable moment (we are all still disciples (learners)) and that God still reveals truth today. If we don’t believe that then we would still have slavery, no women’s rights, even a belief in an earth centered solar system.

    At the same token I do appreciate that you are reading authors not always in line with your thinking.

    I say these things not as a challenge to you but as a starting point for discussion and growth. Blessings

  • JS

    I usually stay out of these conversations but I have to say something and I will try not to interject my own thoughts except this. I love Billy Graham! I have the utmost respect for him and the great things God has accomplished through him. But, Billy Graham and what he has said does not trump what Jesus spoke from his mouth. This is Scripture not my opinion. These are Jesus’ words not mine. John 14:6, Jesus answered “I am THE way, THE truth, and The life, NO ONE comes to the Father except through me.” Billy Graham is great, but if he said something that contradicts what Jesus said, it’s not right. And you know what? That doesn’t exclude him from being evangelical or a Christian. It just means he is a fallible human being just like the rest of us. We must always check what people say against the Truth in God’s word. Well, I said I would try not to interject my own thought.

  • Luke

    I think that he would not have disagreed with the fact that Jesus is how we come to the Father. Rather, he may have disagreed about whether it is through OUR power (saying a special prayer, having knowledge of a special story, etc.) or if it is through CHRIST’S power that we are reconciled with God. This is much more complex than how you are portraying it.

  • Zeiglarre

    There is always the possibility I that you are misunderstanding the verse you quoted.

  • LITTLE MISS MUFFET

    JS
    Perhaps when the author of this piece state that Billy Graham said “there are those who are saved do not believe in Christ perhaps Mr. Graham was restating
    John 3:16 God gave his only begotten Son so that all who believe will have everlasting life.
    Perhaps Mr. Graham was stating that God loves everyone and when those who have ears hear and turn to him then
    they are Saved. Mr. Graham as far as I know should NOT
    be on this list.
    AND YES JESUS WORD IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN
    ANY MORTAL MAN.
    BLESSING

  • Nathan

    I have two main thoughts about this:
    (1) Being a Christian means having accepted Christ as Lord of your life. That’s just a basic, super-simplified version of being a Christian. Sure, I believe that there are clear doctrinal positions that are biblical, and that the vast, vast majority of evangelical denominations agree upon. Are there some fringe thinkers out there on those “core” beliefs? Sure. Are there some major differences in denominations when it comes to beliefs that are not central to salvation? Absolutely. But does disagreement over doctrines outside of those central to salvation make us not be Christians? Of course not. Romans 10:9-10 is about as clear as it gets concerning salvation. And according to John 8:36, you are indeed free if the Son has set you free. So no…I don’t feel the need to kick somebody off the evangelical island because we disagree on something not central to salvation.
    (2) Old saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.” I often read and listen to Christian authors / speakers / pastors with whom I do not 100% agree doctrinally or theologically. But, because I am more mature in my faith, I am able to hear and receive the solid teachings that they offer. I can learn from their areas of skill and expertise. But then I recognize when I come across their teachings that do not line up with my belief system. So I hold fast in those areas, ignoring their teaching in that arena, without having to disregard the very good things from them.

    But I do indeed believe that there are teachings that are patently inconsistent with Christianity. And the NT is replete with statements concerning false teachers, or those who will not endure sound doctrine. And the NT mentions several times for us to withdraw ourselves from such people. It’s a fine line between slight disagreement over non-central themes, over to disagreement on core truths.

  • Martin Ketteringham

    Nathan, in your comment you mention a couple of things that trouble me and a couple of things that encourage me. First of all, by your definition of being a Christian, the statement by Billy Graham contradicts that. He stated clearly that he believed that there were those who are saved who do not believe in Christ, who have not heard of Christ. The second statement you made that concerns me is “But then I recognize when I come across their teachings that do not line up with my belief system. So I hold fast in those areas, ignoring their teaching in that arena, without having to disregard the very good things from them.” It almost seems as if you are unwilling to allow the fact there might be something to what they said, and that it can be a teachable moment (we are all still disciples (learners)) and that God still reveals truth today. If we don’t believe that then we would still have slavery, no women’s rights, even a belief in an earth centered solar system.

    At the same token I do appreciate that you are reading authors not always in line with your thinking.

    I say these things not as a challenge to you but as a starting point for discussion and growth. Blessings

  • JS

    I usually stay out of these conversations but I have to say something and I will try not to interject my own thoughts except this. I love Billy Graham! I have the utmost respect for him and the great things God has accomplished through him. But, Billy Graham and what he has said does not trump what Jesus spoke from his mouth. This is Scripture not my opinion. These are Jesus’ words not mine. John 14:6, Jesus answered “I am THE way, THE truth, and The life, NO ONE comes to the Father except through me.” Billy Graham is great, but if he said something that contradicts what Jesus said, it’s not right. And you know what? That doesn’t exclude him from being evangelical or a Christian. It just means he is a fallible human being just like the rest of us. We must always check what people say against the Truth in God’s word. Well, I said I would try not to interject my own thought.

  • Luke

    I think that he would not have disagreed with the fact that Jesus is how we come to the Father. Rather, he may have disagreed about whether it is through OUR power (saying a special prayer, having knowledge of a special story, etc.) or if it is through CHRIST’S power that we are reconciled with God. This is much more complex than how you are portraying it.

  • Zeiglarre

    There is always the possibility I that you are misunderstanding the verse you quoted.

  • LITTLE MISS MUFFET

    JS
    Perhaps when the author of this piece state that Billy Graham said “there are those who are saved do not believe in Christ perhaps Mr. Graham was restating
    John 3:16 God gave his only begotten Son so that all who believe will have everlasting life.
    Perhaps Mr. Graham was stating that God loves everyone and when those who have ears hear and turn to him then
    they are Saved. Mr. Graham as far as I know should NOT
    be on this list.
    AND YES JESUS WORD IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN
    ANY MORTAL MAN.
    BLESSING

  • superbrr

    I think you and others might be misunderstanding the “farewell” messages from the evangelicals you reference. Rather than prideful exclusivism, could it be that these leaders simply see the trajectory folks are on by their statements/beliefs? When a John Piper bids a Rob Bell “farewell” after Bell changes course on his theological position, a position that was once founded on Biblical revelation rather than human emotion, could it be that Piper simply sees where Bell’s priorities are and the road he is going down… which he thinks will lead him away from evangelicism? That’s how it took it anyway… and I don’t think I’m off the mark here. Within months of Bell changing positions on hell, Bell also changed positions on homosexuality, Scripture, and was cussing on a radio show. He didn’t resemble any kind of evangelical Christian I’ve ever known… he looked far more closely aligned with the world and it’s system.

  • Ryan

    …I really don’t see how that would change anything. There’s a reason why the slippery slope argument is a logical fallacy, and I don’t particularly see how saying “Farewell, because the trajectory you’re on could lead you out of evangelicalism” is any better than “Farewell, because you’ve left evangelicalism!”

    Actually, the second one is almost better. At least it’s just prideful exclusivism, rather than prideful exclusivism mixed with fortune telling.

  • jimfromcanada

    The evangelicalism that you speak of is not necessarily evangelical.

  • Laura

    He called something “bullshit”?! Oh no! He thought seriously about the Church’s Pharisaical mistreatment of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters?! I sure hope not! Meanwhile, John Piper is mysteriously silent when his ministry partners are sued for a massive sexual abuse cover-up. And Mark Driscoll uses unethical business practices, but its okay because he quasi-apologized on his blog after he was caught.

    If we truly love the Church and the God who ordained it, we need to do some thinking about what it means to “resemble any kind of evangelical Christian.” I don’t want to resemble the evangelical Christians who believe I no longer love Jesus because I voted for Obama, or who told me that my childhood abuse was, at least partially, my fault, or who called my friends “fags” as we were walking out of a Bible study. I don’t want to resemble evangelical Christians who withdrew support from starving children because they couldn’t trust a faith-based organization’s genuine pursuit of church unity.

    I don’t mean to imply that any of those I mentioned above are outside the fold. I know that they love Jesus. I know that they are my brothers and sisters. But almost every day, I feel the need to convince them that I, too, love Jesus. I cuss. I drink. I vote Democrat. I promote feminism. I hang out with gay people. And I love Jesus with everything I have. Do I resemble any kind of evangelical Christian you’ve ever known?

    The radical power of the Gospel is not it’s ability to create subcultures, but it’s capacity to transform and unite them. All too often, we use the phrase “in the world but not of the world” to justify our Christian litmus tests and to insulate ourselves from those that would cause us to question. That phrase, “in the world but not of it”, is paraphrased from John 17, in which Jesus prays for the future of the Church. Right below that verse, we see Jesus praying for the unity of His followers “that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me… so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” This, our unity, our shared communion, is what brings the world into belief. It’s a beautiful and sobering revelation– one that I all too often fail to grasp. I wonder what would happen if our Christian leaders stood up and said. “I think that man is wrong and I am one with him.” Or, “this woman has acted immorally and I trust that Jesus has redeemed her as my sister.” How different from the world and its “system” would we be then?

  • Dave

    The problem is that the Bible doesn’t support your sentiments.

    (1 John 2:3-6 ESV) “And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”

    How we live and even how we appear to others (based on our true actions), is a very important aspect, of genuine faith, to consider. There is not room in the gospel for a spirit of persisting sin identity as you suggest. I don’t know about you, but I want to be sure that I know him and he knows me.

    (Matthew 7:21-23 ESV) says “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”

    You started to say something true when you said “The radical power of the Gospel is not it’s ability to create subcultures, but it’s capacity to transform and unite them.” Tranforming culture (or people) means changing them to be like Christ. Without that ideal or goal, you become a house divided always. If you persist to tell me that you love Jesus, and then continually do something to communicate (by your actions to him) that you hate him, which do you think he’ll believe?

    Lastly, belief comes by hearing the word of God. Communion, and unity are environments that foster a spirit that testifies about having God in us. So we can’t just think “well, we’ll all get in a big room, not talk about anything that anybody chooses to do or believe” and think that what results from this is a desirable picture of unity in the church?

  • Laura

    To what “persisting sin identity” are you referring? I did not implicitly or explicitly state that it is acceptable to go around sinning without repentance. That would be heretical. What I did hope to point out is that Christians, and even evangelical Christians, might look very different from one another, even if we are all genuinely seeking God. Our faith is not measured by how much we look like evangelicals (not the same thing as looking like Jesus), but by how much we seek after God. The Matthew 7 passage is one I also read often. Here we have Jesus condemning those who appear righteous and yet whose hearts are not open to God. The longer we promote the idea that righteousness is acquired through fitting in with evangelical culture, the more danger we are in of losing our fearful love of God. We set up rules and boundaries because it’s easier to follow law than a person, especially when that person is God. That’s why my high school youth group leaders taught us that you actually cannot be a Christian and a democrat. Because it’s easier to say “I’m a Christian because I put myself in all these observable categories” than “I’m a Christian because I believe Jesus has transformed me; let me show you what that looks like.”

    And I am an evangelical. So of course “faith through hearing” is a well-known mantra. I don’t believe that people come to faith simply by observing Christian unity, nor do I believe we should just forgo theological debate. I do think it’s wrong to condemn fellow Christians because they disagree. We desperately need to trust each other and realize that God might speak truth in different ways through different people.

  • jimfromcanada

    “And this is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you”
    “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind and with all your strength’ and the second commandment is ‘love your neighbour as yourself’ on these handy all the law and the prophets”
    “Judge not, lest ye be judged”
    Those people seeking to exclude others from the fellowship of God on whatever grounds are thereby excluding themselves from the love of God. Those people who know that they are sinful and fall on God’s mercy (that is the rest of us) know we are accepted by God.
    All of us have been redeemed by God, whether we know it or not.

  • Pastor Philip

    Laura – my challenge is 1 Corinthians 5:9-11

  • Laura

    Interesting that you assume my gay friends are sexually immoral (I don’t get drunk or hang out with drunk people, btw). They are all Christians, most are celibate. They have all sought God diligently about their sexuality and how to best steward it.

  • Neil Bob

    If they are celibate, then they are fine. It’s action not attraction that is the issue. I don’t care if they are gay, straight or into furry animals. If they are straight and not married, then they are fine. if they are gay and not married to someone of the opposite sex (yes, a gay man and gay woman can marry each other. no one is stopping that). It’s action not attraction. Stay single and celibate.

  • jimfromcanada

    Being single does not necessarily mean you are celibate no matter your sexual orientation. “When a man looks at a woman lustfully, he has already committed adultery in his heart”
    We all are sinful, and no sin is worse than any other. The question is not the category of relationship, but the quality of relationship. How we act in our relationships with others is most important. Those of us in same sex relationships can be loving and kind, and those of us in heterosexual relationships can be cruel and exploitive

  • C.S. Lewis

    Whether or not you think they’re fine is irrelevant. I doubt very much they care what a hateful bigot thinks of them.

  • annette

    why would you even say that? Using words like hateful bigot is inflammatory and unnecessary. I really don’t understand how anyone would use words of this nature either to defend the christian faith or to argue against it – either way, it falls down because of your lack of grace. In fact, I find all of this article highly judgemental which apparently is the one thing that evangelicals – past and present are basically being accused of.

  • Paul Linxwiler

    To demand celibacy of others to simply to satisfy your view of what you consider to be a moral life seems a bit … controlling. Unchristian. If YOU feel that YOU should not engage in physical intimacy with someone of the same sex, then don’t do it. But you cannot hold someone else to that standard unless YOU are willing to abstain from physical intimacy from the person you love. Stop using biblical texts (or, rather, your misreading of them) to force other people to do what you want. Don’t quote Romans 1 to me unless you first live by what’s found in Roman 2.)

  • Neil Bob

    Look, you can make up what ever morals you want. That’s the beauty of living in a non-deterministic universe. But, if you want to say, that I live a christian life, then the morals are handed to you. So if your not married, what ever sex you have is fornication. It’s easy as that. Has nothing to do with Romans 1 and/or Romans 2. I was thinking along the lines of 1 Cor 7:1-2. It’s better for a man to not marry, but if he can’t control his passions. get married. Fine and dandy. If you want to have sex, get married. If you don’t want to get married, then don’t have sex. It’s not that hard.

  • Paul Linxwiler

    The solution is simple. Allow gay people to get married and the problem goes away. Straight or gay, you need to be married. Right?

  • TiggyTiger

    It’s not that easy either! I want to have sex but no one wants to marry me. It’s the same for many of my friends and we’re all getting on a bit now. So I think you should take up lifelong celibacy, just to show how easy it is and to show your moral authority to tell other people w hat to do.

  • Joshua Jeffery

    Laura, I think you just ran into some of those gate keepers the OP was writing about!

  • C.S. Lewis

    The only people without morals are those who expect gay people to give up their own happiness to satisfy a bigoted and outdated belief system.

  • johnnya

    Hey Laura, I am not sure if you will read this, being 2 days ago. I wanted to encourage you – I am really impressed with your statements, questions and unlike most posts here – willingness to review what you have written, in case it was taken or presented the wrong way. Wow! Well done, I am also impressed with your being on the cusp – “in the world and not of it”, walking with those, showing Christ’s love, forgiveness and His desire to give an abundant life to those very often shunned and sent underground. Thankyou! Thanks for not hiding behind some pious verse, but also for taking God’s word seriously as His Word and not adding changes or reverting to name calling. You are on the Right path – keep going.

  • Laura

    The fact that you took the time to write this is so kind. Thank you so much for the encouragement; you made my day.

  • Luke

    Wow, did you entirely miss the point of this post, the way that you have apparently entirely missed the point of the gospel?

  • http://tylorstandley.wordpress.com/ Tylor Standley

    If Rob Bell doesn’t resemble any Christian you’ve ever known, that says more about you than it does Rob Bell. His positions are not unheard of in the Christian community. I strongly encourage you to spend more time with brothers and sisters outside of your tradition and to read more widely. Once we can admit that those who disagree with us are fellow Christians, then we can have much more productive conversations with them.

  • superbrr

    I think you and others might be misunderstanding the “farewell” messages from the evangelicals you reference. Rather than prideful exclusivism, could it be that these leaders simply see the trajectory folks are on by their statements/beliefs? When a John Piper bids a Rob Bell “farewell” after Bell changes course on his theological position, a position that was once founded on Biblical revelation rather than human emotion, could it be that Piper simply sees where Bell’s priorities are and the road he is going down… which he thinks will lead him away from evangelicism? That’s how it took it anyway… and I don’t think I’m off the mark here. Within months of Bell changing positions on hell, Bell also changed positions on homosexuality, Scripture, and was cussing on a radio show. He didn’t resemble any kind of evangelical Christian I’ve ever known… he looked far more closely aligned with the world and it’s system.

  • Ryan

    …I really don’t see how that would change anything. There’s a reason why the slippery slope argument is a logical fallacy, and I don’t particularly see how saying “Farewell, because the trajectory you’re on could lead you out of evangelicalism” is any better than “Farewell, because you’ve left evangelicalism!”

    Actually, the second one is almost better. At least it’s just prideful exclusivism, rather than prideful exclusivism mixed with fortune telling.

  • jimfromcanada

    The evangelicalism that you speak of is not necessarily evangelical.

  • Laura

    He called something “bullshit”?! Oh no! He thought seriously about the Church’s Pharisaical mistreatment of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters?! I sure hope not! Meanwhile, John Piper is mysteriously silent when his ministry partners are sued for a massive sexual abuse cover-up. And Mark Driscoll uses unethical business practices, but its okay because he quasi-apologized on his blog after he was caught.

    If we truly love the Church and the God who ordained it, we need to do some thinking about what it means to “resemble any kind of evangelical Christian.” I don’t want to resemble the evangelical Christians who believe I no longer love Jesus because I voted for Obama, or who told me that my childhood abuse was, at least partially, my fault, or who called my friends “fags” as we were walking out of a Bible study. I don’t want to resemble evangelical Christians who withdrew support from starving children because they couldn’t trust a faith-based organization’s genuine pursuit of church unity.

    I don’t mean to imply that any of those I mentioned above are outside the fold. I know that they love Jesus. I know that they are my brothers and sisters. But almost every day, I feel the need to convince them that I, too, love Jesus. I cuss. I drink. I vote Democrat. I promote feminism. I hang out with gay people. And I love Jesus with everything I have. Do I resemble any kind of evangelical Christian you’ve ever known?

    The radical power of the Gospel is not it’s ability to create subcultures, but it’s capacity to transform and unite them. All too often, we use the phrase “in the world but not of the world” to justify our Christian litmus tests and to insulate ourselves from those that would cause us to question. That phrase, “in the world but not of it”, is paraphrased from John 17, in which Jesus prays for the future of the Church. Right below that verse, we see Jesus praying for the unity of His followers “that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me… so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” This, our unity, our shared communion, is what brings the world into belief. It’s a beautiful and sobering revelation– one that I all too often fail to grasp. I wonder what would happen if our Christian leaders stood up and said. “I think that man is wrong and I am one with him.” Or, “this woman has acted immorally and I trust that Jesus has redeemed her as my sister.” How different from the world and its “system” would we be then?

  • Dave

    The problem is that the Bible doesn’t support your sentiments.

    (1 John 2:3-6 ESV) “And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”

    How we live and even how we appear to others (based on our true actions), is a very important aspect, of genuine faith, to consider. There is not room in the gospel for a spirit of persisting sin identity as you suggest. I don’t know about you, but I want to be sure that I know him and he knows me.

    (Matthew 7:21-23 ESV) says “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”

    You started to say something true when you said “The radical power of the Gospel is not it’s ability to create subcultures, but it’s capacity to transform and unite them.” Tranforming culture (or people) means changing them to be like Christ. Without that ideal or goal, you become a house divided always. If you persist to tell me that you love Jesus, and then continually do something to communicate (by your actions to him) that you hate him, which do you think he’ll believe?

    Lastly, belief comes by hearing the word of God. Communion, and unity are environments that foster a spirit that testifies about having God in us. So we can’t just think “well, we’ll all get in a big room, not talk about anything that anybody chooses to do or believe” and think that what results from this is a desirable picture of unity in the church?

  • Laura

    To what “persisting sin identity” are you referring? I did not implicitly or explicitly state that it is acceptable to go around sinning without repentance. That would be heretical. What I did hope to point out is that Christians, and even evangelical Christians, might look very different from one another, even if we are all genuinely seeking God. Our faith is not measured by how much we look like evangelicals (not the same thing as looking like Jesus), but by how much we seek after God. The Matthew 7 passage is one I also read often. Here we have Jesus condemning those who appear righteous and yet whose hearts are not open to God. The longer we promote the idea that righteousness is acquired through fitting in with evangelical culture, the more danger we are in of losing our fearful love of God. We set up rules and boundaries because it’s easier to follow law than a person, especially when that person is God. That’s why my high school youth group leaders taught us that you actually cannot be a Christian and a democrat. Because it’s easier to say “I’m a Christian because I put myself in all these observable categories” than “I’m a Christian because I believe Jesus has transformed me; let me show you what that looks like.”

    And I am an evangelical. So of course “faith through hearing” is a well-known mantra. I don’t believe that people come to faith simply by observing Christian unity, nor do I believe we should just forgo theological debate. I do think it’s wrong to condemn fellow Christians because they disagree. We desperately need to trust each other and realize that God might speak truth in different ways through different people.

  • jimfromcanada

    “And this is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you”
    “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind and with all your strength’ and the second commandment is ‘love your neighbour as yourself’ on these handy all the law and the prophets”
    “Judge not, lest ye be judged”
    Those people seeking to exclude others from the fellowship of God on whatever grounds are thereby excluding themselves from the love of God. Those people who know that they are sinful and fall on God’s mercy (that is the rest of us) know we are accepted by God.
    All of us have been redeemed by God, whether we know it or not.

  • Pastor Philip

    Laura – my challenge is 1 Corinthians 5:9-11

  • Laura

    Interesting that you assume my gay friends are sexually immoral (I don’t get drunk or hang out with drunk people, btw). They are all Christians, most are celibate. They have all sought God diligently about their sexuality and how to best steward it.

  • Neil Bob

    If they are celibate, then they are fine. It’s action not attraction that is the issue. I don’t care if they are gay, straight or into furry animals. If they are straight and not married, then they are fine. if they are gay and not married to someone of the opposite sex (yes, a gay man and gay woman can marry each other. no one is stopping that). It’s action not attraction. Stay single and celibate.

  • jimfromcanada

    Being single does not necessarily mean you are celibate no matter your sexual orientation. “When a man looks at a woman lustfully, he has already committed adultery in his heart”
    We all are sinful, and no sin is worse than any other. The question is not the category of relationship, but the quality of relationship. How we act in our relationships with others is most important. Those of us in same sex relationships can be loving and kind, and those of us in heterosexual relationships can be cruel and exploitive

  • C.S. Lewis

    Whether or not you think they’re fine is irrelevant. I doubt very much they care what a hateful bigot thinks of them.

  • annette

    why would you even say that? Using words like hateful bigot is inflammatory and unnecessary. I really don’t understand how anyone would use words of this nature either to defend the christian faith or to argue against it – either way, it falls down because of your lack of grace. In fact, I find all of this article highly judgemental which apparently is the one thing that evangelicals – past and present are basically being accused of.

  • Paul Linxwiler

    To demand celibacy of others to simply to satisfy your view of what you consider to be a moral life seems a bit … controlling. Unchristian. If YOU feel that YOU should not engage in physical intimacy with someone of the same sex, then don’t do it. But you cannot hold someone else to that standard unless YOU are willing to abstain from physical intimacy from the person you love. Stop using biblical texts (or, rather, your misreading of them) to force other people to do what you want. Don’t quote Romans 1 to me unless you first live by what’s found in Roman 2.)

  • Neil Bob

    Look, you can make up what ever morals you want. That’s the beauty of living in a non-deterministic universe. But, if you want to say, that I live a christian life, then the morals are handed to you. So if your not married, what ever sex you have is fornication. It’s easy as that. Has nothing to do with Romans 1 and/or Romans 2. I was thinking along the lines of 1 Cor 7:1-2. It’s better for a man to not marry, but if he can’t control his passions. get married. Fine and dandy. If you want to have sex, get married. If you don’t want to get married, then don’t have sex. It’s not that hard.

  • Paul Linxwiler

    The solution is simple. Allow gay people to get married and the problem goes away. Straight or gay, you need to be married. Right?

  • TiggyTiger

    It’s not that easy either! I want to have sex but no one wants to marry me. It’s the same for many of my friends and we’re all getting on a bit now. So I think you should take up lifelong celibacy, just to show how easy it is and to show your moral authority to tell other people w hat to do.

  • Joshua Jeffery

    Laura, I think you just ran into some of those gate keepers the OP was writing about!

  • C.S. Lewis

    The only people without morals are those who expect gay people to give up their own happiness to satisfy a bigoted and outdated belief system.

  • johnnya

    Hey Laura, I am not sure if you will read this, being 2 days ago. I wanted to encourage you – I am really impressed with your statements, questions and unlike most posts here – willingness to review what you have written, in case it was taken or presented the wrong way. Wow! Well done, I am also impressed with your being on the cusp – “in the world and not of it”, walking with those, showing Christ’s love, forgiveness and His desire to give an abundant life to those very often shunned and sent underground. Thankyou! Thanks for not hiding behind some pious verse, but also for taking God’s word seriously as His Word and not adding changes or reverting to name calling. You are on the Right path – keep going.

  • Laura

    The fact that you took the time to write this is so kind. Thank you so much for the encouragement; you made my day.

  • Luke

    Wow, did you entirely miss the point of this post, the way that you have apparently entirely missed the point of the gospel?

  • http://tylorstandley.wordpress.com/ Tylor Standley

    If Rob Bell doesn’t resemble any Christian you’ve ever known, that says more about you than it does Rob Bell. His positions are not unheard of in the Christian community. I strongly encourage you to spend more time with brothers and sisters outside of your tradition and to read more widely. Once we can admit that those who disagree with us are fellow Christians, then we can have much more productive conversations with them.

  • Dwayne Armes

    Israel always wanted a king – we have evolved way past that, we seek a system. We, as they, stand guilty of too often looking past the Savior.
    Someone once told me, “You’ll never find the perfect denomination – but, even if you did, the minute you join it won’t be perfect anymore .”
    (Don’t know if they were presenting a principle or ruling on my character.)
    Press on brother. :-)

  • Dwayne Armes

    Israel always wanted a king – we have evolved way past that, we seek a system. We, as they, stand guilty of too often looking past the Savior.
    Someone once told me, “You’ll never find the perfect denomination – but, even if you did, the minute you join it won’t be perfect anymore .”
    (Don’t know if they were presenting a principle or ruling on my character.)
    Press on brother. :-)

  • Brian P.

    Andy, um, you’re just not getting how Evangelicalism works…

  • Brian P.

    Andy, um, you’re just not getting how Evangelicalism works…

  • Timothy Arnold

    “Evangelicals” are following men (priests?) who define what you must believe to be an “Evangelical.” Unfortunately, there is not a single mention of an “evangelical” anywhere in the scriptures. Why can’t we all just be Christians as the first followers of the Way were called. Before the simple message and example of worship was hijacked and perverted. If you “Evangelicals” spent a fraction of the energy from arguing over what your priests believe on actually evangelizing, you just might lead a lost soul to Christ. And I pray you will find that believers are Christians and nothing else. When you belong to Christ you don’t need anyone elses name.

  • Tommy Mann

    Why is it that you are allowed to spend energy arguing with evangelicals (while you could be leading the lost to Christ), but evangelicals cannot argue with each other?

  • Timothy Arnold

    You’re not arguing about how to save the lost. You’re arguing over who is in the Evangelical club. The scrpitures are clear about what it takes to be a Christian and that’s all that matters.

  • Tommy Mann

    What? When did I argue that? All I did was ask a question?
    You are assuming a lot about me. I hated this post and didn’t argue to support it. I just noticed your double standard with the “don’t waste time arguing” while you argued.

  • anonymous

    Tommy are you slow. He was making a comment,not specifically talking about you.

  • Tommy Mann

    I must be slow. The fact that he said “you’re” twice must have thrown me off. Are you actually talking to me, or was that just a comment?

  • Justin

    I used to go to an “evangelical” church and all they do is argue about who is “in”. I remember one service where a guest preacher stated “The only way for anyone in this community to truly be a Christian is by coming to this church!” The problem with this is that there were 4 churches in the community at the time.

    All the evangelical church is about is promoting itself at the expense of other Christians. It’s a business, not a faith.

  • LITTLE MISS MUFFET

    Amen brother Jesus said HE was the rock and that was what he bases as believers should follow HIM

  • ExRev

    There we’re many fractions in the early church too. Even Peter and Paul had serious issues.

  • Anonymous

    I understand where you’re coming from, and you make a great point but I just want to point out that there is some need for scrutinizing over theology. Not to a divisive or hateful degree (unless necessary over a large issue), but to the degree that we are being truthful to the scriptures and the truth we have, not believing in error. Because all doctrine affects other doctrine, if you believe one thing concerning an issue, it could logically progress to a conclusion that isn’t true.

  • Timothy Arnold

    “Evangelicals” are following men (priests?) who define what you must believe to be an “Evangelical.” Unfortunately, there is not a single mention of an “evangelical” anywhere in the scriptures. Why can’t we all just be Christians as the first followers of the Way were called. Before the simple message and example of worship was hijacked and perverted. If you “Evangelicals” spent a fraction of the energy from arguing over what your priests believe on actually evangelizing, you just might lead a lost soul to Christ. And I pray you will find that believers are Christians and nothing else. When you belong to Christ you don’t need anyone elses name.

  • Tommy Mann

    Why is it that you are allowed to spend energy arguing with evangelicals (while you could be leading the lost to Christ), but evangelicals cannot argue with each other?

  • Timothy Arnold

    You’re not arguing about how to save the lost. You’re arguing over who is in the Evangelical club. The scrpitures are clear about what it takes to be a Christian and that’s all that matters.

  • Tommy Mann

    What? When did I argue that? All I did was ask a question?
    You are assuming a lot about me. I hated this post and didn’t argue to support it. I just noticed your double standard with the “don’t waste time arguing” while you argued.

  • anonymous

    Tommy are you slow. He was making a comment,not specifically talking about you.

  • Tommy Mann

    I must be slow. The fact that he said “you’re” twice must have thrown me off. Are you actually talking to me, or was that just a comment?

  • Justin

    I used to go to an “evangelical” church and all they do is argue about who is “in”. I remember one service where a guest preacher stated “The only way for anyone in this community to truly be a Christian is by coming to this church!” The problem with this is that there were 4 churches in the community at the time.

    All the evangelical church is about is promoting itself at the expense of other Christians. It’s a business, not a faith.

  • LITTLE MISS MUFFET

    Amen brother Jesus said HE was the rock and that was what he bases as believers should follow HIM

  • ExRev

    There we’re many fractions in the early church too. Even Peter and Paul had serious issues.

  • Anonymous

    I understand where you’re coming from, and you make a great point but I just want to point out that there is some need for scrutinizing over theology. Not to a divisive or hateful degree (unless necessary over a large issue), but to the degree that we are being truthful to the scriptures and the truth we have, not believing in error. Because all doctrine affects other doctrine, if you believe one thing concerning an issue, it could logically progress to a conclusion that isn’t true.

  • Krivaten

    Indeed the key point of this article is the first line. What does it mean to be “evangelical (which may be a bit misleading to untrained Christians)?”

    I am a reformed, very theologically conservative Christian, but the term “evangelical” rubs me the same way as phrases like “seeker sensitive” or “hyper-charismatic.”

    That being said, I think the question that should be asked is, “what does it mean to be Christian?” The Bible gives us pretty firm guidelines in the primaries and freedom in the secondaries and tertiaries. Innerrancy and Young Earth Creationism are open handed though important. Annhilationism is a dangerous position depending on how it impacts your evangelism tactic. But Inclusivism and Universalism are quite different issues; apart from being wrong, they will likely impact your sense of urgency in preaching Christ.

    The Gospel as preached by Christ is what saves. If you are not proclaiming that, and don’t feel a need to, you may need to check what you ‘label’ yourself as.

  • Kevin Thomas

    I resolve to know nothing but Christ crucified–Paul

  • http://tylorstandley.wordpress.com/ Tylor Standley

    Billy Graham is an inclusivist. Can you think of anyone with a greater “sense of urgency in preaching Christ”?

  • Scott

    Thank you Krivaten.

  • Krivaten

    I will admit I don’t know much about Graham, but if he is preaching something other than Christ and Christ alone, then that message he is urgently preaching is not the Gospel, regardless of his intelligence, wisdom and humility.

  • hurlco

    How ’bout…what does it mean to be a disciple?

  • Krivaten

    Indeed the key point of this article is the first line. What does it mean to be “evangelical (which may be a bit misleading to untrained Christians)?”

    I am a reformed, very theologically conservative Christian, but the term “evangelical” rubs me the same way as phrases like “seeker sensitive” or “hyper-charismatic.”

    That being said, I think the question that should be asked is, “what does it mean to be Christian?” The Bible gives us pretty firm guidelines in the primaries and freedom in the secondaries and tertiaries. Innerrancy and Young Earth Creationism are open handed though important. Annhilationism is a dangerous position depending on how it impacts your evangelism tactic. But Inclusivism and Universalism are quite different issues; apart from being wrong, they will likely impact your sense of urgency in preaching Christ.

    The Gospel as preached by Christ is what saves. If you are not proclaiming that, and don’t feel a need to, you may need to check what you ‘label’ yourself as.

  • Kevin Thomas

    I resolve to know nothing but Christ crucified–Paul

  • http://tylorstandley.wordpress.com/ Tylor Standley

    Billy Graham is an inclusivist. Can you think of anyone with a greater “sense of urgency in preaching Christ”?

  • Scott

    Thank you Krivaten.

  • Krivaten

    I will admit I don’t know much about Graham, but if he is preaching something other than Christ and Christ alone, then that message he is urgently preaching is not the Gospel, regardless of his intelligence, wisdom and humility.

  • hurlco

    How ’bout…what does it mean to be a disciple?

  • http://www.honza.ca/ Honza Pokorny

    Lol if you think fiction can be used to determine someone’s doctrinal beliefs. And lol if you think that penal substitutionary atonement is a theory.

  • Kevin Thomas

    Christus Victor my brother….Christus Victor…

  • Luke

    Why don’t you research Lewis’ beliefs yourself? You may be sorely disappointed.

  • http://www.honza.ca/ Honza Pokorny

    Lol if you think fiction can be used to determine someone’s doctrinal beliefs. And lol if you think that penal substitutionary atonement is a theory.

  • Kevin Thomas

    Christus Victor my brother….Christus Victor…

  • Luke

    Why don’t you research Lewis’ beliefs yourself? You may be sorely disappointed.

  • fish

    Oh lord you are a tool

  • fish

    Oh lord you are a tool

  • Steve

    For me there is a fault in not defining ”evangelicalism.” This term is continually evolving. What it means today is not what it meant 10, 20 even 30 years ago. Who it includes today, may be broader than it was 30 years ago. If one does not know a fame of reference how can one even comment. For me, I reject the term evangelical, I would rather have another term identify myself like. I would rather people ask of me, Hey, Is Steve Biblical in what he says and teaches?
    Also, you know there is the illustration of those who search out counterfeit currency. They study the real thing to know it to the touch, color, print, etc. then they easily spot the false by the same criteria. When you find the counterfeit, you don’t need to cry, you just lay it aside and don’t use it. No crime in that, no attack on a person. no criticism of being a ”gate-keeper’.’, no tarnish on ones own character.

    But there is another very important issue being addressed here.
    I think a Pastor has the Bibical authority to warn his flock of teaching from individuals which may not square with the doctrinal position of his local church. In fact, the Apostle Paul instructs this the the work of the pastor. That is really what the term in ”bishop” means in 1 Tim 3. It means to keep watch over the flock to protect them from danger. The pastor can give warnings of the danger of the teachings or the practices of another teacher-preacher without making an attack on the person’s character and without making judgement as to whether or not the person is saved. Recently, I a theological work was given to all of my students as a gift. I received it myself from a pastor in 2010. I read the work over a period of two years, from cover to cover looking up 75% of the verses he cites using on the internet. I want to be able to give my students an opposing opinion. Am I then a ”gatekeeper.” According this guy, YES. I should keep my mouth shut. Yet, the writer has about a 35 page spread supporting the day-age theory of Gen 1. Ok so I can comment on why I would disagree with his conclusions and all of his argument without condemning him to hell. Therein is the fallacy. Dialogue and communication is good, even for opposing views. Now, would I send a student to study under this very popular theologian, It depends on the student, some in my flock may be able to handle him and some may not. But as Pastor, that is my Biblical mandated role for my local church. Anyone who would disagree needs to go back and study, Bishop, pastor , elder and find out what God says about it.

  • Steve

    For me there is a fault in not defining ”evangelicalism.” This term is continually evolving. What it means today is not what it meant 10, 20 even 30 years ago. Who it includes today, may be broader than it was 30 years ago. If one does not know a fame of reference how can one even comment. For me, I reject the term evangelical, I would rather have another term identify myself like. I would rather people ask of me, Hey, Is Steve Biblical in what he says and teaches?
    Also, you know there is the illustration of those who search out counterfeit currency. They study the real thing to know it to the touch, color, print, etc. then they easily spot the false by the same criteria. When you find the counterfeit, you don’t need to cry, you just lay it aside and don’t use it. No crime in that, no attack on a person. no criticism of being a ”gate-keeper’.’, no tarnish on ones own character.

    But there is another very important issue being addressed here.
    I think a Pastor has the Bibical authority to warn his flock of teaching from individuals which may not square with the doctrinal position of his local church. In fact, the Apostle Paul instructs this the the work of the pastor. That is really what the term in ”bishop” means in 1 Tim 3. It means to keep watch over the flock to protect them from danger. The pastor can give warnings of the danger of the teachings or the practices of another teacher-preacher without making an attack on the person’s character and without making judgement as to whether or not the person is saved. Recently, I a theological work was given to all of my students as a gift. I received it myself from a pastor in 2010. I read the work over a period of two years, from cover to cover looking up 75% of the verses he cites using on the internet. I want to be able to give my students an opposing opinion. Am I then a ”gatekeeper.” According this guy, YES. I should keep my mouth shut. Yet, the writer has about a 35 page spread supporting the day-age theory of Gen 1. Ok so I can comment on why I would disagree with his conclusions and all of his argument without condemning him to hell. Therein is the fallacy. Dialogue and communication is good, even for opposing views. Now, would I send a student to study under this very popular theologian, It depends on the student, some in my flock may be able to handle him and some may not. But as Pastor, that is my Biblical mandated role for my local church. Anyone who would disagree needs to go back and study, Bishop, pastor , elder and find out what God says about it.

  • Steve

    For me there is a fault in not defining ”evangelicalism.” This term is continually evolving. What it means today is not what it meant 10, 20 even 30 years ago. Who it includes today, may be broader than it was 30 years ago. If one does not know a fame of reference how can one even comment. For me, I reject the term evangelical, I would rather have another term identify myself like. I would rather people ask of me, Hey, Is Steve Biblical in what he says and teaches?
    Also, you know there is the illustration of those who search out counterfeit currency. They study the real thing to know it to the touch, color, print, etc. then they easily spot the false by the same criteria. When you find the counterfeit, you don’t need to cry, you just lay it aside and don’t use it. No crime in that, no attack on a person. no criticism of being a ”gate-keeper’.’, no tarnish on ones own character.

    But there is another very important issue being addressed here.
    I think a Pastor has the Bibical authority to warn his flock of teaching from individuals which may not square with the doctrinal position of his local church. In fact, the Apostle Paul instructs this the the work of the pastor. That is really what the term in ”bishop” means in 1 Tim 3. It means to keep watch over the flock to protect them from danger. The pastor can give warnings of the danger of the teachings or the practices of another teacher-preacher without making an attack on the person’s character and without making judgement as to whether or not the person is saved. Recently, I a theological work was given to all of my students as a gift. I received it myself from a pastor in 2010. I read the work over a period of two years, from cover to cover looking up 75% of the verses he cites using on the internet. I want to be able to give my students an opposing opinion. Am I then a ”gatekeeper.” According this guy, YES. I should keep my mouth shut. Yet, the writer has about a 35 page spread supporting the day-age theory of Gen 1. Ok so I can comment on why I would disagree with his conclusions and all of his argument without condemning him to hell. Therein is the fallacy. Dialogue and communication is good, even for opposing views. Now, would I send a student to study under this very popular theologian, It depends on the student, some in my flock may be able to handle him and some may not. But as Pastor, that is my Biblical mandated role for my local church. Anyone who would disagree needs to go back and study, Bishop, pastor , elder and find out what God says about it.

  • robbwebster

    By whose authority have you been given to call anyone a “heretic” or to decide who is or is not an evangelical? According to the common definition of an evangelical Christian none of the people you mentioned would be excluded or considered a “heretic.” But, YOU would be for your lack of accepting the diversity of what they believe. Do you actually understand what each believe. I don’t think so because you are not even calling it by the correct theological names. You might want to do some better research and revisit your list after.

  • Dennis Hodges

    Did you just skip the article and go straight to the names listed, or did you manage to miss the tone (and whole point) of the entire thing?

    Dennis Hodges

  • robbwebster

    By whose authority have you been given to call anyone a “heretic” or to decide who is or is not an evangelical? According to the common definition of an evangelical Christian none of the people you mentioned would be excluded or considered a “heretic.” But, YOU would be for your lack of accepting the diversity of what they believe. Do you actually understand what each believe. I don’t think so because you are not even calling it by the correct theological names. You might want to do some better research and revisit your list after.

  • Dennis Hodges

    Did you just skip the article and go straight to the names listed, or did you manage to miss the tone (and whole point) of the entire thing?

    Dennis Hodges

  • toujoursdan

    It’s a bit ironic that a movement (evangelicalism) that began by questioning traditional interpretations of scripture and dissenting from the Catholic establishment in favour of soul freedom (following conscience) and interpretative freedom (every believer can interpret scripture for themselves without the need for a magisterium), has come full circle and become the establishment that attempts to quash those historic freedoms and advocates banning people.

    It’s a big reason why I no longer call myself an evangelical and await the next reformation.

  • ssevce .

    Find out which Church Jesus established and start there.

  • D
  • Dan

    You use Wikipedia to prove your point…that’s laughable…

  • carolb12

    Dan–you are always so wise!

  • Ron_S_D

    Great reply!

  • Jon Herrin

    Touché!

  • yru

    Great analysis of how things have come full circle. Besides Animal Farm I would recommend Bart Ehrman ‘ s Mis quoting Jesus which outlines the history and development of the cannon of Scripture, demonstrating the scripture is full of copy errors and was even rewritten to support major doctrines like the trinity. Ehrman is not a Catholic but his research supports the importance of a magisterium.

  • John

    2 Peter 1:20, the scriptures have never been open to “interpretive freedom”. This “freedom” has led to myriad false teachings by everyone listed above. So yes, every one mentioned should be rejected as a teacher of the gospel due to their rejection of the truth of the whole Word of God. Even with a tongue-in-cheek article, you’ve shown clearly the false teachings of several whom the establishment holds dear.

  • melisaurus

    The Lord is longsuffering [patient] toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should ‘come to repentance’ .” (2 Peter 3:9) This definitely supports an all inclusive view. Is it really that clear?

  • toujoursdan

    It’s a bit ironic that a movement (evangelicalism) that began by questioning traditional interpretations of scripture and dissenting from the Catholic establishment in favour of soul freedom (following conscience) and interpretative freedom (every believer can interpret scripture for themselves without the need for a magisterium), has come full circle and become the establishment that attempts to quash those historic freedoms and advocates banning people.

    It’s a big reason why I no longer call myself an evangelical and await the next reformation.

  • ssevce .

    Find out which Church Jesus established and start there.

  • D
  • Dan

    You use Wikipedia to prove your point…that’s laughable…

  • carolb12

    Dan–you are always so wise!

  • Ron_S_D

    Great reply!

  • Jon Herrin

    Touché!

  • yru

    Great analysis of how things have come full circle. Besides Animal Farm I would recommend Bart Ehrman ‘ s Mis quoting Jesus which outlines the history and development of the cannon of Scripture, demonstrating the scripture is full of copy errors and was even rewritten to support major doctrines like the trinity. Ehrman is not a Catholic but his research supports the importance of a magisterium.

  • John

    2 Peter 1:20, the scriptures have never been open to “interpretive freedom”. This “freedom” has led to myriad false teachings by everyone listed above. So yes, every one mentioned should be rejected as a teacher of the gospel due to their rejection of the truth of the whole Word of God. Even with a tongue-in-cheek article, you’ve shown clearly the false teachings of several whom the establishment holds dear.

  • melisaurus

    The Lord is longsuffering [patient] toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should ‘come to repentance’ .” (2 Peter 3:9) This definitely supports an all inclusive view. Is it really that clear?

  • http://www.missiodeinavarre.org Outreachman

    The Word of God speaks for itself and speaks only truth. All men and women speak from a place of influence, influences from the world, education, and viewpoints, some theory and some fact; yet all open to interpretation. Anytime we as humans offer our opinion as fact and truth and it differs from the Word we place ourselves in a very dangerous position. Ours is not an opinion or a position that has few consequences, but rather our opinions and interpretations bare eternal consequences for fellow humans. Anytime someone chooses to make the Word of God anything less than inspired by God 2 Timothy 3:16-17 we discount the entire Word. Now you may reject my statement an think I am giving my opinion, however to that I would say, Read the Word! The choice truly is simple, if you choose to believe or “pisteuo” which means “to trust in, have faith in, be fully convinced of, acknowledge, rely on.” then you choose to do just that and accept that the Word is true. If you have a problem with this belief then you have a problem with God’s Word and that is something you can take up with Him. For you see He alone is the one who knows the truth and when we stray form his Word we walk in danger of heresy, not a place I for one choose to be. I close with this: when people teach on an ongoing basis anything that contradicts the word, we true believers must choose not to stand with them, and should never defend them.

  • Luke

    Only problem is that the Bible is NOT the Word.. It is a book made up of many different original writings, all of those writings having been written by men, translated by men, and compiled by men.

  • http://www.missiodeinavarre.org Outreachman

    Luke it is a shame that you and so many others serve a God so small that He cannot control man’s actions. Yes you are correct that men compiled the Holy Spirit inspired writings of the Bible, and the God I serve is big enough to see that what was compiled and translated was exactly what He wanted. When you say the Bible is not the Word of God you sir are truly sadly mistaken and have no hope as a result. If a man cannot believe that God is sovereign then he cannot have hope. If God is subject to man’s control then he is a powerless god nothing more than a deity. It takes faith to believe in the God I Am, and in t Jesus Christ as the Son and Savior, and without faith it is impossible to please God. The question is: do you and others hopelessly lost because of your beliefs want to have faith, or not?

  • Luke

    Reading through the Bible, looking at the history of the church, and even observing the world today, it is abundantly clear to me that God is not in the business of controlling man’s actions. You can continue to believe this, despite the fact that even the Bible (with which you’ve apparently supplanted Christ) overwhelming paints a picture of a God who is not in the business of controlling man, and I promise to never call you “hopelessly lost”. As a disciple of Christ, I would appreciate the same level of respect from you.

  • http://www.missiodeinavarre.org Outreachman

    The Word of God speaks for itself and speaks only truth. All men and women speak from a place of influence, influences from the world, education, and viewpoints, some theory and some fact; yet all open to interpretation. Anytime we as humans offer our opinion as fact and truth and it differs from the Word we place ourselves in a very dangerous position. Ours is not an opinion or a position that has few consequences, but rather our opinions and interpretations bare eternal consequences for fellow humans. Anytime someone chooses to make the Word of God anything less than inspired by God 2 Timothy 3:16-17 we discount the entire Word. Now you may reject my statement an think I am giving my opinion, however to that I would say, Read the Word! The choice truly is simple, if you choose to believe or “pisteuo” which means “to trust in, have faith in, be fully convinced of, acknowledge, rely on.” then you choose to do just that and accept that the Word is true. If you have a problem with this belief then you have a problem with God’s Word and that is something you can take up with Him. For you see He alone is the one who knows the truth and when we stray form his Word we walk in danger of heresy, not a place I for one choose to be. I close with this: when people teach on an ongoing basis anything that contradicts the word, we true believers must choose not to stand with them, and should never defend them.

  • Luke

    Only problem is that the Bible is NOT the Word.. It is a book made up of many different original writings, all of those writings having been written by men, translated by men, and compiled by men.

  • http://www.missiodeinavarre.org Outreachman

    Luke it is a shame that you and so many others serve a God so small that He cannot control man’s actions. Yes you are correct that men compiled the Holy Spirit inspired writings of the Bible, and the God I serve is big enough to see that what was compiled and translated was exactly what He wanted. When you say the Bible is not the Word of God you sir are truly sadly mistaken and have no hope as a result. If a man cannot believe that God is sovereign then he cannot have hope. If God is subject to man’s control then he is a powerless god nothing more than a deity. It takes faith to believe in the God I Am, and in t Jesus Christ as the Son and Savior, and without faith it is impossible to please God. The question is: do you and others hopelessly lost because of your beliefs want to have faith, or not?

  • Luke

    Reading through the Bible, looking at the history of the church, and even observing the world today, it is abundantly clear to me that God is not in the business of controlling man’s actions. You can continue to believe this, despite the fact that even the Bible (with which you’ve apparently supplanted Christ) overwhelming paints a picture of a God who is not in the business of controlling man, and I promise to never call you “hopelessly lost”. As a disciple of Christ, I would appreciate the same level of respect from you.

  • http://atlantarofters.blogspot.com/ The Sanity Inspector

    It is my belief, as a friendly neutral in all such high and ghostlymatters, that the body of doctrine known as Modernism is completely
    incompatible, not only with anything rationally describable as
    Christianity, but also with anything deserving to pass as religion in
    general. Religion, if it is to retain any genuine significance, can never
    be reduced to a series of sweet attitudes, possible to anyone not actually
    in jail for felony. It is, on the contrary, a corpus of powerful and
    profound convictions, many of them not open to logical analysis. . . .What
    the Modernists have done . . . [is] to get rid of all the logical
    difficulties of religion, and yet preserve a generally pious cast of mind.
    It is a vain enterprise. What they have left, once they have achieved
    their imprudent scavenging, is hardly more than a row of hollow
    platitudes, as empty [of] psychological force and effect as so many
    nursery rhymes. . . . Religion is something else again-in Henrik Ibsen’s
    phrase, something far more deep-down-diving and mud-upbringing. Dr. Machen
    tried to impress that obvious fact upon his fellow adherents of the Geneva
    Muhammad [i.e., Calvin]. He failed-but he was undoubtedly right.– H. L.
    Mencken, “Dr. Fundamentalis”, an obituary of Rev. J. Gresham Machen,
    Baltimore Evening Sun (January 18, 1937), 2nd Section, p. 15.

  • http://atlantarofters.blogspot.com/ The Sanity Inspector

    It is my belief, as a friendly neutral in all such high and ghostlymatters, that the body of doctrine known as Modernism is completely
    incompatible, not only with anything rationally describable as
    Christianity, but also with anything deserving to pass as religion in
    general. Religion, if it is to retain any genuine significance, can never
    be reduced to a series of sweet attitudes, possible to anyone not actually
    in jail for felony. It is, on the contrary, a corpus of powerful and
    profound convictions, many of them not open to logical analysis. . . .What
    the Modernists have done . . . [is] to get rid of all the logical
    difficulties of religion, and yet preserve a generally pious cast of mind.
    It is a vain enterprise. What they have left, once they have achieved
    their imprudent scavenging, is hardly more than a row of hollow
    platitudes, as empty [of] psychological force and effect as so many
    nursery rhymes. . . . Religion is something else again-in Henrik Ibsen’s
    phrase, something far more deep-down-diving and mud-upbringing. Dr. Machen
    tried to impress that obvious fact upon his fellow adherents of the Geneva
    Muhammad [i.e., Calvin]. He failed-but he was undoubtedly right.– H. L.
    Mencken, “Dr. Fundamentalis”, an obituary of Rev. J. Gresham Machen,
    Baltimore Evening Sun (January 18, 1937), 2nd Section, p. 15.

  • Edward King

    Our eyes need to be solely on JESUS not on others faults so your fault finding these mostly dead people just shows your focus is off Jesus and thus your eye is not single and thus like Peter on the water you are probably sinking- the spirit of the world is to be a fault finder- FOCUS on Jesus not peopleEdward KING

  • Edward King

    Our eyes need to be solely on JESUS not on others faults so your fault finding these mostly dead people just shows your focus is off Jesus and thus your eye is not single and thus like Peter on the water you are probably sinking- the spirit of the world is to be a fault finder- FOCUS on Jesus not peopleEdward KING

  • Juan Castillo

    Great post! I was particularly shocked at Martin Luther’s rejection of Biblical innerancy. But a great point to highlight. Exclusivity is dangerous. In fact, didn’t the pharisees partake in this exclusive mindset? Good job! Thank you for the post :)

  • Juan Castillo

    Great post! I was particularly shocked at Martin Luther’s rejection of Biblical innerancy. But a great point to highlight. Exclusivity is dangerous. In fact, didn’t the pharisees partake in this exclusive mindset? Good job! Thank you for the post :)

  • Lee Karl Palo

    Well said Tylor!

  • Lee Karl Palo

    Well said Tylor!

  • Thomas Haviland-Pabst

    To clarify, though, Calvin didn’t approve of the burning of heretics at the stake, rather, he advocated for a lesser punishment (i.e., hanging). Now, maybe this kind of sentiment still is utterly disgusting, but one has to recognize that he was of the same mind as all of his contemporaries. They were still living in a Medieval understanding where the church and state were one entity, and so, it was the duty of the state to defend the purity of the church — by capital punishment if necessary.

  • Thomas Haviland-Pabst

    To clarify, though, Calvin didn’t approve of the burning of heretics at the stake, rather, he advocated for a lesser punishment (i.e., hanging). Now, maybe this kind of sentiment still is utterly disgusting, but one has to recognize that he was of the same mind as all of his contemporaries. They were still living in a Medieval understanding where the church and state were one entity, and so, it was the duty of the state to defend the purity of the church — by capital punishment if necessary.

  • BigDumbWhiteGuy

    So I get it.. .Because other humans are fallen and imperfect we shouldn’t try to hold people to a biblical standard and trust the scripture at its word. I prefer Matt 7:14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

  • Luke

    “we shouldn’t try to hold people to a biblical standard” – I don’t remember this being central to what Christ taught us. I think you should try accepting other sinners where they are, loving them, and walking with them through the long, slow process of transformation.

  • http://austacular.com/blog Austin Franklin Thomas

    yeah cuz that’s what he said.

  • BigDumbWhiteGuy

    So I get it.. .Because other humans are fallen and imperfect we shouldn’t try to hold people to a biblical standard and trust the scripture at its word. I prefer Matt 7:14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

  • Luke

    “we shouldn’t try to hold people to a biblical standard” – I don’t remember this being central to what Christ taught us. I think you should try accepting other sinners where they are, loving them, and walking with them through the long, slow process of transformation.

  • http://austacular.com/blog Austin Franklin Thomas

    yeah cuz that’s what he said.

  • Thomas Haviland-Pabst

    Also, please read this article defending Graham against charges of heresy.

    http://www.ukapologetics.net/11/graham.htm

  • Nick117

    And of course Andy, your theology is perfect? right? I know I will be harsh, but get a life. This is pure sensationalism hoping you get some hits on your post. Nobody’s theology is perfect, otherwise we would all follow the same theology, and in the end, it’s Christ we follow, not mens. I give you a big 1 star out of 5 on this useless post. With love, grow up.

  • http://austacular.com/blog Austin Franklin Thomas

    yeah cuz he mentioned his theology at all.

  • Whiningmachine

    Lol. Troll.

  • Nick117

    How am I a troll? I love when people advance something without saying why, useless comment. Next time, try to defend your position.

  • Guest

    Ok I admit to be wrong here and it’s my bad, on my iphone, the disqus part came quick after Billy Graham and I didn’t saw is conclusion, based on that, I thought there was no point at all on this article, which is wrong since the conclusion said it all. My bad

  • hurlco

    That’s how you work a 10th Step. Bravo Guest!

  • Thomas Haviland-Pabst

    Also, please read this article defending Graham against charges of heresy.

    http://www.ukapologetics.net/11/graham.htm

  • Nick117

    And of course Andy, your theology is perfect? right? I know I will be harsh, but get a life. This is pure sensationalism hoping you get some hits on your post. Nobody’s theology is perfect, otherwise we would all follow the same theology, and in the end, it’s Christ we follow, not mens. I give you a big 1 star out of 5 on this useless post. With love, grow up.

  • http://austacular.com/blog Austin Franklin Thomas

    yeah cuz he mentioned his theology at all.

  • Whiningmachine

    Lol. Troll.

  • Nick117

    How am I a troll? I love when people advance something without saying why, useless comment. Next time, try to defend your position.

  • Guest

    Ok I admit to be wrong here and it’s my bad, on my iphone, the disqus part came quick after Billy Graham and I didn’t saw is conclusion, based on that, I thought there was no point at all on this article, which is wrong since the conclusion said it all. My bad

  • hurlco

    That’s how you work a 10th Step. Bravo Guest!

  • peaceloveespn

    I know you’re trying to be all kumbaya and “let’s give everyone a chance and forgiveness,” and I do not disagree with you on your final point at all, but it took me so long to get there because I am so hung up on your opening rhetorical questions. Where did those even come from? And who said that’s what you need to believe to be a Christian who proclaims Christ? You’re so “sola scriptora” but I feel like you just made those statements completely up. To evangelize is to be one who spreads the good news! Not one who sits and argues over if “yom” in Genesis meant 24 hours or if it means a passage of time.

    (And by the way, Genesis 2:19-20 very clearly said that Adam was brought every single living animal and named them before God made Eve, and if you think he was able to do that in 24 hours, then more power to ya. And that’s just my argument for your first point, don’t even get me started on the rest…)

    Also. Your #2 “to the dismay of every Calvinist” statement… I don’t know who lied to you, but Luther and Calvin weren’t buddies. They actually totally disagreed with each other, and Luther called himself Catholic until his death. And #3, Saint Augustine said a whole lot about Mary that I’m sure you don’t agree with.

  • peaceloveespn

    I know you’re trying to be all kumbaya and “let’s give everyone a chance and forgiveness,” and I do not disagree with you on your final point at all, but it took me so long to get there because I am so hung up on your opening rhetorical questions. Where did those even come from? And who said that’s what you need to believe to be a Christian who proclaims Christ? You’re so “sola scriptora” but I feel like you just made those statements completely up. To evangelize is to be one who spreads the good news! Not one who sits and argues over if “yom” in Genesis meant 24 hours or if it means a passage of time.

    (And by the way, Genesis 2:19-20 very clearly said that Adam was brought every single living animal and named them before God made Eve, and if you think he was able to do that in 24 hours, then more power to ya. And that’s just my argument for your first point, don’t even get me started on the rest…)

    Also. Your #2 “to the dismay of every Calvinist” statement… I don’t know who lied to you, but Luther and Calvin weren’t buddies. They actually totally disagreed with each other, and Luther called himself Catholic until his death. And #3, Saint Augustine said a whole lot about Mary that I’m sure you don’t agree with.

  • Kelsey

    You are awesome! Love this post. Love you pointing out the hypocrisy of who the Evangelical church chooses to demonize. I am so tired of the Evangelical church. Jesus would be too. Quoting Carl Medearis, “Let’s burn all the heretics at the stake, just as Jesus would have done.”

  • Kelsey

    You are awesome! Love this post. Love you pointing out the hypocrisy of who the Evangelical church chooses to demonize. I am so tired of the Evangelical church. Jesus would be too. Quoting Carl Medearis, “Let’s burn all the heretics at the stake, just as Jesus would have done.”

  • Anonymous

    The fact that you clearly took C.S. Lewis out of context reminded me of a joke I once heard:

    I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. I immediately ran over and said “Stop! Don’t do it!”
    “Why shouldn’t I?” he said.
    I said, “Well, there’s so much to live for!”
    “Like what?”
    “Well … are you religious or atheist?”
    “Religious.”
    “Me too! Are you Christian or Jewish?”
    “Christian.”
    “Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?”
    “Protestant.”
    “Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?”
    “Baptist.”
    “Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?”
    “Baptist Church of God.”
    “Me too! Are you Original Baptist Church of God, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?”
    “Reformed Baptist Church of God.”
    “Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?”
    “Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915!”
    To which I said, “Die, heretic scum!” and pushed him off.

  • The Doctor

    How did he take Lewis out of context? Is it the Christus Victor part? Because the inclusivism stuff really is in Chronicles of Narnia.

  • Anonymous

    He took it out of context when he pointed to the Chronicles of Narnia as a definitive theological work… it is children’s fiction! – it points to some Biblical truths and certainly can be used as an ‘evangelical’ tool, in that it may open minds and hearts to start asking questions about God, but it never claims to be true… do you think that he believed that animals could talk, and that there are other worlds??

    For a better idea of Lewis’ theology, maybe consider his theological texts? just an idea…

  • Tommy H

    Good point anonymous. I instantly thought the same. It’s fantasy literature!

  • duhsciple

    The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Aslan is clearly a Christ figure. The “passion” is classic Christus Victor. Of course, it is fiction and it is profoundly theological.

  • Namehere

    It’s Christian allegory and you’re right Anonymous it’s a story with theological reflections in them, not a theological text. The purpose of Narnia was to share a story not doctrine.

  • http://whytheology.wordpress.com/ Trey Medley

    Lewis was a professor of medieval literature and clearly believed in the power of story to convey truth. You can’t point to Narnia and Aslan on the one hand and say “yes it’s all about Jesus” and then turn around and so “oh but it’s just a fantasy story.” Also you’ll need to deal with some of his correspondence on the biblical narratives: i.e. Jonah and Job, Lewis thought, in a non-fictional setting, could only be read as mythic fiction meant to convey a story. Inerrancy, he wrote elsewhere, was an abhorrent idea that lost the focus of the true power of the bible. Let’s try to read beyond “Mere Christianity” to give the more complete picture of Lewis, a complicated man who moved from low Anglicanism (characteristic of “evangelical” Anglicans today) toward a very high Anglicanism that bordered on Anglo-Catholicism, probably due to the Roman Catholic friends he had including JRR Tolkein. The truth is, he wrote a compelling story and gave an excellent war time address that all Christians can enjoy (Narnia and Mere Christianity), but it was by no means any one groups exclusive right. Let’s not romanticize it to agree with only our ideology, that’s the definition of delusional.

  • Levedi

    Quite right. In medieval literature beast fables and allegories were considered appropriate narrative forms for conveying significant moral and theological truth. (See Lewis’ own work on medieval literature.) And Lewis, along with Tolkien, rejected the notion that “children’s literature” could be thin and lacking in development. The Chronicles of Narnia are absolutely and quite explicitly theological. It’s only in the last few centuries that we’ve rejected the idea of using poetry or story telling to convey deep truths. Lewis may have written for children, but you can’t dismiss the ideas conveyed in the Chronicles on that basis.

  • Mark Winterbottom

    The author does not refer to Lewis’ Chronicles as a “definitive theological work.” Those were your words.

    “Lewis’ seven-volume, fictional masterpiece, The Chronicles of Narnia, reveals Lewis’ belief that it is possible for people in other religions to inherit the Kingdom of God without knowing it.”

    Anonymous, I respectfully offer that I believe you’re being a trifle unfair and dishonest in your grievance. I appreciate the joke (even though I’m a Roman Catholic), but I do disagree with your assertion.

  • Robert

    His emphasis on salvific inclusion is also in “Mere Christianity.”

  • pi

    In the Bible animals talk…ask Adam and Eve and ddon’t forget Balaam. If he believed the Bible was true word for word then he did believe Iin talking animals.

  • blearting

    I think it’s funny you used this joke to attack the article. This joke is exactly what the article is about – how pointless and destructive theological arguments among self-identifying Christians are.

    Just so we’re clear – your theology has flaws. So does mine.

    Christians spend too much time requiring things of everyone else and not enough time at all requiring things of themselves. That’s what I take from all this.

  • Andrew Smart

    opinions are like a**-holes, everyone has them but sorry but Anonymous yours stinks. I admire the fact that someone has taken the time and effort to put forward this piece so that i can read, digest and make up my mind, I love the social media in which we can all comment and help work out what we will take from this etc. but what i think spoils this and the whole idea is that some people cant be nice and leave out being the internet troll, ironically on a religious themed post. After reading down peoples comments i notice how you (Anonymous) were the first to post negatively, without posting any questions to pick the authors brain and then i see you asking someone if they are stupid in a rude and confrontational way, now you seem to know allot on your idea of religion and are good at forcing your opinions on others (as opposed to the author who put it out there and let to let you make up your own mind) but on the flip side you seem not to practice humility or understanding two of the main fundamentals that make religion viable methods and teachings to live your life by, thank you for your comments and you obviously think you know what your talking about but in hindsight next time please try a little practice what you preach and if your not a religious follower and cant do that why troll religious based texts

  • Mike Donahue

    Love the joke, I laughed for a long time!

  • Anonymous

    The fact that you clearly took C.S. Lewis out of context reminded me of a joke I once heard:

    I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. I immediately ran over and said “Stop! Don’t do it!”
    “Why shouldn’t I?” he said.
    I said, “Well, there’s so much to live for!”
    “Like what?”
    “Well … are you religious or atheist?”
    “Religious.”
    “Me too! Are you Christian or Jewish?”
    “Christian.”
    “Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?”
    “Protestant.”
    “Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?”
    “Baptist.”
    “Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?”
    “Baptist Church of God.”
    “Me too! Are you Original Baptist Church of God, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?”
    “Reformed Baptist Church of God.”
    “Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?”
    “Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915!”
    To which I said, “Die, heretic scum!” and pushed him off.

  • The Doctor

    How did he take Lewis out of context? Is it the Christus Victor part? Because the inclusivism stuff really is in Chronicles of Narnia.

  • Anonymous

    He took it out of context when he pointed to the Chronicles of Narnia as a definitive theological work… it is children’s fiction! – it points to some Biblical truths and certainly can be used as an ‘evangelical’ tool, in that it may open minds and hearts to start asking questions about God, but it never claims to be true… do you think that he believed that animals could talk, and that there are other worlds??

    For a better idea of Lewis’ theology, maybe consider his theological texts? just an idea…

  • Tommy H

    Good point anonymous. I instantly thought the same. It’s fantasy literature!

  • duhsciple

    Yep, it is fantasy literature. And it is theological.

  • Mark Salmon

    As well as the idea of hell not being forever in “the Great Divorce”

  • duhsciple

    The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Aslan is clearly a Christ figure. The “passion” is classic Christus Victor. Of course, it is fiction and it is profoundly theological.

  • Namehere

    It’s Christian allegory and you’re right Anonymous it’s a story with theological reflections in them, not a theological text. The purpose of Narnia was to share a story not doctrine.

  • http://whytheology.wordpress.com/ Trey Medley

    Lewis was a professor of medieval literature and clearly believed in the power of story to convey truth. You can’t point to Narnia and Aslan on the one hand and say “yes it’s all about Jesus” and then turn around and so “oh but it’s just a fantasy story.” Also you’ll need to deal with some of his correspondence on the biblical narratives: i.e. Jonah and Job, Lewis thought, in a non-fictional setting, could only be read as mythic fiction meant to convey a story. Inerrancy, he wrote elsewhere, was an abhorrent idea that lost the focus of the true power of the bible. Let’s try to read beyond “Mere Christianity” to give the more complete picture of Lewis, a complicated man who moved from low Anglicanism (characteristic of “evangelical” Anglicans today) toward a very high Anglicanism that bordered on Anglo-Catholicism, probably due to the Roman Catholic friends he had including JRR Tolkein. The truth is, he wrote a compelling story and gave an excellent war time address that all Christians can enjoy (Narnia and Mere Christianity), but it was by no means any one groups exclusive right. Let’s not romanticize it to agree with only our ideology, that’s the definition of delusional.

  • Levedi

    Quite right. In medieval literature beast fables and allegories were considered appropriate narrative forms for conveying significant moral and theological truth. (See Lewis’ own work on medieval literature.) And Lewis, along with Tolkien, rejected the notion that “children’s literature” could be thin and lacking in development. The Chronicles of Narnia are absolutely and quite explicitly theological. It’s only in the last few centuries that we’ve rejected the idea of using poetry or story telling to convey deep truths. Lewis may have written for children, but you can’t dismiss the ideas conveyed in the Chronicles on that basis.

  • Mark Winterbottom

    The author does not refer to Lewis’ Chronicles as a “definitive theological work.” Those were your words.

    “Lewis’ seven-volume, fictional masterpiece, The Chronicles of Narnia, reveals Lewis’ belief that it is possible for people in other religions to inherit the Kingdom of God without knowing it.”

    Anonymous, I respectfully offer that I believe you’re being a trifle unfair and dishonest in your grievance. I appreciate the joke (even though I’m a Roman Catholic), but I do disagree with your assertion.

  • Robert

    His emphasis on salvific inclusion is also in “Mere Christianity.”

  • pi

    In the Bible animals talk…ask Adam and Eve and ddon’t forget Balaam. If he believed the Bible was true word for word then he did believe Iin talking animals.

  • blearting

    I think it’s funny you used this joke to attack the article. This joke is exactly what the article is about – how pointless and destructive theological arguments among self-identifying Christians are.

    Just so we’re clear – your theology has flaws. So does mine.

    Christians spend too much time requiring things of everyone else and not enough time at all requiring things of themselves. That’s what I take from all this.

  • Andrew Smart

    opinions are like a**-holes, everyone has them but sorry but Anonymous yours stinks. I admire the fact that someone has taken the time and effort to put forward this piece so that i can read, digest and make up my mind, I love the social media in which we can all comment and help work out what we will take from this etc. but what i think spoils this and the whole idea is that some people cant be nice and leave out being the internet troll, ironically on a religious themed post. After reading down peoples comments i notice how you (Anonymous) were the first to post negatively, without posting any questions to pick the authors brain and then i see you asking someone if they are stupid in a rude and confrontational way, now you seem to know allot on your idea of religion and are good at forcing your opinions on others (as opposed to the author who put it out there and let to let you make up your own mind) but on the flip side you seem not to practice humility or understanding two of the main fundamentals that make religion viable methods and teachings to live your life by, thank you for your comments and you obviously think you know what your talking about but in hindsight next time please try a little practice what you preach and if your not a religious follower and cant do that why troll religious based texts

  • Mike Donahue

    Love the joke, I laughed for a long time!

  • greer

    The body of Christ lives out a confused, diluted, less than courageous work which Christ left us to do. We spend too much time quarreling about who is right and who is wrong. Is it any wonder the world turns away in disgust? Call us what you will, Christians (a derogatory term used in Jesus’ day), disciples (who abandoned and disowned him) or followers of the Way (which we can’t seem to find because of our disagreements and infighting) The scripture plainly states, work out YOUR own salvation (so let’s pony up and take responsibility for our own relationship with Christ and the people that will be drawn to us for the difference the world sees in us). He is calling us to be, salt and light. Notice that he is not calling us to be, judge, jury and theological scholars who miss the most important messages found in scripture; God’s grace, God’s mercy, God’s holiness, and God’s commandment to love Him (first) and our neighbor as ourselves. When standing before him, there will be no theological test, no grade there will be one question? Did you make the decision to follow Me?

  • Luke

    Very well said.

  • greer

    The body of Christ lives out a confused, diluted, less than courageous work which Christ left us to do. We spend too much time quarreling about who is right and who is wrong. Is it any wonder the world turns away in disgust? Call us what you will, Christians (a derogatory term used in Jesus’ day), disciples (who abandoned and disowned him) or followers of the Way (which we can’t seem to find because of our disagreements and infighting) The scripture plainly states, work out YOUR own salvation (so let’s pony up and take responsibility for our own relationship with Christ and the people that will be drawn to us for the difference the world sees in us). He is calling us to be, salt and light. Notice that he is not calling us to be, judge, jury and theological scholars who miss the most important messages found in scripture; God’s grace, God’s mercy, God’s holiness, and God’s commandment to love Him (first) and our neighbor as ourselves. When standing before him, there will be no theological test, no grade there will be one question? Did you make the decision to follow Me?

  • Luke

    Very well said.

  • Nate Allen Wilson

    “The true rule is this: God’s Word shall establish articles of faith, and no one else, not even an angel can do so.” —Martin Luther

  • hawks5999

    yeah, but that guy was a heretic.

  • Nate Allen Wilson

    “The true rule is this: God’s Word shall establish articles of faith, and no one else, not even an angel can do so.” —Martin Luther

  • hawks5999

    yeah, but that guy was a heretic.

  • Joshua Jeffery

    I’d be quite alight with banning Billy Graham. Otherwise, love the post!

  • Joshua Jeffery

    I’d be quite alight with banning Billy Graham. Otherwise, love the post!

  • thisguy

    From your framework, what is the difference between a “false teacher” and a mistaken teacher, and could you tell the difference if one of each was presented to you?

  • thisguy

    From your framework, what is the difference between a “false teacher” and a mistaken teacher, and could you tell the difference if one of each was presented to you?

  • Gary Cass

    This is why, for the sake of the peace and purity of the church, the church has crafted theological confessions and standards so we are not basing our faith on our subjective personal interpretations, but have the collective wisdom of many godly teachers on the meaning of scripture. You either have to make up your own system, which is fraught with problems, or adopt one that exists. Humility is needed, and of course the Bible is the ultimate standard, but everyone ends up with a system. The pinnacle of historic, orthodox protestant theology is the Westminster Confession of Faith.

  • jimfromcanada

    No, it is the Book of Concord.

  • Gary Cass

    This is why, for the sake of the peace and purity of the church, the church has crafted theological confessions and standards so we are not basing our faith on our subjective personal interpretations, but have the collective wisdom of many godly teachers on the meaning of scripture. You either have to make up your own system, which is fraught with problems, or adopt one that exists. Humility is needed, and of course the Bible is the ultimate standard, but everyone ends up with a system. The pinnacle of historic, orthodox protestant theology is the Westminster Confession of Faith.

  • jimfromcanada

    No, it is the Book of Concord.

  • jimfromcanada

    Evangelical means someone who “bears the Good News”. Every other meaning is a corruption. Those who call themselves evangelicals but who are not good news for others are liars. Evangelicals in the European context are those who preached the Good News of freedom from the Roman church during the reformation. A lot of those who call themselves evangelicals in the modern context seem to be more interested in telling others that they are damned, and not saved; which is not good news.

  • jimfromcanada

    Evangelical means someone who “bears the Good News”. Every other meaning is a corruption. Those who call themselves evangelicals but who are not good news for others are liars. Evangelicals in the European context are those who preached the Good News of freedom from the Roman church during the reformation. A lot of those who call themselves evangelicals in the modern context seem to be more interested in telling others that they are damned, and not saved; which is not good news.

  • Steve67

    Indeed false-believers should be dealt with lovingly. But how do you define lovingly? is there some new movement to start burning people at the stake?Or are you suggesting that the only way to be loving to false-believers is to avoid telling them where they are wrong? Because that would be leaving them in the darkness and I can hardly think of anything more unloving.

  • Steve67

    Indeed false-believers should be dealt with lovingly. But how do you define lovingly? is there some new movement to start burning people at the stake?Or are you suggesting that the only way to be loving to false-believers is to avoid telling them where they are wrong? Because that would be leaving them in the darkness and I can hardly think of anything more unloving.

  • Luke

    Many of these figures are guilty of more “heretical” views than those listed. For example, Lewis also rejected inerrancy.

  • Luke

    Many of these figures are guilty of more “heretical” views than those listed. For example, Lewis also rejected inerrancy.

  • http://godofevolution.com/ Tyler Francke

    Also, C.S. Lewis believed in evolution, so he should be doubly banned.

  • jontrott

    There’s a nuance here. Lewis did believe in science, thus evolution as a scientific reality. But what he didn’t believe in was evolutionary humanism, the doctrine that evolution somehow proved the universe was closed (that is, godless). That nuance has often been lost by modern-day Creationists, who toss out even Christian Evolutionists. What a world. Anyway, a good web site on evolution and evolutionary science by Christians who themselves are evolutionists:

    http://biologos.org/

  • http://godofevolution.com/ Tyler Francke

    Also, C.S. Lewis believed in evolution, so he should be doubly banned.

  • jontrott

    There’s a nuance here. Lewis did believe in science, thus evolution as a scientific reality. But what he didn’t believe in was evolutionary humanism, the doctrine that evolution somehow proved the universe was closed (that is, godless). That nuance has often been lost by modern-day Creationists, who toss out even Christian Evolutionists. What a world. Anyway, a good web site on evolution and evolutionary science by Christians who themselves are evolutionists:

    http://biologos.org/

  • jontrott

    I love Barclay. That said, I reject Universalism. I don’t think we’re really doing anyone any good to oversimplify the issues here. We can reject parts of someone’s teaching (Lewis’ on women don’t make the grade for feminist me) without de-christianizing or even de-evangelicalising them. But hey, good conversation starter!

  • http://www.www.patheos.com/blogs/andygill/ Andy Gill

    Interesting, would love to hear why you reject universalism? Not disagreeing with you necessarily just intrigued by your comment :)

  • jontrott

    Heh. Others have likely done a far better job unpacking the Scriptures than I could. I’d say that (a) I do indeed believe in “a wideness in God’s mercy,” but that (b) I don’t believe God will overcome that which does not want to be overcome. There is such a thing, Scritpurally speaking, as an everlasting “No” to God. But I do love not only Barclay, but also George MacDonald, an even more wonderful Christian who happened to be a Universalist. His best novel in my opinion, Lilith, explores just that topic.

  • jontrott

    I love Barclay. That said, I reject Universalism. I don’t think we’re really doing anyone any good to oversimplify the issues here. We can reject parts of someone’s teaching (Lewis’ on women don’t make the grade for feminist me) without de-christianizing or even de-evangelicalising them. But hey, good conversation starter!

  • http://www.www.patheos.com/blogs/andygill/ Andy Gill

    Interesting, would love to hear why you reject universalism? Not disagreeing with you necessarily just intrigued by your comment :)

  • jontrott

    Heh. Others have likely done a far better job unpacking the Scriptures than I could. I’d say that (a) I do indeed believe in “a wideness in God’s mercy,” but that (b) I don’t believe God will overcome that which does not want to be overcome. There is such a thing, Scritpurally speaking, as an everlasting “No” to God. But I do love not only Barclay, but also George MacDonald, an even more wonderful Christian who happened to be a Universalist. His best novel in my opinion, Lilith, explores just that topic.

  • Luis T

    Attaboy “believers”, let’s tear one another apart so the enemy can just sit back and grin. What a pointless useless article.

  • Namehere

    ^ This. This comment needs to be at the top of the list.

  • Luis T

    Attaboy “believers”, let’s tear one another apart so the enemy can just sit back and grin. What a pointless useless article.

  • Namehere

    ^ This. This comment needs to be at the top of the list.

  • C. S. Lewis

    Since gods, angels, demons and deities are all as fictional as chupacabras and Sarah Palin’s chances at the presidency, none of this matters anyway

  • C. S. Lewis

    Since gods, angels, demons and deities are all as fictional as chupacabras and Sarah Palin’s chances at the presidency, none of this matters anyway

  • Connor Searle
  • Connor Searle
  • Andrea

    I was an atheist and one day, after having a conversation and telling God “if Your real I do want to know You”. I caught the end of one of this horrible Christian TV shows I’d never watch. Some guy said, if you can’t believe in God tell Him, I did. He said, “Say this prayer”. I didn’t know what the sinner’s prayer was… but I said it. “Come into my heart and be my Savior” and when I said, “amen”. I was on the floor weeping bc this God showed me He was real, and He was Jesus Christ… IDK why He did this for me. I was an angry antagonistic atheist. I really thought the whole church was made of hypocrites. I had no theology, no doctrinal beliefs. I just suddenly knew there was a God and His name was Jesus. And now He was my Savior, what a glorious surprise. The following week the Mormons came to my door, I thought God sent them. After a year I figured there wasn’t enough Jesus in their church and left. My point is while I was a mormon, I was saved. I was deceived but I was still saved. That was over 30 years ago. While I learned doctrine etc etc… when was I more saved then on that first day?

  • Andrea

    I was an atheist and one day, after having a conversation and telling God “if Your real I do want to know You”. I caught the end of one of this horrible Christian TV shows I’d never watch. Some guy said, if you can’t believe in God tell Him, I did. He said, “Say this prayer”. I didn’t know what the sinner’s prayer was… but I said it. “Come into my heart and be my Savior” and when I said, “amen”. I was on the floor weeping bc this God showed me He was real, and He was Jesus Christ… IDK why He did this for me. I was an angry antagonistic atheist. I really thought the whole church was made of hypocrites. I had no theology, no doctrinal beliefs. I just suddenly knew there was a God and His name was Jesus. And now He was my Savior, what a glorious surprise. The following week the Mormons came to my door, I thought God sent them. After a year I figured there wasn’t enough Jesus in their church and left. My point is while I was a mormon, I was saved. I was deceived but I was still saved. That was over 30 years ago. While I learned doctrine etc etc… when was I more saved then on that first day?

  • Epp85

    FYI, your Billy Graham video is almost certainly dubbed for the first 10 or so seconds (starting at 1:18). It’s his voice, but not what he’s saying on the screen – and voices can be pretty easily impersonated. That definitely makes the claims about Billy Graham a little less believable.

  • mamacanuck

    No, that is exactly what Billy Graham said. How do I know? Because I wrote down this quote years ago when he said it. BTW, even the poster of the video says that the audio is off and to look at the better video on the sidebar.

  • Epp85

    FYI, your Billy Graham video is almost certainly dubbed for the first 10 or so seconds (starting at 1:18). It’s his voice, but not what he’s saying on the screen – and voices can be pretty easily impersonated. That definitely makes the claims about Billy Graham a little less believable.

  • mamacanuck

    No, that is exactly what Billy Graham said. How do I know? Because I wrote down this quote years ago when he said it. BTW, even the poster of the video says that the audio is off and to look at the better video on the sidebar.

  • Shannon

    My big issue with Sola Scriptura is that it isn’t scriptural. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that Scripture alone is the be all and end all. II Tm 3:16 doesn’t show it, because nowhere does it say Scripture ALONE. II Thess 2:15 tells us the traditions of the apostles were just as important as the written word.

    Matthew 18:15-17 in fact tells us that the Church is the final teaching and governing body. The more I study the history of Christianity, they more I see the need for the pre-Reformation Church – before everyone just created their own church simply based on however they “feel” about a passage. The fact is, people “feel” a lot of conflicting things and Jesus established a teaching authority long ago when he established the Church with St. Peter. He told him he is “rock” and “on this rock” he builds his church. When you look at the Aramaic he spoke there is no questioning what he meant.

  • Shannon

    My big issue with Sola Scriptura is that it isn’t scriptural. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that Scripture alone is the be all and end all. II Tm 3:16 doesn’t show it, because nowhere does it say Scripture ALONE. II Thess 2:15 tells us the traditions of the apostles were just as important as the written word.

    Matthew 18:15-17 in fact tells us that the Church is the final teaching and governing body. The more I study the history of Christianity, they more I see the need for the pre-Reformation Church – before everyone just created their own church simply based on however they “feel” about a passage. The fact is, people “feel” a lot of conflicting things and Jesus established a teaching authority long ago when he established the Church with St. Peter. He told him he is “rock” and “on this rock” he builds his church. When you look at the Aramaic he spoke there is no questioning what he meant.

  • Guest

    Please believe me when I say thank you for this article. It has informed me a great deal about these people that so many Christians do indeed put on a pedestal.
    However, the strange thing here is that, from the same facts, I have come to pretty much the opposite conclusion from the writer. I guess this is just one more reminder that it so often isn’t so much about the facts as the personal bias of whoever is wielding them.

    We do indeed respect much of the writings of all these men. Yet the writer makes the point that by the standards of evangelical churches today, if those standards were consistently applied, these people should be, or should have been, rebuked or maybe even excommunicated until they – hopefully – came to their senses.
    I would ask, perhaps that is exactly what SHOULD happen/have happened?
    We can respect and listen to some of the writings of eg Augustine without saying Augustine was always right. We could even go further. We could accept some of a man’s writings as Holy and Divinely inspired, yet still consider that person now to be an unbeliever! Solomon fits this bill exactly. He, under God’s guidance, wrote books of the Bible, but later became a heretic. And Ahijah was sent by God to state that Solomon was excommunicated (maybe or maybe not to his face – it doesn’t matter). I imagine some today would be as angry with this prophet who excommunicated Solomon as they are at those who rebuke heresies in the modern Church.
    Finally, I myself was rather shocked when I read that the Apostle Paul delivered two guys named Hymenaeus and Alexander “over to Satan” simply for teaching that the Resurrection was now past. Some today might argue that teaching this wasn’t such a big deal. Paul, guided by God, thought it was.
    One more point. Yes, C. S. Lewis did indeed, like Solomon, provide us with a great deal of incredibly good apologetic material. But because of Solomon, paganism took root again in Israel. And in the same way, it could well be that it is precisely because respected men like Lewis held to certain heresies – and nobody excommunicated them for it – that those heresies continue to have such a strong following now.

  • Guest

    Please believe me when I say thank you for this article. It has informed me a great deal about these people that so many Christians do indeed put on a pedestal.
    However, the strange thing here is that, from the same facts, I have come to pretty much the opposite conclusion from the writer. I guess this is just one more reminder that it so often isn’t so much about the facts as the personal bias of whoever is wielding them.

    We do indeed respect much of the writings of all these men. Yet the writer makes the point that by the standards of evangelical churches today, if those standards were consistently applied, these people should be, or should have been, rebuked or maybe even excommunicated until they – hopefully – came to their senses.
    I would ask, perhaps that is exactly what SHOULD happen/have happened?
    We can respect and listen to some of the writings of eg Augustine without saying Augustine was always right. We could even go further. We could accept some of a man’s writings as Holy and Divinely inspired, yet still consider that person now to be an unbeliever! Solomon fits this bill exactly. He, under God’s guidance, wrote books of the Bible, but later became a heretic. And Ahijah was sent by God to state that Solomon was excommunicated (maybe or maybe not to his face – it doesn’t matter). I imagine some today would be as angry with this prophet who excommunicated Solomon as they are at those who rebuke heresies in the modern Church.
    Finally, I myself was rather shocked when I read that the Apostle Paul delivered two guys named Hymenaeus and Alexander “over to Satan” simply for teaching that the Resurrection was now past. Some today might argue that teaching this wasn’t such a big deal. Paul, guided by God, thought it was.
    One more point. Yes, C. S. Lewis did indeed, like Solomon, provide us with a great deal of incredibly good apologetic material. But because of Solomon, paganism took root again in Israel. And in the same way, it could well be that it is precisely because respected men like Lewis held to certain heresies – and nobody excommunicated them for it – that those heresies continue to have such a strong following now.

  • Justin Steckbauer

    classic example of “you need to believe exactly what i believe or your theology is wrong and your a heretic” im amazed by this foolishness, going back in the history of protestantism to kick out some of the greats. this post is disobedience to the command of unity in the body of Christ. repent foolish blogger.

  • Justin Steckbauer

    classic example of “you need to believe exactly what i believe or your theology is wrong and your a heretic” im amazed by this foolishness, going back in the history of protestantism to kick out some of the greats. this post is disobedience to the command of unity in the body of Christ. repent foolish blogger.

  • A Name

    Don’t trust Billy Graham, John Stott, William Barclay, Martin Luther or C.S. Lewis. Trust Jesus Christ! The Son of God who sacrificed himself for our sins. Trust in Him for salvation!

  • A Name

    Don’t trust Billy Graham, John Stott, William Barclay, Martin Luther or C.S. Lewis. Trust Jesus Christ! The Son of God who sacrificed himself for our sins. Trust in Him for salvation!

  • Elray28

    Most evangelicals are narrow-minded, fear-mongering, morality police cloaked in a coat of hypocrisy and denial. A rejection by evangelicals should be seen as a badge of honor.

  • Umm

    Just throw that general blanket statement right on over it. it’s no problem. Heck might as well add that most are middle-class white men or even better… they mostly read only the KJV.

  • Raymond Wortel

    An evangelical having a problem with a blanket statement? Oh, the irony.

  • Umm

    Another blanket assuming I’m evangelical. And your general statements have no merit or research. It just drips with pride to show your supposed dominance of intellect.

  • Raymond Wortel

    I didn’t know common knowledge required research…?

  • Umm

    And you might want to brush up what irony means. “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

  • Elray28

    Most evangelicals are narrow-minded, fear-mongering, morality police cloaked in a coat of hypocrisy and denial. A rejection by evangelicals should be seen as a badge of honor.

  • Umm

    Just throw that general blanket statement right on over it. it’s no problem. Heck might as well add that most are middle-class white men or even better… they mostly read only the KJV.

  • Raymond Wortel

    An evangelical having a problem with a blanket statement? Oh, the irony.

  • Umm

    Another blanket assuming I’m evangelical. And your general statements have no merit or research. It just drips with pride to show your supposed dominance of intellect.

  • Raymond Wortel

    I didn’t know common knowledge required research…?

  • Umm

    And you might want to brush up what irony means. “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

  • Nomas

    Hoorah for elitism! Add another blog to the pile eh?

  • Whiningmachine

    I interpreted this post as being against evangelical elitism. A reminder that our unwillingness to accept anything from somebody with divergent theology would have required us to throw out the teachings of people whom many count as heroes.

  • Nomas

    Hoorah for elitism! Add another blog to the pile eh?

  • Whiningmachine

    I interpreted this post as being against evangelical elitism. A reminder that our unwillingness to accept anything from somebody with divergent theology would have required us to throw out the teachings of people whom many count as heroes.

  • bob

    This is possibly the poorest researched article i have ever read.

    Who cares about Barclay to be honest, I know about 20 pastors and none of them have his books. Billy Graham was never really kosher as a teacher – hes a product of the “revival” generation where emotional acceptance is on par with repentance. Of the rest – these quotes should balance out this poorly researched article.

    Augustine,
    who says the bible even makes the age of the earth an issue ? It doesn’t…

    Lewis
    In his book Mere Christianity C. S. Lewis mentions that before becoming a Christian, the doctrine of penal substitution had seemed extremely unethical to him, and that while he had since found it to be less so, he nonetheless indicated a preference for a position closer to that of Athanasius, in which Christ’s death is seen as enabling us to die to sin by our participation, and not as a satisfaction or payment to justice as such. He also stated, however, that in his view no explanation of the atonement is as relevant as the fact of the atonement.

    Luther
    One of the passages from Luther’s writings that has been quoted almost ad nauseam as clear and certain evidence that the Reformer did not believe in biblical inerrancy is the 49th thesis from the disputation concerning “Faith and Law” (WA 39, 1, 44ff). That thesis reads, in the American translation, “If the adversaries press the Scriptures against Christ, we urge Christ against Scriptures” (p. 47: si adversarii scripturam urgerint contra Christum, urgemus Christum contra scripturam).
    When those words are read out of context they seem clearly to imply that the Scriptures may be wrong because their testimony can be countered by an appeal to Christ. However, one must first of all, remember that this is one of a series of theses drawn up for a disputation at the university. Such theses were generally not constructed to serve as clear statements of doctrine. On the contrary, they were often couched in provocative terms, intentionally obscure in order to call forth debate. When Luther in 1518 wrote to Pope Leo X (WA I, 527‑529) to defend himself against the charges of heresy that were being raised against him on account of the wide dissemination of the Ninety‑five Theses, he said of the sentences that he had nailed to the church door, “They are discussion statements, not doctrines or dogmas, and are set forth, as is customary, in a rather obscure and enigmatic way. Otherwise, if I had been able to look into the future, I would have taken care for my part, that they would be easier to understand”

    And whoever is so bold that he ventures to accuse God of fraud and deception in a single word and does so willfully again and again after he has been warned and instructed once or twice will likewise certainly venture to accuse God of fraud and deception in all His words. [Therefore,] it is true absolutely and without exception, that everything is believed or nothing is believed. The Holy Ghost does not suffer Himself to be separated or divided so that He should teach and cause to be believed one doctrine rightly and another falsely43 (italics in original). Luther –
    -Reu, Johann Michael. 1944. Luther on the Scriptures. Columbus, Ohio: Wartburg.

    Stott
    John Stott struggled back and forth with this idea – but
    Emotionally, I find the concept [of eternal conscious torment] intolerable and do not understand how people can live with it without either cauterizing their feelings or cracking under the strain. But our emotions are a fluctuating, unreliable guide to truth and must not be exalted to the place of supreme authority in determining it . . . my question must be—and is—not what does my heart tell me, but what does God’s word say?

    Stott supports annihilation, yet cautions, “I do not dogmatise about the position to which I have come. I hold it tentatively… I believe that the ultimate annihilation of the wicked should at least be accepted as a legitimate, biblically founded alternative to their eternal conscious torment.

    And there you have it. 2 real teachers who may hold tentatively to an alternate position, and im sure they got a lot of flak for their views. Rob Bell basically just questions “everything” that’s been proven before him in order to try to make Christianity less offensive to non believers. Lewis’s is not a make it or break it position, tons of victors are out there and being enjoyed even by the reformed crowd, including all the roman and latin church fathers.. It wasn’t until many theologians had access to the scripture for the penal theory to formulate.

    Stott is a bit tougher, although he never officially argued for the position academically he held it as a maybe.. amidst his teaching and writing.. it wasnt the core of his teaching. if that was all bell was doing nobody would lambaste him.

    The question here is what is evangelical really ? and who cares ? seriously ?
    If someone is questionable in a side issue or a few, who cares. If someoe is questionable on a black and white issue, talk it out.. raise questions.. if someone claims contrary to scripture on many black and whites, and refuses to preach Christ crucified at every chance… they might be a false teacher.

  • bob

    This is possibly the poorest researched article i have ever read.

    Who cares about Barclay to be honest, I know about 20 pastors and none of them have his books. Billy Graham was never really kosher as a teacher – hes a product of the “revival” generation where emotional acceptance is on par with repentance. Of the rest – these quotes should balance out this poorly researched article.

    Augustine,
    who says the bible even makes the age of the earth an issue ? It doesn’t…

    Lewis
    In his book Mere Christianity C. S. Lewis mentions that before becoming a Christian, the doctrine of penal substitution had seemed extremely unethical to him, and that while he had since found it to be less so, he nonetheless indicated a preference for a position closer to that of Athanasius, in which Christ’s death is seen as enabling us to die to sin by our participation, and not as a satisfaction or payment to justice as such. He also stated, however, that in his view no explanation of the atonement is as relevant as the fact of the atonement.

    Luther
    One of the passages from Luther’s writings that has been quoted almost ad nauseam as clear and certain evidence that the Reformer did not believe in biblical inerrancy is the 49th thesis from the disputation concerning “Faith and Law” (WA 39, 1, 44ff). That thesis reads, in the American translation, “If the adversaries press the Scriptures against Christ, we urge Christ against Scriptures” (p. 47: si adversarii scripturam urgerint contra Christum, urgemus Christum contra scripturam).
    When those words are read out of context they seem clearly to imply that the Scriptures may be wrong because their testimony can be countered by an appeal to Christ. However, one must first of all, remember that this is one of a series of theses drawn up for a disputation at the university. Such theses were generally not constructed to serve as clear statements of doctrine. On the contrary, they were often couched in provocative terms, intentionally obscure in order to call forth debate. When Luther in 1518 wrote to Pope Leo X (WA I, 527‑529) to defend himself against the charges of heresy that were being raised against him on account of the wide dissemination of the Ninety‑five Theses, he said of the sentences that he had nailed to the church door, “They are discussion statements, not doctrines or dogmas, and are set forth, as is customary, in a rather obscure and enigmatic way. Otherwise, if I had been able to look into the future, I would have taken care for my part, that they would be easier to understand”

    And whoever is so bold that he ventures to accuse God of fraud and deception in a single word and does so willfully again and again after he has been warned and instructed once or twice will likewise certainly venture to accuse God of fraud and deception in all His words. [Therefore,] it is true absolutely and without exception, that everything is believed or nothing is believed. The Holy Ghost does not suffer Himself to be separated or divided so that He should teach and cause to be believed one doctrine rightly and another falsely43 (italics in original). Luther –
    -Reu, Johann Michael. 1944. Luther on the Scriptures. Columbus, Ohio: Wartburg.

    Stott
    John Stott struggled back and forth with this idea – but
    Emotionally, I find the concept [of eternal conscious torment] intolerable and do not understand how people can live with it without either cauterizing their feelings or cracking under the strain. But our emotions are a fluctuating, unreliable guide to truth and must not be exalted to the place of supreme authority in determining it . . . my question must be—and is—not what does my heart tell me, but what does God’s word say?

    Stott supports annihilation, yet cautions, “I do not dogmatise about the position to which I have come. I hold it tentatively… I believe that the ultimate annihilation of the wicked should at least be accepted as a legitimate, biblically founded alternative to their eternal conscious torment.

    And there you have it. 2 real teachers who may hold tentatively to an alternate position, and im sure they got a lot of flak for their views. Rob Bell basically just questions “everything” that’s been proven before him in order to try to make Christianity less offensive to non believers. Lewis’s is not a make it or break it position, tons of victors are out there and being enjoyed even by the reformed crowd, including all the roman and latin church fathers.. It wasn’t until many theologians had access to the scripture for the penal theory to formulate.

    Stott is a bit tougher, although he never officially argued for the position academically he held it as a maybe.. amidst his teaching and writing.. it wasnt the core of his teaching. if that was all bell was doing nobody would lambaste him.

    The question here is what is evangelical really ? and who cares ? seriously ?
    If someone is questionable in a side issue or a few, who cares. If someoe is questionable on a black and white issue, talk it out.. raise questions.. if someone claims contrary to scripture on many black and whites, and refuses to preach Christ crucified at every chance… they might be a false teacher.

  • David

    How many people posting comments here actually read the “entire” article? I think you will realize that the last 2 paragraphs are the real point. How many people were ready crucify the author before they got to the end and just skipped it? How many people think he is a heretic? How many people do the same thing to when they look at Christians in other churches and denominations? We could use a little more Ephesians 4:3-6 sometimes.

  • David

    How many people posting comments here actually read the “entire” article? I think you will realize that the last 2 paragraphs are the real point. How many people were ready crucify the author before they got to the end and just skipped it? How many people think he is a heretic? How many people do the same thing to when they look at Christians in other churches and denominations? We could use a little more Ephesians 4:3-6 sometimes.

  • Nate
  • Nate
  • Ephraim

    If you are interested in orthodoxy, come to the church actually founded in the bible, the one that first proclaimed the evangelium, in the teaching if the apostles and the prayers, the breaking of the bread and the communal life. Come and see the church that wrote the New Testament scriptures, that created the official list of what writings must be adhered to by all who would be Christian. We’ve even made it easy: we.’really called the Orthodox Christian Church. We still settle differences, not be setting off and founding a competing church, but by gathering together in prayer, listening to the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth who is present everywhere and filling all things, and resolving our differences together, as our first leaders, the Holy Apostles, are shown doing in the Acts of the Apostles.

  • Ephraim

    If you are interested in orthodoxy, come to the church actually founded in the bible, the one that first proclaimed the evangelium, in the teaching if the apostles and the prayers, the breaking of the bread and the communal life. Come and see the church that wrote the New Testament scriptures, that created the official list of what writings must be adhered to by all who would be Christian. We’ve even made it easy: we.’really called the Orthodox Christian Church. We still settle differences, not be setting off and founding a competing church, but by gathering together in prayer, listening to the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth who is present everywhere and filling all things, and resolving our differences together, as our first leaders, the Holy Apostles, are shown doing in the Acts of the Apostles.

  • nugeme

    The comments on this article are extremely discouraging and make me truly believe the scripture which tells us that ” if the days were not shortened there would no flesh be saved”. Come quickly Lord Jesus – deception is rampant.

  • nugeme

    The comments on this article are extremely discouraging and make me truly believe the scripture which tells us that ” if the days were not shortened there would no flesh be saved”. Come quickly Lord Jesus – deception is rampant.

  • SD

    I believe only 1 or 2 of the men you named above would even be called “evangelical” by today’s use of the term. For instance I’ve never heard an evangelical try to claim that Augustine was an evangelical. Have you?

  • SD

    I believe only 1 or 2 of the men you named above would even be called “evangelical” by today’s use of the term. For instance I’ve never heard an evangelical try to claim that Augustine was an evangelical. Have you?

  • Kate

    Thanks for your article. I went to the Master’s College, whose president is John MacArthur (a particularly zealous “gatekeeper”) and I honestly became fed up with evangelical Christianity as a whole. I spent my college years full of guilt and doubt – and I’m thankful that I’ve finally realized that this is not what Christianity is meant to be about.

  • Kate

    Thanks for your article. I went to the Master’s College, whose president is John MacArthur (a particularly zealous “gatekeeper”) and I honestly became fed up with evangelical Christianity as a whole. I spent my college years full of guilt and doubt – and I’m thankful that I’ve finally realized that this is not what Christianity is meant to be about.

  • me

    wow. so out of context, i can’t even. thanks for decrying the most prominent theologians and scholars of christianity as creating division among the church. you are unifying the church one bitter article at a time. find out what evangelicalism is before you start making these types of claims (and people actually listen to you, god forbid.)

  • Mike Mayo

    Perhaps you’d care to expound a bit instead of just attacking the hard work and thoughts of a genuine person, growing and maturing in spirit and in truth. I don’t find any love or compassion for the author in your reply, just an attack like you hate him for his position, which, I hope you know is shared by many other Christians. Just because you have these kinds of thoughts in your head, doesn’t make them ok to share unless they are in love… Not to be a total jerk, but if our very foundation for a relationship with Christ is FIRST and FOREMOST, his love for us unconditionally, maybe you can have a little more love and compassion for your brothers and sisters and be a bit more constructive with your comments.

  • me

    wow. so out of context, i can’t even. thanks for decrying the most prominent theologians and scholars of christianity as creating division among the church. you are unifying the church one bitter article at a time. find out what evangelicalism is before you start making these types of claims (and people actually listen to you, god forbid.)

  • Mike Mayo

    Perhaps you’d care to expound a bit instead of just attacking the hard work and thoughts of a genuine person, growing and maturing in spirit and in truth. I don’t find any love or compassion for the author in your reply, just an attack like you hate him for his position, which, I hope you know is shared by many other Christians. Just because you have these kinds of thoughts in your head, doesn’t make them ok to share unless they are in love… Not to be a total jerk, but if our very foundation for a relationship with Christ is FIRST and FOREMOST, his love for us unconditionally, maybe you can have a little more love and compassion for your brothers and sisters and be a bit more constructive with your comments.

  • Jennifer Lahr

    Why do christians keep getting in the way of Christ?

  • Jennifer Lahr

    Why do christians keep getting in the way of Christ?

  • Jimbo

    It looks like our friend Andy Gill does not appreciate rigorous argumentation or for that matter any kind of good argument that allows for a modicum of critical thinking. As a result there isn’t much to interact with here.

  • Jimbo

    It looks like our friend Andy Gill does not appreciate rigorous argumentation or for that matter any kind of good argument that allows for a modicum of critical thinking. As a result there isn’t much to interact with here.

  • hurlco

    There’s a lack of humor in this thread kids. Being a disciple of Christ isn’t about taking on the internet countenance of a lemon-sucking Pharisee. To quote the great theologian Jackson Browne, “Lighten up, while you still can….”

  • hurlco

    There’s a lack of humor in this thread kids. Being a disciple of Christ isn’t about taking on the internet countenance of a lemon-sucking Pharisee. To quote the great theologian Jackson Browne, “Lighten up, while you still can….”

  • Danny Yencich

    This is adorable.

  • Danny Yencich

    This is adorable.

  • Andrea

    one can only hope that this is a piece of satire.

  • Andrea

    one can only hope that this is a piece of satire.

  • Greaves

    Maybe by quoting more than one person your arguments might stand on firmer ground? Personally I think judging someone as ‘Guilty’ for their contrary interpretation of the ancient text is a far more serious matter….. maybe you could focus on what is true and noble than looking for error in others?

  • Greaves

    Maybe by quoting more than one person your arguments might stand on firmer ground? Personally I think judging someone as ‘Guilty’ for their contrary interpretation of the ancient text is a far more serious matter….. maybe you could focus on what is true and noble than looking for error in others?

  • will

    please add a #7 to the list.

    7) Everyone who believes in Christ and his teaching who do not settle for man made religions or creeds that keep us from God instead of bringing and drawing us to God.

    evangelicals are a sea of people who like ‘the idea of God’ but not relationship with God. Its feel good religion at its best. I don’t care for any of the writers/teachers/theologians on this list above either…but they all have one thing in common: they sought truth. which is more than we can say about evangelicals who make these lists and think that their crap don’t stink

  • Will

    btw, the sarcasm in the article was received.. I totally get the nature of the article. I just wonder why people care so much and why more people haven’t run for the mountains to get away from christianity and find Christ.

  • will

    please add a #7 to the list.

    7) Everyone who believes in Christ and his teaching who do not settle for man made religions or creeds that keep us from God instead of bringing and drawing us to God.

    evangelicals are a sea of people who like ‘the idea of God’ but not relationship with God. Its feel good religion at its best. I don’t care for any of the writers/teachers/theologians on this list above either…but they all have one thing in common: they sought truth. which is more than we can say about evangelicals who make these lists and think that their crap don’t stink

  • Will

    btw, the sarcasm in the article was received.. I totally get the nature of the article. I just wonder why people care so much and why more people haven’t run for the mountains to get away from christianity and find Christ.

  • Shocked

    How about citing the Bible? This is filled with inaccuracy. If you turned this in on my desk, I’d give you an “F” (Citing Wikipedia, no context, no rules/laws?). You cannot explain why something is wrong unless you explain what is actually proper and compare the two objectively. This is a perfect example of biased writing which is conclusory and poorly reasoned. As a Christian, I find this offensive.

  • mlpnko123

    He doesn’t say anyone is wrong. He says people who are respected have a variety of views on theological matters and that these matters are not settled.

  • PT

    But “Shocked” is saying that his citations are suspect. If he wants to prove his point, he needs to make sure he’s going to better resources to do so. In addition, he is trying to prove something. He’s basically saying that “because there have been these disagreements, evangelicals should either embrace them or reject them, but don’t quote them.”

    My two cents: I say just because I quote someone doesn’t mean I agree with everything they believe. It simply means I appreciate that quote.

  • Shocked

    How about citing the Bible? This is filled with inaccuracy. If you turned this in on my desk, I’d give you an “F” (Citing Wikipedia, no context, no rules/laws?). You cannot explain why something is wrong unless you explain what is actually proper and compare the two objectively. This is a perfect example of biased writing which is conclusory and poorly reasoned. As a Christian, I find this offensive.

  • mlpnko123

    He doesn’t say anyone is wrong. He says people who are respected have a variety of views on theological matters and that these matters are not settled.

  • PT

    But “Shocked” is saying that his citations are suspect. If he wants to prove his point, he needs to make sure he’s going to better resources to do so. In addition, he is trying to prove something. He’s basically saying that “because there have been these disagreements, evangelicals should either embrace them or reject them, but don’t quote them.”

    My two cents: I say just because I quote someone doesn’t mean I agree with everything they believe. It simply means I appreciate that quote.

  • J

    I really don’t think the analogy here works, at least with regard to Rob Bell. It’s not just about universalism (and I am a cautious inclusivist, though I think universalism is very unlikely to happen), but about his views of God and the Gospel in general. He has gradually drifted away from anything resembling historic Christianity. I can certainly learn from people more conservative than me or more liberal than me – the question is the overall content, message, and center of their thought.

    There may have once been a healthy center to Rob Bell’s thought, but at this point I really don’t think his teaching resembles Christianity much.at all and he’s kept drifting further post-Love Wins. He seems to be more of a new-age spiritualist now, actually. The Oprah interview is practically self-parody.

    Lewis did not outright reject penal substitution, by the way, unless there’s something I’m unaware of outside Mere Christianity. It’s fair to say he was unsure about it though.

  • J

    I really don’t think the analogy here works, at least with regard to Rob Bell. It’s not just about universalism (and I am a cautious inclusivist, though I think universalism is very unlikely to happen), but about his views of God and the Gospel in general. He has gradually drifted away from anything resembling historic Christianity. I can certainly learn from people more conservative than me or more liberal than me – the question is the overall content, message, and center of their thought.

    There may have once been a healthy center to Rob Bell’s thought, but at this point I really don’t think his teaching resembles Christianity much.at all and he’s kept drifting further post-Love Wins. He seems to be more of a new-age spiritualist now, actually. The Oprah interview is practically self-parody.

    Lewis did not outright reject penal substitution, by the way, unless there’s something I’m unaware of outside Mere Christianity. It’s fair to say he was unsure about it though.

  • nik

    well it’s up to God i believe that God’s wisdom is greater than our wisdom…

  • nik

    well it’s up to God i believe that God’s wisdom is greater than our wisdom…

  • Tim

    Romans 2:12-16 “For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (For not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.”

    Are you sure Billy Graham was wrong when you read Romans?

    To say that someone is saved or not is to take judgement into your own hands, so to say that someone is not saved because they have not “explicitly confess[ed] him as Lord” is putting yourself in the judgement seat.

    I say we let Christ be Judge and let us all continue to love one another and continue to study the Word of God and pray that He reveals all truth to us.
    —–
    When Christ compared Hell to Gehenna, is Gehenna still burning? Also, if God is a God of love, how sick does that sound for Him to have a corner somewhere in his created universe where sinners are forever tortured and tormented. Finally, if the ultimate conclusion of the story of our world is the complete end of sin and suffering; how could that be true if sinners are still present somewhere in the universe? If sin is to be wiped out, sin cannot exist.
    —–

  • Tim

    Romans 2:12-16 “For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (For not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.”

    Are you sure Billy Graham was wrong when you read Romans?

    To say that someone is saved or not is to take judgement into your own hands, so to say that someone is not saved because they have not “explicitly confess[ed] him as Lord” is putting yourself in the judgement seat.

    I say we let Christ be Judge and let us all continue to love one another and continue to study the Word of God and pray that He reveals all truth to us.
    —–
    When Christ compared Hell to Gehenna, is Gehenna still burning? Also, if God is a God of love, how sick does that sound for Him to have a corner somewhere in his created universe where sinners are forever tortured and tormented. Finally, if the ultimate conclusion of the story of our world is the complete end of sin and suffering; how could that be true if sinners are still present somewhere in the universe? If sin is to be wiped out, sin cannot exist.
    —–

  • Ryan Wilder

    I’d be interested to search these quotations in the context, but your sources are from children fiction, second and third hand sources, and … wikipedia. So I guess I’ll have to look at Barclay.

  • Ryan Wilder

    I’d be interested to search these quotations in the context, but your sources are from children fiction, second and third hand sources, and … wikipedia. So I guess I’ll have to look at Barclay.

  • DannyEastVillage

    Funny thing about “evangelicals” – the word comes from the word, “evangel,” which means “good new.” But they’ve turned it into bad news for everybody except their narrow, small-minded, ignorant little coterie. I say let ’em have what they want.

  • DannyEastVillage

    Funny thing about “evangelicals” – the word comes from the word, “evangel,” which means “good new.” But they’ve turned it into bad news for everybody except their narrow, small-minded, ignorant little coterie. I say let ’em have what they want.

  • Mick

    Hi Andy, good to see we still have modern day Pharisees. Be careful who you judge brother. They once judged Christ as well and used words such as Heretic.

  • mlpnko123

    He is not judging anyone. You missed the whole point. He is saying we should not call people today Heretics that have beliefs like these men.

  • Mick

    Hi Andy, good to see we still have modern day Pharisees. Be careful who you judge brother. They once judged Christ as well and used words such as Heretic.

  • mlpnko123

    He is not judging anyone. You missed the whole point. He is saying we should not call people today Heretics that have beliefs like these men.

  • Jonathan

    Every believer has different levels of faith supplied by God as some might have greater gift to comprehend the deep things about God and some may only knew small portion of the mysteries of the kingdom. The good news is that, salvation doesn’t depend on how much or how less you know from the bible. Hence, to “ban” or remove somebody from the list of evangelicals is like arbitrating these people as not sons of God (exclusivist). Put in mind even heresies/mistakes are purposed by God to expose our hearts on what we really believe in, and yet our salvation is not affected since it doesn’t depend on right or wrong belief or understanding of God’s word. There are so many interpretation of the bible but what is necessary for a Christian to believe in is “Jesus Christ, son of the living God” and upon this “rock” or “foundation of truth” the church is built, Christianity is born. We only understand in part as the apostle Paul says, in God’s own time everything will be revealed so that man will glorify God…

  • Jonathan

    Every believer has different levels of faith supplied by God as some might have greater gift to comprehend the deep things about God and some may only knew small portion of the mysteries of the kingdom. The good news is that, salvation doesn’t depend on how much or how less you know from the bible. Hence, to “ban” or remove somebody from the list of evangelicals is like arbitrating these people as not sons of God (exclusivist). Put in mind even heresies/mistakes are purposed by God to expose our hearts on what we really believe in, and yet our salvation is not affected since it doesn’t depend on right or wrong belief or understanding of God’s word. There are so many interpretation of the bible but what is necessary for a Christian to believe in is “Jesus Christ, son of the living God” and upon this “rock” or “foundation of truth” the church is built, Christianity is born. We only understand in part as the apostle Paul says, in God’s own time everything will be revealed so that man will glorify God…

  • Shannon Nutt

    A Christian who doesn’t believe in evolution doesn’t make them an evangelical – it makes them an uneducated fool. Nothing like attacking six of Christianity’s greatest minds, is there? Maybe we should ban the writer from evangelicalism.

  • Shannon Nutt

    A Christian who doesn’t believe in evolution doesn’t make them an evangelical – it makes them an uneducated fool. Nothing like attacking six of Christianity’s greatest minds, is there? Maybe we should ban the writer from evangelicalism.

  • Winston_Fox

    Why did you leave Bonhoeffer out? Do you believe in a “Metaxas” Bonhoeffer?” or a “Charles Welsh” Bonhoeffer? There is a “Great Gulf’ fixed between them.

  • Winston_Fox

    Why did you leave Bonhoeffer out? Do you believe in a “Metaxas” Bonhoeffer?” or a “Charles Welsh” Bonhoeffer? There is a “Great Gulf’ fixed between them.

  • Tom Eggebeen

    Well said … in the “Culture Wars,” evangelicalism has narrowed its vision drastically … caught up in conflict with imagined enemies, without and within, those with the power have consolidated their power and tightened team-eligibility rules. Rather sad – I fear that evangelicalism has become a parody of itself. Thanks for this thoughtful, and entertaining, read.

  • Tom Eggebeen

    Well said … in the “Culture Wars,” evangelicalism has narrowed its vision drastically … caught up in conflict with imagined enemies, without and within, those with the power have consolidated their power and tightened team-eligibility rules. Rather sad – I fear that evangelicalism has become a parody of itself. Thanks for this thoughtful, and entertaining, read.

  • WhoFlungDung

    then i saw how young you are, and thought you’ll learn, some how God will show you how to reach others in a positive fashion without disparaging good and godly men

  • mlpnko123

    You missed the whole point and tone of this article. He doesn’t “disparage good and godly men”. He is suggesting that the opinions of these men might be right and therefore evangelicalism should not be restricted to those that assume they were wrong.

  • WhoFlungDung

    I did! and you are right! I’m guilty! I reread the article, mea culpa! I was a ‘gate keeper’ and was wrong.
    I’m glad I took the time to reread – i was in a rush the first time to get off to work. (i hate when I do this; misinterpret, spout, regret!) you’d think I’d learn.

  • WhoFlungDung

    then i saw how young you are, and thought you’ll learn, some how God will show you how to reach others in a positive fashion without disparaging good and godly men

  • mlpnko123

    You missed the whole point and tone of this article. He doesn’t “disparage good and godly men”. He is suggesting that the opinions of these men might be right and therefore evangelicalism should not be restricted to those that assume they were wrong.

  • WhoFlungDung

    I did! and you are right! I’m guilty! I reread the article, mea culpa! I was a ‘gate keeper’ and was wrong.
    I’m glad I took the time to reread – i was in a rush the first time to get off to work. (i hate when I do this; misinterpret, spout, regret!) you’d think I’d learn.

  • Nicholas Kramer

    Man… wouldn’t it be nice if there was just like one, universal church?…………………………………………………………………….

  • Nicholas Kramer

    Man… wouldn’t it be nice if there was just like one, universal church?…………………………………………………………………….

  • Will

    This is the best trolling ive seen from a Christian yet ! Lololol

  • Will

    This is the best trolling ive seen from a Christian yet ! Lololol

  • Lifehiker

    Enjoyed the post and the comments, since they gave me a nice break from the other more mundane activities of the day. Having traveled various paths in my almost 70 years of attempting to understand and follow “Christianity”, I find more humor than anything else in all of this chatter. Last year, I was killing time on the 16th tee with my playing partner, a Roman Catholic scholar of note, and I asked, “If you were to tell me one thing about God, what would it be?”. He replied, “God is a mystery”. He’s a lot smarter than most who claim to know something. Live to honor God and be a good person; the rest is human conjecture.

  • Lifehiker

    Enjoyed the post and the comments, since they gave me a nice break from the other more mundane activities of the day. Having traveled various paths in my almost 70 years of attempting to understand and follow “Christianity”, I find more humor than anything else in all of this chatter. Last year, I was killing time on the 16th tee with my playing partner, a Roman Catholic scholar of note, and I asked, “If you were to tell me one thing about God, what would it be?”. He replied, “God is a mystery”. He’s a lot smarter than most who claim to know something. Live to honor God and be a good person; the rest is human conjecture.

  • Gregg Braddoch

    LOL. Yes, lets my evangelical churches just like Catholicism and excommunicate those who’s opinions on scripture we disagree with. LOLOLOL.

  • Gregg Braddoch

    LOL. Yes, lets my evangelical churches just like Catholicism and excommunicate those who’s opinions on scripture we disagree with. LOLOLOL.

  • alice

    I find quite ridiculous the amount of time you are spending judging other people, because the are not believing the “right” way. Why not concentrating on how you live your faith, or on helping people who need it instead of playing the denouncing game ?

  • alice

    I find quite ridiculous the amount of time you are spending judging other people, because the are not believing the “right” way. Why not concentrating on how you live your faith, or on helping people who need it instead of playing the denouncing game ?

  • lila

    about the “taking the Bible litteraly” : let’s remind ourselves of some rules that let’s remind it where written a little while ago…

    Any person who curseth his father or mother must be killed
    Leviticus 20:9

    If a man has sex with a woman on her period, they are both to be cut off from their people
    Leviticus 20:18

    People who have flat noses, or are blind or lame, cannot go to an altar of God
    Leviticus 21:17-18

    The eating of fat is prohibited forever
    Leviticus 3:17

    Entrance into the assembly of the Lord was granted only to those with complete testicles
    Deuteronomy 23:1

    Stubborn children were to be stoned, and the stoning was to be instigated by their parents
    Deuteronomy 21:18-21

    Don’t have a variety of crops on the same field.
    Leviticus 19:19

    Don’t wear clothes made of more than one fabric (Leviticus 19:19)

    Don’t cut your hair nor shave. (Leviticus 19:27)

  • lila

    about the “taking the Bible litteraly” : let’s remind ourselves of some rules that let’s remind it where written a little while ago…

    Any person who curseth his father or mother must be killed
    Leviticus 20:9

    If a man has sex with a woman on her period, they are both to be cut off from their people
    Leviticus 20:18

    People who have flat noses, or are blind or lame, cannot go to an altar of God
    Leviticus 21:17-18

    The eating of fat is prohibited forever
    Leviticus 3:17

    Entrance into the assembly of the Lord was granted only to those with complete testicles
    Deuteronomy 23:1

    Stubborn children were to be stoned, and the stoning was to be instigated by their parents
    Deuteronomy 21:18-21

    Don’t have a variety of crops on the same field.
    Leviticus 19:19

    Don’t wear clothes made of more than one fabric (Leviticus 19:19)

    Don’t cut your hair nor shave. (Leviticus 19:27)

  • http://www.pulpitandpen.com/ JD Hall

    I’ll be handling this post in Monday’s Daily #DOWNGRADE segment on the Pulpit & Pen Program. I’m sad that this unabashed obfuscation has come from a WBC student.

  • http://www.pulpitandpen.com/ JD Hall

    I’ll be handling this post in Monday’s Daily #DOWNGRADE segment on the Pulpit & Pen Program. I’m sad that this unabashed obfuscation has come from a WBC student.

  • http://contemplativemonk.com/ Bob Holmes

    Awesome Andy! This is why I abandoned the closed system theology of legalism some years ago. I got tired of killing my heart toward those outside my box that God would use. So now, I’m as much Orthodox as well as Charismatic, and Evangelical and Catholic. Yes, difference matters, but there is something bigger here than differences and distinctives. It is God, and I am apart of the Body of Christ, the whole Body of Christ. I claim it, warts and all. I belong. This is my confession. And here I stand.

  • http://contemplativemonk.com/ Bob Holmes

    Awesome Andy! This is why I abandoned the closed system theology of legalism some years ago. I got tired of killing my heart toward those outside my box that God would use. So now, I’m as much Orthodox as well as Charismatic, and Evangelical and Catholic. Yes, difference matters, but there is something bigger here than differences and distinctives. It is God, and I am apart of the Body of Christ, the whole Body of Christ. I claim it, warts and all. I belong. This is my confession. And here I stand.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t agree with basing Lewis’ theology on “The Chronicles of Narnia” which were a work of fiction. The author of this article overlooks Lewis’ other works such “Mere Christianity” and “The Screwtape Letters”, which give his actual theological views.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t agree with basing Lewis’ theology on “The Chronicles of Narnia” which were a work of fiction. The author of this article overlooks Lewis’ other works such “Mere Christianity” and “The Screwtape Letters”, which give his actual theological views.

  • Jake

    You aren’t an evangelical, just a fundamentalist. When I understood that, your article made sense.

  • Jake

    You aren’t an evangelical, just a fundamentalist. When I understood that, your article made sense.

  • Erik Griffiths

    Wow a lot these guys sound rational, intelligent and kind, no wonder you want them thrown out.

  • Erik Griffiths

    Wow a lot these guys sound rational, intelligent and kind, no wonder you want them thrown out.

  • Sam Logan

    This excellent thread is one reason why I have recommended that we ban ALL labels when talking about other Christians. Yes, it will make our discussions more lengthy but it might, it just might move us toward that point where the world really does know that we are Christians by our love instead of by our vitriol toward one another. http://sloganwrfblog.wordpress.com/

  • Sam Logan

    This excellent thread is one reason why I have recommended that we ban ALL labels when talking about other Christians. Yes, it will make our discussions more lengthy but it might, it just might move us toward that point where the world really does know that we are Christians by our love instead of by our vitriol toward one another. http://sloganwrfblog.wordpress.com/

  • Scott

    Gotta love religion. It’s been around for however many thousands of years, and yet no two people can agree on the particulars, to include even the name of the creator. What a silly game.

  • Scott

    Gotta love religion. It’s been around for however many thousands of years, and yet no two people can agree on the particulars, to include even the name of the creator. What a silly game.

  • Jeffrey Weiss

    As a writer, most of these comments leave me in despair. The intent of the piece seems clear to me: Authentic heroes of the church, heroes of evangelicals, sometimes expressed positions that would be rejected by many of those same evangelicals. Far from an attack on these Christian figures, it’s a suggestion that those who run modern litmus tests should perhaps consider a little greater flexibility.

  • Jeffrey Weiss

    As a writer, most of these comments leave me in despair. The intent of the piece seems clear to me: Authentic heroes of the church, heroes of evangelicals, sometimes expressed positions that would be rejected by many of those same evangelicals. Far from an attack on these Christian figures, it’s a suggestion that those who run modern litmus tests should perhaps consider a little greater flexibility.

  • Nils

    Of course, you do realize that Luther changed his mind on a number of things over his lifetime–he may not ultimately have taken that position. Having a citation there would be helpful.

  • Nils

    Of course, you do realize that Luther changed his mind on a number of things over his lifetime–he may not ultimately have taken that position. Having a citation there would be helpful.

  • Patrick

    Honestly, I was expecting to see Jesus be number 7 as a bonus. Drop your stones, open your eyes, because you might not have it all figured out. (Luke 13:34)

  • Patrick

    Honestly, I was expecting to see Jesus be number 7 as a bonus. Drop your stones, open your eyes, because you might not have it all figured out. (Luke 13:34)

  • Devin Murphy

    In short, the point of the blog is to list 6 mostly-respected Christians from time-past who held controversial views that would not be accepted by today’s “evangelicalism” which the author absolutely scorns. Standley does provide some links to exactly who he’s speaking about… but both links lead to posts that aren’t there, which isn’t helpful in seeing exactly whose throat he’s going for. But don’t worry, it becomes abundantly clear whose throat he’s going for later in the article.

    For people who have been in on the conversation trying to answer the question “What is evangelicalism?” or “How can we define evangelicalism?” we all know that it soon turns into muddy waters. For the most part and I would argue historically, evangelicalism simply means that people believe Jesus is the only way to God, they believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God and that God’s wrath abides on unbelievers. Pretty simple right? Well, in an attempt, for many years now, to gain influence in what has been known as the “evangelical crowd” which would include folks from the Calvary Chapel movement, the Southern Baptist Convention and conservative Presbyterians, more theologically liberal people who identify as Christians have flown the flag of “Evangelical” when their theology resembles nothing of what the majority of evangelicals have believed and identified with, which is exactly why you see those theologically conservative people rightly pushing back against the likes of Rob Bell and Rachel Held Evans over the title of “Evangelical”.

    With that out of the way, I’m saying let’s scrap the debate over the title, as it is small potatoes compared to the real issue. The real issue, I’m persuaded, is “What is a Christian?” or “How can we define Christianity?” Unlike when defining a term like Evangelicalism, Christianity has a source that we can align beliefs with and see what fits. That source, of course, is the primary source of, the Bible. Now, that isn’t as easy as it sounds, but it is far better grounds to work on than a name like “Evangelical”.

    Getting back to the article itself, some things must be noticed. Let’s begin with the opening questions, meant to set us up for what the author thinks is a slam-dunk on theologically conservative believers:“What does it mean to be “evangelical”?
    “What must you believe? What must you reject? Can you be an evangelical Christian and believe…
    …in evolution?
    …that Hell is only temporary?
    …that people from other religions can be saved without even knowing it?
    …that the atonement is not about God’s wrath being poured out on Jesus in our place?
    …that Scripture is errant?
    Many evangelicals would say “no” to most—maybe even all—of these. That’s why, in an attempt to protect the name of evangelicalism, some prominent leaders within evangelicalism have made it their responsibility to publicly denounce those with whom they disagree on issues like these.”

    This is the springboard to launch an attack on some, who the author believes, are the sacred cows of “evangelicals” or, as I would say, theologically conservative Christians. He goes on to list 6 men who are generally esteemed in some way or another among theologically conservative Christians. Now I want to go through each of them that seem most relevant to this discussion and discuss why the author is really misrepresenting those that he characterizes, generalizes and criticizes.

    1. C.S. Lewis, The Narnian himself. Beloved by probably anyone who can read. The author says that basically evangelicals love him but would never let someone who believes as he does in their pulpit at church. In other words, he’s saying to everyone who is theologically conservative is just really ignorant of what C.S. Lewis believed, and if they were consistent in their rejection of who they deem heretics, then they wouldn’t just reject Rob Bell, they’d reject C.S. Lewis too! That sounds pretty good doesn’t it? Sure. Only, evangelicals have been the ones to show the most appreciation of Lewis, as he deserves much appreciation… wait for it… while acknowledging where he wasn’t 100% orthodox in his theology! Who knew? Right? What have I heard men like John Piper, who is totally gaga over C.S. Lewis and is considered a spokesmen for much of the Reformed movement? In Piper’s biographical lecture/sermon on Lewis, he says the following:“There was something about the way he read Scripture that made my own embrace of inerrancy tighter, not looser. There was something about the way he spoke of grace and God’s power that made me value the particularities of the Reformation more, not less. There was something about the way he portrayed the wonders of the incarnation that made me more suspicious of his own inclusivism, not less. There was something about the way he spoke of doctrine as the necessary roadmap that leads to Reality, and the way he esteemed truth and reason and precision of thought, that made me cherish more, not less, the historic articulations of the biblical explanations of how the work of Christ saves sinners—the so-called theories of the atonement.”
    Source: http://www.desiringgod.org/biographies/lessons-from-an-inconsolable-soul

    What Piper is describing is that even though Lewis made not-so-theologically-conservative-remarks, he certainly had a theologically conservative vibe about him that makes his work resonate so much with theological conservatives. Perhaps that’s why we don’t outright reject him. Not to mention that he wasn’t a Pastor or holding some office requiring Christians to really heed his words, he was an entirely different category.

    2. Martin Luther, the angry Monk. Obviously a beloved figure to theologically conservative Protestants. What could Mr. Standley say to divert us from accepting Luther’s theology? Well, quite the charge… that Luther was… anti-inerrancy! Standley says,

    “But to the dismay of every evangelical Calvinist, I fear I must be the bearer of bad news that Martin Luther apparently didn’t believe the Bible is fully inspired, true or trustworthy. Speaking of inaccuracies in the books of Chronicles, he states, “When one often reads that great numbers of people were slain—for example, eighty thousand—I believe that hardly one thousand were actually killed.”

    Ok, first… to the dismay of *every evangelical Calvinist*? Um, why did he go with Calvinists in that line? Shouldn’t he be going after evangelical Lutherans when trying to say that Luther was a heretic by the standards he thinks we have? It just shows how misinformed and careless this article really was.

    So how should we respond to that line from Luther? Does he, by saying what he did, reject the Bible’s inerrancy as God’s word? I say no, as we can see all over Luther, even by the Reformation itself, that he did believe that the Bible was inerrant. His issue though, which is extremely reasonable for a man in his situation, was skepticism. When Biblical truth had been so suppressed for so long, the Bible not being in the hands of hardly anyone but people commanded to practically ignore what it actually says, when you break away from such an institution, wouldn’t you be reading what was in front of you with a bit more skepticism than someone would today? Inerrancy as it is understood today has far more to undergird it than Luther had in his historical context, making the charge that he denied inerrancy completely anachronistic.

    3. Augustine, the theologian of the West. Standley brings up what so many people have wrestled with for years, that Augustine wrestled with the text of Genesis to where he would laugh at Christians who take it “literally” as how we should determine how God created the world. First, what must be realized here, is that Augustine, in the 3rd century CE/AD, had no clue of what the current debates around scripture and science are today. Augustine could be said to have been trying to see other ways the text could be examined or understood, the idea of evolution was nowhere in sight at the time. It is completely careless to suggest that he believed as theistic evolutionists today believed. We must also realize that he didn’t reject a literal Adam and Eve as some theistic evolutionists believe today. Standley also isn’t careful or nuanced enough to realize that there are a wide range of views of creation that aren’t just young earth views. To suggest that every “big” leader in conservative “evangelicalism” is anti-theistic-evolution shows that Standley isn’t familiar with the likes of a Tim Keller, Hugh Ross or many others who highly esteem scripture and its theology yet make considerations about how Genesis should be interpreted (and NO, I’m not saying Keller and Ross believe the exact same thing, in case you’re wondering).
    Finally, and let’s not forget who Standley is really trying to eat in this article, in his own words, “This is Augustine, the one to whom we can give credit for the doctrines of original sin and Hell as eternal conscious torment (which are at the core of reformed theology).” Yes, the Calvinists who he thinks are utterly unaware of the views of these men listed so far.

    4. William Barclay, someone I don’t know anything about. I know his commentaries are everywhere, but I don’t see anyone, and have never seen anyone, really interested in discussing anything he’s said, until this article. Perhaps it’s because of my theological surroundings, but he doesn’t seem comparable at all compared to the other people listed in this article. I don’t say that to speak ill of him, as I really have no clue of his theology or anyone he’s influenced. That means I don’t have anything to say about him or whether he was a universalist as the article argues.

    5. John Stott, the Anglican to be feared. Standley mentions Stott’s view of annihilationism as what would keep him outside of the Evangelical/theologically conservative fold. What is interesting though is that Stott is considered one of the founders of the “Evangelical Movement” in the last 60-70 years. For Heaven’s sake he was one of the main authors of the Lausanne Covenant. If you don’t know what that is you need to Google it. Basically if you looked up “Evangelical Beliefs” in some dictionary or Encyclopedia, the Lausanne Covenant would pop up. Now, his promotion of annihilationism was controversial at the time, and in many places still is. Yet why is he still accepted as a great father in the theologically conservative West? Why didn’t Standley stop and ask himself, “Now why is he still quoted in all of these conservative books? Why is he still esteemed and frequently discussed?”… that’s an answer I’d like to know. My guess is that the assumption that theological conservatives are so stupid and ignorant of these figure’s views that there is no way they knew this about Stott…

    6. Billy Graham, Mr. Altar Call. As Standley says, guilty of inclusivism. The belief that there can be people of other religions that are saved but don’t know it. He goes on to cite an interview that Graham had with Robert Schuller in 1997 where Graham, did indeed espouse a form of inclusivism. The real issue though, is that he said that in an interview in 1997 and has said it other times, but does that mean every conservative Christian should write him off as a heretic? The truth is, most already have. Maybe not most, but many, for sure, for this exact reason. I’ll pass on going into details about Graham’s theology and parts of it that seem contradictory as many already frequently debate about Graham’s views and whether he is to be trusted 100% or not as a representative of conservative theology. My point here is, that once again, Standley hasn’t given the people he’s trying to jab (Calvinists) anything that they haven’t heard. In fact, it was probably Calvinists who distrusted Graham in the first place when he began making those statements about inclusivism.

    Finally, Standley goes for the haymaker. A scattering of unsubstantiated jabs that further demonstrate that he shouldn’t be taken at his word. Here is what he goes on to say after the Graham “expose”:“There are plenty of other examples: George Whitefield’s lobbying for slavery, Martin Luther’s hatred of Jews, John Calvin’s approval of burning heretics at the stake, etc. etc.”

    Ok, hold the phone! Are we really going to act like these listed scenarios don’t have any nuances, contexts and complete volumes written to understand each of the events? Especially the statement about Calvin which even recent secular Calvin biographer Bruce Gordon would say is untrue. Nobody denies that there are plenty of issues with *every* dead and living theologically conservative Christian. So let’s cut to the chase of what Standley is attempting to do here.
    It took a long time to get here, but this is the heart of Standley’s motivations in this article. From his own words:“So, maybe it’s time to extend a bit more loving kindness to the evolutionists, to those who reject inerrancy, to those who take the Bible literally when it says that God will redeem all people to Himself, to the Rob Bells and the World Visions.”Did you catch that? Yes, he just equated accepting these listed theological greats with accepting outright heretics who reject *many* core Christian views, far more than the 5 that I covered from the article. Because Augustine sought to understand other possible views of Genesis than the literal understanding, I should accept Rob Bell? Because John Stott said that the wrath of God on the unbeliever is different than the traditional view (still wrath though…) I should accept, Rachel Held Evans? I’m very sorry Mr. Standley but none of the people that you think theological conservatives should accept can be compared to the men in this list. The infractions against scripture as a whole by Emergent leaders like Bell and Evans are ones that even all of the people mentioned in this list would be spinning in their graves over. While this article has gained traction, it is extremely deceptive and as I said earlier, very very careless.

  • Devin Murphy

    In short, the point of the blog is to list 6 mostly-respected Christians from time-past who held controversial views that would not be accepted by today’s “evangelicalism” which the author absolutely scorns. Standley does provide some links to exactly who he’s speaking about… but both links lead to posts that aren’t there, which isn’t helpful in seeing exactly whose throat he’s going for. But don’t worry, it becomes abundantly clear whose throat he’s going for later in the article.

    For people who have been in on the conversation trying to answer the question “What is evangelicalism?” or “How can we define evangelicalism?” we all know that it soon turns into muddy waters. For the most part and I would argue historically, evangelicalism simply means that people believe Jesus is the only way to God, they believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God and that God’s wrath abides on unbelievers. Pretty simple right? Well, in an attempt, for many years now, to gain influence in what has been known as the “evangelical crowd” which would include folks from the Calvary Chapel movement, the Southern Baptist Convention and conservative Presbyterians, more theologically liberal people who identify as Christians have flown the flag of “Evangelical” when their theology resembles nothing of what the majority of evangelicals have believed and identified with, which is exactly why you see those theologically conservative people rightly pushing back against the likes of Rob Bell and Rachel Held Evans over the title of “Evangelical”.

    With that out of the way, I’m saying let’s scrap the debate over the title, as it is small potatoes compared to the real issue. The real issue, I’m persuaded, is “What is a Christian?” or “How can we define Christianity?” Unlike when defining a term like Evangelicalism, Christianity has a source that we can align beliefs with and see what fits. That source, of course, is the primary source of, the Bible. Now, that isn’t as easy as it sounds, but it is far better grounds to work on than a name like “Evangelical”.

    Getting back to the article itself, some things must be noticed. Let’s begin with the opening questions, meant to set us up for what the author thinks is a slam-dunk on theologically conservative believers:“What does it mean to be “evangelical”?
    “What must you believe? What must you reject? Can you be an evangelical Christian and believe…
    …in evolution?
    …that Hell is only temporary?
    …that people from other religions can be saved without even knowing it?
    …that the atonement is not about God’s wrath being poured out on Jesus in our place?
    …that Scripture is errant?
    Many evangelicals would say “no” to most—maybe even all—of these. That’s why, in an attempt to protect the name of evangelicalism, some prominent leaders within evangelicalism have made it their responsibility to publicly denounce those with whom they disagree on issues like these.”

    This is the springboard to launch an attack on some, who the author believes, are the sacred cows of “evangelicals” or, as I would say, theologically conservative Christians. He goes on to list 6 men who are generally esteemed in some way or another among theologically conservative Christians. Now I want to go through each of them that seem most relevant to this discussion and discuss why the author is really misrepresenting those that he characterizes, generalizes and criticizes.

    1. C.S. Lewis, The Narnian himself. Beloved by probably anyone who can read. The author says that basically evangelicals love him but would never let someone who believes as he does in their pulpit at church. In other words, he’s saying to everyone who is theologically conservative is just really ignorant of what C.S. Lewis believed, and if they were consistent in their rejection of who they deem heretics, then they wouldn’t just reject Rob Bell, they’d reject C.S. Lewis too! That sounds pretty good doesn’t it? Sure. Only, evangelicals have been the ones to show the most appreciation of Lewis, as he deserves much appreciation… wait for it… while acknowledging where he wasn’t 100% orthodox in his theology! Who knew? Right? What have I heard men like John Piper, who is totally gaga over C.S. Lewis and is considered a spokesmen for much of the Reformed movement? In Piper’s biographical lecture/sermon on Lewis, he says the following:“There was something about the way he read Scripture that made my own embrace of inerrancy tighter, not looser. There was something about the way he spoke of grace and God’s power that made me value the particularities of the Reformation more, not less. There was something about the way he portrayed the wonders of the incarnation that made me more suspicious of his own inclusivism, not less. There was something about the way he spoke of doctrine as the necessary roadmap that leads to Reality, and the way he esteemed truth and reason and precision of thought, that made me cherish more, not less, the historic articulations of the biblical explanations of how the work of Christ saves sinners—the so-called theories of the atonement.”
    Source: http://www.desiringgod.org/biographies/lessons-from-an-inconsolable-soul

    What Piper is describing is that even though Lewis made not-so-theologically-conservative-remarks, he certainly had a theologically conservative vibe about him that makes his work resonate so much with theological conservatives. Perhaps that’s why we don’t outright reject him. Not to mention that he wasn’t a Pastor or holding some office requiring Christians to really heed his words, he was an entirely different category.

    2. Martin Luther, the angry Monk. Obviously a beloved figure to theologically conservative Protestants. What could Mr. Standley say to divert us from accepting Luther’s theology? Well, quite the charge… that Luther was… anti-inerrancy! Standley says,

    “But to the dismay of every evangelical Calvinist, I fear I must be the bearer of bad news that Martin Luther apparently didn’t believe the Bible is fully inspired, true or trustworthy. Speaking of inaccuracies in the books of Chronicles, he states, “When one often reads that great numbers of people were slain—for example, eighty thousand—I believe that hardly one thousand were actually killed.”

    Ok, first… to the dismay of *every evangelical Calvinist*? Um, why did he go with Calvinists in that line? Shouldn’t he be going after evangelical Lutherans when trying to say that Luther was a heretic by the standards he thinks we have? It just shows how misinformed and careless this article really was.

    So how should we respond to that line from Luther? Does he, by saying what he did, reject the Bible’s inerrancy as God’s word? I say no, as we can see all over Luther, even by the Reformation itself, that he did believe that the Bible was inerrant. His issue though, which is extremely reasonable for a man in his situation, was skepticism. When Biblical truth had been so suppressed for so long, the Bible not being in the hands of hardly anyone but people commanded to practically ignore what it actually says, when you break away from such an institution, wouldn’t you be reading what was in front of you with a bit more skepticism than someone would today? Inerrancy as it is understood today has far more to undergird it than Luther had in his historical context, making the charge that he denied inerrancy completely anachronistic.

    3. Augustine, the theologian of the West. Standley brings up what so many people have wrestled with for years, that Augustine wrestled with the text of Genesis to where he would laugh at Christians who take it “literally” as how we should determine how God created the world. First, what must be realized here, is that Augustine, in the 3rd century CE/AD, had no clue of what the current debates around scripture and science are today. Augustine could be said to have been trying to see other ways the text could be examined or understood, the idea of evolution was nowhere in sight at the time. It is completely careless to suggest that he believed as theistic evolutionists today believed. We must also realize that he didn’t reject a literal Adam and Eve as some theistic evolutionists believe today. Standley also isn’t careful or nuanced enough to realize that there are a wide range of views of creation that aren’t just young earth views. To suggest that every “big” leader in conservative “evangelicalism” is anti-theistic-evolution shows that Standley isn’t familiar with the likes of a Tim Keller, Hugh Ross or many others who highly esteem scripture and its theology yet make considerations about how Genesis should be interpreted (and NO, I’m not saying Keller and Ross believe the exact same thing, in case you’re wondering).
    Finally, and let’s not forget who Standley is really trying to eat in this article, in his own words, “This is Augustine, the one to whom we can give credit for the doctrines of original sin and Hell as eternal conscious torment (which are at the core of reformed theology).” Yes, the Calvinists who he thinks are utterly unaware of the views of these men listed so far.

    4. William Barclay, someone I don’t know anything about. I know his commentaries are everywhere, but I don’t see anyone, and have never seen anyone, really interested in discussing anything he’s said, until this article. Perhaps it’s because of my theological surroundings, but he doesn’t seem comparable at all compared to the other people listed in this article. I don’t say that to speak ill of him, as I really have no clue of his theology or anyone he’s influenced. That means I don’t have anything to say about him or whether he was a universalist as the article argues.

    5. John Stott, the Anglican to be feared. Standley mentions Stott’s view of annihilationism as what would keep him outside of the Evangelical/theologically conservative fold. What is interesting though is that Stott is considered one of the founders of the “Evangelical Movement” in the last 60-70 years. For Heaven’s sake he was one of the main authors of the Lausanne Covenant. If you don’t know what that is you need to Google it. Basically if you looked up “Evangelical Beliefs” in some dictionary or Encyclopedia, the Lausanne Covenant would pop up. Now, his promotion of annihilationism was controversial at the time, and in many places still is. Yet why is he still accepted as a great father in the theologically conservative West? Why didn’t Standley stop and ask himself, “Now why is he still quoted in all of these conservative books? Why is he still esteemed and frequently discussed?”… that’s an answer I’d like to know. My guess is that the assumption that theological conservatives are so stupid and ignorant of these figure’s views that there is no way they knew this about Stott…

    6. Billy Graham, Mr. Altar Call. As Standley says, guilty of inclusivism. The belief that there can be people of other religions that are saved but don’t know it. He goes on to cite an interview that Graham had with Robert Schuller in 1997 where Graham, did indeed espouse a form of inclusivism. The real issue though, is that he said that in an interview in 1997 and has said it other times, but does that mean every conservative Christian should write him off as a heretic? The truth is, most already have. Maybe not most, but many, for sure, for this exact reason. I’ll pass on going into details about Graham’s theology and parts of it that seem contradictory as many already frequently debate about Graham’s views and whether he is to be trusted 100% or not as a representative of conservative theology. My point here is, that once again, Standley hasn’t given the people he’s trying to jab (Calvinists) anything that they haven’t heard. In fact, it was probably Calvinists who distrusted Graham in the first place when he began making those statements about inclusivism.

    Finally, Standley goes for the haymaker. A scattering of unsubstantiated jabs that further demonstrate that he shouldn’t be taken at his word. Here is what he goes on to say after the Graham “expose”:“There are plenty of other examples: George Whitefield’s lobbying for slavery, Martin Luther’s hatred of Jews, John Calvin’s approval of burning heretics at the stake, etc. etc.”

    Ok, hold the phone! Are we really going to act like these listed scenarios don’t have any nuances, contexts and complete volumes written to understand each of the events? Especially the statement about Calvin which even recent secular Calvin biographer Bruce Gordon would say is untrue. Nobody denies that there are plenty of issues with *every* dead and living theologically conservative Christian. So let’s cut to the chase of what Standley is attempting to do here.
    It took a long time to get here, but this is the heart of Standley’s motivations in this article. From his own words:“So, maybe it’s time to extend a bit more loving kindness to the evolutionists, to those who reject inerrancy, to those who take the Bible literally when it says that God will redeem all people to Himself, to the Rob Bells and the World Visions.”Did you catch that? Yes, he just equated accepting these listed theological greats with accepting outright heretics who reject *many* core Christian views, far more than the 5 that I covered from the article. Because Augustine sought to understand other possible views of Genesis than the literal understanding, I should accept Rob Bell? Because John Stott said that the wrath of God on the unbeliever is different than the traditional view (still wrath though…) I should accept, Rachel Held Evans? I’m very sorry Mr. Standley but none of the people that you think theological conservatives should accept can be compared to the men in this list. The infractions against scripture as a whole by Emergent leaders like Bell and Evans are ones that even all of the people mentioned in this list would be spinning in their graves over. While this article has gained traction, it is extremely deceptive and as I said earlier, very very careless.

  • Abe V

    This is stupid–sock value to say “Ooooh, look who was not who you though they were.” Christianity should never join the discussion of who is “allowed” or “banned” from it, and even less who is “evangelical,” or not. This is about following Christ and studying the Bible and living by the Gospel and always thinking and questions about faith and doctrine and allowing those who are seeking to feel they can ask anything. All these men were great because they never felt the need to distinguish themselves, they were eager to know more about the truth of God. If you’re drawing the line in the sand and saying who is “evangelical” and who isn’t, and what constitutes that, you’re in essence distinguishing yourself as the the “better,” the more “evolved” in doctrine and believe, and these men as the “other.” This seems to all be a false sense of righteousness and frankly a waste of time. I think we should rather spend time actually being with people, on all spectrums of faith and doctrine, and listen to questions, maybe learn something, and not be exclusivists but open to anyone into the fold of who the Bible says God is, who Jesus is, what the implications of the Gospel are, and anyone into the love of God.

  • Abe V

    This is stupid–sock value to say “Ooooh, look who was not who you though they were.” Christianity should never join the discussion of who is “allowed” or “banned” from it, and even less who is “evangelical,” or not. This is about following Christ and studying the Bible and living by the Gospel and always thinking and questions about faith and doctrine and allowing those who are seeking to feel they can ask anything. All these men were great because they never felt the need to distinguish themselves, they were eager to know more about the truth of God. If you’re drawing the line in the sand and saying who is “evangelical” and who isn’t, and what constitutes that, you’re in essence distinguishing yourself as the the “better,” the more “evolved” in doctrine and believe, and these men as the “other.” This seems to all be a false sense of righteousness and frankly a waste of time. I think we should rather spend time actually being with people, on all spectrums of faith and doctrine, and listen to questions, maybe learn something, and not be exclusivists but open to anyone into the fold of who the Bible says God is, who Jesus is, what the implications of the Gospel are, and anyone into the love of God.

  • Paige Palmer

    It’s hilarious and frustrating the number of commenters who skimmed the article and became outraged because they did not catch the sarcasm. This is a really helpful article, thank you.

  • Paige Palmer

    It’s hilarious and frustrating the number of commenters who skimmed the article and became outraged because they did not catch the sarcasm. This is a really helpful article, thank you.

  • Lutheran

    Thank you for dissasociating your movement from Luther. As a Lutheran, most who quote him don’t have any idea what he actually believed. He would condemn evangelicalism for many things. One of them wouldn’t be for Chronicles, however. The problem with quoting him is that most of his works were written down by other people. For the life of me, I can’t find the quote that the author is referring to. But he has only a handful of works that were actually “penned” by him. His Bondage of the Will, his Small and Large Catechism, etc.. Others quoted him and some got it horribly wrong. He even testified in his life to this. If you want to actually read him, study his works above. But again, if you are an evangelical, Luther would have condemned you on other points, so please stop quoting him as if he were part of your movement.

  • PT

    However, as protestants, we do come from his stream (even if we disagree on certain things). Just because I quote someone doesn’t mean I agree with everything, but it does mean that I can agree with them on certain points.

  • Lutheran

    Thank you for dissasociating your movement from Luther. As a Lutheran, most who quote him don’t have any idea what he actually believed. He would condemn evangelicalism for many things. One of them wouldn’t be for Chronicles, however. The problem with quoting him is that most of his works were written down by other people. For the life of me, I can’t find the quote that the author is referring to. But he has only a handful of works that were actually “penned” by him. His Bondage of the Will, his Small and Large Catechism, etc.. Others quoted him and some got it horribly wrong. He even testified in his life to this. If you want to actually read him, study his works above. But again, if you are an evangelical, Luther would have condemned you on other points, so please stop quoting him as if he were part of your movement.

  • PT

    However, as protestants, we do come from his stream (even if we disagree on certain things). Just because I quote someone doesn’t mean I agree with everything, but it does mean that I can agree with them on certain points.

  • Eric Brind’Amour

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer, whose life showed more evidence of true Christianity than the current crop of evangelical leaders who cover up child abuse and can’t keep their dicks in their pants, should be added to this list.

  • Eric Brind’Amour

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer, whose life showed more evidence of true Christianity than the current crop of evangelical leaders who cover up child abuse and can’t keep their dicks in their pants, should be added to this list.

  • kjkjcsimps

    Maybe one day your theological purity will earn you the title “Heretic.” Many of Christ’s contemporaries thought He was a Heretic.

    “I am a great sinner, but Christ is the great Savior.”

  • kjkjcsimps

    Maybe one day your theological purity will earn you the title “Heretic.” Many of Christ’s contemporaries thought He was a Heretic.

    “I am a great sinner, but Christ is the great Savior.”

  • jyearsley

    Wow, what a poorly reasoned polemic.

    Point 1, I am utterly unconcerned with what any human thinks of my ministry or calling. My purpose is to be faithful to Christ, preach the Word and administer the sacraments.

    Point 2 – you are attempting to posit that CS Lewis’ entire effort was an allegorical proclamation – it was juvenile fiction with a Christocentric overlay. Ever read “Mere Christianity” or “Surprised By Joy” or “A Grief Observed?” How about “The Great Divorce” or Screwtape?

    Who do you know that really holds to a literal 6 Day (144 hour) creation belief?

    Barclay was a heretic (as were Origen and Nyssa), but it didn’t affect his scholasticism in writing his bible study guides. However, to frame them as “commentaries” is disingenuous.

    What is teh argument with Stott? Many evangelicals hold the view that eternal damnation is total separation from God. Stott’s theory might fit.

    I think you are misstating Dr. Graham’s position by giving it only a superficial review.

    Point three, What do you understand inerrant to mean?

  • jyearsley

    Wow, what a poorly reasoned polemic.

    Point 1, I am utterly unconcerned with what any human thinks of my ministry or calling. My purpose is to be faithful to Christ, preach the Word and administer the sacraments.

    Point 2 – you are attempting to posit that CS Lewis’ entire effort was an allegorical proclamation – it was juvenile fiction with a Christocentric overlay. Ever read “Mere Christianity” or “Surprised By Joy” or “A Grief Observed?” How about “The Great Divorce” or Screwtape?

    Who do you know that really holds to a literal 6 Day (144 hour) creation belief?

    Barclay was a heretic (as were Origen and Nyssa), but it didn’t affect his scholasticism in writing his bible study guides. However, to frame them as “commentaries” is disingenuous.

    What is teh argument with Stott? Many evangelicals hold the view that eternal damnation is total separation from God. Stott’s theory might fit.

    I think you are misstating Dr. Graham’s position by giving it only a superficial review.

    Point three, What do you understand inerrant to mean?

  • Glenn Peoples

    Subtle point, perhaps, but you describe annihilationism / conditional immortality thus: “the unrepentant cease to exist after enduring the penalty for their sins.”

    Actually, according to our view, the penalty for sin *is* death, not a period of suffering beforehand. If the lost could endure the penalty for sin in full, there would be no reason for them to cease to exist, surely.

  • Glenn Peoples

    Subtle point, perhaps, but you describe annihilationism / conditional immortality thus: “the unrepentant cease to exist after enduring the penalty for their sins.”

    Actually, according to our view, the penalty for sin *is* death, not a period of suffering beforehand. If the lost could endure the penalty for sin in full, there would be no reason for them to cease to exist, surely.

  • Timothy Gragg

    Romans 2:12-16 “For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (For not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.”

    Are you sure Billy Graham was wrong when you read Romans?

    To say that someone is saved or not is to take judgement into your own hands, so to say that someone is not saved because they have not “explicitly confess[ed] him as Lord” is putting yourself in the judgement seat.

    I say we let Christ be Judge and let us all continue to love one another and continue to study the Word of God and pray that He reveals all truth to us.
    —–
    When Christ compared Hell to Gehenna, is Gehenna still burning? Also, if God is a God of love, how sick does that sound for Him to have a corner somewhere in his created universe where sinners are forever tortured and tormented. Finally, if the ultimate conclusion of the story of our world is the complete end of sin and suffering; how could that be true if sinners are still present somewhere in the universe? If sin is to be wiped out, sin cannot exist.

  • Timothy Gragg

    Romans 2:12-16 “For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (For not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.”

    Are you sure Billy Graham was wrong when you read Romans?

    To say that someone is saved or not is to take judgement into your own hands, so to say that someone is not saved because they have not “explicitly confess[ed] him as Lord” is putting yourself in the judgement seat.

    I say we let Christ be Judge and let us all continue to love one another and continue to study the Word of God and pray that He reveals all truth to us.
    —–
    When Christ compared Hell to Gehenna, is Gehenna still burning? Also, if God is a God of love, how sick does that sound for Him to have a corner somewhere in his created universe where sinners are forever tortured and tormented. Finally, if the ultimate conclusion of the story of our world is the complete end of sin and suffering; how could that be true if sinners are still present somewhere in the universe? If sin is to be wiped out, sin cannot exist.

  • Jerry Shepherd
  • Jerry Shepherd
  • Jim

    I have a better idea: ban evangelicalism altogether since it’s a crap parody of Christ’s gospel and a sink of stupid superstition.

  • Jim

    I have a better idea: ban evangelicalism altogether since it’s a crap parody of Christ’s gospel and a sink of stupid superstition.

  • Mike

    If we were all judged by comments we’ve made or written within the whole of our lives, we are all Heretics.

  • T.J.

    Agreed, I wish these guys were as hard on themselves for proof texting history as they are on evangelicals who supposedly proof text scripture.

  • Mike

    If we were all judged by comments we’ve made or written within the whole of our lives, we are all Heretics.

  • T.J.

    Agreed, I wish these guys were as hard on themselves for proof texting history as they are on evangelicals who supposedly proof text scripture.

  • T.J.

    I love it when liberals resort to referencing history rather than the Bible. In a Bible quoting contest conservative evangelicals win. By the way, Billy Graham clarified the statement you quote. Perhaps you should have brought that up.

  • T.J.

    I love it when liberals resort to referencing history rather than the Bible. In a Bible quoting contest conservative evangelicals win. By the way, Billy Graham clarified the statement you quote. Perhaps you should have brought that up.

  • harry

    This article is a clear example of the kind of mentality that has infiltrated so called “Christianity” in America. This rise in Calvinism in the past decade seems like it may be the final “falling away” before the s#it truly hits the fan. This movement seems to think it knows what is right, who is “saved” and “unsaved” and think they have total hold on the truth. It is the most dangerous movement since it’s siblings “The Moral Majority” and the “Christian Right”. Listen to Jesus and “Go to your closet and pray” and stay as far away from these churches as possible!!!

  • harry

    This article is a clear example of the kind of mentality that has infiltrated so called “Christianity” in America. This rise in Calvinism in the past decade seems like it may be the final “falling away” before the s#it truly hits the fan. This movement seems to think it knows what is right, who is “saved” and “unsaved” and think they have total hold on the truth. It is the most dangerous movement since it’s siblings “The Moral Majority” and the “Christian Right”. Listen to Jesus and “Go to your closet and pray” and stay as far away from these churches as possible!!!

  • Dave Sturkey

    Andy, I’m sure that you would agree that A is not equal to non-A. Of course then there must be some agreed upon definition of “evangelical” and everyone can’t fit within that definition. You know this. Evangelical, historically, at least since the word came into vogue in the last couple of centuries has focused on the “fundamentals” (in the old sense, not the newer more political sense) of faith as described by J. Gresham Machen in his address, “Liberalism or Christianity” and quoted in The Princeton Theological Review, Volume 20, No. 1, 1922, p. 93. More recently helpful has been Christian historian David Bebbington’s four distinctives of evangelical faith as being: conversionism, biblicism, crucicentrism, and activism. Any teaching or tenet of faith that leads to the breaking down of these four distinctives cannot be called “evangelical.” What you hear, I think, is evangelicals defending the ground that defines our understanding of the faith. Admittedly, many do this in blind, uneducated, and even sinful ways, but there is a real content to the evangelical understanding of Christianity. Thanks for your blog and thoughts. Dave Sturkey

  • Dave Sturkey

    Andy, I’m sure that you would agree that A is not equal to non-A. Of course then there must be some agreed upon definition of “evangelical” and everyone can’t fit within that definition. You know this. Evangelical, historically, at least since the word came into vogue in the last couple of centuries has focused on the “fundamentals” (in the old sense, not the newer more political sense) of faith as described by J. Gresham Machen in his address, “Liberalism or Christianity” and quoted in The Princeton Theological Review, Volume 20, No. 1, 1922, p. 93. More recently helpful has been Christian historian David Bebbington’s four distinctives of evangelical faith as being: conversionism, biblicism, crucicentrism, and activism. Any teaching or tenet of faith that leads to the breaking down of these four distinctives cannot be called “evangelical.” What you hear, I think, is evangelicals defending the ground that defines our understanding of the faith. Admittedly, many do this in blind, uneducated, and even sinful ways, but there is a real content to the evangelical understanding of Christianity. Thanks for your blog and thoughts. Dave Sturkey

  • http://www.mandm.org.nz Matt

    Actually this is inaccurate on at least three counts.

    First its false that few pulpits would allow a person who did not take Genesis 1 literally. I venture to say that’s actually pretty common.

    Second, the post cites Luther’s position on Chronicles as contradicting Mohler’s position on inerrancy and that Luther in doing this was claiming the bible is not fully trust worthy and inspired. In fact the Chicago statement on inerrancy Mohler defends allows for exaggerated numbers as compatible with innerrancy and few would take the belief in inspiration to require such a literalistic reading of those passages, again here we have again a caricature of conservative evangelicalism. Luthers comments on Chronciles is not inconsistent with the view of inerrancy exposed by people like Mohler.

    Third Stott never held that “the unrepentant cease to exist after enduring the penalty for their sins” his position was in fact that annihilation was in fact itself the punishment for sins and that it was an eternal punishment. The author has again decided to describe Stott’s position in a way that makes it sound like it denies eternal punishment when Stott explicitly denied this.

  • http://www.mandm.org.nz Matt

    Actually this is inaccurate on at least three counts.

    First its false that few pulpits would allow a person who did not take Genesis 1 literally. I venture to say that’s actually pretty common.

    Second, the post cites Luther’s position on Chronicles as contradicting Mohler’s position on inerrancy and that Luther in doing this was claiming the bible is not fully trust worthy and inspired. In fact the Chicago statement on inerrancy Mohler defends allows for exaggerated numbers as compatible with innerrancy and few would take the belief in inspiration to require such a literalistic reading of those passages, again here we have again a caricature of conservative evangelicalism. Luthers comments on Chronciles is not inconsistent with the view of inerrancy exposed by people like Mohler.

    Third Stott never held that “the unrepentant cease to exist after enduring the penalty for their sins” his position was in fact that annihilation was in fact itself the punishment for sins and that it was an eternal punishment. The author has again decided to describe Stott’s position in a way that makes it sound like it denies eternal punishment when Stott explicitly denied this.

  • Mike

    Seriously? He’s basing his judgment on CS Lewis’ theology from one of his works of fiction? I think this guy is a first year theology student, at best.

  • Mike

    Seriously? He’s basing his judgment on CS Lewis’ theology from one of his works of fiction? I think this guy is a first year theology student, at best.

  • melissia

    Jesus would be banned from modern Evangelicalism.

    In truth, he already has.

  • melissia

    Jesus would be banned from modern Evangelicalism.

    In truth, he already has.

  • Sola Christus

    This should be called, “A lesson in taking quotes out of context.” The rhetorical argument essentially amounts to: “Teacher, you shouldn’t be so concerned about the fact that Tommy says 2+2=5 because the valedictorian got one wrong on his test.” 1 John 4:1 commands us to test the spirits to determine if the Christ they preach is the Christ of the Bible. Eph. 5:11 tells us to have nothing to do with them if they are not. it is good to question the interpretation Scripture, but to either synchrotistically read post-modern relativism into Scripture by failing to do any basic scholarship – as the author appears to have done on these teachers – is foolishness.

  • Sola Christus

    This should be called, “A lesson in taking quotes out of context.” The rhetorical argument essentially amounts to: “Teacher, you shouldn’t be so concerned about the fact that Tommy says 2+2=5 because the valedictorian got one wrong on his test.” 1 John 4:1 commands us to test the spirits to determine if the Christ they preach is the Christ of the Bible. Eph. 5:11 tells us to have nothing to do with them if they are not. it is good to question the interpretation Scripture, but to either synchrotistically read post-modern relativism into Scripture by failing to do any basic scholarship – as the author appears to have done on these teachers – is foolishness.

  • Ken Carter

    In my opinion — none of us should be making the kind of judgements being made here. Only the LORD knows men’s hearts, and determines whether men are saved or not. He is the judge — not man.

    The spoken (or written) word is only a microscopic snapshot of the entirety of the thought man attempts to express — so the writings of the above “heretics” do not fully capture what they are trying to say.

    As an example — take the simple word “sky.” This word can be defined in only a few words in the dictionary, of course, but in our minds, this simple word incorporates EVERY MEMORY of every sunset, every cloud, and every experience we have ever had on planet Earth from the day of our birth.

    Similarly — excerpts of the writings of Lewis, of Luther, Graham, etc. do not convey the entirety of their understanding of the Word — and therefore, do not destroy their relationship with God and condemn them.

    When we read John 14:6, it says

    “…no one comes to the Father except through me.”

    And yet — what has become of all of the righteous, loving, faithful men who lived prior to Christ’s birth? Has God condemned them all to hell because they didn’t accept Christ?

    Also — is God so cruel that He would cast loving and innocent children who have died prematurely into the furnace of Hell because they have not yet learned who Christ was or even learned how to read?

    In other words, we do not know the full set of criteria God uses to judge people and assign them to Heaven or Hell — so it is wrong for us to make such judgements.

    I would suggest we refrain from these types of judgements entirely, and concentrate instead on LOVING our fellow men.

    “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” — John 13:35

  • Ken Carter

    In my opinion — none of us should be making the kind of judgements being made here. Only the LORD knows men’s hearts, and determines whether men are saved or not. He is the judge — not man.

    The spoken (or written) word is only a microscopic snapshot of the entirety of the thought man attempts to express — so the writings of the above “heretics” do not fully capture what they are trying to say.

    As an example — take the simple word “sky.” This word can be defined in only a few words in the dictionary, of course, but in our minds, this simple word incorporates EVERY MEMORY of every sunset, every cloud, and every experience we have ever had on planet Earth from the day of our birth.

    Similarly — excerpts of the writings of Lewis, of Luther, Graham, etc. do not convey the entirety of their understanding of the Word — and therefore, do not destroy their relationship with God and condemn them.

    When we read John 14:6, it says

    “…no one comes to the Father except through me.”

    And yet — what has become of all of the righteous, loving, faithful men who lived prior to Christ’s birth? Has God condemned them all to hell because they didn’t accept Christ?

    Also — is God so cruel that He would cast loving and innocent children who have died prematurely into the furnace of Hell because they have not yet learned who Christ was or even learned how to read?

    In other words, we do not know the full set of criteria God uses to judge people and assign them to Heaven or Hell — so it is wrong for us to make such judgements.

    I would suggest we refrain from these types of judgements entirely, and concentrate instead on LOVING our fellow men.

    “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” — John 13:35

  • scottmo

    There are so many great comments Andy that I would just like to say, thank you – great article.

  • scottmo

    There are so many great comments Andy that I would just like to say, thank you – great article.

  • Cyril&Methodius

    Thank you for your post. As one who resides within a more ancient tradition of Christian faith than what has come to be called American Evangelicalism, I just want to offer that these supposedly heretical positions of Lewis, Tolkien, Barclay, etc. are simply parts of the great stream of Christian belief, theology, and doctrine. They are swimming in the same waters as those who went before — back to the early Church fathers and mothers. Why, each of these positions finds its source in scripture itself!

  • Cyril&Methodius

    Thank you for your post. As one who resides within a more ancient tradition of Christian faith than what has come to be called American Evangelicalism, I just want to offer that these supposedly heretical positions of Lewis, Tolkien, Barclay, etc. are simply parts of the great stream of Christian belief, theology, and doctrine. They are swimming in the same waters as those who went before — back to the early Church fathers and mothers. Why, each of these positions finds its source in scripture itself!

  • christofus

    couldn’t we just agree with people when they are right, disagree with them when they are wrong, and agree to think about it when we aren’t sure?

  • christofus

    couldn’t we just agree with people when they are right, disagree with them when they are wrong, and agree to think about it when we aren’t sure?

  • TiggyTiger

    Hmm, when I was a teenager, my low Anglican church used to sing a hymn that went ‘And they’ll know we are Christians by our love’. As we moved into the eighties and onwards the love seemed to disappear in favour of a kind of triumphalism, emphasis on power and being judgemental as well as a ‘Whos in?, Who’s out? mentality. Many Christians I’ve come across are very far from loving – in fact they are rather slimey and shifty and redefine ‘love’ as authority or control.

  • TiggyTiger

    Hmm, when I was a teenager, my low Anglican church used to sing a hymn that went ‘And they’ll know we are Christians by our love’. As we moved into the eighties and onwards the love seemed to disappear in favour of a kind of triumphalism, emphasis on power and being judgemental as well as a ‘Whos in?, Who’s out? mentality. Many Christians I’ve come across are very far from loving – in fact they are rather slimey and shifty and redefine ‘love’ as authority or control.

  • http://www.wholereason.com Daniel G. Sinclair
  • http://www.wholereason.com Daniel G. Sinclair
  • http://www.michaelbauman.com/ mebauman

    You forgot to mention the self-appointed heresy-hunting author of this idiot screed for rejecting those whom God has acepted.

  • http://www.michaelbauman.com/ mebauman

    You forgot to mention the self-appointed heresy-hunting author of this idiot screed for rejecting those whom God has acepted.

  • FoundationLapper

    So your point is – belief doesn’t matter?

  • FoundationLapper

    So your point is – belief doesn’t matter?

  • Ted Banks

    I sincerely believe the devil must be absolutely delighted with everything that has been written, when people take up a cause in their name and not His. David talking about Saul, said “God forbid that I should harm God’s anointed” but the most important person was Jesus and that’s good enough for me. “He that is without sin, let Him cast the first stone”.. and you all know what happened. Women where are your accusers ? ironic isn’t that the only one who had any right to accuse was standing there but He said, “Neither do I …. should we not go and do likewise. There is only one judge between God and man and we should know who that is by now….. If we spent more time telling people that Jesus loves them then perhaps we would have les time to spend on criticising each other…

  • Ted Banks

    I sincerely believe the devil must be absolutely delighted with everything that has been written, when people take up a cause in their name and not His. David talking about Saul, said “God forbid that I should harm God’s anointed” but the most important person was Jesus and that’s good enough for me. “He that is without sin, let Him cast the first stone”.. and you all know what happened. Women where are your accusers ? ironic isn’t that the only one who had any right to accuse was standing there but He said, “Neither do I …. should we not go and do likewise. There is only one judge between God and man and we should know who that is by now….. If we spent more time telling people that Jesus loves them then perhaps we would have les time to spend on criticising each other…

  • Steve

    You have just reached the centre of a black hole created by Christians trying to out-clever each other with their ‘learned’ points of view.

  • Steve

    You have just reached the centre of a black hole created by Christians trying to out-clever each other with their ‘learned’ points of view.

  • Jason

    As a Lutheran Christian… It is my understanding that Luther did indeed believe that scripture is without error. Would you mind digging into this inclusion of him a bit further? It may be worth identifying that there are two major camps of Lutheranism; inerrancy of scripture is one of the key differences between the two (LCMS vs ELCA).

  • Jason

    As a Lutheran Christian… It is my understanding that Luther did indeed believe that scripture is without error. Would you mind digging into this inclusion of him a bit further? It may be worth identifying that there are two major camps of Lutheranism; inerrancy of scripture is one of the key differences between the two (LCMS vs ELCA).

  • Justin

    I’d be happy to be banned from evangelicalism; it’s a HORRIBLE thing that causes separation rather than inclusion and rejects any possibility of exploring and understanding our faith better through meaningful, God-inspired investigation. I’m surprised this didn’t say more about Rob Bell or Rachel Held Evans, both of whom, I’m sure, are more than happy NOT to be seen as “evangelicals” under this definition, or that other current examples, like David Hayward of NakedPastor.com, were not mentioned.

    Many of the comments below further suggest a great dislike of this post, its stance on what it believes to be “Christianity”. The claims the author wants us to believe are just ridiculous:

    1. We are meant to be “exclusive”.
    The argument against this is all too simple: Didn’t Jesus eat with tax collectors, talk to women and prostitutes, etc.?

    2. Accept the Penal Substitution Atonement Theory (i.e. Jesus died to save us from our sins).
    We were not “saved”, as if we were stored on a heavenly USB drive. Remember, the people of Israel has continuously been through cycles of persecution, slavery, and freedom and they were now under rule of the Roman Empire. Jesus’ mission was to “rescue” them from the Roman Empire, but not with swords… instead, by maintaining the faith and seeking peace rather than war (i.e. something we still haven’t learned today considering we are now at war in Syria and Iraq against ISIS).

    3. “The Bible is perfect.”
    ONLY God is perfect. The Bible is NOT God; it was made by human hands and has been translated and interpreted, edited and investigated so much that what we have today, although likely “more correct” than previous versions, is still NOT perfect because what is presented inside is STILL made by human hands that explain whom they believe God is through their own experiences. God is perfect… and ONLY God.

    4. Accept the Creation Story as “literal”.
    By the time Genesis was actually written down on papyrus, several millenia had already passed. The effect of “Chinese whispers” then takes hold, causing the storytelling to be adaptive as it passes from one person to the next. The idea that people lived for hundreds of years rather than just a century (if lucky) also hints at the unlikelihood this story is “literally true”.

    5. You either go to Heaven or Hell.
    This assumption comes on the idea that you must be a follower of Christ in order to enter Heaven. However, this is creating exclusivity and that is NOT what Jesus was trying to teach us. The visions of “hellfire and brimstone” are often mentioned in the Bible, but much of this, I believe, is figuratively cast on people who act as hypocrites to the faith instead of those of no faith. I believe that through the evolution of society, we have equipped ourselves with a lot of the Christian fundamentals Jesus taught us, i.e. Love one another as you would yourself”, “Do not murder”, “Do not steal”, etc. The real challenge is getting people to “Love God above all else” and that cannot happen to those of no faith if they are being told that the only way to do this is to join the “exclusive club” of an evangelical church.

    The idea of “Hell” is questionable in itself. Is there an actual mention of this by Jesus? I don’t recall any. Furthermore, what bigger punishment is there in all of creation than to cease to exist, even as a soul? Being tortured in Hell can still create the possibility of hope in a soul to be “forgiven” and enter Heaven (even if that is never to happen), whereas inexistence has no excuse for any possibility of an alternative.

    The author of this post, as a typical “evangelical”, tries to hide his “finger-pointing tactics”:

    “But, I’m not talking about denouncing ideas or exposing real false teachers. I’m talking about needless schisms and inconsistent, prideful exclusivism.”

    NO, Tylor Standley, you ARE denouncing other people and are trying to claim these people as “false teachers”. Sorry, but the only false teacher here is yourself by pointing the finger at other people for what you think is their wrongdoing (Romans 1:1 – 2:1; it’s VERY important to continue reading into Chapter 2 to see that finger-pointing is the crime and not anything Paul mentions in Chapter 1.).

  • Justin

    I’d be happy to be banned from evangelicalism; it’s a HORRIBLE thing that causes separation rather than inclusion and rejects any possibility of exploring and understanding our faith better through meaningful, God-inspired investigation. I’m surprised this didn’t say more about Rob Bell or Rachel Held Evans, both of whom, I’m sure, are more than happy NOT to be seen as “evangelicals” under this definition, or that other current examples, like David Hayward of NakedPastor.com, were not mentioned.

    Many of the comments below further suggest a great dislike of this post, its stance on what it believes to be “Christianity”. The claims the author wants us to believe are just ridiculous:

    1. We are meant to be “exclusive”.
    The argument against this is all too simple: Didn’t Jesus eat with tax collectors, talk to women and prostitutes, etc.?

    2. Accept the Penal Substitution Atonement Theory (i.e. Jesus died to save us from our sins).
    We were not “saved”, as if we were stored on a heavenly USB drive. Remember, the people of Israel has continuously been through cycles of persecution, slavery, and freedom and they were now under rule of the Roman Empire. Jesus’ mission was to “rescue” them from the Roman Empire, but not with swords… instead, by maintaining the faith and seeking peace rather than war (i.e. something we still haven’t learned today considering we are now at war in Syria and Iraq against ISIS).

    3. “The Bible is perfect.”
    ONLY God is perfect. The Bible is NOT God; it was made by human hands and has been translated and interpreted, edited and investigated so much that what we have today, although likely “more correct” than previous versions, is still NOT perfect because what is presented inside is STILL made by human hands that explain whom they believe God is through their own experiences. God is perfect… and ONLY God.

    4. Accept the Creation Story as “literal”.
    By the time Genesis was actually written down on papyrus, several millenia had already passed. The effect of “Chinese whispers” then takes hold, causing the storytelling to be adaptive as it passes from one person to the next. The idea that people lived for hundreds of years rather than just a century (if lucky) also hints at the unlikelihood this story is “literally true”.

    5. You either go to Heaven or Hell.
    This assumption comes on the idea that you must be a follower of Christ in order to enter Heaven. However, this is creating exclusivity and that is NOT what Jesus was trying to teach us. The visions of “hellfire and brimstone” are often mentioned in the Bible, but much of this, I believe, is figuratively cast on people who act as hypocrites to the faith instead of those of no faith. I believe that through the evolution of society, we have equipped ourselves with a lot of the Christian fundamentals Jesus taught us, i.e. Love one another as you would yourself”, “Do not murder”, “Do not steal”, etc. The real challenge is getting people to “Love God above all else” and that cannot happen to those of no faith if they are being told that the only way to do this is to join the “exclusive club” of an evangelical church.

    The idea of “Hell” is questionable in itself. Is there an actual mention of this by Jesus? I don’t recall any. Furthermore, what bigger punishment is there in all of creation than to cease to exist, even as a soul? Being tortured in Hell can still create the possibility of hope in a soul to be “forgiven” and enter Heaven (even if that is never to happen), whereas inexistence has no excuse for any possibility of an alternative.

    The author of this post, as a typical “evangelical”, tries to hide his “finger-pointing tactics”:

    “But, I’m not talking about denouncing ideas or exposing real false teachers. I’m talking about needless schisms and inconsistent, prideful exclusivism.”

    NO, Tylor Standley, you ARE denouncing other people and are trying to claim these people as “false teachers”. Sorry, but the only false teacher here is yourself by pointing the finger at other people for what you think is their wrongdoing (Romans 1:1 – 2:1; it’s VERY important to continue reading into Chapter 2 to see that finger-pointing is the crime and not anything Paul mentions in Chapter 1.).

  • John
  • Yorik

    Who are you to judge these most famous and autoritative Gods servant,
    whom respect over the whole world? Its just arrogance and bad pride. Dont
    choose for God hows He will do. These man can be mistake, like Solomon and
    David was mistaked. Their mistaked scriptures wasnt include in Bible. But their
    right revelations from God – change million lives. And you must be careful to
    play with these things.

  • Yorik

    Who are you to judge these most famous and autoritative Gods servant,
    whom respect over the whole world? Its just arrogance and bad pride. Dont
    choose for God hows He will do. These man can be mistake, like Solomon and
    David was mistaked. Their mistaked scriptures wasnt include in Bible. But their
    right revelations from God – change million lives. And you must be careful to
    play with these things.

  • Soliloquy

    Always think about that scene in Narnia- between Emeth and Aslan. Always on my mind when people think God throws people away who never heard of or were convinced of Christianity.

  • Soliloquy

    Always think about that scene in Narnia- between Emeth and Aslan. Always on my mind when people think God throws people away who never heard of or were convinced of Christianity.

  • Cameron Butcher

    Hey Tylor! Sic em Truett Seminary! Hope it works out for you.

  • Cameron Butcher

    Hey Tylor! Sic em Truett Seminary! Hope it works out for you.

  • Animal

    Thank you for this article. Now, I know what authors/teachers I will likely enjoy reading.

  • Animal

    Thank you for this article. Now, I know what authors/teachers I will likely enjoy reading.

  • Robert Wayne Vernon Jr.

    It is bothersome that some countries have gone 100’s years
    without hearing the Gospel. So then The Lord Yeshua died for are reconciliation
    also Ephesian 2:13-22, Colossians 1; 20-23, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21. It’s seems
    more a crisis of faith really, it is not what they are expressing as belief
    more a problem. Some countries the gospel didn’t reach there until 100’s of
    years later. So we have to believe there were early missionaries. So let’s say
    people living in Hawaii 2000 years ago, because of the geography there would be
    no missionary to preach to them, so they would be lost for all the time it
    finally took missionaries to get there 100’s of years later. So you would have
    to believe in some supernatural intervention to allow a person to reach faraway
    lands with the Gospel. So it maybe the people inability to deal with the
    thought of people far away dying without ever hearing the Gospel because we
    didn’t have the means to travel that far yet. Then it is obvious the scriptures
    makes mistakes probably due to some copyist or intentional mistake to express
    what a person really said, I mean Acts 7:16 is sort of a mistake,

  • Robert Wayne Vernon Jr.

    It is bothersome that some countries have gone 100’s years
    without hearing the Gospel. So then The Lord Yeshua died for are reconciliation
    also Ephesian 2:13-22, Colossians 1; 20-23, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21. It’s seems
    more a crisis of faith really, it is not what they are expressing as belief
    more a problem. Some countries the gospel didn’t reach there until 100’s of
    years later. So we have to believe there were early missionaries. So let’s say
    people living in Hawaii 2000 years ago, because of the geography there would be
    no missionary to preach to them, so they would be lost for all the time it
    finally took missionaries to get there 100’s of years later. So you would have
    to believe in some supernatural intervention to allow a person to reach faraway
    lands with the Gospel. So it maybe the people inability to deal with the
    thought of people far away dying without ever hearing the Gospel because we
    didn’t have the means to travel that far yet. Then it is obvious the scriptures
    makes mistakes probably due to some copyist or intentional mistake to express
    what a person really said, I mean Acts 7:16 is sort of a mistake,


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