Solo scriptura vs. sola scriptura

A new study of evangelicals has found a surprising amount of out-and-out heresy when it comes to their understanding of the Trinity–particularly in regards to the Son of God and the Holy Spirit.  Among other things, such as a basic relativism and a repudiation of the church’s authority over them.

Mathew Block, communications director of the Lutheran Church-Canada, discusses the findings.  He argues that part of the problem is a misunderstanding of the authority of the Bible.  People say the Bible is their authority, then consider that to be a license to interpret scripture any way they want to.  Instead of sola scriptura, we have solo scriptura. [Read more…]

Did Donald Trump “accept Christ”?

Many evangelicals believe that a person becomes a Christian by making a “decision for Christ,” an act of the will, usually involving saying some version of “the sinner’s prayer,” in which the person “accepts Christ.”  We Lutherans certainly believe in conversion, though not construing that as an act of the will, as such, but rather as the Holy Spirit’s creation of faith by means of Baptism and the Word of God.  But some evangelicals treat the “decision for Christ” like Catholics treat Baptism, as being effective ex opere operatoapart from actual faith.

Anyway, lots of conservative Christians of every stripe have problems with Donald Trump.  But James Dobson, who once opposed Trump but now serves on his evangelical advisory board, said that he was told that Trump was “led to Christ” by the controversial prosperity gospel TV preacher Paula White.  That means that the presumptive Republican presidential candidate is a “baby Christian,” who doesn’t understand the language and practices of mature Christians, but who is a Christian nonetheless.  The implication is that Evangelicals should cut him some slack while still being able to vote for him in good conscience.

Read about this after the jump.  What do you think about it?   [Read more…]

Why so many evangelicals are for Trump

Why are so many evangelicals supporting such a flagrant non-evangelical as Donald Trump?  Ben Domenech, publisher of the Federalist, gives the best answer I’ve heard:  The evangelicals who support Trump recognize that they have lost the culture wars, that Christianizing the government is futile, that America is no longer a Christian nation.  What they want now is protection from the politically-correct elites who would love to stamp out whatever Christianity is left.  And Trump, for all his faults, delights in defying the politically-correct elite.

You conservative Christians who support Trump, is this at least part of the reason?

[Read more…]

Donald Trump as an evangelical

Donald Trump is calling himself an “evangelical.”  Christian columnist Michael Gerson discusses that self-identification, in the course of which he tells a great anecdote relating to (a misunderstanding of) vocation. [Read more…]

Racially friendly denominations may surprise you

A sociologist tested what denominations were most open to new people from different races.  His team sent e-mails purportedly from whites, blacks, Hispanics, and Asians to different churches, asking the pastors about attending their church.

Evangelicals overwhelmingly answered the e-mails and encouraged the new people, of whatever race, to attend.   Mainline liberal denominations, on the other hand, for all of their emphasis on social justice, were not nearly so welcoming.  Catholics didn’t do so well either.

Interestingly, the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, classified with the “evangelicals,” came in at second place in welcoming people of different races (after Willow Creek).  The much more liberal Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, however, came in third from the bottom.

Why do you think this is?

HT:  tODD

[Read more…]

Evangelicals who believe in Purgatory

It has long struck me how many evangelicals–including some of the most anti-Catholic–actually hold to a Roman Catholic soteriology, though without the sacraments, putting a big emphasis on the role of the will, good works, and moral perfection in salvation.  Now some evangelicals are advocating belief in Purgatory.  Scott McKnight reviews a book that makes the case for an evangelical doctrine of Purgatory. [Read more…]