‘For what will it profit a man if he gains a Supreme Court justice but loses his soul?’
That can only mean one thing: pretty soon someone is going to announce the ‘discovery’ of a ‘text’ that will ‘shake the foundations of Christian faith’.
Can’t wait to see what it is this year? I’m all tingly. Will it be another ‘manuscript’ published by HTR which describes Jesus’s marriage to his sister or will it come in the form of a grave which contains the ‘body of Jesus and his entire family!’
I just can’t wait!
And I see no reason that it should. 6 years ago today I wrote, in connection to reports then circulating, that young people were being ‘driven’ from the church-
I don’t think anyone who really loves God can be ‘driven’ from the Church. Not by Pastors, not by politics, not by anything. Not even by the Gates of Hell. People may leave one church and go to another if the Pastor is an idiot or a jerk or people in the congregation are self absorbed prats, but they don’t leave the Church and they don’t abandon their faith.
Young people leave the Church, I believe, because they lack the spiritual wherewithal to be committed to much of anything at all. Or to put it simply, many young people aren’t committed to anything but themselves. And they’ve been taught to act that way by Churches that think pizza parties and outings are more important than Bible Study, worship, and ministry. So instead of helping the elderly by mowing their lawns in the Summer, young people are taken on trips to water parks.
Mind you, there’s nothing wrong with fun and fellowship- in their proper place. But to exalt them to priority, as many churches have done in an attempt to ‘bribe them in’ has resulted in an entire generation of self absorbed self obsessed self serving selfish young adults. They leave the church because they’ve outgrown the pizza parties and they’ve never been taught to worship God and love him more than themselves.
If the Church wants to retain young adults, it has to abandon the world’s methodology of offering a prize for every appearance at the place where God is worshiped and instead teach children and young people that loving and serving God and others is their calling. And that’s the highest calling and purpose of all.
Don’t blame politics the next time young adults leave the Church- blame them. They’re the ones who left, because ‘they have no depth of soil, and springing up quickly, lacking root, they wither in the sunlight’. After all, ‘If they had really been of us, they would have remained with us. But to demonstrate that they really were not of us, they departed from us’.
We’ve seen it in the high visibility sort like Falwell and Metaxas but it’s also true of average Evangelicals who care less about righteousness than they do politics. And they’re disgusting.
There’s nothing Christian about far too many so called Christians.
Perichoresis 14.3 (2016), an issue which anticipates the celebration of 500 years since the Reformation and was made possible by Wim Janse, dean of the Faculty of Theology at the Free University of Amsterdam (Netherlands).
Edited by two exceptional scholars from the Faculty of Theology within the Free University of Amsterdam (Gijsbert van den Brink, professor of theology and science, and Aza Goudriaan, associate professor of historical theology), this superb issue includes contributions from
- Richard A. Muller, P. J. Zondervan professor emeritus of historical theology at Calvin Theological Seminary (USA),
- Andreas J. Beck, professor of historical theology and dean of Evangelical Theological Faculty in Leuven (Belgium),
- Randall J. Pederson, managing editor of Westminster Theological Journal (USA),
- John V. Fesko, professor of systematic and historical theology and academic dean of Westminster Seminary California (USA),
- Dolf te Velde, associated professor of systematic theology at Kampen Theological University (Netherlands),
- and the two editors themselves.
An avant-première of 2017 world-wide celebrations of the Reformation, this issue deals with “Contemporary Perspectives on Reformed Theology. Reformed Confessions, Scholastic Thought, and Puritan Divinity in Post-Reformation Protestantism” and is published jointly by Emanuel University Press, De Gruyter Open, and Refo500.
The online version of Perichoresis 14.3 (2016) can be found on De Gruyter’s official website: https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/perc.2016.14.issue-3/issue-files/perc.2016.14.issue-3.xml.