Very nicely done.
One small precision, however, the problem with only doing various bits of “social justice” for people while ignoring the Gospel is not, as the video says, comforting them on THEIR way to hell.
The problem is that you are merely comforting yourself on the YOUR way to hell.
I know this won’t make any difference, but Matthew 25:31-46 anyway.
The problem is that so many Christians have the “either/or” idea: either proclaim repentance, which is the “True” gospel, or comfort people on their way to Hell. (Excuse me: I meant HELL!)
Jesus ties Christian salvation to “all of the above.” Yes, proclaim repentance to all nations, and also feed the hungry, clothe the poor, etc. I know many on this blog do not agree with Him, but He actually did say that those not doing the latter would depart from Him to go to everlasting punishment.
You missed the point of the video
Across much of mainline Protestantism, the Gospel has been neglected or even set aside and the “social Godpel” has taken it’s place.
Well, I actually agree with you, and my previous post was too snarky. My apologies. (I’d remove it, but I don’t know how.)
Even “social gospel has been displaced in many churches by that very malleable and politically laden term, “social justice.”
Rev. McCain –
For all the “most influential book” posts we’ve had here lately, I think that it cannot be overstated that this video ought to be more influential than all the books of systematic theology and practical application ever written.
There will undoubtedly be books we enjoy, and ministries we love. The Gospel is our salvation and our purpose. Let men repent and be saved by the death and resurrection of Christ.
Rev. McCain: “Across much of mainline Protestantism, the Gospel has been neglected or even set aside and the “Social Gospel” has taken it’s place.”
Time to amp up the wattage, broaden the scope of the searchlights, and turn over the rocks where the dark forces of mainline liberal Protestantism reside. Shine the Light on them.
I have been far less interested in any interaction with you because you’re a dunderhead.
Here we are almost 6 months after the initial proffering of the Manhattan Declaration, and I ask you: how many babies have been saved, and how many marriages reformed, and how many people granted religious freedom because of the document? Any?
So your point is what?
That you hang onto this issue like a dog to his last bone indicates to me that you aren’t really concerned with whether the document is doing what it says it is trying to do: you are more involved in making sure you try to score points via the internet from your anonymous alcove.
Please: let it go.
Let me throw the proverbial “golden apple” into the mix.
Is not the gospel the power of God for salvation (Rom. 1:16), which means the transforming power to deliver from death, disease, the demonic, in short, sin in all of its permutations?
Not simply the guilt, but the inherited condition and the way that condition pollutes by vandalizing Shalom on the personal and societal levels (in the words of Cornelius Plantinga). As Jesus said at the inauguration of his earthly ministry, the gospel is about proclaiming a jubilee (Luke 4:18-19) that liberates/delivers from the powers. His feeding the hungry, exorcising the demonic, rebuking the authorities, etc., all attest to this power to liberate.
While I understand the need to remind mainline Protestant bodies that they have forsaken important parts of the gospel, it is a false dichotomy to pit propositions against praxis. The gospel is ultimately about ushering in the kingdom, which happens in the power of the Spirit. So, yes, let’s call mainline Protestants on the carpet, but let’s also not reduce the gospel to embracing a set of propositions in order to secure an eternal destiny on the basis of a transaction in the heavenly court.
Grace is not just divine favor in the abstract, it is the concrete manifestation of favor through God’s liberating power and strength, in short, it is the Spirit himself who pours out love to reorder our loves in the word of Augustine. This grace that becomes strength in weakness is all sufficient (2 Cor. 12:9). This is why the faith alone that saves is never alone, because the Spirit who inspires faith simultaneously brings forth love, hope and all other liberating affections that ultimately produce peace.
So, maybe its about both/and, as Craig suggested, rather than either/or.
If you watch the video, Dale, it’s not either/or. In fact, it is dead set against either/or.
The question is if we are giving people the Gospel when we merely had them a sandwich — and the answer has to be “no”. I am sure Rev. McCain is not saying it’s either just the Gospel preaching -or- doing good works; I am certainly not saying that.
But I think we agree in saying that if you do nice things for people and never once make a point of giving them true spiritual food, you’re giving the the comfy chair to hell.
Well, I watched the video, but must have missed something along the way. Probably better put, I interpreted it in light of what I’ve seen all too frequently within evangelicalism–a penchant for pointing the gun and firing. I’m not saying Mr. McCain is this way at all, I was just reacting to the video he posted.
I assume he wanted some reactions given that he posted it and supplied no interpretive comments about how he understood its message.
So, sure at some point the message must be declared in word as well as in deed, and to fail to talk about the reality of sin in personal as well as social terms is to fail those to whom one is ministering. I would hasten to add also the solution in Christ.
In that sense, I agree. I just think that when cultures become politicized as happened in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, or as is happening now, then persons tend to take extreme positions to highlight what they see as the failure of their opponents.
On the other hand, I have good Lutheran friends and students that are going with Lutheran CORE, which will be forming a synod almost certainly as of the last information I received. They are fighting the ELCA drift, and I can see how in the heat of the “battle” it is important to be as clear as one can be. The same would be true of the Episcopalian situation.
Mr. Turk has well summarized the point of the video. It’s a shame some people refuse to understand it. Odd that.
I completely concur with Mr. Turk. I’m very unimpressed with “TUAD.” The fact that he hides his identity speaks volume about his Christian character and integrity, rather, the lack thereof.
The video is pretty clear that doing all those things is GREAT.
The problem is that, at bottom, the gospel is something to be believed, not something to be done.
Now, if we truly believe and are saved, then we will do those things, but those who do those things really really well, but don’t believe, are headed to hell while those who really really believe, and do those things poorly, or rarely, are not.
It’s an easy thing, to confuse the gospel with it’s effects. Especially when the world hates the gospel, but really likes it when Christians live like they’ve been changed by it (at least in the “be nice to each other” kinds of ways.)
Well, if the video is about both/and, then I suppose the converse must be true as well. If we proclaim repentance and the forgiveness of sins, but don’t feed the poor, etc., then we’re probably making many sons and daughters of perdition as well by virtue of our inconsistencies. Of course, if we hold to double predestination, then none of us are making anyone a son or daughter of perdition because we can’t make an elect person non-elect now can we :-).
Daryl: Thanks for the comments. I’m not sure what you’re trying to say because I interpreted the video as addressing what we might do to other people by failing to proclaim repentance and forgiveness.
Frank’s probably correct that I am essentially over analyzing, so I’ll put on some light jazz and drink some herbal tea.
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@Dale Coulter, who wrote: “I am essentially over analyzing, so I’ll put on some light jazz and drink some herbal tea.”
You definitely are over-analyzing, and as for relaxing: I’d suggest a couple beers instead of herbal tea.
I needed to hear that last night.