Close
  • CONNECT WITH US
Print pagePDF pageEmail page

White Horse Inn: The Radical Reformation

On this program, the hosts continue their discussion which began last week on the influence of the Radical Reformation. How did the theology of the Anabaptist and Pietist movements end up influencing so many forms of Protestantism, both here in America and around the world? And more specifically, how did these views shape the founders of the Enlightenment and help create what we know today as Protestant Liberalism? Join us on this edition of White Horse Inn.

Christianity & LiberalismHost Quote:

“We are continuing our discussion of the impact of the other reformation we hardly ever talk about, the Radical Reformation, on liberal Protestantism. Radicalism didn’t come from the Reformation. It’s often called the ‘leftwing reformation’ but it actually came from the late Middle Ages. A movement that came to be known as radical Anabaptism was millennial and utopian, expecting a radical age of the Spirit that would wash away all history and tradition and all external authority.

“This radical impulse has been part of Protestantism down to the present day. And if you look at Protestant Liberalism today, it looks very similar to this radical Anabaptist movement, as do many evangelical movements. And so, in a really profound way, even though evangelicals and liberals are at each other’s throats, they are more engaged in a sibling rivalry than they are successors of Luther and Calvin. In this program, we want to look at the ongoing influence of this radical element in Protestantism that is totally different from the 16th century Reformation led by Martin Luther and other reformers.” – Michael Horton

Term to Learn:

“Liberalism”

In the sphere of religion, in particular, the present time is a time of conflict; the great redemptive religion which has always been known as Christianity is battling against a totally diverse type of religious belief, which is only the more destructive of the Christian faith because it makes use of traditional Christian terminology. This modern non-redemptive religion is called “liberalism.”

This movement is so various in its manifestations that one may almost despair of finding any common name which will apply to all its forms. But manifold as are the forms in which the movement appears, the root of the movement is one; the many varieties of modern liberal religion are rooted in naturalism—that is, in the denial of any entrance of the creative power of God (as distinguished from the ordinary course of nature) in connection with the origin of Christianity. (Adapted from J. Gresham Machen, Christianity & Liberalism)

(This podcast is by White Horse Inn. Discovered by Christian Podcast Central and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Christian Podcast Central, and audio is streamed directly from their servers.)

OUR SUPPORTERS

  • NCMC Logo12
  • cwd_link
    Over 18,000 wholesome, family friendly, Christian websites.
  • WM-ad-web-v2-489x486
  • RdR Large ad
  • Danny Avila
  • Talking Bibles Sidebar Ad
  •  Good News, Etc
Print pagePDF pageEmail page

The Radical Reformation

According to a recent Pew study, 53% of American Protestants couldn’t identify Martin Luther as the one who started the Reformation, and fewer than 30% of white Evangelicals were unable to identify Protestantism as the faith which embraces the doctrine of justification by faith alone.

On this program, the hosts will attempt to show that contemporary Christians, whether liberal or conservative, have more in common with the theology of the Anabaptist reformers than they do with the views of Luther and Calvin expressed in the great Reformation solas. Join us as we continue to think about the Reformation on this edition of White Horse Inn.

Host Quote:

“Much of the hoopla surrounding the 500th anniversary of the Reformation this year has been, well, let’s just say, blather.  At a joint service in Lund, Sweden, on October 31st, 2016, Pope Francis and the president of the World Lutheran Federation exchanged warm feelings. Reverend Martin Junge, general secretary of the mainline Lutheran body said in a press release from the joint service, ‘I’m carried by the profound conviction that by working towards reconciliation between Lutherans and Catholics, we’re working towards justice, peace and reconciliation in a world torn by conflict and violence.’  Clearly, the focus wasn’t on truth.

“Acknowledging Luther’s positive contributions, the Pope spoke of how important Christian unity is to bring healing and reconciliation to a world divided by violence.  But he added, ‘We have no intention of correcting what took place, but to tell that history differently.’ Perhaps the most evident example of missing the point is the statement by Swiss Pastor and President of an ecumenical church convention in Berlin last year, Christina Aus der Au.  She said, ‘Reformation means courageously seeking what is new and turning away from old familiar customs.’ That’s what the reformation was all about, why average lay people and archbishops gave their bodies to be burned and the western church was divided – a lot people just got really tired of the same old thing.

“The Wall Street Journal reports a Pew study showing that 53 percent of U.S. Protestants couldn’t identify Martin Luther as the one who started the Reformation.  Oddly, Jews, atheists and Mormons were more familiar with Luther than Protestants. In fact, fewer than three in ten white evangelicals correctly identify Protestantism as the faith that believes in the doctrine of justification by faith alone. Three in ten. Many today who claim the Reformation as their heritage are more likely heirs of the radical Anabaptists.  It might sound crazy, but here is my thesis. The Reformation isn’t over because it hasn’t begun in America. Protestantism is definitely over and the radicals won.” – Michael Horton

Term to Learn:

“Inner Light”

The “Inner Light,” also called “Inward Light,” is often thought to be a distinctive theme of the Society of Friends (Quakers). This Inner Light is understood to be a direct awareness of God that allows a person to know God’s will for him or her. This expression is often attributed to the teachings of George Fox in the 17th century, founder of the Society of Friends, who had failed to find spiritual truth in the English churches. He experienced an inner light and voice within, “that of God in every man.” The Inner Light should not simply be a mystical experience, but should also result in a person’s working for the good of others.

The practice of Inner Light is believed to be the direct path of ascension towards the divine nature within man. The theme of Inner Light appears in various spiritual traditions as well as in the main religions of the world. Buddhism believes that the one experiences the highest nature of the mind, reaches enlightenment and liberation from the Wheel of Samsara (i.e. bodily existence).

The Society of Friends was influenced by a pivotal figure, Jakob Böhme (1575-1624), a German mystic who was raised in Lutheranism. Böhme had considerable influence on Pietism and various mystical sects including Rosicrucianism and theosophy. Böhme sought a melding of various alchemical and Kabbalistic traditions that focused on the inner path to God, which finds parallels with the ancient heresy known as Gnosticism.  Böhme was also an important source for German Romantic philosophy, influencing F.W. Schelling. Böhme is also an important influence on the ideas of the English Romantic poet, artist, and mystic William Blake. The German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was profoundly influenced by him as well. The tradition of the Inner Light reaches back into ancient mystical philosophies which have come to profoundly shape modern thinking. (Adapted from Encyclopedia Britannica, s.v. “Inner Light;” “Jakob Böhme”)

(This podcast is by White Horse Inn. Discovered by Christian Podcast Central and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Christian Podcast Central, and audio is streamed directly from their servers.)

OUR SUPPORTERS

  • NCMC Logo12
  • cwd_link
    Over 18,000 wholesome, family friendly, Christian websites.
  • WM-ad-web-v2-489x486
  • RdR Large ad
  • Danny Avila
  • Talking Bibles Sidebar Ad
  •  Good News, Etc
Print pagePDF pageEmail page

Solus Christus – Christ Alone

Many Christians in our day, whether liberal or evangelical, declare that there is hope of eternal life apart from explicit faith in Jesus Christ. In fact, according to one survey by George Barna, 35% of America’s evangelical seminary students agreed with the statement, “God will save all good people when they die, regardless of whether they’ve trusted in Christ.”

On this program the hosts will discuss our need to recover the clear theology of a text such as John 14:6 in which Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me.” Join us on this edition of White Horse Inn, as we continue our new series on “The Solas of the Reformation.”

Host Quote:

“Why do we need a divine savior to rescue us if our situation is only that we kind of are losing our way? A lot of people think of it as, we need good directions and there are really good plans out there. There’s Oprah. There is yoga. There’s the Bible. There’s Christian Science. You have all these kinds of things out there and whatever you find that’s helpful for you is great. That assumes — first of all, you have absolutely no problem before God. Your problem is only with yourself. Not that God has a problem with you, but that you have issues that you need to work on. So, you don’t really need God to save you, first of all, from himself, from his own justice by being just and the justifier of the wicked. All you need is kind of a life coach. You need somebody who kind of has some good ideas. And that is where we are today as the church. But what we really need is Christ’s atoning work, his substitutionary, vicarious sacrifice.” – Michael Horton

Term to Learn:

“Therapeutic Spirituality”

Today’s spirituality is novel in the sense that it is based upon a person’s felt needs, as opposed to an authoritative person or text. Self-expression has become the new form of worship in both traditional and innovative religious practices, rather than a practice of self-denial. This spirituality adopts preference as a means of self-actualization (i.e. a way of becoming the fullest expression of yourself as a human being). The commitments to these preferences are deeply personal and subjective, which results in the expression, “Your own personal Jesus” who neither confronts with his transcendent ‘Otherness’ nor deals in categories of sin, hell, or judgment. Therapy as a model of spirituality has replaced traditional norms due to the secularization of culture (i.e., the cultural shift that has resulted in religious beliefs becoming wholly individualized and disassociated from the social sphere).  Divine Providence over mankind has been replaced by the invisible hand of economic forces. Whereas the Almighty beneficent being was previously seen as integral to daily life and well-being, today, he is seen as a cosmic bellhop who comes at our beck and call.

With the loss of life’s ‘center’ by these competing visions of reality, faith has been left only with an interior and subjective expression which allows ‘believers’ to cope with the ‘real world’ science and technology have given them. In the face of this modern nihilism (i.e., the belief that there is no true reality beyond that which is apprehended through the senses), religion has often attempted to fill the vacuum through such therapeutic modes of expression. Even in traditional, conservative contexts orthodox worship and practice may succumb to this mode of spirituality, ultimately leaving little effect upon the practice of the worshipper or in the public square at large. Concrete, external liturgical practices (such as the reading of the law, corporate confession, a declaration of pardon, and corporate supplication) are often displaced by personalized small groups that help believers in their life journey. This is deemed as more ‘relevant’ to the therapeutic man, and an improvement upon the ‘dead rituals’ that don’t speak to the hearts of worshippers. Worship thus becomes a therapy ‘session’ something akin to Alcoholics Anonymous, a place where kindred spirits can hear one another’s stories and help one another cope with their weaknesses and failures, rather than a place of divine judgment and salvation where sinful people meet with a holy God, and through faith in their Savior, by the power of the Holy Spirit, are forgiven for their rebellion, and comforted by the assurance of their salvation. (Timothy W. Massaro, “Therapeutic Spirituality,” WHI [blog], August 10, 2014)

(This podcast is by White Horse Inn. Discovered by Christian Podcast Central and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Christian Podcast Central, and audio is streamed directly from their servers.)

OUR SUPPORTERS

  • NCMC Logo12
  • cwd_link
    Over 18,000 wholesome, family friendly, Christian websites.
  • WM-ad-web-v2-489x486
  • RdR Large ad
  • Danny Avila
  • Talking Bibles Sidebar Ad
  •  Good News, Etc
Print pagePDF pageEmail page

Scripture Alone

As we approach the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, today’s Protestants actually have little to be proud of as we survey the movement as a whole. The content of our messages and the shape of our worship services are largely determined by cultural preferences, marketing strategies, and crowd-pleasing techniques from the entertainment industry, rather than by Scripture.Scripture Alone

At the end of the day, what we’re left with is a kind of narcissistic spirituality that caters to the desires and felt needs of the masses, rather than a transcendent word that confronts, challenges, and rescues fallen sinners. We’re beginning a new series on “The Solas of the Reformation on this edition of White Horse Inn.

Host Quote:

“Before we Protestants congratulate ourselves for being on the right side of history, we need to admit right up front that there is very little today to be proud of as we look at the movement as a whole. More often than not, we’re just as likely as medieval Roman Catholics to listen to authorities other than Scripture. The content of a typical sermon or the shape of a typical worship service is often determined not by Scripture, but by cultural preferences, marketing strategies, and by crowd-pleasing techniques we’ve gotten from the entertainment industry more than the Word of God.

“At the end of the day, what we’re left with is a kind of narcissistic spirituality that caters to the desires and felt needs of the masses, rather than a transcendent Word that confronts, challenges, and rescues fallen sinners – that word, as Martin Luther said famously, is above all earthly powers.” – Michael Horton

Term to Learn:

“Protestantism”

“Protestantism” generally covers the range of Christian churches that owe their origins, directly or indirectly, to the Reformation of the sixteenth century. At the second Diet of Speyer (1529) the representatives of the Reformers “protested” in favor of the liberty of individuals to choose their own religion according to their conscience. Their opponents described them as “Protestants,” while they preferred to call themselves “evangelicals.” Despite its numerous components and its pluralism, Protestantism may be characterized by reference to certain widely shared convictions. Priority is given to salvation and to justification by faith alone. Believers are justified before God not by their works or their merit, but by grace alone. The Bible provides the exclusive standard for the Christian life and derives its meaning from its central figure, Jesus Christ, the sole mediator between God and human beings. Faith consists not in acceptance of a doctrine, but in a living and personal relationship with God. The church is a community of believers who have committed themselves to listening to the word of God and to celebrating the sacraments together. Only baptism and the Lord’s Supper are recognized as sacraments, since they were established by Jesus Christ himself. (Adapted from Encyclopedia of Christian Theology s.v. “Protestantism.”)

(This podcast is by White Horse Inn. Discovered by Christian Podcast Central and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Christian Podcast Central, and audio is streamed directly from their servers.)

OUR SUPPORTERS

  • NCMC Logo12
  • cwd_link
    Over 18,000 wholesome, family friendly, Christian websites.
  • WM-ad-web-v2-489x486
  • RdR Large ad
  • Danny Avila
  • Talking Bibles Sidebar Ad
  •  Good News, Etc
Print pagePDF pageEmail page

New Testament View of Faith and its Relationship to Evidence

Sometimes when discussing evidence for the Christian faith, a person may respond by asking, “What room does this leave for faith?” This question actually reveals a misunderstanding of the Christian view of faith which is grounded in factual claims about the person and work of Christ as reported and authenticated by eyewitnesses.

On this program, the hosts will discuss the New Testament view of faith and its relationship to evidence as they continue their new series, What Is Faith? Join us for this new episode of the White Horse Inn.

Host Quote:

New Testament view of faith and its relationship to evidence“This is a unique thing about Christianity, and when I wrote The Story of Reality, this was a major emphasis for me. I wanted people to get clear that in our story, God rescues man. Man doesn’t rescue himself. God rescues him. After man fell, he got himself in a heap of trouble and God could have just ended it right then. He had no rescue plan for angels. But for his own purposes and for his own glory, he decided to rescue human beings by becoming a man himself and this is the coherence of our story. God comes down.

“God takes on humanity to achieve that rescue because we were utterly helpless to save ourselves. We were enslaved to our own fleshly desires. We were under the wrath of God. We were guilty and the king is angry, rightfully so. But even so, he expresses his mercy and his kindness by initiating that rescue plan to do for us what we could not do for ourselves.” – Greg Koukl

Term to Learn:

“The Goal of Apologetics”

[As human beings] we have many objections, barriers, biases, acculturations, conditions, misconceptions, presuppositions, distortion of facts, and any number of excuses. It is the goal of Christian apologetics to remove these hindrances that stand between a person and the cross of Christ. As a result, some Christians see apologetics as pre-evangelism; it is not the gospel, but it prepares the soil for the gospel…. Whatever its relation to the gospel, apologetics is an extremely important enterprise that can profoundly impact unbelievers and be used as the tool that clears the way to faith in Jesus Christ. (Doug Powell, Holman Quick Source Guide to Christian Apologetics, pp. 5-6)

(This podcast is by White Horse Inn. Discovered by Christian Podcast Central and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Christian Podcast Central, and audio is streamed directly from their servers.)

OUR SUPPORTERS

  • NCMC Logo12
  • cwd_link
    Over 18,000 wholesome, family friendly, Christian websites.
  • WM-ad-web-v2-489x486
  • RdR Large ad
  • Danny Avila
  • Talking Bibles Sidebar Ad
  •  Good News, Etc
Print pagePDF pageEmail page

Is Faith A Blind Leap?Why do you believe the Bible? What does it mean to “believe” in the first place? Should we think of faith as a kind of blind leap or shot in the dark? If so, why have you made this particular leap, in contrast to all the other faith options? On this program, the hosts will seek to answer these questions as they begin to look at the nature and meaning of faith. Join us as we begin this exciting, new series on the White Horse Inn.

Host Quote:

“In the New Testament, faith is often used to describe a body of content or doctrine. You think about that, the faith in Jude 1:3 or the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 talking about delivering to the Corinthian church what he had also received, which is basically the Gospel. He expresses it there in those first few verses, but this body of doctrine called ‘the faith’ is what we are placing our faith in. They go hand in hand.” Adriel Sanchez

Term to Learn:

“The Objectivity of the Faith”

To believe in something without first seriously reflecting on it or looking into it is not an act of faith, it is an act of foolishness. It is not, as some have held, a virtue to believe something without evidence or reason. The person who says, “You just have to have faith,” is really just proclaiming he has no idea what faith is. The whole point of Christianity is not that we have faith—that is no different from any other religion or worldview. If just having faith were the goal, all would be saved since everyone believes something. No, faith itself is not the object. In fact, what differentiates religions is the object of each faith. The content of faith ultimately is what matters. And the content of a faith is what must be investigated and then embraced or rejected.

Paul argued based on facts that could be investigated by anyone who was interested. He recognized that if Christianity was true, it must be rooted in facts. Paul saw the contact point in the historical, physical, temporal aspects of the life of Jesus. Jesus was a real person who did and said certain things in certain places at certain times. Witnesses to Jesus’ life and teaching could be found and questioned regarding these things.

Jesus’ reality—His historicity—is the foundation of Christianity. Without it, there is no Christianity. Paul was so sure of this foundation that he went so far as to point out the most vulnerable claim of the Christian faith [in 1 Corinthians 15:12–19].

If Jesus did not live, do, and say the things claimed by the apostles, then Christianity is false. If there is a better explanation for the resurrection, then Christians are simply wasting their time.

By pointing out this vulnerability, Paul was really pointing out the strength of Christianity. So convinced was he of the historicity and verifiability of the resurrection, the event that confirmed the claims of Jesus, that he pointed out how to prove it false—almost as a challenge. Christian claims can be investigated and tested. This challenge has no parallel in other religions. No other sacred text shows how to destroy its own claims.

The church fathers showed they understood the importance of Jesus’ historicity when they crafted the Nicene Creed, the universally accepted creed of the church. The creed says, “For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried.” Why mention Pontius Pilate? What doctrine is based on him? The answer is: none; there is no doctrine based on Pilate. He is mentioned to remind us that these were real events happening to a real person at a particular point in history. (Doug Powell, Holman Quick Source Guide to Christian Apologetics, pp. 11, 16, 18)

OUR SUPPORTERS

  • NCMC Logo12
  • cwd_link
    Over 18,000 wholesome, family friendly, Christian websites.
  • WM-ad-web-v2-489x486
  • RdR Large ad
  • Danny Avila
  • Talking Bibles Sidebar Ad
  •  Good News, Etc
Print pagePDF pageEmail page

Guidelines for Interpreting Scripture, part 1

How are we to interpret the Bible, especially in light of the fact that there are so many different traditions, denominations, and schools of thought? Are we allowed to interpret a passage however we like, or are there some basic rules and guidelines to follow?Guidelines for Interpreting Scripture

On this program the hosts will begin a two-part series on this topic as they walk through some basic rules of “hermeneutics,” or the science of biblical interpretation. Join us as we begin this mini-series on interpreting Scripture on the White Horse Inn.

Host Quote:

“When you think of the kind of questions that we automatically ask and go to the Bible to seek answers for, it kind of revolves around how I can be happy, wealthy and stress-free. Well, I’m not likely to hear those questions when I go to Africa or India or China. I talked to Christians suffering persecution in various parts of the world and they’re not just, “How can I be a better me?”

“Your culture does matter when you interpret Scripture. Your circumstances, your environment does matter and we shouldn’t be naive about that. We should kind of drag it from under the beds, so to speak, and say this is what it is. I need to be aware that I’m probably inclined to ignore or marginalize passages that Jesus considered really important because I am a White, middle-class American. But shouldn’t that be true of all of us then? You can’t come as a woman to the Bible and say it’s okay basically to screen out everything that doesn’t affirm my womanness, or that the Bible basically is meant to be read from the perspective of Black experience or Hispanic experience. Because whatever norms or has the ultimate say over truth is, in fact, your Bible.” – Michael Horton

Term to Learn:

“Drama of Redemption”

We are to view the historical events recounted in Scripture as ingredients in a unified story ordered by God’s providence. There is no square inch of human history that is outside the mission fields of Son and Spirit. The biblical authors are witnesses to a coherent series of events ultimately authored by God. This series of events involves both divine words and divine deeds and, as such, is both revelatory and redemptive.

The Old Testament testifies to the same drama of redemption as the New Testament, hence the church rightly reads both testaments together, two parts of a single authoritative script. What unifies the canon is Divine Providence and this in two senses: formally, the Bible is the product of divine authorship; materially, the subject matter of the Bible is the history of God’s covenant faithfulness. It is the story of how God keeps his word: to Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and so on. It follows that the Old and New Testaments are connected at a profound level, for the one story of God’s faithfulness to his covenant promise is told in two parts. The typological connections that link the two testaments are grounded on God’s acting consistently through time. (Adapted from Kevin Vanhoozer, “Ten Theses on the Theological Interpretation of Scripture,” Modern Reformation July/August 2010, pp. 17–18)

(This podcast is by White Horse Inn. Discovered by Christian Podcast Central and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Christian Podcast Central, and audio is streamed directly from their servers.)

OUR SUPPORTERS

  • NCMC Logo12
  • cwd_link
    Over 18,000 wholesome, family friendly, Christian websites.
  • WM-ad-web-v2-489x486
  • RdR Large ad
  • Danny Avila
  • Talking Bibles Sidebar Ad
  •  Good News, Etc
Print pagePDF pageEmail page

Whether we like it or not, we can’t get away from dogma. Everyone has a creed or a basic way of summarizing what it is the Bible teaches about God or the person and work of Jesus Christ. So the question is whether our beliefs and assumptions are faithful and accurate reflections of the Christian faith, or something altogether different.Heresy & Orthodoxy

We are continuing our series on the importance of creeds and confessions in the contemporary church. On this program the hosts will discuss how the ancient creeds help us to determine when alternative expressions of Christianity end up proclaiming a different Jesus and a different gospel. Join us for this edition of the White Horse Inn.

Host Quote:

“As we’ve seen, starting this series on the importance of creeds of and confessions, whether we like it or not, we can’t get away from dogma. Everyone has a creed, a set of beliefs and doctrines. Even a person who says ‘no creed but Christ’ still has a basic way of thinking about the faith that corrects the way that person approaches the Bible and the Christian life. Even if they say, ‘I’ve accepted Jesus into my heart and made him Lord of my life,’ that is a sort of personal creed. The question is whether our basic assumptions about God or Jesus or the nature of our salvation are accurate summaries of the Bible’s teaching or not. So, what is orthodoxy and how does it relate to heresy? How do we define these guardrails and where did the guardrails come from?”– Michael Horton

Term to Learn:

“Historical Formation of Dogmas”

Christianity rests on historical facts which come to our knowledge through a revelation given and completed more than nineteen centuries ago. And the correct interpretation and understanding of these facts can only result from the continual prayers and meditation, from the study and struggles, of the Church of all ages. No one Christian can ever hope to succeed in assimilating and reproducing properly the whole content of the divine revelation, neither is one generation ever able to accomplish the task. The formation of dogmas is the task of the Church of all ages, a task which requires great spiritual energy on the part of successive generations. And history teaches us that, in spite of differences of opinion and protracted struggles, and even in spite of temporary retrogressions, the Church’s insight into the truth gradually gained in clarity and profundity. One truth after another became the center of attention and was brought to ever greater development. And the historical Creeds of the Churches now embody in concentrated form the best results of the reflection and study of past centuries. It is at once the duty and the privilege of the Church of our day to enter into that heritage of bygone years, and to continue to build on the foundation that was laid. (Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology, p. 32)

(This podcast is by White Horse Inn. Discovered by Christian Podcast Central and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Christian Podcast Central, and audio is streamed directly from their servers.)

OUR SUPPORTERS

  • NCMC Logo12
  • cwd_link
    Over 18,000 wholesome, family friendly, Christian websites.
  • WM-ad-web-v2-489x486
  • RdR Large ad
  • Danny Avila
  • Talking Bibles Sidebar Ad
  •  Good News, Etc
Print pagePDF pageEmail page

What are Christians known for in our day? If you ask people on the street this question, you’re likely to get answers that relate to particular moral or political concerns, but though they may be important, do these issues get to the heart of our faith?

No creed but Christ?In her book Creed or Chaos (1940), Dorothy Sayers observed that “it is worse than useless for Christians to talk about the importance of Christian morality, unless they are prepared to take their stand upon the fundamentals of Christian theology.” On this program the hosts will discuss Sayer’s profound observations as they begin a new series on the importance of recovering creeds and confessions in contemporary Christianity. Join us for this edition of the White Horse Inn.

Host Quote:

This is the thing that troubles me about a lot of evangelical engagement in the public square. ‘The really important thing for us to stand for that people should know us for is our position on…’ — and then you go down the list of the public moral issues. The latest report that I saw from Pew said that evangelicals are the only group in America that went significantly up in the level of dislike in the American public. All other religious groups kind of either stayed the same or had a higher approval rating than they’ve had in the past. Only evangelicals went down in their approval rating. You don’t get the sense that it’s because CNN figured out that, wow, these people believe in the two natures of Christ united in one person. They’re crazy. Rather, it’s because there’s something about the moral campaign that has just turned people off. You ask people what is an evangelical and the first thing you hear out there is not the articles of the Nicene Creed. This is what Dorothy Sayers means by it being worse than useless to talk about morality without the theology that undergirds it. – Michael Horton

Term to Learn:

“Creeds and Confessions”

A creed is a confession of faith; put into concise form, endowed with authority, and intended for general use in religious rites, a creed summarizes the essential beliefs of a particular religion. According to this definition, there are three Christian creeds: the Apostles’, the Nicene, and the Athanasian. The Protestant confessions of the Reformation era were intended to restore to the church its true image and identity, which, it was widely agreed, had been obscured by the abuses of the later Middle Ages. The heart of the Reformation creeds is the rediscovery of the Gospel as, in Luther’s memorable phrase, “the real treasure of the church.” The church, Luther held, is the creation of the gospel; it is the word of God in Jesus Christ that makes the church the church.

Lutheran Confessions: The Book of Concord containing Luther’s Large and Small Catechisms, the Augsburg Confession, Melanchthon’s “Apology for the Augsburg Confession,” Luther’s Smalcald Articles, Melanchthon’s “Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope,” and the Formula of Concord.

Reformed Confessions: The Westminster Standards containing The Westminster Confession of Faith, the Larger Catechism, and the Smaller Catechism (primarily used in Presbyterian Churches). The Three Forms of Unity containing The Belgic Confession of Faith, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Canons of the Synod of Dort (primarily used in Reformed Churches).

Reformed Baptist Confession: The London Baptist Confession of 1689. (Adapted from The Encyclopedia of Religion s.v. “Creeds.”)

(This podcast is by White Horse Inn. Discovered by Christian Podcast Central and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Christian Podcast Central, and audio is streamed directly from their servers.)

OUR SUPPORTERS

  • NCMC Logo12
  • cwd_link
    Over 18,000 wholesome, family friendly, Christian websites.
  • WM-ad-web-v2-489x486
  • RdR Large ad
  • Danny Avila
  • Talking Bibles Sidebar Ad
  •  Good News, Etc
Print pagePDF pageEmail page

Religion is often presented today as a kind of therapy. Find the treatment you like best—the one that meets your needs and warms your heart. That’s the point of religion. But is this the way that Christianity presents itself? Did Jesus offer himself as a kind of sage who could help us to cope with life’s difficulties, or did he come to tell about himself, our problem, and his solution?

On this program Michael Horton and the panel discuss these questions and more with Greg Koukl, founder and president of Stand to Reason and author of The Story of Reality: How the World Began, How It Ends, and Everything Important That Happens in Between. Join us for this new edition of the White Horse Inn.The Story of Reality with Greg Koukl

Host Quote:

“Wade Clark Roof, a professor at the University of California Berkeley, a sociologist, says that Americans inherently give more authority to that which is inward precisely because it is inward than to anything external. There is no external authority that counts as highly as an inward hunch, experience, or what have you. Alexis de Tocqueville, the French commentator who came to the United States for a visit in the mid-19th Century, said one of the unique characteristics of the American character is that they don’t need any books because they’ve already found the truth within themselves.

“Now, here we are living in an era where we think that that’s kind of new, but this sort of narcissism or self-confidence in the intuitive rather than the external in my own self and its authority over against external authority, that is really something that has been woven into the American character for a long time. When we’re talking to non-Christians this is their assumption. When it comes to ultimate truth claims, the more important they are, the less external the claim should be and the less based on an external authority.” – Michael Horton

Term to Learn:

“Therapeutic Spirituality”

Today’s spirituality is novel in the sense that it is based upon a person’s felt needs, as opposed to an authoritative person or text. Self-expression has become the new form of worship in both traditional and innovative religious practices, rather than a practice of self-denial. This spirituality adopts preference as a means of self-actualization (i.e. a way of becoming the fullest expression of yourself as a human being). The commitments to these preferences are deeply personal and subjective, which results in the expression, “Your own personal Jesus” who neither confronts with his transcendent ‘Otherness’ nor deals in categories of sin, hell, or judgment. Therapy as a model of spirituality has replaced traditional norms due to the secularization of culture (i.e., the cultural shift that has resulted in religious beliefs becoming wholly individualized and disassociated from the social sphere).  Divine Providence over mankind has been replaced by the invisible hand of economic forces. Whereas the Almighty beneficent being was previously seen as integral to daily life and well-being, today, he is seen as a cosmic bellhop who comes at our beck and call.

With the loss of life’s ‘center’ by these competing visions of reality, faith has been left only with an interior and subjective expression which allows ‘believers’ to cope with the ‘real world’ science and technology have given them. In the face of this modern nihilism (i.e., the belief that there is no true reality beyond that which is apprehended through the senses), religion has often attempted to fill the vacuum through such therapeutic modes of expression. Even in traditional, conservative contexts orthodox worship and practice may succumb to this mode of spirituality, ultimately leaving little effect upon the practice of the worshipper or in the public square at large. Concrete, external liturgical practices (such as the reading of the law, corporate confession, a declaration of pardon, and corporate supplication) are often displaced by personalized small groups that help believers in their life journey. This is deemed as more ‘relevant’ to the therapeutic man, and an improvement upon the ‘dead rituals’ that don’t speak to the hearts of worshippers. Worship thus becomes a therapy ‘session’ something akin to Alcoholics Anonymous, a place where kindred spirits can hear one another’s stories and help one another cope with their weaknesses and failures, rather than a place of divine judgment and salvation where sinful people meet with a holy God, and through faith in their Savior, by the power of the Holy Spirit, are forgiven for their rebellion, and comforted by the assurance of their salvation. (Timothy W. Massaro, “Therapeutic Spirituality,” WHI [blog], August 10, 2014)

(This podcast is by White Horse Inn. Discovered by Christian Podcast Central and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Christian Podcast Central, and audio is streamed directly from their servers.)

OUR SUPPORTERS

  • NCMC Logo12
  • cwd_link
    Over 18,000 wholesome, family friendly, Christian websites.
  • WM-ad-web-v2-489x486
  • RdR Large ad
  • Danny Avila
  • Talking Bibles Sidebar Ad
  •  Good News, Etc