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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.)

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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.)

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The New Adam Has Not Yet Arrived

As we saw in last week’s program, the Bible traces the story of God’s promise to rescue the world from the consequences of the Fall. Yet as we follow the lives of characters such as Abraham, Moses, and David, we find not only sinners but also those who sin in spectacular ways that remind us of Adam’s original sin. In other words, it quickly becomes clear in these stories that the new Adam has not yet arrived, and that the new creation is still on hold.

On this program, the hosts continue to unpack this way of reading Scripture as they make their way through the Old Testament prophets and finally point to Jesus Christ as the true “Son of Man.” Join us as we begin this new series on the White Horse Inn.

Host Quote:

“One of the things that plagues much of American Christianity is the tendencies to read Old Testament texts moralistically and a couple of examples are Ezra and Nehemiah. It gets pretty boring reading about the Jews rebuilding the walls on a political entry unless you turn it into principles to help me become a better insurance salesman. Even in Nehemiah and Ezra, even those books are showing the sinfulness of their own potential messiahs and the figures in these books even as they are preparing the way for Israel to be back in the land and for the temple to be rebuilt.”– Rod Rosenbladt

Term to Learn:

“Old Testament Types and Shadows”the new Adam has not yet arrived

Old Testament events, offices, and institutions (hereafter OTEOI) are invested by God with spiritual significance as integral steps in his history-long project to reverse sin and its effects… these OTEOI point beyond themselves, symbolizing the comprehensive, eschatological salvation that is God’s purpose for history and that has been inaugurated by Christ in his first coming and that will be consummated by Christ in his second coming. To understand how any OTEOI preaches Christ and finds its fulfillment in him, we first must grasp its symbolic depth in its own place in redemptive history. Then we need to consider how the OTEOI’s original symbolic depth (the aspect of redemption to which it pointed in shadow-form) finds final and complete fulfillment in Christ. Finally, we must identify and articulate how its message applies to ourselves and our listeners. The apostles’ proclamation of Christ as the fulfillment of all God’s promises provides abundant direction for the grateful outworking of this good news in personal discipline, family life, church life, and public life in the marketplace—and, if necessary, in a prison, like Paul. (Adapted from Dennis Johnson, Him We Proclaim, pp.234–237)

(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.)

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The Search for a New Adam, part 1

In many ways, the Bible is the unpacking of God’s initial promise recorded in Genesis 3:15, that though death entered the world through man’s fall, one day a child would be born who would restore all things and crush the serpent’s head. Therefore, the primary question that we should ask as we make our way through the pages of Scripture is whether any new character that emerges might actually be this child of promise.

What we see again and again, however, is that all of these potential messiahs end up not being anything new at all, but actually end up being mirror images of the old Adam. Join us as we begin this new series on the White Horse Inn.

Host Quote:The Search for a New Adam

“We just don’t want to look at how far East of Eden we actually are… I remember years ago, I was walking along the path of the college with our universal genius, Professor of Math, Robert Marion. He said, ‘What do you think is the greatest doctrine that came from the 16th century?’ I said, ‘Well, that salvation is by God’s grace alone through faith in Christ alone on the basis of his merits alone.’ He said, ‘I used to think that, too.’ I said, ‘What in the world do you think now?’ He said, ‘I think it’s a doctrine of a real Fall, because without it, you don’t even look.’ He had a point. We have a whole western civilization of theologians who have just not wanted to talk very much about the Fall of man. Where are we? We’re East of Eden.” – Rod Rosenbladt

Term to Learn:

“Original Sin”

6.2 Our first parents, by this sin, fell from their original righteousness and communion with God, and we in them whereby death came upon all: all becoming dead in sin, and wholly defiled in all the faculties and parts of soul and body.

6.3 They being the root, and by God’s appointment, standing in the room and stead of all mankind, the guilt of the sin was imputed, and corrupted nature conveyed, to all their posterity descending from them by ordinary generation, being now conceived in sin, and by nature children of wrath, the servants of sin, the subjects of death, and all other miseries, spiritual, temporal, and eternal, unless the Lord Jesus set them free.

6.4 From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions. (1689 London Baptist Confession, chap. 6, Sections 2–4)

(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.)

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What are the beliefs and assumptions of contemporary American spirituality? Why do so many people pick and choose religious beliefs based on that which makes them happy, rather than by evaluating truth claims?

Recorded before a live audience in Vail, Colorado, the hosts discuss these questions and more as they outline the characteristics of pluralism and the American Religion. They are joined once more by 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 edition of the White Horse Inn.

Host Quote:

“The gospel is ultimately what is relevant in the sense that it answers questions, the very existence of which we suppress in unrighteousness. We obscure our humanness as much as we can because it reveals the image of God and God having an ultimate claim on us. The deepest instinct of being human that we continually cover over is really what the Gospel does address.

“When we turn now to Jesus’ external authority over the authority of the sovereign self, one of the obvious texts we go to is the Great Commission where Jesus says, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and to all the world preach the gospel, baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teach them to observe everything I’ve commanded and lo, I’m with you to the end of the age.’  Here he says, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth. You don’t even give your heart to me. You don’t even let me have my way. You already belong to me. Look, I have the keys of death in hell. It’s not in your hands. It’s in my hands. I am the one who possesses all authority in heaven and on earth.’” – Michael Horton

Term to Learn:

“Church as Counter-Culture”

Pluralism & the American ReligionCultures enact and uphold certain ritual practices that act as liturgical formations of identity through imaginative means. Such ritual forces of culture are not satisfied with being merely mundane; embedded in them is a sense of what ultimately matters (compare Philippians 1:10). ‘Secular’ liturgies are fundamentally formative, and implicit in them is a vision of the kingdom that needs to be discerned and evaluated. From the perspective of Christian faith, these secular liturgies will often constitute mis-formation of our desires – aiming our heart away from the Creator to some aspect of the creation as if it were God. Secular liturgies capture our hearts by capturing our imaginations and drawing us into ritual practices that ‘teach’ us to love something very different from the kingdom of God.

By the same token, Christian worship needs to be intentionally liturgical, formative, and pedagogical in order to counter such mis-formation and misdirections. While the practices of Christian worship are best understood as the restoration of an original, creational desire for God, practically speaking, Christian worship functions as a counter-reformation to the mis-formation of secular liturgies into which we are ‘thrown’ from an early age. We must learn to consider Christian education (and worship) as a counter-pedagogy of desire. (Adapted from James K.A. Smith, “Love Takes Practice” in Desiring the Kingdom, pp. 88)

(This podcast is by White Horse Inn. Discovered by e2 media network and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not emedia network, and audio is streamed directly from their servers.)

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The resurrection of Jesus Christ is presented in the New Testament as the factual basis for the Christian faith. If Christ is not risen, our faith is in vain. But what are the implications of this fact? For example, what is Paul getting at in Romans 4:25 when he says that Christ was “delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification”? The hosts will discuss this and other texts that unpack the significance of Christ’s resurrection on this edition of the White Horse Inn.

Host Quote:

Implications of Jesus Christ's Resurrection“Jesus is our intercessor. Paul says, ‘Who shall condemn us? He who did not spare his own son, but gave him up for us all. How will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died, more than that, who was raised, who was at the right hand of God interceding for us.’

“What a wonderful doctrine – to think that Jesus didn’t just finish it and go home. He went into the heavenly sanctuary where he had to cast out Satan, our accuser. So now, he is in the court room. We have a loving Father and a defense attorney and there is no prosecutor and he’s interceding every day for us. And because he has been raised, we will be raised as well.” – Michael Horton

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 QuickSource Guide to Christian Apologetics, pp. 11, 16, 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.)

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In the last program we took a look at Christ’s cross-centered mission, and in this program we want to ask what it all means. Why did Jesus have to suffer in our place, and what did his death accomplish? Why is the cross central to our redemption?

As they attempt to unpack this topic, the hosts spend some time defining important words and concepts that the New Testament authors use to describe the benefits of the cross such as redemption, atonement, propitiation, and imputation. Join us for this new edition of the White Horse Inn.redemption, atonement, propitiation, and imputation

Host Quote:

“If you want purity, you will find it in the holy conception of our savior in the Virgin’s womb. If you want holiness of life and perfection, you’ll find it in Jesus’ thirty-three years of active obedience for you. If you want to find the mortification of sin, go find it in his tomb.

“Don’t look anywhere else for any benefits of God outside of Jesus. In him are hidden all the treasures of God. Not only by his cross did Jesus take away our sin, but by his life he fulfilled all obedience, all righteousness so that we don’t wind up merely with our debts cancelled, but we wind up with our account running over with merits.” – Michael Horton

Term to Learn:

“Justification”

Those whom God effectually calls He also freely justifies, not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting them as righteous, not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ’s sake alone. They are not justified because God reckons as their righteousness either their faith, their believing, or any other act of evangelical obedience. They are justified wholly and solely because God imputes to them Christ’s righteousness. He imputes to them Christ’s active obedience to the whole law and His passive obedience in death. They receive Christ’s righteousness by faith, and rest on Him. They do not possess or produce this faith themselves; it is the gift of God. (1689 London Baptist Confession, XI.1)

(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.)

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Everyone has an intricate belief system that takes some kind of faith and leads us to worship. Each belief system, whether secular or religious, is rooted in some kind of narrative or story that ends up forming a person’s core values, goals, and habits. As we have seen in previous episodes, all of these things are bound together. The same is true with the Christian story and how we relate the drama to the doctrines and worship we derive from it.

How should we respond to the announcement of God’s redemptive mission to seek and save the lost, or to the doctrinal implications of Christ’s atoning death and his resurrection from the dead? On this program, the hosts will move from the drama and the doctrine to a discussion of doxology, or worship. What is the appropriate response to the good news of the gospel, and what patterns of living should flow out of an understanding of God’s grace in Christ? As with doctrine, we cannot escape worship. The question is to whom or to what we will be devoted. We’re talking about “Finding Yourself in God’s Story” on this episode of the White Horse Inn.From Doctrine to Doxology

Too often in churches this basic biblical drama and its doctrines are assumed. Or they’re turned into a story about us with the supporting role for God, but we’re the star and author of the play. It’s all about how you can have your best life now and if God fits into that, so much the better. Our drama, doctrines, doxology and discipleship, even as believers, are increasingly determined by a human-centered culture.

“First, we need to be immersed once again in the amazing drama of the Bible, its Christ-centered plotline from Genesis to Revelation. Second, we need to see the connections to the doctrines that actually tell us what the drama means for us here and now. Third, we need to step into the story ourselves. Some believers are richly fed each week by a steady diet of the biblical drama as the story of God sitting purposes in Christ unfold before them. Some even connect the doctrinal dots. They know what they believe in and why they believe it. But they’re still in the stands, fans rather than participants. They’ve never been gripped by the ‘So what?’ – the implications of the drama and the doctrines that would lead them to join in this parade of thanksgiving. Scripture itself connects doctrine and worship in our lives so that we can take our place in the royal procession to Zion!.” – Michael Horton

Term to Learn:

“Church as Counter-Culture”

“Cultures enact and uphold certain ritual practices that act as liturgical formations of identity through imaginative means. Such ritual forces of culture are not satisfied with being merely mundane; embedded in them is a sense of what ultimately matters (compare Phil. 1:10). ‘Secular’ liturgies are fundamentally formative, and implicit in them is a vision of the kingdom that needs to be discerned and evaluated. From the perspective of Christian faith, these secular liturgies will often constitute mis-formation of our desires – aiming our heart away from the Creator to some aspect of the creation as if it were God. Secular liturgies capture our hearts by capturing our imaginations and drawing us into ritual practices that ‘teach’ us to love something very different from the kingdom of God.

“By the same token, Christian worship needs to be intentionally liturgical, formative, and pedagogical in order to counter such mis-formation and misdirections. While the practices of Christian worship are best understood as the restoration of an original, creational desire for God, practically speaking, Christian worship functions as a counter-reformation to the mis-formation of secular liturgies into which we are ‘thrown’ from an early age. We must learn to consider Christian education (and worship) as a counter-pedagogy of desire.”

(Adapted from James K.A. Smith, “Love Takes Practice” in Desiring the Kingdom, p. 88)

(This podcast is by White Horse Inn. Discovered by e2 media network and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not emedia network, and audio is streamed directly from their servers.)

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According to the doctrines of nihilism, nothing at all is sacred. In fact, nothing really matters except that which gives momentary pleasure or excitement. Christianity, on the other hand, starts with a completely different premise. This world is God’s world, and everything we do matters.How Our Beliefs Shape Us

So what are the implications of these two views? Do ideas like these just float around in a person’s head, or do these beliefs shape us in ways we can’t even comprehend? The hosts will discuss these issues and more as they continue their series, “Finding Yourself in God’s Story,” on this episode of the White Horse Inn.

“According to the doctrines of nihilism and secularism, nothing is sacred; and, in fact, ultimately nothing really matters at all except for that which excites you for the moment. Nothing’s transcendent and we become like beasts with only base instincts. Christianity, however, presents a completely opposite picture. You are significant. You are bought with a price. This matters for you today. For as we become immersed in this story and understand the doctrines that connect us to it, we find ourselves experiencing the joy, hope, and confidence – that doxology – which makes us disciples of Christ throughout our lives.” – Michael Horton

Term to Learn: Narrative Collapse

Narrative collapse is the loss of linear stories and their replacement with both crass reality programming and highly intelligent post-narrative shows like The Simpsons. With no goals to justify journeys, we get the impatient impulsiveness of the Tea Party, as well as the unbearably patient presentism of the Occupy movement. The new path to sense-making is more like an open game than a story.

Narrative Collapse is what happens when we no longer have time in which to tell a story. It is the experience of living in this fast-moving, chaotic information environment which destroys our capacity to conceive of our lives as stories, with a beginning, middle, and end. (Adapted from Douglas Rushkoff, rushkoff.com/present-shock)

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On this program the hosts are continuing our new series, taking a look at how the drama gives birth to the doctrines we are to believe. As they unpack these key concepts, they’ll help us to see that every belief system is rooted in some kind of narrative or story that ends up forming a person’s core values, goals, habits, and yes, doctrines.when someone denies their beliefs, other beliefs fill the void

Many Christians today have uncritically accepted the idea that “doctrine is irrelevant,” without even realizing that this very idea is itself a doctrine. In fact, the very moment one turns away from any particular belief or opinion, other beliefs rush in to fill the void. So everyone has doctrine, but the question is whether our beliefs and assumptions about God or the world in which we live are true, false, or somewhere in between. “Finding Yourself in God’s Story” is our series and the importance of doctrine is our focus on this episode of the White Horse Inn.

“Folks, what we’re saying here is doctrine matters. The doctrines come out of the drama. The drama is basically the story you’re living in, whether you know it or not – the story you take to be true. You may not have even reflected on whether it’s true or not, but it’s your default setting. You’re assuming certain things are true about the world. This is how your life fits in with the life of other people around you. This is the meaning of history. This is what the story is all about and you’re living your life in the light of that. Then, the doctrines that come out of it are the reasonable implications of that story and that shapes your experience and the way you live in the world. That’s what we’re saying. If it’s not going to be Christianity, it’s going to be some other narrative. It’s going to be some other drama that shapes you. If the Christian drama isn’t what you’re getting regularly in church, if this isn’t the way you’re reading the Bible and getting it deep down into you, even to the point, as Paul says, where we are singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs so that the work of Christ may dwell in us richly, then other stories are going to do that. You can’t just drift. You can’t just say, well, I tip my hat to a couple of doctrines and yeah, I believe Jesus died for my sins, and not immerse yourself in that story from Genesis to revelation and reflect on the doctrines that come out of it.

“If you don’t invest in that Christian, biblical drama and its doctrines, you will, by default, be shaped by the drama and the doctrines that Madison Avenue is selling to you every day that you’re getting from CNN or MSNBC or Fox. They’re going to shape you. They’re going to tell you who you are and it’s not going to be in Christ. This is the greatest story ever told and it happens to be the true story and Jesus proved that by being raised on the third day. No other drama has that lynchpin and has that kind of empirical validity that you can analyze, that you can approach and look at and contrast with the baseless stories that the world is telling us every day.” – Michael Horton

Term to Learn: Importance of Doctrine

As individual believers and as churches, we are always prone to fall away unless we are brought back by the Spirit to the Word. Therefore, we always need a theology grounded in that Word in dependence on the Spirit. The study of Christian doctrine is always an indispensable enterprise for the faith and practice of the whole church—not only for academics or even pastors, but for the whole communion of saints. Everyone who confesses the creed should always be growing in his or her understanding of its depth and implications.

The alternative to this growth in the knowledge and grace of Christ is not pious experience or good works but gradual assimilation to the powers of this passing evil age. The biblical drama plots our character “in Adam” by our natural birth in this present evil age. Nevertheless, “According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Pet 1:3-5).

(From Michael Horton’s, The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way, p. 26)

(This podcast is by White Horse Inn. Discovered by e2 media network and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not emedia network, and audio is streamed directly from their servers.)

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