Time For Truth

A place to grow in the Grace & Knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ

An exercise in cluelessness

Clark Cowden, just like most Presbyterian PCUSA pastors, simply does not understand the essential issues facing this denomination. On his Presbyterian Global Fellowship blog he basically argues that the PCUSA problem is that they simply do not understand our new culture. Once we do understand this new culture (postmodern) we need to adapt and do church differently (key word missional). He gives an aside to critiquing marketing (yet uses marketing analysis to analyze the problem with the denomination) and comments that we don’t need to change a theology that has basically worked for 2000 years (not that it is true and meets reality). His arguments are inconsistent, illogical and fallacious. I assume he is criticizing churches that remain formal and traditional, yet it is difficult to understand exactly where his criticism lies.

One of the hallmarks of evangelicalism has been its willingness to adapt its form (almost to a fault) to better connect with their culture. This is why we see such a great variety of worship styles within churches. One of the hallmarks of liberalism is that its message has mirrored high secular culture, rejecting all aspects of orthodoxy. Whom then is he criticizing?

Missional? What exactly does this mean in his context? Is he referring to the emerging churches emphasis on orthopraxy (doing good works) and rejecting orthodoxy and doctrine? By missional does he mean communicating the exclusive message of the gospel for the salvation of people who accept Jesus as Lord and Savior? It is very difficult to know.

Why does he not address the 800-pound gorilla in the room? Why is there no comment on the fact that the denomination at every level is absolutely and completely infested and infected by people who deny the core tenets of the faith? Why is this not addressed as the crucial issue and the major problem that is causing many to leave the denomination and others to avoid it?
Does he not believe that the gospel message is utterly compromised by those who exist in every level and in every committee who deny the faith by their theological position? He writes about the issues of General Motors and how they are awakening to the reality of the market only now. But now imagine having people who believe in Toyota and Honda and reject nearly everything to do with GM, who are in charge of running GM. Is this not a better analogy of what is going on in the PCUSA. Why should people who do reject the position that Jesus Christ is the true and only Way, Truth and Life and no one comes to the Father but by him; now work missionaly to communicate that message? Of course they wouldn’t and they don’t. They preach a pluralistic message of good works, good feelings, community and unity. It is a secular message, that saves no one. True mission cannot exist when non-believers are put in charge.
My friends we cannot compromise the truth and we must never minimize the truth. Light cannot exist with darkness. Our message in the PCUSA is constantly compromised and undermined by a pathetic theology that regularly runs away from Orthodoxy. How can we expect the Lord to bless us, as we regularly undermine his truth?

I noticed that Clark Cowden avoided using male pronouns for God. What a shame considering how the revealed Word of God refers to God. But, I guess he is being creative and culturally relevant in a missional way.

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June 12, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

4 Comments »

  1. Hi Adel,

    I have read somewhat in your blog. If I have more time, I will read it through. It is interesting to read your opinion that our beliefs change as we change and that it is more in who we believe as in what we believe.

    I think I understand that our world view changes in the way we change. Politics and culture have always had a great influence on the church. In the time of slavery the church propagated slavery in the Nazi regime believers had more of the nationalistic beliefs. This would make Christian faith very inconsistent. Today we believe this and tomorrow the other.

    There has to be a consistency in somewhat. In my opinion it is only the revealed Word of God. I think we have to distinguish the faith in the revealed truth and our natural world view, which contains certain beliefs. But the Word of God has always to be the basis, also the basis of knowing God.

    There are doctrines that are very absolute, without any misunderstanding. But then there are uncertain doctrines, where there are some or many opinions. Only in this second part we can develop our beliefs as we grow in our understanding and observe what applications it has in life.

    Comment by superkirgise | June 12, 2008

  2. I found your blog from one of your posts on Toby Brown’s blog. I appreciate what you are writing and will visit often. And I hope you visit my blog as well.

    Grace and peace,

    John Erthein
    Erie, PA

    Comment by Presbyman | June 14, 2008

  3. Good stuff. I as well found you from Toby’s Blog. I’ll put yours on my blogroll.

    Comment by backwoodspresbyterian | June 15, 2008

  4. Hi Adel,

    You have hit the nail on the head. I’ll stop by frequently. Keep on fighting the good fight.

    Mac

    Comment by Mac | June 15, 2008


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