Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Orthodoxy or Orthopraxy

Just listened to one of Carson's sermon posted on BiblicalThought.com, in the article The Relationship Between Experience and Truth. Near the end of the sermon, Carson said:

“So, which is it?

Experience or Truth?

The left wing of the airplane or the right?

Love or Integrity?

Evangelism or Discipleship?

Subjective knowledge or Objective knowledge?

Faith or Obedience?


In the light of Holy Scripture, brothers and sisters in Christ…


I put it as strongly as that. Do you know why?


  • They generate false gods.
  • They generate idolatry.
  • They perpetuate idols.
  • They twist and distort our souls.
  • They launch the church into violent pendulum-swings, whose oscillations succeed only in dividing brothers and sisters in Christ, and taking us away from the cohesiveness of God-given, life transforming Revelation.

The Truth is, that Jesus is Lord of all!

He is Lord of the truth and our experience.

He insists that we bring every thought into captivity to His gracious self disclosure.

He insists that we love him and that we trust him.

He makes us slaves in every domain, and thereby frees us.

Jesus is Lord!” — D.A Carson

In a later article entitled Orthodoxy or Orthopraxy, Stephen Macasil also attacks the postmodern, Emergent 'emphasis' on Orthopraxy while undermining Orthodoxy, and states in no uncertain terms that the Emergent's stance is a false antithesis and thus nonsensical. As he said, "Wrong thinking is wrong living"; a statement I heartily agree.

With this, I would like to share a few more thoughts.

One reason why I am extremely wary and uneasy and critical too of all the "practical godliness" Christians is because it is impossible to be truly godly without right doctrine. And the sentiment by Macasil makes is even plainer that believing the wrong doctrine is wrong living, and thus ungodly So what if you can behave practically like a saint even? So what if you have a "life transformation" from somone akin to a murderer to being almost a perfect saint, even keeping the 4th commandment to the very minute and second (as well as keeping all the >30 rules of do's and don'ts on the Sabbath)? As long as you believe in wrong doctrine, or worse still believe in a false "gospel", you are not truly living rightly. Therefore, those who focus on "practical godliness", "being a better Christian", even "living a life in practical obedience to the commands of Scripture", and yet downplay the importance of doctrine are sinning. I don't care how much of a saint you may behave, you are most definitely not one if you downplay and especially ignore the Truth of Scripture.

And all this false antithesis extends also to the Neo-Orthodox heresy, which creates a false antithesis between Jesus and the Word, whereas they come together. Truly, Neo-Orthodoxy generate false gods and generate idolatry (the idolatry of an alien 'christ' apart from the Word), twist and distort the souls of its adherents, and finally creates chaos within the Church. On another subject, I have no symphathy also for the "hyper-Evangelism" Decisional Regeneration movement, who are only interested in getting people to say a sinners' prayer, with the church existing only for evangelism (ie afer you are saved, you are supposed to just learn how to do evangelism, do it and that's it) and think that it is not important to grow in the knowledge of the Word of God. Of course, the converse is true, but I haven't met churches which are focused too much on Discipleship at the expense of Evangelism.

And so therefore, to end off:

Damn all false antitheses to hell! — D.A. Carson


vincit omnia veritas said...

Hey Daniel,

Don't worry about what Edmund had written about you ... the last time I checked (and I try my best to AVOID his blog now), he damned me as a "satanic" fellow. :) Interesting isn't it? See


Truly a blind man leading the blind ... I feel sorry for him, that he has backslid to this level of blindness ... he can't even count the number of f-bombs he used on his posts.

But of course, Carson's statement applies :P

PuritanReformed said...

Hello Vincent,

nope, I am not too worried. I have not been to that area of the blogosphere after my last comment there (plus one last time looking at your link). My comments with regards to Neo-Orthodoxy are more for sharpening of my own thoughts about the subject matter rather than any attempt at interaction. There is no way to get through to a reprobate mind using intellectual arguments anyway.

My interaction with Neo-Orthodoxy therefore is geared more towards potentially helping true Christians and sincere 'seekers' who are in that movement. As you may probably know, the "conservative" mainstream Presbyterians in Singapore just love Karl Barth, and another one would be Soren Kirkegaard. At least that was the impression that I received during my 20 over years there. =P