Sunday, March 22, 2009

Grudem on the purity of the Church

I have been in the process of reading through Grudem's Systematic Theology so here is an interesting quote on the topic of the purity of the church.

It is helpful at this point to remember that classical liberal Protestantism is humanistic, and its approaches are primarily man-centered rather than God-centered. When a church begins to stray from faithfulness to Christ, this will be evident not only in the shift to impure doctrine (which can sometimes be concealed from church members by the use of evasive language) but also in the daily life of the church: its activities, its preaching, its counseling, and even the casual conversations among members will tend to become more and more man-centered and less and less God-centered. There will tend to be a repeated emphasis on the typical kinds of self-help advice given in popular journals and by secular psychologists. There will be a horizontal orientation as opposed to a vertical or God-centered orientation, there will be fewer and fewer extended times of prayer and less and less emphasis on the direct application of Scripture to daily situations, but more emphasis on simply being a caring and sensitive person, and on affirming others and acting in love towards them. The conversation and activities of the church will have little genuine spiritual content — little emphasis on the need for daily prayer for individual concerns and for forgiveness of sins, little emphasis on daily personal reading of Scripture, and little emphasis on moment-by-moment trust in Christ and knowing the reality of his [sic] presence in our lives. Where there are admonitions to moral reformation, these will often be viewed as human deficiencies that people can correct by their own discipline and effort, and perhaps encouragement from others, but these moral agencies of life will not primarily be viewed as sin against a holy God, sin which can only effectively be overcome by the power of the Holy Spirit working within. When such humanistic emphases become dominant in a church, it has moved far towards the "less-pure" end of the scale ..., and it is moving in the direction of becoming a false church.

[Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology (Nottingham, UK: IVP, 1994), p. 876]

What do you think we will find when we apply these biblical standards to the churches of our time?

4 comments:

Joel Tay said...

This has got to be one of the best cultural commentaries about our culture that I have read the last month.

PuritanReformed said...

Joel:

I don't think your profs share that view.... :P, but anyway they are in the less pure to false category. =)

Joel Tay said...

Daniel,

Since when did you become so diplomatic. LOL

Never follow the language of Vincent Cheung huh? haha

PuritanReformed said...

Joel:

I... diplomatic? That's new.... =P But yea, learning when to be charitable and when to unsheath the sword.