Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Ref21, and the Uncommon Compromise of Richard Mouw

Reformation 21 is the online magazine of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. While generally theologically sound, sometimes one read stuff that makes one cringe. The recent piece by Sean Lucas is one such example, as he praised Richard Mouw and his "uncommon generosity."

Who is Richard Mouw, you may wonder? Mouw was at one time the president of Fuller Seminary, the New Evangelical institution that decided to jettison their initial stance on biblical inerrancy to allow for toleration of heresy. Now, it is admitted that Fuller is not a church, yet it claims to be a Christian institute, so it should be reasonable to expect it to keep within the pale of orthodoxy. Thus, while it would be rather unreasonable to expect a generic Christian institute to take a position on e.g. the validity of infant baptism, I think it is reasonable to expect a professing Christian institute to actually be, like, Christian. While Mouw was president of Fuller, was there any attempt for Fuller to actually behave like a Christian institute? Judging by their continual tolerance of "partial inerrancy" and other kinds of false teachings, I guess not!

Even more pertinent to our concern here is Richard Mouw's endorsement of Mormonism as being a legitimate expression of Christianity, as documented by Dr. James R. White (here is one example). The problem with Mouw is not that Mormons believe that God the Father is supreme, but that Christianity is monotheistic, not henotheistic or polytheistic. It astonishes me that Lucas can say that Mormonism "has historical roots within evangelicalism." If by "historical roots," it means the founder was nominally from an evangelical religion, then almost every cult can claim that, including presumably Satanism. That phrase could however mean that Mormonism, because of its historical connection, can claim some form of commonality with evangelicalism, and that is patently false. Thus, it is easy for this phrase to be an equivocation which is technically correct in the first sense yet serves to mislead people into thinking Mormonism is close to the evangelical religion (in the second sense).

The fact is that in both these instances, Richard Mouw has compromised the Faith once for all delivered to the saints. It is inconceivable to me that Reformation 21 could allow Lucas to write such a piece praising Richard Mouw for his "uncommon generosity," which is more like uncommon compromise. Mouw's actions are not the actions of the apostles, who anathemized those who proclaimed another Gospel (Gal. 1: 6-9) and who call for clear separation from false teachers (2 Jn. 10-11). Mouw has compromised the Faith, and it is a travesty that any biblical Christian would even think that he is being "generous," unless one thinks "generosity" equates to apostasy, like in Brian McLaren's A Generous Orthodoxy.

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