"Unity without verity is no better than conspiracy." - John Trapp

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Mostly Dead

If the blog were all dead, all you could do would be to go through its pockets looking for spare change.

Things have been busy since the start of the year, and while I've had things I would like to write about, they have been significantly lower priority than other things that are going on. That may (or may not) be changing. But I had a few moments and one item of interest that a quick search of the blogs I would normally frequent has not turned up.

I spent the last week in Mexico on business, which is significant because I don't get HBO at home. I generally don't spend much time in Mexico even attempting to watch TV because there are only a few channels in English, but Thursday night we got back to the hotel early (shortly after 9:00 PM - not early by my home standards) and while I was repacking to fly out on Friday I flipped the TV on and caught the end of "Inside the NFL" which reviewed the amazing Colts come from behind victory last week ("Go Blue").

After "Inside the NFL" went off, and HBO special "Friends of God" came on. I had not heard about this show before (apparently I caught a premier episode). The show was a look at evangelicals. Since I fall into that broad category, I was disappointed. Not by the show, but by the state of evangelicalism. This has been the subject of many blog posts by people from across the spectrum of Biblical Christianity, but what passes for evangelicalism today is morality with a smile. We want you to like us and we want you to be like we are. Every Christian should watch the special, but do so through a lens of Scripture. While not everything or everyone in the documentary is a disappointment, to realize that this is what the evangelical church has become is a sad commentary on our faith.

Let me end with a quote I'm stealing (I mean borrowing) from Jonathan Moorhead. The speaker is Dr. John Hannah:
I think that evangelical preaching today is baptized morality. And it’s good, but morality will damn your soul if it doesn’t have an object. Morality preached apart from the gospel is no gospel. Law and grace must always be put together. We seem to prefer to help people next week instead of forever. My goal is not to have a better existence, but to have a better eternity. By preaching a better eternity, they may have a better existence. But I don’t confuse the two. Don’t confuse cause and effect. If I preach cause, I’ll get effect. But if I preach effect, I won’t get cause.
What was missing from "Friends of God" was that kind of understanding. I don't know if people presented that to her and she just didn't get it, or, more likely in my experience, evangelicals are more concerned with pet ideas (creation vs. evolution, conservative vs. liberal, etc.) than with the Biblical gospel.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"morality with a smile"...yep...

Glad to see you back, Eddie...check out my post "dead men can dance" for more of this...

10:54 AM EST  
Blogger Taliesin said...

Hi JD,

I'll pop in a little later tonight (dinner and the dogs are calling) and check out the post.

I'm sure I stole that "morality with a smile" from somewhere - if I could remember where I'd give credit.

6:08 PM EST  
Blogger Craver VII said...

Welcome back!! I think we’re on similar tracks here because I wrote a post using “mostly dead” to make a point about knowing that you’re truly saved. I called it vital signs. I was pretty happy with most of the discussion, but comm.ent #21 has my feathers unruffled. Each time I begin to write a response, I have to delete it because I don’t want to sound defensive or bitter that she missed the point. It is not a pat on the back to care about being truly saved more than anything else. I would say that I want what matters most to God to matter most to me. I don’t want to get confrontational with that commenter, but if someone else were to impart wisdom… (hint-hint)

I hope we can both enjoy a good game Sunday.

2:27 PM EST  
Blogger Taliesin said...

That's right - you're in the Chicago area, aren't you? The game probably comes down to which Indy defense and Chicago offense shows up. Should be an interesting game, if not pleasing to everyone.

7:37 AM EST  

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