Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Words of warning from a liberal theologian

This quote comes from someone you don't want to be associated with, one of the proponents of “post-liberal” theology. Here he is offering a critique of the way modern Evangelicals think about the Cross of Christ. I have inserted some expanatory notes in [brackets].

Our increasingly feel-good therapeutic culture is antithetical to talk of the Cross, and our consumerist society has made the doctrine a pariah. A more puzzling feature of this development as it has affected professedly confessional churches is the silence that has surrounded it. There have been few audible protests. Even most contemporary theologies of the Cross fit the pattern of Jesus as model. But justification itself is rarely described in accordance with the Reformation pattern, even by conservative Evangelicals. Most of them are conversionists holding to Arminian versions of the ordo salutis [the order of events in the salvation of an individual], which are further removed from Reformation theology than was the [Roman Catholic] Council of Trent. Therefore, where the Cross once stood is now a vacuum.
— George Lindbeck

About the Council of Trent: Follow the link, then look at the Canons (laws) that follow the heading “ON JUSTIFICATION” about two-thirds of the way down, starting between the markers [Page 44] and [Page 45]. Pay special attention to Canons IX, XI, XII, XXIV, and XXV (that's 9, 11, 12, 24, and 25 in English). If you agree with what these canons say, go make your confession to a priest, because you are already functioning as a Roman Catholic.

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