Extracurricular Activities 7.6.14 — Creeds, Changing Evangelicalism, and Inerrancy
Religious freedom is not merely political; it is pre-political. As a fundamental, “unalienable” right, it existed before the state. Religious freedom did not begin in modern times; it began when God brought humanity into existence. Rooted in the biblical understanding of human dignity and freedom, religious freedom is a part of what it means to be created in the image of God.
There is, I would contend, a difference between having a “creed” or a “confession” or a “statement of faith” and having a theology. We all have a theology; some Christians though do not want any authoritative statement to which we have to subscribe or submit. That’s a creed vs. a theology. Still, Carl Trueman has this right: creeds are the way of the church, they are good, and they are needed.
What do you think of creeds? Do you think all churches should confess the creeds? Affirm them in their “doctrinal statement”? (I do.) Confess them publicly? (I do.)
People sometimes ask me why I hang onto the moniker “evangelical” when it has become so sullied by the media and in the public mind—as synonymous with angry, right-wing religious politics and the “culture wars.” My answer is twofold. First, “evangelical” is so much a part of my personal identity that I can’t imagine giving it up. Second, I’m too stubborn to let people own it and take it away from me.
However, in my seventh decade of life and being an evangelical I look back and wonder what has happened to evangelical Christianity during my lifetime. It has changed so dramatically it’s hardly recognizable
Though I had not been raised in a fundamentalist church, I was attending one during my first two years of college. Somehow the idea of “inerrancy” had lodged itself in my mind. And here I was, reading the Bible, and discovering that the Bible we actually have doesn’t seem to line up with the Bible I was told to believe in.
Small churches are friendlier, while large churches have better publicity and higher sermon quality, according to the results of a church marketing project that uses unchurched mystery guests to rate church programs and atmospheres.
Local community members who don't usually attend church visited more than 4,000 churches over six years and rated them on 16 categories, from community awareness, greetings, and music to diversity and youth ministry programs. Faith Perceptions, which has more than 13,000 mystery guests in all 50 states, spearheaded the study and paid community members $45 to participate.
By the way, if you are interested, the NIV Chronological Bible is 20% off for a very limited time. (Sale ends 7/14/14)
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