Friday, June 8, 2007

Truth and the Church, Part Three

As I listen to sermons, many times I ask the question "if I believed that Christianity was one of many valid religions, could I still listen to this sermon as a truth rather than the truth"? Sadly the answer is often yes.

Francis Schaeffer addresses this issue in his book Escape from Reason. He blamed the communication gaps between speaker and listener on what he called differing "thought forms". This gap occurs when the words being used by the speaker have different underlying meanings for the listener. According to his book, the thought forms that challenged the Church in his day were those of thesis, antitheses, and syntheses. He admonished the Church in his time to understand that the Gospel must be presented in a way to penetrate that kind of thinking.

Present day I am of the belief that the Gospel is often being derailed in this same way, by the relativistic spirit of this age. George Barna's research would seem to confirm that belief as he cites an amazingly high number of Christians who see their religion as only true for themselves. As I gladly evict the Rajah from my head and thoughts forever, I will refer to him one last time. If the Church of Jesus Christ is to be the salt and light it was called to be in our day, the Rajah must also be evicted from the Church and the door diligently guarded to prevent his re-entry.


Penless Thoughts said...

This three part post has been excellent Danny. Keep up the good work. It is so hard for me to understand why people can't "see" what is going on. That is when I look at it through the natural eye. When I take the Spiritual eye it is so plan. The lies of satan. From the beginning to the end. He is the father of lies.

danny wright said...

Thank you so much Susan. These three post were a condensed version of a class I taught in my church on worldviews, with some modification. It was extremely difficult to compact several weeks of classes into a few hundred words and I thought I did a terrible job. So your comment is a real encouragement.

ChrisB said...

Danny, I agree with what you say -- with one exception I'll get to in a moment. Relativism is all too pervasive in our culture, and Christians need to be able to identify it and deal with it both in coversation with others and in our own thoughts.

That said, I'd discourage you from leaning on Barna's research on this issue too much. Christianity Today ran a story last year called Flea Market Believers that suggests Barna needs to find a way to distinguish between those who claim to hold evangelical beliefs and those who show some evidence of holding them. The article's definitely worth reading.

God bless,

danny wright said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
danny wright said...

Thanks for visiting.

I agree with you totally on Barna. I think that Barna research claims that about half of Born Again Believers hold a relativistic worldview. One would have to seriously torture the word Bornagain to come to this conclusion, and to his credit he clearly defines how he labels one as such. But that said, it has been my experience that there are quite a few that attend conservative churches and hold this worldview. This is anecdotal however so it might not be as bad as I imagine.

Pat Jenkins said...

d.w. if not said before i do need to compliment you on your work and thoughts, and your post brings to light something that will need to be addressed, that being man's philosophy of truth, which gets brought into the church, thus poisoning God's seperate truth. my ways are not your ways!!!