Some dangers in overlooking sound theological thought.
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A Preoccupation with the 'novel' in religion.
Sometimes intentionally and even strategically or even sometimes as little more than a whim, novelty has found its way into conservative (even once Fundamentalist) Christianity. Now, of course, there is no "news" here! News to be "news" needs to be something that has not been around for such a lengthy time. Though really quite self-evident, the need for novelty or "entertainment" -- as some prefer calling it -- has taken a prominence that few, in years gone by, would ever have imagined.
The use of the novel or the new (so-called), along with a commitment to being unique or possibly even unusual, has for some time now, become a necessary reality for any church growth strategy. Spoken or unspoken, the need to provide exciting and attention grabbing methods in Christian ministry is an accepted practice in almost all churches. Have you experienced this new "hype" oriented or focused church? If so, did you find that you found it effective and sufficient or did you need more and more of this sort of attention getting methodology? Have you asked yourself "why?
To fail or "fall-short" of this new effectiveness in communication, (it seems clear to most,) is just to hold-on-to anything that seems outdated. Conservatism in Bible-believing Christian congregations may be allowed to exist in regards to doctrine or even Biblical exegesis but now that is where the "line has been drawn."
Assuming that the church is otherwise viewed as a "conservative-evangelical" body of believers the remaining levels or phases of [i.] worship, [ii.] ministry and [iii.] outreach are freed to interact with society without too many restraints or limitations. Not just "anything goes" but certainly "most anything" ... does seem acceptable - at least in most cases.
Christian ministry, in a post-Christian secular society and within a post-modern social philosophy or worldview, requires new and different (novel) approaches if we are to interact and interface with the world around us. Certainly, this "re-think" is the accepted belief of the majority of conservative Christians.
Priorities in Worship.
The Innovations surrounding individualism.
Popular Styled Ministry.
The LinkedIn Church.
Proactive views of Heritage.
'Designer' History? We live in a day when the need to re-examine and revise much that has been called 'church history' is genuinely needed. So much of Christian history was written to promote specific theological ideologies or 'denominational viewpoints" and so very much of our church history was influenced or controlled by national-regional political causes. The level of historical inaccuracies and the degree of subjectiveness is really over-whelming. So much of 'Church History,' is little more than a tool for much that can only be called illegitimate academic distortion.
As we think of "principles of interpretation and the need for an honest assessment of history - we can see this has always been an important issue. Some excerpts from 1 Corinthians Chapter 10 will be helpful for guiding us today. "FOR I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, that our forefathers were all under and protected by the cloud [in which God’s Presence went before them], and every one of them passed safely through the [Red] Sea, [Exod. 13:21; 14:22, 29]. 4 And they all drank the same spiritual (supernaturally given) drink. For they drank from a spiritual Rock which followed them and the Rock was Christ. [Exod. 17:6; Num. 20:11]. 5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with the great majority of them, for they were overthrown and strewn down along [the ground] in the wilderness. [Num. 14:29, 30]. 7 Do not be worshipers of false gods as some of them were, as it is written --8 We must not gratify evil desire and indulge in immorality as some of them did -- 9 We should not tempt the Lord -- as some of them did—11 Now these things befell them by way of a figure [as an example and warning to us]; they were written to admonish and fit us for right action by good instruction, we in whose days the ages have reached their climax (their consummation and concluding period). 12 Therefore let anyone who thinks he stands [who feels sure that he has a steadfast mind and is standing firm], take heed lest he fall." From the Amplified New Testament. (1987)
Reader Beware: we live in a day when so much "scholastic re-examination" of existing history (be it church history or general knowledge regarding world history) is taking place - some is honest and some just as dishonest as the material it claims to be correcting. Much of today's historical revision is negative in nature and is being driven by new agendas that are attempting to further confuse history that does not "suit" their particular view of life, theology or religion. This corrupting of history is often called historical revisionism or negationism.
The negative revision of the past, be it ever so illegitimate, amazingly but truly still has an appeal to many pseudo-intellectual causes. For example, post-modernism's desire to keep everything neutral and culturally and idealogically non-interfering feeds this popular but illegitimate style of historical revision. On the other hand, as said earlier there is a legitimate form of historical revision that uses sound techniques of investigation and hermeneutic to re-establish the truth regarding the forces and personages of the passing centuries. The truth about history might undo or upset our long accepted beliefs about the formation of our churches, our own theologies' evolution and some of our 'heroes' of the Christian faith but in all cases the re-emergence of historical reality and the truth on such matters of Christian theological development can only help all sincere believers come to a clearer and more honest understanding of Scripture.
Negative revisionism - craftiness, deceitfulness still (today) corrupts the church from its simplicity in Christ. Consider these Biblical excerpts: 2 Corinthians 11:3 "But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it! 5 For I consider that I am not at all inferior to the most eminent apostles. 6 Even though I am untrained in speech, yet I am not in knowledge. But we have been thoroughly manifested among you in all things. 7 Did I commit sin in humbling myself that you might be exalted ... 12 But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. (nkjv)
Doctrine or Dogma (Systematic, historical or Biblical in form) has long languished under the slavery of mistaken or ideologically driven historical misinterpretation. The objective facts of history can only free us all from preconceived notions when reading our Bible. Terms of reference, definitions and the interpretation of events, once freed from negative ideological revisionism can only lead to a new scholastic freedom and a simpler Christian understanding of the Word of God.
Principles without guidelines.
Hermeneutical values. Dispensations overlooked.
Presuppositions of the 'naive' in Christianity.
The Accessibility of Power.
Technology over Truth.
The Success Syndromes.
Relationships of Collaboration.
The Effectiveness of Strategy.
The Cloud Convergence:
The OpenStack mindset.
Presumptions of the non-literate or unschooled.
The Influence of History.
Defending the past.
The Reality of true Truth.
The New Testament vs. Information.
The Effectiveness of our Options:
Democracy vs Providence.
The Utility of Trends and Innovations:
Twitter and Facebook
Peering ahead with experimental technology
Disrupting Biblical concepts of Hope.
Individualizing our Hope: Empowerment.
Socializing Hope: Politicization