It is interesting how many things may pass as Christian today. Not that it has ever been much different. Even the Apostle Paul dealt with “another gospel: which is not another.” Mankind has an uncanny way of following after that which is not of God.
And so times are changing and with it who preaches what gospel truth. At one time it would have been strictly the Catholic Church and those smaller churches who would not unite with it. Then came the Reformation and with it all of those little baby denominations that splintered out of her; Lutheranism, Presbyterianism and the Church of England. Of course, through the Reformation there still existed those churches, though severely persecuted, had never united with Catholicism so never needed to protest away from it. They, by the way, didn’t need to be reformed either. They insisted it was true and so were persecuted; not only by the Catholic Church, but now by her Protestant and Reformation children as well. The distinctions were fairly clear between them.
But then a shift happened in Christianity. Issues of denominational and particular doctrine began to give way to more general distinctions
-Modernism VS Fundamentalism — this battle gave way (as we set aside Liberalism and Modernism) to
-Evangelicalism VS Fundamentalism — which appears to be giving way (at least to a larger number of professing Christians) to
-Emerging VS Reformed
It appears that both Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism, which both still exist, are beginning to disintegrate, giving place to these two newer terms for a newer type of Christian interpretation.
The question comes to mind, “How can the truth be in all of this?”
And the answer rings back, at least in my mind, “It can’t.”
Now here is the issue; we humans tend to think of truth as a relative and even evolving thing. So far as human logic is concerned, truth is based upon man’s own understanding of good and evil, and that is based upon his experience. Even within the larger Christian world, the truth that is God’s Word is interpreted under the magnifying glass of this principle. What was true 1000 years ago, 100 years ago or even 25 years ago in not necessarily true, according to the logic of the human mind, because our experience and with it our knowledge of good and evil, has changed in that time.
This is where Baptists differ. Our position has always been that truth is a standard given to us from God. Truth is a cornerstone planted by the Lord. Truth is God’s Word. We are not to interpret the Bible according to our experiences but we are to interpret our experiences according to the Bible.
And this difference in thinking, in viewing the Bible -
Marvin McKenzieIn the field
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Originally published at baptisttheologyinamericanculture.blogspot.com on April 15, 2011.