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The Pursuit of Relevance


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The sad truth is that the larger part of the evangelical movement is already so badly compromised that sound doctrine has almost become a nonissue.

The mad pursuit of nondoctrinal “relevancy.” Even at the very heart of the evangelical mainstream, where you might expect to find some commitment to biblical doctrine and at least a measure of concern about defending the faith, what you find instead is a movement utterly dominated by people whose first concern is to try to keep in step with the times in order to be “Relevant.”

Sound doctrine? To arcane for the average churchgoer. Biblical exposition? That alienates the “unchurched.” Clear preaching on sin and redemption? Let’s be careful not to subvert the self-esteem of hurting people. The Great Commission? Our most effective strategy has been making the church service into a massive Super Bowl party. Serious discipleship? Sure. There’s a great series of group studies based on I love Lucy episodes. Let’s work our way through that. Worship where God is recognized as high and lifted up? Get real. We need to reach people on the level where they are.

Evangelicals and their leaders have doggedly pursued that same course for several decades now’in spite of many clear biblical instructions that warn us not to be so childish (in addition to Ephesians 4:14, see also 1 Corinthians 14:20; 2 Timothy 4:3–4; Hebrews 5:12–14).

What’s the heart of the problem? It boils down to this: Much of the evangelical movement has forgotten who is Lord over the church. They have either abandoned or downright rejected their true Head and given His rightful place to evangelical pollsters and church-growth gurus.

—John MacArthur, The Truth War (Thomas Nelson, 2007), 149–150.



Posted 2008·01·14 by David Kjos
TrackBack URL: http://www.thirstytheologian.com/mt/mt-tb.cgi/560
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Posted in: Downgrade · Emergent/Postmodernism · John MacArthur · The Truth War · Truth

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