Site Meter
|The Thirsty Theologian| |Sola Gratia| |Sola Fide| |Solus Christus| |Sola Scriptura| |Soli Deo Gloria| |Semper Reformanda|
|The Thirsty Theologian| |Sola Gratia| |Sola Fide| |Solus Christus| |Sola Scriptura| |Soli Deo Gloria| |Semper Reformanda|

Previous · Home · Next

Keeping Abreast of the Age


While postmodern “Christians” insist that they are, like, so totally not whatever anyone says they are, and definitely not anything like the liberals (or anyone else) of the past, I keep seeing them pop up whenever I read the objections of dead theologians to the errors of their day. Consider these words from Horatius Bonar (1808–1889):

image

Some well-meaning theological literateurs, or rather amateur theologians, who patronize religion in their own way, are fain to warn us of the danger of not “keeping abreast of the age,” as if we were imperiling Christianity by not by not being quite so learned in modern speculations as they are. We should like, certainly, to keep abreast of all that is true and good, either in this age or any other; but as to doing more than that, or singling out this age as being pre-eminently worthy of being kept abreast of, we hesitate. To be “up to” all the errors, fallacies, speculations, fancies, mis-criticisms of the age, would be an achievement of no mean kind; to require us to be “up to” all this under threat of endangering Christianity, or betraying the Bible, is an exaction which could only be made by men who think that religion is much beholden to them for their condescending patronage; and will only be accepted by men who are timid about the stability of the cross of Christ if left unpropped by human wisdom; and who, besides, have three or four lifetimes to spare. We may be in a condition for believing, and even for defending the Bible, without having mastered the whole deistical literature of the last century, or the present. We may be qualified to accept the doctrine of sacrificial substitution even though we are not “up to” everything that has been spoken against it . . .

In attempting to “keep abreast of the age,” there is some danger of falling short of other ages; and we are not sure but that the object of those who shake this phrase so complacently in our faces, both as a taunt and a threat, is to draw us off from the past altogether, as if the greater bulk of all its literature were rude lumber, a mere drag upon progress. . . . Old theological terms and Scripture phraseology are set aside . . . Sharp adhesion to old doctrines is imbecility; and yet defined expression of the new is avoided, the mind of the age being in a transition state, unable to bear the whole of what the exact and honest exhibition of “advanced” Christianity would require to utter. . . . They shrink from bold and definite statements of Reformation doctrine, lest they should be pronounced “not abreast of the age”—stereotyped, if not imbecile. Indefinite language, mystical utterances, negative or defective statements, which will save the speaker’s or writer’s orthodoxy without compromising his reputation for “intellect” and “liberality”—these are becoming common.

—Horatius Bonar, Christ Is All, ed. Darrin R. Brooker & Michael Haykin (Reformation Heritage Books, 2007), 31–32.

Sound familiar?

July 2, 2008



Posted 2020·02·12 by David Kjos
Share this post: Buffer
Email Print
Posted in: Reruns

← Previous · Home · Next →



Who Is Jesus?


The Gospel
What It Means to Be a Christian


Norma Normata
What I Believe


Westminster Bookstore


Comments on this post are closed. If you have a question or comment concerning this post, feel free to email me.