Saturday, February 03, 2007

A Rewrite of History??

My post First Step Down a Slippery Slope generated this response on Grace and Truth from an Oklahoma pastor named Jim Pasley. (I praise his willingness to openly post under his own name. Many who comment strongly like this do so anonymously.)

I am still trying to figure out how a couple of men on the back of a trash truck with a woman smacking a pole has anything to do with the 1963 BF&M or the 2000 version.

What I do know is that seminary professors from Southern and Southeastern refused to sign the 1963 BF&M because they preferred their own Abtract of Principles. Many moderates did not like the phrase "truth without any mixture of error" because they believed there were errors in Scripture. They really didn't like the 1963 version anyway.

Then the SBC had the audacity to include the family admendment in 1998 and the moderates were furious. How dare you quote Paul from Ephesians 5 and God forbid that we state that life was sacred from the womb to the tomb.

Now after the 2000 BF&M is adopted, moderates continue to gripe and ask for a return to the 1963 version. I wonder what doctrinal statement of faith would be satisfactory for those who continue to speak out against the course correction that was needed in 1980s and 1990s.

I for one am tired of those trying to rewrite history within our convention. It wasn't professors who believed in the inspired Word of God that were teaching heresy, it was those who held to a neo-orthodox view of Scripture that created the controversies.

As for us keeping our eyes on the Gospel, can I assume that we would all agree that the Gospel is found in the inspired Word of God and that "there is salvation in one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved." If so, count me in!

Now then...those who know me well know that I'd have a hard time letting that go without comment. I responded:

I fully understand how cathartic it can be to let folks know what we're "tired of"... I do it fairly often myself.

It is important to note that history is a recording of past events from a particular perspective. It is true that facts are facts but train wrecks viewed from either side of the tracks can be perceived and described very, very differently without either description being a rewrite of anything.

I didn't think it was proper to use Wade's blog to engage the issue futher...that, afterall, is what Blog Itch is for. So I'll continue here as I briefly considered doing over there.

I don't seek to beef about additions to the BF&M 2000 other than the elevation of propositional thinking over relational thinking.

I will use one of the additions to highlight my point, however. Propositionally, I stand in full agreement with the addition of the phrase, "We should speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death." There is nothing here for me to question. Relationally, because people are people and not propositions, I believe it becomes necessary to ask the question, "In an age when it is possible to supplant God's natural order with medical technology, what does 'natural death' mean any longer?"

I want to throw up bright flags, blow whistles, ring bells and blow horns right here 'cause as my old theology prof. Dr. William Hendricks (may he rest in peace) said quite often, "Listen carefully, because it's bad enough to be understood, much less misunderstood."

I am not asking what natural death means propositionally. I am asking what it means relationally in view of 21st century technology.

Those of you who, like I, have been a caregiver to loved ones in the end stages of terminal illness are primarily qualified to respond to the relational foundation of the question. I'm not sure others would really be able to do anything other than speculate and therefore are likely to end up with a propositional answer. If someone thinks I'm being unfair in that conclusion, I'm openminded to being shown otherwise.

1 comment:

Bob Cleveland said...

Hello Charles. I came here via link from Wade Burleson's blog.

Your statement about the change from relational to doctrinal bases for faith is absolutely dynamite. I'm gonna run back there and comment about that, but thought I'd say thanks, first.