Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Future of Protestantism in the Light of the New Birth and the Gospel

For those who watched the live steam of The Future of Protestantism (which was edifying, but not nearly as insightful as I had hoped), and those in the orbit of this discussion, here is a sensible and sturdy take on it all.

Wilson's response was roughly mine (minus the postmillenialism bit). I also found each participant saying things with which I am very sympathetic, and each man contributing something important to the discussion. However, I also want to know what a robust evangelical doctrine of the new birth (and the utter necessity of the new birth) has to contribute to this discussion.

Along with this ought to go an articulated gospel that clearly defines justification according to Scripture. Since justification in Christ is so often set forth in Scripture as the basis for our unity (see, for example, Galatians), I want to make sure we get it clear in our minds, and hold it fast in a Pauline fashion.

If, for example, Peter had not repented when corrected by Paul, but had continued down that path of making something other than faith in Christ as the basis of our unity, I dare say Paul would have called Peter a "so-called brother," at best.

In other words, I thought that the conversation emphasized ecclesiology over soteriology. And I don't see this in Scripture. I think each has to have its proper emphasis in order to support and strengthen the other. But soon as one is emphasized to the detriment of the other (as Protestants and Catholics are each guilty of doing, each in their own way), we shall soon lose both the pure Gospel and a healthy Church.

I hope this discussion continues, goes deeper still, and  spreads out wider into broader Christendom.

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