Q: What can we learn from the ministries of those whom we might not completely agree? (e.g.: Rick Warren, Mark Driscoll, Erwin McManus, etc.)
A: I believe we should learn from as many people as we possibly can, including those with whom we disagree. These particular persons are very good at engaging the culture, and Mark Driscoll is a solid expositor though his use of profanity in the pulpit is inexcusable. Each of these men provides insight for us in how we can sense the heartbeat of the culture. My counsel is though as we study these men, and we should, and as we learn from these men, and we must, we will always filter what we see and hear through the purifying waters of the Word of God. We are to be culturally sensitive but scripture driven.
Q: What should be our response and relationship to those who affirm that people can be saved through false religions or without even hearing the name of Christ?
A: I believe that we must confront such persons as propagating a false teaching. We must point out that though they may be brothers in Christ, and aligned with us in many ways in terms of theology, in this particular area they are simply out of bounds and their view does not line up with scripture. One certainly can not affirm universalism from the Bible. I believe one also can not affirm inclusivism from the scriptures either. For those who reach an age of moral consciousness, or as is popularly known the age of accountability, I believe they can only be saved through a conscious faith commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. In that context, Al Mohler and I several years ago wrote an article and are on record as affirming that we do believe that those who die as children who never reach that age of moral discernment, or those who through some mental handicap never reach an age of moral discernment, are objects of God’s saving and electing grace and that they will indeed be in heaven. This by the way is also the view of John MacArthur, and has been a consistent position of the church throughout her history including most reformed thinkers.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
After I posted a link to Dr. Akin's chapel QnA last week, he took the time to e-mail the student body answers to several questions that he hadn't had time to address in chapel. Both of the ones that I asked were among them, although in somewhat modified form. I'll reproduce the answers to those two questions here since I mentioned them in the previous post. The original versions of the questions are available via the above link. The wording that appears below corresponds to what was distributed in the e-mail, not to how the original questions were worded. Modifications presumably reflect the combination of related questions or perhaps prudence in public answers to public questions.
Posted by Ben at 9/21/2006