Thursday, April 24, 2008

T4G Leaders on the Blinding Power of Personal Relationship

I realize there are many pastors in fundamentalist circles who aren't too sure yet about where these T4G leaders really stand on the essential nature of the gospel, the contemporary condition of evangelicalism, and the legitimate grounds of cooperation. That kind of understanding only comes by continued exposure to how they're drawing lines.

Last week, just after the close of T4G, Al Mohler hosted Ligon Duncan, Mark Dever, and C.J. Mahaney on his daily radio program. They discussed not only T4G, but also some of the theological issues that threaten orthodox Christianity now and in days to come.

In the immediate context of their veiled discussion of an ongoing controversy at a flagship evangelical seminary, Duncan made some comments that are quite relevant to these matters (17:23 into the program):
It shows you again, and you saw this up close and personal here, how much personalities and relationships play into this, where a personal relationship will blind you as to the theological issue at stake, to the well-being of the Church, and you don't do the hard thing that's the right thing for the people of God and for fidelity to the Scripture because of a personal relationship.
This is certainly not unique or out of character for Duncan and these others like him. It's certainly the kind of spirit that's in keeping with the message of the affirmation and denial proposed by Dave Doran:
We affirm that all genuine fellowship is in the gospel and that true gospel ministers and congregations must not grant Christian recognition or assistance to those who have denied the faith or turned away from the biblical gospel. We further affirm the biblical responsibility of elders and congregations to be vigilant in watching out for those who teach false doctrine and to turn away from and have no fellowship with them.

We deny that the biblical calls for unity and separation are contrary to one another, and that refusing Christian fellowship to false teachers and false congregations is schismatic. We further deny that confessional subscription necessarily contradicts soul liberty. We also deny that the glory of God and good of the church are properly advanced through theological and ecclesiastical union with those who have denied the gospel.
More on this soon to come.

2 comments:

mytwocents said...

Speaking of Doran, I actually wrote "He sounds like Doran" in my notes during Dever's comments about not including non-essentials as part of the gospel, especially when he critiqued a view of the KOG that has us advancing it with social efforts.

Ben said...

There is certainly a great deal of commonality. I think they realize that.