Two American Church Idols

 I’ve read these words by Carl Trueman around 11 times in the past year, and each time I read them I mark them up more.  He says that many evangelicals today are anti-historical, and they are prone to one of two idolatrous tendencies:

“An idolatry of the new and the novel, with a concomitant disrespect for anything traditional; or a nostalgia for the past which is little more than an idolatry of the old and the traditional.  Both are disempowering: the first leaves the church as a free-floating, anarchic entity which is doomed to reinvent Christianity anew every Sunday, and prone to being subverted and taken over by any charismatic (in the non-theological sense!) leader or group which cares to flex its muscle; the second leaves the church bound to the past as its leaders care to write its past and thus unable to engage critically with her own tradition.”

“Humble and critical engagement with history is thus imperative for the Christian: humble, because God has worked through history, and we would be arrogant simply to ignore the past as irrelevant; critical, because history has been made by sinful, fallen, and thus deeply fallible human beings, and thus is no pure and straightforward revelation of God.  It is this balance of humility and criticism that we must strike if we are truly to benefit from history.”

Well said.  These quotes can be found on pages 116-117 of Minority Report

shane lems