Thursday, 22 October 2009

This is so important

Here are the two most significant paragraphs in Peter Jensen's address to the gathered Anglicans in Sydney:

I do not doubt, therefore, that our commitment to conservative theology and to a high view of scripture is entirely correct. Only this will carry Christianity forward in a culture such as Australia in the next fifty years. However, I do see signs in our midst of a tension:

I think that some of us will more readily come to terms with culture for missionary
reasons, but not being as careful as we should be about the purity of doctrine, we will
lose the structure of the faith and become effectively Unitarian. The theological weakness will begin, I think, with an impoverished doctrine of sin. From this will come a semi-pelagian anthropology, an exemplarist soteriology and a humanistic Christology. It will probably develop two forms - a wet pietistic one which will still look for spiritual experience, and a dry intellectualist one which will embrace cultural respectability.



Mikey Lynch said...

Wow. Great quote.

I think he's probably nailed it here.

Joshua Bovis said...

Contextualising the gospel without subverting it.

Archbishop Jensen's comments reminds of two things:
1. words of Niebuhr - " a God without wrath brought men withtout sin into a kingdom without judgement through the ministrations of a Christ without a Cross." (Which is what happens when we have the weaknesses that APJ outlines)
2. Words of God (via Paul, to Timothy), - 1 Tim 4:16 -
"Keep a close watch on yourself and the teaching. Persist in this, for by doing so, you will save both yourself and your hearers."

Di said...

........need to understand the cross

If we fail to understand depravity we get the cross wrong, and if we fail to understand the cross we get depravity wrong.

And all this leads to twisted theology and motives in every area imaginable.


David said...

Good stuff.

Very pastorally helpful to protect well-intentioned evangelists. (Reminds me of the adage: the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Johnson/Boswell? Bernard of C?)

Good to get this out there as widely as possible, especially for those at the coalface in all the various networks around Oz.

Anyway, Gordo, you're a bit of a wordsmith. How 'bout rephrasing the second para to get rid of the theologicalese?

eg a semi-pelagian anthropology, an exemplarist soteriology and a humanistic Christology. etc.