You may have heard me blog about alignments and alliances recently. In various ways we create calculated distance between ourselves and others that we want to disassociate ourselves from. Similarly, we write certain other names with larger letters to associate ourselves with who we favor.
Maybe you’ve read my recent post, “Opposites,” which talks about generalization and simplification as learning tools. The more we use it, the less we truly know about those we’ve used the tool on. Then, all we are left knowing about them is only the framed ideologies that have become for us the similarities or differences from ourselves. We only know them in terms of how they affirm or do not affirm us. It’s not about them, it’s about us and how we are using them to affirm ourselves.
Suppose there is a dispute at work. Immediately, we subconsciously or otherwise pick a side. From this moment on, unless we change sides, we have framed both parties and polarized them. From here, we align ourselves with the favored party.
If we were absent, but our friend calls us up and tells us of a squabble between they and another individual, (a friend, co-worker, spouse), we usually take their side without question. The more sincere friend may not be as quick, but be certain, even they are being drafted into an alliance against the offending party.
Why am I saying all of this? Some issues deserve my voice, some my silence, and this post is not about the latter.
Some political issues are worth chiming in for and some are not. Certain wars are more questionable than others and worthy of the static they illicit; however all war is ugly. All of this happens within the church world as well. We are not immune. Some movements in church culture are worth speaking out against and some are not. How we dress, sing, baptize, or which translation of Scripture we read publicly may be of little concern. These are likely not the issues to build alliances and align ourselves under. So what issues are worth blogging about? What matters truly matter in church culture? I’m glad you finally asked:
Having more to say about love while showing them none is not cool. True believers, James reminded, show and tell.
Challenging God’s plan for redeeming certain individuals and judging others is not cool.
Emergents who leave the word “sin” or “cross” out of the gospel are not cool.
Lastly, and most importantly, challenging the divinity of Christ is not cool. Any attempt to raise man up at the cost of lowering God is far from cool.
1. Open Theism is not cool: Certain folks, my professor and favorite theologian, John Frame included, have published an entire book against folks like Pinnock and John Sanders. This is an alliance I can join.
2. Fredrick Schleiermacher, “modern theology,” universalism, and their influence in The Shack is not cool. Driscoll spells it out well. Another alliance I can join. The folks like Andy Crouch and others found at The Christian Vision Project don’t see the danger.
3. Big-church, Seeker-sensitive Pluralism; the notion that we cannot have strong convictions about certain unpopular doctrines simply because the “Bible says so,” or “that’s going to offend someone” is not cool. This is an alliance that I will start today.