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Feb 28, 2006

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Denis Hancock

I think your polarity comments on the last chapter apply just as strongly to this chapter.

I think the polarity between evangelism and social gospel can be likened to the false dichotomy between Faith and Works.

Paul was right. So was James. And neither one of them sacrificed one for the other.

Michael Kruse

I am writing in my other series right now about escahtology. I wonder how much eschatology had an impact on these issues? We now Christian fundamentalism became captive to dispensational theology and much of Evangelicalism was influenced by the eschatological aspects of dispensationalism. The liberal wing of the church all but abandoned eschatology except as a metaphor. I can't help but believe these twin errors have messed up much of American Christianity.

Denis Hancock

Eschatology, especially the dispensationalist variety has been a red flag for mainline denominations. Wasn't there a Commissioner's Resolution last GA that urged the PC(USA) to speak against the theology of the Left Behind series?

Another possible sticking point is the language. Several years ago on one of the more liberal websites (or was it the Hesed email group?) a comment was made about how the "right" was coopting the language of faith, and how it was necessary that the "progressives" start using such language in their conversations. I have my own opinions about the motivations behind that statement, but the possiblity remains that we are speaking a different language (or at least a different dialect).

Michael Kruse

"Eschatology, especially the dispensationalist variety has been a red flag for mainline denominations. Wasn't there a Commissioner's Resolution last GA that urged the PC(USA) to speak against the theology of the Left Behind series?"

Unfortunately, our typical response is to speak against the dispensationalist view and then remain silent on what we believe, in essence saying we don't have an eschatology. That leads to theologies just as warped as the dispensational view.

As to the language thing, what you describe is one of the things I find the most reprehesible about liberal theology. It is one thing to come from different contexts and have different connations for similar words and concepts. It is another to intentionally deceive others by using words to get others to agree with you when you know full well you are meaning different things. There are conservative types who do this but, in my estimation, it is an art form in liberal theology.

Thanks Denis. I know others of you are out there reading this stuff. Don't be bashful. What do you think?

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