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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Have We Forgotten Where We Came From?

In Sunday school class this morning a dear older lady made the remark that she didn't care about history or what has happened in the past in the church. But then she proceeded to say that she had been born again and hadn't really understood the Bible until she was filled with the Spirit. She also mentioned that she was saved by grace.

I wondered why people don't realize that the very doctrines through which they have "experienced" God are products of various movements in church history. In particular, modern Evangelicalism was a development from 18th and 19th century revivalism in England and the United States. Also, the doctrines of grace as we understand them today came from the 16th century Protestant Reformation and the understanding that the Protestant Reformers had of Holy Scripture. I might also add that the theology of the modern Pentecostal/Charismatic movement is rooted in the Wesleyan holiness movement of the 19th century, itself a product of the Second Great Awakening.

The blatant anti-intellectualism of the modern Evangelical church is sometimes appalling. In our quest for evangelism and church growth we have cut our own throats. This is one reason why Christians are so ignorant of basic doctrines, the Bible, and church history. I understand that lay people have no access to seminary training but at the same time I wonder why seminary trained pastors are not doing a better job of educating the laity on the essential issues of biblical doctrine and basic church history. Perhaps in their desire to increase the congregation and their pocketbooks at the same time, they are afraid to teach the Scriptures or confront error?

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