The Attack on the Church in the 21st Century: ANTHROPOLOGY
Big words are sometimes helpful
The great success, under God, of men like John Wesley, was that they deliberately chose simple words, following in the footsteps of their Master. They hid any learning they may have had and chose words everyone could understand.
But sometimes big words are helpful when they sum up a really big idea. And the Bible sometimes uses Big Words. Justification (by faith alone) is a big and beautiful word. We are put right with God merely by believing in the Gospel - wonderful!
I recently came across an idea which I found so helpful in understanding where the attack on the church today is coming from. It uses three big words, it's not my idea, so thanks to wherever and whoever it came from.
This is what someone said:
"The attack on the church in the first century was about Christology. The attack on the church in the middle ages was on Soteriology. The attack on the church in the 21st century concerns Anthroplogy."
The attack on the early church was about Christology: Who is Jesus, is he God, is he Man? This was the big issue which heretics and faithful men of God fought over. It's not really a big deal anymore: we know that Jesus Christ was and is both Man and God, two natures in one divine Person.
Leading up to the 1500s, the big attack on the church was SOTERIOLOGY, the doctrine of salvation. The Catholic Church was teaching that we can be made right with God by good works and religious works. Along came men like Martin Luther. He saw as plain as day from the New Testament that none of our works contribute to salvation - even the very faith by which we believe is a gift from God. He along with Calvin and Zwingli were used by God to restore the church to the Gospel and to the Scriptures. Again, not the issue of our day.
The attack today
The attack on today's church is largely coming from ANTHROPOLOGY - what is man? What a strange attack! Not from a salvation-doctrine issue, but from a What is Mankind? issue. Here are the attacks:
Mankind is not a unique creature - we are merely one species among many others, of no more significance or meaning
Mankind is not binary, male or female - but a spectrum of gender
Mankind is not heterosexual - but a spectrum of sexualities
What is so tragic about all of these modern attacks on mankind, hatched in irrelevant departments at universities - something Jordan Peterson has been good at exposing - is that they are all anti-biology, anti-facts and anti-truth.
In other words, perhaps for the first time in the history of the world, men and women are believing what are obviously and plainly lies. For example, it is patently obvious that we are radically different from all the other animals - radically so, as atheists such as Raymond Tallis have been saying (See his The Aping of Mankind.)
And what is more we are denying obvious truth in a culture that prides itself as "scientific" and "fact-checking"- there's a ginormous elephant sitting in the room.
"Although they claimed to be wise they became fools... their thinking became futile... they exchanged the truth of God for a lie." (Romans 1)
And perhaps for the first time in the history of the world a Christian will go to prison for humbly holding and teaching, not that Jesus is Lord, not that the Gospel is the only way to heaven, but for believing and teaching a factual biological and Christian anthropology!
This post is taken from our Pastor Roy Summers’ blog, where he discusses and comments on a wide range of current subjects and issues both in the world and in the church.