We've got our inerrant Bible, but... oops! we forgot Jesus; or, how the liberals were partly right (part 3)
The name of Jesus was not mentioned! Brothers and sisters in Christ reading this post, take a moment to consider this- according to Jesus (for example, in John 5:39), the Bible is all about Him; there are missionaries in countries all over the world who are risking their lives daily to introduce Jesus to men and women through the Scriptures. Yet during this past semester at Southern Seminary chapel, there were 4 sermons in which the Good News of Jesus was absent- in which those hearing the sermon could have heard, understood, and tried to apply the message of the sermon and yet remained under God's condemnation for sin, having never trusted in Christ. Are these examples of faithful Christian preaching? Are they not, instead, examples of how the gospel is being lost in the Southern Baptist Convention? (This question becomes more serious when one considers that the sermons most devoid of Christ were preached by a former president of the SBC and by a current member of the LifeWay board of trustees.)
When voicing this concern to a friend of mine, I was asked, "Does every sermon have to explicitly mention the name of Jesus?" Considering the truth that, "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12 NIV), and considering that any command given from Scripture is damning apart from Christ, as we have all fallen short of God's glory (see Romans 3:23), the answer to this question must be, "Yes." Every Christian sermon must not only mention Jesus, but must be centered in Jesus, as He is the glory of God and He makes God known (see John 1:14-18).
Perhaps more disturbing than the sermons themselves was the utter lack of reaction that they received from the Seminary community. I heard many brothers praising the style of the sermons- their delivery and various points that were made. I heard virtually no one recognize Who was missing.
If someone speaking in chapel had stood and said, "The Bible is not entirely inerrant. It contains two errors and here they are..." The Seminary would have been all abuzz. The speaker would have been denounced from the pulpit and everyone would have been talking about how horrible the statements were. But as long as a speaker believes that the Bible is inerrant, he gets a pass, even if he fails to proclaim Christ from the Bible. This demonstrates how the SBC has tended to elevate the words of Scripture over the meaning of Scripture. In other words, we have indeed engaged in bibliolatry; we have proven the liberals to be partly right.
Labels: Christian worldview