Monday, July 23, 2012

Theological Synthesis

By Pastor Dr. Ronnie Wolfe – July 23, 2012

    I do not subscribe to Christianity Today, but a friend gives me his copy when he is finished with it.  I am not surprised any more when I read it to find that the writers apply the art of theological synthesis, that is, bringing together on an equal plane the doctrines of a conservative, literal faith in the Bible and the doctrines of those who take a less literal interpretation of the Bible, leaving its meaning basically to each individual believer, combining faith with science, denomination with denomination, religion with religion, and Christianity with cults.
    Revealing are the titles to several articles in the magazine along with an ad for the magazine itself.  The first article of this type is one called A Tale of Two Scientists, and the subtitle tells it all: “How two evangelicals–one a young-earth creationist, the other an evolutionary creationist–have lived out their faith and professions.”    The two scientists supposedly have the same strong faith in God, but one believes in a young and suddenly created earth, while the other believes in creation with a “gradual creation perspective.” 
    The article introduces a different way to read the Bible from its literal reading to one that would fit what he was learning as a scientist.  “Falk only knew how to read Genesis as six-day history, which he could not reconcile with what enthralled him in the laboratory. He had no one to help him rebuild his picture of God’s creation” (Page 26).  Falk wrote a book entitled “Coming To Peace With Science” in which his synthesis is apparent.  He says, “My prayer is that each person who reads it (the book) will respect that one should be able to be accepted as an equal partner in Christ’s body even if he or she believes that God created gradually.”  The capstone is a sentence at the end of the article: “Under Falk’s leadership, BioLogos has emerged as an important group of Christians advocating ‘evolutionary creation.’ Falk has held to his plea for Christians to love and respect each other while advocating different points of view.”
    Other article titles reveal this synthesis as well. One subtitle is “We haven’t always been deeply divided about origins.”  Others are “Marco Rubio’s Faith of Many Colors,” “Finding Jesus At Burning Man, How God made himself known at one of America’s most hedonistic gatherings.” “The Problem With Incarnational Ministry, What if our mission is not to ‘be Jesus’ to other cultures, but to join with the Holy Spirit?” and “Quick To Listen, Why Richard Mouw believes evangelicals should open their ears to Mormon believers.” The only thing to add to this is the ad for the magazine itself, which says, “I long for the church to become a place where everyone feels welcome. Where anyone can walk into a church or up to a Christian and find acceptance.”  This is the true nature of synthesis.  2 Cor. 6:17 says, on the other hand, Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,


Bro Sookraj said...

In these times Bro Ronnie, no real believer should be surprised at the distance that "christians", both in the pews and on the pulpits, have gone from sound doctrine unto fables etc.

In my visits to several churches in the USA, I kept seeing these things. once sound churches, getting involved in christmas, easter etc. Many now are involved in halloween and churches having big TVs for the Super bowl etc.

Now, they have moved to theological synthesis. Theological synthesis is just another way of saying, "lets put aside our differences and find common ground for fellowship"; ecumenism. Either way, God is not mocked!

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Anonymous said...

They say, "Become Jews and Christians, and you will be guided." Say, "But the religion of Abraham is rightly oriented; he was not a polytheist." Say, "We believe in God, and what was revealed to us, and what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and what was given to Moses and Jesus, and what was given to the prophets from their Lord. We do not make an distinction between any of them; we submit to God." So if they believe as you believe, they have already been guided; but if they turn away, then it is they alone who are being separatist. So God will suffice you against them; and God is all- hearing all-knowing. Here is baptism from God; and who is better at baptism than God? And we are devotees of God. Say, "Do you dispute with us about God, even though God is our Lord and your Lord too, and we are responsible for our acts while you are responsible for our acts, and we are sincere to God? "Or do you say that Abraham, Ishmael, Issac, Jacob, and the Tribes were Jews or Christians?" Say, "Do you know better, or does God?" And who is more wrong than those who conceal the testimony they have from God? God is not heedless of what you do! That was a people that has passed away; they will get what they earned, and you will get what you earned. And you will not be questioned about what they used to do [Quran 2:135-141].

Anonymous said...

As for those who scoff and hinder others from the way of God, they have wandered far astray. Those who scoff and do wrong God is not committed to forgive or guide in any way, except the path of hell, to remain there forever. And that is easy for God. People, the messenger has come to you with truth from your Lord, so believe, it is best for you. Even if you scoff, still all in the heavens and on earth belong to God; and God is knowing and wise. People of scripture, do not go to excess in your religion, and do not say anything about God but the truth. The Messiah Jesus Son of Mary was only a messenger, a word, from God, which God sent down to Mary, a spirit from God. So believe in God and God's messengers. And do not speak of a trinity; it is best for you to refrain. God is one sole divinity, too transcendent to have a son, in possession of all in the heaven and on earth. And God is a good enough patron. The Messiah is not too proud to be a servant of God, nor the the intimate angels. Any too proud to serve God, being self-aggrandizing, God will gather in, all. But those who believe and do good works God will pay their rewards in full, and give them more from the divine bounty. Now as for those who are proud and arrogant, God will torture with a painful torment, and they will not find themselves a protector or a savior apart from God. People, a proof has come to you from your Lord, for We have revealed a clear light to you. As for those who believe in God with steadfast adherence, God will admit them to mercy from the divine, and grace. And God will lead them to the divine by a straight path [Quran 4: 167-175].

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The Politics of Heaven said...

Could it be that this verse could also be applied to other realms of life, say public education, where synthesis is designed into the its existence?

If its good for theological education in particular, it should also be good for education in general.

Dr. Ron Wolfe said...

Thanks for the posts from the Quran. They are very interesting, but they edify Mohammad above Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God. Jesus was God manifested in the flesh "he dwelt among us." He is now gone into the heavens to make intercession for all believers in Jesus (Heb. 7:25).

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