Archive for October 26th, 2007
Peter Dupre, worship pastor at my church (Grace Chapel in Lexington, MA), spoke at our young adults service. Here is his talk.
One of his most interesting points was that people complain about not having enough hymns, but no one ever complains about, for example, not singing enough classic Christian Creole songs.
You can also subscribe to my church’s young adult podcast here.
Photo by magbug
It seems even those people who generally agree with the watchdoggie POV are getting a bit tired of them. From here:
Sometimes even bloggers with good intentions can fall into the trap of being over zealous in their discernment. I am sure I have fallen into that trap myself at times. But this past week, in reading a post by Phil Johnson, I thought I saw a classic example of someone who had over-reached himself in reacting to some things he had discerned. Now, don’t get me wrong. I share many of Phil’s concerns. I am indeed concerned about some aspects of Willow Creek’s ministry philosophy. Personally, I am not sure how to interpret their recent “repentance,” and certainly was VERY worried to see that they have invited Brian McLaren to speak at one of their conferences. BUT it bothers me that Phil seemed (at least to me) to be implying that Willow Creek has absolutely nothing to teach us. I think that to fail to recognize something as being good and helpful and true, we fail in our discernment as much as if we blindly accepted everything in a naive way. I know it sounds cliched, but we really must be looking for the good in people, especially in those who have not denied important aspects of the Gospel. It is quite correct to say, “I like what this person says about the following subject, and have learned from them, although I disagree strongly with them on another subject.” If, instead, we lump people and whole movements together into an amorphous lump of theological rejects, surely we risk alienating them and, ironically, driving some further away from the truth of the Gospel that I know Phil and I both love.
But if Phil was harsh on Willow Creek, he went on in the same post to be even harder on the charismatics. I mention this because this kind of over-zealous discernment is sadly quite common. Again, quite rightly, he was pointing out the sin in a specific charismatic minister. Also, quite rightly, he was pointing out that due to an absence of discernment this kind of error is all too common in the charismatic movement, and sadly is often covered up. So far so good. And, despite his claim that his charismatic friends would be angry at these comments, I agree! What I struggle with, however, is that he then makes plain that he believes that charismatic doctrine itself is to blame for these sins and the lack of discernment that allows them to continue unchallenged. Phil applies the red card of his disapproval to the entire movement that, despite all its acknowledged weaknesses, I am thrilled to have been part of for decades. Should we use discernment with such a broad brush stroke?