People read here, as evidenced in the statistics on my dashboard. Just because I may not get comments or compelling ones, ones that indicate people with understanding, doesn't mean that I'm not hitting target or that those people aren't reading. Maybe they don't care. Maybe they have something to hide. On July 2, eight days ago, I wrote a significant post on a major rift in evangelicalism. In my opinion, it's not repairable, because it is foundational or structural. That shouldn't be ignored, but it's what I see happening.
Everyone who claims to be an evangelical Christian has skin in the game with and for evangelicalism. You want it to do as well as it could do. It's better for everyone if it does. The worse it is, the worse everything is.
My analysis of the rift said it was systemic. The assessments I'm reading from the few evangelicals who care, conservative ones, are missing the point, I believe (read this article by Phil Johnson, and I'd predict there are many more to come). They are picking at the fruit or even the foliage of the issue. I hope they aren't doing it on purpose, but I'm writing this to explore the cause of the rift a little further and help make it understood. The real problem, the underlying one, relates to all history, major systems of interpretation of scripture, apostasy, the truth, and even reality -- actually more than all those, but I tell you those for you to gauge the magnitude.
Only one thing has happened in the world, not two. God is one. The Bible only means one thing. Allowing for two isn't generous. It is a lie. If you allow for two, you're aren't helping. Conservative evangelicals have acted like they're helping, but they are pandering, which is ironic here. Evangelicals pander to the left and in this case some further left than others, but all of them are pandering. Let's just say that I would be happy if I could help the parties involved to become "woke" to this occurrence.
The concern of Phil Johnson and others is posed as "shifting the evangelical focus away from true gospel issues." That's about as light a criticism as Phil could have given. He's not saying they are corrupting the gospel. His accusation is that they are just not putting the focus where it needs to be, which is "dividing evangelicals over something other than the gospel." Does that really represent what's going on? If those Phil addresses would just move the focus back on the gospel, which would stop the division, is that the solution? Is the leftist ideology acceptable as long as it's not the focus?
What I wrote was that two contradictory systems of interpretation, which are really two different views of the world, cannot coexist. Truth is not protected and preserved by ignoring these doctrinal and practical variations in order to get along with one another. The "thought leaders" Phil Johnson now addresses have been invited to keynote. They have been elevated by Grace Community Church, John MacArthur, and Phil. I would call this the chickens coming home to roost.
A major manifestation of postmillennialism is liberation theology. Mark Dever has said,
For us to conclude that we must agree upon . . . a certain view of the millennium in order to have fellowship together is, I think, not only unnecessary for the body of Christ, but it is therefore both unwarranted and therefore condemned by scripture. So if you’re a pastor and you’re listening to me, you understand me correctly if you think I’m saying you are in sin if you lead your congregation to have a statement of faith that requires a particular millennial view."A particular millennial view" is at the bottom of the rise of leftist evangelicalism. "Woke" evangelicalism, is a system of interpretation. Postmillennialism, versus premillennialism, parallels a rise of leftist or woke evangelicalism. Progressivism, built upon Darwinian optimism for a utopian society, mirrors postmillennialism. The foundations of this I explain in part one, and I won't want to repeat myself too much. I'm drawing attention to this once again.
"Together for the Gospel" isn't just together for the gospel and "the Gospel Coalition" doesn't just coalesce around the gospel. Both have in them the destruction of the gospel. They are together for and they coalesce around postmillennialism as well. That's why Dever says that "you are in sin if you lead your congregation to have a statement of faith that requires a particular millennial view." Conservatives like Phil Johnson and John MacArthur have taken and take Dever to heart. Liberation theology is a millennial viewpoint.
There will continue to be confusion, division, and departure from the acceptance of more than one system of interpretation of scripture. You aren't free to take scripture how you want. That acceptance undermines and destroys the truth, including the gospel. This we are seeing happening in evangelicalism right before our eyes.