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Monday, November 07, 2016

Quote of the Day (26)

I have great appreciation for people who stick to the sola scriptura principle; people who are willing to go to the wall for what they believe the Bible teaches. It shows sincerity and courage, qualities that are most admirable.

But what do you do when, year after year after year, the facts on the ground stubbornly refuse to conform to your theological schema, a system of thought you are convinced is entirely scriptural?

Now, one must always be careful when pointing out the errors in other people’s thinking about the Bible. Those of us doing the pointing may be just as blind to our own theological missteps. “Har, har, har!” is not the most Christian response to fellow believers struggling with obvious cognitive dissonance.

But keeping that in mind, is there any point at which one concedes that while “scripture and only scripture” must always remain the rule for faith and practice, it might just be faintly possible to have misunderstood the word of God on one important point or another? To have imported incorrect assumptions into the Bible? To have constructed a theological system atop one or more unchallenged factual errors or false principles of interpretation?

Doug Wilson is honest about the difficulty he faces in reconciling his eschatology with political and cultural reality:
“The best thing to do is assume that if you have any sense in your head at all, you are reluctant even to turn on the news anymore. ‘How could they possibly have made things worse?’ seems like it ought to be a rhetorical question. But every single night they are up to the challenge, and they produce actual answers to that question. And you wonder to yourself ... this somehow seems different than how postmillennialism came across in the books.”
Yes, indeed it does. Vastly different. Almost as if fixing the grand mess we have made of this planet demands the direct presence of the Lord of Glory.

As I pointed out in the comments to this post, the intensity of the rhetoric hurled around the Internet by Christians over the current U.S. presidential election seems to me to be directly proportional to the writer’s inclination to embrace a postmillennialist view of prophecy, and understandably so: if it’s our job to fix this world by ourselves, well, right now things are not looking so hot. There are major reasons to be concerned. Some postmillennialists sound downright panicky.

So what’s the next step? Double down, or reconsider?

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