Holly Pivec at BIOLA University, home of my Alma Mater, Talbot, has another good read in the summer 2006 issue of biola connections.In his book A Generous Orthodoxy (Zondervan), Brian McLaren makes a piercing assessment of evangelicals. He says they have focused on having all the right doctrinal beliefs, but they lead lives that, often, don't match those beliefs.This observation didn't originate with Brian McLaren, so I'm hesitant to give him credit for anything more than being in the right time at the right place. [see later reference to George Barna's Think Like Jesus.]
He sums up their mindset like this: "[O]ne could at least be proud of getting an 'A' in orthodoxy even when one earned a 'D' in orthopraxy [the application of doctrine to one's life]."
Many Christians think McLaren is on to something.
Dr. Gregg Ten Elshof, chair of Biola's undergraduate philosophy department, says many "Christians" affirm doctrines "they don't really believe."
Ten Elsof is further quoted by Pivec ..."It's not that they disbelieve what they affirm," Ten Elshof said. "It's just that they have no real belief either way. What they affirm has nothing to do with the way they live."Pivec makes a valid point when she writes ...Many evangelicals have expressed a similar sentiment that relationships are more important than doctrine. As the popular catch phrases go: "Christianity isn't about head knowledge but heart knowledge" and "it's not a religion but a relationship."My own take is that we are observing the visible tension between James' faith versus works tug-o-war and this is a direct manifestation of our apostate times. The plethora of new theologies, programs, and philosophies in the church is just a reminder that man constantly wants to improve on what God has done and what God has said.
Let me know what you think about all of this?