Friday, July 11, 2008

Centrist evangelical

Most of the missionaries I work with, I reckoned are fundamentalist, in the sense that they hold to the essential fundamentals of the Christian faith. I admire and love them for that. Except that sometimes, I could not help but feel bad when we have the tendency to looked down on other Christians because they believe differently from them in some issues.

I have to meet yet a liberal in the true sense of the world. Liberal after the mold of Albert Schweitzer or John Spong. Today, people like them would not be sent by any denominational mission agency because of their "bad theology." But of course, they can always go on their own.

I meet a few who can be classified as moderates and progressive. But to most people who don't know the what theological liberalism is all about, they are easily classified as one.

Bloesch statements is a good reminder that we don't have to remain in both extreme sides of the balance.
My theological stance could be designated as centrist evangelical in the sense of remaining in continuity with the message of Holy Scripture and the wisdom of scared tradition. Being centrist must not be confused with taking the middle road between fundamentalism and liberalism. It embraces the truth in both camps and negates the untruth in these positions as well. Being a centrist evangelical means building upon the center or core of faith--the gospel of God's reconciling act in Jesus Christ attested in Holy Scripture and clarified by the fathers and teachers of the faith through the ages. But whereas the fathers and teachers are fallible, the Word of God in Holy Scripture is infallible. Yet this Word is not in propositional formula at human disposal but the reaching out of the hand of God upon the human heart and conscience.

Donald G. Bloesch, God the Almighty: Power, Wisdom, Holiness, Love. Down Grove, Illinois: IVP Academic, p 12.

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