Monday 2 May 2011

D.A. Carson on Putting the Gospel First

The Acts 29 Network has posted an excerpt from D.A. Carson, Basics for Believers: An Exposition of Philippians (Grand Rapids, Baker, 1996, published by IVP in the UK), 22-28.

I was present when this exposition of Philippians was first delivered as a series of messages at Word Alive in Skegness (in the mid-1990s?), and have regularly recalled this particular comment about the danger of the gospel moving from something that is affirmed to something that is assumed and then abandoned:

‘In a fair bit of Western evangelicalism, there is a worrying tendency to focus on the periphery. [My] colleague... Dr. Paul Hiebert... springs from Mennonite stock and analyzes his heritage in a fashion that he himself would acknowledge is something of a simplistic caricature, but a useful one nonetheless. One generation of Mennonites believed the gospel and held as well that there were certain social, economic, and political entailments. The next generation assumed the gospel, but identified with the entailments. The following generation denied the gospel: the “entailments” became everything. Assuming this sort of scheme for evangelicalism, one suspects that large swaths of the movement are lodged in the second step, with some drifting toward the third.’

No comments: