Saturday, January 14, 2012

An article I wish my Presbyterian friends would read

We can learn a lot from history, especially other peoples mistakes!

John Frame has impeccable credentials in Reformed Orthodox Conservative circles. In 2003 he wrote a fascinating article Machen's Warrior Children. Here is the abstract:
From 1923 to the present, the movement begun by J. Gresham Machen and Westminster Theological Seminary has supplied the theological leadership for the conservative evangelical Reformed Christians in the United States. Under that leadership, conservative Calvinists made a strong stand against liberal theology. But having lost that theological battle in the Presbyterian Church, U. S. A., they turned inward to battle among themselves about issues less important—in some cases, far less important—than liberalism. This essay describes 21 of these issues, with some subdivisions, and offers some brief analysis and evaluations. It concludes by raising some questions for the Reformed community to consider: 
Was it right to devote so much of the church’s time and effort to these theological battles? 
Did the disputants follow biblical standards for resolution of these issues? 
Was the quality of thought in these polemics worthy of the Reformed tradition of scholarship? 
Should the Reformed community be willing to become more inclusive, to tolerate greater theological differences than many of the polemicists have wanted?
Unfortunately, it is not clear these warnings have been taken to heart as recent cases involving Peter Enns and Bruce Waltke suggest. History repeats itself.

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