In this modern era, where it has become accepted dogma for pastors and teachers to focus on the practical places where people itch, there is too little knowledge of the church’s theological foundations. Thus, it is not surprising that strange ides often pop up or that people import a great deal of their secular cultural values into forming theological opinions. As a result, the first practical thing churches can do to prevent the need for church discipline is to teach theology, to provide a theological framework for people so that they themselves will be able to evaluate error and reject it. If no criteria of theological orthodoxy are taught or known by a congregation, how can people spot unbiblical ideas? This process of preparing for and teaching the congregation will keep church leaders from straying from the truth and needing church discipline.
Dr. Gary Smith Professor of Christian Studies Union University Commentary on Amos 7:7-17
About Greg Coleman
I am a Particular Baptist who affirms the absolute sovereignty of the triune Godhead in all things. The fullness of the Godhead dwells in the God-man Jesus Christ. He is the Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer, Disposer and Judge of all that ever was, is now or ever shall be. Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and men. He was made to be sin for his people and saved them from their sins by his substitutionary, sacrificial death on the cross thereby satisfying the justice and wrath of God against them. The sufficiency of his death to the satisfaction of God’s justice is proven by his physical resurrection from the dead and enthronement in glory at the right hand of the Father. Jesus Christ is coming again to judge the living and the dead. Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.
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Ironic in the title, is that many are not opposed to theology….unless you’re too dogmatic.
Amen to this article. Our Churches need to be taught right theology.
I appreciate your comment and I enjoy reading your Reformed On The Web blog.
I’d be interested in knowing what you think may be the prime contributing factor(s) to the lack of emphasis on doctrine in churches today.
I appreciate you reading my blog and have subscribed to your.
God bless you in your writing.
I apologize for not answering your question.
Contributing factors for not teaching doctrine or theology in Churches of America is:
For starters many of the Pastors in our pilpits have no theological or doctrinal knowledge themselves. This was caused by a reaction against rationalism of the 19th century. Rationalism taught that nothing could be known outside of reason. Therefore in reation to this ministers became anti-intellectual or in other words they are against the use of the mind in knowing God or his word.
There is more of a pragmatic or exestential view to the Bible within our churches today. Pragmatism is using practical approaches to solving problems in the church today. In other words we do not need to preach the gospel but need to solve society’s problems.We need to be problem solvers. This has led to the social gospel whereby we are more interested in taking care of the physical needs of an individual instead of meeting their spiritual needs.
The existential approach teaches that it really doesn’t matter. Whether the Bible is true or not what reallly matters is Jesus in your heart or what does Jesus mean to me.
There is a dumbing down process going on in America and especially in our churches, so that even if a minister knows theology he will not use theological terms, churchy words, or Biblical concepts such justification, propitiation, expiation, etc because he feels like the church should not be taught these words because they will just get confused.
So it has come down to feeding the church with stuff that makes them feel good, instead of giving them meat that will sustain them throughout this life.
God bless and thanks for allowing me to give my two cents worth.
Thanks for your well thought out response.
I think it was Lloyd-Jones that said that the Word was to be preached in a manner to appeal to the intellect. Upon conversion, the emotions and will invariably follow.
It seems to me that for a variety of reasons (including the ones you identified) many pastors have chosen to bypass the intellect and make a direct appeal to the emotions.
Emotional based “conversions” are much easier to “produce”. They also appear much more likely to be doubted or renounced.
I also think that a spirit of competition among many pastors contributes to the matter. The only quantifiable method to measure pastoral “success” is church growth or baptisms. It seems to me that regardless of denomination, growth is the measure of success at every ecclesiastical level.
And let us not dismiss that it’s easier to prepare an emotion provoking lecture than to study and prepare an accurate, doctrinal exposition of scripture.
A good argument can be made that our country is experiencing the judgment of God. As chilling as it may be, I cannot eliminate the possibility that as part of that judgment the Lord is sending a famine of the hearing of the Word of God (Amos 8:11).
Thanks again and may our Sovereign Lord continue to bless you and yours.