25 May Where Faith and Life Do Not Intersect
Citing much of Marsden’s Fundamentalism & Twentieth Century Evangelicalism, Richard Lints provides this analysis of our contemporary situation:
<em>The element of truth is that evangelical theology has given evidence of an inclination to abstract ‘doctrines’ from the original context of the Scriptures, a predilection for what is typically called proof-texting. The assumption underlying this activity is that creedal beliefs ought to be determined by a simple enumeration of texts. The opshot is that evangelicals tend to focus more on using these doctrines as a litmus test for evangelical identity than they do on attempts to integrate the doctrines with behavior. It is as if they make one set of forays into the Bible to establish key doctrines and then make a subsequent set of forays to establish principles of Christian behavior. They tend to show little regard for the complexity of either the movement from the biblical text to doctrine or the movement from doctrine to life. With little expositional preaching there is in the evangelical movement too often proceeds without concern for thr theological implications of the text. Evangelicals have exhibited a much greater interest in finding the simple practical principles of the biblical stories than in undertaking the laborious and difficult task of understanding the theological framework of the text, seeing how this framework fits into the overall vision of the biblical history, and then determining how it moves through history into our own culture and situation.</em>
Richard Lints, The Fabric of Theology, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993), 69.