Monday, March 04, 2013

D. G. Hart on Tim Challies on SGM--By this logic God would not have given us the Bible

Tim Challies tries (via the Aquila Report) to guide us into thinking the right thoughts about C. J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries:
Obviously the situation carries far-reaching implications for Mahaney and forSGM. But there are implications for you and me as well. The Bible is clear that a distinguishing characteristic of Christians is to be our love for one another. John 13:35 says it plainly: “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Love for other Christians is the great test of our commitment to Christ and our likeness to him. This love is put to the test in a unique way in the midst of trouble and disagreement.
This situation is unfolding before a watching world that loves nothing more than to see Christians in disunity, accusing one another, fighting one another, making a mockery of the gospel that brings peace. You and I are responsible to do well here, to be above reproach in our thoughts, words and actions. We are responsible to be marked by love whether evaluating a difficult situation or taking appropriate action. We can make the gospel look great or we can make it look insignificant.
Not to say that Challies’ point is without merit. But I’m not sure you want to impose standards more rigorous than what God applied to the history and materials included in Scripture. I mean, if the apostle Paul followed this advice, we wouldn’t have any of his epistles, would we?

That would be the point at which advocates for such institutions would impose standards more rigorous than what God applied to the history and materials included in Scripture.  Let's keep in mind SGM was where Joshua Harris, he of courtship fame, came up with plenty of stuff to say about how one should get into marriage and not get into marriage in a few books, all the while dealing with topics that were not hugely significant to the authors of scripture.  Some neo-Calvinists have so much apocrypha you might think they were vestigial Catholics despite occasional claims to be Calvinist charismatics wearing seatbelts. 

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