Thursday, April 18, 2013

Challies on the new Pope and on Mahaney, has a fan of a pot called a kettle black?

What is humility? Humility, in the words of Wayne Mack, “consists in an attitude wherein we recognize our own insignificance and unworthiness before God and attribute to Him the supreme honor, praise, prerogatives, rights, privileges, worship, devotion, authority, submission, and obedience that He alone deserves. It also involves a natural, habitual tendency to think and behave in a manner that appropriately expresses this attitude.” Mack gets straight to the heart of humility when he shows that it is expressed before God before it is expressed before man. Humility before others must grow out of humility before God. If we are fundamentally proud before God, we simply cannot be humble before man.

Like any of us, Pope Francis can only be humble—truly humble—if he first attributes to God “the supreme honor, praise, prerogatives, rights, privileges, worship, devotion, authority, submission, and obedience that He alone deserves.” Yet Roman Catholic doctrine, and especially doctrine related to the papacy, steals from the honor, rights, prerogatives and authority of Jesus Christ and attributes them instead to the Pope. By definition and by Catholic dogma, Francis is no humble Pope.
There is a certain irony in the pursuit of humility. We see a glimpse of that in the title of this book, Humility: True Greatness. Humility is true greatness. The pursuit of humility and the pursuit of greatness are one and the same, provided that we seek greatness as defined by the Creator. I have never met C.J. Mahaney (though hope to some day), but from all accounts he is well-qualified to write a book on such a difficult subject. And this is a difficult topic. After all, how can a person write a book on humility without sounding like he feels he is most qualified? The truth is he can, provided
he uses the Scripture as the foundation for his teaching. And that is exactly what Mahaney does.
... Humility: True Greatness is a truly great book. I do not know of a person who shows no pride in his life, and thus I do not know of a person who would not benefit from reading it. I highly and unreservedly recommend this book.

Now given the allegations of sexually abusive clergy in both organizations and that both organizations had leadership at the highest levels that shielded abusive clergy from further discipline or enquiry is Challies at risk of being a fan of a pot calling a kettle black here? 

The former Catholic charismatic founders of church networks live Sovereign Grace Ministries and Mars Hill may give us examples of Catholic boys who have gone on to live up to the kind of top-down leadership that doesn't get publicly questioned that would fit the caricature we get of how the Catholic Church operates.  It's like the boys left the Catholic Church but their idea of the Catholic church leadership culture may not have necessarily left them. 

As you hit middle-age (and earlier) you can have all these troubling epiphanies about how you've turned into your parents.  It may be that the neo-Calvinist scene that sprung up out of jack Catholics who went Protestant and then charismatic and then kinda-maybe-Reformed (but not particularly) may be playing out that narrative before us. 

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