Sunday, July 13, 2008

Wisdom & Unwisdom From Binarians:

I alluded to these folks in my past post. They are the United Church of God and followers of the late theologian Herbert W. Armstrong. They are Sola-Scriptura affirming Protestants who believe the Bible the infallible Word of God. And they are also binarians who believe the Father and Son occupy the Godhead, not the Holy Spirit. On Hell, they are annihilationists. I want to say they are quintessential Protestants. Well, given their odd teachings on Christology, they aren't really. Rather, this relates to a point I made in my past post entitled "How the Reformation Undermined Orthodoxy."

This point, Roman Catholic critics of Protestantism have long made: Once you put interpretation of the Bible in the hands or ordinary folks, what makes orthodox Protestants think that men will continue to adhere to the common ground of Trinitarian orthodoxy, settled by the early Church in the Council of Nicea? The early reformers [Luther, Calvin, et al.] were orthodox Trinitarian Christians. But eventually Protestants began to use sola scriptura to deny orthodox doctrine. As Nathan Hatch put it:

Charles Chauncy, pastor of Boston's First Church for sixty years (1727-1787), is the most prominent example of an exclusive appeal to Biblical authority in order to unravel theological orthodoxy. Chauncy was persuaded to emphasize Bible study by reading the works of English divines, such as Samuel Clarke's The Scripture-Doctrine of the Trinity (London, 1712) and John Taylor's The Scripture-Doctrine of Original Sin (London, 1740). Both authors used a "free, impartial and diligent" method of examining Scripture to JETTISON, respectively, the doctrines of the Trinity and of Original Sin. [8]

When orthodox Protestants confidently act as though a proper understanding of the Bible alone will stave off rejection of orthodoxy, it reminds of me folks who confidently assert they believe in microevolution not macroevolution. If you accept genetic changes through the evolutionary process within a species, what makes you think over millions of years, such gradual changes wouldn't result in the emergence of new species? What magical barrier prevents this? Likewise what magical barrier prevents individual Protestants from using the Bible alone to reject orthodoxy? The answer: None exists. See their videos where the United Church of God articulately does exactly this. And starting around the 19th Century, once political and religious liberty were firmly entrenched in Christendom, we saw the emergence of all sorts of Protestant sects that teach theological heresy.

Anyway the United Church of God are really bad on evolution:

But they are good on Eternal Damnation. I'm not much of a fan of annihilationism, but it just gives atheists what they expect anyway. And I understand these folks believe men will have one last opportunity to convert AFTER the resurrection, which makes perfect "just" sense; only at that point, seeing God face to face and truly understanding His [Her?] attributes can men make an informed choice on whether to believe. Folks like Mormons, JWs, Muslims, can be saved and wouldn't be damned for making theological errors [not saying I believe this, just pondering]. Only a small number [perhaps no humans] of "the wicked" would be annihilated in the lake of fire.

Here is their video on Hell. They are right in that traditional teachings on Hell, ala Jonathan Edwards make the Christian God into a terrible monster, certainly no better than an "Allah" who would send 19 highjackers into the WTC and reward them with virgins.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

United Kingdom 6927