Sola Scriptura or Sola Cultura

Posted: April 7, 2014 in Ecclesiology
Tags: , , , , ,

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http://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Los_Angeles_Crystal_Cathedral.jpghttp://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Ad_Meskens
The Crystal Cathedral, a Protestant Christian megachurch in the city of Garden Grove, in Orange County, California.

Scripture Alone, or Culture Alone, that is the question.

I’ve watched the Church Growth Movement for over 30 years, and I’m convinced you can’t do both. Those who embrace Culture Alone have an allergy to solid, Biblically-centered doctrine, and it’s usually vice versa.

“Again, and again, the issue that has emerged as a result, is whether Evangelicals will build their churches Sola Scriptura or Sola Cultura, to use the formula Os Guiness proffered in Prophetic Untimeliness.”

-David F. Wells, The Courage To Be Protestant, Chapter 1, Audiobook

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Comments
  1. Michael Snow says:

    Amen. Charles Spurgeon helps us see another dimension of this: http://spurgeonwarquotes.wordpress.com/

  2. Scripture and Tradition is the answer. 🙂

    • Eric Adams says:

      I am assuming you mean Roman Catholic Tradition?

      • I am Catholic. But the tradition was the same for Orthodox and Catholics and all Christians for the first 1000 years. You have to appeal to tradition to some extent or you wouldn’t even know what books should be in the bible.

        But really I am not trying to do a hard sell on Catholicism here. I was saying that somewhat tongue in cheek. But it is true, that is what I believe.

      • Eric Adams says:

        Thank you for the response.

        I agree that tradition has its place. I am 5 Sola Reformationally-minded Protestant, however, and would hold to Sola Scriptura-Scripture alone. For me, everything (including my own biases and traditions) must bow to the Word of God.

        But, I do agree that we have to consider the history and beliefs of “communion of saints” that have gone before us.

        That’s my problem with much that I see in American Evangelicalism. Practice affects doctrine. When we jettison any connection with the historic Christian Faith, we lose our anchor, and are completely at the mercy of secularism.

        I have watched, (and have regrettably participated in), the change from the pastor/shepherd model advocated in Scripture, to the product/consumer model model advocated by the church growth gurus.

        I’ve seen the devastation of smaller congregations who had caring pastors that did the high work of caring for the sheep.

        The mega church trend has done nothing to really change the demographics of believers/non-believers. What it has done is steal sheep, and create an atmosphere of Christian consumerism and secularism in evangelicalism.

        Confessional denominations have more immunity against this trend, but they are not invulnerable to the attraction of drawing large crowds.

        Thus endeth my rant. Thanks for allowing me to vent a little-haha.

      • I agree with what you say. Here are some more of my views for what its worth.

        I am Catholic and if I weren’t Catholic I would probably be Orthodox, which is in many ways even more traditional (and anti-consumer) than Catholic. I really love the more traditional liturgies and wish others could experience that.

        Yet I tend to think these mega churches are doing the work of the Holy Spirit in their own important way. Do I think everyone would be better off if they were Catholic? I guess I would have to say yes. But I also think all churches can and should learn from other churches.

        I think the church did to some extent accommodate different cultures throughout its history. I think the Church still should. But of course that does not mean they should teach falsehood as if it were truth. Nor should it teach that sin is not sin.

      • Eric Adams says:

        Thank you for your thoughts.

        Contextualization always occurs in relation to culture. It’s when the Gospel is affected that it becomes a bane to the church.

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