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Friday, April 07, 2006

merely group therapy?

"So what will be the long-term consequences of this Marcionite approach to the Bible?
I think it will push 'the God who is there' back into the realm of the unknowable and make our god a mere projection of our own psychology and our worship simply into group therapy sessions where we all come together to pretend we are feeling great. God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – take that identity away and what do we have left? As the Old Testament is the context for the New Testament, so the neglect of the Old Testament leaves the New as more or less meaningless. As our reading, our sermons, and our times of corporate worship neglect and, sometimes, simply ignore the Old Testament, we can expect a general impoverishment of church life and, finally, a total collapse of evangelical Christendom. . . . We need to grasp once again who God is in his fullness; we need to grasp who we are in relation to him; and we need teaching and worship which gives full-orbed expression to these things – and this will only come when we in the West grow up, ditch the designer gods we build from our pick-'n-mix Bible where consumer, not Creator, is king, and give the whole Bible its proper place in our lives, thinking and worship. Think truncated thoughts about God and you'll get a truncated God; read an expurgated Bible and you get an expurgated theology; sing mindless, superficial rubbish instead of deep, truly emotional praise and you will eventually become what you sing. "

(Carl Trueman, The Wages of Spin: Critical Writings on Historic and Contemporary Evangelicalism (Mentor, 2004), p. 167-68.)

Wow, correct thoughts about God? See my previous post and comments....
Who needs theology?

Grace and peace,


At 09 April, 2006 21:51, Anonymous ray miranda said...

Hey there my man!
He is clearly right about some of the stuff he says about this approach...moving away from the Old Testament...only talking about certain aspects of God...etc.
However, he does seem to go from discussing theology to discussing methodology at times. More Psalms...great...but who get's to be the judge of what is superficially rubbish music rather than tuly emotional praise?
Some of his other thoughts bug me for the same reason.
At least, after looking them up, I know what truncate and expurgate mean. And I've now used them in a sentence...Giddy up.

At 10 April, 2006 05:29, Blogger Mark said...

Hi Ray! Great hearing from you.

I think we agree that ultimately God is the only judge, and the only one we should look to please. He knows when we move from theo-centric to ego-centric (and vice-versa). We have heard Ed Young say it, maybe in a different way, but if we are moved to expression during a particular worship time, just keep it real, that's all.

As far as words in a song, I think there are alot of songs that are more about us than God. Check out a very interesting post about worship songs and styles here:Mr. Colson, I Respectfully Disagree. There are plenty of great comments.

Trueman may lean a little heavy to one side but sometimes it takes a loving exhortation to at least know we should be willing to check oursleves and be balanced. It is my habit to lean more to emotion and feelings (what God does for me; how I feel, etc.), and that has the potential to lopside my view of Him.

Seems hard to seperate theology from methodology, since what you know influences how you react.

I knew what truncate meant, but I had to look up expurgate to be sure. I think being willing to go through all texts of Scripture, instead of only the ones that are easy to deal with, leans toward good theology (that is one of the reasons (maybe only) :O), I think expository preaching is beneficial. It seeks to cover all the Biblical texts, not just bounce to the (same) ones we like (over and over).

At 10 April, 2006 06:26, Anonymous ray miranda said...

We're on the same page...
on the theology/methodology thing,I was thinking more from the perpective of what people consider "worshipful music" and what is not. As opposed to thinking about how we go about it individually.

Happy belated anniversary to you and Tori. I miss you guys.

At 10 April, 2006 06:32, Blogger Mark said...

Hey thanks man, it really has been 3 great years.

I believe Clayton is 3 now. Awesome!!

When the summer rolls around(semester finishes!!), maybe we can plan a much needed get together. It would be so great to see y'all again.


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