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The Courage to be Protestant: Truth-lovers, Marketers and Emergents in the Post-modern World [Hardcover]

David F Wells
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Book Description

16 May 2008
'It takes no courage to sign up as a Protestant.' With these words, David Wells opens his bold challenge to the modern church.

In this volume, Wells offers the summa of his critique of the evangelical landscape, as well as a call to return to the historic faith, one defined by the Reformation solas (grace, faith, and Scripture alone), and to a reverence for doctrine.

Wells argues that the historic, classical evangelicalism is one marked by doctrinal seriousness, as opposed to the new movements of the marketing church and the emergent church. He energetically confronts the marketing communities and what he terms their sermons-from-a-barstool and parking lots and après-worship Starbucks stands'. He also takes issue with the most popular evangelical movement in recent years - the emergent church. For Wells, many emergents are postmodern, postconservative and postfoundational, embracing a less absolute understanding of the authority of Scripture than he maintains is required.

'The Courage to be Protestant' is a dynamic argument for the courage to be faithful to what biblical Christianity has always stood for, thereby securing hope for the church's future.



Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: IVP (16 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844742784
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844742783
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.6 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 99,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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From the Author

This book started out as a simple summary of the four volumes that had preceded it. All books, however, develop a life of their own, and this has been no exception.

I needed to update what had been said in the previous volumes because some of it had been begunmore than a decade ago. In addition to this, I had to compress these volumes into a single account. How does one reduce 1,100 pages to 250?

Once this work got under way I found myself not so much compressing as recasting all that I had done and then updating it.

The result is that this book is less a summary and more an attempt at getting at the essence of the project that has engaged me over the last fifteen years. And, hopefully, it will be more accessible than the previous books, not to mention less taxing on readers!

About the Author

David F. Wells is the Andrew Mutch Distinguished Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, Massachusetts. An ordained Congregationalist minister, he is also the author of more than a dozen books, including 'No Place for Truth', 'God in the Wasteland', 'Losing Our Virtue' and 'Above All Earthly Pow'rs'.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Church must awake! 28 Aug 2009
Format:Hardcover
Once again David Wells has produced a useful critique of the modern evangelical church as it struggles to avoid being absorbed by post-modernism. He provides biblical and logical arguments as to why the seeker sensitive and emergent movements are both misguided in their theology and 'mission'. I think it is true that the modern/natural man is attracted towards using the techniques of management and consumerism and confuses numbers in seats with setting forth the true Gospel. A good read although some may decide that it only summarises his other recent works in this same area.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Word in time 11 Aug 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was reluctant to buy his three other books that have been condensed into this volume because I wasn't prepared to pay! However this one volume has tempted me to consider the three other books. It is an excellent read, challenging the seeker sensitive and emergent movements and a call to go back to basics. Occaisionally he went on a bit with the doctrinal arguments, whilst valid, I suspect for most readers it is teaching your grandmother to suck eggs, having said that I'm probably just picky!

An excellent introduction especially for those seeking to understand the emerging church
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118 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Work 22 April 2008
By Tim Challies - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
My interest in reading good books came a little bit too late to read David Wells' four part series of books as they were released (No Place for Truth, God in the Wasteland, Losing Our Virtue and Above All Earthly Pow'rs). I now have the four volumes sitting on my bookshelf and have often thumbed through them wishing I could muster up the motivation to dive into the series. The problem is that I am intimidated as I look at them and consider that each of them weighs in at several hundred pages. I know that twelve hundred or more pages of dense content would prove quite the challenge to me and to my too-short attention span.

This is the very reason Wells chose to write The Courage To Be Protestant. This is not a fifth entry in the series as much as it is, or as much as it began at least, as a summary of them. "Once this work got under way," Wells writes, "I found myself not so much compressing as recasting all that I had done and then updating it. The result is that this book is less a summary and more an attempt at getting at the essence of the project that has engaged me over the last fifteen years. And, hopefully, it will be more accessible than the previous books, not to mention less taxing on readers!"

Wells gets straight to the point. "It takes no courage to sign up as a Protestant...To live by the truths of historic Protestantism, however, is an entirely different matter. That takes courage in today's context." The truths that Protestants have lived and died by have somehow become no more welcome within a Protestant context than in the outside culture. Those who would seek to live by the distinctives of the theology of the Bible must have courage to stand not only against the world but against much of the church.

In an opening chapter Wells describes the lay of the Evangelical land and here he refers to three distinct constituencies into which Protestantism seems to be dividing in our day. These constituencies, though, are not drawn around issues of theology as they may have been in days past. "When all is said and done today, many evangelicals are indifferent to doctrine." What rearranges the evangelical territory in our day is the culture around us and our engagement with it. This is not a serious engagement with culture, but instead a pragmatic catering to it. "This quest for success, which passes under the language of `relevance,' is what is partitioning the evangelical world into its three segments." The partitions Wells refers to are classic evangelicalism, marketers and emergents.

Having described how marketers and emergents arose out of classical evangelicalism, he provides a chapter called "Christianity for Sale" in which he shows how in recent decades churches became convinced that they must change their way of doing business or face inevitable extinction. This "church as business" model transformed the way churches perceived themselves and led to the raising of methodology over theology. "What began as a simple recognition by church marketers that parking should be convenient, signs evident, and bathrooms clean has somehow begun a migration." The migration eventually led to the transformation of not only the traditional church but also the traditional theology it lives by. The church began to look at the unchurched men and women around them as customers and those customers soon became their theology. The Bible fell out of favor as pragmatism took over.

The bulk of the book looks to the five predominant themes arising from Wells' previous four books. The themes are truth, God, self, Christ and church. Each one is treated in a substantial chapter. Time would fail me to describe each of these chapters. Suffice it to say that this book is much like watching Sportscenter or another sports highlights show. It is a highlight reel of the previous books. Where during the course of a typical ballgame you can expect there will be stretches where you will witness little of great importance, during the highlight shows you need to pay attention as you'll see only the most important moments. This book is similar. Every page is important and every chapter is packed with fascinating content. Rare is the page in my copy of the book that is not stained with substantial amounts of highlighter.

The Courage To Be Protestant marks the end of Wells' magnum opus--the work to which he has dedicated himself for almost two decades. It is an utterly brilliant book and one that I feel is a recommended read, and maybe even a must read, for any Protestant. Wells kept me glued to his text for page after page as he challenged me, as one who seeks to be a classical evangelical and who seeks to hold faithfully to the theology of Scripture, to display the courage it takes to be Protestant in the church today.
39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Gentleman and a Scholar 18 Jun 2008
By Erik Raymond - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The last quarter century of church growth methodology has left something of a burnt over stain on the evangelical church. Regrettably, many today crinkle their brow at doctrine as if it is some type of family secret that we try not to think too much about. How in the world have we gotten to the point where marketing and entertainment are pursued and embraced with the fervency that our forefathers clung to theology, prayer and preaching?

Enter David Wells. Wells is, among other things a very smart man. He is an astute observer of what is happening in our day and helpfully contextualizes this movement within its overall historical development. Wells has written extensively on this subject in his previous books, No Place for Truth, God in the Wasteland, Losing Our Virtue, and Above All Eartly Pow'rs. The Courage to Be Protestant builds on these previous works in his traditional Jeremiad tone.

The first 57 pages are outstanding. Wells writes with his usual clarity, biblical faithfulness, and subtly sarcastic humor. If you have ever wondered how gentlemen argue passionately while maintaining their status as a gentleman read Wells. He just does a fantastic job connecting the theological dots of where we have come from in evangelicalism. Wells contends that in all of our zeal to reach the unchurched, we are unchurching the reached.

Wells also spends some time in the ring with the folks in the emerging movement. He sees much of this as a reincarnation of `old liberalism' that never fully died anyway. It is helpful to read Wells and see the theological continuity between today's emerging church and those in the early 1900's.

There is little doubt that Wells is fed up, and rightly so. He sees little hope to rescue the term evangelical and instead opts for the recovery of the term Protestant. He sees this term more rooted in Reformational truths (ie Scripture) rather than a movement of people that are about a movement of people.

The rest of the book interacts with the contemporary theological and philosophical worldview. I wish I could say it was as interesting as the first two chapters. While there are a lot of helpful chapters, I felt the book dropped off a bit after page 57.

The first two chapters make the book a must read for pastors. Wells puts on a clinic in logic, theology, observing church history and connecting the (painful) dots.
49 of 57 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Stinging Critique of Contemporary Evangelicalism 19 Oct 2008
By Trevin Wax - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
In his newest book, The Courage to Be Protestant: Truth-lovers, Marketers, and Emergents in the Postmodern World (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2008), David Wells launches a stinging critique of contemporary evangelicalism, particularly in its market-driven and Emerging forms. Bundling together the insights from his previous books, Wells advocates a return to doctrinal fidelity and a renewed trust in Scriptural authority.

David Wells reminds me of a curmudgeonly grandfather - a man full of wisdom who is also highly opinionated. The Courage to Be Protestant contains piercing insights into the problems of today's evangelical movement along with a good dose of "attitude" that keeps the book entertaining. (Take for example Wells' description of the hip-hop culture "set apart by their getups, their tattoos, their piercings, jewelry, hoodies, off-kilter baseball caps, and pants that look like they were made by a drunken tailor." [15])

Wells is at his best when offering insight into why our culture is going through its contemporary turmoil. He rightly notices how our terminology has shifted (for example, we no longer look at lost people as "unconverted" but as merely "unchurched" [45].) He sees through the market-driven mentality of many churches, where "the benefits of believing [Christianity] are marketed, not the truth from which the benefits derive. (53)"

Wells' chapter on God is terrific. He writes: "Culture does not give the church its agenda. All it gives the church is its context. The church's belief and mission come from the Word of God." (98) He argues that we have lost our center, and this because we have lost the God that is outside of ourselves. We have misunderstood God's nearness and immanence as if he were inside us. The truth of the God that stands outside of us is what gives us the Law, defines sin, and makes the cross necessary. Here, Wells calls us to recover God's transcendence.

In later chapters, he makes his case for the public nature of Christian truth claims. Particularly insightful is the way that Wells shows how many Christians have become both secular and spiritual. "Secularization does not mean that all religion and spirituality must wither away. It simply means that all religion and spirituality need to be kept private." (187) Wells articulates a robust understanding of the penal substitutionary atonement, and yet he nuances it in all the right places. For instance, he believes we should make the distinction that Christ took upon himself the penalty of our sin, not that he was punished for sin. (201). In other words, God condemned sin in the flesh of Jesus; God did not condemn Jesus.

Yet The Courage to Be Protestant has several problems. Wells puts too much stock in surveys and polls. For example, he worries that only 32 percent of evangelicals believe in absolutes (93). I cannot help but wonder if most evangelicals even speak in these categories enough to be able to answer such a survey question accurately.

Other times, he makes sweeping generalizations without the documentation to back up his point. For example, he argues (without any documentation) that the overwhelming majority of evangelical pastors have become seeker-sensitive (44). A brief glance at the layout of the large number of smaller, rural evangelical churches might change that perception.

Or take his common refrain that Americans are "spiritual, but not religious" (60, 185). Researchers are beginning to see how this generalization is not only undocumented, but simply untrue. (See Robert Wuthnow's After the Baby Boomers for some surprising statistics.)

Throughout the book, Wells advocates a return to the doctrinal convictions of previous eras, but he sometimes conflates doctrinal conviction with the re-adoption of certain forms and traditions not specifically prescribed in Scripture. In a terrific chapter that takes the evangelical church to task for making Christianity "for sale" through the embrace of a market mentality, Wells shows how consumerism has changed American evangelicalism. But the chapter is marred by his lament over the contemporary preacher who sits on a barstool (which replaced the Plexiglas stand, which earlier replaced the pulpit). Wells seems to think the pulpit is the most sacred place for a pastor to stand (29). The absence of pulpits might indeed be due to the market mentality of some mega-churches, but surely the answer to our consumerism is not merely returning to the pulpit!

Other problems surface in some of Wells' contradictions. For example, on page 80, he argues that "Scripture is... the truth. Scripture is not only a measure, not only a standard, but is also truth." Two pages later, he distinguishes between Jesus and Scripture by saying "Scripture is true, but he is the truth." And then, "...only of Christ can it be said that he is the truth." Without further elaboration, the reader is left wondering what the relationship between Jesus and the Bible might be.

The Courage to Be Protestant is a book that should be read and digested by evangelical leaders today. Most of Wells' analysis is correct. He puts his finger on many of the foundational problems that are corroding our evangelical identity. Though his tone is often pessimistic and he offers little evidence or hope for a resurgence of biblical orthodoxy, Wells' counsel and instruction are worthy of receiving and hearing. Readers may disagree at times with the "grumpy Grandpa," but I, for one, am glad that the wise curmudgeon had the courage to write such a book.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Accurate but depressing 8 Oct 2008
By Grant Marshall - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
When a friend is out on the street doing something silly and embarassing themselves what do you do? Do you remain silent hoping they will stop or do you say something? This is exactly the dillema faced by David Wells when He wrote "The Courage to be Protestant". I must admit that I read books about the Church & Culture with a healthy dose of skepticism. The Church faces a barrage of criticism from outsiders. Critiquing the Church is as easy as shooting fish in a barrell. There are always problems to be addressed. Sometimes I think the critics are majoring on minors.

Wells picks on two strands of the "evangelical" church today, Seeker Sensitive and the Emergent Church. Having come from a Seeker Sensitive Church myself I have experienced much of what Wells talks about. Very early in the book he makes a very wise statement, "It takes no courage to sign up as a Protestant today...but to live by historical tennets of protestants takes courage." Historically speaking the protestant movement was founded on the five solas.

But lets face it, much of what we call Church today is entertainment. Seeker sensitive churches view Church goers as customers. They have to make sure their customers are always happy otherwise they may leave and that is a fate worse than death for the pastor. The Church becomes like any other business which seeks to draw in new customers and retain existing ones. So we have laser light shows, catchy music, and motivational speeches inplace of sermons. Marketing strategies to increase Church growth trump Biblical literacy. Emergent Churches pick and chose their doctrines as if the Bible is a buffet lunch. The post modern attitude means that no one doctrine or belief applies to all, but is all about what it means to the individual. Wells does a great job of summing up the culture of these two movements, and while you may find his treatment heavy handed at times, we can't argue with the facts. Biblical illiteracy is rampant amongst church goers. Many churches have resorted to "therapy" rather than theology. We're all about making ourselves feel better. In doing that we lost our voice. We became Churches that spoke to ourselves and not the wider world. When we remove the central tennets of the Gospel, everything else crumbles.

From my personal experiences within the seeker sensitive movement I can say that doctrine is ignored to a large degree. In fact there is very little Christ preached in sermons. The Church I went to was huge and spent most of its time talking about tithing, and the new building it was planning. I went there for over two years and heard very little of Grace, or Jesus except on Easter and Christmas. It was the general thought that if we get people to the Church, they enjoy the culture and make some good friends, they would absorb the gospel by osmosis. The idea driving it was that people werent really "unsaved" they were just "unchurched". Without a solid understanding of Sin and the redemptive work of Jesus on the cross, many of these churches are fully Pelagian in their "doctrine". I myself had no solid understanding of the gospel as a committed Christian who read my Bible often. Finally things changed when I left and attended some free lectures on theology. Joining a normal Church again helped too. I was opened to a whole world outside of that madness I was in. Bottom line is that people don't want to be treated like idiots, or pandered to. Like me they actually want answers. Many people have legitimate concerns and questions that are not being addressed by the Church.

The mood is changing. People are fed up with candy floss diets and long for the spiritual meat of the word. Christianity today reported that many young people are returning to Biblical Christianity, and more specifically Calvinism. Churches are teaching doctrines on Sundays, and others are doing systematic theology classes with their youth groups. People do seem to enjoy those answers don't they? I am grateful that my pastor shares the same sentiments as me. Recently we had a seminar series on Postmodernism and The Trinity. We also have expository preaching on books of the Bible. We started with Hebrews and are now onto Mark. It's spiritual meat, and it is helping to grow mature, solid believers, with a Christian worldview. But it takes time and effort. Its not therapy, or entertainment, but it does give us something to say to the world that is struggling to find any meaning. We have the best news to give the world, and dumbing it down or diluting it does not work. George Barna and Bill Hybels have both admited that their movements are not creating disciples, its just filling seats in an auditorium.

I should probably say here that I care deeply for the Church and long to see its participants grow and mature in the love of Jesus. I'm not one to slander the Church. It is after all an imperfect organisation and always will be until Christ returns. Anyone can pick on the Church, even those on the inside. The Church is great at shooting its wounded. I think it takes courage to live by historical protestant tennets. But it also takes more courage to love our brothers and sisters who have gone astray. In doing this we not only return to historic definitions of Grace, Love and Truth, but we model them to others. I think much of this message was missing from Wells' book. He was great at dianosing the problem but gave very little in the way of a solution. Its at this time that we're struck with the words of G.K. Chesterton, "The Reformer is often right about what is wrong, but not about what is right".
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take Courage! 9 May 2009
By Larry D. Paarmann - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A non-Christian in the United States of America giving thought to Christianity is confronted with a bewildering array of claims to religious truth in the name of Christianity. This ranges from the cults, to immediate revelation going on today, to liberal religion, to Roman Catholicism, etc. What is one to make of this? Given that at least some range of interpretation is to be expected, the bewildering array presented to the true seeker cannot easily be accounted for. Michael Horton has recently written very critically even of the subset of evangelical Christianity with his Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church. In this book by David Wells under review, a somewhat broader scope of protestant Christianity is investigated. Surely something has gone awry: there must be a standard as to just what Christianity really is. Wells has written on the subject before with his No Place for Truth or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology?, God in the Wasteland: The Reality of Truth in a World of Fading Dreams, Losing Our Virtue: Why the Church Must Recover Its Moral Vision, and Above All Earthly Pow'rs: Christ in a Postmodern World. In fact, The Courage to Be Protestant is a summary, rethinking, and popularization of the previous four books. For those who read Courage with interest and want to pursue these ideas in greater depth can refer to the earlier four books. One of his main themes is that there is truth to the Christian faith, a truth that requires courage to be committed to, and a truth that seems to be increasingly ignored within the protestant church.

David Wells is the Andrew Mutch Distinguished Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He received his B.D. degree from the University of London, his Th.M. degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and his Ph.D. degree from Manchester University. He was also a post-doctoral Research Fellow at Yale Divinity School. Dr. Wells is an ordained minister in the Congregational Church. He has authored or edited some 15 books.

The book The Courage to Be Protestant contains seven chapters. Chapter I is titled The Lay of the Evangelical Land. Chapter II is titled Christianity for Sale. Chapter III is titled Truth. Chapter IV is God. Chapter V is Self. Chapter VI is Christ. Chapter VII is Church.

Chapter I opens with the burden of the book: "It takes no courage to sign up as a Protestant. After all, millions have done so throughout the West. They are in no peril. To live by the truths of historic Protestantism, however, is an entirely different matter. That takes courage in today's context. . . . The truths of historic Protestantism are sometimes no more welcome in evangelicalism than they are in the outside culture." Wells divides evangelicalism into three groups: classical evangelicals, marketers, and emergents. Note that his book does not specifically address liberal protestants, nor charismatics, and even less Roman Catholics. He does not completely ignore them, but his focus is on what might be broadly referred to as evangelical Protestants. He suggests that two areas in which these three groups differ is in terms of doctrine and culture. He complains that today many "evangelicals" are indifferent to doctrine. The very area that used to divide various evangelical groups is now judged by many to be irrelevant. In terms of culture, Wells complains that "evangelicals" no longer seem to want to have a serious engagement with society - understanding it and critically evaluating it. Rather, they merely want to pragmatically use society and the trends and fashions within it.

In Chapter II Wells takes on the marketers, as the chapter title suggests. "The conventional wisdom is that seriousness is the death knell of successful churches. In an age of entertainment, such as our age is in the West, we have to be funny, engaging, likable, and light to succeed. So, seriousness must be banished. Preserve the taste but cut the calories. . . . Regular Christianity, many now think, does not go down easy and smooth; Christianity Lite does. A church that is serious, that is still regular . . . well, what can one say? It will stand out like an organ stop, if that still makes sense now that organs are becoming as rare as dodo birds."

In Chapter III Wells considers the emergents. Emergents and marketers may be one and the same: these are not either/or groups. According to Wells, emergents have embraced postmodernism, and as a result they "have become very leery about truth and about those who think they know it." The emergents are more about relationships than about truth or doctrine. "This is part of our picture today. We are spiritual. We want relationships, but we do not want to be religious. Bible knowledge is increasingly considered part of religion in this growing and damaging separation of spirituality from religion. This explains why so many of our churches, especially the most prominent marketing megachurches, give the impression that Christianity is about many things, but truth is not one of them."

In Chapter IV Wells considers the doctrine of God. Marketers with more evangelical leanings will simply be thin on their teaching of this doctrine. Emergents will, at least by implication, teach things that blatantly contradict Biblical doctrine about God. "Postmodern writers have been saying that the universe is empty. They say it has no center. It therefore has no overarching meaning(s). That is the world we inhabit, and this is part of what is fed daily into our experience. What happens to our understanding about God when we are constantly experiencing a world that seems centerless and chaotic?" Wells argues that we need to bring the Christian message of the Bible into this culture, not let the culture dictate what we are to believe.

In Chapter V Wells considers what is sometimes referred to as the doctrine of man. Who are we? How are we related to God? Wells identifies one of man's biggest problems, and that is our inability to fulfill God's moral demands upon us: "being unable to live as God demands in no way changes how we should live. God does not tailor his moral demands to our ability to fulfill them, otherwise the most degraded and scurrilous miscreants would have the smallest expectations to reach! No, his moral norms are the same for all people, in all places, and in all times." Wells is concerned that a lack of understanding as to the doctrine of man has resulted in a distorted evangelicalism: "Redefining evangelicalism in terms of the self, in terms of the self having spiritual experiences, finding itself, satisfying itself, fulfilling itself, has everything to do with culture and nothing to do with Christ." Wells stresses that by emphasizing self, the evangelical church has missed the Biblical message: "The majesty of God's forgiveness is lost entirely when we lose what has to be forgiven. What has to be forgiven is not just what we do but who we are, not just our sinning but our sinfulness, not just our choices but what we have chosen in place of God. This belief in our inherent innocence is belied by the kind of life we all experience, and, more importantly, it is also contradicted by Scripture."

In Chapter VI Wells reviews the doctrine of Christ: who Christ is and what He has accomplished for us. Life in Christ is the path to true spirituality according to the Scriptures. However, our modern culture has different ideas about what it means to be spiritual, and according to Wells these ideas have penetrated the church: "This understanding of being spiritual sounds plausible, compelling, innocent, and even commendable, but, let us make no mistake about it, it is lethal to biblical Christianity. That is why the biggest enigma we face today is the fact that its chief enablers are evangelical churches, especially those who are seeker-sensitive and emergent who, for different reasons, are selling spirituality disconnected from biblical truth."

In Chapter VII, the last chapter, Wells discusses the doctrine of the Church. What is the Church? What is its purpose? What does the Bible teach about it? Wells compares the Church with another universe: "The gospel is a message of death before it is a message of life. It is a message we live in a world that is on death row. This world will remain there until faith in Christ's justifying work swings open the prison door. And when we walk through that door, trusting not in ourselves but in Christ alone, we enter another universe." "Scripture alone is our authority." "Scripture cannot function authoritatively if the church is not willing to put itself under its authority and learn from it as God's sole, authoritative guide for its belief and practice." "Today, however, the evangelical church has drifted far from this norm. The doctrines of the New Testament are terra incognita to many in its churches. That is what Barna has been told by the born again, and there is plenty of evidence to suppose that what he has been told is true. There is abysmal ignorance of biblical truth in evangelical churches today."

To summarize, I will give one last quotation from Chapter VII. "The principle at stake is that salvation is to be found in Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone." That was the clarion call of the Protestant Reformation, and it needs to be the clarion call today as well.

For more information, please see my web site Paarmann's Post located at [...]

Larry D. Paarmann
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