Recently a controversy related to the Southern Baptist Convention erupted on Twitter regarding whether or not suicide is sin and murder. Some participants in the discussion were adamant that suicide is a sin and murder. Others insisted the aforementioned view is not only wrong, but harmful. For example, Susan Codone, a member of the Leadership Council at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, tweeted to those she believed may have been harmed by a pastor’s tweet claiming that “suicide is self-murder.”
This post is the fourth in a series addressing New Liberalism and the Southern Baptist Convention. “New Liberalism” is a catch-all term for what some see as a theological threat similar to the liberalism of the previous century. This series does not assume that New Liberalism is in the SBC, but is intended to more clearly delineate the concept of New Liberalism in relation to the SBC.
The progenitors of the new progressivist tendency in Christianity might truly believe that they believe the Bible, might earnestly desire others to believe the Bible, and at the very least want others to believe that they believe the Bible. Thus sociological theories are read back into the text of Scripture in much the same way that scientific theories were read back into the text of Scripture, and especially Genesis 1-11, in the old liberalism. Terms are lifted from their texts to create a new Christianity commensurate with and thus subordinate to the spirit of the age.
This post is the third in a series addressing New Liberalism and the Southern Baptist Convention. “New Liberalism” is a catch-all term for what some see as a theological threat similar to the liberalism of the previous century. This series does not assume that New Liberalism is in the SBC, but is intended to more clearly delineate the concept of New Liberalism in relation to the SBC.
If secondary, tertiary, and social matters of the Christian faith have come to the center of theological discourse within the SBC, then one cannot escape discussing them. The New Liberalism forces itself upon us. With it comes the exaltation of psychology and sociology in relation to the tenets of a strictly biblical Christian worldview. The idea is that ‘all truth is God’s truth,’ which is true enough in and of itself. However, the approach of the New Liberalism is prone to place parity between the authority of what we derive from nature and the authority of what we derive from Scripture such that the mind of man becomes the measure of all things, including Scripture. In such a system, the word of God is no longer the normative interpretive tool of the word of God, but the word of man, divorced from all but the ethical imperatives of Scripture. Works-righteousness is emphasized, and grace is de-emphasized, soteriologically and hermeneutically, as it were.