This brief (10-minute) video by Dr. Tony Campolo deserves your full attention (note I did not say “full agreement”). Before you watch, however, I’d like to set the stage with a few quotes from N.T. Wright’s book Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church.
I just learned that Ted Haggard, former pastor of New Life Church in Colorado and past president of the National Association of Evangelicals, has returned from his “fall from grace.” What do you think? Should nationally recognized leaders who have been entrusted with so much power and persuasion be restored to leadership after habitual, deceptive, and sinful lifestyles? To learn more about this recent news read the ABC News exclusive or browse to Ted Haggard: Back in the Pulpit.
As I’ve done previously, I will repost my blog entry below
from my essay “On Haggard and Holiness” published on my web site. Church leadership…I pray you will take heed!
While calling for change, the president-elect ran a theme throughout his campaign proclaiming “Yes we can.” Clearly the American people at large were enamored by this theme and got worked up into a political stupor that was almost hypnotic. Yet, I had my doubts whether this rhetoric was meaningful without the necessary justification and rationalization. What exactly was the grounding for the chant “Yes we can?” Do we really believe we have the power to change things? Even though we live our lives as if we can and do make a difference–that what we do really matters–I wonder whether or not we’re missing an important presupposition behind our actions, to wit: We are created beings and have no power whatsoever to do anything without the permission of and means provided by our Creator. This “Yes we can” attitude seems to leave out an important person in the “we” formula, namely, God! You see…
I recently listened to Dr. Elaine Storkey give a convincing lecture at Cambridge entitled Faith In A Pluralistic Society where she postulated that democracy was the only form of government that provides for the existence of religious pluralism. Moreover, she argues not only that democracy is biblical, but the Scriptures
“The Holy Spirit does not work in a vacuum; he works with content.”
“Once upon a time there was a man who thought he was dead. His wife tried everything she could to convince him he was very much alive. But try as she may, he would not change his mind. After several weeks of this, she finally took him to the doctor who assured the man he was alive. Sadly, it was to no avail. Suddenly, the doctor got an idea. He convinced the man that dead men do not bleed, subsequently stuck him with a needle, and smiled as blood ran out of the man?s finger. The man was downtrodden for several days. He had been certain that he was dead but he could not dispute the fact that he could bleed. Finally, he figured out what to do. Returning to the doctor, the man blurted out, ‘Good Lord, dead men do bleed after all!’ Our friend had a view of things that he clung to no matter what evidence came his way. His “worldview” was immune to revision, incapable of being falsified. As a result, he continued to embrace and assert his view.” (As quoted here.)
Toward a Tolerant View of Tolerance
Many today hold that tolerance, rather than any other virtue, is the greatest and most important moral quality. After all, to thrive in a socially, morally, religiously, and politically diverse society requires that tolerance be the summum bonum for any people group that claims a sense of civility.
I have a few words (‘for what it’s worth’) for Al Mohler to consider in his response to An Evangelical Manifesto. He writes: “[The Manifesto] leaves out the question of the exclusivity of salvation to those who have come to Christ by faith. The use of the phrase “for us”