Thursday, September 06, 2007

Follow-up to a Previous Post

Back in May, I posted on this blog regarding the importance of understanding our place in the world as American Calvinists:

http://conversationsincalvinism.blogspot.com/2007/05/its-helpful-to-understand-our-place-in.html

Yesterday, Richard Land penned a succinct article outlining the titanic demographic and geographic shift in Christ's Church that is happening right before our eyes. It warrants a read:

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20070905/29184_Growth_in_Orthodox_Christian_Faith_has_Roots_in_'Global_South'.htm

A few things of note:

1) It has become commonplace in the cultural discourse to hear the refrain that Islam is the world's fastest growing religion. Not true. It MAY have been true 20-30 years ago, but no longer. Christianity has reassumed its place as the fastest growing religion in the world. Moreover, along with pentecostal leanings leading the Protestant charge, Reformed leanings are also enjoying something of a comeback. As mentioned previously, South Korea is a phenomenal Reformed success story, but as Land points out, places like Ghana have also become very receptive to Reformed theology and presbyterianism in particular, while much of orthodox African Anglicanism is also fairly Reformed.

2) There is no longer any serious doubt that the power base of the global church is no longer in the West, but in the Global South. It is in the Global South that Christianity is literally spreading like wildfire and where revival is literally happening right now. It is the Global South that is evangelizing the West rather than the other way around. It is the Global South that is providing safe harbor for conservative congregations in the West who feel exiled by the liberal drift of the Western mainline. While Western mainline and even evangelical traditions are busy trying to accommodate Christianity to an increasingly secular culture, missionaries from the Global South are transforming culture as Scripture commands. Land's comments about the state of the church in Denmark are very revealing about the difference between us and our brothers in the Global South.

3) The vitality, conviction, passion, and loyalty to God and to the purity of his bride that are the hallmarks of the Global South are cause for great hope. While no movement is perfect, I for one am glad that the forseeable future of the church will be led by them, not us.

I think Land's article, without directly saying it, supports the notion that American Christians need to seriously start getting used to being in the bullpen rather than being the starting pitcher. The Global South is in charge. The big money might still be in the West, but money doesn't last, and it won't stop the church from sinking. The American church needs two things more than anything else at the moment: A spirit of repentance, and non-Western missionaries who prophetically call us back to the passionate childlike faith we long ago sacrificed on the altar of cultural and academic sophistication.

11 comments:

J. Brian McKillop said...

the link isn't working - try this
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20070905/29184_Growth_in_Orthodox_Christian_Faith_has_Roots_in_%27Global_South%27.htm

J. Brian McKillop said...

the link will not wrap so try this:

http://starturl.com/bafew

it is a version of the link shortened by:

www.starturl.com

Albert said...

Is it true that the biggest Reformed denominations in Korea have become increasingly more and more liberan and ecumenical? Are there still conservative Reformed Evangelicals out there? :)

Sara Schmidt said...

The following paper will be of interest and pertinence to you for possibly several reasons among many. It has been our great honor to discern and identify the error and spirit of John Calvin, whose rule is yet propagated in the hearts of men with evil consequences for all. The Lord Jesus Christ has visited us with the Light of His countenance to put an end to this evil, justifying His servants whom Calvin murdered, and His Name in the sight of all.

The Fruit of Cain Multiplied: The Murderer John Calvin

Show me whom you follow, and I will know what manner of person you are or will become. If you do not know whom you are following, don't you think it is time to find out how and where you are being led? Do you think you will altogether escape the consequences because ignorant? Think again. You already suffer them.

John Calvin was one of the most vicious of wolves ever to pose as a lamb of God. His supremely self-righteous spirit lives on in those who lionize and follow him, even unbeknownst to themselves. Truly, "that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God."

Paul Cohen & Victor Hafichuk
www.thepathoftruth.com

Charlie J. Ray said...

I would agree that many Anglicans in the Global South are Evangelical, though to what degree they are "Reformed" is unclear. However, it is also true that a great many of the Anglicans in the Global South are of the Anglo-Catholic persuasion, including Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria. The problem here is that the Tractarians and Anglo-Catholics still deny justification by faith alone and re-interpret the 39 Articles of Religion to fit their Anglo-Catholic presuppositions. Clearly, the Anglo-Catholic tradition sides more with Rome than with Geneva. This ought to be a major concern not only to Anglican Evangelicals and Reformed Evangelical Anglicans, but also for Reformed believers in general.

May the peace of God be with you!

Charlie

beowulf2k8 said...

Now that Obama is the President Elect and will be President, the god of Calvinism can finally be satiated with a never ending pile of dead babies to send to hell for no fault of their own.

逛街 said...

笑口常開~~天天開心.........................

霍斯餓 said...

好文章就值得回響,如果可以常常看到您的更新,應該是件很幸福的事情~~ ........................................

香蕉哥哥 said...

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Toyin O. said...

Great article.

http://youcanfacetodaybecausehelives.blogspot.com

Steve Finnell said...

CALLING ON THE NAME OF THE LORD?

What is the meaning of calling on the name of the Lord? Many assume that believing in Jesus and saying a form of a sinner's prayer constitutes, calling on the name of the Lord. The problem with that theory is none of the conversions under the New Covenant support that assumption. Not one time is anyone ever told to believe and say the sinner's prayer in order to be saved.

The apostle Peter on the Day of Pentecost quoted the prophet Joel, Acts 2:21 And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." (NKJV)

The apostle Peter preached the first gospel sermon under the New Covenant. Peter did not tell the 3000 converts to believe and say the sinner's prayer.

Peter preached the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. He preached Jesus as both Lord and Christ. When they heard this they asked Peter and the rest of the brethren what they should do?(Acts 2:22-37) Peter told them what to do. Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.(NKJV)

How did the 3000 on the Day of Pentecost call on the name of the Lord and become saved?
1. They believed that Jesus was both Lord and Christ.
2. They believed that God raised Jesus from the grave.
3. They repented. Repentance is a change of heart. Repentance means to be converted so that God may forgive your sins. Repentance is to make the intellectual commitment to turn from sin and turn toward God. (Acts 3:19, Acts 2:38)
4. They were immersed in water (baptized) so that their sins could be forgiven.

How did the 3000 on the Day of Pentecost not call on the name of the Lord?
1. They did not say a sinner's prayer.
2. Not one person was asked to pray for forgiveness.
3. Not one single man was told to be baptized as a testimony of his faith.
4. No one was told that water baptism was a just an act of obedience.
5. No one was informed they were saved the very minute they believed.
6. Not one person was told that water baptism was not essential for the forgiveness of sins.
7. Not one person was told to be baptized so they could join a denominational church.

Jesus said he that believes and is baptized shall be saved. (Mark 16"16) Jesus did not say he who believes and says a sinner's prayer shall be saved.


You ARE INVITED TO READ MY BLOG POSTINGS--Steve Finnell