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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : England, the Squandered Legacy

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 England, the Squandered Legacy




The following is an excerpt from:

[b]The Squandered Legacy- An Appraisal of the State of the Church in the United Kingdom Today-
However did we get into this mess?[/b]

"Ask now of history’s authentic page,
And call up evidence from every age;
Display with busy and laborious hand
The blessings of the most indebted land;
What nation will you find, whose annals prove
So rich an interest in Almighty love?
Where dwell they now, where dwelt in ancient day
A people planted, water’d, blest, as they?"
(from WILLIAM COWPER)

[url=http://www.authenticword.co.uk/Authentic%20Word/legacy.htm]The Squandered Legacy- However did we get into this mess?[/url]

[b]More excerpts from the Book:

Yet, what privileged nation today has done more to call down upon itself the righteous wrath of an offended God? Having risen so high, how can it be that this same land should now sink to the spiritual depths it has today? Britain has become a world-leader in depravity and all kinds of godlessness. The words of Stephen can almost certainly be applied to our own nation.

“Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not you fathers persecuted? and they have slain them...” Acts 7:51-52

One only has to think of the persecution and murder of William Tyndale, translator of the Word of God into English. Chased out of England, he was eventually captured and cast into prison. Whilst in prison, he led his jailer, the jailer’s daughter and many others in his household to a knowledge of the Lord. He was condemned to death. At the stake he was strangled by the hangman then consumed with fire in Vilvorden, this was all in 1536. As the flames consumed his body he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord! Open the king of England’s eyes.” His prayer was heard. Henry VIII had forbidden the reading of the Bible by the common people in 1531, but a year after Tyndale’s death with the agreement of the king, Coverdale’s Bible (1535), the first complete Bible in English, was ordered to be placed in the choir of each Church “for the study and spiritual edification of everyone who desired to read the word of God.”

A century of growth and decline

The 19th century in Great Britain saw a spiritual vitality in many Churches and an acceptance of the Gospel call by masses of people. This was an era of great and godly theologians, of preachers who drew thousands to their Churches to hear uncompromising Gospel messages and Bible exposition. Few will not know of the Baptist preacher of the time, Charles Haddon Spurgeon. The Church of England was blessed with bishops like J. C. Ryle in Liverpool. In Scotland the brothers Bonar and Robert Murray M’Cheyne exercised extraordinary ministries. All this went on despite the continual growth of rationalism and scepticism inside and outside the Church. After World I, there were few such men left.

The rise and spread of neo-evangelicalism

The 1920s saw the beginnings of neo-orthodoxy with the theology of Karl Barth. The main statement of its tenets are to be found in his Kirchliche Dogmatik. Whilst all this was unfolding in Europe, in America neo-evangelicalism was beginning to appear as an alternative to fundamentalism. It was fathered by Dr Harold Ockenga, pastor of Park Street Presbyterian Church, Boston, and the first President of Fuller Theological Seminary. Dr Ockenga himself in 1957 described the movement as “the latest dress of orthodoxy, as neo-orthodoxy is the latest expression of theological liberalism.” One of the distinctives of fundamentalism is its separation from all apostate religion on the basis of 2 Corinthians 6. Ockenga exchanged this for ‘infiltration’ – which in practice meant co-operation with every apostate in sight. On the other hand, those seeking to stand firm on Scripture, the atonement, and the coming of Christ, were, and still are branded as ‘right-wing extremists’, ‘apostles of hate’ and more. They are held up to ridicule as having an out-of-date, ignorant and contentious approach to the Gospel.
-------------------------------
“A new religion has been initiated, which is no more Christianity than chalk is cheese; and this religion, being destitute of moral honesty, palms itself off as the old faith with slight improvements, and on this plea usurps pulpits which were erected for gospel preaching.” C. H. SPURGEON
-----------------------[/b]




This 23 page analysis is excellent.

Sincerely,

Walter

[url=http://www.authenticword.co.uk/Authentic%20Word/legacy.htm]The Squandered Legacy- However did we get into this mess?[/url]

 2008/12/23 11:21
Here4Him
Member



Joined: 2006/9/23
Posts: 212
England

 Re: England, the Squandered Legacy

Looks a very interesting article. I will try to find time to read it. I'm sure i will find it very enlightening and very sad to read.

However, from a quick browse, I think it is unfortunate to see another brother attacking Calvinists, again. I am tired of this. It also seems ironic that in attacking Calvinists the writer attacked how they speak against people who hold differing opinions, whilst himself doing the very same thing.

I personally am a Calvinist. I would put myself in line with Spurgeon and Whitefield in terms of theology, but Oh that God would raise up a thousand more like Wesley in our land.

True biblical calvinism, as demonstrated by Whitefield, Spurgeon, Lloyd-Jones and others, has done nothing to add to the demise of Christianity in Britian, and only much to help it flourish. I find it sad that this brother needed to attack the very good work done for the Name of Christ by many many Calvinists for the building up of God's Kingdom in this land.

With love to all my Arminian and Calvinist brothers and sisters.

George



_________________
George Platt

 2008/12/23 12:07Profile
strawrifle
Member



Joined: 2007/2/3
Posts: 139
uk

 Re: England, the Squandered Legacy

I'm confused by the post concerning Karl Barth,ive heard a sermon on sermon index, where Art Kats praises him and can't say enough good points about him,he said he was very much misunderstood person...




_________________
andy

 2008/12/23 17:13Profile









 Re: Karl Barth



Hello Strawrifle

What the article indicates is that Karl Barth's theology led to neo-orthodox theology. He was also infulenced by existentialism. Rudolf Bultmann (who was associated with Barth and Brunner in the 1920s in particular) was strongly influenced by his sometime colleague at Marburg, the German existentialist philosopher Martin Heidegger. Reinhold Niebuhr and (to a lesser extent, and mostly in his earlier writings) Karl Barth were influenced by the writings of the 19th century [b]Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard.[/b]

Kierkegaard was a critic of the then-fashionable liberal Christian modernist effort to rationalise Christianity, to make it palatable to those whom Friedrich Schleiermacher, a liberal, deemed the "cultured despisers of religion." Instead, under pseudonymous names such as Johannes Climacus, he maintained that Christianity is absurd (transcends human understanding) and presents the individual with paradoxical choices.[b] The decision to become a Christian is not fundamentally a rational decision but a leap of faith. Opponents of Kierkegaard's approach and neo-orthodoxy in general have termed this fideism, a blatant refusal to find support for the faith outside its own circles.[/b] For the most part, proponents rebut that no such support exists, that supposed reasons and evidences for faith are fabrications of fallen human imagination, in effect constituting idolatry, a grave sin consistently condemned in the Bible.[b] Some neo-orthodox have gone so far as to claim greater affinity with atheists in that regard than with the theological and cultural trappings of so-called "Christendom," which Kierkegaard venomously denounced in his later works.[/b]

[b]What the article is saying is that the theology of Barth is linked with the beginnings of neo-orthodoxy. While this was going on in Europe, in America Fundamentalism was being replaced by neo-orthodoxy/neo-evangelism. A good description of Neo-Orthodoxy is: "the latest dress of orthodoxy, as neo-orthodoxy is the latest expression of theological liberalism.”[/b]
xxxxxx

This is what the article has to say about this matter:

[b]The 1920s saw the beginnings of neo-orthodoxy with the theology of Karl Barth. The main statement of its tenets are to be found in his Kirchliche Dogmatik. Whilst all this was unfolding in Europe, in America neo-evangelicalism was beginning to appear as an alternative to fundamentalism. It was fathered by Dr Harold Ockenga, pastor of Park Street Presbyterian Church, Boston, and the first President of Fuller Theological Seminary. Dr Ockenga himself in 1957 described the movement as “the latest dress of orthodoxy, as neo-orthodoxy is the latest expression of theological liberalism.”[/b]

[b][color=660000]One of the distinctives of fundamentalism is its separation from all apostate religion on the basis of 2 Corinthians 6. Ockenga exchanged (replaced) this for ‘infiltration’ – which in practice meant co-operation with every apostate in sight. On the other hand, those seeking to stand firm on Scripture, the atonement, and the coming of Christ, were, and still are branded as ‘right-wing extremists’, ‘apostles of hate’ and more. They are held up to ridicule as having an out-of-date, ignorant and contentious approach to the Gospel.

The claim that neo-evangelicalism remains true to the fundamental teachings of the faith is quickly dispelled by reading the writings of its leading gurus. In 1962 one such, Dr Edward Carnell said, “If extremist fundamentalists think I am going to join their ‘holy war’ against Barth they are sadly mistaken.” Carnell is known for his unsound views of Scripture, compromises with godless science, a toadying to godless theologians, and endless bitter tirades against fundamentalists. Speaking to students in 1957, Dr Donald Grey Barnhouse, another of their number, proceeded to ridicule the great leaders of the Reformation one by one, to howls of laughter from students all over America. He denounced the Reformation as a mistake. He engaged in such vindictive rhetoric against fundamentalists that even Moody Bible Institute radio station took him off the air. So much for ‘nasty’ fundamentalists![/color][/b]

[b][color=3333FF]It was the popular face of neo-evangelicalism that did most to plant the new movement on British soil: Youth for Christ, the Billy Graham crusades, and then some time later Bill Bright’s Campus Crusades. British evangelicalism was ready for it, and soaked up the new movement like an old dried-up sponge takes up water. Woe betides anyone foolish enough to object to the Graham crusades! Those who saw through the whole charade from the start and said so were few in number, and they were heavily criticised as lacking Christian love. Eventually, there was hardly a corner of Christian life in Britain that it had not enclosed in a firm embrace. At the heart of British neo-evangelicalism were men such as the widely-respected theologian from the Christian Brethren, Dr F. F. Bruce, whose views have proved to be anything but doctrinally sound. Both he and Rev. John Stott, the one-time popular Anglican preacher of All Souls Church, Langham Place, London, REPLACED THE BIBLE TEACHING OF THE ETERNAL SUFFERING OF THE DAMNED IN THE FIRES OF HELL WITH THE HEATHEN ABOMINATION OF ANNIHILATION. J. I. Packer, Calvinist Anglican theologian and professing Puritan ‘enthusiast’, never accepted any form of separation, and chooses rather to cosy-up to priests of Rome! The history of Gospel testimony in Britain throughout the 20th century, with one or two notable exceptions, has been one of steady decline. Neo-evangelicalism had little to challenge it when it arrived on these shores. Apart from one or two individuals, it faced no united body that would resist it. There was lacking a distinctive, separatist testimony to the Gospel.[/color][/b]

Sincerely,


Walter




Quote:

strawrifle wrote:
I'm confused by the post concerning Karl Barth,ive heard a sermon on sermon index, where Art Kats praises him and can't say enough good points about him,he said he was very much misunderstood person...



 2008/12/23 22:49





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