With the existence of hundreds of different denominations, it is apparent that people emphasize, de-emphasize or outright ignore aspects of biblical doctrine. In fact, a mark of living in a postmodern, perhaps post-Christian, era is to be ok with doctrinal confusion and default to constructing a personal creed that enables personal preferences over truth. There is just simply a lot of bad teaching that occurs within the modern evangelical world.
As cynical as this may sound, John Piper, former Senior Pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, offers an encouraging word. In this video published by Desiring God, Piper begins by asking an interesting rhetorical question: Is it possible to experience the miraculous works of God and not understand what is going on? He answers his own question by saying that it is possible to be poorly taught about conversion and yet be genuinely saved. This is owing to the wonderful mercy of God! This shouldn’t lead to theological laziness, though, because God has provided a present evidence of His matchless mercy.. the Scriptures.
It should change our lives to know that the Scriptures
- exclaim who we are
- exclaim who God is
- exclaim how we got here
- exclaim where we are going and how to get there
It is through the deliberate commitment to the Scriptures that our faulty and weak theology becomes more and more whole and God-centered. But how can one see this type of growth in the Christian life? In his typical poetic fashion, Piper concludes this video with simple diagnostic questions that can help the viewer assess the health of his or her view of the role of God in salvation.
1) Does it make your heart soar that your affirmation of the lordship of Jesus over your whole life is a decisive work of God’s Spirit and not of your own doing?
2) Are you amazed and glad that your acting out of the Christian life is work of the Holy Spirit?
3) Do you see that God is the fire, your affections for Him are the heat, and that your witness for Him is the light?
What might change in you if you deeply pondered these questions?