THEOLOGICAL LIBERALISM

                                                 VS. BIBLICAL CHRISTIANITY

 

                                                                                                                       Dr. Robert C. Newman

                                                                                                                     Biblical Theol. Seminary

 

Introduction: the Influence of Liberalism

 

            Individually

                        My own experience & that of some I know

                        Bible course at Duke University raised a lot of questions that I couldnÕt answer.  I was helped by coming into contact with the writings of CS Lewis.  Others have eventually abandoned Christianity when they couldnÕt find answers.

            Collectively

                        Effects in Europe, U.S., Korea (?)

                        Liberalism has gutted the mainline churches of the US and Europe.

                       

 

The Bible

 

            Its Authority / Inerrancy

                        Evangelicals note Biblical claims and accept Biblical authority & inerrancy.

                        Liberals note problem passages and reject inerrancy & often Biblical authority.

                        Similar situation re/ sinlessness of Christ, goodness of God

                        Each of these three is a revealed doctrine supported by evidence that Bible is God's revelation.

 

            Its Authorship

                        Evangelicals don't object in principle to sources, multiple authorship, but believe Biblical claims about its own authorship.

                        But liberals reject external evidence of authorship for speculation.

                                    See C.S. LewisÕ essay "On Criticism" in collection On Stories (1982).

 

            Its Miracles

                        Liberal arguments against miracle:

                                    Hume, Harnack, Bultmann

                        What would a miracle look like?

                                    Creation, fulfilled prophecy

 

The Person & Work of Jesus Christ

 

            His Deity & Humanity

                        Taught throughout Bible: OT/NT, Gospels/Epistles

                        Liberal substitutions

 


            His Sinlessness

                        By Biblical standards, not by world's

 

            His Death as Payment for Sin

                        Also taught throughout Bible (Isa 53:4-6; 2 Cor 5:21;

                          1 Pet 3:18)

                        Necessary if God is to be just & declare sinners righteous (Rom 3:26)

 

            His Resurrection

                        Not recovery from a coma, fraud by Jesus or disciples, or hallucinations

                        Appeared on numerous occasions, for extended periods of time, to multiple witnesses, of whom hundreds still alive years later

 

            His Return

                        Liberal rejection takes form of scoffing in 2 Pet 3:3-4

                        We need to remember and remind others of evidence that Christianity true, as it will be too late when Christ returns or they die

 

Conclusions: What Can We Do? (Jude 20-25)

 

            Keep ourselves

            Have mercy on others

            Trust God

 

Bibliography

 

Craig Blomberg.  The Historical Reliability of the Gospels.  Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1987.

John A. Buell and O. Quentin Hyder.  Jesus: God, Ghost or Guru?             Grand Rapids: Zondervan / Probe, 1978.

C. S. Lewis.  Miracles.  New York: Macmillan, 1947.

________. "On Criticism," in On Stories, ed. Walter Hooper.  New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1982.

R. T. France.  The Evidence for Jesus.  Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1986.

Gary Habermas and Antony Flew.  Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?  San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1987.

Josh McDowell.  More Than a Carpenter.  Wheaton, IL: Tyndale, 1977.

Robert C. Newman, ed. The Evidence of Prophecy.  Hatfield, PA: IBRI, 1988.

Hugh Ross.  Cosmology Confronts the Creator.  Pasadena, CA: Reasons to Believe, 1987.

John Urquhart.  The Wonders of Prophecy.  Harrisburg, PA:            Christian Publications, n.d.

John Wenham.  Easter Enigma: Are the Resurrection Accounts in Conflict?  Grand Rapids: Zondervan / Academie, 1984.