Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Carl Trueman on the "Rubbish" That's Polluting the Church Today

In a recent essay, Carl Trueman pulls no punches in his assessment of the 'rubbish' that's corrupting evangelicalism today, both in academia and in weekly worship:

Here is just an excerpt:

"...What are surprising, therefore, are accounts of services where the theology is supposedly orthodox but the content is sheer trivia. If God is awesome, sovereign and holy; if human beings are small, sinful, and lost; if Christ died and rose again by a most miraculous and costly act of grace, then this should impact the way things happen in church. This is not to argue for a one-size-fits-all-my-way-or-the-highway approach to church. Context and culture are important; but what is expressed through the idioms of particular cultural manifestations of the church should be awe, reverence, and, above all seriousness - not a colourless and cold miserable seriousness but a fitting amazement at the greatness of God and his grace.

"A church service involving clowns or fancy dress or skits or stand-up comedy does not reflect the seriousness of the gospel; and those who take the gospel seriously should know better. Frankly, it is more appropriate to liberal theology which does not take the gospel, or the God of the gospel, seriously. Serious things demand serious idioms. I heard recently of a church service involving dressing up in costume and music taken from a Tom Cruise movie. Now, if I go for my annual prostate examination, and the doctor comes into the consulting room dressed as Coco the Clown, with `Take my breath away' from Top Gun playing in the background, guess what? I'm going to take the doctor out with a left hook, flee the surgery, and probably file a complaint with the appropriate professional body. This is serious business; and if he looks like a twit and acts like a twit, then I can only conclude that he is a twit...."

You can read the entire essay here.


Stephen said...

Trueman says in this article that these types of worship services constitute
"a slag heap of subtheological fragments pulled from hither and yon into an incoherent and vacuous fiasco does not end up including everyone in general; more likely it ends up including nobody in particular."
Personally, I think "including nobody in particular" is intentional in PC worship.

Anonymous said...

Great post! We can't expect the world to take us seriously until we do. Those who suffer from an inferiority complex will find it hard to attract interest from others. Needy people are not attractive.

Douglas Phillips said...


I hear what you're saying.


Your blunt insightfulness reminds me of Carl Trueman's own refreshingly clear way of stating things.