Bad News for the Good News – A response to Steve Chalke’s ‘redefined’ evangelicalism

This one is going to hurt.  I wrote it out of a pained heart and know that even writing it will result in condemnation and abuse. I am not even sure that I should have written it.  Who am I?    If I deserve the brickbats it so be it…but rather than reduce this to personalities lets focus on the message.  Its not about me, or Steve Chalke – its about Jesus.  In my view the teaching of the ‘redefined’ evangelicalism is far more dangerous than the teaching of the New Atheism.  Let me know what you think.

I am referring to my latest article on Christian Today – if you think it it worthwhile please feel free to pass it on.  If you are in the US then for Steve Chalke read Brian McClaren or any others of the ‘new evangelicals’.   You can read the whole article here

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/bad.news.for.the.good.news.a.response.to.steve.chalke/38538.htm

 

11 thoughts on “Bad News for the Good News – A response to Steve Chalke’s ‘redefined’ evangelicalism

  1. Thanks for putting the work in to present a detailed and coherent response to Steve Chalke’s article – much appreciated.

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  2. Very many thanks for this careful but hard-hitting critique of the new evangelicalism represented by Steve Chalke. Much needed.

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  3. One does feel that even those of us with the newest, most militantly held set of atheist beliefs, are still perplexed by the logical and self evident nature of God’s revealed word. That two intelligent and committed evangelicals can completely interpret his intentions in such polar opposite fashion implies something of a failing on the part of an omnipotent messenger.

    Even if it is no doubt, the fault of mankind to correctly understand the obvious truth, surely the power of the ubiquitous Holy Spirit should be able to elucidate David or Steve who are under any definition, faithful Christians endeavouring to do his work

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  4. Hi David

    I thought I would pick up your request to let you know what others think on your article.

    I felt Steve Chalke’s picture of people smiling to be a bit weak. I know what he’s meaning and agree with the underlying concept, but perhaps not that simplistic definition. I think Christians should shine with the love of God for every person and this should be an attractive quality. It actually is in many Christians I know.

    The problem with many “evangelicals” that I think Steve is getting at, is that they appear much more judgemental and critical (often proclaiming that they are speaking truth in love, whereas they are actually turning people away from faith with what can appear a judgemental attitude, appearing at times to give a message of conditional love). People now often associate evangelical with conservative religious fundamentalism.

    However, your examples from the Bible are also a bit simplistic. Yes, it’s true that people crucified Jesus, but you paint a picture as if ALL people crucified him and that no-one was attracted to him. This ignores the crowds who followed, the teachers who sought him out or the contagious Christianity that comes from people hearing just how much God loves them. Yes, Jesus spoke of us being blessed when people persecute us or insult us, but he also says we are to let our light shine before others so that people might see our good deeds and praise God. I don’t think all expressions of godly faith will result in persecution (although they might). Often it will draw people to Christ and yes, smile (metaphorically or literally).

    I think Steve has a point and that Christianity is in danger of losing this light when we are known for our rallies against issues or people groups first and foremost. There is place for Christian protest, there is place for giving counter cultural views, but I am more inclined to agree with Steve that we need to be known for much, much more than this. It’s not shiny, happy people, but it is an attractive quality of love for all people that overflows and cannot be hidden that the world needs to see.

    Fundamentally, I believe people need to hear first and foremost that God loves them and desires to be in a relationship with them. From here, the Holy Spirit can work in their lives, encouraging, guiding and convicting of sin. The problem as I see it with many more conservative folk is that there appears a message that you first have to change your ways and sin must be dealt with in order to be acceptable to God. To me, this is the wrong way round. Healthy discussions about all this are really important in the Church and I hope my views will be respected, even if you or others disagree.

    God bless
    MM

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  5. Here is a repost:

    Hi David

    I thought I would pick up your request to let you know what others think on your article.
    I felt Steve Chalke’s picture of people smiling to be a bit weak. I know what he’s meaning and agree with the underlying concept, but perhaps not that simplistic definition. I think Christians should shine with the love of God for every person and this should be an attractive quality. It actually is in many Christians I know.

    The problem with many “evangelicals” that I think Steve is getting at, is that they appear much more judgemental and critical (often proclaiming that they are speaking truth in love, whereas they are actually turning people away from faith with what can appear a judgemental attitude, appearing at times to give a message of conditional love). People now often associate evangelical with conservative religious fundamentalism.

    However, your examples from the Bible are also a bit simplistic. Yes, it’s true that people crucified Jesus, but you paint a picture as if ALL people crucified him and that no-one was attracted to him. This ignores the crowds who followed, the teachers who sought him out or the contagious Christianity that comes from people hearing just how much God loves them. Yes, Jesus spoke of us being blessed when people persecute us or insult us, but he also says we are to let our light shine before others so that people might see our good deeds and praise God. I don’t think all expressions of godly faith will result in persecution (although they might). Often it will draw people to Christ and yes, smile (metaphorically or literally).

    I think Steve has a point and that Christianity is in danger of losing this light when we are known for our rallies against issues or people groups first and foremost. There is place for Christian protest, there is place for giving counter cultural views, but I am more inclined to agree with Steve that we need to be known for much, much more than this. It’s not shiny, happy people, but it is an attractive quality of love for all people that overflows and cannot be hidden that the world needs to see.

    Fundamentally, I believe people need to hear first and foremost that God loves them and desires to be in a relationship with them. From here, the Holy Spirit can work in their lives, encouraging, guiding and convicting of sin. The problem as I see it with many more conservative folk is that there appears a message that you first have to change your ways and sin must be dealt with in order to be acceptable to God. To me, this is the wrong way round. Healthy discussions about all this are really important in the Church and I hope my views will be respected, even if you or others disagree.

    God bless
    MM

    Like

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