Last week we discussed Walter Martin noticing The Cult of Liberal Theology (modern, liberal, progressive, social justice, etc) begins with an incorrect view of the Bible. If you come from a traditional, orthodox Christian background you might not have seen how dialectic thought can claim to accept the Bible as the Word of God, all while denying it.
Sound bizarre? Here’s an example from a discussion about a (supposed) controversial passage (the passage itself isn’t the issue here, rather the basic view of the Bible).
The epistles were never meant to be interpreted and applied as universal law. Rather, they provide us with an instructive and inspired glimpse into how Jesus’ teachings were lived out by real people, in real communities, facing real challenges. It is not the details found in the letters that we should seek to imitate, but rather the attitudes. The details (head coverings, circumcision, meat offered to idols, widow management, hair length, etc.) are rarely timeless, but the attitudes (“as much as it depends on you, live peaceably with all men,” “do not cause your brother to stumble,” “avoid the appearance of evil”) provide guidelines that can instruct us as Christians today. … (emphasis in original — underline as italic)
What? The New Testament isn’t meant to be applied universally? Perhaps they missed this:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16)
All in Greek is πᾶς (Strongs 3956) meaning … well … all — the same as in Matthew “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
Liberal make-up-your-own theology changes what Paul wrote to “the parts of the Bible agreeing with my predetermined ideology is inspired by God and useful. The rest we’ll ignore.”
Yet all means all, that’s all all means. All is inspired by God, all is useful — yet liberals say it only “provides guidelines” or parts don’t apply today, or what Paul said isn’t really what he meant.
Either Paul is correct, or liberal theology is. They can’t both be correct since they’re contradictory, or as Peter spoke of Paul:
Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction. (2 Peter 3:16 NLT)
IF the Bible is the inspired Word of God, Paul is correct to Timothy — it’s all God’s Word, and all applicable. Yes, some issues like Christians following Mosiac Law require theology to fully understand, and sometimes the Bible uses figures of speech, but those are generally obvious — as obvious as reading the newspaper or a novel where such usage is clear.
The vast majority of the Bible remains clear and obvious. If it says one-third of grass will be burned up, it means that. When Paul spoke of qualifications for elders, he meant it. When he gave instruction, it wasn’t an allegory.
You’re free to accept or reject it as you wish, but liberals look rather silly claiming to accept the Bible as the Word of God … while rejecting it at the same time (what Orwell called DoubleThink), revealing their foundational principle … the Bible is not all useful and not all the Word of God, thus only parts apply (and strangely they’re qualified to tell you which is which).
The question for liberal modern-theology progressive post-modern proponents — who gets to choose what applies, how are they going to do that, and why is their idea of what doesn’t apply today better than others?
Liberals don’t have answers to those questions, yet boldly proclaim we should follow their contradictory and illogical ideology by fiat, instead of God’s Word.
It doesn’t matter what you call it — modern theology, liberal, post-modern, progressive, emerging, new-fangled, or whatever the buzzword-of-the-month is — it all starts with denying the Bible as the inspired, inerrant Word of God.
And that’s not a good place to begin from, because at 3AM, you’ve got what you’ve got — and what you require is the absolute Word of God, not philosophy wondering if God really meant what Paul wrote (hint: He did).