For years conservative church leaders have warned against doctrinal decline. But what happens when it’s not just our doctrines that change but the very conditions of our unbelief that shift with time?
That’s the concern discussed in this video, where theologian Michael Horton observes how doctrines such as sin, redemption, atonement, grace, heaven, and even Christ have been redefined in therapeutic terms. Salvation is seen as recovery. And God doesn’t seem concerned with the problems he used to solve when today we’re only searching for personal peace and happiness.
Horton discusses this change with Tim Keller, author of Center Church, and missiologist Alan Hirsch. Keller describes in particular how the open-and-affirming movement claims not to threaten the gospel but actually redefines the Christian narrative according to expressive individualism. Identity in this misunderstood gospel is found through self-affirmation and self-assertion, not self-denial. But according to the biblical gospel, we lose ourselves in order to find ourselves in serving God and others.
For more, pick up Keller’s book Shaped by the Gospel (Zondervan, 2016), featuring contributions from Horton and Dane Ortlund.