Monday, September 08, 2008

Francis Beckwith vs. Andrew Sullivan on the Dies Irae

Francis Beckwith on Andrew Sullivan's critique of Larry Croon, Sarah Palin's pastor, who had the temerity to utter what he believes:

In this case, an writer seems to think (from the quote he publishes and the link to which it is sourced) that it is somehow controversial for Christians, including Gov. Palin, to be members of a church that believe that their theology is true, that it teaches a last judgment and that one ought to rely on Christ and his grace, both in word and in deed, in order to avoid such a fate. Apparently, the Atlantic writer also thinks that there is something prima facie outrageous when a church’s pastor speaks from the pulpit of a last judgment of the entire world that includes residents of all the Earth’s geographical regions including Wasilla, Alaska and the United States of America.

This, by the way, is called Christianity, and it is well-documented as an essential doctrine in the catechism of the Church of which the Atlantic writer aligns himself. It’s also in the Nicene Creed: “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.” Surely, the Catholic Atlantic writer believes the Nicene Creed? Even Presbyterians believe it, for God’s sake!


Anonymous said...

Larry Croon doesn't just preach end times theology, he begs for end times. These people are so far out that Pentecostals distance themselves, which is why Palin's church is described as non-denominational.

Lee said...

Out of curiosity, why would anyone think that Presbyterians would *not* hold to the Nicene Creed?

Admittedly, the Presbyterian Church USA is a little on the theological squishy side. Maybe just a bit. But there is also the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, and the Presbyterian Church in America (my own denomination).

I can testify, as a former Baptist, to the seriousness with which the PCA takes the Bible and the creeds, as well as the Westminster Confession.

Why would anyone think otherwise?

Anonymous said...

At least Presbyterians don't sing songs like This Earth Holds Nothing For Me and do cell phone anointments.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I agree, people shouldn't be criticizing Croon's pastors on his beliefs, especially when he says "terrorism is God's judgment against the Jews." He's just stating his beliefs. I wonder if Palin just stated hers if she believes the same things.

Lee said...

I would interject that Christians ought to be more circumspect about saying a given thing is God's judgment on a nation.

I would add that non-Christians ought to be more circumspect about assuming God never makes such judgments.

Certainly, the God of the Bible is indeed a God who is, after much patience and rejected guidance, has judged nations.

But we don't have any authentic prophets we can trust to tell us precisely when He is doing that today.

My personal belief is that, unless we repent, our modern-day practice of child sacrifice (we call it abortion) will someday earn us the same judgement received by Baal worshippers in Canaan. But I am not a prophet, and so I am not infallible. This is only my attempt to apply the principles of the Bible to today's situation, not a revelation from God promising curses for covenant-breaking.