Charts (Lesson Four)
Christ and the Church
Looking for a Perfect Church in an Imperfect World
We May Become Perfect
Plan of Salvation
and the Church
there is the simple and observable fact that, throughout Churches of Christ, many people are questioning and sometimes rejecting the traditional doctrinal system that for several generations gave Churches of Christ their distinctive identity. Acts and the Epistles as architectural 'blueprint,' as a rigid 'pattern,' as a collection of case law - these images and the interpretive method they support are steadily declining."
Leonard Allen, "The Cruciform Church" p. 19
Christ and the Church
Rationalization of the Bible
it is "Doctrine" Oriented
of the Cross subjected to "Reason"
Bacon and "Scientific Method"
turned to "inductive" facts, doctrines
to "pattern" orthodoxy of "command, example, inference"
mind set "formed the very identity of Churches of Christ down to recent years."
Leonard Allen, "The Cruciform Church" pp. 28-38
and the Church
of Christ Give Up The Cross For Doctrine
on the Law" suppressed use of OT
Accounts (the Cross) not given importance as the Epistles
Much emphasis on "New Testament" since Canon not approved until 4th Century
story of the Cross was lost - C. H. Dodd, Ketcherside, Gospel/Doctrine Connection
Leonard Allen, "The Cruciform Church" pp.52-75
and the Church
Preach An Anemic Gospel
'word of the cross' has been significantly displaced in the history of Churches of Christ..." and have proclaimed "an anemic and distorted gospel."
Gospel" contains dying and rising of Jesus.
of the cross is the heritage of Churches of Christ"
& Stone misplaced Jesus in favor of restoration of ancient order.
W. Brent's "The Gospel Plan of Salvation" shows "the sign of something deeply awry in the theology of the movement."
Leonard Allen, "The Cruciform Church" pp113-121
and the Church
Charge of Doctrinal Idolatry
the Bible itself or our own religious tradition can become idols....It becomes an idol when our faith becomes focused on Scripture rather than in the God Scripture reveals to us"
Idolatry" occurs when "our views, our faith, our conduct, as a party, just be justified" (quoting Charles L. Loos, Bethany College)
do not save us; we are saved by Christ. Doctrines do not cleanse us from our sins; it is the efficacious blood of Christ. We are not converted to doctrines, but to God...we are not baptized into [doctrines], but into Christ. We do not hope in them, trust in them, glory in them, but in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Leonard Allen, "The Cruciform Church" pp.81-108
and the Church
of Grace - Contract Law Doctrine Displaces the Cross
gospel of grace became a gospel of duty, law, and perfect obedience."
contain little room for slippage; they are legal arrangements that say in essence, 'Do your part or else.'"
to K. C. Moser's "Way of Salvation" as exception. But Moser taught "imputed righteousness," an acceptance of Calvinism.
believer does not have to depend upon his own imperfect obedience. He pleads the obedience of Christ. Christ is his righteousness..." ..."the theme of every gospel sermon." (Moser)
Leonard Allen, "The Cruciform Church" pp.122-144
has deposited his power at the center of the faith, in the core gospel. This book asks what that core is, how we in the Restoration Movement have understood and proclaimed it, and what present trends might predict for the future. In Part One I attempt an overview of the New Testament presentation of the core gospel. This survey will then be used as a base line by which to evaluate past Restoration preaching as it relates to the core gospel and to inquire about future directions for Churches of Christ. In Part Two I report research in the first four generations of Restoration preaching to discover how we have proclaimed the core gospel in comparison with the New Testament's emphasis. I will attempt summary, conclusions and analysis of our history regarding the core gospel down to mid twentieth century. In Part Three selected sermons of twenty current preachers are excerpted to show how the core gospel is being proclaimed among Churches of Christ today. Finally, questions will be asked about our future directions as a fellowship."
Love, The Core Gospel
pp. xii, xiii
in Diversity Today
/ Doctrine Distinction)
End Result: Tolerance for Error (Doctrinal Diversity)
Cope - "Traumatic Winds of Renewal" (Wineskins, August 1992)
"old sermons" on "identity marks of the church" - reflect desire to set us apart from other religious groups."
New Hermeneutic includes an appreciation for what God is doing among other religious groups."
is this leading us ... I'm not sure ... Is it safe? ... Probably not.'"
to Leonard Allen and Richard Hughes: "...when restoration groups narrow their focus to begin firing upon 'the denominations,' they tend to become more denominational."
Anderson, "Right-Brain Christians In a Left-Brain Church" (Wineskins, May 1992)
feelers (right brainers) are to worship in their 'heart language' our assemblies may need to include more experiential and celebrative ingredients."
... in the non-instrument churches of Christ, have inadvertently screened a huge crowd out of our movement"
What Shall We Preach!
have been critical of big-time evangelists like Billy Graham for 'not preaching the gospel' since he does not preach baptism ... There is a distinction between preaching the gospel and preaching baptism." N.T. evangelists preached "the gospel of the grace of God," "Jesus and him crucified," and "the person of Jesus Christ." NOT baptism.
Garrett, Restoration Review, May 1992, p. 288)
denominational preachers "preached, the atonement of Christ but not baptism, we preached baptism but not the atonement of Chirst"
Mattox, Gospel Advocate, 1988, from Restoration Review, May 1992, p. 289)
are not a Cross-centered, grace-oriented people," and we preach baptism "as an arbitrary command unrelated to the Cross"
Moser, from Restoration Review, May 1992, p. 289)
Christ or His Church?
focus moved from Christ crucified to his church, a subtle but profoundly destructive shift ... Once our sickness took hold, we grew weaker and weaker, more and more anemic"
thesis of Bill Love, The Core Gospel, pg. 257, also applied to the Bible, baptism, obedience faith, conversion, etc.).Love's
Leaven, Error's Echoes
book endorsed by Ed Fudge, Max Lucado, Tom Olbricht (Pepperdine U.), Harold Hazelip (D. Lipscomb U.), Leonard Allen (Abilene Christian U.), and Many Other Liberals.
Allen, The Cruciform Church
in Christianity Magazine, Feb. 1992, pp. 12, 22
of the men cite a single preacher, book, article or sermon!
brethren have strayed "from a cross-centered evangelistic message to a church-centered appeal" by focusing on "the differences between ourselves and the denominations around us"
Rosser, Christianity Magazine, Feb. 1992, p. 22).
many" brethren are preaching "the kingdom, baptism, obedience, etc. ... to the apparent exclusion of Jesus Christ"
Chappalear, God's Work in God's Way, 1991, p. 108).
blush to admit that, those of us who 'Preach Christ', preach more about Us than Him" Because we emphasize "baptism," "the church," and "instrumental music."
Hooton, Bulletin from Tustin, CA 1992).
of Christ in Disfavor
Gospel to Exclude Doctrine
Core Gospel" by Bill Love
Church" by Leonard Allen
Hardin, Fudge, Moss
much doctrine" is charged
under law (doctrine), but grace
about Christ, wrong about doctrine
covers doctrinal sins
is Controversial, Divisive, Not Clear; None can agree on Doctrine; Unity in Diversity; Use fewer scriptures; "Eliminate negative, accentuate positive"; "Lack of Clarity"; Who can be sure?" (Christianity Magazine)
- Inability of Man
used to illustrate like this (not knowing any better). What if, I would ask, he had commanded you to believe and jump of the Empire State building? What in the name of reason did that have to do with a sinner's relationship to the cross? I was preaching naked authority - not the gospel! But I had been taught that baptism is like the command 'walk around the city' or 'dip seven times in the Jordan'. God forgive me, I did it ignorantly."
cannot be of grace and works at the same time."
is wholly outside of man."
of Christ's Perfection
God justifies the ungodly, he does not regard him as being other than he is. He only declares that justice is satisfied, and in that sense he is just.' (Hodges) ... thus becoming clothed with the robes of Christ's righteousness."
so justification is our being counted righteous: not really righteous, but counted so by our Lord."
have no robes of righteousness with which to clothe ourselves. God spent thirty three years weaving one for sinners and such must put it on."
are formed and the party spirit maintained basically because of the widespread misunderstanding of Gospel and Doctrine! We have turned every scrap of information into gospel and each with his own understanding believes all others to be perverting the precious gospel of Christ."
determination of what constitutes the gospel would be incomplete until one has examined the subject in the light of Gospel and Law, or the difference between Justification and Sanctification."
our salvation depend upon our being right about everything, or in being right about Christ? In other words, if one is right about Christ then that one can be wrong about some doctrinal instruction without being lost, can he not?"
Doctrine Can I Be Wrong About?
of Calvinism Among Churches of ChristMost
Deny Believing in Calvinism
are Re-defined with Same Result
of Unity in Diversity
Unimportant to Salvation
Expanded to Include Error
Differences Do Not Limit Fellowship
- The Gospel
gospel consisted of the life, death, burial, resurrection, ascension, coronation and glorification of Jesus."
gospel was proclaimed as fully and completely on the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Jesus as it ever has been, and nothing written later was added to it."
one apostolic letter is a part of the gospel ... the Roman letter was not a part of the gospel ... the letter to the Galatians was not a part of the gospel."
for "Unity in Diversity"
this is a myth, not accepted without dispute, no basis for unity even among Neo-Calvinists
Understood by All
"Core" Facts of the Gospel
the gospel itself there is no place or reason for diversity. ... in doctrinal matters there can be and will be diversity of opinion and interpretation ... But this is good."
is the gospel and not doctrine that determines fellowship."
man has the right to make his own deductions a test of fellowship."
- C.H. DoddAsserting
an unproven distinction between Gospel and Doctrine, Dodd could not agree with others what the "Gospel" was.
list (which permitted no diversity) included:
fulfilled - new age opened
born of seed of David
according to Scriptures
on third day
at God's right hand
In Diversity Today
Garrett, Hardin, Shelly, et al
Core Gospel - 7 Facts - Grace
Doctrine - teaching, commands, law
Saved - Establish Fellowship with God
Unity in Diversity - Fellowship with Brethren
"If we are right about Christ, we can be wrong about matters of doctrine.""Perfectionists,
Legalists, Pharisees, believe one must be right on every matter of doctrine."
in Diversity Today
These Mutually Exclusive?
Ignorance Not Allowed
Applications: Core Gospel, Bill Love; Cruciform Church, C. Leonard Allen; R. Shelly, Hardin, Hohf, Partain, et al
and Doctrine used Interchangeably in Scripture
Doctrine Includes Gospel
Gospel Includes Doctrine
(cf. John 18:19; Acts 5:21, 28, 42; 13:12; 15:35; 17:18-19; 20:20, 25)
this author at firstname.lastname@example.org
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