Contend Earnestly: Too Much Jesus Isn't Good?

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Too Much Jesus Isn't Good?

Any thoughts on this quote before I give you the person who said it? Thanks to my buddy Pete up in the bustling town of Bellingham. I found the quote to be quite interesting.

“The answer, he believed, was that in their anxiety to present salvation in terms of the person and work of Christ, evangelicals had become unbalanced and tended to forget God the Father. There was a danger of ‘Jesusology’. The worship of God as three Persons must always be remembered. In particular, the emphasis, ‘I believe in God the Father almighty, Maker of heaven and earth’, needed to be restored – not simply God the Saviour, but before that, God the Creator. He pointed out that modern hymns and choruses had encouraged the tendency which he criticized, a tendency which reached a point at which evangelicals would rather have talks on ‘Personal Work’ than on the character of God.”

13 comments:

Jack said...

Is this person a quasi-Jehovah's Witness?

Seth McBee said...

Jack...
haha...nope...

Jack said...

Knowing the name, but not much about this man, except what I read on wikipedia, why and how should the quote be surprising?

Seth McBee said...

Not sure if it should be surprising...and not sure who you found it to be...just wondering if you agree or disagree with the thoughts?

Pete Williamson said...

"bustling town of Bellingham"...I like that.

Darlene said...

Seth,

Although I am not a Calvinist, I think James White was right on in addressing the modern, evangelical church with regard to the Trinity. And thus, he wrote "The Forgotten Trinity."

Having been an Evangelical Protestant for many years, I would have to concur with White. I had never heard one clear, orthodox teaching on the Trinity as an evangelical, although I did hear heretical views taught.

Now, as an Orthodox catechumen, I appreciate the focus on and worship of the Triune God in Divine Liturgy. Each Sunday I am reminded of the inseperable love between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and how our God draws us to this blessed unity that is "one in essence and undivided."

The Trinity has truly been all but forgotten and pushed to the side in many Evangelical Protestant churches.

Jack said...

I would tend to agree with this passage. I do believe that the modern evangelical church would rather talk about the "loving" works of Christ than the full character of the Trinity.

I had to read this passage several times to understand that I need to remove my first comment. Though I do not fear a "Jesusology" I do fear that the church has traveled a long way from the doctrine of the trinity.

Many evangelicals would like to adhere to the doctrine of cessationism, ultimately taking away powers from the Holy Spirit, rather than admonish a brother/sister about abusing/misusing such gifts of the Spirit.

Also the Father has been banished to heaven sitting in a giant throne, while Jesus walks around doing all the "cool" stuff. Jesus prayed to the Father, asking His will be done and wanting and succeeding in doing the Fathers will.

So I do believe that evangelicals have in some ways created an alternate doctrine of a make believe Jesus and forgotten the Trinity behind.

SnatchedFromTheFire said...

I love Driscoll but i sometimes feel he tends a bit this direction - i.e. "it's all about Jesus" That said, we need to take more initiative ourselves inour understanding of God. The church should be a part of this, but, ultimately, we need to be the ones studying the fullness of God as revealed in Scripture. Get some Tozer "Knowledge of the Holy" or Packer "Knowing God" and get your mind blown by the immensity of all three persons of the Trinity!

Seth McBee said...

Just so everyone knows who said this: Martyn Lloyd-Jones.

Josh R said...

If you know Jesus, You know the Father, and he gives you the Spirit.

This is of course assuming that you know the real Jesus... If you separate Jesus from the rest of the Godhead than there is a real problem.

SnatchedFromTheFire said...

I wonder if Marty didn't overstate this b/c does the Bible tell us that Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God and that all things were created "by Him and for Him"? Seems Jesus IS also the creator/judge of all men/one to Whom all authority on earth and in heaven has been given. Couple that, of course, with my last comment: we serve a Trinitarian God and all three persons are to be worshiped equally.

Darlene said...

I concur, SnatchedFromFire, that we serve a Trinitarian God and all three persons are to be worshipped equally. The moment we try to separate the Trinity and focus on one of the Persons more than the other, thus ignoring one of the Persons, then we are imbalanced in our worship.

Both in corporate worship and in my private devotion, I begin with addressing the Trinity, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." I believe Protestants removed themselves from praying in this manner in reaction against the Roman Catholic Church. But not everything that the RCC does is wrong. Protestants can go to extremes due to their "Romeaphobia." As an Orthodox Christian, I do not have such concerns.

I suggest a thorough reading of the Early Fathers and the Seven Ecumenical Councils of the Church to gain a clearer understanding of the Trinity, as well as the Christology of the Early Church.

Judson said...

DML Jones was one of the greatest Bible teachers of the last century. And he's dead-on here... Just like the Holy Spirit can be over-emphasized to the detriment of the other two persons of the Trinity, Christ can be made synonymuos with "God," rather than "God, the Son," and the exact representation of God. Sure, Jesus is God, but there's a reason why most NT uses of θεός refer to God the Father.
The Jesus-only movement is more blatant in the way they implement this error, but most of Evangelicalism is guilty of ignoring the mystery of the Trinity. Christ became flesh, so he's easier to "deal with" as God, but he came to intercede for us. When we forget God the Father, we've lost the intercession aspect.

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