Thursday, June 08, 2006

a dream deferred?



My very first post in December was a call to remember what Carson and Woodbridge refered to as the "twin dangers" when discerning biblical truth. Now that the National Leadership Conference regular registration period has ended and many have no doubt signed up to attend the conference's sessions on the Statement of Faith revision, it seems like an appropriate time to post what John Frame has called an "Unrealistic Dream" in his article "Machen's Warrior Children" (for more writings by Frame and by Vern Poythress and to support their ministry click here). I realize that there are many in our churches and denomination who do not consider themselves Reformed; please understand that Machen's audience is the PCA and other conservative presybterian churches. Nevertheless there is much that can be gleaned from Frame's dream -

1. That Reformed thinkers continue to have bright, fresh ideas, but that they present these ideas with humility and treat with grace and patience those who are not immediately convinced.

2. That Reformed thinkers with bright ideas discourage the rapid formation of parties to contend for those ideas.

3. That those initially opposed to those bright ideas allow some time for gentle, thoughtful discussion before declaring the bright ideas to be heresy.

4. That these opponents also discourage the rapid formation of partisan groups.

5. That those contending for various doctrinal positions accept the burden of proof, willing to bear the difficulty of serious biblical exegesis.

6. That we try much harder to guard our tongues (Jas. 3:1-12), saving the strongest language of condemnation (e.g., “denying the gospel”) for those who have been declared heretics by the judicial processes of the church.

7. That Reformed churches, ministries, and institutions be open to a wider range of opinions than they are now—within limits, of course.

8. That we honor one another as much for character and witness as we do for agreement with our theological positions.

9. That occasionally we smile and jest about our relatively minor differences, while praying, worshiping, and working together in the love of Christ.

4 Comments:

Blogger Matt said...

Great post, Sean, but I have to admit, I don't get the raisins graphic.

-Matt

Monday, June 12, 2006 8:41:00 AM  
Blogger Sean Dennis said...

Thanks Matt. The raisins were in reference to the post's title which was an allusion to the poem by Langston Hughes entitled "Harlem: A Dream Deferred." In the poem Hughes asks what happens to a dream deferred and then pointedly asks "does it dry up like a raisin in the sun...?"

Monday, June 12, 2006 9:43:00 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

Ahh.

A light dawns.

Thanks!

-Matt

Tuesday, June 13, 2006 7:24:00 PM  
Blogger Byron said...

Hear, hear.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006 7:02:00 PM  

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