- Salvation through Jesus alone is our primary message: the Good News begins with Him.
- The Bible is the only accurate, reliable revelation of God to humanity.
- We are called to the Great Commission: tell the world about Jesus.
Progressives have altered this term by pointing most often to the prophets of pre-Christian times. Their premise is that orthopraxis (right action) trumps orthodoxy (right belief). There is no question that Jesus used the words of the prophets when He made his pronouncement at the synagogue in Nazareth, but He had a new end in mind.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18, 19)Jesus was announcing a Good News that begins and endures in Him alone. Progressives, on the other hand, tend to be loathe to share that Jesus Himself is the Good News, preaching that good actions are the Good News. The rulers of the faith in Nazareth tried to execute Jesus because of His statement. They weren’t opposed to good deeds—they were opposed to His claim to be the source of the Good News.
This is the progressives’ most egregious departure from orthodox Christian faith: they have, I believe, substituted right-thinking and good deeds for the power that comes from a life personally transformed by Jesus. Having found a religious replacement for the “evangelical” Jesus, they are freed to reinterpret the Scriptural moral code and, even, reject the uniqueness of salvation in Jesus Christ.
"We don't know God; we experience God....as progressives we are always progressing, never letting it [our theology] get tied down in a simple orthodox answer....Our theology must be based on more than our own [Christian] scriptures…. We are too parochial, I think."So—back to my frustration over the assertion that we’re all “evangelicals.” If the Good News is not first about the person of Jesus the “evangelism” is no more than a theology of works. Jesus calls us first to faith in Him, and in Him alone.
As an aside, I’ve challenged some progressives who claim to be “evangelical” to do something for me: put that description (i.e. “I am an evangelical Christian; this is an evangelical church) in their bulletins, their church publications, and on their business cards. So far there haven’t been any takers.
Keep praying—keep the faith,