Friday, February 26, 2016

Protestant Sacerdotalism


Max Lucado on Donald Trump
I've spent a fair amount of time with Max Lucado in preparation for a story on him. I can tell you, he is not a political animal. He is also averse to controversy. He's about the kindest, most caring man I know.

So when he writes a post about a political candidate, and takes this candidate to task, it's a remarkable moment. It's also a remarkable piece.
 
Dying and the Prosperity Gospel
Church historian Kate Bowler at Duke Divinity School is critically ill with cancer. She wrote about her experience in The New York Times, and we followed up with an interview by Morgan Lee. What makes this especially interesting is that Bowler researches the prosperity gospel. What I especially like is the even-handed way she treats this movement, and the mature way she thinks about death.
 
Protestant Sacerdotalism
Evangelical Protestantism has been one of the most dynamic of Christian movements. Evangelical Protestantism is also one of the most dysfunctional of Christian movements. Our dysfunctions are many, but not necessarily worse than those found in Catholicism or Orthodoxy. But they still deserve our attention. Take this one, which includes a cogent quote by the great theologian Thomas Torrance:
But what has happened in Protestant worship and ministry? Is it not too often the case that the whole life and worship of the congregation revolves around the personality of the minister? He is the one who is in the center; he offers the prayers of the congregation; he it is who mediates "truth" through his personality, and he it is who mediates between the people and God through conducting the worship entirely on his own. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the case of the popular minister where everything centers on him, and the whole life of the congregation is built around him. What is that but Protestant sacerdotalism...?
As with most critiques, it's not true in every respect, but it is true enough to give one pause.
 
Also ...

- My latest The Editor's Desk contribution, on how to, and not to, do politics as an evangelical.

- Philip Yancey reflects on T.S. Eliot and offers some startling Eliot quotes, like "What is worst of all is to advocate Christianity, not because it is true, but because it might be beneficial."

- Why the so-called sugar rush—after kids have eaten cookies or candy—is a myth.
 
Grace and peace,
 
Mark Galli
Mark Galli
Mark Galli
Editor, Christianity Today

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