Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Industrial Revolution: good or bad?

(See the update at the end of this post for my latest views on this question)

From the invention of the clock in the Middle Ages to the rise of the internet in the 20th century, human beings have had a remarkable knack for coming to resemble the tools they employ. Technologies which offer to give man greater mastery over nature often end up exerting mastery over man.

The inventions that spawned the industrial revolution were no exception to this pattern. Following the perfection of the stream engine in the 1770’s, industries in England and Scotland began to thrive. Work which previously required skilled laborers was taken over by machines. While these machines needed human operators, they required a certain type of human being, one that resembled the machines themselves: mindless, repetitious, and uncreative. If those who sought industrial jobs in the late 18th and early 19th century did not possess these characteristics, it was certain that after a lifetime in the factory they would. The unsafe conditions, smothering uniformity and mind-numbing repetitions tended to suck the humanity out of the men, women and children who worked the machines.

The amount of people caught up in this change was astronomical. At the beginning of the 19th century, approximately 85% of those who lived in Britain worked on farms. At the end of century, 62% of Britain’s population was city-dwellers, and most of these were industrial workers cramped in the main metropolitan centers, working long-hours in what Blake called the “dark Satanic mills.”

The thousands of peasants who left their farms in the countryside for the promise of a better life in the cities, were not merely changing how or where they worked – they would inadvertently be subjecting themselves and their children to changes in how they thought, how they perceived the world, and how they and their children related to one another. Just as the invention of the clock had caused man to perceive the flow of time separate from the flow of events, so life in the factory oriented men and women to see their lives not only separate from nature but separate from any transcendent purpose. In a world where everything hinged on efficiency, value and meaning shifted from the transcendent to the functional.

So this raises a question. Was the Industrial Revolution good or bad? The Romantic movement in the mid 19th century reacted against the dehumanizing impact of industrialization and urged a return to a more primitive and nature lifestyle. Is this a biblical alternative? What would Jesus have said about the industrial revolution? Visit my Facebook page for a discussion of this question.


Since writing the above post, I have come to understand that the Industrial Revolution was DEFINITELY BAD (thanks Brad Bleschner and Brad Littlejohn). Here's why.

The thousands of peasants who left their farms in the countryside did not do so because of the promise of a better life in the cities. Most of the peasants were actually forced out of their farms. The thousands of peasants who left their farms in the countryside for the cities thus had little choice. Forced privatization left entire populations of peasants exiled from common lands that had sustained them for centuries. A series of Inclosure Acts meant that even entire villages sometimes had to be deserted, prompting Oliver Goldsmith to write his moving poem The Deserted Village in 1770.

Read my columns at the Charles Colson Center

Read my writings at Alfred the Great Society

To join my mailing list, send a blank email to robin (at sign) with “Blog Me” in the subject heading. 

Click Here to friend-request me on Facebook and get news feeds every time new articles are added to this blog. 
Click Here to follow me on Twitter.

Fate of American Republic is Sealed

Monday, November 28, 2011

Descartes, Calvin, and Closing Eyes During Prayer

“If any external mediation is unnecessary [within Calvin’s theology] and the Spirit only works within, there is a threat to traditional understandings for what the church had known as sacraments (or sacramentals). To put it another way, the sacraments now can only picture this inward work. Although in his understanding of signs Calvin sought to counter the minimalism of Zwingly, in the end nothing external can be essential to this process. We are not encouraged, as with Bonaventure, to move from mediation on the beauty of creation to the reflection of that beauty within and above us. (Incidentally, as near as I can tell, it was around this time that people began to close their eyes during corporate prayer to better focus their minds.) As a result, though Calvin probably did not intend this, over time it became the case that people, especially in the Pietist stream of this tradition, had no way of finding any substantial theological meaning in any external object or act. There was no longer anything for their eyes or their feelings to hold and indwell.

"Descartes was key here. I believe that one can argue that he was working in the shadow of this Calvinist heritage when he said in 1642, ‘I am certain that I cannot have any knowledge of what is outside of me, except by what is in me.’ The view that we should have more confidence in what is in our minds than what is before our eyes led to what Charles Taylor calls a ‘mediational epistemology’ (the notion that knowledge is mediated through ideas in our minds), and to the split between public and private religion, seen perhaps in its earliest form in Descartes. This distrust of the unity of sense and spiritual knowledge was surely one of the conditions, if not the cause, of his splitting inner and outer knowledge. Such a view tends to privilege the ear over the eye, and, as a result, language over other symbolic forms.” William A. Dyrness, Poetic Theology: God and the Poetics of Everyday Life, pp. 195–196.

Read my columns at the Charles Colson Center

Read my writings at Alfred the Great Society

To join my mailing list, send a blank email to robin (at sign) with “Blog Me” in the subject heading. 

Click Here to friend-request me on Facebook and get news feeds every time new articles are added to this blog. 
Click Here to follow me on Twitter.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Edmund Burke's Response to the French Revolution

Edmund Burke
France’s old regime, which was overthrown at the time of the French revolution, had been hated by the English. Not only had monarchical France been rivals with Britain in the scramble for colonial domination, but they had helped the rebellious Americas to gain independence. Thus, it was not without some sympathy that Britain watched as their old nemesis was overthrown.

Naturally, British sympathy was quickly extinguished once the reign of terror began. However, in the critical time between the advent of the French revolution and the outbreak of the terror, many of England’s leading intellectuals believed the French were emancipating themselves. Pitt and Fox even went so far as to praise the revolution in Parliament. Still others held up the revolutionary National Assembly as a model that England would do well to copy.

So great was public sympathy among the English that many historians believe that England came perilously close to entering a similar debacle. It was during this decisive period, with England teetering in the balance, that Edmund Burke stood up to offer his penetrating refutation of the revolutionary mentality and to warn Britain not to follow France down the slippery slope of destructive folly.

Burke’s critique of the French revolution occupied the form of an extended letter to the young man Charles DePont, who had written to Burke asking for his opinion on the revolution. Thus it was that the Reflections on the Revolution in France came to be. It first appeared in print on 1 November, 1790 and sold twelve thousand copies in the first month alone. In less than a year there were eleven editions. By 1796, over thirty thousand copies had been sold, making it one of the most influential political books ever written. 
To read more about Edmund Burke and his amazing book Reflections on the Revolution in France, click on the following link:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Advice on Marital Love from Richard Baxter

In my Ancient Path column at the Charles Colson Center, I have written out a week's Bible study for married couples centered around the teaching of the Puritan pastor Richard Baxter. His advice on maintaining conjugal love is so Biblical, wise and practical that I would encourage all married couples to read his words and to work through the accompanying scripture readings. To do that, click on the following link:

Read my columns at the Charles Colson Center

Read my writings at Alfred the Great Society

To join my mailing list, send a blank email to robin (at sign) with “Blog Me” in the subject heading. 

Click Here to friend-request me on Facebook and get news feeds every time new articles are added to this blog. 
Click Here to follow me on Twitter.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Luther, Calvin and Music

When I was researching about J.S. Bach for my book, I came across authors who mentioned that Bach's music could only flourish in the Lutheran states and not those dominated by Calvinism. I was curious why that was, so I started reading a bit about Luther and Calvin's different views of art and creativity. This has helped me to have a better appreciation for the Lutheran musical tradition, as well as an appreciation for the progress that the Calvinist tradition has made since then (I attend a Calvinist church that has pretty good music, at least compared to other churches, though we're a long way from producing another J.S. Bach).

Luther's views on music are well documented, so this post will mainly look at Calvin's thinking, though I will refer to Luther to emphasize the contrasts.
Luther’s own crisis of faith had led to an experience of divine favor that would propel him to always emphasize the immediacy of God’s supernatural grace. For Luther, God’s presence could be mediated in physical objects used in worship no less than the natural world ("God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees, and flowers, and clouds, and stars.") This, together with Luther's natural interest in music (see his letter about music here) would assure that art would always retain a special place in mediating to man something of God’s beauty, majesty and awe (this, of course, reached fruition in J.S. Bach).

By contrast, the dispassionate and logical Calvin tended to emphasize God’s absolute transcendence, majesty and otherness, resulting in modes of worship that eschewed Lutheran physicality, avoided creativity wherever possible  and remained closely tethered to those things which could be formulated in didactic and cognitive terms. As Evelyn Underhill has noted in Worship,
In the type of worship which [Calvin] established, we seem to see the result of a great religious experience - the impact of the Divine Transcendence on the awe-struck soul - and the effort towards a response which is conditioned by a deep sense of creaturely limitation, but deficient in homely and child-like dispositions; and, with intrepid French logic, refuses the use of creaturely aids. Calvin desired, as so many great religious souls have done, a completely spiritual cultus; ascending towards a completely spiritual Reality, and rejecting all the humble ritual methods and all the sensible signs by which men are led to express their adoration of the Unseen. God, who 'hath no image', was the ultimate fact. Therefore a pitiless lucidity of mind, which ignored the mysterious relation between poetry and reality, and the need of stepping-stones from the successive to the Eternal, insisted that all which is less than God must be abjured when man turns to adoration. Unlike Luther, Calvin was really hostile to the mediaeval embodiments of worship. He regarded them with abhorrence, and went to all lengths in the fury of his denunciation. Without Luther's first-hand knowledge of Catholic devotion, and interpreting Catholic theology in terms of the crude popular religion of the time, he even felt able to say that in the Roman Mass "all that a criminal godlessness could devise is done". Hence he cast away without discrimination the whole of the traditional apparatus of Catholicism; its episcopal order, its liturgy, symbols, cultus. No organ or choir was permitted in his churches: no colour, no ornament but a table of the Ten Commandments on the wall. No ceremonial acts or gestures were permitted. No hymns were sung but those derived from a Biblical source. The bleak stripped interior of the real Calvinist church is itself sacramental: a witness to the inadequacy of the human over against the Divine.
The nascent hostility to physicality in worship led Calvin to include the use of musical instruments in worship as among the shadows that were dispelled “when the clear light of the gospel has dissipated.” He Calvin writes,

“With respect to the tabret, harp, and psaltery, we have formerly observed, and will find it necessary afterwards to repeat the same remark, that the Levites, under the law, were justified in making use of instrumental music in the worship of God; it having been his will to train his people, while they were yet tender and like children, by such rudiments until the coming of Christ. But now, when the clear light of the gospel has dissipated the shadows of the law and taught us that God is to be served in a simpler form, it would be to act a foolish and mistaken part to imitate that which the prophet enjoined only upon those of his own time …We are to remember that the worship of God was never understood to consist in such outward services, which were only necessary to help forward a people as yet weak and rude in knowledge in the spiritual worship of God. A difference is to be observed in this respect between his people under the Old and under the New Testament; for now that Christ has appeared, and the church has reached full age, it were only to bury the light of the gospel should we introduce the shadows of a departed dispensation.”

The “shadows of a departed dispensation” seems to have included not only musical instruments but all hymns other than Psalms. As John Barber noted in his article 'Luther and Calvin on Music and Worship':

“Luther wanted the hymns of the Church to reflect as closely as possible the exact words of scripture. Calvin went a step further. He felt that the singing of the express words of only the psalms, though he did permit the singing of other select scripture texts, ensured that Divine revelation was being put to music. The only notable musical contribution of the early Calvinist churches was therefore the Psalters, metrical translations of the Book of Psalms." Barber, 'Luther and Calvin on Music and Worship.'

Richard Arnold noted similarly in The English Hymn: "Calvin’s enthusiasm for singing was subject to a crucial qualification: he restricted what was to be sung exclusively to the Psalms – these were, he writes in 1543, the songs provided by God and dictated by His Holy Spirit, and it would be presumptuous and sacrilegious for humankind to sing any words or arrangements of his of her own devising.”

The idea seems to have been that for worship to be "spiritual" it had to be "simple" in the sense of being disencumbered with the trappings of materiality (including musical instruments). For example, in his book Reformed Worship, Terry Johnson wrote “the worship of Reformed Protestantism is simple. We merely read, preach, pray, sing and see the Word of God… True faith comes through the word (Rom. 10:17). True worship then must be primarily (though not absolutely) non-material, non-sensual, and non-symbolic.” The attempt to achieve non-material worship has greatly crippled Calvinist artistic endeavors. Calvin did allow for musical instruments and art in contexts other than worship, writing
"And yet I am not gripped by the superstition of thinking absolutely no images permissible. But because sculpture and painting are gifts of God, I seek a pure and legitimate use of each, lest those things, which the Lord has conferred upon us for his glory and our good be not only polluted by perverse misuse but also turned to our destruction."
Even though Calvin allowed for musical instruments and art and contexts other than worship, the problem that arose was comparable to that which Tom Howard described in Evangelical is Not Enough. "If by its practice [our religion] implies that colors and symbols and gestures and ceremonies and smells [and, I would add, musical instruments] are inappropriate for the house of the Lord and must be kept outside, for ‘secular’ and domestic celebrations like birthdays, parades, weddings, and Christmas banquets, then it has driven a wedge between his deepest human yearnings and the God who made them."

To join my mailing list, send a blank email to robin (at sign) with “Blog Me” in the subject heading.
Click Here to friend-request me on Facebook and get news feeds every time new articles are added to this blog. 
Click Here to follow me on Twitter.
Visit my other website: Alfred the Great Society

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cultural Victories Won by the Left

Writing in the Winter 1996 issue of the Marxist journal Dissent, Michael Walzer enumerated some of the cultural victories won by the left since the 1960s:
  • "The visible impact of feminism."
  • "The effects of affirmative action."
  • "The emergence of gay rights politics, and … the attention paid to it in the media."
  • "The acceptance of cultural pluralism."
  • "The transformation of family life," including "rising divorce rates, changing sexual mores, new household arrangements — and, again, the portrayal of all this in the media."
  • "The progress of secularization; the fading of religion in general and Christianity in particular from the public sphere — classrooms, textbooks, legal codes, holidays, and so on."
  • "The virtual abolition of capital punishment."
  • "The legalization of abortion."
  • "The first successes in the effort to regulate and limit the private ownership of guns."

Commenting on this, Walzer said that these victories were imposed upon our society by "liberal elites," rather than "by the pressure of a mass movement or a majoritarian party." He noted that these changes "reflect the leftism or liberalism of lawyers, judges, federal bureaucrats, professors, school teachers, social workers, journalists, television and screen writers — not the population at large,"


To join my mailing list, send a blank email to robin (at sign) with “Blog Me” in the subject heading.

Click Here to friend-request me on Facebook and get news feeds every time new articles are added to this blog. 

Click Here to follow me on Twitter.

Visit my other website: Alfred the Great Society

Friday, November 18, 2011

My Christian Voice articles

Readers of my blog would do well to visit some of the recent articles I have written for the Christian Voice website. Christian Voice is a lobby group in the UK that continually reports on current events from a Biblical perspective. Although I have been employed by them for a number of years, this summer I began to work for them in a new capacity, part of which has involved regularly supplying their website with new content. Some of my recent articles include:

Read my columns at the Charles Colson Center

Read my writings at Alfred the Great Society

To join my mailing list, send a blank email to robin (at sign) with “Blog Me” in the subject heading. 

Click Here to friend-request me on Facebook and get news feeds every time new articles are added to this blog. 
Click Here to follow me on Twitter.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Review of Stacy McDonald's Raising Maidens of Virtue

Stacy McDonald recently asked me to review her latest book, a new edition of Raising Maidens of Virtue, which I have done so at my Alfred the Great Society website. To read my review, click on the following link:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Review of The Shallows for 'Fermentations'

'Fermentations: Ruminations on Theological and Bacterial Cultures' Volume 2, Number 2 is now hot off the press.

This issue features a review I wrote of Nicholas Carr's fascinating book The Shallows: What The Internet is Doing to Our Brains. To subscribe to this magazine and read a copy of my review, click here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Salvo's Winter 2011 Issue is Nearly Out

What a better time to subscribe to Salvo Magazine than now as the Winter 2011 issue is getting ready to go to press. Those who enjoy reading this blog should particularly enjoy this cheeky magazine since it features regular articles by me in it. This upcoming issue has an article of mine on how the advertising and entertainment industries are rewiring our children's brains, leading to unhealthy sexualisation. To take out a subscription to Salvo click here.

Read my columns at the Charles Colson Center

Read my writings at Alfred the Great Society

To join my mailing list, send a blank email to robin (at sign) with “Blog Me” in the subject heading. 

Click Here to friend-request me on Facebook and get news feeds every time new articles are added to this blog. 
Click Here to follow me on Twitter.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

God's Kingdom is for the earth

In Graeme Goldsworthy's According to Plan he most helpfully points out that
it should be absolutely obvious that the Old Testament references to the kingdom being on earth and populated by people cannot be spiritualized away. Once we accept that Jesus rose bodily, even though his resurrection body was not exactly as it had been before, the physical component of the Kingdom is clear. Those texts which support the ideas of souls going to heaven (for example, 2 Cor. 5:1-10) see it as a purely temporary situation. Peter's description of the new heaven (sky above) and new earth is drawn directly from Isaiah 65:17 (2 Pet. 3:13), which in turn is based on Genesis 1:1. So also, the marvelous description of the kingdom in Revelation 21 and 22 is based on a number of Old Testament passages. But there is no suggestion that is mere symbolism which must be interpreted in a spiritualized way.

For John, the consummation is the open fulfillment of the Old Testament hope. There is a new heaven and a new earth and a new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven (Rev 21:1-2). Some may think of the heavenly Jerusalem as a place in the heavens. But John describes it as from heaven and coming down onto the new earth. That which the tabernacle and temple pointed to, the dwelling of God with his people, becomes a reality (Rev. 21:3). The regeneration is now complete (Rev. 21:5), and thus there is no longer any need for 'government outposts and agencies', such as the temple which is the symbol of God's presence, for he is present and is also the source of all light (Rev. 21:22-23). The old images of Eden are there joined with those of the holy city and throne (Rev. 22:1-2, cf. Ezk. 47:1-12).

All sorts of questions no doubt spring to mind about what the new earth will be like. Most of them will have to remain unanswered in this life since scripture provides little information. One thing is for sure: the biblical view of the total regeneration of all things really beats the pagan view of an eternity spent as disembodied souls with only the odd cloud or two for support!"

To join my mailing list, send a blank email to robin (at sign) with “Blog Me” in the subject heading.

Click Here to friend-request me on Facebook and get news feeds every time new articles are added to this blog. 

Click Here to follow me on Twitter.

Visit my other website: Alfred the Great Society

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Fall of the Berlin Wall

Twenty-two years ago on this day, 9 November, I remember watching the evening news with my parents as the Berlin wall come tumbling down. Though I was only a child, the event had a marked effect on me.
You see, three years earlier, when I had been eleven, my family had traveled to West Germany. One afternoon my dad drove us to see the wall separating West and East Germany. I still remember how ominous the electric fence looked which divided the free world from the “evil empire.”
As we emerged from the car, we were met by a chill, drizzling rain. On the other side of the fence a lone guard stared gloomily at us. The rest of my family had their picture taken about thirty feet from the fence, but I was too afraid to venture near. A few minutes later I plucked up the courage and asked my dad to photograph me next to the terrible barrier, or as close to it as I dared approach.
That was three years before that evening in 1989 when I sat with my brothers and parents to watch the wall being torn down. Communism had collapsed and Eastern Europe was finally free.

A year after these momentous changes, we went back to Germany. This time there was no fence preventing us driving into the Eastern section. We traveled to Berlin where the remnants of the wall still zigzagged through the city like a serpent. In some areas there were portions of the wall still intact. Here and there I saw people dismantling the remains of this hated emblem of totalitarianism.

There was something strangely moving in seeing the broken concrete all over the ground and thinking, “So this is all that is left of a regime that tried to turn the state into God.” I stooped down and collected some big chunks of the rubble, determined one day to show them to my own children.
The fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989 reminds us that God judges regimes that try to usurp His place as redeemer. Make no mistake, for that is exactly what the communist parties of Eastern Europe did. In preaching that government was the solution to all of society’s ills, in teaching that public policy can bring civic regeneration and utopia, the communist parties of Eastern Europe presented a parody of the true gospel and a false narrative of redemption. The fall of the Berlin wall twenty-two years ago reminds us that government cannot be God, and all attempts to deify the state are doomed to end in abject failure. The fall of the Berlin wall revealed the utter futility of what David Galland recently called the “unblinking faith in an all-caring, omnipotent ‘Godvernment’.”
While the communism of the Eastern block may have failed, idolatrous attempts to deify the state continue. 

Monday, November 07, 2011

Ideas have Consequences: wisdom from Peter Hitchens

I first met Peter Hitchens in 2008 when I bumped into him by accident in a coffee shop in Moscow, Idaho. After I got over my surprise at seeing this award-winning British journalist in a provincial village in the Idaho panhandle, we began to talk. It turned out that this former Marxist turned conservative journalist wanted get a grass-roots perspective of the political tensions at the time, and he had chosen this small town as his observation point. Although I was scheduled to return home later that afternoon, Mr. Hitchens persuaded me to stay until the evening so I could hear a talk he was giving at New St. Andrew’s College.
I was glad I decided to stay for the talk. Hitchens spoke about the upcoming election, but I was particularly interested to hear his perspective on the “culture wars” in America and England. Being a former socialist and the brother of bestselling atheist author Christopher Hitchens, Peter was able to give a unique glimpse into the strategies and goals of those who are working to undermine the Christian heritage of the West. He explained how ideas have consequences, urging that the rejection of God cannot help but bring a legacy of cultural desolation in its wake.

The notion that ideas have consequences is one of the themes in Peter Hitchens’ latest book, The Rage Against God: How Atheism Led Me to Faith.

Keep reading...

Richard Hooker vs. Michael Horton

In his A Learned Discourse on Justification, the judicious Hooker wrote:
They be not all faithless that are either weak in assenting to the truth or stiff in maintaining things any way opposite to the truth of Christian doctrine. But as many as hold the foundation which is precious, although they hold it but weakly and as it were by a slender thread, although they frame many base and unsuitable things upon it, things that cannot abide the trial of the fire, yet shall they pass the fiery trial and be saved, who indeed have builded themselves upon the rock which is the foundation of the Church.

Hooker's words remain an important antidote to those Protestants who maintain that in order to be saved by justification by faith alone, one must believe in justification by faith alone. Such an idea is prevalent within Protestant evangelicalism. When having conversations with lay people, Christian educators and those in leadership positions in Protestant churches, I am frequently told that while individual Roman Catholics can be saved, this can only happen if they “trust in Christ alone for salvation.” When pressed to explain what it means to “trust in Christ alone for salvation,” the response I am usually given is that it means the Roman Catholic has to (more or less) believe in Sola Fide. To reject Sola Fide is to reject Christ, which is to reject any hope of salvation. This myth persists on a more scholarly level as well. For example, Michael Horton seems to have made lack of self-conscious assent to official Catholic teaching on justification a necessary condition to being a brother or sister in Christ, writing
“We affirm that individual Roman Catholics who for whatever reason do not self-consciously assent to the precise definitions of the Roman Catholic Magisterium regarding justification…but who think and speak evangelically about these things, are indeed our brothers and sisters in Christ, despite Rome’s official position.”
What's wrong with this picture? Well, return to Hooker. If Sola Fide is true, then to deny it (for example, to say that we are saved by faith in Christ plus works) is to lack perfect faith, assuming of course that Sola Fide is true. Yet can any one of us really claim to have perfect faith? Evangelicals frequently hold meetings where someone will testify that they learned to make Christ Lord of some new area of their life. Well, what does that mean other than that such a person realized by God’s grace they were trusting themselves, and not Christ, in some important area of their life? The person had imperfect faith, but that does not mean they had no faith at all. Similarly, in matters relating to salvation, even staunch five-point-its-all-by-grace Calvinists can fall into the trap of unconsciously trusting in themselves rather than Jesus. But this lack of perfect faith does not mean that the person in question cannot be saved. 

Part of the problem here is that the reformed doctrine of “justification per fidem propter Christum” (justification by faith on account of Christ) has morphed into its parody “justification propter fidem per Christum,” (justification on account of faith through Christ). While the difference is subtle, the second actually leads to a denial of the historic Protestant doctrine.
Sola Fide affirms that if a person is saved, it is only because of Christ and His finished work, mediated to us through our faith, and that all other things are irrelevant. The ‘all other things’ include imperfections in and misunderstand about faith itself. The Protestant who really believes Sola Fide is thus released from having to assume that the efficacy of a person’s faith is dependent on a person having a correct theology about faith.
The same point can be made by way of analogy. A person can die of microbiological poisoning without believing in microbiology, as was the case until comparatively recently in human history. Likewise, a person can experience the results of living on a heliocentric planet without believing in Heliocentrism, as is still the case for some primitive peoples. Similarly, a person can be saved by faith alone without believing in justification by faith alone, as everyone agrees is the case with children and mentally handicapped individuals.
If we can get this simple fact straight, there are enormous implications for the ecumenical agenda. The Protestant is released from having to assume that the efficacy of a person’s faith is based on that person having to agree with his theology of justification. This releases Protestants to rejoice in the faith of those (such as Roman Catholics) who hold to a different theology of faith. It can enable there to be common ground between those who affirm Sola Fide and those who do not.

To read more about this, visit my article 'Sola Fide: The Great Ecumenical Doctrine'. In that article you may learn some surprising things about Sola Fide that you didn't know before.

Read my columns at the Charles Colson Center

Read my writings at Alfred the Great Society

To join my mailing list, send a blank email to robin (at sign) with “Blog Me” in the subject heading. 

Click Here to friend-request me on Facebook and get news feeds every time new articles are added to this blog. 
Click Here to follow me on Twitter.

Buy Essential Oils at Discounted Prices!