Monday, August 22, 2005

"isms" that characterize the church.

Recently, I was listening a to podcast from John McArthur regarding Preaching. During this podcast, he spoke of different "isms" that have characterized the church over various decades. Tell me what you think, agree or disagree?

In the 1940's the church was characterized by politicism (Hitler,etc.)

In the 1950's the church was characterized by ecumenicalism - love everyone, don't worry about doctrine. The Jesus ethic or hermeneutic was prevalent during this time as well.

In the 1960's the church was characterized by experientialism - charismatic, truth comes through experience.

In the 1970's the church was characterized by subjectivism - psychology was the dominant force of the day. We became selfish and narcissistic. Self-esteem was the watchword of the day.

In the 1980's the church was characterized by mysticism - believing in everything, intuition, etc.

In the 1990's the church was characterized by pragmatism - appropriate means for ministry are those that are most popular.

In the 2000's the church has been characterized by synchretism -- we all worship the same God.

I think MacArthur is correct in his observation. I have been a Christian since 1987 and have seen the church go through some of the changes that he has mentioned. Will we ever be labeled as Christ-like or pietist instead of pejorative terms like pragmatism, mysticism, etc.??

Your thoughts or observations?


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