Saturday, July 31, 2004

Ideology vs Theology

Marvin’s email mentioned Alistair McGrath, which made me visit my bookshelf. I picked up McGrath’s A Passion for Truth: The Intellectual Coherence of Evangelicalism, and found between its pages an old photo of me with a birthday cake. 29-6-93. Those were the days at Bob Kappa - when I had a lot more hair. My eyes run across the page bookmarked in history and underlined was McGrath making a point about German Christians during the Second World War, and ‘non-biblical controlling influence’ upon modern day Christianity:
"We criticize German liberal theologians for supporting the imperial war policy in 1914, while turning a blind eye to the fact that they were simply endorsing a general cultural trend. We criticize the German Christians for obeying Hitler in the 1930s, conveniently choosing to overlook that they were simply submitting themselves to the prevailing cultural norms. We are doing the same today, by allowing ourselves and our churches to follow societal norms and values, irrespective of their origins and goals. To allow our ideas and values to become controlled by anything or anyone other than the self-revelation of God in Scripture is to adopt an ideology, rather than a theology; it is to become controlled by ideas and values whose origins lie outside the Christian tradition - and potentially to become enslaved to them."
(Italics mine, for emphasis)

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