by Michael S. Horton
On a host of doctrinal and practical concerns, the challenge often is to avoid the extreme either of confusing things that should be distinguished or separating things that should be held together.
A case in point is evangelism and social justice. Evangelicalism has long been divided over this question. Charles Finney, leader of the Second Great Awakening, called the church a "moral reform society," while a later generation would follow the pioneering remark of evangelist D. L. Moody, who compared the world to a sinking ship. We're only left here to save as many souls as we can, Moody argued. Read more
by David M. VanDrunen
Although debates between Rome and the Reformation involve many interlocking issues, the doctrine of salvation has always been center stage. Usually this focuses upon the question of how a person is saved. Is one justified by faith in Christ alone, for example, or by faith and works together? But closely connected with how a person is saved is the question of who may be saved.
For many years, the Roman Catholic Church taught that people could enjoy eternal life and escape everlasting damnation only by being received into its membership. In recent generations, that teaching has changed. Rome now embraces a very inclusive view that extends the hope of salvation to people of many different religions or even no religion at all, provided they sincerely follow the truth and goodness that they know in their own experience. Although Rome teaches that salvation is always, somehow, mediated through Christ and his church, it does not require explicit contact with the church, the Scriptures, or the proclamation of the gospel. Read more
Dear Aunt June, Read more