Christianity Today finally offers some sanity in response to all the hoopla surrounding Michael Spencer’s posts (and publication in the Christian Science Monitor) on “The Coming Evangelical Collapse” (which I criticized here).
Professor John Stackhouse (Regent College) takes aim at Chris Tomlin’s worship songs. He selects the weaker of Tomlin’s songs and offers a lot of pedantic criticisms, but I agree with him on the whole. Tomlin is no Wesley or Watts, lacking their imagery and analogical skill. But, to be fair, Wesley and Watts wrote some pretty pathetic hymns as well, which just happen to no longer be sung.
“Inerrancy is a zombie concept that has remarkably persisted for decades in spite of long having died the death of a thousand qualifications. The only hope for Beale and other supporters of the doctrine is that no one will ask the sorts of awkward questions or point out the awkward evidence that we’ve only scratched the surface of here. But I am persuaded that those days are gone, perhaps not for an older generation of conservative Christians, but for that which is growing up today. And if the stalwarts of the old guard want to protect their flocks from inconvenient truths, it will take not just sending them to Evangelical schools, but somehow censoring their internet access as well, not to mention protecting them from looking at the Bible’s actual contents too closely. And once conservative Evangelicalism shows itself to be able to persist only under that sort of totalitarian regime, its downfall is assured. The Bible tells me so.”