Sunday, July 30, 2006

Liberal Theology

Another distinctive trait that we will see is Liberal Theology. Let’s remember that the Word of God is an ancient book, but it very much alive for today. It has all the answers that a person needs for life. The problem with Liberal Theology is that the Bible is really not that important for the modern culture. It is an out-of-date textbook. As you will see as you read about this theology it sounds good at times, but it suggestions are contrary to what the Bible teaches. I guess that is why they call it liberal! Our study comes from the booklet Charts of Christian Theology and Doctrine by H. Wayne House.

Liberal Theology

Theology-Liberal theologians seek to articulate Christianity in terms of contemporary culture and thinking. They attempt to maintain the essence of Christianity in modern terms and images.

God-God is immanent. He dwells within the world and is not above it or apart from it. Thus there stands no distinction between the natural and the supernatural.

Trinity-The Father works not supernaturally but through culture, philosophy, education, and society. Liberal theology is usually Unitarian rather than Trinitarian, recognizing only the deity of the Father. Jesus was “full of God” but was not God incarnate. The Spirit is not a person within the Godhead but is simply God’s activity in the world.

Christ-Christ gave a moral example for humanity. He also expressed God to us. Christ did not die to pay the penalty of our sins or impute his righteousness to man. He was neither God nor savior but merely God’s representative.

Holy Spirit-The Spirit is the activity of God in the world, not a third person of the Godhead who is equal in essence to the Father and the Son.

Revelation-The Bible is a fallible human record of religious experiences and thought. The historical validity of the biblical record is doubted. Scientific assessments prove the miraculous in the Bible to be religious expression only.

Salvation-Man is not innately sinful but possesses a universal religious sentiment. The goal of salvation is not personal conversion but societal improvement. Christ set the ultimate example of what mankind is striving for and will ultimately become. Liberal theology has characteristically uniformly denied the Fall, original sin, and the substitutionary nature of the Atonement.

Future-Christ will not personally return. The kingdom will come to earth as a result of a universal moral development.

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