02 July 2006

Toying with the gospel

Your weekly dose of Spurgeon
posted by Phil Johnson

The PyroManiacs devote space at the beginning of each week to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive.

Spurgeon's contempt for modernism was well known:

If man makes a gospel—and he is very fond of doing it, like children making toys—what does he do? He is very pleased with it for a few moments, and then he pulls it to pieces, and makes it up in another way; and this continually.

The religions of modern thought are as changeable as the mists on the mountains. See how often science has altered its very basis! Science is notorious for being most scientific in destruction of all the science that has gone before it. I have sometimes indulged myself, in leisure moments, in reading ancient natural history, and nothing can be more comic. Yet this is by no means an abstruse science.

In twenty years time, some of us may probably find great amusement in the serious scientific teaching of the present hour, even as we do now in the systems of the last century. It may happen that, in a little time, the doctrine of evolution will be the standing jest of schoolboys.

The like is true of the modern divinity which bows its knee in blind idolatry of so-called science. Now we say, and do so with all our heart, that the gospel which we preached forty years ago we will still preach in forty years time if we are alive. And, what is more, that the gospel which was taught of our Lord and his apostles is the only gospel now on the face of the earth.

Ecclesiastics have altered the gospel, and if it had not been of God it would have been stifled by falsehood long ago; but because the Lord has made it, it abideth for ever. Everything human is before long moon-struck, so that it shifts with every phase of the lunar orb; but the Word of the Lord is not after men, for it is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.
C. H. Spurgeon

He'd have no use for the "Emerging Church," either—especially that movement's fascination with postmodernism. It's a whole different generation and they claim to represent a departure from modernism, but the same types of people are still playing with the gospel as if it were something infinitely changeable and made out of Lego® bricks.

Phil's signature


4given said...

"The Gospel should be foolishness to the unregenerate, and if it isn't than we are doing something wrong."

Carla Rolfe said...


thank you for your weekly dose of Spurgeon. I look forward to your selections every week, and I'm always blessed by them.

It's a great way to kick off a Monday morning (even when you cheat and post them early!)


SDG... Carla

Solameanie said...

I personally liken the Emergent Church to Lewis Carroll and Alice in Wonderland. Go re-read this classic children's story, and you will be amazed at the parallels.

White is black, right is wrong, truth isn't necessarily truth, you name it. Redefine, unpack, deconstruct, deny, obfuscate, and so on.

I am thinking of starting a new website called "White Rabbit." This was after a dream where I saw a hookah-smoking caterpillar with Brian McLaren's face. I think if I were to write a book on the similarities between Emergent theology, Jefferson Airplane, Grace Slick and Lewis Carroll, I'd sell a million of them.

If I am in this sarcastic a mood on a Monday before the 4th of July, what does the rest of the week hold?

Taliesin said...

The only hope is a return to the true gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed in Scripture. The gospel must be unleashed in the world through the church for the transforming salvation of sinners and their cultures. If the gospel is lost, as I fear it already has been among some Revisionists, then tomorrow will be a dark day for the truth about Jesus.

Concluding comments from A Pastoral Perspective: On the Emerging Church. The article was originally part of a complete issue of the devoted to the Emerging Church movement.

Phil Johnson said...

Solameanie: I've had that same dream many times.

C. T. Lillies said...


I've got a ten volume set of Spurgeon's sermons I bought, er, a while ago. Since I started stopping by here I've been pulling them down and reading them. Man that guy could preach! Put some of that in any regular old SBC pulpit on any given Sunday and you'd have revival or an emergency business meeting to eject the pastor.

Good stuff!


Even So... said...


It would be the latter, I'm afraid.

donsands said...

"because the Lord has made it, it abideth for ever."
Amen to that!

His Word will do all that the Lord purposes. Even so, it is a spiritual battleground in this age, and there's no way around that. But, the truth is surely worth fighting for.
Thanks for the great words from C. H. Spurgeon.
Funny I was thinking of Brian McLaren as I read the post. And I thought, doesn't he have a fear of misrepresenting the Word of our Lord. I pray he would.

Steve said...

That's a great graphic, Phil. I'm sure you'll get an earful from pomos who have no problems questioning God's truth but take issue with anyone who questions McLaren.

Carla Rolfe said...

solameanie & Phil...

if you're both having the same dream that produces that image, might I suggest a reduction in late night tacos with the extra hot sauce?


Caddiechaplain said...

In Phil's case it is the air he has to breath in the Valley, dude.

C. T. Lillies said...

even so

Crying shame isn't it? But we can pray for the former and guard against the latter by working them up to some real preaching. I love that good stuff without the edges filed off--most of the church folks I know don't and start rattling their car keys when the pastor goes over.

"Preach the Word...!"

Solameanie said...


Hmmm. Might be something in that. I was looking in the mirror this morning and told myself, "Joel, you need to detox. Now." :)

Phil, you should run over to Emergent NO under the "Gilley" post and see some of the discussion on homosexuality there, and some of the piffle being pushed there by EC-friendly people. If that doesn't have you seeing the White Queen and Cheshire Cat, I don't know what will.

Solameanie said...

Oh, mercy!

Phil, after posting my last comment, I just looked at the link you provided. (Yeah, I am slow at 12 midnight) You triggered a coughing fit that might have shaken the New Madrid Fault loose. That was just too hysterically funny. I will head off to bed on that one.