04 August 2007

About Those New-Model Theologians. . .

Your weekly dose of Spurgeon
posted by Phil Johnson

The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive. The Following excerpt is from "Strong Faith," a sermon preached on Sunday morning, 15 July 1877.
he school of modern thought, which considers itself to be the most infallible thing now extant, always cuts and shapes divinity according to its own views of what it ought to be; in fact, it has a God of its own, cut out of the brown paper of its philosophies—a God of soft effeminacy, who is no more like the Jehovah of Abraham than the Venus of Paphos.

These men believe, not what the Bible says, but what they imagine it ought to say. Their doctrinal views are like the camel which was evolved by a German philosopher out of his own consciousness; he had never seen one, but he produced it according to his own notion of what it ought to be, and he was very strong against humps; he would never believe that a real camel had a hump, because his consciousness did not suggest such a thing. Much of intellectual religion nowadays is just that; we have certain gentry about who evolve a gospel out of their own brain, and of course they utterly despise the gospel which actually exists because it is not like their model.

We are asked to bow down and worship the calf which comes out of their furnace, but that we shall not do while our faith is strong. We believe God's every word as far as we know it. If I know a doctrine to be in God's word, it is infallible to me. If I have ever in thought gone beyond that which is revealed, I do heartily repent of such presumption; brethren, say you not so? If I see in God's Book two truths which I cannot square with one another, I believe them both. There is a middle term somewhere, though I know not where to find it; and for the present I believe without that explanatory truth. There are the two things, God has said them, and they must be true, and it is mine to believe them. Let God be true and every man a liar.

This is where strong faith is wanted in these days; we need a settled creed, and a clear, comprehensive view of revealed truth, even if we should in consequence be called old-fashioned or imbecile. We need to be more old-fashioned than ever.

I am a Radical in many things, but in the doctrines of the gospel I would have you to be Conservative to the backbone, not for an hour yielding any point of truth to the most brilliant thinker that the world can produce. Thinkers are not appointed to tinker up a gospel for us; thank God, we have a perfect gospel already. Their shifting gospel changes about every ten years, and comes out spick and span as a new theology, but we have grasped the old infallible truth, and we mean to hang to it for dear life, being strong in faith, giving glory to God.

C. H. Spurgeon


James Scott Bell said...

Showing again that everything new is old; that postmodernism is merely modernism with its shirt untucked.

Stefan Ewing said...

Yep...Reading Spurgeon's sermon snippets week after week, one is struck by just how much the strands of triumphal modernism—and of contempt for the Word of God—were already weaving their way through Victorian society.

Colin Maxwell said...

Very enjoyable read. Short, but to the point and a good point at that.

P/s Slightly off topic. How are you able to disallow anonymous comments?

DJP said...

It's on the Settings tab of the Blogger Dashboard. "Who can comment?" You could set for "Anyone" (allowing anonymous); we set for "Only registered users."

Robert N. Landrum said...

This quotation ranks among the best that I have ever come across as regards pseudo-evangelical pipe dreams.

Kristine said...

"We need to be more old-fashioned than ever."

Love it.

Thanks for this excerpt!

David S Baker said...

"If I see in God's Book two truths which I cannot square with one another, I believe them both. There is a middle term somewhere, though I know not where to find it; and for the present I believe without that explanatory truth."

what a profound thought, we can just trust God and take him at his word without having to explain everything in our own terms. i wish i had known this when i was first saved for i set out to explain and understand all of the bible and thought myself to be doing quite well....then i woke up. i now just trust and obey for there is no other way!!

Stefan Ewing said...