Friday, November 17, 2006

The Gospel According to Bart Campolo

Bart Campolo (son of Tony Campolo) just wrote an article entitled: The Limits of God's Grace, it was published in The Journal of Student Ministries.

This is what Justin Taylor had to say about the article before posting it on his own blog: "I don't often link to "bad theology" articles in order to bash them, but I'm making an exception here. It is rare for a writer to be this honest about the functional sovereignty of his own mind in determining the object of his worship. In other words, Bart Campolo is an idolater of the first-order. (Something tells me, though, that there won't be any "protests" planned against his views.)"

Here is an excerpt from Bart Campolo's article:
Some might say I would be wise to swallow my misgivings about such stuff [like God's sovereignty, wrath, hell, etc.], remain orthodox, and thereby secure my place with God in eternity. But that is precisely my point: If those things are true, then God might as well send me to Hell. For better or worse, I simply am not interested in any God but a completely good, entirely loving, and perfectly forgiving One who is powerful enough to utterly triumph over evil. Such a God may not exist, but I will die seeking such a God, and I will pledge my allegiance to no other possibility because, quite frankly, anything less is not worthy of my worship.

Please, don’t get me wrong. I am well aware that I don’t get to decide who God is. What I do get to decide, however, is to whom I pledge my allegience. I am a free agent, after all, and I have standards for my God, the first of which is this: I will not worship any God who is not at least as compassionate as I am.
Here was Justin Taylor's response: "May God grant Campolo repentance for disdaining the only true God, exalting himself, and hating his neighbor (by refusing to tell them the gospel of Jesus but only the deceitful and untrue Gospel According to Bart). And may God likewise grant YS repentance for publishing such nonsense."

Here was my response on his blog: "Nick Hill said...

As one who is a youth worker, I have been concerned about Youth Specialties for a while. It is a place where more and more liberal theology is seen as on the "cutting edge." It is especially scary, because they influence the youth worker, who influences the youth in our churches, who become the so called "Christians" of the next generation. I think if we want to be on the cutting edge today we should teach the Scriptures, verse by verse to youth, and even preach! Yes, today in youth ministry circles, that would be considered radical and against the grain. Why? Because it is not "relational" enough, and we aren't at the center: God is.

Here is what Jack said in response to me.
Jack said...

Well said, Nick. I've been in youth ministry for almost three decades, and the dumbing down is astonishing. I speak in a variety of churches and camps (though I'm older than dirt), and all too often at a youth group meeting, class, "rally," I am the only one with a Bible. To see the biblical illiteracy of youth (and often parents)is indicative that many/most wouldn't have the slightest qualm with what started this whole string...Campolo's article. It is sad, scary, and, though trite, "a sign of the times."
In the meanwhile, I'll just keep relying on the Spirit of God to use His infallible Word to impact lives, starting with mine. My best "recommendation" in all these years is a big camp in the middle of the country that won't bring me back anymore because I use "too much Bible."

4 comments:

Terra said...

campolo's article strokes the ego doesn't it? it purrs against your sinful nature and prompting you to agree, "yah! I want a God of my own making...", but the crazy thing is that God IS compassionate. He really is all this guy totes as "worthy" of His praise. How can compassion and love not destroy and abolish evil completely? Who wants a God that is liver-lily'ed (wow, old school adjective) and who will say, "It's okay that you loved yourself more than me."?

What Mark Driscol said in his talk from the desiring God conference still is ringing in my ears, "Jesus has a tatoo!". A God who is supremely tough and yet more merciful than I can even dare to comprehend.

Nick Hill said...

Terra...thanks for your rich thoughts.

Son of Man said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Son of Man said...

Nick, I'm really glad you put this up. False teachers aren't always the easy ones to spot, ie. the psycho ones on TV. They're on the shelves at Mitchell's, and people who don't know the scriptures well are picking up their books. And like you say, youth are too important to lie to.

Terra's comments were awesome. Some accute observations. Jesus does have a tatoo.