How "Everything Must Change"
Part 2: DO WE HAVE BLESSED HOPE?
OR ARE WE BLUNDERING DOPES?
By Pastor Jeffrey Whittaker
Earlier that same morning I was awakened before my alarm went off, and found that I was already praying. There were two principle issues rolling around in my mind: One was the Laws of Thermodynamics, and the other… homosexuality. When McLaren bemoaned the horrible injustices done to the homosexual community during his first session, I knew that something was afoot from the Lord. I had no idea how, when, or even if I would get an opportunity to share what had been placed upon my heart; but I was prayerfully watching and waiting.
Near the end of the current session a time for questions was opened up, and an intelligent sounding man across the isle from me put forth his thoughts concerning sustainable growth and job creation in light of environmental responsibility. I knew at that moment that my early morning impressions received during prayer were indeed from the Lord, and that the time had come to insert thermodynamics into the discussion. When the other gentleman finished, I raised my hand and heard Mr. McLaren say in my direction, “One more question…. Yes, this man over here.”
When the moderator handed the microphone to me I said, “Yes, Brian; in light of this gentleman’s question, coupled with your remarks about the environment and global crisis, I was reminded of the writings of Jeremy Rifkin dealing with the three Laws of Thermodynamics.” Brian nodded in recognition.
(The three laws basically state that the earth is a closed system that contains a limited supply of energy, expressed in basic units of “heat”. Also, the laws state that this energy flows in one direction; from heat to “heat death” or homeostasis. In simple terms this means that if you have a hot cup of coffee and you leave it on your kitchen counter for a period of time, the cup will eventually reach room temperature, or homeostasis. If you desire to re-heat your coffee, you must place it in a microwave oven, on a stove, campfire, etc. Unfortunately, to re-heat your beverage you must use more heat energy through electricity, coal, firewood, etc. thereby creating the loss of even more energy. This is where the Law of Entropy comes into play. Entropy says that over time, all things go from a state of use to disuse, from order to chaos; this is not a theory like evolution, but is a proven scientific Law! Now that I’ve covered that, let’s get back to the conference where I am holding the microphone and addressing Mr. McLaren).
“Brian, with these Laws clearly before us, don’t they lend themselves to a more Scripturally orthodox eschatology (the doctrine of the end of the age)?”
He laughed and said,
“If you don’t know what the word eschatology means, you’re blessed!”
Again he received a chorus of healthy laughter, scoffing at the foolish irrelevance of my question. Brian stated that in his view, scientists will figure out what is to come at the end of the world; whether galaxies will collide, or perhaps another cataclysmic ice age or something else; all possibilities which are millions of years in the future. Theologically though (he added glibly),
“I believe all predictive prophecies were fulfilled in the destruction of the Jewish Temple in AD 70 under the Roman Empire" [author’s note: This is known as Preterism].
He also stated that he believed that we were…
"co-creators of the future with God, and that it wasn’t a movie that had already been shot" [author’s note: This is known as Open Theism].
A tremendous book dealing with the dynamics of post-modern thought (which also encompasses the emergent camp) has been written by David F. Wells which captures the essence of McLaren’s belief system. Listen to Wells’s brilliant analytical rebuttal of another “open theist,” Clark Pinnock.
"Pinnock began a full-scale revision of all that he had believed. He came to reject election and, instead, to think that God’s sovereignty in life is exercised in such a way that he voluntarily limits his power and invites people to 'share in the divine creativity.' He then says that 'God invites humans to share in deciding what the future will be. God does not take it all onto his own shoulders,' which, one has to say, is quite an astonishing thought. He went on to reject the doctrine of total depravity and to endorse the view of universal atonement…. Finally, it is necessary that God not know the future if, in fact, he is to be involved in its ongoing unfolding as it arrives in the present. This is what Pinnock had in mind when he speaks of God’s having dynamic involvement with the world rather than a static relationship to it. God improvises. As each new situation arises, he assesses the options and possibilities, the pros and cons, and like the conductor of an extended orchestra tries to get all the players to play together and harmoniously…. The thought is that God is constantly rethinking his actions , reassessing life as he sees it unfold, and repositioning himself in order to become more deeply involved with his people." (Above All Earthly Pow’rs: Christ in a Postmodern World, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2005, pp.243-246)
Do you see the theological similarities between Pinnock and McLaren’s worldviews, as well as the conclusions they both demand? When a man or a movement is built on the premise that all Biblical prophecy has already been fulfilled, coupled with an evolutionary view of an uncertain future that even God doesn’t know about; we are left with an unthinkable cosmic anarchy that has an evolving biological environment, an evolving societal environment, all of which is being overseen by an evolving “god” who is anxiously awaiting his next cue from the random actions of his creatures! This telling quote reveals perhaps the most disturbing (yet most logical) conclusion of Mr. McLaren’s worldview:
"The genius of Marxism is that it offers hope within history, when the church only offers hope outside of history."
The church of Jesus Christ then , if living within the sort of scenario represented by McLaren, is left only with the hope provided by environmental activism, recycling, and restructuring of the globe’s wealth, while striving for planetary evolution until we all arrive in the “new heavens and the new earth.”
Part 3: "WHICH JESUS?" continues tomorrow, Lord willing. . . . .
"Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?" (2 Peter 3:11-12)
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