Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Peter Drucker's Works Theology: Part 3

What is one to do when the Word of Government or the Word of Business conflicts with the Word of God? The "partnerships" that characterize the new global P.E.A.C.E. Plan efforts of Rick Warren reflect the 3-legged stool philosophy of Peter Drucker, his mentor. This "collaboration" (another name for the same thing) places Church, State and Corporate Business interests together as if all interests were compatible. The ethical dilemmas that this "partnership" raises are multitudinous.

What suffers most from such unholy alliances is the Word of God. History shows that the Word becomes compromised and squandered during such joint pursuits. And it becomes enmeshed and entangled in the competing interests of Business (especially financial) and State (particularly power).

J.C. Philpot's sermon, "The Word of Men and the Word of God" was preached at Providence Chapel, Oakham, on Tuesday Evening, Oct. 4, 1864. This message is timeless. The reader is challenged to find a modern-day neo-evangelical pastor with his 15-minute pre-digested, canned sermon who can stand on this solid ground at the close of his life, as Philpot could:

"For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe." 1 Thess. 2:13

". . . I hope, though I would wish to speak of myself humbly and modestly as becomes me, -- yet I would fain hope that the Lord, not only here, but elsewhere, has caused the gospel I have preached to be received not as the word of men, but as it is, the word of God. And I hope there are those underneath this roof this evening who can set to their seal that they have received what I have said from time to time from this pulpit, not as the word of men, but as the word of God. They have felt at various times a power in the word, as if God himself were pleased to speak to their hearts by it; and from the effects realised by it, in the peace and joy it has communicated, in the liberty which it has brought, in the comfort which it has given, in the sweet assurance with which it has been attended, in the abiding effects which it has wrought, and the permanent effects which it has produced, they can look back and recognise it as having been to them the very voice of God. Now, my dear friends, this will stand, and stand for ever. If you have received what I have spoken to you for these many years only as the word of men, when I am gone all will be gone, and I and it as much forgotten as if I had never preached in your ears the word of life. It will be as vain, as fleeting, as useless as the foam upon the water when stirred by a breeze, will all pass away as the smoke out of a chimney, or as the chaff of the summer threshing floors. Nay, worse, for where the gospel is not the savour of life unto life, it is the savour of death unto death (2 Cor. 2:16); and if our gospel be hid it is hid to them that are lost. (2 Cor. 4:3.) It will little profit you in the great day to have heard the gospel for many years if it has not been made the power of God to your salvation. Nay, it cannot but increase your condemnation to have seen the light and rebelled against it, to have heard the truth, and yet inwardly or outwardly, in heart or in life to have turned aside to lies.

"But you who have received the gospel from my lips as the word of God, and found and felt its effectual power in your heart, will stand every storm and live at last. What you have thus heard and received has been for eternity. It has saved and sanctified your soul, and it will be owned of God at the last day as his voice through me to you. The faith raised up in your heart by the power of this word, the hope that has been communicated, and the love shed abroad by the Holy Ghost through it will all have his approbation in the great day when Christ shall come and all his saints with him. Then you who by his teaching and testimony have believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God, even you who can only say you desire to fear his name, be you weak or strong, will be found in him in that day accepted in the beloved. O that we may now be blessed with a sweet assurance that we shall then enter into the joy of the Lord; when all the infirmities of the flesh shall be forgotten, all the sins of our nature lost and buried in the grave, and we stand before the throne, with palms in our hands and everlasting crowns upon our heads, and all sorrow and sighing for ever fled away."

To read this entire sermon, go to: