Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sermon of the Week: R. Scott Clark on "Raiders of the Lost Art"

I have been listening to this series of talks from R. Scott Clark of Westminster Seminary in California titled, "Raiders of the Lost Art."

Clark describes what he calls Q.I.R.C. (Quest for Illegitimate Religious Certainty) and Q.I.R.E. (Quest for Illegitimate Religious Experience).

He speaks from a self-consciously “reformed” perspective. For Clark “reformed theology” is more than mere acceptance of the five points of Calvinism or predestination, but it is a more all-encompassing doctrinal and ecclesiological system. Baptists, therefore, cannot be truly “reformed.” He laments the fact that so many Presbyterian and Reformed churches are no longer truly “reformed” in theology and practice.

Among many provocative ideas, he challenges uncritical adoration of those like Jonathan Edwards and D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones who stressed evidence of external private religious experience. According to Clark, this undermined the classical Westminster emphasis on the ordinary means of grace (e.g., The question to ask a person in spiritual examination is not “Have you been doing your daily quiet times and personal devotions?” but, “Have you been attending the morning and evening worship services on the Lord’s Day in your local church?”).

Clark also affirms the regulative principle in worship. This includes singing only inspired texts in worship. The final talk is a thoughtful defense of the second service on the Lord’s Day afternoon or evening.

The talks:



John Fincher said...

It's THIS type of debate that is causing people to move away from the institutional church. Where is the LIFE in this? Armenian vs. Calvanist, Baptist vs. Catholic, Premillennialism vs. POSTmillennialism...Satan loves it. Er...the deflection from Jesus, that is.

John Bowman said...

Satan also loves when we begin compromising biblical truth to make sure everyone is comfortable. This is the problem with many of today's modern evangelical churchs...we don't want to upset anyone so we don't preach the tough issues. You have a good point on being careful to not let secondary doctrine (e.g. views on end times) create unneeded division in the church but be careful not to begin throwing primary and non-negotiable doctrine into this realm.