Saturday, February 16, 2013

Lenten Superstition

Back in 2009 I did a post on Moderate Baptists and Ash Wednesday, noting that many liberal Baptists were embracing the liturgical year, including observing the season of "Lent."
Richard Barcellos has recently written a critique of the movement toward Lenten observance among the "New Calvinists" as promoted on the Gospel Coalition blog.  He posted his critique on the Reformed Baptist Fellowship blog after the GC moderators rejected it.  I like one of the comments someone posted on the RBF blog, noting they wished the Gospel Coalition had more "Gospel" and less "Coalition."
Tom Chantry has also written an insightful reflection on The Lenten Brouhaha.  I like this paragraph:
One of the arguments which Rich hints at is that Lent necessarily moralizes the gospel. It places the burden of redemption on our own shoulders when Christ, our second Adam, has already shouldered that load. With that in mind, consider Calvin’s words on Lent, which have been helpfully provided this week by Dr. R. Scott Clark. Calvin saw the practice of Lent as an example of the legalism of the Roman church growing out of its failure to acknowledge the uniqueness of Christ.
Following this discussion made me realize again how glad I am to be in a confessional and Reformed church.  We had no Ash Wednesday service.  We are not encouraging our folk "to give up something for Lent" or to read "Lenten devotionals."  We will not hold "Maundy Thursday" or "Good Friday" services during "Holy Week."  We will simply gather Lord's Day to Lord's Day to worship the risen Lord.  Chantry makes reference to Jeremy Walker's post on this topic in which he notes the correlation between the demise of Sabbath observance and the rise of Lenten supersition.  Yes, there does seem to be a connection.


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