Thursday, April 19, 2007

And on the cross as Jesus died the wrath of God was satisified

One evening last October I was part of a 900 strong crowd at a Stuart Townend and Lou Fellingham concert in Wrexham, North Wales. As we sang song after song about the cross what struck me was just how clear those songs were on penal substitution. It was thrilling to sing them. I felt profoundly grateful that those unassuming singers had penned words so faithful to the gospel. Their efforts are a great gift to the church. They have put into song the profound theology of the cross.

But not everyone wants to sing this song.

Dean Inge once said that institutions tend to produce their opposite. If that is true then you could very well expect Evangelicalism to become Liberalism. And when it comes to the atonement this is happening. Adrian Warnock's post on this deserves to be read carefully and extensively. Here are two paragraphs from his post...

Word Alive and Spring Harvest to Separate After 15 Years Because of the Atonement

This Easter a clear line was drawn in the sand in British Evangelicalism. For years, whenever the word “evangelical” was mentioned, people in the UK would think almost immediately of Spring Harvest — easily the UK's largest Christian conference. Part of that package has been Word Alive, a distinct all-age event run by UCCF (who owns the UK-based Intervarsity Press) and the Keswick Convention in partnership with Spring Harvest. At the heart of Word Alive has been a separate student track with up to 2,000 students. Beginning in 2008, there will be no more Word Alive at Spring Harvest.

Towards the end of the whole event, in an open meeting for group organizers, Richard Cunningham was asked a direct question about why the partnership is coming to an end. He stated in his reply that Spring Harvest had been the one to take the initiative, and asked UCCF and Keswick to no longer be a part of Spring Harvest. This was because UCCF and Keswick were not willing for Steve Chalke to speak on either the student or all-age platforms at Word Alive.

1 comment:

Highland Host said...

All credit to Keswick and UCCF on the matter, then!

Back in 2000, when I was a student at Chester, Chalke spoke at a UCCF leadership training week-end in Liverpool, so back then he was obviously 'approved' by UCCF. I think it's safe to say which one has moved! It would have been so easy for UCCF to go with the flow. I'm glad they haven't!

But I am very, VERY worried that there are so-called evangelicals in this country who, in their views of the atonement (though not in other issues), are at one with Bishop Spong and Dean Jeffrey John. More than anything else, right now, I focus on the atonement in every new Church I visit. That is where the battle is.