“For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6, ESV).
One of the greatest needs of the contemporary evangelical church is wisdom. A long emphasis on practical, even managerial, church leadership has put us in prime condition to be blind-sided by worldly ideologies. The notion that theology is somehow antithetical to vital spirituality is perhaps as much to blame. Whatever the cause, it is far too common today to see men in the highest levels of leadership taken in by worldly ideologies. American evangelicalism is intellectually vulnerable in two of the areas where we most desperately need to be strong right now: the meaning of the gospel and the nature of humanity.
As for the gospel, there will always be the temptation to add to it whatever cause is popular in broader society at the moment, to make the gospel the announcement of God’s gracious redemption in Jesus Christ, plus X–and X will vary as social emphases shift. X may usually be a good and worthy cause, a natural implication of the gospel; but, when it is transposed into the gospel, it tends to displace the actual proclamation of eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.
As for the human person, that is the current locus of numerous attacks from worldly ideologies–from the sexual revolution to critical race theory to outright Marxism. When Christians carelessly adopt ideas and categories from these movements, often unwittingly, they introduce into their understanding of humanity elements that purport to be liberating, but are actually destructive to human flourishing.
The truth is that Scripture speaks clearly on both of these matters, and that theological resources for developing a robustly Christian understanding of humanity and the gospel abound. Yet we must take what we have been given; we must awake to the pursuit of godliness in the life of the mind.
God gives wisdom. Let us attend His Word, so that we will not be deceived by the voice of the world.