The PCA has always set itself apart as curious and intellectual. But I would remind them that the things of the world hate the things of God and Marxism is inherently a thing of this world. A Christian who thinks he can co-opt Marxist thought for the church is a Christian whose pride will come before his fall. The church needs to be warned.
I am in the Presbyterian Church in America. It is one of the biblically orthodox, conservative denominations and there are warning signs that the denomination is being slowly shifted to the left by a group of pseudo-intellectuals.
The Southern Baptist Convention is having similar problems for similar reasons. Megachurches and prominent quasi-celebrity pastors are attracting others within the denominations to try to be rockstars in the world. Through claims of “whimsy” and “love” they are doing like Sauraman in Lord of the Rings and assuming they can harness bad things for good.
With the PCA, it is a Tim Keller problem.
Let me be very, very careful about this. This is not a critique or criticism of Tim Keller. But Keller is perhaps the best known PCA pastor in America. With his retirement, some younger pastors who studied under him and others are seeking to be the next Tim Keller. The problem is they misinterpreted Keller’s ministry and are embracing worldly instruments. Keller himself has pushed back on a lot of the nonsense cropping up.
We should begin with the Nashville Statement, to which I was an initial signatory.
The Nashville Statement is a modern creedal statement drafted by the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. The fourteen articles of the statement make two statements in each article. One affirms what Christian biblical orthodoxy teaches on sexuality and the other expressly denies a related post-modern related claim that is starting to crop up in the church.
For example, Article One states, “WE AFFIRM that God has designed marriage to be a covenantal, sexual, procreative, lifelong union of one man and one woman, as husband and wife, and is meant to signify the covenant love between Christ and his bride the church.” The same Article then concludes, “WE DENY that God has designed marriage to be a homosexual, polygamous, or polyamorous relationship. We also deny that marriage is a mere human contract rather than a covenant made before God.”
The statement was signed by some of the leading Christian theologians in the twenty-first centry from J. I. Packer to John Piper to R. C. Sproul to James Dobson to Ligon Duncan to Kevin DeYoung to Francis Chan to J. D. Greear to Albert Mohler.
The statement appealed across Christian denominations and various Christian denominations passed resolutions to embrace the statement as compatible within their denominations. The Southern Baptist Convention and the Presbyterian Church in America declaired the statement, in the words of the PCA resolution, a “biblically faithful declaration.”
Within the PCA, however, a group of pastors has agitated against the statement and started an organization called Revoice that attempts to claim one can be a gay Christian and be defined as both gay and Christian, even while foregoing homosexual acts. Most troubling, Revoice drew from some professors at Covenant Theological Seminary, the PCA’s own church funded seminary.
Essentially, this group is trying to allow people to express an identity separate from being a Christ-follower so that one can be a gay Christ-follower and a straight Christ follower. It matters in the long run because what is a “gay Christian” that makes him different from a “Christian”?
It’s important to get that background because those identifiers come from something called “critical theory,” which has found a foothold within several PCA churches including some prominent ones like Scott Sauls’ church in the Nashville area. Sauls, by the way, was also opposed to the Nashville Statement.
So what is critical theory and why do you need to know about it?