95 Modern Theses

A few blogging friends have pointed me towards Greg Gordon’s 95 Theses to the Modern Evangelical Church – a re-writing of Martin Luther’s 95 exhortations of the church in 1517 which, some would say, were the catalyst for the Protestant Reformation.

The ones from Gordon’s list which stand out to me are:

4. We’ve made Christianity about the individual rather than the community of believers. (Rom 12:5; 1Cor 12:12; 2Tim 4:16)

17. Modern Christians often find Jesus’ command to sacrifice and serve abhorrent. (Phil 2:21; Jam 3:16; Rom 12:1-2)

59. Decisionism and the “sinner’s prayer” has been a major cause of false conversions in the “church”. (2Pt 2:1-2; Eph 2:4-5; 2Cor 5:17-18)

65. The church has lost the fear of God and has over emphasized the love of God. (Heb 12:28-29; Lk 12:5; Heb 10:31)

66. The church has left evangelism to a few trained professionals. (Acts 8:1,4; Acts 4:29; Rom 10:14)

74. Little is made of the resurrection of Jesus Christ in churches or in evangelism. (1Cor 15:14-15; Acts 4:10, 33)

79. The “church” has many organizers, but few agonizers. (Phil 3:18-19; Rom 9:1-3; Jer 9:1)

80. We need to have the gifts of the Spirit restored again to the “church”. (2Tim 4:2; 1Cor 14:39; 1Cor 12:31)

83. Many “churches” are more dependent on tradition than the leading of the Holy Spirit. (Mk 7:13; Acts 16:6; Acts 13:2)

95. Unbelief has gagged and bound us as risen Lazarus! We need release in this final hour! (Heb 3:12-14; 1Cor 3:21-23; Heb 11:6)

I tried to whittle it down to a just a couple but it was too hard.

Have a read and let me know which ones make you think . . .


2 thoughts on “95 Modern Theses

  1. Other than the ones you highlighted:

    2. Christians ignore most of the methods, practices and principles found in the book of Acts. (Acts 2:42,44; Acts 2:46; Acts 2:38)

    -In particular, the principles about not having anyone among you be in need.

    3. Many treat “church” like any other social club or sports event that they might attend. (Acts 2:46; Heb 10:25; Acts 1:14)

    -what if we made a rule one Sunday that you weren’t allowed to talk to/have lunch afterwards with anyone you’d consider your ‘friend.’ How many would just go home?

    6. The “church” as a whole has lost the concept of their being grafted into the promises given to Israel. (Rom 11:15, 17-18, 20, 25)

    yup- but shout out to Colin Symes for helping to rectify this somewhat over the past year.

    8. We take it too lightly that we have the blessing and honor of having God’s Scriptures in our possession. (Ps 119:16; Acts 13:44; Neh 8:9)

    62. The doctrine of hell and eternal suffering is something little grasped by most professing “christians”. (Mt 13:42; Jam 5:1; Ps 9:17)

    -guilty as charged on both counts. And especially re: 62; I have no idea what I believe.

    I do take issue with some of his points e.g.

    58. There has clearly arisen a careless mixture of 20th century reasoning with God’s revelation. (Col 2:8; Rom 1:25; Gal 1:6)

    True, but some would argue that we inherited a tradition of Greek philosophy that was present at the time the New Testament was being written.

    • I think I included 17 over 2 but totally agree!
      Oooo . . . what a challenge with no.3! And I think you’re right, which is terrible . . .
      Interesting point about 58 – have been looking at that a bit in Philosophy, it’s very interesting and I think a little reason is good. I’d be interested to know what precisely he means by “careless”.

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