“Dislike of dogmatism, hatred of controversy, love of tolerance, the call to close our ranks, and the spirit of ecumenism – these are some of the modern tendencies which are unfriendly to the purposes of this book. But the Christian Church, whether universal or local, is intended by God to be a confessional Church. The Church is ‘the pillar and foundation of the truth’ (1 Timothy 3:15). Revealed truth is thus likened to a building, and the Church’s calling is to be its ‘foundation’ (holding it firm so that it is not moved) and its ‘pillar’ (holding it aloft so that all may see it). However hostile the spirit of the age may be to an outspoken confession of the truth, the Church has no liberty to reject its God given task.” - Rev Dr John Stott
— 'Christ the Controversialist' (1970)
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The RESURRECTION of Jesus is No Myth!
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." 2 Timothy 3 16-17
The emphatic nature of these two verses leaves us gasping for any breath of possible compromise. The word for 'correction' used here is epanorthosis (ep-an-or'-tho-sis) and it is a compound word which derivation gives us a better nuanced understanding of word we 'anglo's' translate it to; 'correction'.
In our Western Post-modern Culture 'correction' is seen in an increasingly poor light, as it presumes at worst, an error or at best denotes a need to rectify or adjust! This is proving increasingly more difficult especially when we are perpetually reinforced to 'trust our feelings and make your own way' and consequently any objective or even external 'benchmarks' and 'plumb lines' are being denied, dismissed, dispatched or denigrated!
Yet error and brokenness remain, even if these pejorative (by pop-culture standards) label's are removed the consequences of this brokenness and error are inescapable. Most thinking people know 'something is not quite right', but we are rapidly losing the tools to define and articulate that sense of disquiet.
However, God has given us such a vehicle, and despite cultural 'recalibration', it remains very effective, particularly if it is used contextually and with Divine wisdom... the epanorthosis, more distinctly speaks of the "straightening up again - a rectification", but in its totality it connotes 'reformation'. This is where the emphasis lies, not in simply finding error, articulating it and trying to put a mistake right, but more, a bringing about what is needed to facilitate profound and deep change on a more holistic level..
Revivals come and go, but REFORMATIONS shift society, culture and even nations! However, it must start with us, are we open to reformation or are we too busy trying not to be corrected?