Did we lose confidence in the gospel?

John Stott reflecting on the loss of confidence in the gospel:

Relativity has been applied to doctrine and ethics, and absolutes have disappeared. Darwin has convinced many that religion is an evolutionary phase, Marx that it is a sociological phenomenon, and Freud that it is a neurosis. Biblical authority has for many been undermined by biblical criticism. The comparative study of religion has tended to downgrade Christianity to one religion among many, and has encouraged the growth of syncretism. Existentialism severs our historical roots, insisting that nothing matters but the  encounter and decision of the moment. Then there are the blatant denials of radical or secular theology, denials of the infinite, loving personality of God and the essential deity of Jesus. These things have contributed to a loss of nerve among preachers. Some frankly confess that they see their function as sharing their doubts with their congregations.

Stott wrote this in 1982. Does it still sound like a fair description of the state of things? Is Stott’s clear implication that these are bad developments true?

If you are interested in a more extended discussion of the themes in the book quoted above, here is an interview of John Stott by Albert Mohler.

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2 thoughts on “Did we lose confidence in the gospel?

  1. I am familiar with Albert Mohler and have read many pieces that reflect those sentiments.
    I think there is truth in them.
    But, “What are people seeking and where are they finding their answers?” is a bigger more important question.

  2. I am not convinces that “what people are seeking and where they are finding answers” is an important question. Focusing on what people are seeking reflect our society’s consumerism. We should be spiritual “doctors” giving people what they need, not what they want. In the area of physical health, people seem quite willing to listen to what they need to hear rather than what they want to hear. (I exercise and dislike every minute of it.) If we speak honestly about spiritual health instead of trying to please our audience, we might be surprised what would happen.

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