This blog is devoted to discussing the pursuit of eternal life.
Discussion and participation by readers is desired,
but contributions should correlate to the book,
The Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology
of Perseverance & Assurance

by
Thomas R. Schreiner
& Ardel B. Caneday



Sunday, October 26, 2008

Walk the Aisle

I'm sorry that I have not been able to devote any time to posting recently. I'm much too over-committed.

A brief article may be of interest to you. It addresses an issue on which I researched and wrote an extensive paper for a pastoral ministries course that I took during my MDiv studies many years ago. Believe it or not, that paper topic became crucially integrated into my overall theological beliefs, especially pertinent to the proclamation of the gospel, the call of the gospel, and perseverance in the gospel. My biblical and theological understanding began to take shape set against the backdrop of an Evangelicalism that was emerging from Fundamentalism that had taken shape against the backdrop of the blended marriage of Revivalism's Higher Life teachings and the Bible Conference movement's Dispensationalism. My own submission to Scripture's teaching, thus, brought about significant wrestling and considerable anguish as I endeavored to be faithful to the Word within American Evangelicalism with all its foibles, oddities, and formulaic teachings on salvation, separating evangelism from discipleship, etc. As I reflect upon my life I am surprised but grateful that our Lord restrained my youthful zeal for truth with steadfast faithfulness and endurance in non-conformity so that I have been able to provide preaching and teaching that challenges Evangelicalism's assumptions but never as a rebel with a cause against the church but as a voice for reformation of the church. I am grateful that the Lord of the church has used me within the church, harnessing zeal with knowledge and understanding so that I have never become an iconoclast.

Douglas A. Sweeney and Mark C. Rogers wrote the interesting, though brief, article on "the invitation system." Walk the Aisle--Popularized by frontier camp meetings and Charles Finney's "anxious bench," the altar call became an evangelistic staple of American churches.

1 comment:

Nicholas P. Mitchell said...

Hey Ardel,

Just thought I'd let you know that I started a blog. I'm not a scholar or anything and my blog is anything but scholarly. http://www.thekingandhiskingdom.blogspot.com
If you ever have anytime to check it out I'd love to hear from you.