Here, There, Perhaps Nowhere:
C.S. Lewis and Hell, Religion and Politics, Women and Ministry, Gabby Douglas and Christian Heroes
Catholics and Evangelicals Together in Eternity? Evangelicals like to quote C. S. Lewis and Gilbert Chesterton. Lewis was an Anglo-Catholic. Chesterton was a Roman Catholic. Are they in hell? Are Augustine and Aquinas? I am thankful for the Reformation explication of justification by faith alone, if for no other reason, because, as J.G. Machen said about the active obedience of Christ when dying, “No hope without it.” For me it’s free forgiveness and imputed righteousness, or nothing. I believe everyone who is in heaven will be there because of the work of Christ for him, not the work of Christ in him. But, I wonder more and more if those who confess the Nicene Creed in the ordinary, historical sense of the words, are excluded from the eternal kingdom. I am catholic, evangelical, and reformed. Perhaps what that means is that I am catholic with the Roman Catholics, evangelical with the Lutherans, and reformed with the Reformed.
Religion and Politics. I do not identify myself with the Christian right. I am a Christian. I am on the right. But I am not a Christian rightist. The best theological thought is theology, not politics. The best political thought is political theory, not theology. Despite my exposure to Dutch World-and-Life-Viewism, I began to think about this seriously when, many years ago, I began to read National Review and found that what I agreed with and didn’t had very little to do with Bill Buckley’s Catholic faith or my Protestant faith. I am a conservative. I think it the best reading of natural law. I am a Christian because of the revelation of God in his Son. The two – conservative and Christian - have not nearly so much to do with one another as I once thought.
Reformed Theology and Female Ministers. When I attended my first and only meeting of the Synod of Florida, I left one of the worship services at the time of the Lord’s Supper because a female minister administered the sacrament. When I reported this to Al Freundt, my seminary history professor, he rebuked me pointing out that in the Reformed tradition the validity of the sacrament is not attached to the person of the celebrant. I do not believe women should be ministers, but I feel conflicted when some say they could not hear the Word of God or receive the body and blood of our Lord from a female minister. The Second Helvetic Confession: “THE PREACHING OF THE WORD OF GOD IS THE WORD OF GOD. Wherefore when this Word of God is now preached in the church by preachers lawfully called, we believe that the very Word of God is proclaimed, and received by the faithful; and that neither any other Word of God is to be invented nor is to be expected from heaven: and that now the Word itself which is preached is to be regarded, not the minister that preaches; for even if he be evil and a sinner, nevertheless the Word of God remains still true and good.” If an unregenerate male minister can preach the Word and consecrate the elements, are we to say it impossible for a female minister to do so?
Gabby. I am at the point in life when thinking ahead in four year increments brings thoughts of the uncertainty, frailty, and brevity of life. Despite the reminder of mortality, I watch some of the Olympics. I don’t pay attention to the NBA, so I don’t watch Olympic men’s basketball. However, while I never watch gymnastics, I do pay attention to Olympic gymnastics. Great attention has gone to Gabby Douglas, black, female, Christian, gold medalist. World’s Marvin Olasky has reported the fact that the media have neglected to report her giving glory to God for all she accomplished. Thanks to my friend, Marvin for that. Since then numerous Christians have posted her picture and comments on Facebook. But now I hope Christians will leave her alone. One of the worst things that could happen is to turn her into one of those “Christian athletes” (think Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin) in order to commend the faith to unbelievers and set and provide an example for Christian young people. Tim Tebow should not be in pulpits, nor, despite my question above, should Gabby Douglas.