Trajectories Toward an Adjusted Gospel – Al Mohler at Together for the Gospel 2010

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I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

Galatians 1:6-9

Dr. Mohler addresses eight trajectories that lead to an adjusted gospel:

  1. The Modern Trajectory – The de-mythologizing of the Bible and the Christian faith. “‘The world has changed and we must rescue Christianity,’ they say, ‘and what they really mean is rescue Christianity from itself,'” says Mohler. So out goes the Trinity, miracles, the incarnation, the virgin birth, the deity of Christ, the Bible…
  2. The Postmodern Trajectory – Post-modernity came along and turned modernity into a contemporary myth to go along with the “ancient myths” that modernity exposed. Meaning becomes completely subjective because the reader is the one who identifies truth, not the author.
  3. Moral Trajectory – Christian theology and the gospel are immoral. “Christianity is immoral because it breeds weakness.” It claims our modern moral conscience is superior to the morality espoused in the Bible. Substitutionary atonement becomes viewed as  a form of “divine child abuse.” “God is supposedly portrayed as a selfish monster in the Bible according to this view.” God has to be fair, as though you can subject an infinite being to the idea of being fair.
  4. Aesthetic Trajectory – Beauty is an apologetic for God, but we are too often bought off by the pretty, the gaudy. “The Scriptures show us that the cross is beautiful.”
  5. Therapeutic Trajectory – Sin is transformed into various syndromes and complexes. We’re portrayed as victims and co-dependent, with all things revolving around the sovereign self. “We’d rather think of ourselves as sick than sinful,” says Mohler.
  6. Pragmatic Trajectory – Truth is made an instrument, “a tool to be used.” All solutions must be pragmatic. It explains the managerial revolution and everything becomes about the numbers. “Here is a needed result, here is how you produce the result.” Once you abandon theology and the preaching of the Word, you “produce crowds that aren’t churches and results that aren’t regenerations.”
  7. Feeling Trajectory – All things become a matter of intuition emotions, feelings and self-knowledge. You lean into what appears to give you an emotional reward and lean away from what appears to come with an emotional cost. “How do you feel about original sin? What’s your emotional response to total depravity? How do you feel about hell? How you feel about them has nothing to do with whether or not they’re true and nothing to do with whether or not we’re to teach them and preach them,” says Mohler.
  8. Materialist Trajectory – The material world is attractive because of its promise immediate gratification with the blessings of earthly prosperity. Prosperity gospel follows a trajectory that is not only false, but makes God a liar because it does not bring prosperity. It presents God as apparently incompetent. “Ironically enough, this is only our best life now for unbelievers.”

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  • James

    Great summary of different perversions of the Gospel. Helps to clarify what sort of thinking preachers are up against. Thanks for sharing this.