The Theology is Cracked Not the Cathedral

In an article today, Christianity Today has an article about the downfall of the Crystal Cathedral. One paragraph in particular jumped out at me.

Robert H. Schuller’s famous Crystal Cathedral was built on a foundation of self-esteem. In a 1984 interview with Christianity Today, Schuller said that when he came to Garden Grove, California, in 1955, he asked himself, "What human condition exists here that I can have a mission to?" His answer was "emotional hunger." "Because of that," he said, "we have developed our present ministry." (emphasis mine)

What was the foundation of Schuller’s ministry? Himself.  The question was never what does God want me to do in this town or with this church nor even what does the bible say I should do as a pastor – but what do I think would be a good hook to get people to come?

The author goes on to state,

Robert Schuller is not the problem—contemporary evangelicalism is. Schuller was only leading the parade of those who believe they are responsible for making the gospel relevant. The lesson is not that Schuller got it wrong or that his theology is out-of-date; it is not that we just need to find a better, more current point of cultural contact. The lesson is that our attempts to find and exploit a point of cultural contact inevitably end in bankruptcy.

While others may comment on the rather hypocritical stand of Christianity Today when for years it was the herald of the culturally relevant crowd, I am nevertheless bothered that no one has read the fairly obvious warning of Scripture:

4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

James 4:4 (ESV)

Seems rather clear to me.


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