The following essay is a critique of Jason Duesing’s article titled The Believers’ Church:  A “Natural Resource” worth Conserving.  Various strengths and weaknesses of the article will be presented.  At the conclusion of the paper a determination will be given to see if the article is effective in what it is trying to present.

 

SUMMARY

The essence of the article is that the doctrine of the church must be protected[1].  The author introduces theological topics by first utilizing the example of President Theodore Roosevelt.  During his presidency the United States was faced with a shortage of natural resources, and the President stated that “Conservation is a national duty.”

The country was expanding at a rapid rate, and there was little concern for the limited resources that the country had on hand.

It is in this backdrop that Mr. Duesing introduces a vital problem that is becoming manifest in the Christian world.  Mr. Duesing states in regards to this, “Believers’, acting under various contructs-from liberalism to ecumenism to even evangelicanism-have engaged in ‘old wasteful methods’ with regard to the ‘natural resources’ of the doctrine of the church[2].”  This is not a time for a lackadaisical Christian walk because doctrines which are essential to Christian orthodoxy are being challenged.  No longer are these challenges from non-believers, but there are coming from those who are claiming to be the servants of Christ.

Though evangelicals understand that the Gospel is important the method by which it is to be spread is being ignored[3].  The local church is the means by which it is to be spread, but it has been relegated to a realm of being “non-essential.”  Why is that?  It is because things like ecclesiology and eschatology are being sacrificed for the sake of ecumenism.  This is not consistent with the teaching of the New Testament.

According to Mr. Duesing the Anabaptists were the early champions of the Believers’ church movement[4].  The environment they lived in did not support their beliefs, and as result there was widespread persecution.  They persevered and advocated for what we would call separation of Church and state.  In their mind this was the only way to establish a pure church.  A pure believers’ church will produce disciples that will not be afraid to proclaim the gospel.  This was truly radical given the climate of state endorsement of churches.

It is the duty of the church to remain loyal to scripture and the truth of the Gospel.  In the environment today everyone wants to get along and not offend others.  Unfortunately this means that the Gospel has become watered down, and some churches resemble self-help gatherings instead of places of worship.  The Anabaptists laid a foundation for what it means to preserve the believers’ church and its doctrine.

In conclusion, Mr. Duesing makes some very good points in regards to the current state of affairs in Christianity.  Important doctrines have been minimized or downright compromised in an effort for unity.  Evangelicals must remain strong in their convictions of key doctrines, such as the doctrine of the church.  We must remember that the souls of people are worth more than being accepted by another group.  Yes we should dialogue for better understanding, but we should never compromise on biblical principles.  Though I understand Mr. Duesing’s thoughts on the Anabaptists I do not believe they were the best example to use.  With that being said they were an adequate example to get the point across.  The church must be awakened and the Anabaptists, and early separatists are good examples of what it means to not compromise on key doctrines.

 

 

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Duesing, Jason G. “The Believers’’ Church:  A “Natural Resource” Worth Preserving.” The Center for Theological Research. (2006, March 01).

[1] Jason G. Duesing, “The Believers’’ Church:  A “natural Resource” Worth Preserving,” The Center for Theological Research (2006, March 01).

[2] Ibid

[3] Jason G. Duesing, “The Believers’’ Church:  A “natural Resource” Worth Preserving,” The Center for Theological Research (2006, March 01).

[4] ibid.

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