I have been following the controversy surrounding the firing of Jeff McSwain, YoungLife Area Director for Durham/Chapel Hill and the subsequent resignation of all of his YoungLife staff and the members of the YoungLife board for the area. If you want to read about it you may look here and here. Much of the commentary centers over the way in which YoungLife has decided to dictate the practice of evangelism from the top down. The real issue seems to be related to what we Presbyterians refer to as the ordo salutis. It seems that YoungLife desires to maintain that repentance precede forgiveness. McSwain, on the other hand, seems to suggest that God’s forgiveness precede repentance. This, at least, is the way that it is presented in the popular reports of the debate. Typically, Reformed people wish to affirm that God works prior to our repentance and actually enables our repentance and faith. Within the Reformed tradition there is some disagreement concerning the scope of election, with some adherents of Barthian theology expanding the scope of God’s election to all people rather than the traditional Reformed view that God elects Christians (i.e., the Church). This can lead to Christian universalism. This is a problematic belief that stands outside of historic Christian orthodoxy and that enjoy little to no Scriptural support. I guess that it will take a little more time and patience to discover what the real beef is here. However, I think it premature to condemn either party. Although whatever the real issue is, the way that it has been addressed is less than optimal.
Anterior or Posterior?
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