Reformed Reflections

The Need for Doctrine

Our times are not noted for specific religious convictions and theological clarity. It doesn't seem to matter so much what you believe as long as you believe in something. Since World War II faith has become a popular term. Dr.W. Tozer noted that the scientist cab driver, philosopher, actress, politician, prize fighter,and housewife-all are ready to recommend faith as the panacea for every ill, moral.,spiritual,and economic. The much-quoted words of President, Dwight D.Eisenhower well describe today's mood. "Our government", he said, "Makes no sense unless it is founded on a deeply felt religious faith-and I don't care what it is."

Even in circles, which claim to believe the Christian Scriptures, I hear the song, "Only believe." Some time ago I talked with a Christian from an evangelical church about evangelism among university students. I mentioned that so many students are searching for answers to their questions. Many are confused and even bewildered by the many views and lifestyles with, which they are daily confronted. They have been force-fed the secular humanist world-view. And they also struggle with questions about creation versus evolution. How should we approach these students? Teach them the Bible, she said. We don't need to provide answers. They either believe the Bible or they don't. Only believe. But the "only believe" song can also be sung by the Moonies, the Jews, the Catholics, the Jehovah Witnesses - anyone. Christians who have surrendered to the "only believe" philosophy have done the Christian faith a disservice. No wonder that the Judeo - Christian world-view has been dethroned. The secular mindset is now in control of our universities - places where the minds of our youth are shaped and molded. In the humanities departments of leading North American universities many of the best minds have long been committed to thinking destructive to the Christian faith.

The Christian faith is more than a believism or an experience or some mysterious power flowing through the universe into, which you can plug in at will. It has content. It is based on truth - the truth about God and our relationship to Him. And God is not silent. He has spoken through Christ His Son and still speaks through His Word - the Bible. This faith transforms not only the heart but also the mind. In the final analysis truth is what really matters. Experience and our belief must conform to Scripture. When Christians understand faith from the Biblical perspective they can once again give a reason of their hope-also in academic circles.

Johan D. Tangelder