Defending the gospel in the right spirit

Ray Ortlund: When you must step forward and defend the gospel against poisonous teachers, defend it with all the grace that inheres within the gospel itself.  We must do the Lord’s work the Lord’s way. It is not enough for us to identify a misleading voice, and then just do or say whatever feels right. As Jonathan Edwards warned us, “There is nothing that belongs to Christian experience more liable to a corrupt mixture than zeal.” Peter illustrates the folly of misplaced zeal. When the enemies of Jesus attacked, the apostle rose up in defense. His heart was doubtless in the right place. But what did he actually do? He drew his sword, proving not how brave he was but only how foolish (John 18:10–11). Francis Schaeffer used to say that, after debating with a liberal theologian, he hoped the liberal would walk away with two equally clear impressions: one, Francis Schaeffer really disagreed with him; two, Francis Schaeffer really cared about

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Francis Schaeffer on liberal theology

“What is the liberal theology like? It can only be paralleled with what God says in Proverbs 30:20 about the adulterous woman: ‘Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.’ What a picture! Not everyone whose theology has been somewhat infiltrated by liberal theology should be likened to this, but the real liberal theologian (whether the old liberal-type theologian or the newer existential theologian) stands in this place. They say they have done no evil by their spiritual adultery, while not only the church but the whole post-Christian culture shows the results of their unfaithfulness. “There is no adulterous woman who has ever been so soiled as the liberal theology, which has had all the gifts of God and has turned away to a worship of something that is more destructive than Molech was to the babies whose parents were led astray from the living God to worship this

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