Thursday, July 24, 2008

WWJD: The Pelagian Gospel?

"Pelagius' gospel is Charles Sheldon's In His Steps, 'What Would Jesus Do?' That's the gospel according to Pelagius."
(Pastor Kim Riddlebarger, Whitehorse Inn, July 6, 2008 broadcast)

Is that true? Accurate? Fair?

If so, does that mean that anyone wearing a "WWJD" bracelet, lapel pin, or shirt is unwittingly promulgating or otherwise promoting the Pelagian Heresy (man has the natural ability to reject evil and seek God)?

And if so, what does this mean for one who's reformed in their theology, but may ask him/herself when faced with various life situations, "what would Jesus do?"

Or is this statement unfair - too simple and easy an explanation to say that "WWJD" is merely "contemporary adoptionism," i.e., that reduces the work of Christ into simply giving us a good example; or that there is no true Gospel in “what would Jesus do?"

Dr. Roger Olson (Baylor Univ.), an Arminian theologian, in his book The Mosaic of Christian Belief, says, “Even such a seemingly innocent and positive movement as wearing wristbands with the letters W.W.J.D. (What Would Jesus Do?) can manifest a Pelagian attitude Christianity." (The Mosaic of Christian Belief: Twenty Centuries of Unity & Diversity [Inter-varsity Press, 2002], pg. 215)

Reminder: Pelagius was a 5th Century British monk, against whose teachings St. Augustine wrote no fewer than fifteen treatises.

3 Comments:

At 7/25/2008 7:30 AM, Anonymous Timotheus said...

What needs to be pointed out to the WWJD crowd is that it is the wrong question. It is not “what would Jesus do?” but “what has Jesus done?”

I heard that on the White Horse Inn also.

Timotheus

 
At 7/25/2008 10:50 AM, Blogger Tim Valentino said...

The WWJD campaign COULD be dangerous without further instruction and clarification, but let's face it, the NT tells us to "walk as Jesus walked" and to "be imitators of God."

 
At 8/09/2008 8:58 AM, Blogger Puritan Lad said...

Not to mention that most of the people who wear the bracelet have no clue what Jesus would do. (They usually promote some sort of liberation theology.)

 

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