To: staff *at* whitehorseinn.org
Subject: Gratitude for Intelligent Discussion of Important Subjects
Thank you for helping me to think more clearly, precisely, and deeply about the major issues facing Christians today. I recently discovered your show on the internet and have also browsed the archives of both White Horse Inn and Modern Reformation. My wife and I often listen to your program in the evening, once the children are in bed, instead of watching some mindless movie. We live in Canada, where there are no stations that carry your program (believe me, there's a fair size market north of you), so we listen over the internet.
By the way, the title WHI is brilliant! I've read Marcus Loans's book Masters of the English Reformation and his account of those first reformers gathering at the White Horse Inn around Master Bilney to discuss the 'new ideas' about faith in Christ made me want to be there too. Your show is the next best thing. Both WHI and Modern Reformation are superb. Your material, especially the talk show, has aided the growth of my faith in Christ as your discussions give a reasonable explanation of biblical truths. Not only that, but you guys take the time to carefully situate your discussion within the context of the history of ideas. Unbelievable! You actually talk about Kant, Hegel, and the other big boys of philosophy, thus proving that Christians are able to bring their faith to bear on the world of ideas and remain unscathed. We don't need to be like the fundementalists and retreat from the world of ideas.
Since I was converted, I have lamented how mindless modern Christianity seems to be. American evangelicalism does seem to be blithely, robustly, and vehemently anti-intellectual. I've read C. Peter Wagner's, Rick Warren's, and Bill Hybel's books on church growth. It's almost all method with only the thinnest, most vapid layer of theology tacked on--was doctrine an afterthought? Until I started reading Reformed theology and listening to WHI, I wondered why that was the case. Now I understand that these guys are the inheritors of Finney's system that stresses numerical results over sound doctrine, feeling over reason, and personal experience over scriptural witness. The modern Church is in the grips of historical and theological amnesia. Scary stuff. No wonder pelagianism is creeping into our churches. The people--and way too many ministers!--haven't got a clue what this heresy is, so how can they detect it in their own thoughts and in the life of their congregation?
Thank you for reminding us of our truly outstanding intellectual heritage. The Reformation was, among other things, a burst of the best kind of enlightenment--the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4.6).
By the way, I made available 25 copies of Michael Horton's essay 'Christless Christianity' to our congregation. They were snatched up. I warned people that they would need to put on their thinking caps while reading it. Inspired, I wrote a short article on Christ as our propitiation. It, too, was snatched up. I had earlier preached on the subject of propitiation and a women who had always been a church-going Christian complained that I was using big words that she'd never heard before! In response, I wrote the article pointing out that propitiation is a central part of the biblical story. It's in the Bible. Why hadn't she heard this before now? What had the ministers before me been preaching for the last fifty-five years? Reformed theology in general and the WHI in particular have made sense of why doctrine has fallen by the wayside. Thanks and God bless.