Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Frank Schaeffer on Billy Graham and Trump

I've got a lot of time for Frank Schaeffer, son of apologist Francis Schaeffer, now a born-again non-evangelical. His recent comments on the much ballyhooed Billy Graham are definitely worth reading, and his observations on Christianity Today (and yup, I too was once - in my immediate post-WCG years - a CT subscriber) are right on the mark. This is an op-ed piece that will probably raise hackles, but that doesn't make it any less pertinent.


  1. I, too, agree with many of Schaeffer's ideas, especially when he speaks of the unholy conjoining of conservative politics and evangelicalism in the USA. I have read one of his books and most of another one. He belongs to the Eastern Orthodox Church and favors Apophatic Theology. One thing I take exception to in the article is the idea that belief in inerrancy means that people believe in his list of particularly difficult, culture-bound scriptures from the OT law as modern practice. I think he is implying that evangelicals still believe in these ideas, whereas evangelicals devoutly believe that the Old Covenant, including the laws he lists, was abrogated. To my knowledge, only Armstrongites believe that some of the Old Covenant practices are relevant today and valid for current practice, such as the extermination of the Canaanites (you choose who you want the Canaanites to be.)

    -- Neotherm

    1. Olde Testament Christianity is an illogical contradiction of terms. If we are going to believe in the New Testament, Jesus, redemption, it is necessary to realize that the blood of bulls and goats does not forgive sin. Modern contracts are clear: If you had an old contract, but drew up and agreed to a new one, all of the old contract is null and void and no part of it is required unless specifically listed in the new contract. What has happened is that Herbert Armstrong took all the teachings of G. G. Rupert intact which teach that everything in the Old Testament applies to the New unless specifically excluded, not noting that circumcision has been eliminated. Moreover, the Feasts were tied directly to animal sacrifices which were done away. What we are left with are New Covenant Pharisees, not to mention a whole lot of failed prophecies. You'd think that if God were actually involved in Armstrongism, they'd get at least a few things right. And what's worse, it's a buffet where you pick and choose which part of Olde Testament Christianity you want to keep in terms of purely physical rituals (not to mention how the rituals are changed for modern convenience).

      As for Billy Graham setting the stage for Donald Trump -- I suspect that's quite a stretch. There are a lot of Trump supporters who have never engaged any of Billy Graham's teachings. People are looking for a Nimrod to lead them to triumph over the things they hold in contempt and are tired of what they see as compromises. It's hard to decide whether they should get a dose of what they want or not -- if Trump were to become President, they'd find out mighty quickly that he simply would not be able to deliver what they think he is promising them. Frankly, it's difficult (and painful) to picture Donald Trump as President.

      And what's really sad is that Carly Fiorina probably won't even be nominated.