The game is officially over. A week ago today the Ninth Inning Rally began, and over the course of this past week, almost 10,000 votes came in, bringing the question back from obscurity to the top slot. There is no doubt that this was due largely in part to all of you who took the time each day to vote, to blog about it, and encourage others to get involved. One of the amazing things about the web 2.0 is the ability to share, discuss, and even vote on common interests, and regardless of what side one falls on regarding the Regulative Principle, many have felt it important enough to be discussed, preached, and included in a book to be published next year. So let me take a moment and say a heartfelt “thank you” to all who were a part of making it happen.
I know that Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill have taken a lot of heat for this project, and I want to say thanks for letting others get in on asking questions on their mind. We indeed are living in a Corinthian age, and I believe Driscoll’s intentions in this project was not a popularity contest or another book published, but rather to probe the evangelical community to find what issues are most important in the age in which we live. I believe such probing is profitable, even if it comes at the expense of uncharitable and un-Christlike behavior. I have never personally met Driscoll, but I hope to do so in the near future (perhaps the A29 Boot Camp in Chicago).
Looking back, I realize the issue I brought up has a lot of misunderstandings and misperceptions and has been known to be a very divisive issue. For the record, that is not, nor has it ever been, my point. Instead, I consider myself to be in a generation embracing both our Reformed tradition as well as the missional movement as a desire to effectively communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ through biblically healthy and faithful churches comprised of Great Commission Christians sent into the world for the glory of His name. What I am finding, however, is that methodology often times is being discussed in an arena where either culture or pragmatism seem to be the “regulating” or deciding issue. Granted, every church and Christian desiring to making an impact for the kingdom of God wants to be useful, effective, and engaging with the culture. However, I fear that we are often taking about what the church does (missional) without considering first what the church is. The question of how should be predicated by the question why.
Of course, there is much more that can and perhaps should be said on this matter. I hope to provide some resources in the future and maybe discuss it more as well. For those who haven’t seen, here’s how the votes ended up. Again, thanks for voting!
#1 Do you believe that the Scripture not only regulates our theology but also our methodology? In other words, do you believe in the regulative principle? If so, to what degree? If not, why not? 25,181
#2 What can traditional/established churches learn from “emerging” churches? 24,642
#3 How does a Christian date righteously; and what are the physical, emotional, and mentally connecting boundaries a Christian must set while developing an intimate relationship prior to marriage? 21,373
#4 If salvation is by faith alone (Romans 3:28), then why are there so many verses that say or imply the opposite, namely that salvation is by works (James 2:24, Matthew 6:15 & 7:21, Galatians 5:19-21) 21,337
#5 How should Christian men and women go about breaking free from the bondage of sexual sin? 21,311
#6 Of all the things you teach, what parts of Christianity do you still wrestle with? What’s hardest for you to believe? 21,285
#7 Why does an all loving, all knowing, and all sovereign God will into creation people He foreknows will suffer eternal condemnation? Why does Romans 9:20 feel like a cop-out answer? 21,218
#8 Why do you make jokes about mormon missionaries, homosexuals, trenchcoats wearers, single men, vegans, emo kids and then expect these groups to come to know God in the same sermon? 21,101
#9 There’s no doubt the Bible says children are a blessing, but the Bible doesn’t seem to address the specific topic of birth control. Is this a black and white topic, or does it fall under liberties? 21,008