There has been a growing trend among Evangelical pastors and churches over the past fifty years regarding the demise of theology and its subsequent replacement with psychology. (By theology I mean the serious systematic and orderly study of God.) There are numerous reasons for this, not the least of which is the failure of many seminaries to fully prepare potential pastors for the practical rigors and challenges of leading a local church, and that so many leaders find themselves burned out and unable to cope with all the pressures of the ministry and their personal lives.
There is much confusion as to whether the law of God as found in the Ten Commandments and civic laws are still in use in this New Testament era. On the one side there are hyper-grace teachers who say that the law is no longer necessary and is only useful as shadows and types that point us to Christ. On the other hand there are people who overstate the role of the law and actually put Christians in bondage, similar to the way the Judaizes did to the church (read Galatians, Hebrews and Acts 15).
Truly the greatest discovery I ever made in the Bible was when my eyes were opened to understand how the gospel relates to the Kingdom of God!
It is my intention in this article to show the relationship between theological formation in the church, particular cultures, and contemporary movements. By culture I mean the language, arts, habits, values, currency, and aspirations of a people group, community, city or nation.
As a new Christian I thought the church preached only what was plainly taught in Scripture. But in 1995, through my reading of church history, I was shocked to find that theologians and Evangelical Christian leaders in America abandoned societal reformation and changed their eschatological views from more of a post-millennial view to a hyper-dispensational, premillennial view that emphasizes the imminent return of Christ and the rapture.
There have been numerous leaders who have referenced King David to justify their ability to continue ministering without a hitch despite unbiblically divorcing their spouses, remarrying, and even committing adultery.
Before we examine this subject, let us first establish some general rules as a foundation: 1) The moral standards of the law as found in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) remain the same in the New Covenant, 2) The ceremonial Levitical sacrificial system has been done away with in Christ (John 1:29; Hebrews 9-10) and, 3) The sanctions for disobeying the law as applied in Israel’s civic law have been modified in the New Covenant.