There are moments in our culture where things shift at warp speed and this was one of those weeks. It was bad enough that most of the secular culture was consumed in discussing the transformation of Bruce to Caitlin Jenner when the Christian blogosphere started buzzing about Tony Campolo’s publically coming out in support of gay marriage. The news about Tony was sad but not surprising as he has been moving in that direction for some time. What was much more surprising was that David Neff, who was the Editor-in-Chief for Christianity Today magazine until 2013 came out in support of Tony and his new views. Apparently, this caught CT by surprise as well and required a full blown public statement of their support of traditional/ Biblical marriage written by Mark Galli.
My friend Walt Mueller captured some of my own feelings on all this in his blog, Learning My Lines, and this is what he had to say,
“This morning, I looked across my desk at my book shelves. I looked at the shelves that are loaded with Bibles, commentaries, and theological texts. I realized that everything I learned in all those years of reading, listening, education, discussion. . . all those things that have shaped me, what I believe, my commitments, and how I do ministry. . . all those things are being called into question. Seriously. . . I wonder if I have wasted all my time, my money, even my life on errors and lies. I don’t believe I have, but the culture and even respected brothers and sisters in the faith would, I think, have me believe it’s all for naught.”
It is at time like these that I am so blessed to be working in a ministry that is committed to publishing books “With a Clear Message” by “Trusted Authors”. One such book came out just this week called Transformed From Glory to Glory which was edited and compiled by Christopher Little. This wonderful new book is a tribute to the life and work of J. Robertson McQuilkin, former President of Colombia International University in South Carolina. Robertson was a leader with clear convictions about important topics like Bible Interpretation, Victorious Christian Living, World Missions, Christian Ethics and Christian Leadership. As I have been reading our published version of this book, I am struck by the consistency of his life that did not waver as he got older. In fact, it was in his later years that his Biblical convictions worked themselves out in practical ways that stand as a testament to us all. He will probably be best known for his sacrificial decision to give up the Presidency of the University to take care of his wife Muriel who was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease as described in his best-selling book, A Promise Kept.
We will be publishing a book this fall entitled, Improving with Age by Stuart and Jill Briscoe. It is their manifesto on aging well and focuses on the reality that the last season of a Christian’s life can be the best. All too often, however, this is not the case. Many well-known Christian leaders have faltered in the latter stages of life and occasionally this can occur in areas of their theological convictions. Far too many have found it tempting to take a Universalist or relativistic view of salvation right before they die. While it is admirable to want all people to make it to heaven one day, it is sadly misleading to make a Biblical case for this where there is none. Now we have Christian leaders taking positions on sexual ethics that are not just contrary to the clear teaching of scripture, but are at odds with thousands of years of teaching in the Christian church as well.
As I get older, I will be looking to the examples of people like Warren Wiersbe, Stuart and Jill Briscoe, J. Robertson McQuilkin and others like them so that others may say of me what Paul said to Timothy,
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”