PROBLEMS and god

There are so many problems in the modern world it is difficult to even start naming them. The secular world has a manual which attempts to label some of the “mental” problems. It is called the Diagnostical and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It is nearly a thousand pages. Is life more complicated in the modern world? Or, is there another problem?
Sadly, the evangelical world does not do much better. As a pastor and missionary in an evangelical church I need to ask myself, “How can I help?”
As a pastor the answers I find must come from God’s Word. That Word describes a big God and gives us a big theology.
Sadly, much of the church today has a small God and a weak theology. For this reason we run to the secular world for help. They give relief and comfort through drugs and a dose of self esteem.
That is not the kind of relief that is offered in the Bible. Job had no drugs and he definitely did not find help from worldly counselors. How is it that he survived through trials? He finally came face to face with His big God. He learned to think rightly about God and his life. I believe this is certainly what the evangelical church needs.
I pulled a book by John Owen off the shelf today. In the introduction J.I. Packer explains the problem of the evangelical church today. He explains that the church has a weak gospel:
“The new gospel conspicuously fails to produce deep reverence, deep repentance, deep humility, a spirit of worship, a concern for the church. Why? We would suggest that the reason lies in its own character and content. It fails to make men God-centered in their thoughts and God-fearing in their hearts because this is not primarily what it is trying to do. One way of stating the difference between it and the old gospel is to say that it is too exclusively concerned to be “helpful” to man–to bring peace, comfort, happiness, satisfaction–and too little concerned to glorify God. The old gospel was “helpful,” too–more so incidentally, for its first concern was always to give glory to God…Its centre of reference was unambiguously God. But in the new gospel the centre of reference is man…Whereas the chief aim of the old was to teach men to worship God, the concern of the new seems limited to making them feel better. The subject of the old gospel was God and His ways with men; the subject of the new is man and the help God gives him. There is a world of difference. The whole perspective and emphasis of gospel preaching has changed.”
May we return to the big God, the big theology and the true Gospel which God’s Word proclaims.


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