Is Idolatry the New Sin?November 01, 2009
by Carlton Wynne
“Just talk about idolatry and you’ll be fine.” A mentor recently offered these words in my presence to a seminary student who was facing an assignment to preach on the topic of sin. The student’s sermon may, indeed, have been “fine” if he followed that suggestion, but the advice struck me as signaling something deeper than a single Sunday pointer. It struck me as something more comprehensive–more a blanket orientation for today’s Sunday preacher, a kind of homiletical compass that, if pointed properly, enables a preacher to navigate toward a culture’s hidden sins and lead listeners to believe the gospel. I do not know whether that particular student followed that compass, but I have noticed that couching sin in terms of idolatry seems increasingly to mark some recent attempts to communicate the gospel to a new generation. Judging from common counseling approaches, best-selling books and blogosphere endorsements that extol this idolatry model, I doubt mine is an isolated observation. Which leads me to ask: In the increasingly fashionable world of Reformed Christianity, is idolatry becoming the new sin?
Waves, Hamburger Helper, and an Immovable RockMarch 09, 2009
by David Garner