FERGUSON: The greatest threat to Christianity in this century is the Christianity of this century. It is a far greater threat than Islam, which can never destroy the gospel. Christendom, however, can easily destroy the gospel and is destroying the gospel. The church today is the greatest threat to real Christianity in the world.
THOMAS: The issue today is people questioning the truth, asking, “What is truth?” and “Is there any such thing as truth?” They will say things like, “Isn’t it just your version of truth or your opinion versus mine?” That makes it very difficult to state objective facts about the gospel. Take, for example, fake news. We all know that false news is a reality, that there are versions of history that are completely falsified. If you take that to its ultimate limit, however, people will think there is no news at all that is true—it’s all fake; it’s all personal bias.
In contrast, the gospel stands on historical facts: Jesus was born in Bethlehem, He died at Calvary, and He rose again. Those are facts of history. To be able to say that in the twenty-first century is a real challenge.
NICHOLS: Calvin was asked the question, Why the Reformation? He responded that the whole form of worship was corrupt. Behind that answer was Calvin’s understanding of who God is.
In every age of the church, the question has been: What is our view of God? You look around today, especially at the church in America, and our view of God is far too casual. That might be at the center of some of our theological malaise.