Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pentecostal Discussion

Ben Myers, a scholar of the CSU School of Theology in Sydney, has republished his article Megachurch Worship: Supersize Me whereby he shares some of his thoughts on a recent visit to "a famous Sydney Megachurch" (presumably Hillsong.)

I agree with Myers here - and I have had my fair share of criticism of Hillsong. I believe it is fair to say that Hillsong is not as theologically thorough or focused as one would expect from a church. The preaching is often a man-centred gospel and the bible acts as your very own cliched and modernist 'Guide to a Better You'. As Myers quoted from the service: “The Bible isn’t a book about God’s love for man; it’s a book about man’s love for God.”

In the interest of fairness, Myers sought a response from Pentecostal Theologian Shane Clifton, posted here. Now, I do not think Clifton did a particularly good job in a response - it seems to be 'okay, so the preaching isn't all that accurate - but the kids like it, and that's what counts, right?'

I must concede that Hillsong does have its place - kids like it, and it is a great tool for bringing young people particularly into the church. However, the fun-loving atmosphere does not make up for a lacking or weak theology - there should be a balance, or at least an aim to push people deeper into the issues with reference to sound exegesis as opposed to the man-centred self-help guide for popular consumption. The gospel is so much more than that.

No comments:

Post a Comment