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    Posted in ,
    February 27, 2013

    Not So Suttle

    By Dr. Peter Jones

    Tim Suttle, author, pastor and band leader, hates division about doctrine among Evangelicals, which he claims is his tribe. But the little hand-grenade  (a not-so-subtle form of postmodern liberalism) that he self-righteously lobbed into Evangelicalism via the Huffington Post a few days ago will only make things worse. He does not like doctrine but he has his own. It is DIY (Do It Yourself) religious sentimentalized irrationalism, masquerading as Christianity, wrapped up in high-sounding intellectual platitudes.

     Are you ready? “Truth-as-a-rational-abstraction constitutes a denial of the incarnation (and big chunks of the New Testament). Doctrines and theologies can point to the truth but they are not themselves the Truth. The Truth has been revealed to us in and through Jesus Christ. Truth is a person. Jesus is the Truth.”

     This simplistic either/or approach really does not get Suttle’s unity project off the ground. He viciously dismisses those seriously concerned about the preservation of doctrinal truth as “the truth-police” who analyze rather than live Christianity, as if you cannot or should not do both, and how does he know how other Christians live? We all want to know Jesus, but how do we truly know the person of Jesus without true information about him. This does not seem to be a problem for Suttle. He believes “Truth” is not “a concept, doctrine, or idea you can write down,” but if words can only point to the Truth, then he must deny the nature of Scripture which calls itself  “the word of truth” (2 Tim 2:15). This is an essential doctrine of the tribe to which he claims to belong.

    One of the inspired founders of the Jesus movement, Paul, warned about those who preach “another Jesus” which turns out to be  a “different gospel” inspired by a “different [evil] spirit” which will land you in Hell. Without theological/historical sources like Paul there would be no Jesus to know, no Savior from our sins, no mission and no hope for the future. Suttle believes if we all get together in mission, our doctrinal differences will be without importance. But his vision ofunity resembles a fighting force with no clear message.

     Mr. Suttle was founder and front-man of the popular Christian band Satellite Soul. I do not know. Maybe the band no longer functions because, while on tour (mission) the various band members could not agree on which musical notes they all should have been playing together, producing a cacophony (an ugly sound) rather than a symphony (a blend of sound).  This is no way of running a successful band, and it is no way of witnessing to God’s unique, saving intervention in history in the person of His Son, Jesus. “If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? If the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle?” (1Co 14:7-8)