Two to three years ago, I was trying to decide where I would be attending seminary to train for work in the ministry. I looked at several institutions and saw many of them were replacing the sword of the Word of God with the rotting stick of worldly theories. Many would claim to be orthodox in their viewpoints and even “affirm” longstanding confessions of faith. However, they would not speak with clarity on the vital issues of our day. Seemingly, many theologians were “willing” to stand for the truth of Christ in every area except the point suffering onslaughts from attacks, thus taking no stand at all in the end. At that point in time, I saw a fracturing reformed and evangelical movement. Individuals like John MacArthur, Steve Lawson, and Voddie Baucham were on one side, while men such as Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, and David Platt stood on the other side of the line.
Many individuals have been confused by false teachers over the millennia of human history. No doubt some of the most disturbing attacks have come from liberal “theologians” who typically end up denying every cardinal doctrine of Christianity. Instead of believing in the Bible, they believe their own discernment and thinking are the ultimate authority. They reject the Holy God of the Scripture and insert a deity of their own making (see Romans 1). Launching their assault upon the work of Christ, they deny the atonement and often cast aside the resurrection. In the end, what they are left with is not Christianity but a religion of their own making tailored to fit their personal preferences.
Recently, in evangelical and especially Southern Baptist circles, a controversy has arisen regarding pastors plagiarizing sermons. Some high-level evangelical leaders (like Ed Litton) have used other material from other pastors without giving credit to them. More than a few pastors will use entire sermons found online or from friends and never give credit to others. Of course, this prompts us to an even more foundational question we must ask, and it is what is the role of the pastor?