King's Business - 1948-08

made in regard to the Oxford Movement —criticisms that have been re-echoed in this and other lands where the Group has worked. First among these is the fact that in the public utterances of their leaders no place is given to the atoning work of Christ and other vital doctrines of the Christian faith. The great and central theme of the Bible is the redemptive work of Christ accomplished through the “ blood of his cross” (Col. 1:20). It is the theme of every book in the Bible and the subject of the song of the ransomed. in glory (Rev. 1:5).

leaders of the church of Jesus Christ. We realize that immature Christians may not know very much about these things, but no man is qualified to be a teacher and guide unless he is well grounded in these fundamental princi­ ples of saving faith. During the visit of the Group to this city, I not only attended a number of their meetings, but also met with some of their leaders in a private conference in order to ascertain their attitude to­ ward these fundamental principles and to obtain other information that would enable one to judge fairly the merits of this Movement. I went with an unbiased mind; I came away more convinced than ever that the criticisms of the Movement that have come from all parts of the world are just and merited. As in all movements of this kind, there are, of course, some things to be said in favor of the Oxford Movement. Its mem­ bers emphasize - some vital things that the modern church fails to stress and which not a few churches deny. No fos­ silized preacher or dead church should criticize the Oxford or any other group. They might well profit from them. In the first place, the members of the Oxford Group believe that God can do something for a man, which fact is sadly denied today in many circles. They believe also in the supernatural in the human life. Of course, all real evangelicals have be­ lieved all this and have proclaimed it through the ages. We believe and pro­ claim it in the Church of the Open Door. If there is a man or woman who is in bondage to any kind of sin, I want you to know that there is a great God who loves you and who is able to deliver you from that bondage, no matter what it may be. In this congregation there are many men who at one time were drunk­ ards, thieves, morphine addicts, but God has marvelously delivered them. Talk about lives transformed! Come any Wed­ nesday night and hear their testimo­ nies. There are also men and women who have never committed the particular sins mentioned, but they came to realize that they, too, needed to be born again, and have been delivered from their self- righteousness through faith in Christ as Redeemer, Lord, and Coming King. The Oxford Group also believes that the most important thing in man’s life is his responsibility to Almighty God. This likewise is a truth which evangelicals have believed and emphasized. Daniel Webster was once asked what was the greatest question that ever entered his mind. He replied, “ My accountability to God.” The doctrine of accountability is clearly taught in the Word of God, and it needs to be emphasized by the modern church, for there has been a great drift­ ing away from it in recent years. In the eyes of multitudes of people, even in this so-called Christian land, there is no fear of God at all. The Atonement When all this has been said, there still remain some serious criticisms to be

mental themes to be emphasized. Not once did we hear stated in any of the public utterances of the leaders of the Movement that a man’s relationship to' God depended upon his acceptance of Christ who died a vicarious death in the sinner’s place. This is one criticism that has come from all parts of the world where the Group has been. Some of the language used in their book, For Sinners Only, has a modernistic and Unitarian .flavor. Take, for instance, the statement on page 117 which reads, “These five hundred or so, drawn from all churches and no churches, do not stand for a point of view as the price of' a safe seat in Paradise, but for a quality of life.” This is not Biblical language. What a contrast to the declaration in Revelation 7:14-15: “ These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God.” Doubtless there are men connected with the Movement who do believe in the atoning work of Christ; but a system cannot be judged by the beliefs held by individual members, but rather by the public utterances of its leaders. While some of the Oxford Group doubtless trust in the atoning work of Christ as their only hope of salvation, there are others who do not have the remotest idea of God’s redemptive plan. If any one should accuse me of not be­ lieving in the atoning work of Christ, I would not allow a day to go by without making myself very clear on the sub­ ject, and I would do this publicly as well as privately. The Oxford Group leaders have had opportunity to do this, but they have not availed themselves of it. Should the Movement be sound in re­ gard to the atoning work of Christ, it is strange that one of its members should defend the theological position of Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick of New York City. If the theological position of the Oxford Movement regarding the atoning work of Christ is the same as that held by Dr. Fosdick, then the critics of the Movement are justified in their conten­ tion that the Movement conceives of a salvation, without blood. The founder of a well-known faith mission says that he read the book For Sinners Only through twice and did not find one reference to Jesus Christ as a Redeemer. I verified this when I, too, read the book. How do you account for the omission? I am glad we sang as our opening hymn this morning: There is a Fountain filled with blood, Drawn from Immanuel’s veins; And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, Lose all their guilty stains. E’er since by faith I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply, Redeeming love has been my theme, And shall be till I die.

Hume Lake, California Home of Bible Conferences

All the great movements of this age, beginning at Pentecost, which have brought lasting blessing to men and glory to God, have had this as their central theme. For instance, Peter on the day of Pentecost stood up and preached the gospel of a crucified, risen Christ, prov­ ing that Jesus Christ in His death and resurrection fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies and the Holy Ghost swept through that audience and gathered a multitude into heaven’s garner. From the time that Saul of Tarsus met the Lord on the way to Damascus until the hour of his death, his theme was “ Christ and Him crucified.” The same is true of the Reformers, Luther, John Huss, Wycliffe, and of the great soul-winners since their day, Wesley ■, Whitefield, Moody, Torrey, Chapman. All these men made the Word of God fundamental in their preaching and gave no uncertain note as to where they stood in regard to the atoning nature of the death of Christ. As for the Oxford Movement, we have listened in vain for any of the funda­

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