Bob Godfrey On “What’s Going on Right Now: Sex, Race, Politics & Power”

Bob Godfrey has been teaching the Adult Sunday School class in (what is now) the Escondido United Reformed Church for forty years. Some of that material has made its way into print and, in that way, perhaps you have benefited directly from it even though you have not been in the Sunday School. He has taught through books of the Bible, on church history, and a wide-range of topics. His class this year is asking and answering the question: “What’s Going On Right Now?” In the first class he explains the meaning and history of the term Christendom and argues that what is going on right now, the reason things are changing so dramatically in our time, is the death of Christendom. The Scripture passage around which this series is anchored is apt, “For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm! God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne” (Psalm 47:7–8). You can hear first class and even read a transcript here. Thanks to AGR for making this available to all of us.

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  • R. Scott Clark
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    R.Scott Clark is the President of the Heidelberg Reformation Association, the author and editor of, and contributor to several books and the author of many articles. He has taught church history and historical theology since 1997 at Westminster Seminary California. He has also taught at Wheaton College, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Concordia University. He has hosted the Heidelblog since 2007.

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6 comments

  1. What happened six years ago is plain enough, but I’m curious to see how he connects that with the end of Christendom.

    • Indeed. I’ve heard many people say that Obergefell was the proverbial “nail in the coffin” for Christendom. In my (admittedly non-expert) opinion, I think it comes down to this: nine black-robed unelected judges fancied themselves vested with power and commandment to change the definition of an institution that has had one consistent meaning for practically all of human history, which definition comes straight from the pages of Scripture, is upheld in the Christian faith, and was enforced under Christendom. God defines marriage; their redefinition amounts to a proclamation that Caesar is god.

      I’ll be curious to see if that’s where Dr. Godfrey goes with it. He’ll probably say it more winsomely, or he may contradict what I’ve said entirely. 🙂

    • Why has Dr. Godfrey’s latest Sunday School audio not shown up on AGR yet? We’re all waiting in suspense to see where he goes with this “six years ago” end of Christendom business?

    • Pr. Chris Gordon finally posted a follow-up yesterday to Bob Godfrey’s first Sunday School class session on the AGR website and, as several on this blog have already guessed, the event that took place “six years ago” that brought christendom to an end in this country was indeed legalization of same sex marriage. This is no surprise. Gordon goes on to describe pressures that were imposed on people groups such as exiled and captive Israel under oppressive Babylon and the young Church under Roman persecution (though I would remark that captive Israel under Nebcudadnezzar and the forced homage to the golden statue was a different set of circumstances than Christian persecution under Cesar, post incarnation – God only tolerated so much from the wicked the Babylonian king before directly punishing him; no such “direct” intervention took place in Rome; history simply played out the end result with Rome as it has it has throughout the world over the past 2,000 years. Jesus warned of persecution for his church at the hands of unbelieving, wicked men).

      Meanwhile, while I’m not surprised that an event like that SCOTUS decision took place (I could see it coming, but was hoping to have passed on to the next life before it actually took place), I’m much more astonished that mainline protestant denominations went right along with it. I’m in agreement with Machen in his “Christianity and Liberalism” written almost 100 years ago – these mainliners have no right to call themselves “Christians” – it’s an entirely different religion.

      I’ve posted it here before, but it’s worthwhile once again to refer to the wise words of Charles Porterfield Krauth…

      “When error is admitted into the Church, it will be found that the stages of its progress are always three. It begins by asking toleration. Its friends say to the majority: You need not be afraid of us; we are few, and weak; only let us alone; we shall not disturb the faith of the others. The Church has her standards of doctrine; of course we shall never interfere with them; we only ask for ourselves to be spared interference with our private opinions. Indulged in this for a time, error goes on to assert equal rights. Truth and error are two balancing forces. The Church shall do nothing which looks like deciding between them; that would be partiality. It is bigotry to assert any superior right for the truth. We are to agree to differ, and any favoring of the truth, because it is truth, is partisanship. What the friends of truth and error hold in common is fundamental. Anything on which they differ is ipso facto non-essential. Anybody who makes account of such a thing is a disturber of the peace of the church. Truth and error are two co-ordinate powers, and the great secret of church-statesmanship is to preserve the balance between them. From this point error soon goes on to its natural end, which is to assert supremacy. Truth started with tolerating; it comes to be merely tolerated, and then only for a time. Error claims a preference for its judgments on all disputed points. It puts men into positions, not as at first in spite of their departure from the Church’s faith, but in consequence of it. Their recommendation is that they repudiate the faith, and position is given them to teach others to repudiate it, and to make them skillful in combating it.”

      I would add a fourth stage: once “error” has become firmly entrenched in the “church” its members are expected to applaud the immorality.

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