Dan Boone, President of Trevecca Nazarene University, cannot be trusted with disseminating biblical truth. In a recent post on his blog, he suggests three basic areas in which, as he says, “ the church today needs a greater degree of trust.” I believe he strikes out in all three areas, especially his final point.
I would point out that since I am well familiar with his writings in the past ten years or so, I note again a taste of arrogance, as well as a subtle disdain for those Christians who dare to stick to a biblical principle and not deviate from it. He can’t help but look down on those kooky “fundamentalists”, and he always uses that term in a derogatory, less than “charitable” manner, as he expressed in his book, “A Charitable Discourse.”
Here are his three points:
“An older generation needs to trust the missional spirit of a younger generation as they seek to reach their changing world.”
“The church needs to trust the Christian college to do its thought-work in a complex world.”
In these first two points, the answer should be a resounding no! Trust must come conditionally, especially in these days. The younger generation has been poisoned with so much nonsense and unbiblical ideas, especially from people like Dan Boone, that there is no way they should be trusted without scrutiny based on God’s word. And the same goes even more for trusting a Christian college. All Christian colleges need to be held up to the light of scripture, and be held accountable for their actions and what they teach. There is no such thing anymore as trusting Christian colleges without subjecting them to accountability. And I’m sure Mr. Boone does not wish to have Trevecca held accountable, which it should always be.
Finally, point number three, which is the most concerning to me:
If we are to have “in essentials, unity; in nonessentials, liberty; in all things, charity,” the million dollar question is—what is essential and what is nonessential?
I would suggest the essential things include a saving experience in which the Spirit of God bears witness with our spirit that we are the sons and daughters of God. I would also include the core of Christian faith as expressed in the Apostles’ Creed and the stated doctrines of the church. (For me this is my denomination’s sixteen Articles of Faith rooted in historic Methodist and Anglican belief.)
My nonessentials list is a lot longer—creation theory, political party, hawk or dove, role of government, method of befriending the homosexually oriented, church music preference, preferred eschatology, favorite authors, method of baptism, church architecture, budget priorities, whether there is one or three authors/chronologies of Isaiah, interpretation of Gen. 1, the death penalty, the right of a woman to preach (although this comes close to being an essential for me), social drinking, reading from the early church fathers, yoga, blessing pets in the church sanctuary, speaking in tongues, Catholic theology, real wine or Welch’s at Communion, casual or coat-and-tie on Sunday, Left Behind opinion, national health care, and so on.
The main mistake Dr. Boone makes in listing a bunch of items as “non-essential”, is that he does not realize that everything that God says in His word, or everything that Christ commands us to do, is essential! Note that he “suggests” some non-essentials, which is good, because he apparently does not know for sure what is essential or non-essential.
The only measuring stick as to what is essential or non-essential is Holy Scripture! And you certainly cannot suggest that something that is clearly taught in scripture cannot be an essential. And the fact that he cannot be specific about what he believes about each of these items makes his list irrelevant, and no one can reasonably agree or disagree with these points, unless he specifically says what he believes about them!
Hiding His False Beliefs Behind Words
What Dr. Boones does is hide his false teachings behind words.
He hides his belief in evolution: For example, his “non-essential” of creation theory. He wants to shut off discussion of his false belief in evolution, and his rejection of the literal account of creation. This very idea alone makes him a false teacher, since belief in evolution rejects the creation account and the actual existence of Adam and Eve. He makes God a liar by rejecting God’s simple story of creation.
He hides his love of contemplative mysticism and works written by heretics: therefore, his non-essentials of “reading from the early church fathers”, and “yoga’. This is a reflection of his affinity for contemplative mysticism and Eastern practices such as yoga, practicing the silence, and prayer labyrinths, which he finds nothing wrong with. There are many “early church fathers” who are outright heretics, so no Christian ought to agree that this is non-essential, unless Dr. Boone specifies which ones he is talking about. And yoga is certainly not a non-essential, because it is based on Eastern mystical practices, and is actually a religious practice which Christians should avoid. Mr. Boone is well known for his liking of Thomas Merton, and prayer labyrinths, and trips to Merton’s Abby of Gethsemani. So certainly, he would want these subjects to be non-essentials.
He hides his ecumenicalism: his non-essential of Catholic theology is also disturbing. Dr. Boone is a good example of the many Nazarenes who have compromised biblical truth and who consider Roman Catholic teaching to be okay, and therefore we can get along with them. Catholic theology is so full of heresy, and yet Boone and other misguided Nazarene leaders today are leading people to accepting Catholic theology as no big deal. This is shameful, and this is part of what is destroying the Nazarene denomination-thanks to Dan Boone and many others.
In all these other items, it all is based on what the context is. Even a subject as “speaking in tongues” is all determined by what scripture teaches about it! The matter of “the right of a woman to preach” can also be answered by scripture. Dan Boone does not seem to realize the essential of “obey the word of God and all it teaches.”
The bottom line is, Dan Boone wants all Christians to agree on the things he suggested as being essential, which I agree are essential- but he wants to then leave open anything else as being non-essential. Including his own heretical neliefs.
You can read the entire article he wrote, and perhaps leave your thoughts with him. Since he has advocated a “charitable discourse” in the past, he ought to let everyone give their honest opinion of his writing.