Here is a question that I asked of Mike Horton of the White Horse Inn. And his answer. You'll notice that it is a similar topic that I sent to the Christian Standard Editor.
Grace and Peace,
Wichita, Kan.: I have visited some of the Christian Bible Colleges around the country and have sat in some of the classes being offered. I have also visited churches planted by these colleges and they all have become infected by this virus and are now promoters of this Christless Christianity. Question: Since this problem is so sweeping across the country and denominations, do I contact the Presidents of these Colleges? What can we say or do to change the tide? Or are we on the "Downgrade" that Charles Spurgeon warned us about so many years ago?
Michael S. Horton: You put your finger on a major argument in my book. Conservatives often identify "Christless Christianity" with liberalism. However, it is hard to find Christ-centered preaching in so-called "Bible-believing" churches today. Everybody seems to be interested in other things these days.
The prophets, Jesus, Paul, Augustine, the Protestant Reformers, Spurgeon, and countless others had to confront the heresy of self-salvation. It is our default setting to believe that we are basically good people who could be a little better with the right game-plan, support-network, and coaching. "God helps those who help themselves": according to surveys, most evangelicals thought that this was a biblical quotation, when it actually comes from Ben Franklin. The Good News that the Bible proclaims, however, is that God saves those who cannot save themselves.
The first thing we have to realize if there is going to be genuine reformation in the churches today is that the self-trust that engenders Christless Christianity is not just a problem in some times and places, but is the natural drift of our fallen heart. We have to be taught out of it our whole lives as Christians. One generation assumes the gospel; the next generation forgets it; the next one abandons it. But each of us will be constantly tempted to fall back on ourselves instead of on Christ unless Christ is seen as the center and circumference of the church's preaching, teaching, the sacraments, and mission.