Steve Blow is an award-winning writer for The Dallas Morning News and a good friend. He wrote a column in last Sunday’s paper that is generating a great deal of controversy. It claims that the majority of Christians have given up belief in a literal hell and the necessity of faith in Christ, and seems to recommend that the rest of us change our rhetoric and commitments accordingly.
Dr. Ron Scates, Senior Pastor of Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Dallas, has written a response that is so outstanding, I asked his permission to post it on our website. Ron is the closest pastor friend I’ve ever had. I admire beyond words his courage, conviction, and compassion, and agree with every word that follows:
‘God plus one person equals a majority’
I genuinely like Dallas Morning News columnist Steve Blow. Recently, Anne and I had the delightful privilege of sitting with him at a dinner. I believe that Steve—like myself—is genuinely embarrassed by certain public expressions of the Christian faith. That’s obvious when you read his column in last Sunday’s DMN entitled “Fear Of Hell Shifts With The Times”. But . . . just because most people today no longer fear hell, doesn’t mean that hell is not a reality.
My mentor at Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, VA–Dr. John Leith–would often say, “Bad theology always hurts people.” I guarantee you . . . any time you and I develop our theology based on majority votes from the surrounding culture—rather than by what God has revealed in His Word—inevitably, we wind up with bad theology. Steve says that because a majority of Christians today neither believe hell is a reality, nor that Jesus is the only way to salvation . . . we need to stop being hypocrites, get with the times, and abandon these doctrines that are more relic than reality . . . or act in ways that he believes are less than Christian.