Ventrella on Sovereign Grace’s Deficient Cultural Engagement

I just ordered, and look forward to reading, Jeff Ventrella’s new book Church and Culture. The synopsis says:

Full-orbed response to a proposed statement on the church’s responsibility in culture by Sovereign Grace Ministries — and a valuable resource in elucidating a Faith that champions a comprehensive Gospel amid a church culture that all too often reduces the Gospel to personal salvation.

Sovereign Grace reflects a typical Annabaptist take on culture, so it’s good to see it called out in a public way.

14 thoughts on “Ventrella on Sovereign Grace’s Deficient Cultural Engagement”

  1. I hope you’ll post some of the insights along the way. Do you know what SGM’s eschatological framework is?

  2. SGM isn’t confessionally committed to any particular eschatology but amillennialism is taught in the Pastors College and probably adhered to by the majority of pastors. The charge of Anabaptist view of cultural engagement is misleading We had the pleasure of inviting Jeff Ventrella to participate in our worldview conference (http://www.sovereigngraceministries.org/events/the-clash/default.aspx), which proceeds along staunchly Dutch Reformed lines. I’m not an official spokesperson but you can listen to me oppose 2KT in favor of Kuyperianism here http://reformedforum.org/podcasts/pft19/
    . If you read Jeff Purswell’s contribution in “Worldlines” you will find the Reformed worldview taught there as well.

  3. I did not label SGM as being Anabaptist; if anything, it is pietistic or indifferent and my experience is that many folks would be am millennial, if anything, though like many evangelicals, dispensationalism still casts a shadow.

    Nathan is a strong Kuyperian and others may be as well, but as a movement it is not–its ecclesiology interferes with this as the Kingdom is functionally collapsed into the institutional “local church” as the proposed statement evidences in several places along with a reductionistic view of evangelism and salvation.

  4. If the objection is that many of us in the Sovereign Grace pews are functionally deficient in our view of the kingdom or worldview or cultural engagement, then I’m sure that’s true, which is why SovGrace has utilitized large-scale public teaching contexts to correct this. (For one more example, see the worldview-themed Next 2011 conference, http://www.thisisnext.org/#na-2011). Dispensationalism, confused identifications of kingdom and church, and pietism or indifferentism can probably be found in our pews as well, as they are in all evangelical denominations, but I think the more significant issue is what SovGrace actually teaches. If SovGrace has made any public statements in the past decade which commit any of the errors we’ve mentioned (identification of KoG with the church, dispensational anything, pietism or indifferentism to the culture), please do point me to them because I get paid to watch out for that kind of stuff. You can email me at nsasser@sovgracemin.org. Jeff, thanks for being one of us–I’m grateful for your example and efforts to help us reform in this area.

      1. I take it that your change of topic means you are conceding the untenable absurdity of your charge of premillennial Anabaptism. If the book recommendation implies the charge that we SGM is credo-baptist–yep, we are. As for the blackmail charge, I defer to the extensive published written remarks of the church officers who were appointed to review it.

        1. Nothing of the sort. I figured that since I’ve got you here, I would ask. I’m not delving into the weeds with you right now because I don’t have much time and it doesn’t matter much to me, but yes, being credo is hardly Kuyperian.
          Your position on Mahaney sounds like a cop out. God holds you personally responsible for sustaining a man who blackmailed someone as the leader of your denomination, and it erases your credibility.

        2. By Annabaptist, I mean something like what Ray Sutton says,
          “Its characteristics were life apart from the “world,” a voluntary basis of membership, re-baptism (ana-baptism) of adults, the rejection of infant baptism, and a “pure” church consisting of the “truly” converted who desire a “holy community” separated from the world.”
          Jeff’s use of pietism or indiferentism is probably more to the point, but I have good friends who had to be re-baptized at an SGM affiliated church, something I find reprehensible.

  5. This so called BOOK or BOOKLET is just the rantings of a self consumed arrogant person. To be short…A Lawyer

    1. Don, I let your comment through this time, but you’re going to have to do better in the future. Your entire comment is an ad hominem attack on Jeff, rather than dealing with any substance. Further:
      (a) What do you mean “so called booklet.” Is it something other than that?
      (b) rantings – please provide substance. What I have read is reasoned and calm, hardly “rantings.”
      (c) Self consumed arrogant person. And you know this how?
      (d) A lawyer. And this is wrong because?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.