A Progressive's Review | thebereancall.org

TBC Staff

Last December, Baptist Press Global published American Gospel: Christ Crucified is stuck in a time warp by Rick Pidcock. While Pidcock comes across as a likeable sort, we have to wonder why he desires to be considered a Christian? Even as he describes the faith, he holds to today I think of J. Gresham Machen's 1923 book, Christianity & Liberalism. He acknowledged liberals were religious, they just weren't Christians by any biblical or historical measure. Pidcock explains:

While Kimber’s first documentary was against the prosperity gospel, which we both agree is dangerous and oppressive, this second documentary confronts progressive Christians including Rob Bell and Richard Rohr, two men who have been instrumental in my ongoing spiritual healing from the wounds that were shaped in me by the very theology that American Gospel promotes.

As soon as we see these two names as instrumental in reshaping someone's beliefs it raises red flags. For example, Rohr and Bell teach a different God. Biblically God is separate from creation but interactswith creation, i.e., monotheism. For Rohr, the creation is God's body (Panentheism) and is in and through all of creation. For Rohr, the only real sin is thinking we are separated from God. Rohr writes"We are not punished for our sins; we are punished by our sins." We do not have to read very far before Pidcock tries to suggest there is really nothing wrong with sexual sin and conservative Christians are hurtful for not allowing those so inclined to sort of rework the Bible to fit their preferred story. He also seems to lack an understanding between the difference of having a sin nature and being held accountable for our sin. He writes:

One common theme that arises in American Gospel is the issue of history. The film talks about how everything began with the historical Adam in original sin.

In the next paragraph he writes:

So the American Gospel story — where humans literally spend an eternity in hell because of an inherited guilt from a non-literal story — is a story that simply doesn’t align with history.”

While he is correct on the origin of sin, he demonstrates a lack of knowledge about or outright rejects the biblical teaching that each of us stand before God guilty of our own sin not the sin of Adam. Nor does he seem to be aware that Christ died for our sin and we are forgiven and redeemed by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone which as it happens is the biblical gospel.