Evangelical Cheap Shots at Ash Wednesday and Lent

With Ash Wednesday only a couple of day away, the Evangelical blogosphere gets hot with diatribes against Lent observance. For those of us who observe this period of interior world work, surely we know the difference between its meaning for Roman Catholics and its meaning for those who embrace the new birth through faith alone in Jesus Christ. Such a statement of this by Dr. Carl Trueman of Westminster Seminary displays a typical response. “When Presbyterians and Baptists and free church evangelicals start attending Ash Wednesday services and observing Lent, one can only conclude that they have either been poorly instructed in the theology or the history of their own traditions, or that they have no theology and history.”

I don’t think I am poorly instructed in the theology or history of my own tradition. This is a cheap shot. I seek to enlarge my tradition when it needs to be enlarged by the fuller experience of the church at the same time I hold to my tradition and theology in its distinctives. The bottom line is “sola scriptura,” the Bible alone. I am not amused when someone outside my tradition tells me what I have to be in order to be faithful to my tradition. It is true that I am not a usual Baptist. But I am not seeking to be usual. I am seeking to be loyal to Christ and His Word. And I will take the wisdom of the church where it is loyal and faithful to Christ and His Word where I find it. Here is Dr. Trueman’s article.

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