"I'm no fan of [Roman Catholic Professor] Stanley Hauerwas. I'll be candid: to quote him approvingly on my blog causes deep pain in the right temporal lobe of my cerebrum (which is where I think those latent fundamentalist scruples are housed). But Hauerwas certainly gets this right:
"One of the problems with evangelicals, particularly as it has taken the form of church growth, is the presumption that you get to make God up. You get to make God up. You get to make Christianity up.
"So it's like you don't receive [Christianity] through the gifts of 2,000 years that have made you possible. [It's] too often ... that evangelicals have the New Testament now and there's just nothing in between. And that tradition matters. I'm a Catholic in this regard. And, of course, tradition is always subject to error but the way you know error is through the tradition."
When your pastor has employed no dead reckoning from millenia of accumulated Christian wisdom to ensure his flock is on the orthodox path, how does he avoid the trap of apostasy into which almost all mainlines have fallen within only one decade?