Evangelical Unitarians

Hutchens wrote, on Touchstone blog in 2008, about Losing God the Father:

….In the paths I travel I have heard from time to time some muted remarks about the tendency of Evangelicals to direct their worship to Jesus rather than the Father. This never seemed to me much cause for concern because the Son and the Spirit are to be worshipped with the Father, and Evangelical churches are by definition trinitarian.

Lately, though, it has struck me that the hymnody of churches like the one we attend are indeed very heavily weighted toward the worship of the Son so that the Father, who is greater than the Son and Spirit, and who is to be the Principal toward whom worship is directed, actually is given a place inferior to that of the Son, in a way similar to the elevation of the Spirit among Pentecostals. Perhaps this has always been the case with this form of American pietism and I am just beginning to notice it, but it bothers me that most of what we sing in church could be just as readily be sung in those modalist congregations–and we have a number of these “Unitarians of the Second Person” in our area–which blend the Persons of the Trinity into “Jesus.” But if it is an old problem, certainly things haven’t become any better in this regard during my lifetime….

The apostasy of a church rarely happens as the result of an epiphany; it is normally a slow process involving “certain currents of ideas” plunged into because they seem modern and successful, a drift, unresisted, unstudied (or only prejudicially studied), and prayed about dishonestly only after the current has been entered. After years of concentrating on the worship of Jesus (lex orandi), God becomes something subtly but significantly different in our minds than the Trinity of orthodox faith (lex credendi), just as after years of adjusting the scriptures to answer to our sect’s distinctive beliefs, elementally profound departures from the faith and practice of the universal church seem no more than reasonable concessions to the way people think these days, and what they enjoy (how else can we “evangelize” them?). These are now taken up into our doctrine and defended by the same kind of dodging we have always used to avoid the parts of the Bible that trouble us.

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