The very Reverent Tom Baker
During a recent trip to Great Britain, I was very
disappointed one day when picking up the Independent newspaper, 7 October 2000,
to read an article about a minister of the church of England who had passed
away. I put a note at the top of the article that said, "The poor bloke
never understood Paul's mystery gospel of salvation."
I quote herewith in part from the article:
"Tom Baker was an ordained scholar who spent many years in
a succession of posts training clergy for the ministry of the Church of England.
He was acutely aware of the need to be able to serve with
integrity in a secular society, where often old words no longer resonated...
Students who believed that everything they had been taught
about the scriptures and the creeds by their favourite vicar in the past was
literally true, were introduced to a new and sometime painful freedom of
As at Lincoln, he insisted that theology can only be studied
within its social and cultural context. Some found that being introduced to the
demythologising work of Rudolf Bultmann was disturbing....
As a skilled well-qualified pianist with a natural generosity
of spirit he got on well with the musical establishments at Worcester, which
were intrigued by the catholicity of his musical tastes. At famous cathedral
party they sang his praises:
He loves all kinds of music,
From opera to pop,
He can't abide poor Wesley,
It makes his spirits drop.
He quite likes C.V. Stanford,
He loves a Gershwin tune,
And if you play him Wagner
He fades into a swoon...." End Quote.
As I read the article in full, my heart was disturbed
realising that this man had taught others this strange non-biblical form of
theology, which would not turn people to Jesus as salvation, and in the end
ultimately away from the one who died to save them from their sin.
Many years ago I read the reflections of one professor
Blaiklock, ex-university professor of history and classics, who made this
statement, "If medical men fiddled with their textbooks the way theologians
do with theirs, it wouldn't be safe to go to a doctor."
Folk, particularly ministers of the Christian church need to
be taught that the Bible is concerned with, in the main, the salvation of
sinners, through the sacrifice of the precious blood of Christ.
The result of missing this point, is the torment of hell for
ever and ever, not only for the hearer, but also the preacher.
God is no respecter of persons. Acts 10:34