Monday, February 19, 2007

Do We Really Need to Love Christ?

My sense is that a lot of folks are uncomfortable, to say the least, with the provocative way John Piper articulates some of the central concepts in his teaching. I believe one of those points of emphasis is his call for a wholehearted love for and devotion to Christ as the chief responsibility and mark of a genuine Christian. Whether or not one accepts the form of Piper's articulation, I think it's absolutely essential that we grasp the absolute necessity of this genuine, vibrant relationship with and love for Christ.

So if you don't like the way Piper says it, perhaps you'll accept and be challenged by Dave Doran's discussion from about the 7th minute to the 20th in this sermon on Jude 20-21. Here are a couple brief quotes:
I think it's not just this kind of radical apostasy that Jude would be concerned about. I think as well, he would be concerned about any approach or system to "Christianity" that denies or downplays genuine love for God—that does not recognize that real relationship with God is always marked by love.

. . .

Genuine Christianity involves love for Jesus Christ—rejoicing and joy in Jesus Christ because we have faith in Him. We believe in Him. Even though we do not see Him, we love Him. And it is always a great danger to Christianity that people substitute external, mechanical, intellectual Christianity for the real thing. There must be some genuine work of God's grace in the heart, which causes a person to love Jesus Christ if it's the real thing.

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