Thursday, December 03, 2009

The Power of the Gospel and How We Deny It

Chris Anderson's piece, "Is God Still Working?", published in the OBF Visitor, is worth a read. He argues that we functionally doubt the gospel in two ways: 1) supplementing or replacing it, and 2) expecting no conversions. I think he's exactly right, and I want to propose a third way we deny it.

A few years ago a Christian leader told me that he doubted whether teenagers could ever really love God, so we need to control their behavior until they're old enough for God to work in their hearts.

I believe that doctrine emasculates God and guts the gospel.

When we doubt that God will inflame the hearts of his people–whether teenagers, single adults or retirees—with a growing desire to exalt the name of Jesus Christ and to live lives of holiness; when we say God said things that God never said; when we teach as doctrine the commandments of men; when we create an atmosphere in which the doctrine of justification is marginalized—displaced by a culture of hedges around the law; when we do all those things, we've compromised the biblical gospel just as surely as if we flirted with ecumenism.

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