Friday, May 07, 2010

Do Legalism and License Converge? (and more . . .)

Whether J.D. Greear's case that license is secular legalism holds water or not, I'm not yet sure. But I am sure he's dead right when he says:
Trying to correct a sinning, selfish Christian’s behavior by preaching a rousing sermon to him about what he must go and do to be a “faithful” Christian is the WORST thing you can do… because he will go and do what you tell him to the degree he feels like he needs to for his conscience to be satisfied. But when the sting of your sermon wears off he’ll go right back to his old selfish ways because his heart has never really been changed.
His point reminds me of how moralistic fundamentalist preaching so ironically mirrors moralistic liberal preaching. Both cut the heart out of the over-arching story of Scripture—how the only remedy to inevitable human failure is the gospel.

We need heart change. We need God to change our hearts. That's the foundational message we need to preach. That's what we have to make clear before any of the downstream implications of that message can advance.

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