Tag Archives: Gospel

Religion and Works

Does Sincerity Matter to God?

Greg Koukl answers the question:

Cross-less Christ

A hearty AMEN! to David Porter today, who recently wrote a stellar post on how the “offense of the cross” is waning in western culture. Due to this post, he gets “blog of the month” in my book.

His quote of Thomas Scott reminded me a lot of Niebuhr’s terse, yet insightful analysis of liberalism in the

Christ's Crucifixion by Rembrandt.  If you look closely, you can see Rembrandt himself at the foot of the cross, crucifying Christ along with the crowd.

Christ's Crucifixion by Rembrandt. If you look closely, you can see Rembrandt himself at the foot of the cross, crucifying Christ along with the crowd.

1930’s:

“A God without wrath brought men without sin into a Kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a Cross.”

Sin is very unpopular talk these days. It’s a hard sell. Talking about God’s love, about experiencing peace and the Kingdom here and now, and about certain popular social justice causes are much, well, sexier in these “enlightened” times.

Sin might not be popular to bring up, but its necessary to bring up. Without it, the cross seems silly at best, and “divine child abuse” at worst. Without the knowledge of our sin, it makes God look petty. “Why would God send someone to hell just because he got a few questions wrong on a theology test?” is the common question to ask when someone misses the depth of his/her sinfulness.

If you talk to many Christians, many assume that this is one part of the message that most in the west already are aware of. But from the conversations I’m having, I see quite the opposite. Sure, some are already broken…you give grace, not law, to these thirsty souls. But the majority are quite solid in their belief that they are “good” people and that God will “let them into heaven” if there indeed is a heaven (most believe in heaven, but few believe in hell…there’s another unsexy topic for you).

The Bible talks about sin all over the place. Jesus talks about sin all over the place. Can’t miss it. Just look inward, and you’ll find it there. To paraphrase Albert Mohler, this is yet another issue where believers will face a choice: the Bible, or hipness. Christian, you cannot run from this choice forever: eventually, you must choose whom or what you will give allegiance to.

I have felt this choice welling up in my own heart. I remember on a few occasions feeling embarrassment at a friend who was presenting the Gospel clearly, simply, and boldly. I’m embarrassed to say I was embarrassed. In those moments, I’m like Peter.

This is one choice certain pockets of the Emergent movement are facing now…from what I see, they aren’t making a wise choice. They might be genuine in their beliefs, but I cringe when I hear certain people talk about revamping the Gospel message. Soon, other stalwart evangelical churches will have to make a decision too.

Thanks for the post, David. It reminded me of the necessity of contending for unpopular truth in an upside down time.

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