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Showing posts from October 21, 2012

Aroused by Christ’s Double-Grace

In my previous post (Too Much of a Good Thing?) I dealt a bit with how there are folks within my own clan within the Christian tribe who seem to foster a “let go and let God” mindset with regard to sanctification. I used a specific example from Steve Brown and his book, “Three Free Sins”. As I tried to show, he (and others) are correct in their emphasis on the liberal love of God announced in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But I also attempted to show where they go too far, by having the Gospel promises swallow up and neutralize all the directives in the Sacred Scriptures. In this post I will endeavor to show the beauty of sanctification that explodes in splendor from the liberating love of God in Jesus Christ.
To begin with, a simple perusal of Paul’s writings will show the connection between the gracious Gospel and healthy holiness. Take the letter of Paul to the Ephesians, for one example. In the first three chapters, Paul clearly articulates what God has done for us in Christ, “predes…

Too Much of a Good Thing?

I have been a Christian for a number of decades now, and a pastor for over 12 years. In all that time I have bumped into, and sometimes crashed into, various oddities in the Christian tribe. One of those quirks has to do with Christian holiness.
On the one hand are those who promote a strenuous rigor through various fastings, prayings, askesis (the Greek word for athletic or military training from which we get “ascetic”), techniques, and mechanical maneuvers. It has been my regular experience that this kind of scrupulousness breeds a subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, self-righteous vanity. This approach reads only half of the New Testament, the “do this” or “let us” directive portions of Sacred Scripture, which consume and wipe out the Gospel-promises. I think that much of North American Evangelical Christianity sits in this campsite, which is why you see loads of books and hear oodles of sermons that address the Twelve Steps to Success, or 40 days to being a better you or a better …