Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Graceless Christianity

I think we ought to help our fellow followers of Jesus develop practical, applicatory ways to live out life in the Spirit. Faith is not living if it doesn't work, no doubt.
But the more I hear this plea for "practical application" as the substance of biblical teaching and preaching, the more intrigued I am as to why people prefer homework over simply hearing the announcement that Jesus has done the work necessary to redeem us, and that there's nothing we can do to earn His love and favor. Why isn't it an awesome thing, an inspiring thing, to hear the proclamation of the Gospel itself? Are we so un-enamored with the person and work of Jesus that we consider the atonement irrelevant, boring, or peripheral to getting a Christian honey-do list?

As sinners saved by grace, we must get far more excited about hearing what Jesus has done for us and will do in us than we do about The Six Steps to _________. The cult of application is just a newfangled works religion, and while our faith should produce fruit, and while we should commit ourselves to the service and sacrifice for others, and while we should dedicate ourselves to spiritual disciplines, when we subjugate the Gospel proclamation to practical application, we are preaching a graceless Christianity.


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