Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A Useless Crucifixion?

I've said elsewhere what an exciting day we live in when the cross of Christ is even a scandal in American churches. This is because the evangelical culture has traded "Christ as life" for "Christianity as help." But rather than despair over this deficiency, as so many within the Church are, I tend to see it as a great day for the scandal of grace. Those who get the Gospel get to pull a big freak out on Christian and non-Christian alike! :-)

The Internet Monk is talking about this stuff this week too:
A highlight for me is a discussion of just how useless the crucifixion of Jesus is in much of evangelicalism today. If our great need is to be delivered from the wrath of God, then Jesus is our mediator. But what if our big problem is losing ten pounds? Finding a bigger house? Paying for college? Getting out of debt? What if the guilt that concerns us is the guilt of not having a pool like our neighbor? What if the center of our prayers is the moral life of our kids or our physical health? Do we actually need a crucified Jesus for any of these things?
. . .

The prosperity gospel isn’t on the fringe any more. As William Willimon says, churches now advertise that they “have what you are looking for.” What is the average American looking for? A bloody savior to deliver from the wrath of God? Or success in life?


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