Monday, April 29, 2013

Our end, and not our means

Does Christ come to improve our existence in Adam or to end it? (sweeping us into his new creation)

Is Christianity all about spiritual and moral makeovers or about death and resurrection?  (radical judgment and radical grace)

Is the Word of God a resource for what we have already decided we want and need, or is it God’s living and active criticism of our religion, morality, and pious experience?

In other words, is the Bible God’s story, centering on Christ’s redeeming work, that rewrites our stories, or is it something we use to make our stories a little more exciting and interesting?

-- Michael Horton
Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Finding Him vs He has found you already

Even when the apostles of the New Testament exhort you to love your neighbor, to pursue gentleness, and to refrain from debauchery ... that's awesome, but that's not a way to find God, to please God, or to satisfy God, because God is not found, pleased, or satisfied with the work of your hands.

He is satisfied already.  
He is pleased already. 
He has found you already... In Jesus.

God is never found in what you do.  God is found in what Jesus has done for you with His birth, His life, His suffering and death, with His glorious resurrection and ascension, and with the current preaching of who He is and what He has done.

-- Jonathan M. Fisk
Broken - Seven "Christian" Rules That Every Christian Ought to Break as Often as Possible

Monday, April 1, 2013

The cross does not merely inform us

True knowledge of God, therefore, does not come on a theological platter.  We are predisposed do distort things, to see wrongly, and to speak falsely.  We construct a doctrine of God amenable to our own projects.  So the only way to know God is through suffering, the suffering of the one who saves us.

God can be known and had only through suffering the divine deed of the cross.  The cross does not merely inform us of something.  It attacks and afflicts us.  Knowledge of God comes when God happens to us, when God does himself to us.  We are crucified with Christ.  The sinner, the old being, neither knows nor speaks the truth about God and consequently can only be put to death by the action of God.

In the cross, God has literally taken away from us the possibility of doing anything of religious merit.  Religiously, we like to look on ourselves as potential spiritual athletes desperately trying to make God's team, (having, perhaps, just a little problem or two with the training rules).  We have a thirst for glory.  We feel a certain uneasiness of conscience or even resentment within when the categorical totality of the action of God begins to dawn on us.  We are always tempted to return to the safety and assurance of doing something anyway. 

But to surrender the "wisdom" of law and works, or better, to have it taken away, is the first indication of what it means to be crucified with Christ

-- Gerhard O. Forde
On Being a Theologian of the Cross