Random musings

Some thoughts and ideas that I’ve been chewing on lately:

-Salt, in the Mark 9:50 sense, isn’t only a flavor-er, but an anti-decayer and preserver as well. How am I living in light of this fact? (Modern Reformation, Mar/Apr, 2011)

-The confusion of law and gospel has been a perpetual thorn in the church’s side, and today is no different. The “new monasticism” of missional and emergent types as well as calls to “live the gospel” and live radically are just repackaged ways of burdening believers with guilt and fear instead of freeing them to enjoy the glories of resting in Christ’s finished work. (Modern Reformation, Mar/Apr, 2011)

-The most dangerous, most common, most troublesome sin in marriage is our tendency toward self-worship. (Rev. Arrick sermon, 3/13/11)

-Depravity is on full display in the book of Judges. The sin of Israel gets progressively worse as they “do what is right in their own eyes,” the consummation of which is Judges 19, when Israel goes further than Sodom and Gomorrah. Interestingly, Carl Trueman recently preached a sermon on just this passage.

-It’s easy for me to criticize Job’s philosopher friends who simply believe in a souped up version of the prosperity gospel and karma. Your life is hard, they say? Repent, be righteous, and God will bless you. Enjoying prosperity? You must be living righteously. Easy to disagree with, right? But how often do I default to this way of living? Things are going well? God must be pleased with how I’m doing. Things are tough? Then what sin do I need to repent of so that I can start enjoying God’s blessings again? But we’re not prosperity gospelers or cosmic karma-its. Thankfully, God doesn’t treat me as I deserve, but lavishes his grace upon me in Christ, disciplines me, and gives good, undeserving gifts to his children. Job didn’t believe in karma, and he certainly wouldn’t have been a Joel Osteen fan.

3 thoughts on “Random musings

  1. Amen (to the last paragraph).Second paragraph: Hmm, need to think through that one more, but my initial reaction is that while we can (and must) rest on Christ's finished work, that doesn't mean we have no responsibility to live the gospel and live radically. If indeed the Gospel does transform us, we should, nay, must live as such.

  2. Brent, I don't disagree that our lives should still be characterized by the fruit of the gospel in our lives. I am guilty of posting my thoughts out of the context of the article (and the entire magazine), so I can see if I can find them online to send to you if you want. But one of the author's points is that we can't "live the gospel" – Christ did that once for all. The gospel is good news about an historical person who lived and died and rose again. We don't live that right now. So that's an unfortunate, confusing misnomer right there.And flowing from that in a lot of missional circles is a lot of pressure to live radically – that "real" Christians do this and do that in this specific way, and if you're not then you're either not a real Christian or a second-rate one. It's repackaged romanism, fundamentalism, legalism, and other similar -isms that have been plaguing the church for centuries.

  3. Joel, I agree that the pressure from missional circles is yet another form of Phariseeism (wow, I don't think I have seen that many vowels in a row since I was last in Hawaii).This is tricky stuff. We don't have the liberty to flaunt our freedom in Christ, yet we have been freed from the law as a chain around our legs. I don't believe in balance; it is a tension that is constantly with us, and that many of us ignore to our peril.I'm looking forward to reading the articles, then pondering some more, then giving up and playing a game of Age of Empires in despair! 🙂

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