Sunday, September 07, 2008

Go preach the gospel to Christians

When’s the last time you looked another Christian in the eye and said ‘Mate you’re a sinner. I know you have struggles, I know you’re tired but, deep down you’re wicked! That’s your real problem. But Mate - you’re clothed in the righteousness of Christ, carried on His heart before the Father, rejoiced over in the presence of the angels.’ Glen Scrivener. Amen!

Too often we assume that Christians know the gospel. We need to keep being told it. By each other. Too often we preach moralism in church to Christians - which is useless for the Christians, and preaches a false gospel to any visiting non-Christians. If we preached gospel on Sunday from all the scriptures we'd serve one another and be accessible to visitors. I don't mean gospel summaries - I mean the way that the scriptures declare the message of the gospel, in all their resplendent symphony. I don't mean to be reductionist, but more to sound the call of Peter Leithart in his book The Kingdom and The Power (p93)

"The Bible is a complex book.... however hard we try to think biblically, we have been subtly but deeply influenced by modern philosophy and science. Often when we have rejected the explicit conclusions of science, we unconsciously adopt a scientific mind-set. One example of this is our tendency to operate on the modern assumption that all ideas can be defined with infinite, scientific precision... the more you study the Bible, the mode you will find that it cannot be forced into this mold.... Bavinck said that modern (and ancient Greek) thinkers attempted to find the 'essence' of a thing... by subtraction... Scripture, by contrast, describes the essence of a thing by addition. Only when we know the fullness of a thing, all of its attributes, do we really know its uniqueness and 'essence'. God's 'essence' is not some 'bare minimum'... 

We need the gospel as Matthew lays it out. And as Mark does. And as Luke does. And as John does. Not to mention the gospel according to Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy etc. We Christians need this, and so does this world. This must be the song of the church.

ps: Leithart's The Kingdom and The Power and Solomon among Postmoderns are two of the most interesting, well-written and thought provoking books I've read this year. The former on the centrality of the church the later on postmodernism and Ecclesiastes. Something else influenced by Peter Leithart: David, Goliath, St George and the garden of Eden.