I’m sorry to keep quoting this guy, but he’s dropping some gospel bombs lately.
“Ever since the fall of man in Genesis 3, we’ve been obsessed with ourselves. Add to that fire the fuel of the Enlightenment’s mantra, “Progress is inevitable”, and the “manifest destiny” DNA that has marked our country since its inception, and it’s no surprise that our man-centered culture of narcissism has seeped into the church. Whether it takes the crass form of “health, wealth, and prosperity” or the more theologically sophisticated form of an obsession with “sanctification” and “holiness”, the bottom line is, we have concluded that this whole thing is about our transformation, not Christ’s substitution. Or, to put it more accurately, Christ’s substitution is a means to an end–the end being, our transformation. I can hear the objections now: “It’s not either/or, Tullian, it’s both/and.” I’m not saying it’s “either/or” and I’m also saying that it’s not “both/and.” It’s primary/secondary, cause/effect. Those distinctions matter. A lot!
Yes, the gospel does transforms us. But transformation does not happen when we make transformation the warp and woof of our message. But that’s exactly what’s happened. Whether it’s “how to have a good marriage”, or “how to be more missional”, or “how to practice godliness more effectively”, people hear more about what they need to do than what Jesus has already done. We’ve taken our eyes off of Christ, “the author and finisher of our faith”, to focus on ourselves. Plain and simple. When the gospel of free grace is preached without “buts and brakes” and people inside the church start crying out that the deeper need of the hour is a renewed focus on ethics, it’s nothing more than a “pietistic” mask for our seeming inescapable addiction to personal progress.”
For the full post: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tullian/2013/10/21/church-we-have-a-problem/