Forde on “Post-Reformation Lutheranism” (and I would add Christianity in General)

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared anything from my favorite Lutheran Theologian Gerhard Forde.  Here’s a doozy:

The tragedy of post-Reformation Lutheranism and the theological root of its identity crisis is to be found in the persistent attempt to combine the radical gospel of justification by faith alone with an anthropology that cannot tolerate it…

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John Dink, Cheap Law, and WWJD

“Cheap law weakens God’s demand for perfection, and in doing so, breathes life into… [our] quest for a righteousness of [our] own making…  It creates people of great zeal, but they lack knowledge concerning the question ‘What Would Jesus Do?’  Here is the costly answer: Jesus would do it all perfectly.  And that’s game over for you.  The Father is not grooming you to be a replacement for his beloved Son.  He is announcing that there is blessing for those who take shelter in his Beloved Son…  Therein lies the great heresy of cheap law: it is a false gospel.  It cheapens–no–it nullifies grace.”

John Dink’s post “Hallelujah, What a Savior” quoted in Tullian Tchividjian’s “One Way Love

Gehard Forde on the Charge of “Cheap Grace”

“The mistake is to think that we can remedy the charge of ‘cheap grace’ by making it expensive, by inflating the rhetoric, piling up the adverbs, reimposing the law, until the enterprise takes on the aspect of a great balloon which rises on the strength of its own hot air…

One would rather be called upon to make talk about grace as radical, as unconditional, as free and as pure as possible…  The gospel grants the ultimate possibility, not the law

It’s not ‘cheap grace’?  No!  It’s not cheap, it’s free!  ‘Cheap grace,’ you see, is not improved by making it expensive, a ‘bargain basement’ special.  It’s free.”

Gerhard Forde “Justification by Faith: a matter of death and life.”‘

 

Where God Meets Damien Rice

Damien+Rice++Lisa+Hannigan

There are certain songs that I go to when everything seems to be falling apart.  One of those songs is Damien Rice’s “Cold Water” which is about that moment:

“When you’re right on the edge about to fall off a cliff or in a car accident or whatever…  When you feel your life might be taken away from you.  All of a sudden we shout ‘Jesus,’ ‘God…’  It’s just one of those thing…  The strangeness of how we drift from from one side [not needing God] to the other [calling out to him] depending on where we’re at.” –Damien Rice Pukkelpop 2003

What I love about this song is the way it portrays the emptiness and subtle hope of those moments.  God feels completely absent experientially  yet somewhere; somehow we know he’s working.  Have a listen and see what it invokes in you. Continue reading