“Whether preaching the need to conform to society, reform it, or separate from it, all these options are theologies of the Law, not Gospel. They reduce Christianity to rules, behavior, and codes of conduct–neglecting the fact that human beings are in such bondage to sin that they cannot fulfill the Law. More profoundly, they neglect the fact that Christianity is about God’s grace, the atonement of Christ, and the forgiveness of sins. Put another way, in their ambitious kingdom-building, they exhibit the theology of glory, rather than the theology of the cross.”
Gene Edward Veith, Jr. “The Spirituality of the Cross“
“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“
“There are certain substances that are, by themselves, salutary; but when they are mixed they are turned into poison. That is what happens when Law and Gospel are mingled… there arises a third substance, when Law and Gospel are confounded in a sermon. The new substance is entirely foreign to either original substance and causes both of them to lose their virtue… It is therefore a matter of utmost necessity that these two kinds of God’s Word be well and properly distinguished. Where this is not done, neither the Law nor the Gospel can be understood, and the consciences of men must perish with blindness and error.”
C.F.W. Walther “The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel”
PS: on a sidebar, Walther is obviously the best looking theologian in the history of Lutheranism…
“Fanatics are convinced they have the power of the Holy Spirit, but in fact have only called themselves, and do not know the gospel… The law always creeps in as the form of righteousness only to become the content of ‘new prophecy’ whose form is: do this and you will be the true church… The temptation of a preacher is to be a spiritualist who receives new words from God not given in Scripture. What does God call the preacher to do? Preaching is God’s command, not the congregation’s own tradition. The preacher’s call is not as Rabbi, Enthusiast, Spiritual Guide, Disciple, Prophet, or Community Organizer–What then is it? The call is to preach law and gospel… Fanaticism is overcome only in the proper preaching of law and gospel…”
Steven Paulson “Lutheran Theology“
Are You Going To Hell?
You got: You’re not going to Hell!
You may be not going to Hell, but chances are you deserve to. Come on, really? It’s 2014. Leave your views in the middle ages, dude.
And with that I received my eternal destiny from Dave Stopera over at buzzfeed.com. In a moment of weakness I let go of the good news of John 3:16-18 and came to him to receive my judgment. Continue reading
One of the ground breaking insights that my old professor Paul Zahl brought into my life was the relationship of God’s Law (notice the big L) and the infinite little laws (notice the little l) that we get from society and even place on ourselves. For Zahl this is particularly true in the way the Law/law is heard. Continue reading