Could Christ Have Preached Christ and Him Crucified?

Rick Phillips introduces a tension — though that was not his intention — between Jesus’ preaching and Paul’s. We have the old was-Paul-the-second-founder-of-Christianity problem.

Here‘s is what Christ preached according to Phillips:

I noted 4 main types of ministry emphases highlighted by Jesus in Mark:

1. Jesus declaring his deity as Messiah, together with his teaching about God and salvation (i.e. theology and redemptive history).

2. Jesus preaching the gospel: pointing out his hearers’ need to be forgiven and God’s wonderful remedy through his saving work. Included here would be calls to prospective disciples to believe and follow Jesus.

3. Jesus training and reproving his disciples, including ethical and spiritual instruction and his call to evangelistic labor.

4. Jesus exposing false teachers and religious opposition. This includes the confronting and correcting of false doctrine.

And here is how Paul described his preaching:

And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (1 Cor 2:1-2)

Again, I don’t think Phillips is trying to drive a wedge between Jesus and Paul, but the way he frames the question does lead in that direction — one that contrasts the way Jesus preached with the way his disciples did (think of Peter in Acts 2). Why isn’t it the case that Jesus is NOT a model for post-ascension preaching — nor is John the Baptist. Until the main event of the death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ, the preaching of biblical prophets is going to be types and shadows. Think Geerhardus Vos.

And also think Marilyn Robinson. This is what can happen if you use Jesus as your model for preaching and leave out Paul:

Since these folk claim to be defenders of embattled Christianity (under siege by liberalism, as they would have it), they might be struck by the passage in Matthew 25 in which Jesus says, identifying himself with the poorest, “I was hungry, and ye fed me not.” This is the parable in hallowed be your name which Jesus portrays himself as eschatological judge and in which he separates “the nations.” It should surely be noted that he does not apply any standard of creed – of purity or of orthodoxy – in deciding whom to save and whom to damn. This seems to me a valuable insight into what Jesus himself might consider fundamental. To those who have not recognized him in the hungry and the naked, he says, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels.” Neofundamentalists seem to crave this sort of language – more than they might if they were to consider its context here. It is the teaching of the Bible passim that God has confided us very largely to one another’s care, but that in doing so he has in no degree detached himself from us. Indeed, in this parable Jesus would seem to push beyond the image of God as final judge to describe an immanence of God in humankind that makes judgment present and continuous, and that in effect makes our victim our judge. Neither here nor anywhere else in the Bible is there the slightest suggestion that our judge/victim would find a plea of economic rationalism extenuating. This supposed new Awakening is to the first two Awakenings, and this neofundamentalism is to the first fundamentalism, as the New Right is to the New Deal, or as matter is to antimatter’.

Advertisements

27 thoughts on “Could Christ Have Preached Christ and Him Crucified?

  1. Jesus is NOT a model for post-ascension preaching

    Jesus is ALWAYS the model, period;
    and He is outside of time, but in time here is some post-ascension preaching: Rev 2-3

    Like

  2. “It is not simply that justification is compatible with sanctification, but also that justification is necessary for sanctification. Reformed theologians have expressed this conviction in various ways. Calvin, for instance, when explaining why justification, “the principal ground on which religion must be supported,” must be given such great care and attention, writes: “Unless you understand first of all what your position is before God, and what the judgment which he passes upon you, you have no foundation on which your salvation can be laid, or on which piety towards God can be reared.”95
    – From the OPC Report on Justification

    http://christopherjgordon.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-gospel-of-synagogue-versus-gospel.html

    When Robinson reduces the message of Jesus to law, she does that with the assumption that (before revivalism) Calvinists never had any assurance of being elect. But Jesus Himself preached this—The sheep follow him because they recognize his voice. They will never follow a stranger; instead they will run away from him, because they don’t recognize the voice of strangers…..

    8 All who came before Me[a] are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture. 10 A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come in order so that they have life and have it in abundance. 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep…14 “I am the good shepherd. I know My own sheep, and they know Me, 15 as the Father knows Me, and I know the Father. I lay down My life for the sheep.

    … 26 But you don’t believe because you are not My sheep.27 My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish—ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”

    Like

  3. Wasn’t this just an excuse to get someone to post this Machen quote?

    Why then did the early Christians call themselves disciples of Jesus, why did they connect themselves with His name? The answer is not difficult. They connected themselves with His name not because He was their example in their ridding themselves of sin, but because their method of ridding themselves of sin was by means of Him. It was what Jesus did for them, and not primarily the example of His own life, which made them Christians. Such is the witness of all our primitive records. The record is fullest, as has already been observed, in the case of the Apostle Paul; clearly Paul regarded himself as saved from sin by what Jesus did for him on the cross. But
    Paul did not stand alone. “Christ died for our sin” was not something that Paul had originated; it was something he had “received.” The benefits of that saving work of Christ, according to the primitive Church, were to be received by faith; even if the classic formulation of this conviction should prove to be due to Paul, the conviction itself clearly goes back to the very beginning. The primitive Christians felt themselves in need of salvation. How, they asked, should the load of sin be removed? Their answer is perfectly plain. They simply trusted Jesus to remove it. In other words they had “faith” in Him.

    Here again we are brought face to face with the significant fact which was noticed at the beginning of this chapter; the early Christians regarded Jesus not merely as an example for faith but primarily as the object of faith. Christianity from the beginning was a means of getting rid of sin by trust in Jesus of Nazareth. But if Jesus was thus the object of Christian faith, He Himself was no more a Christian than God is a religious being. God is the object of all religion, He is absolutely necessary to all religion; but He Himself is the only being in the universe who can never in His own nature
    be religious. So it is with Jesus as related to Christian faith. Christian faith is trust reposed in Him for the removal of sin; He could not repose trust (in the sense with which we are here concerned) in Himself; therefore He was certainly not a Christian. If we are looking for a complete illustration of the Christian life we cannot find it in the religious experience of Jesus.

    Machen, Christianity and Liberalism 81-82

    Like

  4. “To those who have not recognized him in the hungry and the naked, he says, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels.” Neofundamentalists seem to crave this sort of language ”

    I’d like to meet these Neo-fundamentalists, I wonder who they are. Westboro?

    Like

  5. http://christopherjgordon.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-gospel-of-synagogue-versus-gospel.html

    When Robinson reduces the message of Jesus to law, she does so with the assumption that (before revivalism) Calvinists never had any assurance of being elect. But Jesus Himself preached —“The sheep follow him because they recognize his voice. They will never follow a stranger; instead they will run away from him, because they don’t recognize the voice of strangers…..

    8 All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture. 10 A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come in order so that they have life and have it in abundance. 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep…14 “I am the good shepherd. I know My own sheep, and they know Me, 15 as the Father knows Me, and I know the Father. I lay down My life for the sheep.

    … 26 But you don’t believe because you are not My sheep.27 My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish—ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”

    Like

  6. I believe Rick makes some pretty serious charges when he writes the following:

    Under the “gospel-centered”TM rubric, a true ministry must constantly and almost exclusively hammer home the free offer of forgiveness through faith alone in Christ’s blood.  Teaching theology is deemed irrelevant, instruction is legalistic, and confronting false teaching is ungracious.  In this approach, the biblical evidence shows that Jesus did not have a “gospel-centered”TM ministry.  In fact, most of what Jesus did in Mark’s Gospel involves messages that a “gospel-centered”TM ministry does
    not approve.

    Who has taught that, “… true ministry must constantly and
    almost exclusively hammer home the free offer of forgiveness through faith
    alone in Christ’s blood.”?

    Who has taught that, “… Teaching theology is deemed irrelevant…”

    Who has taught that, “… instruction is legalistic…”

    Who has taught that, “… confronting false teaching is ungracious…”

    What I understand of the  “gospel-centered”TM  movement is that it expects preaching to include God’s two Words of Law and Gospel and the right administration of the sacraments.  Since Christ has lived, obeyed, died, and resurrected Paul has written a few things.  That includes a number of letters that have both indicatives and imperatives.  Both are clearly important.

    “Almost exclusively…” is really strong language.  And when he uses the language, “free offer…” does he mean that initial offer to the unbeliever?  One of the things I understand of the  “gospel-centered”TM  movement is that it expects believers to never run out of their need to have the gospel proclaimed and applied to them.  I know I never run out of my need.  Perhaps Rick is different than many of us.

    What I understand is instruction (or particularly preaching) that does not have the indicative of Christ’s work underlying it is trying to root our good works/obedience in mid-air.  Like Paul, both indicative and imperative are important.  When believing sinners struggle in this life with their indwelling sin, are they somehow forgiven because they ratchet up their obedience enough?  I sure hope that’s not the case.  What a way to damage pilgrim’s on their way.

    But since Todd Pruitt informs us of the following, perhaps many of us Oldlifers are just not regenerate:

    No. First of all there is genuine debate about whether Romans 7 is pre or post conversion. Some of the best Romans scholars like Douglas Moo are convinced it is pre-conversion.

    A few years ago, we attended our annual church (PCA) retreat and there was no gospel the entire weekend…including Sunday morning.  The guy was there to attack Tullian.  We were there in hopes of hearing the gospel.

    The promises of God’s rich mercy in Christ is something we don’t typically get in the office or the other struggles during our week.  When we go to church, we should expect to hear a bit of news that we do not hear in the world.  Is that really asking too much?

    The entire section of ‘Exhortations without the Gospel are Legalistic’ by Graeme Goldsworthy can be found on pp. 118-119 in Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture  Goldsworthy nails it.

    Graeme Goldsworthy Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture, 59

    In the end, the central message of Christianity is not about “abandoning ourselves” (7). As important as obedience is, it is not the essence of Christianity. What makes Christianity distinctive from every other religion is the gospel. All imperatives must be given and clearly seen as implications of the gospel. “The alternative,” Graeme Goldsworthy wisely instructs, “is to preach law and to leave the impression that the essence of Christianity is what we do rather than what God has done. Legalism easily creeps in even when we think we have avoided it. The preacher may well understand the relationship of law and grace, but the structure of the sermon program may undermine it in the thinking of many in the congregation”.

    From Graeme Goldsworthy’s Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture. In preaching, Goldsworthy asks, “What is the relationship of this text to the person and work of Jesus of Nazareth?” He goes on to state the following, “Preachers with a concern for expository preaching are pre-disposed to developing a preaching program in which a series of expositions from one particular book is given. In my experience the preaching of a series of sermons, say, from an epistle, easily leads the preacher to fragmentation because, while the epistle was written as a single letter to be read at one time, it is often divided up so that it is dealt with in Sunday sermons over a period of several weeks. There is nothing wrong with that as such, provided we recognize the changed dynamics. Thus, Paul may expound the gospel in the first part of the letter, and then go on to spell out some ethical and pastoral implications. When the preacher finally gets to deal with the latter, it is possibly a couple of weeks or more since the gospel exposition has happened, and the connection between the gospel and behavior, very closely related in the epistle, can be lost. The result is that exhortations and commands are no longer seen to arise out of the good news of God’s grace in the gospel but as simple imperatives of Christian behavior; as naked law.” (XIV)

    Graeme Goldsworthy, Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2006), 59.

    It cannot be stressed too much that to confuse the gospel with certain important things that go hand in hand with it is to invite theological, hermeneutical and spiritual confusion. Such ingredients of preaching and teaching that we might want to link with the gospel would include the need for the gospel (sin and judgment), the means of receiving the benefits of the gospel (faith and repentance), the results or fruit of the gospel (regeneration, conversion, sanctification, glorification) and the results of rejecting it (wrath, judgment, hell). These, however we define and proclaim them, are not in themselves the gospel. if something is not what God did in and through the historical Jesus two thousand years ago, it is not the gospel. Thus Christians cannot ‘live the gospel’, as they are often exhorted to do. They can only believe it, proclaim it and seek to live consistently with it. Only Jesus lived (and died) the gospel. It is a once-for-all finished and perfect event done for us by another.

    When we confuse the fruit of the gospel in the Christian life for the gospel itself, hermeneutical confusion is introduced. The focus easily turns to the life of the believer and the experience of the Christian life. These can then become the norms by which Scripture is interpreted. Instead of interpreting our experience by the word, we start to interpret the word by our experience. Such reversal of perspective from Christ to self really begins the movement towards the autonomy of human reason in hermeneutical theory.

    Like

  7. Brad;
    “When we go to church, we should expect to hear a bit of news that we do not hear in the world. Is that really asking too much?”

    Amen brother! I’m getting really frustrated with my own PCA preachers who don’t get this.

    Like

  8. David,

    Sadly, it seems many of those “fighting” antinomianism fail to realize this is a very real problem. (And it’s called moralism that will not save us.) The speaker at our church retreat told me he did not think at all the gospel needed preached every Lord’s Day. After 12 years, we’ve had it and are actively seeking another congregation. The PCA is the next PCUSA.

    Like

  9. Clowney describing Shepherd’s covenant dynamic—“The command is not less gracious than the promise…. the graciously given commands must be obeyed; if they are not obeyed, destruction, the threat of the covenant, will be meted out. Prof. Shepherd would end the shouting-match between Arminians and Calvinists by saying with the Arminians that God does require obedience for salvation and that the threat of destruction for disobedience is real and applicable actually, not hypothetically, to the church of the New Covenant no less than to Israel of the Old. ”

    clowney-on-norman-shepherds-controversial-distinctive-theology/

    Like

  10. Brad,

    You write:

    Who has taught that, “… true ministry must constantly and
    almost exclusively hammer home the free offer of forgiveness through faith
    alone in Christ’s blood.”?
    Who has taught that, “… Teaching theology is deemed irrelevant…”
    Who has taught that, “… instruction is legalistic…”

    Agreed. This seems to be a caricature that appears often. I am not as familiar with all of the names and recent controversies as are most of the people who comment here, and while it does seem that there may be some out there who argue for the near-complete rejection of the third use of the law, the vast majority of the Reformed pastors and writers who advocate a Law-Gospel distinction seem to emphasize also Calvin’s third use of the law.

    The law drives us to Christ, who points us to his law – though we must again and again come back to Christ.

    Bill

    Like

  11. “Jesus is Lord” is not good news for antinomians, but the number of other people is not an “empty set”. And they will tell you so.

    Mark Jones—“Most of the Early Modern Reformed did not view Romans 2:7-11 as hypothetical, contrary to what some in the Reformed camp today have suggested. Rick Phillips has addressed this question in the past, but I remain concerned about some historical and exegetical issues made therin; his post also strikes me as far too defensive. Better, in my view, is the approach taken by Richard Gaffin in By Faith, Not By Sight. Should this cause people to despair regarding the future judgment? Only if one is a bona fide hypocrite. Christ will rightfully condemn the hypocrites in the church (Matt. 25:41-46). They are marked out as those who did not do good works. They are those who neglect the weightier matters of the law (Matt. 23:23). Here is good news for those who have a true, lively faith.”
    – See more at: http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2015/10/judgment-according-to-works.php#sthash.tIqAGX16.dpuf

    Like

  12. Brad;
    Sorry to hear about your struggles. When I graduated from Covenant in 1994 the PCA was a different place that it is today–or maybe I was just naieve. Second dittos on Goldsworthy’s “Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture;” a real eye-opener.

    Like

  13. Mark Jones says we must be doing the weightier matters of the law to be saved. I was wondering what those weightier matters might be? Thanks.

    Like

  14. “Most of the Early Modern Reformed did not view Romans 2:7-11 as hypothetical”

    What does “early modern reformed” refer to? How is it early yet modern?

    Like

  15. it’s the people who agree with Mark Jones about Romans 2, Romans 6:7, and Romans 8:4.

    http://paulhelmsdeep.blogspot.com/2011/07/romans-2-and-3-one-step-at-time-dear.html

    Charles Hodge–“One’s interpretation of Romans 8 verse 4 is determined by the view taken of Romans 8:3. If that verse means that God, by sending His Son, destroyed sin in us, then, of course, this verse must mean, “He destroyed sin in order that we should fulfill the law” — that is, so that we should be holy (sanctification). But if Romans 8:3 refers to the sacrificial death of Christ and to the condemnation of sin in Him as the sinners’ substitute, then this verse must refer to justification and not sanctification.”

    John Calvin on Romans 8 4–“That the justification of the law be fulfilled, etc. They who understand that the renewed, by the Spirit of Christ, fulfill the law, introduce a gloss wholly alien to the meaning of Paul; for the faithful, while they sojourn in this world, never make such a proficiency, as that the justification of the law becomes in them full or complete. This then must be applied to forgiveness; for when the obedience of Christ is accepted for us, the law is satisfied, so that we are counted just.”

    Like

  16. Lee irons—-Romans 2:6-13…is not straightforward teaching addressed to believers as part of the exhortation to evangelical obedience. Rather, it is part of an argument leading to the conclusion that “there is none righteous,” but that now there is a way for sinners to be reckoned as “righteous” in God’s sight apart from law-keeping, by faith in Christ. Romans 2:6-13 is part of a so-called “diatribe” against the Jewish interlocutor who presumes that he will fare better than the Gentiles at the day of judgment because of his superior knowledge of God’s will. Thus Paul’s point is not to set forth what actually will happen at the day of judgment but to set forth the impartial principles of divine judgment, and then to show that no one, Jew or Gentile, will match up and that therefore everyone, Jew and Gentile, is equally in need of Christ’s imputed righteousness.

    Irons—Paul’s rhetorical aim in Romans 2:6-13 is to demonstrate the universal impartiality of God, that is, the notion that God judges all humanity, both those under the Law (Jews) and those outside of the Law (Gentiles), on the basis of the same standard, and that, on the basis of that impartial standard, all humanity stands without excuse and subject to God’s judgment. Romans 2:6-13 is… part of an argument the conclusion of which is: “Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by the works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:19-20 ESV).

    Irons—One of the big weaknesses of any attempt to take Rom 2:6-13 as Christian parenesis rather than as a rhetorical diatribe with unbelieving Jews about the universal impartiality of judgment is that it requires one to soften the terms that Paul uses. For example, Cranfield in his commentary writes that final acquittal is on the basis of “those works of obedience which, though but imperfect and far from deserving God’s favour, are the expression of their heart’s faith” (1.156). But as I wrote in my paper:

    “It is understandable that those who wish to interpret Rom 2:13 in a real sense would want to avoid the implication that perfect obedience is required for final justification. No one claims that perfection is possible. But where in the context does this idea of imperfect obedience come from? It has to be smuggled in to avoid a theologically unacceptable idea of salvation by perfect obedience. But this is to do eisegesis rather than exegesis.” (pp. 54-55)
    http://upper-register.typepad.com/blog/2010/05/

    Like

  17. I don’t see the tension here. After all, Paul wrote:

    “If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus….”

    This sounds a lot like what Robinson is saying to me. Moreover, I don’t read her as suggesting that Christ doesn’t also save us from the condemnation of sin. The radical grace of Christ ought to change us. Sure, that change need not manifest itself in certain embodiments, which is what we see demanded by the Young, Restless, and Legalistic. Even so, if our Christian fellowship is less warm than that among your work colleagues, there’s a problem.

    Like

  18. @David Sanger

    In what way was the PCA different in the ’90s? Wasn’t that the height of the D. James Kennedy’s de facto papacy?

    Like

  19. well, if you actually read what Robinson writes in that “Hallowed Be Thy Name” essay, it’s not so delightful.

    p 3, (Getting on Message, edited Laarman. Beacon Press, 2006, some of those essays are old)—-“The liberal rejection of the idea that one could be securely persuaded of one’s own salvation was in fact a return to Calvinism and its insistence on the utter freedom of God.”

    To say that Robinson does not deny that God forgives the guilt of sin, even though she denies that God judges by creed or doctrine, is like saying that those who deny justification by grace are nevertheless justified by grace.

    As much as liberals may talk about the “freedom of God”, you will discover (every time) that they object to any possibility that God could or would have elect individuals and that God could or would impute all the guilt of those elect individuals to Himself so that Christ died for their sins. Their God is simply not free to disagree with Kant about moral liability.

    Like

  20. I think that the real tension in the NT is between these two verses:

    Matthew 5:17ff

    17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

    and Acts 15:10:


    10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”

    Like

  21. Curt, this is not my usual snarky, drive by comment so hopefully it doesn’t come across that way. I could see the tension between those passages unless one sees the Matthew passage as part of the Lord’s exposition of the moral law and the Acts passage as referring to the ceremonial law – I think the surrounding context in each passage would easily lead one to see that distinction.

    Like

  22. The “early modern” folks who agree with Jones were opposed to empty set (hypoethical) accounts of Romans 2, but according to Jones, there was more “diversity” about “hypothetical universalism.”

    In a recent blog post, Mark Jones does a question and answer on this, complete with reminders of how good and gracious his questions are. Jones—“As Richard Muller has often noted, there are clear versions of hypothetical universalism found in Musculus, Ursinus, Zanchi, Bullinger, et al. … the Lombardian Formula was routinely reinterpreted, revised, or downright denied by a whole host of Reformed theologians. The hypothetical universalists were typically quite accepting of the formula, while those who emphasized the particularity to the exclusion of the universality of Christ’s death were more uncomfortable with the formula as time progressed….the advocates of hypothetical universalism affirmed a special design in the death of Christ for the elect alone. … According to Calamy’s hypothetical universalism, Christ did purchase the efficacious APPLICATION OF Christ’s death (i.e., impetration) for the elect alone.”

    http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2015/08/interview-on-the-atonement-and.php

    Like

  23. “Could have” sounds so yesterday. What Adam might have done….What Christ might have done…

    Why preach Christ and Him crucified when all that’s in the past, and the intercession of Jesus present in you is in the future? And why preach election, when’s that too is past, and best forgotten for now (or at least kept secret). And the two-sided covenant extends into your future?

    To quote from Shepherd’s Call of Grace, published by Presbyterian and Reformed and endorsed by Richard Gaffin, p 83—-“To look at covenant from the perspective of election is ultimately to yield to the temptation to be as God.

    p 84—“God has wrought a finished and complete redemption, and so salvation (and not merely the possibility of salvation) is offered without equivocation to all…. The Calvinist frequently hedges on the extent of the world, because the saving love of God revealed in the atonement is only for the elect….The Reformed evangelist can and must preach to everyone on the basis of John 3:16 –Christ died to save you.

    p 89—“John 15 is often taught by distinguishing two kinds of branches. Some branches are not really in Christ in a saving way. Some are only in Him externally…If this distinction is in the text, it’s difficult to see what the point of the warning is. The outward branches cannot profit from it. because they cannot in any case bear genuine fruit. And the inward branches cannot help but bear good fruit. The words outward and inward are often used in the Reformed community…to account for the fact that the covenant community includes both elect and non-elect. But when Paul uses the terms Romans 2:28-29 , he is not referring to the elect and non-elect. The terms define the difference between covenantally loyal Jews and disobedient transgressors of the law.”

    Like

  24. What Rick Philips does in playing off the Lordship of Jesus against some narrow focus on the forgiveness of sins is very typical of those who emphasize having a “Reformed worldview”.

    Jack Miller—-Wright offers a false choice by suggesting that “preoccupation” with who gets to heaven and by extension ‘how’ – somehow precludes also focusing on how one is “to live in the here and now.” The implicit message is ‘don’t focus on those peripheral personal salvation issues’, thus weakening a Biblical teaching that one should be rightly “preoccupied” with their salvation… not in some self-centered pursuit of spirituality but by growing in our trust in Christ’s death for our sins, His merit and obedience for our justification, and in a thankful obedience to His commands.

    Jack Miller—Secondly, Dr. Wright’s teaching advances the idea that the gospel is not about how one gets saved from sin (by grace through faith in Christ alone), rather refocusing God’s purpose on building the kingdom of God here on this earth by righting wrongs and countering injustice in society. Though there are important things to be taught regarding our deeds unto others in this world, this shift in emphasis by Dr. Wright subtly moves the believer away from the gospel.

    http://theworldsruined.blogspot.com/2010/02/nt-wright-and-redeemer-church-in-nyc.html

    A gospel that says believe but you still may not “attain heaven” is no gospel.

    A gospel that says believe and God may save you is no gospel.

    A gospel that says you can only hope but never know that Jesus died for you is no gospel.

    Non-election is not a result of the sinner rejecting grace.

    All are commanded to believe the gospel.

    The promise of the gospel is for all sinners.

    But the promise of the gospel is NOT that God has grace for all sinners.

    The promise of the gospel is that those who believe the gospel do so because of God’s grace.

    The promise of the gospel is that “as many as” those who believe the gospel WILL BE SAVED.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s