Monday, December 5, 2011

Moralistic Preaching is Deadly

Moralistic preaching is stimulated by a fear of the scandalous freedom that gospel grace promotes and promises. The perceived fear is this: if we think too much and talk to much about grace and the radical freedom it brings, we’ll go off the deep end with it. We’ll abuse it. So to balance things out, we need to throw some law in there, to help make sure Christian people walk the straight and narrow. (p. 50) Preachers these days are expected to major in “Christian moral renovation.” They are expected to provide a practical to-do list, rather than announce, “It is finished.” They are expected to do something other than, more than, placarding before their congregation’s eyes Christ’s finished work, preaching a full absolution soley on the basis of the complete righteousness of Another. The irony is, of course, that when preachers cave in to this pressure, moral renovation does not happen. To focus on how I’m doing, more than on what Christ has done, is Christian narcissism (an oxymoron if I ever heard one)– the poison of self-absorption which undermines the power of the gospel in our lives.(p.117) - from Jesus + Nothing = Everything, by Tullian Tchividjian

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