"A graceless Calvinist is a guy who knows how a car works but who's never driven through the countryside in the warm spring air with the top down and the wind blowing through his hair." -Jared Wilson, The Gospel-Driven Church, in response to a pastor's remark about some folks getting sucked into "that Reformed theology."
Jared "gently" concludes his argument about graceless Calvinists, "The problem is not the Reformed theology, as many free-willers suspect, not the Calvinism. No, the problem is gospel wakefulness (which crosses theological systems and traditions). Or the lack thereof."
In my service as a worship leader, much discussion is had about the perpetual pew warmer. Pastors want to "fire them up" and get them contributing to the life of the church in one form of service or another. The pastor is sure they are believers, and can't figure out why they never help in anyway at all. Even with inspiring worship and preaching, nothing seems to get through to them. Isn't this all the same problem?
Whether one is in church for the first time, an unbeliever or a believer, an active member or not, isn't the answer always the gospel?
The unbeliever needs to hear it until the Lord opens his eyes. The passive believer needs to hear it until the Lord opens his eyes, and the active gospel living believer can't get enough of it, anyway. I don't believe there is very much scripture out there that can't be preached in it's relationship to the gospel. The gospel, and all it implies, is the gift of God to man. Our part in that grace is to believe it, preach it, and live it; once truly awakened, we can't do any other.
John Piper preached this week: "Running straight through the Gospel of John is the truth that God the Father and God the Son decisively draw people out of darkness into light. Jesus died for this. And what (John 12:32) adds is that this happens today in history by pointing the whole world to the crucified Jesus and preaching the good news that whoever believes on him will be saved. In that preaching of the crucified Christ, God opens the ears of the deaf. His sheep hear his voice and follow.