Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Much More Like A Ball

How much grace is too much grace? You've heard the arguments. To say that it really is finished, to say that the Gospel of Christ really is the main thing, is to invoke the usual skeptics who insist that there really is a balance that needs to be struck between the Law and the Gospel. The result of this controversy, this tension between Law and Gospel as it were, has been a church awash in legalism, powerless evangelism, and saved Christians unprepared for the inevitable storms of life on one end, and on the other end, people seeking refuge in hopeless versions of the gospel that promise selfish rewards for faith (what the Gospel actually frees us from), as if grace were a commodity to be bought and sold. The church really needs to answer the question, "What is the Gospel?", and truly articulate that answer to all those who profess to follow Christ, and to those that need Him.

Fortunately, many authors are standing up to address this tension, and redefine the gospel in an understandable way that truly unleashes the gospel into the believing Christian's life. One such book is Jared Wilson's Gospel Wakefulness, wonderfully capturing the truth of the Gospel, how obedience is from the gospel, not our part in it. For instance, in his chapter Chief Spiritual Rhythms, Jared likens the Gospel to a ballroom dance:

    "The Christian not wowed in gospel wakefulness may move like the frightened victim in an old Western, shuffling his feet frantically as the law, demanding he "dance!" fires a six-shooter at his toes. There is compliance but no heart, no rhythm. But the gospel-wakened Christian dances because he's at the ball. He hears the music of the gospel and cannot help but dance!" 

Reading the book, it being totally comprehensive in approach, one can truly be awakened to the Gospel and all the real peace and blessings it contains, enabling the Christian to enthusiastically take part in the evangelism and mission of the church.

Jared incorporates the very interesting story of his pastoral move from a bible-belt southern church to a northeastern church, and the surprises and similarities he encounters preaching gospel wakefulness along the way. He is the author of several books, including Your Jesus Is Too Safe, another "must read". Wilson's blog, The Gospel Driven Church is parked at The Gospel Coalition, and should be one of your regular stops.

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