Another great article in Modern Reformation magazine (September/October 2010 issue) by Michael Horton, who I think explains Reformational theology and Christianity in general, better than anyone. He writes,
...people like the conditional nature of the law (he cites Aristotelian logic here for this). We prefer to view life as merit based, structured as if/then statements. If I obey the law, then I am a good person and God will be pleased with me.....What you do defines you, good or bad. This is an attractive perspective because it gives us a sense of control. We think, "If I can just change my behavior, then I will change who I am."
He then continues to describe the outside/inside--inside/outside conundrum,
The world may want to operate according to action/consequence or form the outside in, but God does not perate that way. Rather, He is concerned with the heart, the motivations, the inside, the root, and so is his law in its primary theological function.
In other words, there has to be a change inside BEFORE there is a change outside.
The law is lurking about demanding its perfection in our lives. We cannot do it because we don't have the heart to do it...in other words, a changed heart. We need conversion through Christ. This is precisely why every religion, including other forms of Christianity other than historical evangelical Christianity, misses the mark. Catholics. Mormons, liberal Protestants, emergents, holiness groups, and so forth constantly tell us we have to DO SOMETHING to please God and earn His salvation and/or pleasure. Of course non-Christian religions do this very smae thing too. This is why as an atheist in college, when I heard the true gospel, I thought, "Wow! This sure is a different religion. You mean I don't have to keep 4,000 rules and laws, or worship 4,000 gods, or achieve karma? You mean God did it for me?" That was such a revolutionary idea that I just went ahead after two weeks of struggle (I now realize with the Holy Spirit) that I finally received CHrist as my Savior, bearing it all for me. The problem today is much of the evangelical movemnt is once again falling into a proces theology where you kind of
"ooze" into salvation and/or pleasing God through good works. And this brings us of course, to the emergents because they certainly are on this "process-type of relgion" road. The Christian Right, and now the Christian Right is also on this road. For the Christian Right it was changing people through Governmental laws. For the Christian Left it's changing people through social justice action through--guesss what? Governmental laws. They are basically the same coin, only different sides. And the Christian Left will surely fail just as the Christian Right did.
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