gratitude & hoopla: Four Thoughts

gratitude & hoopla

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

20.5.06

Four Thoughts

1. From Quiet Time Guilt, by Greg Johnson:
There are two religions calling themselves evangelical Christianity today: Strength Christianity and Weakness Christianity. Strength Christianity is that religion which places both feet squarely on the Bible and proclaims, "I am strong. I sought the Lord. I’m a believer. I’ve turned away from sin. I read my Bible and pray every single day. I’m for God!" Weakness Christianity, by contrast, places both knees squarely on the Bible and says, "I am weak, but the Lord has sought me. I believe, but help now my unbelief. I fail and am broken by my continued sinfulness. Have mercy on me, Lord, and grant me favor, for apart from you I can do nothing." [HT: Reformation21 Blog]
2. Others have made the point, but none have made it better than C. S. Lewis:
I have been told of a very small and very devout boy who was heard murmuring to himself on Easter morning a poem of his own composition which began "Chocolate eggs and Jesus risen". But of course the time will soon come when such a child can no longer effortlessly and spontaneously enjoy that unity. He will become able to distinguish the spiritual from the ritual and festal aspect of Easter; chocolate eggs will no longer be sacramental. And once he has distinguished he must put one or the other first. If he puts the spiritual first he can still taste something of Easter in the chocolate eggs; if he puts the eggs first they will soon be no more than any other sweetmeat. [HT: Eight Strings]
3. VineyardUSA.org publishes a nice church-planting magazine called Cutting Edge. The latest issue is here. A perceptive and perhaps overdo (at least in the Vineyard) quotation:
These days a sense of self-congratulation seems to pervade many songs. We seem to be impressed, not with our works (because that would be heresy) but at least with the admirable way we’ve responded to grace. This trend is also evident in the many songs of outrageous promise: Forever I’ll love You, Forever I’ll stand, I will sing of Your love forever, Over oceans deep I will follow, and so on. That last promise sounds like the one Peter made. One wonders whether we might be singing in praise of our own competence.
4. Finally, would that all Christians might read the following words every Sunday morning before they go to church:
"The gospel is not 'God loves us,' but 'God loves us at the cost of his Son.'" (Derek Thomas)
[HT: Ligon Duncan at Together for the Gospel]

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