Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Gospel VS. The Implications of the Gospel

Okay, I know that some of you can't stand Glenn Beck. Actually, I have never watched his program and have only caught snippets of his radio show. While I am a conservative I do find Glenn to be a bit over earnest. Also, Glenn Beck is a Mormon which means he desperately needs Jesus and ought to be the object of our prayers.

That said, I am very thankful that Glenn Beck encountered Dr. Peter Lillback's monumental book
George Washington's Sacred Fire. It is an impressive tome by almost any standard. It is, in my mind, a model of thorough historical scholarship. So now, this once fairly obscure book has received national attention and has soared to the top of Amazon's sales. What is more, last evening Dr. Lillback appeared on Glen Beck's program on Fox News to discuss the issue of "social justice." I am happy to say that Dr. Lillback made the Gospel of Jesus clear and also made the essential distinction between the Gospel and the implications of the Gospel.

The Gospel, which is the message of Christ's sacrificial death and victorious resurrection, must NOT be confused with the implications of the Gospel. The Gospel the announcement of what God has done in Christ to reconcile sinners to himself. Period. It is all promise. The Gospel is not command. The Gospel is not our good works. The Gospel is not our helping the poor. The Gospel is not our sexual ethics. The Gospel is not our feeding the hungry. These are certainly implications of the Gospel. But if we mix into the Gospel those things that the gospel produces then we adulterate the very heart of Christianity. We turn grace into law and we lose the good news itself. If you are not sure whether or not that is a big deal then read Galatians.

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