Whatever Happened to Sanctification (or Mortification, or Vivification or Glorification)? Or Strange Days Indeed, Most Peculiar, Mama!

 john_lennon_antes_y_ahora4

John Lennon famously sang that,

Everybody’s talking and no one says a word; there’s always something happening and nothing going on; there’s always something cooking and nothing in the pot; everybody’s running and no one makes a move; everybody’s flying and no one leaves the ground.

Perhaps reflecting the larger modern age’s desire to make the world better, transformationalism is the hot parlance of the day in Protestant and Reformed circles. Curiously gone are older terms which seem to capture a more resonating notion of what happens (or doesn’t happen) in our earthly striving as justified sinners, dusty and rather ordinary words like mortification and vivification. The therapeutic age has replaced such terms with various power phrases which seem derived from some notion or other of self-improvement, individual or social. Sitting under an otherwise highly edifying catechetical sermon recently on the nature of sin and grace and justification, it was particularly noticeable when the opportunity arose to make heavy weather of sanctification the T-word was instead used. How odd, given that the more informal formulation Reformed ordo salutis includes no where this phrase: election, predestination, gospel call, inward call, regeneration, conversion (faith & repentance), justification, sanctification, glorification. And the more formal confessional formulations barely employ the word, and when done so, doesn’t impress so much as a power therapeutic phrase but as a subservient one to the broader conception of sanctification.

Of course, transformationalism usually has in view place instead of person. The first principles here are quite different from those one might call localism. In transformationalism the premise is necessarily that there is something fundamentally wrong with a place. In localism, it is assumed that any place, be it the (allegedly) mean streets of Manhattan, or the rocky roads of Antrim county, are essentially good as they are; nothing needs to change.  In this way, where localism nurtures place, transformationalism shames it. Transformationalism may pretend to love the place it has in its sights, but when the premise is that there is something essentially awry it really is arrogance with a smile. Does one imagine this sort of posture during common courtship or upon taking martial vows? Conventional wisdom seems to suggest that the idea of changing a person upon commencing a serious adult relationship is actually quite adolescent, patronizing and just plain foolishness.

But the alternative to outside-in transformationalism isn’t much improved by an inside-out one. Even when the focus shifts from inanimate creation (place) to animate creation (people), as it must since the sole object of God’s redemptive work is what was made in his own image and likeness, the lingo of transformationalism still falls flat. Human beings are creatures of the Creator. This means we are essentially very good. It is our condition that is hell bound.  Christianity is about saving a very good animate creation that has brought itself, along with inanimate creation, into a totally depraved state of being.

But the call is for Christianity to translate into immediately known categories. Everyone wants the relevancy of “changed lives” and those lives to “change the world,” whatever that really means. The result can be Christians holding out more a pagan theology than a Christian one when it comes to just what is happening in the mystery of God’s lifelong inner work of mortifying the flesh and vivifying us unto salvation. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain and forget the fact that Christians appear no different than pagans, or that said mystery is created and confirmed in such seemingly uncharismatic elements like words, water, bread and wine. Forget all that and force a theology of glory that suggests we can indeed transcend our own humanity in one way or another. There are all sorts of ways to have your best life now, from the crass to sophisticated and all stops in between. That is a lot of flying for never leaving the ground.
But like someone once said in making the point that personal transformation is just plain different from the work of God,

The new birth – conversion and repentance – now that’s a completely different kettle of fish. God assails me from out of nowhere in judgment by His Word and Spirit; nails me, brings me to the point of agreeing with His judgment about me, and then executes me. And then through that pulls me out through the other side alive with Christ out at the other end as new creatures [sic]… It’s called mortification (dying to self) and vivification (living to God in Jesus Christ). And it doesn’t just happen once, but every day until we’re glorified. Furthermore, it’s something that God does to us through His Word of Law and Gospel. Not something that we can do for ourselves, through our own clever programs.

Could it be that the “before and after shot” of the new birth properly understood is not quite as attractive and winsome as we naturally think? Could it be that despite the call to stomp on his records in 1966 that by the time 1984 rolled around Lennon’s dumber statements about Christianity were made up for by a grasp on the apparent conflict between the theology of glory and that of the Cross?

Everyone’s a winner and no one seems to lose. There’s a little yellow idol to the north of Katmandu.

Little idol indeed.

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This entry was posted in Christian life, John Lennon, Sanctification, Theology of the Cross/glory, Transformationism. Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to Whatever Happened to Sanctification (or Mortification, or Vivification or Glorification)? Or Strange Days Indeed, Most Peculiar, Mama!

  1. RubeRad says:

    I guess it comes down to what you think “transform yourself by the renewing of your mind” and “new creatures” and “more and more dying unto sin, and living unto righteousness” looks like. Or even a level above that, you seem to keep insisting that it doesn’t look like anything. I’ll walk with you far down the road of “it doesn’t look a whole lot like most people expect”, but still, your view of a-sanctification is too stiff for me.

  2. Zrim says:

    Rube,

    I understand. But it should go without saying that I think your suggestion of “a-sanctification” is pretty overstated. After all, the post is calling for a mortifying of power and a vivifying of older notions of sanctification. How can this be guilty of having no category at all for sanctification?

    But when we are called a royal priesthood and holy nation, and I then look around at us, all I can do is live by faith and not by sight.

  3. Chris Sherman says:

    What then does it mean to live by faith? Is it observable?

  4. Chris Sherman says:

    Is it something like this that I was just reading last night?

    “For, first of all, the pious mind does not devise for itself any kind of God, but looks alone to the one true God; nor does it feign for him any character it pleases, but is contented to have him in the character in which he manifests himself always guarding, with the utmost diligences against transgressing his will, and wandering, with daring presumptions from the right path. He by whom God is thus known perceiving how he governs all things, confides in him as his guardian and protector, and casts himself entirely upon his faithfulness,—perceiving him to be the source of every blessing, if he is in any strait or feels any want, he instantly recurs to his protection and trusts to his aid,—persuaded that he is good and merciful, he reclines upon him with sure confidence, and doubts not that, in the divine clemency, a remedy will be provided for his every time of need,—acknowledging him as his Father and his Lords he considers himself 42bound to have respect to his authority in all things, to reverence his majesty aim at the advancement of his glory, and obey his commands,—regarding him as a just judge, armed with severity to punish crimes, he keeps the Judgment-seat always in his view. Standing in awe of it, he curbs himself, and fears to provoke his anger. Nevertheless, he is not so terrified by an apprehension of Judgment as to wish he could withdraw himself, even if the means of escape lay before him; nay, he embraces him not less as the avenger of wickedness than as the rewarder of the righteous; because he perceives that it equally appertains to his glory to store up punishment for the one, and eternal life for the other. Besides, it is not the mere fear of punishment that restrains him from sin. Loving and revering God as his father, honouring and obeying him as his master, although there were no hell, he would revolt at the very idea of offending him.”

  5. John Yeazel says:

    Does anybody want to order some of Rod Rosenbladt’s Weak on Sanctification T-shirts? You can find them on his web site http://www.newreformationpress.com. You do not want to wear them in public- unless you enjoy starting controversy. You Calvinists are always arguing about sanctification.

  6. Zrim says:

    John,

    Paleo-Presbyterians aren’t much for “wearing it on their sleeve,” but I must admit I’m tempted to wear my “I Love NYC–I Wouldn’t Change A Thing” lapel pin to Redeemer Manhattan. I’m open to suggestions on where to wear my “Yes, I’d Vote For A Muslim, Why Do You Ask?” pin.

  7. John Yeazel says:

    Zrim,

    From what I have read in your numerous comments over the last couple of years you are probably closer to Luther than Calvin in your views of sanctification. Perhaps I am wrong though. I know Rosenbladt always tells Horton he is closer to Luther than Calvin in a lot of his beliefs. It seems that our unconvinced subjective beliefs often come into conflict with our adherence to the objective confessional standards of our particular denominations. I struggle with that all the time. I am still unconvinced about the Lutheran views of the Supper and Baptism and the views of the various expressions of Calvinism on these issues even though I go to a Lutheran Church.

    After reading many of D.G. Hart’s books this summer I can appreciate the lapel pins more.

  8. Zrim says:

    One could do a lot worse than Luther, that’s for sure.

  9. John Yeazel says:

    Zrim,

    I hear that Detroit is the one of the fastest growing Muslim metropolitan area’s in the U.S. and the mostly white suburban area’s are not too happy about it.

    Amsterdam is not too pleased with the Muslim’s especially after one of Van Goh’s relatives throat was slit in public after criticizing some sacred Muslim beliefs on his radio or T.V. show. Europe has a huge growing population of Muslim’s and it causing a lot of strife and problems with occasional acts of violence there too.

  10. John Yeazel says:

    John Warwick Montgomery is also very active in his speaking out against the Muslims in the public square. Perhaps you could wear it to one of his apologetics seminars in France. He claims Muslim’s are passive until they have a majority population in area’s and then they actively try to get rid of the infidels.

  11. Todd says:

    “He claims Muslim’s are passive until they have a majority population in area’s and then they actively try to get rid of the infidels.”

    In other words he’s a theonomist. (Somebody had to say it.)

  12. Zrim says:

    John,

    I spent this weekend in northern lower Michigan. I counted about 8-9 more observant Hindi than when I was growing up there (which means they have about 8-9 observant Hindi). I know Hindi aren’t Muslim, but even though there were more of them than there was 25 years ago, they seemed more passive than active to me. But, maybe they were just hiding all their aggression behind those peace-loving ice cream cones at the downtown street party that looked a lot like mine.

    Todd, not to quibble, but I was thinking more like old-fashioned bigotry than theonomy. Then, again, what’s the difference?

  13. John Yeazel says:

    John Warwick Montgomery is a Lutheran lawyer who handles major human rights violations cases in Europe. I thought everyone who frequents the Outhouse would know that. I think Montgomery (who knows Muslim Shiite law quite well) might argue with you about being called a bigot.

    My point was that some paranoia and confusion might take place among dispensational and neo-evangelical types who are not well-versed in 2K theology- especially in area’s where Muslim’s of the radical variety are influential in the culture. Just one more objection to 2K theology which would cause some difficulty among the dispy’s and those who hold premillenial eschatological views.

    I do not know Montgomery’s eschatological views but I do know for sure that he made that claim. He said it on Issues etc. awhile back.

    Another person who has been interviewed on Issue’s etc. is Bridgett Gabriel (a former Muslim who I think converted to Christianity). She is speaking vehemently against Muslim’s on her web site- http://www.actforamerica.org. You might want to slip her an e-mail and ask her if she would wear one of those lapel pins.

    I was having a conversation with a Baptist Pastor who read a lot of C.H. Spurgeon not too long ago who reacted quite negatively to my amillenial eschatology and my questioning whether patriotism had anything to do with Christianity. Premillenialist are quite the patriots.

    Again, my point being that 2K theology is a very much misunderstood and misrepresented view among most evangelicals. This Christ and culture issue is confused in many confessionalists minds also and needs to be addressed and clarified.

  14. Zrim says:

    John,

    You’ll notice that I didn’t call anybody a bigot. What I was responding to was this:

    He [JWM] claims Muslim’s are passive until they have a majority population in area’s and then they actively try to get rid of the infidels.

    I’m really not much aware of Montgomery or his work. But it seems to me to be a function of bigotry to suggest that a certain people are well-behaved when individuals but get a bunch of them together and then they become ill-behaved. I’m not clear on what 2K has to do with any of it.

  15. mboss says:

    Zrim,

    Entirely off topic, but we were in Northern Lower Michigan this weekend for our anniversary. Beautiful area. Didn’t see you or the Hindi at the ice cream parlor, but I’m with you 100% on the personal transformation bit. Reminds me of the problem my pastor once labeled “conversion envy.” We hear so many stories about folks having a night and day transformation that we either feel compelled to embellish our “stories” or feel less Christian.

    Mike

  16. RubeRad says:

    I’m sure I’ve said it before. The only difference between Theonomists and muslims and their sharia law, is that the Theonomists happen to be Christian. Slightly different content of the laws and penology, but the same philosophy of the state subject to the religion.

  17. Zrim says:

    Mike,

    Yes, I recall my poor wife lamenting to me once years ago that she didn’t have a “testimony” like mine, that she “only grew up in a Christian home and had always been a believer.” I didn’t have the vocabulary then, but that it struck me as a very odd, even saddening view seemed to reveal my burgeoning Presbyterian. What made it even more odd was that I never had a “testimony.” I once didn’t believe, then I did. I realize that’s nothing short of a miracle, but what is so spectacular that it created her “conversion envy”?

  18. John Yeazel says:

    Zrim,

    If I remember correctly, Montgomery was using historical data and documentation of what some Muslim leaders were saying and teaching in their Mosques in Europe and America. This was a strategy they have in how to”evangelize” America to the Muslim religion. He was cautioning those who believe that Muslim’s have no animosity towards Christians. As those get more deeply involved in the religion there are definite violent statements in the Koran which get interpreted by Muslims to justify violent actions against those who reject and object to tenets of the Muslim religion.

    What this has to do with 2K theology? I was responding to your “Im open to suggestions on where to wear my ‘Yes I’d vote for a Muslim, why do you ask? pin’ I was assuming that that statement was an implication of your 2K beliefs- perhaps mistakingly.

    I also think that we are often naive when we think that others will accept our beliefs easily when they have many years of enculturation built up in their minds. Fears, bad experiences, prejudices and biases not grounded in well thought out ideas are what influences a lot of behavior and reactions towards others. 2K theology helps with alleviating a lot of those fears and prejudices by causing us to have to listen to and deal with each other in the public square. However, violence can erupt between competing views of reality and this is what I think Montgomery was cautioning others about. He has seen it happen when Muslim’s get intolerant of others when they become a majority and had historical proof that it happens. At least that is what I interpreted him as saying.

  19. John Yeazel says:

    Zrim,

    If I remember correctly, Montgomery was using historical data and documentation of what some Muslim leaders were saying and teaching in their Mosques in Europe and America. This was a strategy they have in how to”evangelize” America to the Muslim religion. He was cautioning those who believe that Muslim’s have no animosity towards Christians. As those get more deeply involved in the religion there are definite violent statements in the Koran which get interpreted by Muslims to justify violent actions against those who reject and object to tenets of the Muslim religion.

    What this has to do with 2K theology? I was responding to your “Im open to suggestions on where to wear my ‘Yes I’d vote for a Muslim, why do you ask? pin’ I was assuming that that statement was an implication of your 2K beliefs- perhaps mistakingly.

    I also think that we are often naive when we think that others will accept our beliefs easily when they have many years of enculturation built up in their minds. Fears, bad experiences, prejudices and biases not grounded in well thought out ideas are what influences a lot of behavior and reactions towards others. 2K theology helps with alleviating a lot of those fears and prejudices by causing us to have to listen to and deal with each other in the public square. However, violence can erupt between competing views of reality and this is what I think Montgomery was cautioning others about. He has seen it happen when Muslim’s get intolerant and violent towards others when they become a majority and had historical proof that it happens. At least that is what I interpreted him as saying.

  20. Zrim says:

    The only difference between Theonomists and muslims and their sharia law, is that the Theonomists happen to be Christian.

    Jihadists happens to be Muslim and theonomists happen to be Christian. Not all Muslims are jihadists, but all jihadists are Muslim, just like not all Christians are theonomists, but all theonomists are Christian.

  21. Zrim says:

    John,

    The lapel pin crack was simply a way of saying that 2K doesn’t think there is the sort of relationship between ideology and theology that many seem to assume. Perhaps, given our day and age, it would have been less complicated to say “Mormon” instead of “Muslim”? I recall Al Mohler and Richard Land cautioning everyone during the 2008 presidential campaign against what it would have meant to have a Mormon-name-of-Mitt in a high profile office. I suppose that meant we’d have more secret skivvy wearers or something. And Bill Mahar suggested that Sarah Palin’s witch craft (when she staved off political demons by having them cast out by her pastor) made her unfit for office. I agree her practice made her unfit to meet me at the communion table, but it had nothing to do with her civil abilities—those are shoddy enough without any help of witch craft.

    The point is that theological belief has absolutely no bearing on fitness to hold civil office.

  22. John Yeazel says:

    I’m not sure you can make the remark “has absolutely no bearing on fitness to hold civil office.” Hitler had some theological beliefs that might have made him unfit to hold office. i guess it depends on how you define theological beliefs. We often hold theological beliefs we are not really aware of or hide from others depending on who we are talking with or what the consequences might be if we reveal them to others.

    You might be right though. The public square has nothing to do with the Kingdom of God. I think that is a better way of stating the matter. Theological beliefs dp determine what kind of laws you might want to pass- they do influence that. So, I guess I do not think it is wrong to try to determine what theological beliefs a candidate might have. He still might have a good sense of justice which is what you are looking for in a candidate= even if you do not agree with his theological beliefs.

  23. Zrim says:

    I’m not sure you can make the remark “has absolutely no bearing on fitness to hold civil office.” Hitler had some theological beliefs that might have made him unfit to hold office.

    Mitt believes he’ll be deified one day, I believe we’ll be glorifed. What’s either got to do with Iraq or healthcare?

    Besides, Jesus told his hearers to render unto Caesar submission and said nothing about Caesar’s notions of personal deity having any bearing on the legitimacy of his authority.

  24. Todd says:

    It wouldn’t be a 2k discussion without Hitler being evoked.

  25. Zrim says:

    …or an abortion discussion, which actually then makes it more a churning diatribe.

  26. John Yeazel says:

    So, Richard John Neuhaus and Jim Wallis (coming from different sides of the political spectrum) are completely off base in their arguments? The public square should be naked and theology, philosophy and clashing views of reality make no difference at all? Can you develope just political ideas without a overall view of reality guiding your thinking on justice? You obviously believe you can.

    Another point that bothers me is that the Romans did persecute Christians because of their differing views of reality. It may have nothing to do with Iraq and healthcare but it may have something to do with how Christians are listened to or allowed a voice in the public square. The fact that Ceasar had notions of personal deity did influence his decision to send Christians to the lions and burn down the places that they lived.

    I see what you are saying but do you see how difficult it is to convince people of this. Especially when you think that your voice is not being heard and your ideas are suppressed in the public square. Do we hide our Christian convictions in the public square? How do we act as a Christian if we make politics our vocational calling? We just bring natural law ideas and our understanding of political theory to bear on the legislation we seek to get passed? It is probably best to not mention your theological beliefs in order to develope relationships with those in Congress and the Senate. You do need to be respected to have influence in the political realm and if your collegues knew your theological beliefs they may suppress your ideas of justice in making legislation. That is how a lot of politics works.

  27. Zrim says:

    John,

    I don’t think 2K means to convey that human beings are hermetically sealed off creatures with respect to their theological outlooks when doing the public square. It just means to put things into a more sane perspective.

    Nero used us as candlesticks for his backyard because he saw us as a direct threat to his polity. But persecution cuts both ways; Christians have persecuted others for theological beliefs and pagans have shown tolerance. Evil-doers do evil because they are evil, not because they aren’t believers or because they are unbelievers.

    It’s not a matter of “hiding our Christian convictions in the public square,” it’s a question of how immediately relevant they are. I realize we are born and bred to think religion has a direct bearing on all we do, but in my own public life I see little reason to have to make it explicit to my co-workers, clerks at the store or Saturday afternoon barbeques. Why would that change if I become elected to public office?

  28. John Yeazel says:

    I agree with that and I think we as Christians are often paranoid to associate with those who we know would not respect us much if they knew our theological beliefs. We also need to develope our vocational skills in order to gain the respect of others and often Christians do not take their vocational callings that seriously because the Church’s they go to do not make that an issue.

    I am just trying to get more clarity in my own mind because 2K theology is still fairly new with me and I know I still hold some transformationalist idea’s running around in my mind.

  29. Todd says:

    John,

    It all has to do with the realm that politics and civil law belong to; the kingdom of God or kingdom of man. The Bible is a kingdom book; it concerns the indicatives and imperatives of the kingdom of God. Just like the Lord in his word is not interested in giving us the cure for cancer, he also has not given us the cures for the societal and political problems in the kingdom of man. Why should we have an answer to common laws but not common medicine?

  30. Chris Sherman says:

    Was it Luther (or perhaps just attributed to him) who said he would rather elect a wise Muslim than a foolish Christian?

  31. John Yeazel says:

    Todd,

    I think the argument gets a bit more complicated then that simply because of so much transformational thinking in the evangelical Church and even confessional Church’s these days. Calvin had some wrong headedness in this regard although the views of reality in most people’s minds at that time were not modern in their outlook- the enlightenment had not yet occured and the political idea of seperating Church and State was not even expressed yet.

    What I am saying is that there is a lot of baggage in people’s minds regarding the separation of
    church and state and the role of religion in political life. D.G. Hart even admits as much in his book A Secular Faith which I have just started (read the introduction this morning). He even admits that he is trying to complicate the argument further. This is not an easy issue to get a good grasp on and requires some work on our part. Not many Church’s are advocates of the “Christian secularist” approach to politics as Hart advocates it either. Most Pastor’s in evangelical Church’s have no qualms with making political remarks in their sermons. Many Christians, including myself, are still trying to get a good grasp of it.

    I appreciate your remark though and it was helpful in an introductory way.

  32. Todd says:

    John,

    Yes, I agree, it is difficult, especially after centuries of hearing that the United States is more special to God than all other countries. Christian Americanism has been in our religious counsciousness since the Pilgrims.

  33. John Yeazel says:

    I do not think I should have said that Calvin did not try to separate Church and State in Geneva. The seeds of this thinking probably did take place their and he expressed this quit eloquently in his last 50 pages of the Institutes. The late medieval world is very different than the modern world though and political ideology has had to deal with completley different mindsets and greater degree of insight and change in political, philosophical and theological ideas.

    Yes, there is much confusion about God’s blessing on America and other countries due to what is going on in the American and international political spheres. It would seem that God is more concerned with what is happening in His Church then what is going on in the public square of countries- although he holds both of them in his providential and sovereign control.

  34. Zrim says:

    John,

    I think you are recognizing something important, namely that what something like Hart’s modest proposal is doing is fairly, well, scandalizing.

    I am highly suspect of those who read his work and politely place it amongst all the other “interesting views.” I think if western religionists were really paying attention they’d realize that what is being suggested directly confronts some very deeply and dearly held assumptions. Our default setting is not two kingdoms or to be Christian secularists. I see a parallel here in how the gospel itself is not at all natural. A visceral response (or even just a hesitancy) to both 2K and the gospel itself seems to indicate something more honest than an innocuous or tolerant one.

  35. John Yeazel says:

    Chris,

    What Luther actually said was that he would rather have a Jew or Turk who understands justice run Germany’s political affairs rather than a Christian who was not well versed in justice. I heard Rod Rosenbladt correct someone on that often misquoted remark.

    Zrim,

    I have really enjoyed reading Harts books. He certainly is provocative and challenges some of the more widely held beliefs among those who call themselves Christians. Many of us who have been influenced by the White Horse Inn and Modern Reformation magazine have certainly not started our Christian lives among confessionalists and I still carry baggage around from my evangelical days. Hart himself, I was surprised to find out, had parents who went to Bob Jones University and were Baptists. I find that hard to believe. I also found it kind of humorous that he did not appeciate his parents sending him out on evangelistic endevours when he was growing up. From what I could gather the bad experiences had a profound effect on him. I can relate with that.

    He is widely read in his field of expertise and knows and understands the differing views of those who have tried to mingle religion and politics. He even traces their historical sources and challenges many of the conclusions which have been reached by many scholars whom I would consider reliable and have drawn from in the past.

    I was intrigued how he even challenged De Toucville’s Democracy in America in A Secular Faith. I have never heard any scholar challenge some of his assumptions.

  36. Chris Sherman says:

    I believe the misquote of Luther (and I knew it was off) was taken from this,

    “…I do not want to have given any encouragement to our Nephilim [cf. Genesis 6:4], the oppressive tyrants and rulers, the crooked money-lenders, and the scoundrels among the nobility…. They are a good part of the reason God has sent the Turks to thrash us…. It is intolerable and unbearable if this tyranny, usury, avarice, wickedness of nobles, burghers, peasants, and all classes continues and increases. Soon the poor man will not have even a crust of bread. He would then just as soon live under the domination of the Turks as of such ‘Christians.” (“Appeal for Prayer Against the Turks” – Luther’s Works 43:240)

  37. John Yeazel says:

    What took me a while to figure out was that Luther came down hard with the Law on everyone who did not “get” The Gospel. If you read his writings he does not mince words and was very forceful in making those in power and those who thought they were inherently good understand that they were sinners in need of God’s grace. He especially came down hard on the nobility and those who were in postions of authority. Today most evangelicals preach Lawlite which does not make the hearers perceive the Gospel as good news.

    I also find it ironic that many in the evangelical and dispensational camp call Lutheranism Christianity lite. They do not get the radical distinction between Law and Gospel and therefore think they are “OK” with God by continuing on with their decisional theological perspectives. After all they are not doing anything morally that bad. There needs to be much more theological “angst” among evangelicals and the only way to do that is to come down heavy on the Law. We are all pelagians at heart and carry around that baggage with us. It does not get eradicated easy. I almost see great moral failures as a good thing in peoples lives- especially when they carry a bad theology around with them.

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