We in the west shrunk the gospel in response to an increasingly individualistic, self-centered society. The good news of the kingdom went from a sweeping story of God’s mighty acts, His plan to reconcile all things to himself and restore creation, to personal life insurance. The cost has been enormous. We have more depression, guilt and shame than any other culture.
When we shrunk God and His agenda to fit our culture, we made the gospel unbelievable at some level. If God is so small, how can he really ensure any salvation? So it must be up to me.. my individual performance. This obviously works against grace and produces huge anxiety.
Len should be careful as the penal substitution camp may turn their guns away from Derek Webb and onto him. (Though I’m very sure Len could handle it.)
UPDATE: Let me point you at my friend Emerging Grace’s post, Is Jesus My Imaginary Friend? To me, it seems to fit with Len’s.
Because I read so many blogs about faith and religion, I often come across discussions about the best way to prove one’s faith, debating knowledge and theological points of view. To be honest, I usually find these discussions to be very clinical, and the picture of God being portrayed too narrow and rigid. Although I am very logical, I don’t relate with God through my intellect.
I don’t have much interest in trying to prove my faith to others, even unbelievers. Yes, I know I’m going to have to turn in my good evangelical badge. The typical guilt trip is that if I love the other person enough, I would be driven to pound them over the head with the gospel until they get it, lest they die in a car accident tonight and their blood is eternally on my hands. Geesh, that’s a lot of responsibility to carry.