Saturday, 6 September 2008

Over-boiling it down

For a while now I've been summarising our basis for evangelism as two points:

Jesus is Lord, so we must worship Him.
This is the Bible's teaching come to a point: it starts with Genesis 1.1 - there is one Creator-sustainer God, and Psalm 96 which most clearly links this with the call-command for all the earth to worship Him. It comes to the peak in Jesus, that he is announced as Lord in His gospel, and is due worship. See Psalm 2. Sometimes this has been forgotten - pietism tended away from it towards personal me & my relationship with God piety which possibly de-emphasised the global, communal and holistic nature of Jesus' Lordship. But that Jesus is Lord isn't good news to rebellious, ungrateful creatures seeking independence and autonomy, seeking to establish their own righteousness and be their own lords! Some people have made Jesus is Lord out to be the good news in its entirity, but this is not good news to us. Thus our second material foundation:

Jesus is Saviour, so we can worship Him.
This is crucial to the good news! Such creatures as are called to worship God, in Jesus are saved to do so! It starts in Genesis 3 (well, it's agree to to the glory of God's grace well before then - Eph.1.4) with God taking rebellious, autonomy-seeking people he created to love, and clothing them to cover their shame having shed the blood of an innocent animal in their place. He doesn't announce to them His Lordship: that is all too clear. In grace He announces to them a Saviour, a serpent-crusher. Thus there is the possibility in Psalm 2: "Kiss the Son (enthroned as Lord over all), lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him."

Such good news I cannot possibly capture in a few paragraphs - and I was only seeking to sum up the foundation of the good news and our evangelism, not the whole thing. Yet easily we slip into reductionism. At the White Horse Inn they discussed N.T.Wright and "New Perspective on Paul" and this cropped up, in an enjoyable conversation.

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