Sunday, 17 January 2010

Quote of the day: the big gospel

The 9Marks eJournal is well-worth reading this edition (not that others aren't: this is the first month I've read it). The topics are good, the articles are just the right length to be able to read online. This quotation from an article by Jonathan Leeman: Is the God of the Missional Gospel Too Small? That is, he addresses the tendancy to say that our gospel is too small if it merely speaks of sin, and not also of AIDS, or war, or abuse, or poverty.
The truly big problem does not lie with anything that humanity found outside of Eden. It’s not in the effects of the curse. The truly big problem is what got us kicked out of Eden in the first place. It’s in the all-important conflict between the nature of the one who issued the curse and the reason we gave him to issue it — our treasonous decision to make ourselves “like God.” The problem, in other words, is that God is so exquisitely righteous that his eyes cannot look upon sin, and we have sinned. He is so perfectly good and just that he cannot let the guilty go unpunished, and we are guilty. He is so wonderfully holy that the whole earth is full of his glory, and we have fallen short of his glory. The truly big problem is that, in our sin, we have acted treasonously and hatefully against a tri-personal God who is infinitely glorious and beautiful, the penalty of which is eternal damnation. To say that the gospel is “big” because it solves a human problem instead of a divine problem is, quite simply, to devalue his infinitely divine glory to something less significant than human suffering. I don’t mean to make light of human suffering, but we certainly must not make light of transgressions against God’s glory.'

1 comment:

Matthew Weston said...

I also found the journal extremely helpful, especially that article - though I also found it raised many questions for me, and doesn't quite tease out "so where do the big (though not the biggest) issues of AIDS, poverty etc. fit?" Food for thought!