Bags of Bran

November 4, 2013, 10:48 pm
Filed under: Bible, Biography

I’ve been harsh toward those who try to reduce all of Christianity to the word “gospel,” as though there is nothing to do besides sit and say “gospel” as many times as possible, after having procured the fashion glasses and the conehead hairdo. Much of my objection has to do with my fascination with things that are genuine: there is nothing genuine about these fellows who try to look like preppy high school kids and try to reduce enormous, sweeping ideas to Twitter-sized slogans.

Christian did not set up a booth at the Wicket-Gate so he could forevermore gaze at the spot where his burden rolled away: he got up and went from that place much lightened for his journey to the Celestial City.

If the Gospel could be pictured (soteriologically) as a bridge across a gulf of our own digging, the point of the bridge is to cross it. Many have set up camp on one side of the bridge or another to have “bridge parties” Sunday by Sunday: “life is theirs to live,” and etc. But the Gospel is the bridge that gets us to the island, whereupon is the mountain we must climb to get to God. There are plenty of overlooks along the way where we have beautiful views of the bridge and its glorious span, but “leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God” (Heb. 6:1). It’s time to grow up. It’s time to quit Gospel-gazing and get moving before the mountain rumbles again.

However, 1 Corinthians 1:18 reminded me recently that “the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” That is, my thinking must be founded upon a wise, powerful God who has silenced his critics by means of the sacrifice of his son on the cross. Powerfully so.

As I endeavor to climb slowly and laboriously up the mountain, I propose to take long looks (more than just the first Sundays of the month) at the bridge that got me here. I am convinced that the higher I get, the more glorious it will look. Swarms of gadflies notwithstanding.


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