Anti-moralist Christianity

I know it sounds like a weird title but bear with the article:

http://www.worldmag.com/articles/14143

The article says:

“The Reason for God” boldly takes aim at smug self-righteousness: “It is possible to avoid Jesus as Savior as much by keeping all the Biblical rules as by breaking them.” As Keller explains, “Both religion (in which you build your identity on your moral achievements) and irreligion (in which you build your identity on some other secular pursuit or relationships) are, ultimately, spiritually identical courses to take. Both are ’sin.’”

The articles goes on to say.

Keller in New York and I in Texas have seen the result: “Churches that are filled with self-righteous, exclusive, insecure, angry, moralistic people are extremely unattractive. . . . Millions of people raised in or near these kinds of churches reject Christianity at an early age or in college largely because of their experience. For the rest of their lives, they are inoculated against Christianity.”

Again

Keller’s summary: Often, “people whose lives have been harder and who are ‘lower on the character scale’ are more likely to recognize their need for God and turn to Christianity.

and again

Keller also rightly objects to charges that Christians feel superior to others: Christians realize that many people of other faiths “will live lives morally superior to their own . . . Christian believers are not accepted by God because of their moral performance, wisdom, or virtue, but because of Christ’s work on their behalf.” He notes that most worldviews connect spiritual status to religious attainments: “This naturally leads adherents to feel superior to those who don’t believe and behave as they do. The Christian gospel, in any case, should not have that effect.”

And Keller objects to Christians who say that since God gets angry they can righteously get angrier. Faith in God’s anger, he argues, allows us to temper our own: “If I don’t believe that there is a God who will eventually put all things right, I will take up the sword and will be sucked into the endless vortex of retaliation. Only if I am sure that there’s a God who will right all wrongs and settle all accounts perfectly do I have the power to refrain.”

The are a lot of truth seeker, moralistic, self righteouss Christians out there that would say that Christ did not come to make the Church attractive!  However, in the days of Jesus Christ the worst  sinners were attracted to him. Why? Because they saw and understood the depth of their sin. On the other hand, many obedient pharisees consistently did not undertand their need for a savior or acted as if they did not require a savior.

Amen!   Thank you Tim Keller for writing this book.   Finally, a guy that understands!!  Keller is a pastor for people who like their Christianity straight up.

One serving of Christianity for me …. straight up please!

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4 thoughts on “Anti-moralist Christianity

  1. Philippa

    I just finished reading this book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. So many times I found myself saying, “Yes! Now if only I can remember what he said next time it comes up in conversation!”

    The first part of the book is a little light on some of its discussions/arguments. I felt he could have gone deeper, but overall it was a great book. My favourite part was where he points to all the “clues” in the world (the Big Bang, the chance of life being one in a billion billion, our position in the solar system, and several more) are all satisfied by a belief in God. But they are left unexplained if you don’t believe in God. It’s like someone dealing himself twenty hands of Aces in a row. Yeeeeees, it’s *possible”, but the odds are way against it and he’ll probably find himself shot for cheating 🙂

  2. Philippa

    I just finished reading this book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. So many times I found myself saying, “Yes! Now if only I can remember what he said next time it comes up in conversation!”

    The first part of the book is a little light on some of its discussions/arguments. I felt he could have gone deeper, but overall it was a great book. My favourite part was where he points to all the “clues” in the world (the Big Bang, the chance of life being one in a billion billion, our position in the solar system, and several more) are all satisfied by a belief in God. But they are left unexplained if you don’t believe in God. It’s like someone dealing himself twenty hands of Aces in a row. Yeeeeees, it’s *possible”, but the odds are way against it and he’ll probably find himself shot for cheating 🙂

  3. theoldadam

    Make it two, please!

    Great post, Jon!

    Legalism is a problem and licentiousness is a problem.

    How about the center? The Center which is Christ Jesus Himself and He alone!

  4. theoldadam

    Make it two, please!

    Great post, Jon!

    Legalism is a problem and licentiousness is a problem.

    How about the center? The Center which is Christ Jesus Himself and He alone!

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