Re: Why sometimes I am ashamed to be called a Christian...the last, I hope

From: George Murphy <gmurphy@raex.com>
Date: Tue Nov 15 2005 - 07:37:52 EST

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Fivefree@aol.com
  To: asa@calvin.edu
  Sent: Monday, November 14, 2005 11:32 PM
  Subject: Re: Why sometimes I am ashamed to be called a Christian...the last, I hope

  Sorry, I couldn't resist answering.

  In a message dated 11/14/2005 8:14:45 P.M. Mountain Standard Time, gmurphy@raex.com writes:
    Genuine Christianity is inextricably connected with one offense, that of the cross. Other than that, anything that keeps people from hearing the gospel ought to be eliminated.

    Shalom
    George

  Yes, the Cross is an offense. It is an 'offense' to the logical mind. But the offense of the cross is consistent with the scriptures I gave earlier. 'Not many wise, not many mighty, etc.' So, since the Gospel has more power to convert than raising someone from the dead in front of the eyes of unbelievers (as established earlier), it does not need any help in converting unbelievers. "Anything that keeps people from hearing the gospel ought to be eliminated." Sounds like you want to 'help' the Gospel. It does not need your help. When we 'help' the Gospel we really only end up getting in the way.

  Wrong. The gospel doesn't preach itself. The Holy Spirit works through means. People won't hear the gospel unless it is proclaimed, and that means more than just repeating John 3:16. The gospel is to be proclaimed in ways that make contact with the situations of its hearers. This doesn't mean that those who proclaim it "save souls," for the creation and sustaining of genuine faith can be done only by the Holy Spirit, but the Spirit normally works through Word and Sacrament. Read Romans 10: "Faith comes from what is heard" and "How are they to hear without someone to proclaim him?"

  Conversely, things can be done and said that keep non-believers from listening to the gospel or that give them a distorted impression of what it is. Can the Holy Spirit still bring them to faith? Of course, but it's perverse to suggest that it doesn't matter if we portray the gospel as something that produces stupidity and bad behavior because the Spirit can overcome those things.

  Shalom
  George
  http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
Received on Tue Nov 15 07:41:00 2005

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