“Once we have despaired of all sin and the gods at their genesis, we are free. Really, truly free. To eat fat juicy steaks, for instance.”
Jared C. Wilson describes what he calls “the chocolate-ness of chocolate and the coffee-ness of coffee” in light of the gospel.
Many Christian artists want to tell the Gospel in a compelling story in order to win readers or viewers to Christ, but can the gospel, which is the power of God for salvation, be Trojan-horsed into a new audience? Is there a delivery mechanism that can slip the gospel through cultural barriers and catch those who are tired of their church experience or unfamiliar with Christianity entirely?
Watch this video from a Christian filmmaker. He urges us to believe the moment is right for exploiting technology for the sake of the gospel. We must not be a divided house, he says. We must not hold ourselves to low standards. We must rally around a good, moral film and make it an international blockbuster.
George Whitefield recently tweeted from beyond the Pearly Gates, “Self-indulgence lulls the soul into a spiritual slumber.” I think that may apply here. What do you think? (via Jeffrey Overstreet)
In warning his readers against divisions, Paul writes, “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18). The gospel to those of us who are being saved is the power of God. That describes the beauty of a book like Jared Wilson’s Gospel Deeps. It’s an extended meditation on this glorious word of the cross.
“Does love demand freedom?” he asks in chapter one. That’s the idea we get from many stories and some ministers. “What we are asked to believe is that God doing whatever he wants with whomever he wants is a simplistic, fatalistic view of love, and that God letting us do whatever we want is a more compelling vision of his love.” But God, who is the author and giver of life itself, whose character defines love, peace, joy and other virtues, could not be more loving than he is. God is love, though love is not God, as some would have it. “Maybe the reality is a love more multifaceted than we can understand with finite, fallen minds… that the God of the Bible is as transcendent as he is imminent, that his ways are inscrutable, that his love is glorious and astonishing precisely because it is too wonderful for us” (pp. 27-28).
Jared isn’t a mystic on a frozen Vermont hillside. Continue reading Gospel Deeps, by Jared Wilson
Josh Otte offers “20 exulting quotes from Jared Wilson’s latest book, Gospel Deeps: Reveling in the Excellencies of Jesus. I just couldn’t fit them all into my review, but I also couldn’t resist sharing them with you. Read and worship, friends!” For example:
“My driving conviction in this book is that the gospel of Jesus Christ is big. Like really big. Ginormous, if you will. And deep. Deep and rich. And beautiful. Mulitfaceted. Expansive. Powerful. Overwhelming. Mysterious. But vivid, too, and clear. Illuminating. Transforming. And did I mention big?”
I’ve been reading this book too. It’s wonderful. Don’t wait for my review to get it yourself or for someone on your Christmas list.
Jared’s latest book on the joys found in the gospel of Christ is a rich, beautiful addition to a long list of puritan literature. Gospel Wakefulness describes our Lord’s multifaceted gospel, revealing its shimmering light against many dark colors of brokenness and sin.
In short, we are saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ Jesus’ atoning work on the cross. As Romans 10:9-10 says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” When Christ said on the cross, “It is finished,” he truly conquered death and overcame sin for all who believe. His resurrection from the grave proves it. Many Christians do not struggle with this concept as a doorway into heaven and the church, but we frequently misunderstand that this is the path to holiness as well as salvation. We believe that Jesus is Lord for the purpose of saving us from damning sin, but not for the purpose of making us righteous today. For righteousness, we believe we must “work out our salvation” on our own (Philippians 2:12). “The spiritual reality is that it is God who is in us doing the work,” Jared explains. “The gospel is not just power for regeneration; it is power for sanctification and for glorification [as if these ideas can be separated-pw]. It is eternal power; it is power enough for life that is eternal.” Continue reading Gospel Wakefulness by Jared Wilson
Jared has seven great ways to crush the Thanksgiving spirit, such as freaking out over everything, like a late family guest, and practicing practical atheism.
Bill talks about communal living and productivity.
One of my earliest professional experiences involved leaving a job at a government-run municipal utility to take a job at a private-sector energy company. At the utility, it didn’t much matter what you did, you were going to get paid and keep your job. There was a lot of waste, shoddy work, and sloth at that company. Don’t get me wrong, I worked with good people. But the very structure of the place was set against big productivity gains, risks, improvements or innovation.
Loosely related to these is this post from Tullian Tchividjian on counterfeit gospels: “ways we try and ‘justify’ or ‘save’ ourselves apart from the gospel of grace. I found these unbelievably helpful.”