By Marsha G. Witten
In trendy international we're faced with a gospel of straightforward forgiveness and inexpensive grace. slightly have we spoken up of our offenses, then a person reassures us that we're forgiven, don't be concerned approximately it.
Churches (and pastors) purchase into this new Theology since it is the type of factor that specializes in headcounts and minimizes friction. Smile, feel free, God loves you it doesn't matter what, so let's move have fun.
It sounds exaggerated, yet even the main devoted preacher unearths secular messages creeping into his or her sermons. We rush prior the issues within the textual content and concentrate on the finishing. We put out of your mind that the Prodigal Son was once long past many years ahead of he again domestic, or even then he needed to hit backside earlier than he was once able to admit he used to be wrong.
As I struggled via this e-book i discovered myself asking approximately my very own sermons. was once I ultimate precise to the textual content and nonetheless conveying a modern message? used to be I permitting my listeners to spend time within the fight? Or was once I spoon feeding them a simple message they desired to listen?
Marsha Witten does an outstanding task in "All is Forgiven" in gaining knowledge of and addressing those concerns. i like to recommend it for all who're answerable for preaching, picking out fabrics for instructing Sunday university and holiday Bible college, and who're leaders within the church.
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Additional resources for All Is Forgiven: The Secular Message in American Protestantism
The extreme fundamentalist doctrine of separation both entails and strengthens this rhetorical structure. The doctrine insures that unbelievers will be grouped together in one undifferentiated category—a total rejection, not only of modernist relativism, but also even the premise of pluralism. And further, it assures that believers will be protected from contact with the force of unbelievers’ “sinful” conduct and meanings. Taken together, the resacralization of the world based on a sole reliance on Scripture, the construction of coherence around core claims, and the protection of adherents from alternative interpretations erect a barricade between the resistant community and the battering rams of modern secular culture.
Sin is against God; it breaks the heart of God. For the world and all therein is His. But as the Father received the son, so God receives the confessing sinner. God kisses away the confession even as it’s spoken because He loves prodigals. Aren’t you glad? [SB] God’s emotions are graphically detailed by another pastor through analogy with the behavior of the father of the prodigal son upon the 41 CHAPTER THREE son’s return home. The father’s conduct is elaborated in terms so expressive that they cannot be fully stated, only haltingly evoked: I wish I could have been there when the son returned—one of the great moments in the New Testament—wet hands—surprise—joy when he felt the forgiving arms of his Father around him—his Father’s tears of joy running down his neck.
Instead, the term “God” is used to refer to any Person of the Christian Trinity. 13 In these representations, God is spoken of as standing at the head of his “family” of human children, not in divine majesty but in domestic familiarity, with his tie loosened and his shirt sleeves rolled up. He is a figure of friendship and comfort, a soothing mature presence, available at a moment’s notice to those who call on him. ’ But when he makes a pal of you and becomes your friend, and yet is too wise for you to pull the wool over his loving eyes .
All Is Forgiven: The Secular Message in American Protestantism by Marsha G. Witten