Paul's Passing Thoughts

To David Powlison et al: Stop Lying About Jay Adams; God Doesn’t Like Lying

Posted in Uncategorized by paulspassingthoughts on September 10, 2012

“No Steve. Let me repeat that. ‘No Steve’: the issue isn’t the ‘simplistic’ verses the wider field of knowledge, the issue is which gospel are we going to use to minister to other Christians; progressive justification or progressive sanctification? And who is competent to counsel? Please do not be a part of the big lie in our present day.”

Steve,

Thanks for the response because I am a busy person and our conversation provides an easy framework to post something that needs to be said. My response is primarily provoked by your comment following and will be the subject of a post on my own blog:

Jay Adams and nouthetic counseling are familiar to me. Jay has contributed much to biblical counseling, but his perspective is only one in a field containing hother highly-reputable Christians such as Larry Crabb and Dan Allender. I have found Jay’s approach simplistic and—when used by someone without proper training or grace—combative and even abusive.

“Nouthetic” means “admonishing,” which, though a biblical term, can often devolve into simply berating someone with a Bible verse and telling them to deal with their sin. While scripture is always the grid to evaluate truth claims in this world, not all truth is found in the Bible. Rather, God has given some truth to the realms of science, engineering, medicine, psychology, and others, for the benefit of all people everywhere. Christians must think critically about any truth claim, compare it with scriptural principles, and then proceed accordingly. I prefer an integrated approach to Christian counseling.

First of all, Jay Adams doesn’t need me to defend him, but your portrayal of contemporary history concerning the biblical counseling movement is very much in vogue and happens to be a lie first propagated by David Powlison, and furthered by the insufferably arrogant likes of Heath Lambert.

People like Lambert who is a prototype of many in our day accept any proposition espoused by the men they mindlessly follow as truth. And the truth is my concern here, not necessarily a defense of Jay Adams. However, though I enjoy defending Jay, he would probably prefer that many of his “friends” in Christian academia would defend him, but unfortunately, most of them are cowards and only pretend to love the truth for monetary gain and notoriety. I despise both, and have way too many Facebook friends (62). Therefore, the following is the true historical/biblical facts of the matter:

In circa 1970, American Christianity was feeling the pain of a skewed attitude and understanding of sanctification. The previous twenty years had been an easy believeism/hyper-grace approach. The focus was getting people saved, and not “making disciples.” There were several reasons for this, but suffice to say that “the gospel” was grossly overemphasized. As I type that, I can now hear the shrill cat-cries: “IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO OVEREMPHASIZE THE GOSPEL!” Right.

However, in order to fill the void, a variety of biblical generalities were thrown around (along with let go and let God theologies) as damage control, plus pastors farmed sanctification out to psychologists. Deeper problems of life were labeled “sickness,” and the idea of pastors sending their parishioners to mind/spiritual doctors was sanctified with “Christian Psychology.” Your everyday pastor was who you went to if you got bubble gum in your hair, but the really deep problems of life needed a “Christian Psychologist.”

Adams was the first in our day to say “NO” to this assertion. The theme of his sanctification reformation was “Competent to Counsel,” and was based on Romans 15:14. Moreover, this one verse powerfully destroys much of the errant philosophy of our day.

But something else was happening at the same time. Another reformation. This other reformation that was emerging at the same time that Adams began to challenge the church is the dirty little secret that is the foundation of your whole proposition that Adams is a mere contributor to a wider field of counseling wisdom. In fact, in a rare episode of truth-telling by David Powlison while lecturing at John Piper’s “church,” he specifically stated the difference between Adams’ biblical construct and the present-day “wider field of knowledge.” Two gospels. That’s right. A wider field of knowledge is not the issue, which gospel that you are going to use to minister to the saints is the issue—so stated the most prominent one in the “wider field.” Powlison dropped his usual nuanced verbiage as it is no longer necessary among the vast majority of Christians who are utterly unable to think for themselves. He stated the following:

This might be quite a controversy, but I think it’s worth putting in.  Adams had a tendency to make the cross be for conversion. And the Holy Spirit was for sanctification.  And actually even came out and attacked my mentor, Jack Miller, my pastor that I’ve been speaking of through the day, for saying that Christians should preach the gospel to themselves.

I cover this in more detail in chapter 9 of “The Truth About New Calvinism,” but this statement by Powlison while lecturing at Piper’s church is the crux. Even in that rare episode of truth-telling by Powlison, he left out the following detail concerning Adams’ “attack” against his “mentor” for telling people to preach the gospel to themselves every day: the “attack” was in the form of a book and devastating treatise against Sonship Theology. Adams’ thesis was that the power for sanctification comes from regeneration and not justification.

No Steve. Let me repeat that. “No Steve”: the issue isn’t the “simplistic” verses the wider field of knowledge, the issue is which gospel are we going to use to minister to other Christians; progressive justification or progressive sanctification? And, who is competent to counsel? All who are “full of goodness,” or just the Christian experts? Again, I hear the alley cats screaming in the night’s full moon: “Progressive justification? Nonsense! Miller didn’t teach that!” Oh really? Have we become so postmodern that “preaching the gospel to ourselves” as a way to be empowered in sanctification is not progressive sanctification? Have Christians really become that mindless?

What is the source of our power for change, and who can counsel? The answer to those questions is the difference between light and darkness. Here is the reality and the line in the sand: choose which gospel you will follow according to truth or according to what man butters your bread.

The key to discussing what significant movement emerged at the same time as Adams’ biblical construct is Powlison’s mention of Dr. John “Jack” Miller. Miller was a professor at Westminster approximate to the time that the theological journal Present Truth was all the rage. The journal, in magazine form was published by the Australian Forum theological think tank headed by SDA theologian Robert Brinsmead. Much to Adams’ consternation, Brinsmead and company were invited to Westminster to chat with the theological big boys. Brinsmead had rediscovered the authentic Reformation gospel that launched the SDA Awakening movement and led to a concerted effort to get Progressive Adventism recognized as a valid denomination.

The Australian Forum argued that the true Reformation gospel was monergistic substitutionary sanctification, or in essence, progressive justification. From that, Miller contrived his Sonship Theology scheme. Tim Keller and David Powlison were rabid followers of Miller, and Powlison used Miller’s Sonship Theology to develop his Dynamics of Biblical Change counseling program that is the foundation of CCEF’s counseling model. Like the father that gave birth to Sonship Theology and CCEF ( the Australian Forum), Miller, Powlison, and Keller felt called to save America from this present Dark Age that supposedly resulted from the lost Reformation gospel. Powlison was then compelled to take over NANC with said doctrine, which he has effectively done.

Hence, Adams was obviously a threat and had to be neutralized. The failings of the movement that Adams came to fix were pinned on Adams; ie, all of the things that filled the void: living by biblical generalizations; legalism; and, “Take a Bible verse and call me in the morning”; etc. Meanwhile, the new gospel of progressive justification was guilty of the same thing that the previous hyper-grace movement was guilty of: devaluing aggressive sanctification and the new birth. The so called second generation “biblical” counseling construct made sanctification the same thing as justification rather than merely devaluing it.

But again, this necessitated a replacement for the real article, and I think the replacement is well articulated by the Powlison understudy Paul David Tripp in How People Change which is really not about biblical change at all. Progressive justification advocates the manifestation of realms, not real change within the individual Christian. Tripp makes this absolutely clear on pages 64 and 65 of HPC  by describing Christians as still being enslaved to sin and enemies of God.

Therefore, Powlison is guilty of thwarting the real model for real change in our day. He has marketed the contra product well, so many follow and trade the truth that sanctifies for a bowl of soup; ie, invitations to conferences, recognition, book promotions, friends, etc.

While thinking of themselves as on the cutting edge of change, which doesn’t include changing people, but rather making the cross bigger, they do not even realize that God doesn’t approve of lying.

So Steve, I would recommend that you not promote the fictitious storyline concerning first generation biblical counseling. It’s a lie, and God doesn’t approve, even if it somehow supposedly makes the cross bigger—which trust me—it doesn’t.

paul

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15 Responses

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  1. paulspassingthoughts said, on September 10, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Reblogged this on Clearcreek Chapel Watch.

  2. Joe said, on September 10, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Paul,

    I followed your link that you posted over at “Liberty for Captives” Your post here is quite informative. Let me first note that I have not been to seminary nor have I followed the Christian counseling movement you describe, so I must be honest and say that I am not familiar with any of the names you mention. Also, I have heard of Sonship Theology, but I am not familiar with it doctrines. I see also that this post is not a direct comment on Steve’s post, but a response to Steven and other’s brought on by a portion of a comment Steve made in response to one of your comments on his blog.

    I certainly do not know in detail what Steve’s beliefs are about Adams concerning the history of counseling and his theories along with other counselors. What I do know is that he expressed a simple fact, and also a simple oppinion of Adamss methods. The fact is this: “his perspective is only one in a field containing hother highly-reputable Christians such as Larry Crabb and Dan Allender.” I admit I do not know who Crabb and Allender are, but if they are Christian counselors who contributed in some way to the field, then the fact certainly holds true. (I would also assume there are other Christian counselors out there besides these two). The oppinion was this: I have found Jay’s approach simplistic and—when used by someone without proper training or grace—combative and even abusive.” I see no lie in either of these statements. Just because somebody does not agree with the methods of another, does not make that person a liar. Now, if there have been ideas, actions, or theories attributed to him, then I am certainly sorry for that. Also, I would be happy to learn what his methods are if the simple “admonishing” is not acurate. (Do understand that I realize that a simple admonishment would not be the whole of the counseling methods, but it could be a core part of it).

    I must also say though that it seems to me you jumped off on a small portioin of Steve’s comment and largely missed the point of his post, comment, and my comment. The idea of the post was about identifying people (including Christians) who are in some way, shape, or form unsafe. Unsafe people are not the ones that will hurt you and then come back and repent, trying to make amends and change their ways. Unsafe people are the ones that continually bring you down and hurt you, without apologizing, or offering only fake apologies, or worse, feel that what they do is right or even godly. These unsafe people, including Christians, will not listen to admonishment and will not listen to good, godly reason because they feel that godly reason is on their side.

    You seemed to almost mock relationship boundaries in your previous comment on “Liberty for Captives,” as if they are not only unnecessary but wrong. As I said in my comment, we ALL have to have proper boundaries, or we will allow people to walk all over us and hurt us. We cannot force people to change. We can pray that they do, ask that they do, show them why they should, tell them and show them why they are wrong, and yet, until they choose to repent and change, nothing we do can force that on them. God may break their hearts, or break them, but even He will not force them to do anything they do not really want to do. When a person is unwilling to change, we must be even more willing to set up firm boundaries to keep ourselves from being hurt and torn down.

    There is no reason for us to continue to subject ourselves to demeaning and hurtful people. Your seeming assertion that we should help “unsafe people” by asking the right questions INSTEAD of drawing firm boundaries to me borders on a “blame the victim” mentality in the sense that the person being hurt should try harder to “ask the right questions” rather than protect themselves and loved ones from people who harm by drawing those boundaries. Furthermore, by drawing boundaries, the harmful people can begin to learn that there are such things as boundaries that must be respected. They often don’t know what a proper boundary is and thus must be shown. In a way, it is like training a child.

  3. paulspassingthoughts said, on September 10, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Joe,

    My point is that all of this flows from two gospel perspectives. ALL judgments concerning Adams flow from what his opponents know he believes about the gospel. Until Steve or anyone else grasps this, they are not in any position to weigh in on Adams. This should make us stop dead in our tracks and take note. Also, the Bible is God’s full philosophical statement for life and godliness: metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and politics. If all reality is seen through God’s philosophical model–good. But what Crabb, Powlison, and others do is buy into the kind of worldly knowledge that proposes a different epistemology than God’s. In other words, it integrates other philosophical models into God’s model–which skews our view of reality. Freud’s metaphysics and epistemology was vehemently opposed to God’s leading to a different ethic and politic as well. But yet, he has something to offer Christians in the way of wisdom? This is the fallacy of “All truth is God’s truth” and Steve’s other proposals as well.

  4. Joe said, on September 10, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Paul,

    Again, because I have not studied Adam’s, Poslison, Crabb, or the others, I cannot honestly and intelligently comment on any of their beliefs, methods or theories, in the positive or negative. An idea of two seperate gospel prospectives certainly would be concerning, but as I cannot adequately discuss this particular area with these people, I will have to leave it at that. I most certainly agree with you that we must be careful about integrating worldly philosophes into God’s philosophy and law. There have been many dangerous philosophies and theories come about from various psychologists, especially Freud. When it comes to the human condition and human nature, we must always measure what somebody says against God’s word.

    What I do find interesting though, is it seems that you are saying that if it hasn’t come directly from the Bible, then it cannot be true, in terms of philosophy, pyschology, reasoning. If this is not what you are saying, then please clarify further. It seems that claiming “All truth is God’s truth” is a fallacy is itself a sort of fallacy. Truth, by definition, must be true. It must be accurate, right, and correct for everybody at all times. So if something is truth, whether or not a person is a Christian who espouses it has no bearing on the actual truthfulness of the claim. Again, this assumes that is is, in fact, truth, and not a distortion of truth, or what somebody merely PROCLAIMS to be truth. FOr an example in another realm, a large portion of mathematics was founded by ancient Muslims (please do not quote me on that, I don’t recall if it was before Islam was founded, or in which region specifically, but I do know it was not a predominantly Judeo-Christian area). The fact that the mathematics hold true has nothing to do with who discovered it. Mathematics is basically the language of the working world. What you are saying about psychology on the whole it seems is that if it didn’t come from the Bible, it must not be true. And yet, unbiblical, non-Christian, anti-Christian, anti-God people discover true things all the time. Why should it be different with psychology?

    Again, let me reitterate that claims must still be weighed against the Bible. If it clearly goes against the Bible, it should be rexamined, and reinterpretted. The Bible is the final authority. That said, while the Bible is the final authority and it is God’s philosophical blue print, it does not necessarily teach us directly and specifically on how to respond and deal with every specific situation that may arise. This is where counselors can be of great benefit. They can help us to see how to deal with emotions, how to appropriately respond to those that hurt us, and how to move forward in our lives when we have difficulty doing that.

  5. Argo said, on September 10, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Joe,
    Really enjoyed your post. While I disagree with some of your premises and conclusions, I liked the reasoning. I love watching people think. Thanks.

  6. paulspassingthoughts said, on September 10, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Joe,

    Your interpretive questions are well stated which makes them easier to respond to. You also state: “What I do find interesting though, is it seems that you are saying that if it hasn’t come directly from the Bible, then it cannot be true, in terms of philosophy, pyschology, reasoning. If this is not what you are saying, then please clarify further. It seems that claiming “All truth is God’s truth” is a fallacy is itself a sort of fallacy.”

    Joe, you are exactly right in your assessment of my thinking. And yes, “All truth is God’s truth” is a fallacy. Moreover, “All lies are the devil’s lies” is conspicuously missing from the equation. If “ALL Scripture” is able to “fully equip” the man of God for “every good work” (2Tim. 3:16, 17), and we all agree that isn’t the case with Psychology, doesn’t this become a question of good use of time and exposure to at least some dangerous ideas? Especially since the Apostle Paul called the Bible the “mind of Christ.”

    Additionally, who we are flows from our philosophy. Psychology comes from a philosophy that is opposed to God in respect to its basic metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and politics. We should be subject to its wisdom because there are some elements in each that agrees with God’s wisdom? So, you need brain surgery. You have a choice between 2 surgeons. One graduated with honors from medical school while the other flunked out. But regardless, you want both of them to operate on you because the one who flunked out might know something that the other surgeon knows? really?

  7. Joe said, on September 11, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Argo,

    Thanks for the reply about my comment. I do know that I will not agree with everyone and not everyone will agree with me. We are all different and think a little differently. I try to stay open and to the possibility that I am wrong or that my thoughts need adjustment. That is one of the benefits to discussing ideas with people who have varrying degrees to your own. In many cases, they can at least help you to see things from a new perspective, and sometimes challenge you. I think this discussion has taken some lively turns, and I hope that at the very least I’ve helped Paul to see another perspective, even if he doesn’t agree with it. I can say that I believe I can better see and understand his perspective now, even if I don’t fully agree with it.

    Paul,

    While I think there are some things we may disagree about, there appear to be things we whole-heartedly agree on. We seem to agree that there are at least some aspects of psychology that have been dangerous and go against Biblical principles. I think we also both hold the Bible in high esteem as the final authority against which all else must be weighed. It also seems that we agree that if an idea comes about that does not fit with Biblical principles, that it must either be restated, rexamined, or reinterpreted to fit with Biblical principles if possible. If it is not possible, then it should be thrown out.

    Perhaps where some of disagreement comes is in how I view psychology should be used. Perhaps when I say psychology, what I should really be saying is more along the lines of psychological studies. What I mean is we have learned and can continue to learn about how people think and behave through. We can observe people and see how the react and respond in and to various situations and various types of other people. With enough observations, we can sometimes draw strong correlations. For example, we can see that there is a strong correlation (not causation mind you, but correlation) between teen pregnancy and not going to college. Or there is a strong correlation between children who are abused later becoming abusers themselves. We have also learned about stages of grief from psychological studies. We also have learned things such as what men tend to think about and see as important and what women tend to think about and see as important. None of these things mind you were learned directly from the Bible, but by studying people and how they act and behave. As far as I am aware, the Bible says nothing about a grieving person going through denial, bargaining, anger, depression and sadness. This is something psychology taught us and it does not go against Biblical principles.

    The trick to all of these things that we learn about HOW people act and behave, is trying to interpret WHY they are acting and behaving in these ways. This, I believe, is where psychology can become very problematic. When you have ungodly, non-Christian people studying how people act and trying to interpret why they are behaving in that manner, they are not necessarily going to make good, Biblical interpretations. On a theory by theory basis, this may be able to be done. If a psychologist presents data from a study, assuming the was collected with good integrity, we should always evaluate the conclusion of that study and the inferences that are drawn from it. If the conclusions fall in line with Biblical princples, then why should that idea or theory be thrown out? Remember, we are assuming that the data was collected with good integrity and that it is valid, accurate data. If the conclusion that came from the data does not fall in line with Biblical principles, then that does not immediately invalidate the raw data, but rather the conclusion drawn from it. Thus we can still learn from the data, but it would need to be reexamined through a Biblical lens.

    To your analogy of the surgeon, I would certainly agree with you. I would not seek out help our counseling from a psychologist or psychiatrist or counselor whose worldview was an unbiblical one. If I were to seek out a counselor (which, I actually have by the way), for me that counselor would need to be a Christian. You see, the good Christian counselor (and there are both good and bad ones out there) will not try be trying to fit God’s principles into psychological ones, but will fit psychological ideas into God’s principles. There is a difference there. They are not attempting to change Biblical principles, they are changing psychological ideas. The good Christian counselor will also very much incorporate the Bible into counseling, because as I believe we agree, the Bible is framework and foundation for how we should live our lives. If we do not live by Biblical, Godly principles, then all else is for naught.

    I believe we can either agree on those things, or agree to disagree. As I’ve said, I believe we do agree on a few things. In my oppinion, if you do not wish to seek out help from a godly, professionaly trained counselor, and instead prefer to see a godly, trained pastor, or a godly, wise friend, I see nothing wrong with that. If they are equiped to help you in that situation in which you are seeking help, then that is really what matters.

    Now, I would like to get back to one of the origianl issues I had with a statement of yours that you haven’t addresed in any comments on this site or over at “Liberty for Captives”. The statement(s) that I have an issue with are: “I am also extremely uncomfortable with the newest novelty of “setting relationship boundaries.” Labeling them as “unsafe” and setting up “boundaries” based on a list of criteria is first a hope-killer, and pretty much just downright coldblooded.” What distrubs me is that from these comments you seem to believe that we shouldn’t have boundaries with people. Essentially, with these remarks you seem to be saying that we should allow anybody to speak into our lives and continue to allow ourselves to be hurt by others’ actions and words rather than setting boundaries with consequences to let people know that that behavior is not ok. Telling a person they cannot put up these healthy boundaries and must instead fix the person hurting them to me seems coldblooded and hopeless. That is taking the hope away from the victim. This is why I said in one of my earlier comments that it bordered on a “blame the victim” mentality, because you seemed to be saying that the person being hurt should instead be asking the victim why they are doing what they are doing and helping them to change. Then, if they are not able to help them change, (because we cannot make somebody change, they must want to change themselves) they are simply stuck where they were before, not putting up those boundaries and unable to get out because they weren’t able to do enough to help their oppressor change.

    Let me give you a prime example. My wife’s parents hurt my wife in a very severe emotional way a few years ago. The hurt hurt was also not an isolated incedent, but over a span of time. The behavior they exhibited was severe enough that the only course of action to take was to cut ourselves off from them. We explained to them that we could only communicate if they were respectful, and that if they were not respectful, we could not communicate with them. We also explained and continue trying to explaing that until those offenses they committed are dealt with and worked out, that we cannot possibly have a normal, healthy relationship with them. Furthermore, we explained that because of their actions, we feel that the only way we can work these problems out is with an impartial, arbitrary mediator/counselor/pastor in order to keep everybody honest, respectful, and accountable. As of yet, we have not been able to work through the issues at hand due in large part to their resistance. The point is though, that all of these things are boundaries we have had to set up because they have shown that in their current state, a normal, healthy relationship with them is not possible. Their actions, behaviors, and attitudes are toxic and damaging. We continue to pray for them, and we continue to seek out resolution and reconciliation with them, but that is as must as we can do. By your seeming standards, they would still be a major and involved part of our lives and be allowed to hurt us over and over again until we were finally able to ask the right question, assuming that they went along with it.

  8. lydiasellerofpurple@yahoo.com said, on September 11, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    I really am reluctant to write this but from my years as an advocate for abused and raped women, I can tell you WORST place they can go is to a “Christian” counselor. The biggest problem the abuse shelter had was pastors coming and telling the women to go back to their husband because he had talked to him, said he was sorry and she should forgive him. (In their minds, forgiveness was going back)

    I am not sure how Nouthetic counseling would help a victim of abuse of rape.

  9. paulspassingthoughts said, on September 11, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Lydia,

    I saw first hand what the Nouthetic counseling movement did in the lives of people before David Powlison and company ruined it. It’s not so much about what NANC used to be, but the fact that God’s word has the answers. Totally freaked out people who were in Psych wards and given no hope of recovery returned to normal lives. Depressed people who were told by Psychiatrists that they would be on psychotropic drugs the rest of their lives became happy, drug free people. Also, countless people gave their lives to the Lord through the program because secular organizations were shoveling their “hopeless” cases to NANC counselors. I think Powlison will have a lot to answer for one day. Just my opinion.

  10. Bridget said, on September 11, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    Lydia -

    “I am not sure how Nouthetic counseling would help a victim of abuse of rape.”

    It may help the abused recover but only AFTER the abuser has been turned in to the police and the abused has gone to the hospital. An abuser has broken the law, in most cases, and should be prosecuted. Pastors should never tell a person to go back to an abuser.

    I hope that Powlison, nor any other teaching organizations, have taught that a person should go back to an abuser. Yet I know that some “Pastors” have taught this under the guise of “you must forgive,” because “you are just as bad a sinner as your abuser.” Ugh!

  11. paulspassingthoughts said, on September 12, 2012 at 6:32 am

    Bridget,

    Right, that comes directly from Gospel Sanctification theology. I can tell you in the day, that NANC strongly emphasized the immediate calling of authorities in abuse situations.

  12. paulspassingthoughts said, on September 12, 2012 at 8:19 am

    Joe, I hope I answer some of your questions in my latest post: http://wp.me/pmd7S-1H6

    Thanks for your rigorous input here–it is very much appreciated.
    paul

  13. Joe said, on September 12, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Lydia,

    I agree with Paul on that. My view is that the authorities should be called and the abuser held accountable. Offering forgiveness and possible reconciliation to the person does NOT mean going right back to them. They would have to show genuine signs of repentance before I would even POSSIBLY consider going back. Even then, I would not blame or think less of the woman if she decided to leave the abuser, and depending on the situation, I might even encourage it. A pastor or counselor should NEVER tell a woman to go back to her abuser simply because he had a “chat” with him and the abuser said he was “sorry.” That is an ineffectual and unempathetic pastor or counselor if I ever heard one.

  14. paulspassingthoughts said, on September 12, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Gospel = get out of jail free card.

  15. Bridget said, on September 13, 2012 at 2:19 am

    paulspassingthoughts on September 12, 2012 at 2:49 pm
    Gospel = get out of jail free card.

    Which is the antithesis of what Jesus Christ “did” to redeem mankind. Salvation is a gift to me, but it was not free. It cost our Lord much.

    Jesus went about healing, teaching, and doing good. True disciples do what the Discipler
    taught them to do and did himself. They don’t say, “We need to do nothing, he did it for us.” No! He redeems us for good works which we now desire to do because we are filled with the same Spirit which raised Christ from the dead.


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