Monday, April 14, 2008

A Christ-Centered Gospel?

The co-pilot I flew with today was a fellow brother in Christ whom I'd flown with before. Though he isn't Lutheran, he doesn't have a work-righteousness orientation, and has a good Scriptural foundation.

We were discussing the differences between Evangelicalism and Lutheranism. I mentioned the frequent emphasis in Evangelicalism on what you have to do, combined with a lack of emphasis on how that relates to what Christ has done - a man-centered Gospel rather than a Christ-centered Gospel. This type of man-centered Gospel seems to be creeping into the practice of Lutherans as well. When I came home, I checked my inbox and found an email from Pastor Paul T. McCain describing a recent post on his Cyberbrethren blog. It coincidentally discusses a similar topic. A portion of Pastor McCain's blog post follows:

Anyone who spends much time examining popular Protestant literature and listening to popular so-called "Evangelical" preaching, quickly realizes that, apparently, in much of Protestantism, the Name above every Name, Jesus, is optional: the specific articulation of the Gospel appears to be optional in much Protestant church culture, unless it is some kind of evangelistic rally. I know that generalizations always fail, but, it is something I continue to notice across all sorts of media: books, magazines, videos, blog sites: Jesus optional. Christ should be the main point of Christianity. Is He?

And lest we Lutherans begin to pat ourselves on the back, let us instead confess our own sins of omission and commission on this point: is Christ the center and focus of all that we say and do? Let us take warning from this and strive all the more to proclaim the Gospel and to preach and teach and confess, in all our vocations in life, the Name above every Name: Christ.

I hope you'll check out what Pastor McCain has to say. He's a Confessional Lutheran whom I always enjoy reading.

No comments: