Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Gospel’s Compelling Uniqueness

It is impossible to be ambivalent about Jesus. He said so Himself (Matt. 12:30). It should come as no surprise, then, to see that as Jesus traveled around preaching, teaching, and doing ministry, He had an immensely polarizing effect on those He encountered. Some responded in loving awe and others in seething hatred. And this would not have been true if Jesus had simply been what many modern thinkers assume He was—a good moral teacher. No, Jesus is not quite so safe as all that. Jesus Christ is a spiritual disruption of the space-time continuum.

Just as in the days of his earthly ministry, the truth claims of Christ and His church continue to both resonate and repel. Of course, it’s the repulsion that many evangelicals today are concerned about. Some of them are concerned enough about it that they seek to soften some of the harder edges of the Christian faith to make it more appealing. And what we discover in adulterating the message of Jesus is that we may soften people’s objections to Him, but we also temper their enthusiasm. The safe Jesus of modern evangelicalism is not offensive, but neither is He very compelling.

No, we must embrace the real Jesus—Jesus as He was and is, with all His cross-taking demands and soul-baring truths. And when we do so, we will discover that for all the animosity the real Jesus stirs up, there are also a good many affections for Him stirred up, as well. This is how Jesus Himself described this phenomenon.... Read More

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