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The Offensiveness of Truth and the Truth about Offense

Seeker-friendly. That title alone is enough to induce a bitter taste in the mouths of a lot of Bible-believing Christians. While no one will argue against increasing accessibility for those who want to be saved, that goal has been pursued in a lot of unhelpful ways. Too often, churches have compromised or abandoned their message in order to avoid accidentally offending someone. Too many preachers have focused so hard on making their hearers feel comfortable that they neglect to actually say anything of substance.

In reality, there is an inherently offensive dimension to the Gospel. Self-righteous, independent humans don’t like being told they’re lost sinners who must cast themselves on the mercy of a God they’ve never seen, and thereafter obey Him. People overly concerned with being nice and inclusive chafe at the idea that there is only one Way to the Father. Naturalistic intellectuals will scoff at the idea that some God-Man will come in the sky and set up a thousand-year kingdom. God Himself, speaking of the first coming of His Son, said, “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense…” (Rom 9:33). He knew that many pride-blinded sinners would not be willing to receive Him.

Thus, it is more than fair to say that the Gospel — undiluted and straightforward — is offensive to the unredeemed human heart. It may even be fair to say that a presentation of the Gospel that does not strike that chord of, “Wait… what?!” very well may have missed the way Scripture speaks of it.

Truth is often offensive. Messengers and leaders in the Body of Christ ought not to shrink back from being truthful for fear of bothering someone.

However, and equally importantly, not all that offends is truth. Messengers and leaders in the Body of Christ (especially the younger ones) do well to take this seriously. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on April 25, 2011 in My Two Cents, Theology

 

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Word of Life Meeting 11

Today’s meeting was so much fun! We were discussing the end of chapter 6, still on the topic of Jesus being fully God and fully Man.

This is a statement that can quickly put our little Western mindsets on tilt. We want so badly to make it make sense and to line up with our limited ability to understand. However, I love Oden’s comment that only things that are dead can be dissected. Jesus is quite alive (praise the Lord), so trying to scrutinize Him with our logical methods is an exercise in futility.

History has more than proved this to be the case. Even church fathers, who approach Christology with a heart of faith, struggle to find language to discuss it. Classic theology is full of admittedly flawed analogies and painstakingly worded creeds to try and clarify exactly what it is we do and do not know. Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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