Posts tagged ‘Australia’
The Australian federal election is over once again. Christians have responded in very different ways. The mess with all the ‘Christian’ micro-parties (see the comments at the bottom of this post) kind of makes you wonder about our political engagement!
I’m hoping something else is happening this year. There’s been talk amongst Australian Christians about ‘casting your vote for others’ since the 2010 federal election, and that sentiment seems to have spread this year. But perhaps another realisation has been growing too. Read more
He breaks the power of canceled sin,
He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean,
His blood availed for me!
This classic hymn is all about the problem of sin, and its solution, the great Saviour Jesus. It’s a real celebration song, and when Charles Wesley first penned the words, he was excited enough to write 18 verses! The sin it refers to is tangible, obvious, and strongly felt, and there are verses for sex workers and even murderers. But these are new people, looking at past evils washed away with grace and joy. Read more
Scot McKnight opens The King Jesus Gospel by relating several stories about the confusion of the word ‘gospel’. He reckons evangelicals by and large use the word to be ‘how you are saved’ and that this results in a culture where the key thing is to get people ‘over the line’. In his view, it leads to evangelistic strategies that focus on driving people to one moment of decision, but have little to say about a life lived for Christ. This is why, he believes, 75% of Americans say they’ve made some sort of decision to accept Christ but only about 25% actually do something about it, like attending church.
McKnight’s argument is that while the ‘Plan of Salvation’ is part of the gospel, it is not the gospel itself. Rather, the gospel is about the story of Jesus as the culmination of the story of Israel, and the Plan of Salvation flows out of that. He’s cutting against the idea that the Gospels are merely a record of Jesus’ life, while the content of the gospel message is found later in the Epistles. Why, he asks, are the Gospels called ‘The Gospel according to…’ if they are not the gospel? Good question! Read more