Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Second Sunday in Lent.

The Collect

ALMIGHTY God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Collect from the First Day of Lent is to be read every day in Lent after the Collect appointed for the Day.

Daily Bible Verse

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Getting the Gospel Right: Jonathan Akin

The following is an except from an article by Jonathan Akin, a Baptist.  I'm not sure if Akin claims to be a particular Baptist or a Calvinistic Baptist.  However, this section of his article, "The Gospel in Synchronic and Diachronic Perspective:On the Nature and Implications of the Gospel," jumped out at me:

The gospel is the central message of the Christian faith. Getting the gospel wrong is disastrous. I believe that each of the positions stated above can be wrongly emphasized and cause us to lose sight of what the gospel is! I will take the positions in reverse order. The most disastrous position is the one that sees the gospel as the door or hoop that gets you into the Christian life but does not see the gospel as central to all of the Christian life, something you both continually believe and live. In theological terms, this view sees the importance of the gospel for justification but not for sanctification. This leads some preachers to ignore proclaiming the gospel weekly because they believe the gospel is only for unbelievers and not for believers (or they just tack on an evangelistic appeal at the end of a message for the unbelievers in the crowd). This view separates the gospel from the Christian life by strongly associating it with the praying of a prayer to get in (“accepting the gospel”) and then viewing discipleship as following a list of rules or principles laid down in the Bible after that. This leads to a new form of legalism that is not gospel-centered and can block our lost friends, neighbors, and the nations from hearing the clear message of the gospel. It tends to put the emphasis of the Christian life primarily on what individual believers “do,” and this lends itself to works-based self-righteousness (or sin-based guilt) rather than gospel-driven, continual repentance. This approach leads to divorcing the imperatives of the Bible from the indicatives of the gospel. By following this approach to the gospel, we train our children to be Pharisees who pray like Daniel, love their in-laws like Ruth, are brave like David, etc. They thus come to view the Christian life as a set of rules or principles to follow which are entirely separated from the One who has already acted to rescue a people.1 The Christian life, in this view, is still mainly seen as obeying in order to be accepted rather than acceptance that leads to obedience. This muddying of the gospel has caused many young people to walk away from the church.
1For further examination of this issue, see the following baptist21 blog entry entitled “Preaching the Gospel Every Week.”

To read the entire article, go to the Beginning with Moses blog.  Akin's article originally appeared at the baptist twentyone site.

Footnote:  Apparently, Baptist12.com is indeed a particular Baptist or calvinistic Baptist site: Who We Are

Doctrinal Affirmations

We provide the following doctrinal affirmations as a summary of our convictions. However, in keeping with the introduction to the BF&M 2000 we affirm that “the sole authority for faith and practice among Baptists is the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Confessions are only guides in interpretation, having no authority over the conscience.”

If confessions of faith are not a secondary authority, following the sole authority of Scripture, why bother?  It's contradictory to say that what we believe as a church is not an authority over the conscience, especially when we claim that what we believe is derived from the Holy Scriptures.  Only Scripture is infallible and absolutely binding but that does not mean that the church has no authority at all. (Cf. 39 Articles of Religion, Article 20).
Reasonable Christian Blog Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost; Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen. 1662 Book of Common Prayer

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