Friday, September 05, 2008

The Idolatry "Gospel"

D. A. Carson writes a very stirring and sobering conclusion to some thoughts concerning the vision of God's glory returning to dwell among his people in Ezekiel 43 (from Carson's Oct. 10 writing in Vol. 2 of For the Love of God):

“The Gospel is not admired in Scripture primarily because of the social transformation it effects, but because it reconciles men and women to a holy God. Its purpose is not that we might feel fulfilled, but that we might be reconciled to the living and holy God. The consummation is delightful to the transformed people of God, not simply because the environment of the new heaven and the new earth is pleasing, but because we forever live and work and worship in the unshielded radiance of the presence of our holy Maker and Redeemer. That prospect must shape how the church lives and serves, and determine the pulse of its ministry. The only alternative is high-sounding but self-serving idolatry.”

At least for American Evangelical Christianity, this truth is sorely missing in the gospel being presented by the usual suspects. The man-centered "gospel" of personal happiness and self-improvement is in stark and horrible contrast to the main purposes of this God-centered and God-initiated reconciliation presented on the pages of Scripture.

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