Bewildering Grace

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In Christ, we are adopted by God, 
we are chosen without deserving,
loved without earning,
and saved without effort.

–Nick Lannon

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Redemptively Invaded

earth 22 copy 2The Gospel is not an academic discussion of truth—a set of doctrines about life, but an interpretation of “things” (Lk. 1:1) . . . Some “things” had happened on this earth that had never happened before—our planet has been invaded by God—redemptively invaded. That is the biggest and most decisive “thing” that has ever happened or can happen on this planet. . . .

This is cosmic news—the Good News, that will make every planet, every cell, every thing dance with joy at the wonder of it.

Of all the things that have happened, or could happen this is the thing . . . the Central Cosmic Fact: God appeared on a little planet to take us by the hand and put us back on the Way. This is news—Good News—comparatively speaking, the only Good News that ever reached our planet.

-–E. Stanley Jones

Too good to believe

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Indeed the mystery
of Christ runs the risk
of being disbelieved
precisely because
it is so incredibly
wonderful.

–Cyril of Alexandria
(412—444)

Not only wild and wonderful

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And if there is a God who can take the dead and, without a single condition of credit-worthiness or a single pointless promise of reform, raise them up whole and forgiven, free for nothing—well, that would not only be wild and wonderful; it would be the single piece of Good News in a world drowning in an ocean of blame.

–Robert Farrar Capon

Art: Mikki Senkarik

Published in: on 01/24/2015 at 8:20  Leave a Comment  
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Invaded by God

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The Gospel is not an academic discussion of truth—a set of doctrines about life, but an interpretation of “things” (Lk. 1:1) . . . Some “things” had happened on this earth that had never happened before—our planet has been invaded by God—redemptively invaded. That is the biggest and most decisive “thing” that has ever happened or can happen on this planet. . . .

This is cosmic news—the Good News,
that will make every planet, every cell,
every thing dance with joy
at the wonder of it.

Of all the things that have happened, or could happen this is the thing . . . the Central Cosmic Fact: God appeared on a little planet to take us by the hand and put us back on the Way. This is news—Good News—comparatively speaking, the only Good News that every reached our planet.

–E. Stanley Jones

Image: Maxime Courty

When God set things right

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From the dim beginnings of our history right up to the present day, there is not a man, woman, or child of us who has ever been immune to the temptation to think that the relationship between God and humanity can be repaired from our side by our efforts. Whether those efforts involve credal correctness, cultic performances, or ethical achievements – or whether they amount to little more than crassly superstitious behaviour – we are all, at the same level, committed to them.

divider-1If we are not convinced that God can be conned into being favorable to us by dint of our doctrinal orthodoxy, or chicken sacrifices, or the gritting of our moral teeth, we still have a hard time shaking the belief that stepping over sidewalk cracks, or hanging up the bath towel so the label won’t show, will somehow render the Ruler of the Universe kindhearted, softheaded, or both.

But as the Epistle of the Hebrews pointed out long ago, all such behaviour is bunk. The blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sins, nor can any other religious act do what it sets out to do…

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But the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is precisely Good News. It is the announcement, in the death and resurrection of Jesus, that God has simply called off the game – that he has taken all the disasters religion was trying to remedy and, without any recourse to religion at all, set them to rights by himself.

–Robert Farrar Capon
Kingdom, Grace, Judgment

Nobody else has news

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Nobody else except [Christians]
has any Gospel; nobody else
has any good news;
for the simple reason that
nobody else has any news.

–G. K. Chesterton
The Everlasting Man

Published in: on 04/24/2013 at 5:40  Leave a Comment  
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Absolutely no barrier

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But people whose faith makes them acceptable to God will never ask, “Who will go up to heaven to bring Christ down?” Neither will they ask, “Who will go down into the world of the dead to raise him to life?”

All who are acceptable because of their faith simply say, “The message is as near as your mouth or your heart.” And this is the same message we preach about faith.  —Romans 10:6-8 (CEV)

We have the good news to tell to all men that there is absolutely no barrier to Christ. That which appears to be the obstacle which keeps a certain person from Christ is in reality the very thing which will assure him an entrance into His presence.

He who cannot believe,
let him come with his unbelief.

He who cannot understand may come with his confusion. The rebellious man may come if he will only bring his rebellion. The indifferent and the cold person may come with his indifference and coldness. He who is troubled with bitterness and deep feeling may bring his tangled emotions. He who has no feelings may come as he is. The moral failure may come with his failures knowing that Christ will forgive and continue to forgive as often as he fails…

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Christ, Himself, is immediately available to all who will receive Him. This is good news, not only to the unconverted, but also to the weary Christian. Christ is the door; all who will may enter. He is also the way; all who will may walk thereon.

There is no one so evil
that he may not come;
no one so saintly that this
should not still be good news to him.

There is no one so unbelieving and rebellious that he may not bring his unbelief and rebellion to Christ; there is no one so trusting and submissive that he does not need to depend on the Shepherd to restore his soul.

This is good news for all men. It is the only good news of which no one can say, “This is not for me.” This is the “Good News” which is called “The Gospel of Christ.”

–Wesley W. Nelson
Captivated by Christ

The gladdest thing of all

Repent and believe in the gospel, Jesus says. Turn around and believe that the good news that we are loved is better than we ever dared hope, and that to believe in that good news, to live out of it and toward it, to be in love with that good news, is of all glad things in this world the gladdest thing of all.

-Frederick Buechner

Published in: on 08/26/2010 at 16:06  Leave a Comment  
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