Monday, June 27, 2011

Sticking to the simple stuff

The message of the Bible is described in many ways but one of my favorites is that it is simple enough for a child to understand and yet so gloriously deep as to keep a man occupied in study for a lifetime. I think we can ponder and likewise live out the simple truths of a lifetime and never grow bored or weary. For some reason, somehow, the simple truth of the Gospel is not enough for us. We want something more complex, something sexier, something...more.

Just repeating and living out the truths of the Gospel is not very impressive by worldly standards. Standing firm in the faith, loving the Lord our God and loving one another as ourselves, preaching Christ and Him crucified to a world that is lost, showing mercy to the least of these as Christ has shown mercy to us. That all seems so pedestrian. Who is going to buy a book that deals with that sort of stuff?

I got to thinking about this based on a comment on the prior post. It doesn't seem like people get into "trouble" when they stick with the basics of the Gospel. When people get bored with that and run off into new and more exciting theological adventures, watch out! So much error has crept in when men decide that the Gospel is kind of uninteresting and makes for poor intellectual conversations and start wandering off into vain and hypothetical musings. When men get to arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin and the simple truth of the Gospel is subordinate to the theological speculations, error and division is right around the corner. The doctrine of election is a precious and important truth but really a broken-hearted sinner who is crying out for Jesus really doesn't care if you are supralapsarian or infralapsarian, or even whether you are a Calvinist or Arminian. What they want to know is "what must I do to be saved?" If you are more interested in pondering deep theological truths instead of answering that question from sinners, your heart is likely far from God.

Simply proclaiming and living out the "basics" of the Gospel is not very interesting to the wise of the world, nor is it very entertaining to a world always looking for something new to occupy itself. That sort of simple, "foolish" teaching is not going to sell a lot of books nor is it going to pack conference halls. It is a great way to avoid both dangerous speculation and divisiveness. If we would all major in the main things instead of majoring in the minors, I think we would be amazed at how much more sound our theology would be. A simple church without speculation and without all of the division. Isn't that something we all should long for?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think so.

It is always interesting that the two times Paul mentions what was most important to him in the Corinthian correspondence (1 Cor 2:2, and 15:1-5) he does not mention justification by faith, women in ministry, married life, family systems, water baptism, or the ordo salutis, he mentions Jesus Christ, and him crucified.