>Too True

>I’ve often said there is better theology in many Peanuts cartoons than in many “Bible” colleges and seminaries…and in this cartoon a sad commentary on today’s youth is encased in what was, when first penned, rather funny…in the prisons it used to be the young guys were terrified of the old cons; now it is the older guys who are scared spitless of the young guns…why?…they just don’t give a flying rip…and, sadly, that is the status quo for most students…which is why the message of hope will find willing ears if we are gutsy enough to preach the gospel and go for disciples rather than “decisions” brought about by cheesy “invitations” that aren’t laced with the fact that God is angry with sinners, will punish sin, but offers forgiveness because of the atoning death of His Son…

>The Missing Link in Most "gospel" presentations

>Critically important, thanks to KEVIN DEYOUNG

“[I]t is certainly empirically true in history,” writes Richard Lovelace in “Dynamics of Christian Life”: 

“that a failure to assert the Trinity and the sacrificial death of Christ has involved a waning of spiritual life in the church, and eventually its extinction” (97). Lovelace goes on to elaborate:

The substitutionary atonement is the heart of the gospel, and it is so because it gives the answer to the problem of guilt, bondage and alienation from God. The earlier this answer can be spelled out in the process of evangelism and nurture, the better. Persons come to Christ initially for a variety of reasons, some of which are eccentric to their principal need for redemption: loneliness, a sense of meaninglessness in the godless life, suffering, fear and so on. Only those are lastingly converted, however, whose eventual motivation is to turn from their sin to God and receive the answer to sin in the work of Jesus Christ: “For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God.” (Jn. 3:20-21).

Spiritual life results from fellowship with God. But walking in light is essential to fellowship with the Father and the Son. Believers who are truly established in Christ have experienced the shattering of their spheres of of ignorance and darkness by a growing understanding of the nature of God, their sin and God’s provision of grace in Jesus Christ. This darkness can only be destroyed by the presentation of the preconditions of renewal and by the proclamation of the heart of the gospel in depth. (97-98)

Any denominational or ecclesiastical renewal that is not centered on the gospel of Christ’s sacrificial death for sin is bound to be shallow, short-lived, and, in the end, http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=jacksjots-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0802458408&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrcounterproductive.