Friday, July 14, 2006

Uneasy, but secure and happy

Photo found on Google from an open Flickr account by a man named Paul
"So how does it feel to always be helpless and hopeless without the Cross of Christ? Very uneasy because it makes you always dependent on Christ, there is none of you that you can bring on God's table...Uneasy? Maybe, but secure and happy."
~ L.P. Cruz

L.P. Cruz of Extra Nos has just described, in The Basis, the monumental mindset change that God worked in me a couple of years ago. And yet, how wonderfully ironic is it that the uneasy feeling drives you to the cross? Driven not so much out of fear as much as joy and thankfulness for the one who now saves you!

His account is the one "universal" truth I've seen written about by all who ascribe to Luther's story of spiritual conversion. We all have that same story of God convicting us of our sin while simultaneously showing us the fantastic news that we are saved, all through work not of our own. We suddenly realize that that is the gospel: to be in debt and saved all in one swoop. Accomplished through the proclamation of God's Word and not through any action of our own. Even the very seed of faith is planted by God himself. No man can boast that he chose God or chose his own salvation in Christ. It is not possible.

This post really encouraged me this morning!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Holiness and sinfulness, coexisting together, though not peacefully

I love it when I read a post about total depravity and a post about holiness and see total harmony. For confessional Lutherans, any blog post on holiness will draw attacks reminding the blogger of our sinful nature and vice versa. I had to laugh when John at Confessing Evangelical added this disclaimer to the bottom of his recent post on holines, A Chappo's Guide to Holiness:

Note: For anyone tempted to make rude comments about a Lutheran blog posting on holiness (shock! horror!), do please go away first and read Article 6 of the Augsburg Confession (though also do read Articles 4 and 5 - especially Article 5 for any Sydney Anglicans that might read this. Craig excepted - he already knows this stuff.

For anyone tempted to make rude comments about this Lutheran daring to post on the subject of holiness: fair point.

Just last week I was tempted to write about Theology Geek's post, Where Theology meets Life, on sinful nature and actually decided not to write it because I didn't feel like combatting reminders of commands of holiness. Jason writes, "Calvinists and Lutherans have a basic doctrine that I don't believe is held by any other major world religion. That doctrine is total depravity. The "total" doesn't mean that humanity is as evil as it can be at all times like some silly comic book villain. It means that we are corrupted from head to toe. Though we can do good deeds for each other, they are generally for our own self-interest. It also means that we are born this way. We aren't born perfect with a morally clean slate and are turned bad through our environments, instead we are born corrupt with a natural tendancy towards selfishness. " Read on...