January 09, 2009

Gospel light

Much of what emanates from modern pulpits would not be recognized by history’s great preachers as being Bible-based and glorifying to God. Rather than the spiritual meat the Body of Christ needs – marked by doctrinal clarity, a sense of gravity, convincing argument, and a proper focus on Christ – entire churches are being administered a sweet but substanceless snack by their pastors. Consequently, congregations leave the sanctuary malnourished and ill-prepared to stand firm when their faith is challenged.
—Alistair Begg

As if timed perfectly for this gospel light comment from Alistair Begg, Extra Thoughts on The Porpoise-Driven Life.


  1. Wow! You and Jack Brooks are on the same wavelength today. I just got done commenting on this post of his here.

  2. Oh, here is my comment. The opening line is one of Jack's statements from his post:

    But what if one of my greatest needs -- the need I don't wish to admit, or perhaps am blind to -- is that I'm preoccupied with myself?

    This post and that thought reminds me of the aftermath of the feeding of the 5,000 in John's gospel, and after what I quoted Jesus said some things that the Jews misinterpreted and found offensive, and many left Him at that point. What I quoted was the preoccupation they had with Jesus meeting their need for food as opposed to their blindness to their own sin and self-centeredness. And I'm no different than they were, except for God's grace:

    When therefore the people saw the sign which He had performed, they said, “This is of a truth the Prophet who is to come into the world.”

    So Jesus departs from them and goes across the Sea of Galilee, and they look for Him:

    When the multitude therefore saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they themselves got into the small boats, and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You get here?”

    Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves, and were filled. “Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man shall give to you, for on Him the Father, even God, has set His seal.”

    They said therefore to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”

    Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”

    They said therefore to Him, “What then do You do for a sign, that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, He gave them bread out of heaven to eat.’”

    Jesus therefore said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. “For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.”

    They said therefore to Him, “Lord, evermore give us this bread.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. “But I said to you, that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe."

    Then, these same people who ate and were filled started grumbling against Him because He said he was the bread from heaven. And they rejected him. Their god was their belly.

  3. Jack's post is a good one. Thanks for the link. One of the things I appreciate about Jack is that he is a pastor and is concerned about these things. Sometimes it feels like the only people who recognize this problem are the ones in the pew. But there are many pastors out there (Alistair Begg is another one) who stand up against this lack of gravity from the pulpit.

    I think you're right on the money with the comparison of the "gospel-light" target audience (felt needs) and those who saw the miracle, ate the food, and rejected the miracle-worker. Selfcenteredness is not new.


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