Sunday, December 6, 2009

The tension of the Gospel

Yesterday I heard John Dickson speak at the National Training Event of the Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students. He spoke about the bloodline of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew. He emphasized that Jesus' lineage highlights twin themes of the Gospel: the Lordship of the Messiah King and the latitude of God's grace for all people.
The first is illustrated by the fact the Jesus is descended from Abraham and David.
The second is highlighted by the inclusion of Tamar (victim of incest), Rahab (a prostitute), Ruth (a Moabite), Wife of Uriah (an adulteress), and Mary (unmarried pregnancy).

Rahab and the Emissaries of Joshua (17th Century)

We must keep these twin themes of the Gospel in tension, the Lordship of Christ and the latitude of his grace. John conjectured that indiv
iduals have a natural tendency to an overemphasis on one over the other. Those who overemphasize the Lordship of Christ become
self-righteous, but need to be friend of sinners. In contrast, those who overemphasize grace may have casual attitudes about the use of money, of sexual morality, and are reluctant to confront or face conflict.

Keeping these twin themes in constant tension is at the heart of the Gospel and the heartbeat of the Christian life.

1 comment:

  1. Feminists may have a field day with a talk like that. Did he comment on the fact each of those people requiring grace was a female?