Monday, December 27, 2021

Carson: the softened gospel

Monday, December 27, 2021
    Feast of John, Apostle & Evangelist
    Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!”
    —John 8:42-45 (NIV)
    It is vitally important to recognize that philosophical pluralism has exerted a dramatic “softening” influence on many people who would disavow radical religious pluralism. It is hard, for instance, to deny the influence of pluralism on evangelical preachers who increasingly reconstruct the “gospel” along the lines of felt needs, knowing that such a presentation will be far better appreciated than one that articulates truth with hard edges (i.e., that insists that certain contrary things are false), or that warns of the wrath to come. How far can such reconstruction go before what is preached is no longer the gospel in any historical or biblical sense?
    ... D. A. Carson (b. 1946), The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism [1996], Zondervan, 2002, p. 30 (see the book)
    See also John 8:42-45; 2 Cor. 11:12-15; Gal. 4:16-18; Col. 2:4; 2 Tim. 4:3; 2 Pet. 2:1-3
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, enable Your people to speak the undiluted Gospel.
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