While reading Francis Schaeffer’s The God Who Is There last night, I was very convicted by this quote from Martin Luther. How often do we allow the “minor” issues to slip by?
If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battlefield besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.
Martin Luther, quoted by Francis A. Schaeffer, The God Who Is There
Of course our grand concern should not be to take Scripture literally or non-literally. Insofar as we claim to be Christians, our goal must be to take Scripture as Christ took it. Otherwise, we might as well claim to be “SpongeBobians” as “Christians.”
Jesus lodged a great many charges against the religious leaders of His day. He complained that their righteousness fell short of that of the Kingdom (Matthew 5:20), that they didn’t practice what they preached (Matthew 23:3), that they made proselytes who were worse than they (Matthew 23:15), and a host of other accusations.
But did Jesus ever fault them for being too literal?
No, it’s not a law firm, it’s a commentary on what is or isn’t judgmentalism vs. moral judgment. It’s always fascinating to me that the people who are most likely to accuse of judgmentalism, in the Christian context, are those making a judgment based on no authority than their own opinion – the very quintessence of judgmentalism itself. Perversely, those they accuse of judgmentalism are often making a simple pronouncment or proclamation not based on their own opinion, but an external authority – i.e., the Bible.
To [CNN host Piers] Morgan, making any moral judgment amounts to judgmentalism. Of course, this leads logically to total moral insanity, since the only way to avoid being identified with judgmentalism is to make no moral judgments whatsoever — which no sane person can do.
- A La Carte (1/27) (challies.com)
Dan Wallace provides some excellent exegetical analysis of Revelation 3:20. The use of that verse for evangelism has been a pet peeve of mine for years, and is one of (only 2) big flaws in the otherwise excellent book Share Jesus Without Fear
What, then, is this verse is affirming? First, it is not an offering of salvation. The implications of this are manifold. Among other things, to use this text as a salvation verse is a perversion of the simplicity of the gospel. Many people have allegedly “received Christ into their hearts” without understanding what that means or what the gospel means. Although this verse is picturesque, it actually muddies the waters of the truth of salvation. Reception of Christ is a consequence, not a condition, of salvation. Second, as far as the positive meaning of this verse, it may refer to Christ having supremacy in the assembly or even to an invitation (and, consequently, a reminder) to believers to share with him in the coming kingdom. Either way, it is not a verse about salvation at all, for the Laodiceans were already saved.
I use Logos on Windows, and on my iPhone and iPad, and on the web (www.biblia.com). Now they’re launching a Mac version, and giving away a BUNCH of stuff. It’s an excellent resource for Bible study:
Logos Bible Software is giving away thousands of dollars of prizes to celebrate the launch of Logos Bible Software 4 Mac on October 1. Prizes include an iMac, a MacBook Pro, an iPad, an iPod Touch, and more than 100 other prizes!