Law and Gospel Unhinged?

A fellow Presbyterian pastor on Tullian Tchividjian’s recent comments on law and gospel:

Many of us have hoped that real good will be done in the current debates on sanctification, in which Pastor Tchividjian plays so central a role on the law-gospel side of the discussion.  I still hope that good is resulting.  But it is now unavoidable that real harm is being done by Tullian’s runaway rhetoric in opposing the Bible’s clear salvation teaching.  At this point, we have to wonder how long The Gospel Coalition will permit this frankly false doctrine to continue on its web pages.

Strong stuff.

Read the post here.

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One thought on “Law and Gospel Unhinged?

  1. As Augustine said RE: varying interpretations of Genesis: “If both are true, why not believe both?” Are people edified? Is Christ exalted?
    Rick Phillips has a worthy concern in regards to hermeneutics and contextual understanding. But the epistle of John is very theological and constantly bases its dichotomies (we do not sin…no one born of God can sin) and paradoxes (we do not sin…we sin) in a larger framework of union to Christ: we are because Jesus is, we do because Jesus did/does; if you notice in your practice something that does not belong to an elect child, the fundamental issue is failing to worship God rightly. “Keep yourself from idols.”
    Perhaps Phillips would do well to remember that Sanctification is not divorced from Justification, even if they are different to some degree–both find their source in the person and work of Christ. And is there not a degree of positional sanctification?–not everything is progressive and dynamic. Besides, ” The doctrinal realm of this teaching is sanctification, in which believers are active in obeying God’s commands and spiritually benefit as a result,” says Phillips… but is it really sanctification? Or is it evaluation: “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments”? and “and in this way ‘we know that we love the children of God’” (Phillips quoting).
    Yes, Tullian would do well to discuss obedience and righteous living, but is not obedience and righteous living intended to direct our attention back to Jesus anyway? What he has done… what he enables us to do. Tullian’s philosophy simply focuses on the source so the stream flows. Does Phillips simply want more, “Obey. Do this. Don’t do that”? There is value in that to be sure, but there is much more impetus when you see the beauty of a glorious Christ.
    Even if you disagree with Tullian… the very reality of controversy reveals that it can’t be “frankly false.” There is something to be gained or lost, namely an understanding of the character of God. And with many backers on any of the Five Views on Sanctification (Counterpoints). It’s not as obvious as Phillips would have us believe, and that primarily is the problem.

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