Friday, January 03, 2014


Telling The Difference Between The Baby and The Bathwater

Justin Taylor:
... “unconditional love” carries a load of cultural baggage, wedded to words like “tolerance, acceptance, affirmation, benign, okay,” and a philosophy that says love should not impose values, expectations, or beliefs on another. In fact, humanist psychology even has a term for it: “unconditional positive regard” (Carl Rogers).

Powlison says, “We can do better”....
"God's unconditional love" is one of those phrases that popped up in my youth and seemed so "right." But as I have matured in my faith and my life and I have noted what that phrase hath wrought, I agree with Taylor quoting Powlison here - we can do better. This is a classic example of how appropriating a modern expression actually changes the message - it is a warning about how when we try to be "relevant," we often compromise the message.

This is an example why we have to do more than simply "spread the word." We have to have a deep and abiding understanding of what the Word really is. We cannot merely look at the world, see a need and attempt to plug our message into that need. Our message includes a definition of what the real need is and how to look at it.

God plays by a very different set of rules than we do - in point of act, He makes the rules and we keep trying to bend them to suit ourselves. We we attempt to do God's work by our rules instead of His, things can and will go wrong. In our efforts to be relevant and to modernize the message we must know the message well enough to maintain it.


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