Overplaying the grace card?
November 4, 2013
I appreciate David Robertson's review of Tullian Tchividjian's new book One Way Love. Robertson gives voice to many of my own concerns about what I believe is a rising tide of antinomianism within the church, especially among the neo-Reformed.
One Way Love? But it’s not just a problem of perception. It’s also a problem of theology and emphasis. I like reading the early Church Fathers, the Reformers, the Puritans and 19th Century Scottish theologians. Maybe I am not reading them right, but I don’t see any of them writing in the general and sweeping terms that the grace-lit books do. Maybe I need the second blessing before I get really grasp what they are saying! But some of the statements just don’t make biblical sense to me. For example:
“Grace is love that has nothing to do with you, the beloved. It has everything and only to do with the lover.” Try as I might I just don’t get that. Of course Gods love for me has something to do with me! Of course Gods love for me is not only to do with him. The Son of God loved me and gave himself for me! I know I don’t deserve it, but there is no need to mangle the English language and render it meaningless. Whilst such sound bites might sound as though they magnify grace, I think they are superficial, trite and ultimately undermine the whole teaching about grace.
Grace -Complaints? “Grace doesn’t make demands. It just gives. And from our vantage point it always gives to the wrong person.” Again this does not really make sense to me. Is not take up your cross and follow me a demand? Go sell all that you have and give to the poor, is that not a demand? If you love me you will keep my commands? And is it always the case that grace gives to the wrong person? I honestly don’t think that God giving grace to so many of the people in St Peters is giving to the wrong person; except insofar as I am an old fashioned Scottish Calvinist who believes in total depravity and that no-one is the ‘right’ person for grace. That’s kind of the point. There is none righteous, no not one. If I believe that, why would I ever look and say “Lord, you are giving grace to the wrong person”?!I encourage you to read the entire review. There is much worth considering.