Saturday, April 01, 2006

A God Centered Gospel VS. A Man Centered Gospel

This article by Steven J. Cole: How John Calvin Led me to Repent of Christian Psychology is quite good in that it shows the problems inherent in a man centered Gospel when placed against Scripture. While the article deals with his personal move from a “Christian ”psychological approach to preaching and to a God centered it is all too true of much of today’s man centered gospel message. The goal of reading scripture becomes what does God say about me and what will He do for me rather than what does Scripture say about God and what I am supposed to do to glorify Him.

I can relate to his journey as I have in the 18 years I have been a Christian heard this theological approach way too often. Who has not heard the misuse of “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt 22:39) to validate that we need to have self love before we can love others. Thus the individual becomes the center of his own universe and how he feels about himself dictates how he reacts to others and even God. This is as opposed to doing as God commands us and realizing we are to find joy regardless of the circumstances that surround what we do. This kind of self-love thinking is far from the “…..take up his cross daily…” (Luke 9:23) attitude we are called to have by God and instead fits more in line with Oprah and Dr. Phil.

I pray the church and the individuals that make the church would see the fallacy of self love and rely on God rather than self.

2 comments:

Ignatius said...

Who has not heard the misuse of “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt 22:39) to validate that we need to have self love before we can love others. Thus the individual becomes the center of his own universe ...

To this, I really agree. Christians are finding all sorts of ways to twist(either intentionally or unintentionally) scripture to suit needs & taste! May we repent & pray for the Lord's forgiveness.

Tony said...

ignatius:

You made me think more on this post, especially after some conversations a day or so ago concerning creativity in ministry. We all too often spend more time trying to be creative than understating the text and conveying that understanding to the audience. There is a good article at Banner of truth called: Variety and Creativity in Preaching?

I think I may write more on this later this week.

Have a blessed week.

Grace and Peace,