It is naive to think one can function with the simple formula: People have problems and the gospel resolves them. The fact is, the gospel generates in individual lives and in society a new set of problems. One has only to love impartially and hatred is threatened and stirred to violence. One has only to speak the truth and falsehood takes the stand with pleasing lies. Invite persons of different social and economic backgrounds around the same tables and the fellowship is strained, often breaking apart....Plant the cross in a room and the upwardly mobile convert it into a ladder. Evil, by whatever name it is called, will not sit idly by and allow the gospel to transform a community....Let the preacher, therefore, be encouraged...when having to deal with those problems which clearly have their origins in the fact that the gospel has been released in the community. A difference is being made, and that is seldom without pain.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
What Happens When We Get the Gospel Right?
I'm studying to preach a sermon this week on the "Now What?" that should follow Easter. I came across this quote by F. B. Craddock, cited by Ben Witherington, Conflict & Community in Corinth (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995) 312: