"Far from clashing with the culture of consumerism, American religion appears to be not only at peace with our narcissism but gives it a spiritual legitimacy." (p. 20)
"Exemplifying the moralistic and therapeutic approach to religion, Osteen's message is also a good example of the inability of Boomers to mourn in the face of God's judgment or dance under the liberating news of God's saving mercy. In other words, all gravity is lost—both the gravity of our problem and of God's amazing grace." (p. 71)
"The old-time religion may have been legalistic, adding its own rules and regulations to God's law, but at least it recognized that God commanded certain things. Today it is less about measuring ourselves against God's holy will than about helping make good people better through good advice." (p. 110)
"Hitching our wagon to the spirit of the age, whatever we call it, always leads to one form or another of culture-Christianity—in other words, to our native Pelagianism." (p. 111)
"We do not preach ourselves but Christ. The good news—not only for ourselves, but for a world (and church) in desperate need of good news—is that what we say preaches better than our lives, at least if what we are saying is Christ's person and work rather than our own. The more we talk about Christ as the Bible's unfolding mystery and less about our own transformation, the more likely we are actually to be transformed rather than either self-righteous or despairing. As much as it goes against our grain, the gospel is the power of God unto salvation for justification and sanctification." (p. 118)
Friday, December 18, 2009
Keep Christ in Christianity
Thanks to the generous folks over at Baker Books, I will soon be posting a dual review of Michael Horton's Christless Christianity along with his sequel, The Gospel-Driven Life. While the former offers a diagnosis of the slipping Gospel in the American church, the latter details the solution. However, since I am barely half way through Christless Christianity and have already left a great deal of ink in the book, I felt compelled to share some of the highlights thus far.