For your Monday morning reading pleasure, here is my response to our friend Steve Camp. Let me also say that it is excruciatingly long, and you ought to pack a lunch (or send out) before you start reading. Sorry 'bout that.
His text is the indented text:
| First of all, whatever my concerns were,I don’t think there’s any question about that, but I appreciate you making that clear.
| were not meant to be directed to your
| article—but had to do with Chan’s movie
| Pastor Chan certainly didI have ellipsed Steve here simply to stipulate that he hasn’t tossed Pastor Chan out as a brother in Christ, and to just make note that Steve also sees plenty of good in what Francis Chan does. It limits the scope of his criticism, and amen to that.
| present some things well—. ...
| ... That is
| refreshing to hear and I deeply respect him
| for the uncompromising stand he brings to
| the foundation for Cornerstone
| Community Church.
| Now, on to your questions:Amen. That’s exactly what I was talking about.
|  Does God love sinners?
| Yes. I am one—the chief of sinners; and
| He did/does love me.
| Rom. 5:5 and hope does not disappoint,
| because the love of God has been poured
| out within our hearts through the Holy
| Spirit who was given to us.
| Rom. 5:6 For while we were still
| helpless, at the right time Christ died for
| the ungodly. Rom. 5:7 For one will hardly
| die for a righteous man; though perhaps
| for the good man someone would dare
| even to die. Rom. 5:8 But God
| demonstrates His own love toward us, in
| that while we were yet sinners, Christ died
| for us.
But let’s make sure we underscore two aspects of your answer in the blog-presbytery dock, Steve: God’s love is both general and specific. That is, God loves “sinners” as a class, but God loves “Steve Camp” as a particular individual in that class of people.
Now: that’s how Paul always talks to other believers, right? Christ died for us sinners; Christ loves us, the believers. But does Paul (or Peter) ever say, “Christ only loves the believers”?
Certainly, they both say that Christ only saves the believers – but Christ loves all men in different ways. For example, God doesn;t strike the murderer down immediately at the point of his sin; God doesn't strike centuri0n down when he cannot control is wicked tongue; God does not strike down Steve Hays when he has fantasies about Rita Hayworth. God has longsuffering. God is patient so that those sinners who will be saved can be saved.
That's love to sinners, Steve. And unless a sinner knows he's elect, or unless you know he's elect, it's right to say that God is showing that sinner love -- and it's a love in Christ even if it is not the saving love of Christ.
| How do we know the answer to thatI think that this answer is fine, but I think there is a better one:
| question? That is, by what evidence do
| we know the answer to that question?
| By the authority and veracity of the
| 1Cor. 15:3 For I delivered to you as of
| first importance what I also received, that
| Christ died for our sins according to the
| Scriptures, 1Cor. 15:4 and that He was
| buried, and that He was raised on the third
| day according to the Scriptures.
1John 4 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
We know what love is because God loves. He doesn’t just command us to love: He demonstrates love so that we know what He’s talking about.
In Christ, God loves.
| Is it wrong to tell sinners the answer
| to that question???I assume you mean
| the first question. No. But the answer must
| be given in the context of “for whom
| Christ died.” Otherwise it can be
| confusing to unregenerate people to hear
| what seems to be a duplicitous message of
| “God loves you, but you’re going to hell.”
| The gospel call does not begin biblically
| with telling sinners about the love of God.
| It begins with just the opposite; it begins
| by proclaiming to them the law of God,
| the reality of their sin and sinful state, and
| the certain doom that awaits them. I
| realize that “love” is the chief attribute of
| God being promoted today. I call it the
| Oprahfication of the church.
This really was the answer I expected from you, Steve, and I think it makes two mistakes. The first mistake I would point out to you is that we are pressed to deliver the Gospel – the good news of Jesus Christ, the only way to the Father, the salvation from sin – to every human being. The Good News is to everyone, even if, when the finally accounting in the Lamb’s ledger book comes up with the fact that everyone is not saved. The Good News is to everyone. But the result of the Good News is not for everyone – and if you watched the Chan video, he made that transparently clear. He said, in words to this effect, “You must believe in Him.”
Chan’s message is a beautiful message: For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. Have we really come to the place where we can’t allow that God loved the whole World -- that He showed the way loves works to the whole World – when we deliver the Gospel?
The second mistake I think you make, Steve, is compartmentalizing what Chan says in this video. If you break it down, his presentation is really a very classic Romans Road approach to evangelism: God exists, and made this world for His glory and for us to enjoy; His law is part of that creation, and for our benefit, but we know that we cannot keep His law; we know that breaking the Law requires a punishment – but we must see that it is not just a punishment of the worst but the punishment of any who break the Law; the only relief from the judgment of the Law is the payment for sin in Jesus Christ; the only way to receive that is to believe in Him in repentance and in faith.
To take the “God loves you” statements apart from the “God will judge you – and has already started judging sin” statements simply short-changes this presentation. It takes the parts which could confuse if they were made in a vacuum and puts them in a vacuum.
You’re a reader of my blog, Steve, and let me tell you that this mistake is one of the mistakes I often put a hammer to – because what it does it takes all the sweet savor out of our salvation and our Savior. Paul said it this way: he is actually not far from each one of us, for 'In him we live and move and have our being'; as even some of your own poets have said, 'For we are indeed his offspring.' Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man.
Think about that, Steve: Paul says here that these pagans who have a temple to an unknown God ought to know that God is not made of stone, but lives in a way in which we are His offspring. Did Paul only mean, “we are his clay pots” when he said this, or did he mean that God made us all His children?
Does God love His children?
| But in the book of Acts, the record of theThat’s interesting – you’re saying it’s not even implied anywhere?
| unfolding of the early church and the
| spread of the gospel to both Jew and
| Gentile, the love of God is not mentioned
| one time. It was not the key hinge on
| which the gospel swung. In fact, the
| proclamation of the person and work of
| the Lord Jesus Christ, sola fide, and
| repentance was the key hinge of the
| gospel call (Acts 2:35-41.
In Acts 2, what is Peter talking about in v. 25-28? And why does the coming of the Christ mean anything to Israel? Is it because God is merely faithful to a promise, or is it because God’s promise to Israel is a promise which demonstrates God’s love to Israel, the nation?
In Acts 3, what does the lame beggar ask Peter for? What is the motive of giving what the beggar asks for (hint: the motive for this act is found in the parable of the good Samaritan, which is the answer to the question, “who is my neighbor that I should love?”)
In Acts 4, Peter again makes a rather big stink out of Christ being to and for “all of Israel”? Why?
Listen: when we talk about God’s relationship to Israel, even to apostate Israel the nation, we are talking about a relationship of love. Does Peter have to go through all the verses of the Tanach which explicitly say, “Israel, I love you” in order to make the point that Christ is sent to Israel because God loves Israel? Wouldn’t you say that point – that Christ is sent by God out of Love to Israel – is somewhat obvious?
Maybe you wouldn’t. I think any Jewish person even today would say, “God will send a messiah to Israel because He loves us,” even if they are wrong because that Messiah has already come.
| Particular redemption is not at stakeLet’s go through your objections to find out how “imbalanced” Francis Chan is.
| here; penal substitutionary atonement
| is not at stake here; the exclusivity of
| Christ is not at stake here. What is at
| stake is the character of God.
| What’s at stake here is the character and
| integrity of biblical evangelism.
| Pastor Chan says, “…you gotta
| understand the whole message of the Bible
| is not about this God in heaven who wants
| to take from you, it’s about this God who
| wants to give to you. The fact that this
| Creator, the one made all this actually
| loves us and wants to give to us and if you
| miss out on that you’re gonna miss the
| whole point of your life.”
| That's imbalanced and just isn't true.
| He then makes the point: that the reasonI think the way we find that out is to go to Scripture and see what it says.
| God gave us the Ten Commandments is
| that if we don’t steal or murder this would
| be a much better place for us to live. Is
| that really the chief purpose of the law—
| to make this world a better place? Or, is it
| to reveal that this is what pleases God and
| to measure man’s complete inability or
| depravity within himself to keep those
| laws and merit by his own righteousness
| eternal life? Sometimes while watching
| this very well made video, I felt like I
| should sing: “We are the world, we are
| the children; we are the ones who make a
| brighter day so lets start giving.” ?
On the on hand, who can deny that the book of Romans makes it transparently clear that the Law proves we are sinners? Nobody here will deny that -- and Francis Chan doesn’t deny that. He makes that clear in his exposition that we can see that so many people are jacked up, but that we ourselves are also jacked up, and in that, we ourselves are not “good enough” but are instead “breakers of the law”.
And on the other hand, the very last verse of Leviticus is this:
These are the commandments that the LORD commanded Moses for the people of Israel on Mount Sinai.
And Ps 119 – the greatest exaltation of Scripture, and particularly God’s Law in the whole Bible – makes it clear that God’s law is for man’s benefit.
The question, Steve, is not “Does Chan have a consistent systematic”, but “does the Bible tell us that God’s Law is for our sakes", and it does. Is it exclusively for our sakes? Does it only create a path of self-improvement? Why no: it is not, and does not. But factually, Pastor Chan makes it clear that the benefit of the Law is not just that it gives us something therapeutic or useful, but that it convicts us of wrong-doing.
| He also makes this claim, “Listen, if youIf I have to answer in one word, my answer is “yes”. If I have the opportunity to explain what that means, I still say, “yes”.
| haven’t heard a single thing I’ve said this
| whole time you’ve gotta hear this, despite
| everything you’ve done in your life, God
| still loves you and doesn’t want to punish
| Is that true Frank?
| God really doesn’tYou know, when I started watching Francis Chan in that video, I thought to myself, “Geez: this is going to be one of those videos where how beautiful the world is ought to make us just glad to have a beautiful day in the neighbor-wood, and Jesus is my valentine.” But Steve: Chan’s point turns out to be that the world is an uncommon place – a testimony to the Creator. And the Creator didn’t just make a nice playground: He established a Law for our benefit, but we break that Law.
| want to punish us? Of course not. This is
| the “sloppy agape” that is being presented.
| He could have said, “God does want to
| punish us, His wrath abides on us, He is
| angry with the sinner every day, and there
| is nothing we can do about it—we cannot
| save ourselves. His holiness and justice
| demands our punishment; His law
| requires it; BUT, God demonstrated His
| love for us in that while we were sinners
| Christ died for us…” Otherwise, God is
| presented as a one-attribute Deity by love
| alone – I would call this “the gospel
| according to Barry Manilow.”
That’s where he says, “God’s wrath abides on us”, Steve. He says it plain as day: “[God’s judgement] is about Him lining us up to His law, and as He goes through His law, it’s really not going to take a whole lot of time before you realize that you’re guilty.” He also says, “at the end of our life, He has every right to punish us as severely as he sees fit. He’s the creator – so if our lives eneded that way, with our punishment, that’d be perfectly fair, perfectly just.” How can you discount those statements? That’s unfair to Chan and unfair to yourself – because it says you can’t hear this message without seeing it as the Wiggles version of Jesus. I am certain you personally are more open to evangelism and the spirit of the Gospel that that; I am also sure you are smarter and more complicated than that.
It’s utterly false to say that Pastor Chan has presented a “one-attribute Deity”. Chan has said that God has given a Law which He takes seriously, which is “necessary”, so seriously that He will judge us using it – but that He also has a love which He takes seriously, as serious as Christ on the Cross.
| Again, the primary purpose and praise ofIt’s funny, Steve, to hear you say these things when Spurgeon has said this:
| the cross is for His sake; we are the
| secondary thought (Eph. 4:4-14).??Your
| last statement is true… if taken in
| Rom. 9:20 On the contrary, who are you,
| O man, who answers back to God? The
| thing molded will not say to the molder,
| “Why did you make me like this,” will it?
| Rom. 9:21 Or does not the potter have a
| right over the clay, to make from the same
| lump one vessel for honorable use and
| another for common use? Rom. 9:22 What
| if God, although willing to demonstrate
| His wrath and to make His power known,
| endured with much patience vessels of
| wrath prepared for destruction? Rom. 9:23
| And He did so to make known the riches
| of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which
| He prepared beforehand for glory, Rom.
| 9:24 even us, whom He also called, not
| from among Jews only, but also from
| among Gentiles.”
I do not want to dilate upon a general doctrine to-night, I rather want to press home to the conscience of every man here that God loves him. You know very well that God did not love you because you loved him, for there was not—you will confess it painfully,—anything like love to God in you, but much, very much, that sprang from natural enmity and aversion to him. Why, then, did he love you? Men do not generally love those who hate them, those who spite them, those who give them ill names; and yet God loved us! Why, there are some of the Lord's people that God loved who, before conversion, used to curse him to his face! The Sabbath-day was the day they took for sensual pleasure. They were drunkards; they were unclean; they were everything that is vile; and yet he loved them! Oh, the wonder of this! When they were reeking in the kennels of sin,—when there was no sin too black and too vile for them to commit,—God loved them. Oh, never dream that he began to love you when you began to love him! Oh, no! but it was because he loved you hard and fast, when you were revelling in your sin, that his love put its arms around you, lifted you out of your sin, and made you what you are. Oh, but this is good tidings to some of you! Perhaps you are still, as all God's people once were, living in sin. You hardly know why you have strayed in here, but perhaps, while you sit and listen, you may hoar that God has loved you. Oh, that it may come to be true, that you may prove to be one of his chosen people, whom he loves even though in sin, and whom he will love till you come out of sin and turn to Christ and got pardon for it!Spurgeon! Saying “God loves Sinners”!
There’s no question that this is true! But in saying this, Spurgeon doesn’t say, “God loves everyone and we’re all off the hook – let’s eat.” Spurgeon says, “Oh, that it may come to be true, that you may prove to be one of his chosen people, whom he loves even though in sin, and whom he will love till you come out of sin and turn to Christ and got pardon for it!”
What Chan says is, “God still loves you and He doesn’t want to punish you. In fact, in the greatest act of Love ever, God Himself had His Son come down on the Earth, take the form of a man, and be nailed to a cross ... but you’ve got to choose to accept him.” And that’s the same thing.
I know what your beef is, Steve: Chan never inserts the word “elect” in there. Listen: I don’t know who the elect are – and neither do you. In fact, Peter didn’t know who the elect were at Pentecost – and he told all the people there what? “the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself”. Aha! “everyone God calls to Himself” is “the elect”, Frank! But is that what Peter means here – “the elect”? Or does he mean, “not just you Jerusalemers, and not just you Jews – but everyone on Earth who will repent.
That is: it’s not the repentance which saves them: it is the repentance which shows who they are. (because Lou and Antonio are reading) Peter preaches the offer of the Gospel to all of these guys and then whosoever will – which, systematically, must be the elect, known from the foundation of the universe from God’s point of view, but Peter couldn’t pick them out of the crowd.
So you might want to make a high theological statement out of that, but Peter is not talking about the limits of the atonement here: he’s talking about how expansive it is. And Pastor Chan is unquestionably talking about an expansive Gospel.
The ploy or position that the Gospel isn’t the Gospel unless it’s only about the Glory of God, or primarily about the Glory of God, misses the much more immediate point that it is also for the sins of us. You can’t get a fight from me about whether the Gospel ought to be glorifying to God – it ought to be glorifying. But Pastor Chan gives all the glory to God, Steve! Think about how he positions the love of God for us: at the cost of His own son. At a cost which Chan says he cannot even conceive of – an idea (sacrificing his own child) he says he couldn’t bear. But God did it. He calls that “the most amazing truth in the world”!
Is that not glorifying to God?
| Our experience to that reality isAgain, I knew you were going to say this, and I think this is where you do the most harm to your own position.
| secondary; it is not irrelevant—but it is
| not primary; it is only a matter of grace
| first granted to the believer in Christ as I
| know you would also believe. IOW,
| regeneration must precede faith in
| salvation. It is all of God—all of grace;
| and our response is simply the visible sign
| of His already working within those
| whom the Father has drawn, the Spirit
| regenerated and Christ has redeemed (1
| Cor. 12:3). This is precisely where his
| whole marriage analogy breaks down in
| regards to the gospel call and salvation.
| Marriage between a man and a woman is aYes, but while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, Steve! Chan doesn’t say we are dressed in white; he doesn’t say, “we’re just OK, and now let’s have a coffee with Jesus.” He says, “[God’s judgement] is about Him lining us up to His law, and as He goes through His law, it’s really not going to take a whole lot of time before you realize that you’re guilty ... at the end of our life, He has every right to punish us as severely as he sees fit. He’s the creator – so if our lives ended that way, with our punishment, that’d be perfectly fair, perfectly just.”
| dual covenant. Both are equal; both must
| vow; both must say “I Do.” Scripture uses
| the marriage model to describe our life in
| Christ and relationship with Christ (Eph.
| 5:22-26) but not in the gospel call of
| salvation. We don’t bring anything to our
| salvation “accept the sin that makes it
| necessary” (Edwards). We are not dressed
| in white when we come to Christ--we are
| not spiritual, chaste virgins. We are
| sinners and by nature children of wrath.
| We are not lovely, but sinful and
What is at issue is if God did something we can see and understand, and in understanding it we should respond. Peter in Acts 2 says, “You should know that Jesus is both Lord and Christ!” That is, Jesus has both the authority to judge and the power to save.
Now, what does Chan do with that? Does he say we are loverly? No – he says we deserve judgment and we get the testimony of the Cross – and we should know it that way. In spite of our sin, and because of our sin, God ponies up the Cross. God does. God takes the action.
I am sure it would be much more systematically-astute to say, “and now, if your lip is quivering at the idea that you are a sinner who deserves hell, but God has paid a price for sin which you see as just and loving, you must be one of the elect, so rejoice in your salvation.”
The problem, of course, is that Peter doesn’t say that at Pentecost! Peter says, “know that Jesus is Lord and Christ – now do something about it.” In our American culture, we say, “choose!” Joshua said, “choose this day whom you will serve” – not meaning that they were able but that they ought to be willing, they have an obligation.
Pastor Chan is saying, “do something about it!” He’s saying God has made a free and public offer of salvation – now do something about it. Take action. If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.
| I know that Chan is not a semi-Pelagist orSteve: if you know this, why treat his message as if that’s what it means? Chan isn’t asking for a synergistic thing here: he’s asking the listener to do something about what he has just heard. And he’s doing it based on God’s love. Why is that wrong – because God’s love is somehow less glorious than His wrath? I think that’s a mistake.
| a closet Romanist (God does His part, we
| do our part and voila… we have a
| Christian). The whole point of the gospel
| is that “…He saved us…” There is no
| cooperation in that divine sovereign work
| between God and man in salvation.
| Sanctification is another thing
| altogether—but none in salvation.
| I’m glad that Chan didn’t ask everyone atMe, too. :-)
| the end of the video to raise their
| surfboards and catch a wave of faith if you
| want to accept Christ as your personal
| Savior. ?
| I almost totally agree Frank. The highestBut the Gospel to men, Steve, is the benefit of the cross! That is, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
| purpose of the cross is not only the glory
| of God, but the satisfaction of God—
| propitiation. God had to be satisfied,
| before He could save me, before He could
| really love me. The love of God is not this
| arbitrary thing; it is reserved for His own.
| It is not casual, nor general. The love of
| God is inextricably inseparable from the
| cross of Christ. BUT, as you rightly assert,
| the primacy of the cross was that Christ
| died for God (Roms. 3:24-25)—and we
| are the benefactors of the cross; not the
| primary reason for the cross.
| Chan’s video didn’t bring that tension ofThis wasn’t a video to extol all the nuances of some systematic view: it was a video you can show to some guy at work during coffee, or to some woman who is over for a play date with your kids.
| those biblical truths to light in his
| production. Again, I thought there were
| some positives to his video. I guess I
| didn’t see this short-film as instrumental,
| essential or as weighty as you did.
For heaven’s sake, Steve: it’s not meant to be a church by itself! It’s meant to be a plea from the ambassadors of God: be reconciled to God.
| That is the essence of the promise of theSteve: he took 15 minutes. It’s a video, not an interactive robot. He described the attributes of God as Holy and Just and Loving, and he made it clear that the only way to God is through Christ.
| call; not the complete essence of the
| atonement. I just don’t think Chan went
| far enough.
That’s enough for an evangelistic video. The rest is the church’s job in discipleship and discipline.
| And notice in those verses youIf you think that when those in Jerusalem for Pentecost did not understand what the basis for the relationship between God and Israel was – and how the Messiah, the Christ, manifests this – I think, Steve, you better go back to the OT and review what God wants to redeem and save Israel. It’s not just for His glory: it’s for love.
| quoted from, the love of God was not the
| issue nor mentioned. It was the dual
| emphasis of repentance and forgiveness. It
| would have been nice to hear him drive
| whatever audience he is directing this
| video to back to the authority of Scripture
| in his romantic surfboard appeal. Balance.
Any son of Abraham would tell you that.
| ...You lost me when you said that God’s love is not unconditional. Election is unconditional, Steve. I think that when, in order to criticize Pastor Chan, you are willing to say that God’s election – which is how He demonstrates the highest form of His love – is not unconditional, you have fallen off the apple cart.
| I think the greatest human need is not to
| be loved; but to be forgiven which is the
| greatest expression of love. That’s the
| difference. He’s leveraging the wrong
| thing biblically, but is leveraging that
| which pushes all the key buttons. He’s
| tapping into the emotional need for love,
| not the cognitive need to be forgiven of
| our sins. BTW, he referred to sin as
| “messing up.” In his quest to relate, I
| think he toned down the nomenclature
| unnecessarily. Biblical love is not
| unconditional: it is unfailing, unmerited,
| undeserved, unreciprocated, and self-
| sacrificial—but not unconditional. AND,
| it is not conditioned upon a response—it is
| not an emotion. God demonstrated His
| love for me in that Christ died for sinners.
| His love is not conditioned by my
| response, but by His sovereign action. My
| response is only generated by His grace.
| Faith is a gift—not a product of my own
Perseverance of the Faithful.
The TR police might get after you, Steve, if you say things like that. ;-)
| BTW, I like some of the WOTMBut if we phrase “sola gratia” in terms of “God loves you”, we have done something wrong, apparently.
| material—but I’ve never heard them
| present sola fide—justification by faith—
| once in their gospel call. I know that you
| would agree that the biblical use of the
| law is not to present pedestrians a 30
| second spiritual pop-quiz. It is to bring
| conviction upon the soul; that as sinners
| we continually fall short of God’s holy
| appraisal of our lives (Roms. 3:23) then to
| be followed by the balm of sola gratia
| found only in the sinless life, death and
| resurrection of Jesus Christ.
| Here’s my greatest concern about thisThat’s not even in the scope of the original complaint you made, Steve. That’s chasing a rabbit – but so that no stone goes unturned, let’s think about that as you are going to expound it.
| movie: Chan never once brought up and
| explained the bodily resurrection of the
| Lord Jesus Christ.
| And as you know,If this video has any shortfalls, I agree it is that there is no mention of the resurrection. I agree! The basis of calling Jesus “Christ” and “Son of God” is the resurrection (Acts 2, Rom 1). But listen: Chan takes the identity of Christ for granted in this video. He takes it for granted that Christ is God’s Son, and is Himself God. Period.
| without the resurrection you have no
| gospel and all our preaching (and videos)
| are in vain. 1Cor. 15:13 But if there is no
| resurrection of the dead, not even Christ
| has been raised; 1Cor. 15:14 and if Christ
| has not been raised, then our preaching is
| vain, your faith also is vain...
The resurrection is not some second-shelf truth: it’s the top shelf. But Chan’s point here is that Christ – God - died for our sins, and that we ought to do something about that. Is that really “not enough” to deliver in one pass?
| Why is it wrong to leverage that if the
| message of the consequences of sin are
| clearly in view? Why is it wrong to tell
| people, "while we were yet sinners,
| Christ died for us," and God shows His
| love for us in this way?
And Steve replied:
| Because 1. he never said that and
You should re-watch the first 1/3rd of this video again, Steve – that's exactly what he said.
| 2. loveThat is exactly Chan’s point. Holy Moley, Campi! How can you understand that in theory and not recognize it in practice? The motive of the Gospel -- God’s motive in the Gospel -- is Love!
| is not the primary essence of the gospel; it
| is the primary motivation of the gospel.
How can you confess that here and miss the point?
| It can, if left unbalanced and unexplained,God forbid that we should ever say anything that the non-elect will find confusing – like the fact that God died on a cross, or that God is Father, Son and Spirit.
| muster false hope to the nonelect.
| As oneHold it – let’s make sure we read this all the way through, because I think it utterly defeats the point you are trying to make, Steve. What happened in this event is that you presented the Gospel to a large crowd of unsaved people. Not Francis Chan. In that, I can assume you gave the “Christ died for the elect” presentation you here criticize Chan for not making.
| nonbeliever told me after I proclaimed the
| gospel to 7,000 gays, lesbians,
| transsexuals and transvestites at a World
| AIDS Day concert in Oakland, CA, “if
| God already loves me, then I must be OK;
| how am I in need of anything more? How
| could God at the same time let me go to
| hell if He really loves me?” That is the
| logical conclusion that many unsaved
| people come to.
If this person (and presumably others) could mistake your presentation for the Precious Moments Gospel, complete with collector edition pink puppy and ribbon, then how does your method avoid the problem you have presented?
It seems to me that your method is just as likely to be misunderstood as Chan’s method. So Chan should adopt your method ... why?
| I like how JonathanI can answer that question: because Edwards was preaching to a different culture. Edwards was preaching to a culture which understood law and authority; Chan is not. It is also because Eqwards was preaching on a particular text in which that message is crystal clear – Deu 32:35.
| Edwards approached this (whom I know
| you deeply appreciate as well) when he
| called his powerful sermon, “Sinners in
| the Hands of an Angry God”. Why didn’t
| Edwards simply call it: “Sinners in the
| Hands of a Loving God?”
| We mustChan did that, Steve. To say he didn’t is simply fudging.
| include in any gospel presentation and call
| of repentance for the forgiveness of sin
| with His holiness, justice, wrath and the
| depravity of man and make the total life
| and ministry of Jesus Christ the object of
| that call.
| Jesus loves, Steve! And the size of Jesus'Before I post this, I’m going to check it for shrill tone because I know a couple of things Campi said here riled me – if I leave anything like that in here, it is unintentional.
| love is the size of the price He paid for
| sin. God is glorified to show that much
| Love -- and He doesn’t just show it in a
| museum: He shows it to us.
| No argument there and I am eternally
| grateful that He loves me for I deserve
| nothing but to be sanctioned to a living
| hell forever and ever in unmitigated fury
| and gall.
| Luke 24:46 and He said to them, “Thus it
| is written, that the Christ would suffer and
| rise again from the dead the third day,
| Luke 24:47 and that repentance for
| forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed
| in His name to all the nations, beginning
| from Jerusalem.”
| I love you man. You are always a blessing
| in my life and a challenge to my thinking,
| which I need and appreciate greatly.
| Thank you for your questions and
| thoughts and a chance to respond. I don’t
| know if my answers were as adequate as
| what you presented.
Let me say one last thing: in Luke 24, when Christ makes this statement to the disciples, he also says this: “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled”. What is evident – broadly and specifically in “Moses and the Prophets” – is that God responds with love in the face of His wrath.
Scroll up a bit in Luke 24 to the road to Emmaus – what happens there? “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” That is, the prophets said that God would bring a Messiah, but the work of the Messiah was to die. Certainly: the resurrection is the sign of the finished-ness of the work – but the death of Christ was necessary.
That’s what Chan focused on, and let God be willing that some shall hear it in spite of those of us who are concerned about orthodoxy and purity in the church.