17 August 2008

Illegitimate Contextualization

Your weekly dose of Spurgeon
posted by Phil Johnson

The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive. The following excerpt is from "Our Manifesto," a message delivered at an assembly of pastors, on Friday morning,
April 25th, 1890.


     gospel which is after men will be welcomed by men; but the true gospel of the grace of God needs a divine operation upon the heart and mind to make a man willing to receive into his utmost soul such a distasteful truth.

My dear Brethren, do not try to make it tasteful to carnal minds. Hide not the offense of the cross, lest you make it of none effect. The angles and corners of the gospel are its strength: to pare them off is to deprive it of power. Toning down is not the increase of strength, but the death of it. Why, even among the sects, you must have noticed that their distinguishing points are the horns of their power; and when these are practically omitted, the sect is effete.

Learn, then, that if you take Christ out of Christianity, Christianity is dead. If you remove grace out of the gospel, the gospel is gone. If the people do not like the doctrine of grace, give them all the more of it. Whenever its enemies rail at a certain kind of gun, a wise military power will provide more of such artillery.

A great general, going in before his king, stumbled over his own sword. I see, said the king, your sword in is the way. The warrior answered, Your majesty's enemies have often felt the same. That our gospel offends the King's enemies is no regret to us.
C. H. Spurgeon


9 comments:

Doug Short said...

Thank you for highlighting this. I printed it out and have pasted it in the front of my Bible- "Lord give me the will and the strength be true to you!"

Susan said...

"A gospel which is after men will be welcomed by men; but the true gospel of the grace of God needs a divine operation upon the heart and mind to make a man willing to receive into his utmost soul such a distasteful truth."

This so clearly explains God's sovereignty in election! It makes perfect, perfect sense. Thanks for this post, Phil!

Polycarp said...

Simply beautiful!

Bo Salisbury said...

The Gospel brings glory to God in both mercy and wrath:

But Christ's enemies shall be made his footstool; some by conversion, others by confusion; and, which way soever it be, Christ will be honoured.

Matthew Henry

sevenmeditations.com said...

Phil,

What a great quote and how true, the "offense of the cross" that exposes our offenses before God (that force us to conclude that we are not God ourselves) is what never should be hidden when preaching the Gospel.

Libbie said...

Strange isn't it? Softening the edges of the gospel is like deliberately blunting a knife before you use it. You're actually much more likely to simply crush whatever it is you were trying to cut.

Rachel Pierson said...

This is so timely. Thanks. We are again and again faced with the temptation to blunt the knife. I am praying for the faith, and God's steadfastnest to offend, and be counted worthy to share in the suffering of Christ.

This prayer is also for all my brothers and sisters.

Thanks

Polycarp said...

Rachel:

"I am praying for the faith, and God's steadfastnest to offend, and be counted worthy to share in the suffering of Christ."

What a wonderful request to make of our God and King--and a request he has promised to grant!!
....although He rarely hears it from professing believers anywhere beyond the persecuted church, where such a prayer is daily manna for life and sustinence!

Thank you for such refreshing words, as all we seem to hear these days--from so many evangelical and emerging circles-- are requests for God's steadfastness to appease and/or placate false teachings!

Dr Tim said...

Many churches are taking Jesus out of their gospel. From whence comes truth now?