Rethinking What it Means to Be a Christian

Christ died for us so that we would not have to die for sin, not so that we would not have to die for others.”
—John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad, p. 77

Quotes from Bill Hull’s new book,
Christlike: The Pursuit of Uncomplicated Obedience
(Comments in [ ] are my own.)

“Transformation is the vehicle through which we need to deliver the gospel.” —p. 18

“What we are becoming governs what we are doing.” —p. 20

“The church’s drive to be relevant has diminished the distinction between the church and the culture.” —p.21

“The root problem with the forgiveness-only gospel is that it tends to create Christians who don’t feel the need to follow Christ.” —p. 22 [Which for me, raises the questions as to whether or not they are Christians at all. —mps]

Speaking of the Emergent Church Gospel, what Bill calls the “Neo-religious left gospel”
“…this gospel naturally creates people who are so inclusive that they have no stomach for truth. … They are so tolerant that they have no standards that apply to everyone and are so confused about what is true that they have little confidence in their way of life and lack certitude about their eternal home.” —p. 32

“As an absolutist regarding truth, I say that the world, even in all its mystery, doesn’t hang together without a reliable God, a trustworthy Scripture, and a hope grounded in the knowable Christ revealed in the Bible.” —p. 32

“The ‘Consumer Gospel’ [of America] … rushes naturally into the waiting arms of self-interest.” —p.36

“According to the consumer gospel, everything must be faster and bigger. Impatience is presented as sign of holy dissatisfaction, which drives the leaders to take church to the next level. Every year must bring net growth with new and exciting programs to keep consumer Christians with short attentions spans interested. … The consumer mentality does not foster a life of submission and humility. It is a world where activity, including church, orbits around the individual.” —p.36f

“The consumer gospel produces disciples who behave like consumers. Their vocabulary is laden with phrases like, ‘We are looking for a church where we can be fed.’ Many appear to think of themselves as helpless little birds waiting in the next with mouths open in anticipation of Mother dropping in a worm. They are preoccupied with the youth program, type of music, times and length of services, and personalities of the clergy. These folks leave churches because they are bored, or don’t cry enough, or laugh enough, or tingle when the music plays. But what are we to do with a generation of church attendees who have been trained to measure their spirituality by what they thought of the worship service?” —p.37



One thought on “Rethinking What it Means to Be a Christian

  1. “The root problem with the forgiveness-only gospel is that it tends to create Christians who don’t feel the need to follow Christ.”

    Willard speaks a lot about that in the first couple of chapters of The Divine Conspiracy. Apprenticeship to Jesus is not taught. It’s only about the atonement for my sin so I can go to heaven when I die. There is no connection between the gospel and life now with this view.

    “The consumer gospel produces disciples who behave like consumers. Their vocabulary is laden with phrases like, ‘We are looking for a church where we can be fed.’ Many appear to think of themselves as helpless little birds waiting in the next with mouths open in anticipation of Mother dropping in a worm.”

    The typical way of how we “do” church in our culture feeds and enables this mindset. Many of our churches put the major emphasis on a Sunday meeting with the few chosen gifted ones (or those who perform it better) “leading” and participating while most everyone else is a spectator. The being “fed” mindset comes right from the pulpit and is taught by some very gifted preachers.

    I realize that (or hope) Hull isn’t putting the onus on the consumer, but on the purveyor of the gospel. You know what happens when someone only gets “fed” and they don’t “exercise” and use the energy that the feeding has filled them with? They get fat and lethargic. 🙂

    It would be fascinating for a church to spend a couple of weeks teaching on how the gospel of reconciliation is meant to impact our broken relationships. Then on a couple of the following Sundays send out some of the brothers & sisters to reconcile with those they need to while others meet and pray for them. Then meet for a time of testimony.

    – Kevin

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.