Wells on Obligation (and other randomness)

So, I’m loafing for a minute while in between things I ought to be doing and I clicked on the “Drafts” thingy on the dashboard. There were six items there, three of which were mine. Well, I thought to myself, I ought to have a look see. Then, after giving them a once over, I decided to post them as they lie. (Note: I did finish the Wells quote and put a period at the end of a sentence. Apart from that, they are as they were.)

The first one was from a while back. I was obviously still reading the Wells book. It reads:

David Wells wraps up his chapter on God with a discussion of the consequences of God’s holiness. He speaks of the law, sin, the cross, conquest (over evil and sin), and obligation. In this section on obligation he writes:

What would the church be like if it saw [the holiness of God] more clearly? What would it be like if its preachers and teachers took the Word of God more seriously so that God’s holiness could be understood more fully? What would it be like if individual Christians took more seriously their study of Scripture’s truth for their homes and places of work?

We may never know, for holiness is slipping from the grasp of American born-againers today! The evangelical movement is simply at sea when it comes to matters of holiness. In fact, according to a Barna study in 2006, there is very little difference between the born-again and the non-born-again in understanding what holiness is. Of the wider American public, only 35 percent believes that God expects people to be holy, and within this category young people are less well represented than those who are older. As we think about the future, this is indeed a straw blowing in the wind.

But even among the born-again, fewer than half have any idea what holiness means. This ignorance, from among those who should know what Christianity is all about, no doubt has many causes. It certainly is related to what churches are – or, more accurately, are not – teaching. It is certainly an outcome of the cut-rate Christianity now being marketed by the seeker-sensitives. It is an inevitable outcome of the emergents’ disposition not to think in terms of absolutes and not to be “judgmental” about the lifestyles and behavior of people. And by whatever route we have reached this point, it is also related to the fact that when it comes to spirituality, knowledge of the Bible ranks at the bottom of the list. So goes our knowledge of God as holy. So goes our understanding of holiness.

          – David Wells, The Courage to Be Protestant, p. 131

The Second is short and sweet. It reads:

God loves us very much.

I’m not sure what I was thinking, but it did come in handy just today as I was reflecting on things eschatological.

The third was clearly written in a cloudy moment, although I have absolutely no recollection of writing it. (Maybe David was working it up and decided to put my name to it. [Is that technically possible, Al?]) At any rate, it reads:

We live what we believe. We believe what we like. We like what we know. We know what we are taught. We are taught by our culture. Our culture is representative of our collective lives.

We need an in-breaking or the whole thing does go to hell in a handbasket.

Outbasket™ empty.

(p.s. Al, the three that remain are yours…ahem.)


One response to “Wells on Obligation (and other randomness)

  1. Yep… and if I can tear myself away from my discussions with Matt over at thecedarroom.org I will post them. The one on icons is actually in response to him so perhaps I should get back to that. It has only been about 6 months or so.

    al sends

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