Ah, So

This post it totally ripped off from Justin Taylor.

Ray Ortlund:

I believe in the sovereignty of God, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Solas of the Reformation, I believe that grace precedes faith in regeneration. Theologically, I am Reformed. Sociologically, I am simply a Christian – or at least I want to be. The tricky thing about our hearts is that they can turn even a good thing into an engine of oppression. It happens when our theological distinctives make us aloof from other Christians. That’s when, functionally, we relocate ourselves outside the gospel and inside Galatianism.

The Judaizers in Galatia did not see their distinctive – the rite of circumcision – as problematic. They could claim biblical authority for it in Genesis 17 and the Abrahamic covenant. But their distinctive functioned as an addition to the all-sufficiency of Jesus himself. Today the flash point is not circumcision. It can be Reformed theology. But no matter how well argued our position is biblically, if it functions in our hearts as an addition to Jesus, it ends up as a form of legalistic divisiveness.

Here’s the conclusion:

My Reformed friend, can you move among other Christian groups and really enjoy them? Do you admire them? Even if you disagree with them in some ways, do you learn from them? What is the emotional tilt of your heart – toward them or away from them? If your Reformed theology has morphed functionally into Galatian sociology, the remedy is not to abandon your Reformed theology. The remedy is to take your Reformed theology to a deeper level. Let it reduce you to Jesus only. Let it humble you. Let this gracious doctrine make you a fun person to be around. The proof that we are Reformed will be all the wonderful Christians we discover around us who are not Reformed. Amazing people. Heroic people. Blood-bought people. People with whom we are eternally one – in Christ alone.

Read the whole thing.


2 responses to “Ah, So

  1. Rob,

    It seems to me Ortlund has attempted to strike the biblical balance of truth and love. It is a good word fitly spoken. I have been following the comments on Taylor’s and Ortlund’s blogs. While most are in agreement with what he is saying, it is interesting to me that some are attempting to pick apart his words, as well as fussing at each other, thereby totally missing the point that Ortlund is making – or, perhaps making the point as to why he needed to post this to begin with.

  2. Yeah, Jonny…at times I want to look people in the eye and say, “Hey. You see that thing back there? That thing you just blew by? That was the point. You missed it!”

    I love the spirit of the post. I am not naive enough (at least, not that I’m aware of) to think that we will all just get along. But, can’t we all just get along?! I suppose we can still punch each other in the arm and stuff, but c’mon!

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