By Marsha G. Witten
In ultra-modern global we're faced with a gospel of simple forgiveness and inexpensive grace. slightly have we spoken up of our offenses, then an individual reassures us that we're forgiven, don't be concerned approximately it.
Churches (and pastors) purchase into this new Theology since it is the type of factor that specializes in headcounts and minimizes friction. Smile, be at liberty, God loves you it doesn't matter what, so let's cross have fun.
It sounds exaggerated, yet even the main trustworthy preacher reveals secular messages creeping into his or her sermons. We rush earlier the issues within the textual content and concentrate on the finishing. We omit that the Prodigal Son used to be long past many years ahead of he lower back domestic, or even then he needed to hit backside ahead of he was once able to admit he used to be wrong.
As I struggled via this ebook i discovered myself asking approximately my very own sermons. was once I final real to the textual content and nonetheless conveying a modern message? used to be I permitting my listeners to spend time within the fight? Or used to be I spoon feeding them a simple message they desired to listen?
Marsha Witten does an outstanding activity in "All is Forgiven" in studying and addressing those concerns. i like to recommend it for all who're liable for preaching, opting for fabrics for educating Sunday college and holiday Bible institution, and who're leaders within the church.
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Extra resources for All Is Forgiven: The Secular Message in American Protestantism
At that time the jogging craze hadn’t hit and it was considered bad form, undignified, for an older man to run. But here he is, running in joyful abandon toward his son. His love is unconditional and uncalculating. [SB] Further, God is simply motivated by the force of love. No other factors enter into his motivation or behavior—neither knowledge nor other cognitive considerations, neither human ethics nor moral codes. A speaker says: [The father] doesn’t think about what the neighbors will think or how it will settle with his eldest son.
12 Religious speech is concerned with the pragmatic issues of doing things in everyday life, so much so that spirituality may take a back seat to pragmatism. This language highlights such matters as coping with depression and doubt, gaining peace of mind and self-respect, achieving success on the job, and relating well to one’s children and/or parents. 13 The focus on inner states also invites speech oriented largely to the present—to “natural” life, life on earth. ” Coupled with cultural forces that deemphasize notions of divine punishment for wrongdoing, the “now” orientation reduces the strength of talk about sin and its consequences.
24 The idea of divine punishment and retribution for sin diminishes in importance within Christian speech; instead, emphasis is placed on the emotional and material pleasures said to follow from Christian practice and belief. A second way in which the market status of religion may affect its speech is to move religious pronouncements closer to secular ideologies. 25 Thus, we see the tendency to demythologize religion, to soften or eliminate its traditionally supernatural content. This can take the form of omitting references to less commonly accepted spiritual entities such as the Devil, of giving explanations for putatively supernatural phenomena in natural vocabularies of common sense or psychology, and of stressing the human, as opposed to the supernatural, character of the Christian God.
All Is Forgiven: The Secular Message in American Protestantism by Marsha G. Witten