The Issue Is Idolatry

Today, I want to take a break from talking about statistics, and get back into one of my pet issues: worship. I found a recording of an N. T. Wright lecture he gave at Calvin College back in 2002 about recovering Christian worship. It was a very good theological discussion of sin, eschatological vision, and worship renewal. The last 15 minutes of the one-hour lecture were pure gold.

The gist of Wright’s argument is that the issue which hounds us is not just sin generally, but the central sin of idolatry. Our state of Sin is that of rebellion against our Creator – not properly submitting to the God who deserves all worship – and this state of Sin leads us to all sorts of individual sins. Going back to the creation story, we see the serpent tempting Adam and Eve with the lie that they could be like God; that God was keeping something special from them. In the end, the man and woman no longer wanted to worship God, but they wanted to be God themselves. Satan himself wants to usurp his Creator, and it is for this that he was cast out of the presence of God. This is the sin.

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The New (Old) Lie

Irenaeus wrote “Against Heresies”, an early treatise defending Christianity against Gnosticism.

Well, now I’ve gone and gotten all uptight about something. Let’s rant.

I was recently watching a very popular network television show, and what I heard in it was nothing less than a very old lie told as if it was some new, empowering insight. There were two Christian high school students, one had interest in a girl, and was struggling to know how to deal with his sexual feelings toward her. His friend’s advice was that the Bible is outdated because it was written in a different time when things were easier. We should all be the sort of Christians that pray, and concerned abut being good people, but it is impossible to live up to those standards, so don’t even try. What really matters is our spirit. “We can be a new kind of Christian,” said the young man. Besides, the Bible says that tattoos are wrong too, and we basically ignore that one.
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