Cheap Grace, Liberalism, and Folk Evangelicalism

Over at the Aussie Pregrino, my friend Rev. Cameron West, blogs on Cheap Grace, Liberalism, and Folk Evangelicalism, where he opines the lack of commitment to discipleship in popular evangelicalism. He writes:

To follow the one crucified on our behalf is to take up our own cross, to sacrifice for others and (perhaps most forgotten for contemporary folk-evangelicalism) to be at odds with the ones who crucify. To follow the one risen as the first fruits of the new creation is belong to a new humanity (in which racial and class barriers have no place) and to practice a new ethic. If we are in the new humanity (ie: in Christ, the second Adam) we resume the task of keeping the earth, tending to its fullness and diversity, but more than that we anticipate carrying that task further towards its goal. When Christ is crucified for as well as risen for us, then salvation is not just a solution for a problem but a demanding ethical vocation. The problem with contemporary evangelicalism is not that is old-fashioned and orthodox. Rather, that it still has too much in common with the old liberalism, even while it overlooks this. The logical end for the old liberalism and folk-evangelicalism is the same: a tamed gospel with cheap grace that poses no challenges.

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  • William T.

    Liberalism’s mistake is to confuse ‘Love they neighbour as thyself’ with ‘Love they neighbour as a god’. What is special about one’s neighbour is that one’s neighbour was created in the image of God. What is not special about one’s neighbour is that such an ability to reflect God’s image is neutered and marred by sin.

    Although Jesus died for the ungodly, he did so so they could go and sin no more; so they could no longer be ‘ungodly’ – but liberalism doesn’t like this message that our neighbour filled with sin, devoid of Christlikeness, barely if at all the image of God, is not what we are called to love.

    And then liberalism spouts Babylonian syncretism as the norm. The Gospel calls us to be biased towards holiness (which means against ungodliness). This means there is not one ‘new humanity’ but pricely two humanities; one templated in Christ and the other not. The one templated in Christ is a narrow path, not a wide one. Yet for Christian’s to speak of a ‘new humanity’ it makes it seem like we are all equal, indistinct.

    Bunk, the humanity we see around us is perishing. The new humanity in Christ is rare (the exception and not the rule), cherished (by God) and under attack, especially by forces of humanism (such as liberalism).


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