Last Sunday our pastor preached on the dangers of falling into either of the two ditches along the side of the road: legalism and antinomianism. Both, he said, leave out Jesus. He went on to explore what that means with a reading of the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) that I had never thought of before. [Read more…]
An objection being made to Tullian Tchividjian’s op-ed piece in the Washington Post that we blogged about yesterday (and that came up in our discussion too) is that legalism just isn’t the problem in the church today. Rather, churches are rife with licentiousness. Too much preaching of grace and forgiveness can encourage people to keep sinning. We need more preaching of the Law to encourage people to act morally.
Actually, though, both legalism and licentiousness are different forms of self-righteousness. The legalist thinks to earn God’s favor by his rectitude. The libertine does whatever he wants with no guilt to hold him back. Both are antinomian, denying their condemnation under the Law. Both reject the Gospel because they think they don’t need it. Neither has faith. (Since good works are the fruits of faith, if you don’t have good works, you need more faith, which means you need more Gospel.)
That’s the way I see it. After the jump, read Rev. Tchividjian’s response. [Read more…]