Slow Going

Slow Going December 23, 2014

PT Forsyth responds to the charge that the church is slow to accomplish her mission because of her unfaithfulness with this neat inversion (Work of Christ, 21):

“Do you really find that the deeper you get into Christ and the meaning of His demands Christianity spreads faster in your heart? Is it not very much the other way? When it comes to close quarters you have actually to be got down and broken, that the old man may be pulverised and the new man created from the dust. Therefore when we hear people abusing the Church and its history the first thing we have to say is, Yes, there is a  great deal too much truth in what you say, but there is also a greater truth which you are not allowing for, and it is this. One reason why the Church has been so slow in its progress in mankind and its effect on human history is because it has been so faithful to Christ, so faithful to His Cross. You have to subdue the most intractable, difficult, and slow thing in the world – man’s self-will. You cannot expect rapid successes if you truly preach the Cross whereon Christ died, and which He surmounted not simply by leaving it behind but by rising again, and converting the very Cross into a power and glory.”

As Forsyth goes on to say, this is quite different from heroism: “Christ arouses antagonism in the human heart and heroism does not. Everybody welcomes a hero. The minority welcome Christ. We do resent His absolute command. . . . We do resent Christ.”


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