As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, today and tomorrow’s Focus on the Family radio program features my conversation with Dr. Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church. I hope you’ll tune in by clicking here.
Tim is obviously a very gifted man on many levels, but I am especially appreciative of the graciousness by which he conducts his ministry. He is not just an intellectual, a theologian or a best-selling author, but also a Christian gentleman. Our discussion today about how grace and truth are inseparable resonates with me, as I suspect it does with you.
In previous writings, Tim has referred to legalism and liberalism as “the two thieves” of the Gospel. I think he’s right. A legalist can be a person who possesses truth without grace. A liberal can be a person who possesses grace without truth. Of course, there’s a distinct problem with both approaches. It is not an either/or proposition. He writes:
Those with truth without grace, do not really have the truth, and those with grace without truth, do not really have grace. In Jesus we behold the glory of the one “full of grace and truth.” De-emphasize or lose one or the other of these truths, you fall somewhat into legalism or somewhat into license and you eliminate the joy and the “release” of the gospel. Without a knowledge of our extreme sin, the payment of the gospel seems trivial and does not electrify or transform. But without a knowledge of Christ’s completely satisfying life and death, the knowledge of sin would crush us or move us to deny and repress it. Take away either the knowledge of sin or the knowledge of grace and people’s lives are not changed. They will be crushed by the moral law or run from it screaming and angry.
On tomorrow’s broadcast you’ll hear us discuss some strategies on how to spread the good news of Jesus Christ winsomely in a very diverse culture.