This article raises some interesting issues. I am guilty of #4, though I am not sure I agree with his analysis of that issue.
What do you think about his comments>
I'd have to generally agree with most of it. I'm not sure I entirely understand all the objections to inviting Christ into one's heart.
I saw a longer clip of this recently but cannot seem to find it. In the two-three minutes of speaking preceding this, he lays out a Biblical model for discipleship.
Isn't this the same question Kyle Borger recently asked in his thread about saying the "sinners prayer" with VBS attendees that he might never, probably never, see again and thus have no notion of ongoing discipleship?
"Preach the gospel; if necessary use words" is like saying "feed the poor and; if necessary use food."
God askes for 100% from us. Yet He knows our weakness and accepts less. What He does look for is desire to be 100%. Like Robert Murrey McChene (sp?) prayed, "God help me to be as holy as a saved sinner can be this side of Glory."
A major issue with things like the sinner's prayer is that it's theological foundation is in Impartation (God considers us as righteous as Him) rather than Imputation (we have the righteousness of Christ, and are a new creation, there is constantly less sin in us). One is a holding pattern built in a realization of defeat; the other is built on hope and the constant dedication to regeneration within the Kingdom.
When we say "God wants 100%", there are significant issues with this, as who we are changes constantly over time, and, within a Wesleyan, Sanctifying lifestyle, God is constantly bringing us to the point where we realize that the things we need to give up and work on were perhaps not what they were a decade ago. We're continually realizing that many of the issues in our lives that God is working on aren't the issues we thought we were working on.
We can give God the wrong 100%, because our comprehension of the issue is different.
Additionally, while discipleship would be good for everybody, it's also true that the modern Protestant Church has little idea of what discipleship really means outside of church and sunday school attedance, regular tithing, devotions, and evangelism. There's a whole world out there that those things barely impinge on, and while I grew up being taught that everything outside of those was evil and worthless, I have come to find that there is a lot of beauty and wonder to be experienced outside of the church that I can only properly interact with as a constant disciple. But what it is to be a disciple may have incredibly little to do with church.
I'm also responsible to support the laws and goverment of my nations, this is also discipleship. I could go on, etc etc etc. This is good thinking that can be expanded on here.
I had a lesson on this idea last night.
Speaking about God being just(fair) and Sovereign(the authority) and Sin(missing the mark)
When we come to Christ he is just and faithful to forgive us.
He as the Sovereign defines for us sin (what missing His mark for us is) Of course for a baby 100% is a lot less than it is for a big mature saint.
As we grow and improve, He reveals more of His will for us to us and He requires more from us (the mark becomes more defined)
The problem with defining sin is when other people besides our Sovereign and master, who is just (fair and faithful) do it for us. They will lay a 100% mature burden on us as babies when Christ will lay a light burden and an easy yoke.
Quoting from the article this thread is based on “All of them [the quoted scirptures] make it clear that salvation is based on one thing: believing and trusting in Christ alone as our only way to heaven.” I personally think this is a very misleading statement.
It’s certainly not untrue but its incomplete and can and often does greatly mislead the whole truth.
What also needs to be included is the need to repent. Mark 1:15 "The time has come," Jesus said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!" Lu 13:3 I Jesus tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.
My experience folks do not resist believing in Christ but they resist leaving the life of sin to follow Christ. One current cultural example is the Homo sexual Crowd. Many believe in a Jesus for grace that does not require them to acknowledge there sin and repent. That statement by itself gives them permission to think that way. Also we need to add the balance of Jesus other statements like Mt 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. (NIV)
Some of these are similar to the arguments developed by Philip Cary in his book Good News for Anxious Christians: 10 Practical Things You Don't Have to Do. I just picked it up, upon request of a relative whose daughter recommended it to her. My first impression is that Cary is a bit more controversial.
You can see the table of contents here:
"Fully embracing the Gospel, fully engaging the world"
Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death! And to those in the tombs, bestowing life!
Χριστὸς ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν, θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας! καὶ τοῖς ἐν τοῖς μνήμασι, ζωὴν χαρισάμενος!