Monday, August 6, 2012

The Gospel changes people

I'm working my way through How People Change by Timothy Lane and Paul Tripp. I think they're the American versions of Tim Chester. While it's a little over-written with examples, it's a great source of practical pastoral application. Basically it's about building a personal eschatology, the nuts and bolts of Sanctification in other words. The Gospel changes people in the midst of their current circumstances based on their past forgiveness in Christ and looking towards their future hope of life forever with God. For example at the beginning of the book they outline five ways this gap between forgiveness and hope gets filled by partial gospel truths.




Danger
  • Each solution by itself is based only on a single strand of gospel truth
The full solution to living in the gap between past forgiveness and future hope:
  1. Humbled before God's activity
  2. Realisation of present benefits of belonging to Christ
  3. Responding to God's call to growth and change
  4. A Lifestyle of repentance and faith
Partial Solutions


Formal participation
  • Claim = participation is all that matters
  • Truth = participation in the body of Christ is important
  • Current = Grace above participation

Performance of rules
  • Claim = performance based on obedience
  • Truth = obedience should be part of our response to Grace
  • Current = our response is to God's grace not the other way around

Activism
  • Claim = working for wider cultural change
  • Truth = The gospel does challenege culture
  • Current = God may empower or not empower your activities

Biblicism
  • Claim = being a biblical expert
  • Truth = God does want us to know him
  • Current = knowledge alone doesn't save

Psychology
  • Claim = healing is avalible
  • Truth = Jesus is our healer
  • Current = full healing won't happen till later

2 comments:

Randle Bond said...

I really enjoyed reading this book and have used it as a resource a number of times. I also have found this shorter summary of the ideas in the book here helpful http://is.gd/AWApGZ

Steve Isham said...

This is a helpful outline. I have come back to it several times.
A good deal of "current" is an outcome of settling for less, or having our thinking coloured by the culture that surrounds.