alien righteousness

Being the Gospel?

First, the call to radical transformation of society can easily distract faith’s gaze from Christ and focus it on ourselves.

Such people hold that the gospel has to be something more than the good news concerning Christ’s victory. It has to expand to include our good works rather than to create the faith that bears the fruit of our good works….There is a marked tendency in this emphasis to play off the “kingdom” against “church.” After all, all of life is worship.

We can’t go to church, because we are the church, we are told by advocates of this approach. We aren’t receiving a kingdom through Christ’s Word and Spirit, but building it. Our good works are not the fruit of faith which comes by hearing the gospel and is confirmed by the sacraments; further, we are called to live the gospel, even to be the gospel….

Instead of following the example of John the Baptist, who pointed away from himself to “the Lamb of God, who akes away  the sin of the world” (John 1:29), we offer our own lives and transformations as the good news. But this is to deny the gospel and therefore to cut off the power of true godliness and neighbor love at its root. (155-156)

Taken from the book Ordinary: sustainable faith in a radical, restless world by Mike Horton

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