The other day in a comment, I made reference to an article in Christianity Today called “Jesus and the Sinner’s Prayer.” The article is now online. It explores why what Jesus said doesn’t usually match what we say.
Mediocrity and hypocrisy characterize the lives of many avowed Christians, at least in part because of our default answer to the salvation question. Anyone can, and most Americans do, “believe” in Jesus rather than some alternative savior. Anyone can, and many Americans sometimes do, say a prayer asking Jesus to save them. But not many embark on a life fully devoted to the love of God, the love of neighbor, the moral practice of God’s will, and radical, costly discipleship. If it comes down to a choice between our habitual, ingrained ways of talking about salvation and what Jesus himself said when asked the question, I know what I must choose.