I had a great comment from Jeremy Lowrey back in December, and I’ve never responded. Time to fix that.
Here’s what I’ve been thinking.
- Some Christ-centered preachers make the mistake of ignoring application and obedience as a response to the gospel. I’m not sure Horton is arguing for this, but it is a real problem. We need to be careful that we don’t lose all application of the gospel as an over-reaction to moralistic and therapeutic preaching.
- I also hear what Jeremy is saying about our need to imitate Christ. We need balance here. It’s a waste of time to encourage people to ask “What would Jesus do?” because none of us can do what Jesus did in our own power. Many of the events in his life are not given as moralistic examples, but as stories of the victory that Christ won on our behalf. His temptation in the wilderness, for example, is not primarily an exemplary story that shows us how to handle temptation. It is primarily about Christ, who passed the test in the wilderness – a test Israel had failed. He passed the test on our behalf. Still – we are called to follow Jesus and become “little Christs.” This is only possible because of the gospel. We don’t primarily need a moral example. We mostly need a Savior.
- Re: name-calling – I hadn’t picked this up in the article, but I appreciate Jeremy’s reminder to show charity to those with whom we disagree.
Sorry, Jeremy, that this took so long.