Church Becomes a Glorified Costume Party

Instead of a hospital for sufferers, church becomes a glorified costume party, where lonely men and women tirelessly police each other’s facade of holiness.  The higher up in the pecking order, the less room for weakness.  Perhaps it should come as no surprise when we read headlines of pastors of legalistic churches acting out in self-destructive ways (Romans 5:20).

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free; David C Cook Publishers, Copyright 2013, Kindle Edition, page 65

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This Gospel Is Not, I Repeat, Is Not About Character Improvement

It may be unintentional, but we make a serious mistake when we reduce good news to its results, such as patience, sobriety, and compassion, in the lives of those who have heard it.  These are beautiful developments and they should be celebrated.  But they should not be confused with the gospel itself.  The gospel is not a means to an end, it is an end in itself.

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free; David C Cook Publishers, Copyright 2013, Kindle Edition, page 64

Contrary to Popular Belief, Christianity Is Not About Good People Getting Better

Contrary to popular belief, Christianity is not about good people getting better.  If anything, it is about bad people coping with their failures to be good.  That is to say, Christianity concerns the gospel, which is nothing more or less than the good news that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (I Timothy 1:15) “[Christ] was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (Romans 4:25).  The gospel is a proclamation that always addresses sinners and sufferers directly (i.e., you and me).

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free; David C Cook Publishers, Copyright 2013, Kindle Edition, page 64

It Is a Slippery Vote

There may be something noble about keeping things in proper perspective, but soon we are dictating to God what He should or shouldn’t care about.  And it is a slippery slope!  Eventually we’ll edit our prayers along these lines, as though we were giving political speech, rather than simply speaking with our heavenly Father.

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free; David C Cook Publishers, Copyright 2013, Kindle Edition, page 62

Yet the Grace of God Prevails!

Yet the grace of God prevails!  His gracious disposition toward us thankfully does not depend even on our ability to comprehend it.  When we finally come to the end of ourselves, there He will be.  Just as He will be the next time we come to the end of ourselves, and the time after that, and the time after that.

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free; David C Cook Publishers, Copyright 2013, Kindle Edition, page 53

“I’m Holding Out for Grace”

At the center of all religions is the idea of Karma.  You know, what you put out comes back to you; an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics – in physical laws – every action is met by an equal or an opposite one.  It is clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the Universe.  I’m absolutely sure of it.  And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that “as you reap, so will you sow” stuff.  Grace defies reason and logic.  Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff…I’d be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge… It doesn’t excuse my mistakes, but I’m holding out for Grace.  I’m holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross, because I know who I am and I hope I don’t have to depend on my own religiosity.

– Bono (U2 Lead Singer)

as quoted by Tchividjian, Tullian; Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free; David C Cook Publishers, Copyright 2013, Kindle Edition, page 51

The Announcement Made by the Gospel of Grace

The gospel of grace announces that Jesus came to acquit the guilty – He came to judge and be judged in our place.  Christ came to satisfy the deep judgment against us once and for all so that we could be free from the judgment of God, others, and ourselves.  He came to give rest to our efforts at trying to deal with judgment on our own.  The gospel declares that Jesus atoned for our guilt and that the Law has been fulfilled.

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free; David C Cook Publishers, Copyright 2013, Kindle Edition, page 51-52