What They Really Rejected Wasn’t Real Christianity at All

Some claim that to constantly be striking a “note of grace, grace, grace” in our sermons is not helpful in our culture today.  The objection goes like this: “Surely Pharisaism and moralism is not a problem in our culture today.  Rather, our problem is license and antinomianism.  People lack a sense of right or wrong.  It is ‘carrying coal to Newcastle’ to talk about grace all the time to postmodern people.”  But I don’t believe that’s the case.  Unless you point to the “good news” of grace, people won’t even be able to hear the “bad news” of God’s judgment.  Also, unless you critique moralism, many irreligious people won’t know the difference between moralism and what you’re offering.  The way to get antinomians to move away from lawlessness is to distinguish the gospel from legalism.  Why?  Because modern and post-modern people have been rejecting Christianity for years thinking that it was indistinguishable from moralism.  Non-Christians will always automatically hear gospel presentations as appeals to become moral and religious, unless in your preaching you use the good news of grace to deconstruct legalism.  Only if you show them there’s a difference – that what they really rejected wasn’t real Christianity at all – will they even begin to consider Christianity?

– Tim Keller

as quoted by Tchividian, Tullian; One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World; David Cook Publishers; copyright 2013; Kindle Edition; Location2182

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