So, here is my open confession. I’m not sure I’d call myself a grace preacher anymore.
* Was Jewish, a product of law.
* Ended up quite naturally in Christian legalism.
* Pushed to the brink of truth in grace.
I’ve seen and been to the extremes. I know where and how we veer theologically into the gutter.
I’ve found that His grace is even better than I thought, but so too is the response to His grace that He has both expected and demanded of me.
At this point, I’d really say I’m a centrist. Everything I believe is centered on the whole counsel of the written word.
Honestly. I don’t think any ONE stream of Christianity is right. I really don’t! Yes. There’s some level of truth within each variant stream, and the trick is to find what’s really true within each brand. And then applying that specific truth to our walk.
Friends. We must teach BOTH the radical kindness and extreme severity of God (Romans 11:22) - and everything in the middle. Yet many of the brands will focus on one to the full exclusion of the other.
I’d say every position I hold in Christ is extreme.
Here is a way of looking at it. If you go camping with an 8 sided tent, and only make 1 or 2 of the ropes real tight - the tent will collapse in the most gentle of winds.
But. If all 8 ropes are extremely tight - that tent won’t budge. Ever.
That’s where I’m at theologically.
I see extreme grace and extreme personal responsibility. I see extreme goodness towards those who are His, and I see great wrath for those who refuse Him.
I see great demands placed upon us as co heirs, with the coolest of extreme rewards for our selflessness and obedience.
I see extreme provision, that comes along with extreme trust. I see extreme love, mercy, joy, faithfulness ... and I see extreme personal responsibility for implementing what I’ve been freely given.
Truly. I think everything I hold as being true is radical. But. Each individual leg of the tent is propped up by the hard, tight, extreme truth of the other 7 posts.
My point is.
Learn from everything and everyone.
Just make sure it’s true.
And. Be extreme.