Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Evanjellybeans?

The genesis of the Evanjellybean...
"As we sat in our seats, twitching, a few people came round with baskets of jellybeans.. an illustration of Grace. We didn't do anything to earn the sweeties, they were just a really nice gift. It hit me - Jellybean Grace - I couldn't think of a better illustration of the shallow, trite, cheap, unsatisfying version of The Faith offered by the post-modern, emergent, purpose-driven church. Grace as a nice gift in a fairly neutral setting, not Grace as phenomenal, extravagant mercy to those who are wicked God-haters. And so, the Evanjellybean was born."
I guess this just got me wondering whether our Christianity is big enough for the Biblical gospel. Thomas Bilney wrote of the word of God detonating his heart (in A Passion that Shapes Nations, Charlie Cleverley). That's the sort of clarity and conviction that Paul concludes Galatians with, as Luther paraphrases it: “God forbid,” says the Apostle, “that I should glory in anything as dangerous as the false apostles glory in because what they glory in is a poison that destroys many souls, and I wish it were buried in hell. Let them glory in the flesh if they wish and let them perish in their glory. As for me I glory in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Big, cross-exalting grace. This is what I want to be preaching as I attempt to reach Plymouth on the train this evening to unpack Galatians 6, and herald the glory of God in the cross of Christ. Not mere lip-service to the cross but a Simeon-esque revelling in it, delighting in it and shuddering at the faintest possibility of glorying in anything else. It's that kind of cross-centredness that brings real Christianity community, free from playing comparison games and free to enjoy real fellowship at the foot of the cross.

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