Friday, October 13, 2006

Gospel Plus is Less Gospel

The reason that we get into problems with the State is that we are not satisfied with the gospel and prefer the gospel plus a little bit of force. Its not that we want to start another crusade, although some do. We just want to use the force of the state to stop obesity, to ban prostitution, to make the rich help the poor. Nice goals, but it is still the gospel plus force.

The corollary is that we must narrow down the calling of the state. The state is not evil in principle, but much of what Christians expect the state to do in the modern world is evil. As the Kingdom advances the state will shrink dramatically.

See humble government


Ted M. Gossard said...


Good and powerful point. And especially applicable to us American Christians, I believe.

I have to see Jesus' ethic as fulfilling OT in the sense of transcending it, in some ways. This is evident in the Sermon on the Mount, in certain places. It is not simply a carry-over of God's Law- Torah, to human government today. The vision of the kingdom of God, I see as moving humankind to the shalom.

And therefore, I think, along with other factors in this, that a most dangerous government today, would be one that calls itself Christian.

The kingdom of God is found in the community of Jesus. And while we can bring something of it into the world, yet it is at work and transformative in that (Jesus) community, I believe.


Ron McK said...

The problem is probably worse outside America.