October 20, 2013

Still thinking Tullian is an antinomian? (same old tired whine)

(note 6-22-2015): I have since come to the conviction that even though I don't believe all the critiques of Tullian are fair, they do have some good points. Tullian's message has been going off the rails for a while and his associations and messages are getting more vague.  He seems to have gone from assuming the gospel to assuming the law.)

A couple people have posted some utterly bizarre alternate universe-like posts about Tullian Tchividjian not preaching enough law and being antinomian. 

And the first commenter wasn't satisfied to critique the content, but had to mock his choice of attire as well.  (I will grant that he doesn't dress up as much as I would prefer, but that is beside the point and only serves to make the commenter look petty and foolish, because he really can't make the substantive point he would like, credibly.)

Of course, the message he's critiquing is this one from Liberate 2013

He spends plenty of time talking about the law and before 15-16 minutes in he says this:
"I've seen a lot of lives RUINED by friends and parents and whatnot when people rush past God's first word (law) to get to God's final (second) word (gospel). Let me tell you something about the Christian faith. The Christian faith is not a one word faith it's a two word faith. It'sIt's not law OR gospel, it's law THEN gospel. That's what it is and it's when we rush past God's first word to get to God's second word and the Law has not yet had a chance to do it's wrecking work the gospel is not given a chance to do its restorative work. So I remind people of the father in Luke chapter 15. The father did not fall down and wrap his arms around the son when he was leaving but as he was coming home."
I think people who have a problem with Tullian Tchividjian and call him an antinomian must be listening in an alternate universe.  Or maybe they are just so out of touch with how their own sin nature taints every good thing they do that they don't even recognize when he is preaching the law (which is at least 50 percent of the time that he's speaking in a sermon, if not more.) They don't recognize it as law because they don't recognize their own guilt for all those 'respectable sins' that he is taking pains to explain.  He's not berating the people THEY see as sinners, but he's showing THEM their sin, which they can't see until the Lord opens their eyes to it.

Accordingly, they don't recognize when it's time to give someone the gospel because they don't recognize when the law has done its killing work.  They don't recognize real repentance, but may in some cases recognize a mechanical "hoop jumping" rote version of apology or repentance.  Tullian shows us the law's impossibility.  So they don't see it as a legitimate preaching of the law, because they're used to law light being what is considered legitimate.   (This is the only best construction I can put on why they are saying it.)

The one reason they don't recognize that, is because they themselves are still in full victory mode and the law is still serving as their stepladder to glory, not the rock which fell on them to crush them and make them desperately aware of their need for Jesus, every moment, every hour of every day...  that Savior who offers us forgiveness through his precious, innocent shed blood and freely dispensed grace won at the cross.

O let your soul now be filled with gladness,
Your heart redeemed, rejoice indeed!
O may the thought banish all your sadness,
That in His blood you have been freed,
That God's unfailing love is yours,
That you the only Son were given,
That by His death He has opened heaven,
That you are ransomed as you are.

If you seem empty of any feeling,
Rejoice, you are His ransomed bride!
If those you cherish seem not to love you,
And dark assails from every side;
Still yours the promise, come what may,
In loss and triumph, in laughter, crying;
In want and riches, in living dying,
That you are purchased as you are.

It is a good, every good transcending,
That Christ has died for you and me!
It is a gladness that has no ending
There in God's wondrous love to see!
Praise be to Him the spotless Lamb,
Who through the desert my soul is leading
To that fair city of joy exceeding,
For which He bought me as I am!