Tullian way too busy to debate?

2014/05/20

So I was looking around on the web trying to figure out the Tullian Tchividjian controversy. Basically he was under accusation of taking the Law-Gospel distinction too far toward the error of antinomianism. The news says that he was asked to hurry up and move on with a ministry initiative called Liberate. The upshot is that the Presbyterian grandson of Billy Graham has taken his clout elsewhere and the The Gospel Coalition is free of a resident trouble maker. I get the sense that Tchividjian as a mega-church, ministry empire type guy is simply too busy to respond to all the doctrinal heavy hitters that have been challenging him to a debate. I’m curious to see where the controversy goes because the matters of Law/Gospel, the Law in the Christian life, sanctification, assurance and grace are fascinating in their own right. But the potential pitfalls are serious.

Some would say that antinomianism is the error besetting the church. If only that were true. It’s important that we get it right because confusion on either side, whether Law or Gospel, is possible. The confessional heritage of the Reformed churches shows that the Law has a place in the Christian life beyond just showing us our sin and need of a Savior. On the other hand, I’ve heard preaching in Reformed churches that takes the dialectical route (theology by balancing two equally ultimate truths). The results are confusing at best. You’ll just have to take the preacher’s word for it that he affirms justification by faith alone. That’s hard to swallow coming from someone who says that your salvation depends on what you do, period, and that those who show forth Christ in the Old Testament are in error.

The latest “antinomian” controversy calls this blogger, at least, to patiently and diligently attend to the Bible. One resource for making sense of the flourishing debate comes from a wise pastor. When we’re talking about Law and Gospel, we need clarity about whether we’re thinking of Law as a covenant or as a principle. Scripture certainly speaks highly of the Law as a guide for life but we’re warned against marrying ourselves to the Mosaic Covenant rather than to Christ. Now that’s food for thought!

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One Response to “Tullian way too busy to debate?”

  1. tonya Says:

    http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tullian/2014/05/20/ive-come-to-set-the-captives-free/
    ?Frederick Buechner once wrote, “There are all kinds of pressures on the preacher to be all kinds of other things and speak all kinds of other words.” God has called me (and I would argue, all preachers) to be “good news specialists”—a phrase my granddad taught me while I was in seminary. The job description of the preacher, in other words, is not to say many different things but to say the same thing over and over again in many different ways. We have one main message to declare: “Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). It’s not that I don’t have other “words” and opinions to speak regarding a wide variety of issues in the church and in our world (just ask my wife and kids and friends), but the public ministry and message God has called me to is very specific, more specific than the ministry and message of The Gospel Coalition.”
    I have been enjoying Tullian and His preaching! Bring on more gospel…. He has already in my opinion
    answered those who call him antinomian


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