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Book review: “Religion Saves”

I first heard of Mark Driscoll in Donald Miller’s book Blue Like Jazz. (Miller playfully referred to him as “Mark the Cussing Pastor”.) While I hear he’s toned his language down a bit, Driscoll is still a famously outspoken and controversial pastor and author. His church, Mars Hill, is a “theologically conservative and culturally liberal” congregation in Seattle. Driscoll also co-founded the Acts 29 Network, a church-planting group.

When I heard through our blog friend Kate McDonald that LitFuse Publicity Group was doing a “blog tour” of Driscoll’s new book Religion Saves: And Nine Other Misconceptions, I decided to hop on board. I love reading and exchanging thoughts on books, and I figured this would be a fun way to share my thoughts, and to find out a little more about Driscoll.

Religion Saves is essentially a series of loosely related sermons in written format. Driscoll tackles nine of the most frequent questions asked by Christians today — ranging from predestination to birth control to the emerging church — and devotes one chapter of the book to answering (or at least providing insights to) each question. While he ties the nine questions together with the theme of the misconception that “religion saves”, the chapters obviously cover a wide range of topics and could easily be read independently of one another.

Before we dig in, I have to say that I had a hard time writing this review. To begin with, the book’s configuration as a series of mini-expositions on various topics makes it difficult to discuss as a whole. (As such, I’ll attempt to reflect briefly on each chapter.) Secondly, I have mixed opinions of Driscoll and his views; I found much to heartily agree with and much to humbly disagree with in this book. And thirdly, I don’t claim expertise on any of these topics, so I share my thoughts with that disclaimer.

•••

Question 9: Birth control. Extremely helpful as an introduction to the different kinds of birth control, and their implications for the Christian belief in human life’s sanctity. I think Driscoll employs unflinching directness and gracious tolerance where each is appropriate.

Question 8: Humor. Easily (and fittingly) the funniest chapter in the book. Driscoll is a master of understatement and witty sarcasm, as evidenced by his indiscriminate jabs. (Nobody is exempt; he makes fun of liberal environmentalists, redneck NASCAR fans, goody two-shoed homeschoolers, and guys with bad breath.) He also draws interesting insights on humor in the Bible, and its place in the Christian life and even the pulpit. I agree with Driscoll in that given our common state as sinners, we all need to take ourselves less seriously and learn to laugh at each other’s (and our own) shortcomings.

Question 7: Predestination. Essentially a defense of Calvinist/Reformed theology, with surprising generosity toward Arminians. A useful introduction, but I still remain unconvinced of either “side” of this issue as an essential Christian doctrine. I believe both in God’s foreknowledge of who will be saved, and in our free will in either accepting or rejecting Him. I only consider this a contradiction in the sense that the coexistence of predestination and free will is too large and complex an idea for me to get my mind around. The presence of both entities in Scripture and in my personal experience makes possible my faith that God’s design is cosmically perfect in its inclusion of both, however imperfect my understanding of it makes it seem.

Question 6: Grace. Driscoll presents this as the most difficult Christian doctrine for him to accept. (I’m the same way; the idea of a perfect God extending grace to a people who are chronically ungrateful for it is beyond me.) It’s a beautiful discussion of the word “grace” itself, as Driscoll highlights the multitude of different types of grace that God sends our way. If we ever erroneously perceive grace only as God’s initial forgiveness of our sin, Driscoll helps us to see that this is only one of many heaps of undeserved blessings for every stage of life and faith.

Question 5: Sexual Sin. A hard look at the perversion of sex that characterizes our culture. While he doesn’t mince words about the sinfulness of some of our practices, Driscoll spends considerable time on the psychology, and even spirituality, of sex. He sheds light on the root problem of sin that causes sexaul perversion, as opposed to reverting to the near-hysterical rebuking and callous judgement typical of many Christian leaders when discussing sexual sin. There are worthwhile insights to be found here, ones I hadn’t previously considered.

Question 4: Faith and Works. In addressing the delicate interplay of faith, works, and salvation, Driscoll echoes J. I. Packer’s discussion of the doctrine of regeneration — that is, we are saved not by good works, but for good works. In this light, it makes even more sense that you can’t have one without the other.

Question 3: Dating. I’m married, so pshh, I don’t need to read this. (Teachable heart fail.) I actually learned a lot from this chapter. The history Driscoll provides on dating/courtship over the last hundred years is helpful. When we hear grievances against the dating practices of “these young people nowadays”, it’s usually from older folks who wish things could be like they uesd to. Driscoll’s relative youth might remove suspicion of generational arrogance as he implores his fellow young people to date wisely. He’s old-fashioned on this topic, and I’m with him. (Yes, the male should pursue the female. Yes, he should be clear in stating his intentions to her.) He also mentions the opposite dangers of legalism and free license in the context of dating, which is helpful as well.

Question 2: The Emerging Church. This was the chapter I was most intrigued to read. Turns out it’s one of the most helpful conservative perspectives on the emerging church I’ve come across. Namely, it’s even-handed and fair — dispensing praise and deep concern where each is due. Because of Driscoll’s previous involvement with emergent leaders like Doug Pagitt and Brian McLaren in the 1990’s, we can infer that he has enough personal experience to draw informed conclusions. His commentary is well-researched and organized, and especially helpful in its differentiation between missional/house churches and emerging churches.

Question 1: The Regulative Principle. I had no idea what the regulative principle was until I read this chapter. Turns out its about worship — specifically, Driscoll says, about “how we should worship the God of the Bible”. He introduces us to two prevailing schools of thought regarding Christian worship: the “green light” normative principle (“worship services must include all the elements that Scripture commands and may include others so long as Scripture does not prohibit them”) and the “red light” regulative principle (“worship services must include all the elements that Scripture commands or that are a good and necessary implication of a biblical text, but nothing more”), and discusses the strengths and weaknesses of each. He tells us a little about how his church, Mars Hill, worships — specifically their urban location, missional philosophy, inclusion of technology and social media in their services, and value placed on faithfulness to Scripture. He closes the chapter with a plea for unity in this area, recognizing that whichever of the camps you’re in is less important than doing what the Bible says, and not doing what it prohibits.

•••

Driscoll’s style and general point of view are unique, hard to categorize, and will probably offend just about everybody at some point or another. Conservative evangelicals won’t like his cynical jabs at Christian subculture; progressives and emergents won’t like his traditional Calvinist leanings or inerrant view of Scripture. He writes provocatively and to-the-point, which is refreshing in a sense; there are no trite, churchy clichés to be found here. His tone could be percieved as flippant or self-righteous if not for his frequent admission of his own sin. This is also refreshing, and lends legitimacy-bolstering sincerity to many of his arguments.

My main gripe about this book is its general ambience. We’re all familiar with the comparison of human brain types: left vs. right, objective vs. subjective, rational vs. creative. I would assert that engaging both types is useful and beneficial to Christian faith, and particularly Christian instruction. After all, what good is knowing doctrine without allowing yourself to be moved by it? Conversely, what good is the emotional awareness of a Higher Being without knowing anything about Him? Thinking about Religion Saves in this context makes me realize it is a very left-brained book. It’s full of propositions and assertions to be accepted or rejected. The goal seems to be to educate and persuade, not necessarily to stir or inspire. If both left- and right-brained approaches are worthwhile, the latter is noticeably and regrettably absent. While I think Driscoll makes some good points, I can’t say that this book was a particularly enjoyable read. I just didn’t find his writing style particularly engaging; at times it felt a bit like reading a textbook.

Admittedly, I may be asking the unreasonable; I’m not exactly sure what a right-brained approach to this book would look like, given its stated intent to address specific questions in an organized and systematic way. It is what it is. Your satisfaction with the things you learn or experience in this book will depend on your expectations. If you’re looking for a page-turner or something to appreciate for its literary value, this wouldn’t be my first choice. But I think anyone wishing simply to learn more about these specific topics will find this book helpful.

* Be sure to read other people’s reactions to Religion Saves on the blog tour at LitFuse!

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Filed under: Books, Current issues, Faith, Funny, ,

15 Responses

  1. Interesting review.

    I was not offended by any of the book. I found myself agreeing with him on every point. And yet, I agree with you that the book wasn’t an enjoyable read.

    I actually think that when we educate and persuade we do stir and inspire. I mean, what we believe in our hearts, falls out of my mouths and shoots from our hands, doesn’t it?

    So if he educates and persuades that should move people.

    But I, like you, was not stirred by the book.

    I thought what was lacking was a winsome picture of Christ, to one who moves us to love and trust and obey, because he first loves us.

    Anyway, thanks for the thoughtful review. I enjoyed it.

  2. Joe says:

    I read the book, too. Except for the catchy title, it is the same old same old. I agree, it read like a textbook. The book is for someone who can’t think and is looking for rules and regulation, do’s and don’ts. For example, look at the divorce rate – to me that is ample evidence the church is a failure regarding marriage.

  3. Kim J. says:

    Hi Drew–nice review! I have not read the book, so this is actually a response to your reflections rather than a response to the book itself.

    I find it intriguing that you list God’s grace as the most difficult doctrine for you to accept. I am, I suppose, your complete opposite in this respect. I have a lot of difficulty accepting the majority of the Bible (for varied reasons I’m not addressing fully in this post), but the aspect of Christianity I find most difficult to accept is God’s apparent lack of grace.

    When I studied the Bible, I came away from that experience (and my reading of the Bible since) with a very different view of God than the God I learned of when I was young. Looking at the different “characters” within the Bible, I found Jesus Christ to be the compassionate character and God to be quite impossible to define as one character (very different from Old to New Testament). I find the nature of God in the Old Testament to be contrary to the loving God I was raised to worship.

    [Qualifying statement regarding my perception of God as portrayed in the Bible: It seems that my only choices are to believe that the Bible is the word of God (accepting the gestalt of Old and New Testaments and somehow reconciling my negative perception of the nature of God with a deity I must worship and love), or believe that the Bible was constructed by mankind, and is therefore fallible. I tend toward the latter belief, as you may have guessed…the Bible as it is known and interpreted today has gone through many revisions (books excluded/included) and multiple interpretations. Given my own difficulty reconciling the contrary characterizations of God and the multiplicity of versions of the Bible that exist, I question whether it is even possible for The Church to put forth an ecumenical viewpoint with so many different definitions of the Word of God.]

    For the purposes of this post I am assuming that the versions of God portrayed in the Bible are true reflections of His nature. So, where you are perplexed by God’s extension of grace to those who are not “grateful,” I am appalled that God’s nature demands fidelity (with no regard to the strength one’s nature or character) and faith, particularly knowing the obstacles to faith that the world offers. We could also delve into the vengeful side of God’s nature, but it already seems as though I’ve touched on too many topics in this post…

    Again, thanks for the review.

    • Drew says:

      Hey Kim!

      Thanks for your comment, firstly. Your comments — both these and previous ones — are consistently some of the kindest and well-put I’ve heard. So, just wanted to say I appreciate that.

      Regarding God’s nature, I’ve shared your struggle to reconcile his apparently opposing natures in the Old vs. New Testaments. I honestly don’t understand how God can be fully merciful and fully just — not so much in the sense of being amazed by it (though I am), but in that my brain is literally incapable of comprehending it.

      For me, the reconciliation of this idea comes down to an admission that my perceptions and ideas about justice are incomplete, and that I’m therefore unable to fully understand God’s justice. From a human-to-human standpoint, injustice doesn’t seem hard to define. Child slavery, preventable malnutrition and starvation, devastating poverty, corrupt governments — these are crimes that humans commit against one another. But I (and most of us, I think) have a harder time with the idea that we humans have committed crimes against God — the notion that He can’t tolerate even the slightest whiff of sin, that He has the right to wipe us out for breaking laws that are impossible to keep. To me, it doesn’t seem fair. After all, I can accept people despite their imperfections; why can’t God?

      Prone as I am to object to these lofty expectations, I can’t do so legitimately because despite the fact that I don’t understand God, I do believe He is holy, limitless in His knowledge, and perfect in His justice. Someone might ask how I can be so sure that God is these things. Admittedly, I’m a person of little faith; I need some degree of factual corroboration if I’m going to believe something. And while assuming that God is just and fair requires me to have faith — to take a step beyond the mathematics of human logic and experience — I don’t feel that it requires me to go against logic (like believing I won’t die if I jump from the Empire State Building).

      My reasoning is this: Based on a litany of misjudgements and blunders of varying severity on my part, I’m now convinced that my grasp of what is true, right, and good is spotty at best. Even when I think I know what is right and good, I chronically choose the wrong and bad. (Basically, I suck at life.) Therefore, I’ve found it reasonable to say that God — the peerless epitome of truth, righteousness, and goodness — may not always make sense to me.

      With that said, I’d also admit that the compassionate, merciful picture of Jesus we see in the NT is more palatable to me than the vindictive, even angry picture of God we see in the OT. But I can’t escape the realization that if God wasn’t offended by my sin, if there wasn’t this chasm of estrangement between Him and me, then all of Jesus’ compassion and mercy and reconciliation would lose its meaning, rendering God only partially just and partially merciful.

      I love C.S. Lewis’ allegory for God in the Chronicles of Naria, his portrayal of Aslan as a lion — dangerous, mysterious, untamed, frightening, but good. I don’t doubt that if it were up to me, God wouldn’t be like Aslan. I struggle to believe that He is indeed dangerous, mysterious, untamed, and frightening. I’m frustrated by my inability to understand Him. I want to tame Him, to smooth over His rough edges, make it so I don’t need Him to save me. But what kind of God would that make Him? Would He be God at all?

      Something you said resonated with me: you had a hard time with the idea “that God’s nature demands fidelity (with no regard to the strength one’s nature or character) and faith, particularly knowing the obstacles to faith that the world offers.” If I understand you correctly, I think you and I have shared this difficulty of belief. I wonder sometimes why God demands perfection knowing that we’re incapable of it. Wouldn’t it be more fair if He either relaxed His expectations, or created us in such a way that we could meet them?

      What goes on in God’s head is obviously beyond our comprehension. But whatever reason He had for making things the way they are, He decided to (and this is a weird way of saying it) break His own rules by sending a remedy, a solution, a Christ, a way of fixing us when we were beyond repair. In this sense, although His justice is fierce, His mercy is every bit as fierce. It’s unrelenting, so much so that it’s enough to satisfy His justice.

      This is why I rejoice, and why I’ve overcome at the wonder of it all — how God could make me His friend when I have been His enemy. Grace. What reason, what possible motivation would He have for doing this? I believe this is a wonderful mystery.

      • Kim J. says:

        Thanks for your response, and the compliment! 🙂 I greatly respect the depth of your belief and your obvious devotion to your faith. Truly, you are an example of someone who is living Jesus’ admonition to let your light shine out to the world.

        I agree that humankind would not need God’s grace if we could achieve perfection and thus merit His salvation. The hindrance to my faith in this regard lies in the specific requirements of salvation as outlined by Paul. My understanding is that there are conflicting statements throughout the Bible regarding the requirements of salvation. The typically held beliefs of Christians concerning salvation are derived from Paul’s doctrine: that salvation is achieved through belief in Jesus Christ as savior and acceptance of the gift of salvation. However, from Jesus’ teachings, I gleam a different set of requirements. The discussion in chapter 10 of Luke regarding the path to inheritance of eternal life emphasizes the importance of loving your neighbor. It is the same in Matthew, chapter 25.

        Throughout the Gospels, there are specific examples of behavioral obligations to achieve eternal life; I’ve not found a corroboration of Paul’s view that faith is the requirement for salvation, apart from good works. It is a mystery to me that Christianity, which is derived from the teachings of Christ, has based the requirements of salvation on the statements of Paul, rather than the teachings of Christ.

        I think that some parts of the Bible indicate that an omniscient creator has given humankind free will and requires good works and deeds to merit eternal life. Examples of deeds that are deemed worthy and deeds that are deemed meritless are described throughout the Gospels.

        Many say that humankind is far from perfect and could never amass the good works that would be necessary to merit God’s salvation. The best analogy I’ve read that responds to this contention likened God’s view of our “good works” to a child’s offering of fledgling artwork at 5 years of age. While most children do not produce what many would consider brilliant works of art, the artwork produced is precious and has enormous value in the eyes of the parents because of the intent behind the art. Thus, our “fledgling” good works, while not of themselves meriting salvation, would be accepted by a Father who knows our hearts and understands the intent behind our works.

        I place greater importance on the beneficence of a person and less (actually no) importance on the particulars of his faith. Thus, the Christian belief that God demands fidelity to Him alone (and demands that one accept Jesus Christ specifically as Lord and Savior of mankind) is baffling to me, given the teachings of Jesus Christ as detailed in the Gospels.

        I, too, believe that my perceptions and ideas about justice are incomplete and that it is impossible to fully understand God’s justice. Thus, it is not possible for me to expurgate the Bible. However, I don’t believe that the teachings of Paul reflect the ideals that God wishes us to emulate, expressly because it contradicts the teachings of Jesus. Obviously, as one who does not subscribe to the teachings of the Bible but finds the Bible to be instructive and worthy of study, this puts me at odds with Christianity as a faith.

        Again, I appreciate both the deference and acumen you bring to discussions of this nature. Thanks for the opportunity to participate. 🙂

      • Drew says:

        I’m with you on the apparent discrepancies between Paul’s and Jesus’ requirements for salvation. (I’m reminded of the rich young ruler in Luke 18, as well.)

        The timing of our little dialogue is actually kind of funny; I’ve recently been wrestling with some of the same questions you’ve had about the Bible — it’s consistency, the nature of it’s authority, inerrancy, etc. I just picked up this book by Scot McKnight called “The Blue Parakeet” which, more or less, is about the ways we read the Bible, our various misguided assumptions about it, etc. I’m only about 60 pages in, but so far, his observations have been a refreshing digression from the “Paulianity” that I (and you, it seems) have found problematic. Who knows — you might love it. I’d love to hear your thoughts in any case if you pick it up.

      • Kim J. says:

        Thanks for the recommendation–I’ll definitely try to pick it up. I need some beach reading material anyway! 🙂

      • Kim J. says:

        Hello again, Drew! I was able to pick up a copy of The Blue Parakeet and finish reading it during my vacation in Ocean City (thanks again for the recommendation). Unfortunately, I’m not able to use specifics in this post because I loaned the book to Tom (at least, I left the book in Ocean City for my mother to give to my brother and hope he received it).

        I’m not entirely sure that Scot McKnight accomplished what he set out to do with his book. I thought his argument that those who read the Bible need to “adopt and adapt” to ascertain how portions of the Bible pertain to their lives today (much as he contends the authors of the books of the Bible adopted and adapted their message to their respective audiences) was actually an argument against the Bible being the word of God. Or, more specifically, if the books of the Bible represent the word of God, then the word of God was only meant for those audiences and not for all mankind.

        For Christians, the Bible is the revelation of God’s will. If God does not intend for Christians to follow what He has revealed as His will (in other words, if it was intended for a specific audience), then should the Bible really be used as more of a guidebook than a list of commandments?

        A few specifics about the book itself:

        –I didn’t like the analogy of the books of the Bible to “wiki-plots.”

        –He spent a lot of time on the role of women in the Church—I found myself wishing he had spent more time on other inconsistencies, such as judging others or the path to salvation.

        –I thought the book became interesting around page 115 (this is a guess, since I don’t have a copy of the book in front of me).

        –I thought the most interesting part of the book occurred at the end (I believe on page 207) when the author speaks of his friend who is has studied the life of Paul extensively. The author’s friend opined that Paul would “roll over in his grave” if he learned that his letters were being used as torah.

        –He definitely repeated certain phrases throughout the book, which became annoying and clearly evidenced his tendency toward redundancy. “That was then, this is now” comes to mind.

        I’d love to hear your thoughts!

      • Drew says:

        Well, I feel somewhat foolish as I’m still reading the book. 🙂 I’m a chronically slow reader; add that to my habit of reading 2 or 3 books at once, and the result is that it takes me forever to finish a book! In any case, hopefully I can offer some responses based on what I’ve read so far, as well as my beliefs about the Bible.

        I think McKnight and I would be in agreement that the Bible is the Word of God, though probably not in the same sense that many other Evangelicals believe it to be. For one, reading it as a book of commandments seems like a well-intentioned but ultimately misguided endeavor to me. I believe certain passages in the Bible (the Beatitudes come to mind) contain commandments that are universally applicable, and some which were applicable to a specific people at a specific time (even Paul’s letters which, after all, were addressed not “to all Christians”, but to specific churches and people).

        “Guidebook” seems to me like a better description of the Bible than “list of commandments”. I see in the Bible the ways that God has interacted with humans in the past (which has varied greatly). I believe it to be God’s Word in the sense that He has chosen to use these stories as a means of communicating His story to us. I’m not quite sure why He chose to relay it through human authors (who by nature are prone to error), and using such a wide variety of contexts and literary styles (historical narrative, poetry, hyperbole, personal letters, fictional parables, prophecy, etc.), but I believe there is a certain beauty to it. It’s almost as if God did it this way intentionally because He didn’t want us to read the Bible like we would a set of Ikea assembly instructions (read it, do what it says, and be done with it). Reading it “as story” requires us to invest in it, wrestle with it, be moved by it.

        To change gears, it’s equally curious to me why McKnight chose women’s roles as a “case study” for this book. My impression is that he wanted a consistent subject matter to contextualize his arguments, although I agree with you that it would have been helpful if he’d branched out a bit. Regarding his repetitiveness…yeah, I’d have to agree with you there too. Unfortunately, I haven’t come across many contemporary Christian authors who I can appreciate for both content and writing style (one exception being Donald Miller — another “Bible-as-story” proponent, incidentally).

        Anyhow, I appreciate your entertaining my book suggestion (I can’t believe you read it that fast!), and especially your willingness to discuss it with me. You seem like a person who knows some good books; I’d love to check out any suggestions you might have as well. 🙂

      • Kim J. says:

        In the spirit of full disclosure…I was, after all, at the beach, which tends to leave a lot of leisure time for reading! 🙂

        For me, reading much of the Bible is like listening to a lecture (verbatim) that my great grandmother would have given to her daughter. I imagine a woman of her generation cautioning her daughter to wear chaste attire, as being intentionally “unchaste” in one’s dress was considered sexually provocative. She would then, perhaps, confer her definition of chaste, which would not have included a wardrobe of pants and (gasp!) shorts, or tank tops. If this lecture were published in an authoritative book of etiquette, would the same rules apply today? Would it be a breach of etiquette for a woman to wear pants? Or is it the underlying message that counts? Or is this entire lecture a point of guidance, but not monumental importance?

        Paul’s letters (written to specific audiences and coupled with his stated intention of being all things to all men) strike me as similarly irrelevant to today’s society, and therefore incompatible with “Word of God” cachet. Even if I believed that Paul had a revelation (a difficult task for me once the Bible has been rendered (in my mind) guidance rather than instruction) and was bidden to impart Christ’s teachings to the world, I cannot help but believe that the actual Word of God would have pertinence to my life.

        One of the first books I read that didn’t follow the typical Christian doctrine was “Conversations with God.” I honestly don’t remember it very well, but I remember my reaction and how refreshing it was to have “answers” to my questions, rather than continual attempts to fit the square pegs (or blue parakeets) into round holes.

        I’m currently looking for a new book. I’m very interested in reading more about different perspectives on Paul’s writing, so that has dictated my search. As a “chooser” of religious reading material, I’m a fairly consistent failure. The books I typically choose on this subject invariably either advocate atheism or attempt to justify the Bible’s authority and explain away the blue parakeets (that’s twice I’ve made the reference–it’s catching!) so that their importance is diminished and I’m left dissatisfied.

        I’m considering reading more about the New Perspective, and will be looking for books/articles by Stendahl, Sanders, Dunn, or Wright. I’ll let you know if I stumble across anything interesting! 🙂

      • Drew says:

        I’d be interested in reading about the New Perspective as well. Wright’s “Surprised by Hope” sounds fascinating and is on my list. Maybe we could both check it out and continue our banter here. 🙂

        Always good to hear from you.

  4. janaiha says:

    I likewise have difficulty with the grace doctrine. It confuses me that it would even be extended. If there were a human equivalent, I guess it would be like me wanting to be chummy Albert Fish or something. Perhaps over time, I could get a sense of the pathos of such a tortured soul, but I doubt that would lead me to want to grab lunch with him at the local Panera. But that’s what grace is.

    We imagine ourselves tolerant and compassionate, yet we sit in judgment in our legal system, generally without respect to nature or strength of character. Ironically, we are not far from being offenders ourselves, given similar circumstances and upbringing. This is because, even as we may understand the social pressures surrounding the crime, we cannot condone it. It would rail against all that is just.

    It is this justice that demands God be holy. ..and holiness cannot be defiled. Light drives out darkness by its very nature. Therein lies the thread that connects the Torah and Law with Christ and redemption. It is born out of the idea that, yes, fidelity to God is impossible. It is impossible with any measure of intrinsic strength of character. The gospel is that this strength has been provided on man’s behalf, if he would open his heart to receiving it. Any righteousness that follows is God’s own.

    Unworthy as this heart is, confused as this mind is, grace is what these lips bless daily.

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