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All Is Forgiven: The Secular Message in American - download pdf or read online

By Marsha G. Witten

In ultra-modern international we're faced with a gospel of simple forgiveness and inexpensive grace. slightly have we spoken up of our offenses, then somebody reassures us that we're forgiven, don't fret approximately it.

Churches (and pastors) purchase into this new Theology since it is the type of factor that makes a speciality of headcounts and minimizes friction. Smile, be at liberty, God loves you it doesn't matter what, so let's pass have fun.

It sounds exaggerated, yet even the main trustworthy preacher reveals secular messages creeping into his or her sermons. We rush previous the issues within the textual content and concentrate on the finishing. We put out of your mind that the Prodigal Son used to be long gone decades earlier than he back domestic, or even then he needed to hit backside prior to he was once able to admit he was once wrong.

As I struggled via this ebook i discovered myself asking approximately my very own sermons. used to be I last actual to the textual content and nonetheless conveying a latest message? was once I permitting my listeners to spend time within the fight? Or was once I spoon feeding them a simple message they desired to pay attention?

Marsha Witten does a very good activity in "All is Forgiven" in discovering and addressing those matters. i like to recommend it for all who're chargeable for preaching, settling on fabrics for educating Sunday college and holiday Bible institution, and who're leaders within the church.

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Extra resources for All Is Forgiven: The Secular Message in American Protestantism

Sample text

His love is unconditional and uncalculating. [SB] Further, God is simply motivated by the force of love. No other factors enter into his motivation or behavior—neither knowledge nor other cognitive considerations, neither human ethics nor moral codes. A speaker says: [The father] doesn’t think about what the neighbors will think or how it will settle with his eldest son. He doesn’t worry about morality or psychology or systems approaches to family therapy. He runs! [P] The contrast between human and divine behavior in the drive to calculate interpersonal responses is sharply drawn in a story told by a Southern Baptist preacher.

Not only can human beings never fully emulate his behavior, they cannot even begin to understand it. God’s behavior is surprising, shocking, inexplicable within human categories.

P] The complete denial of God’s aspect as a wrathful judge makes sense within the context of the need for religion to “market” itself, placing emphasis on the positive rewards, as opposed to the challenges and responsibilities, of faith. As we have seen, some of those rewards entail immediate, unlimited access to God’s nurturing and therapeutic functions: a daddy to shelter one from the confusions of the world, to repair 39 CHAPTER THREE one’s hurts, and to listen to one’s problems. ” GOD THE SUFFERER As we have noted, of the several strands that underlie the presentation of God as daddy, one of the most marked is that which renders the divine in terms of the familiar and accessible.

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