Friday, August 12, 2005

The Gospel and the human mind

Scott Klusendorf has a very interesting post over at his blog today. Please give it a thoughtful read. I particulary thought this quote from J. Gresham Machen was interesting.

It is true that the decisive thing is the regenerative power of God. That can overcome all lack of preparation, and the absence of that makes even the best preparation useless. But as a matter of fact God usually exerts that power in connection with certain prior conditions of the human mind, and it should be ours to create, so far as we can, with the help of God, those favorable conditions for the reception of the gospel. False ideas are the greatest obstacles to the reception of the gospel. We may preach with all the fervor of a reformer and yet succeed only in winning a straggler here and there, if we permit the whole collective thought of the nation or of the world to be controlled by ideas which, by the resistless force of logic, prevent Christianity from being regarded as anything more than a harmless delusion. Under such circumstances, what God desires us to do is to destroy the obstacle at its root.

So is Machen denying Romans 1:16? By his own pen he asserts the truth of this scripture, but at the same time he seeems to be saying even the very power of salvation works through man's mind and heart in a degree that does not exclude the mind and heart from the equation. This seems very similar to the line of thought in the Way of The Master series we have been studying in my church. Even though the Gospel is the power of salvation, does that mean we shouldn't give unbelievers God's Law to "prepare" them to understand the gospel because the sole power lies within The Gospel alone?

It seems as with apologetics, cultural engagement can be a "road block removal" of sorts, if done correctly with a biblical view of engagement in mind. The question arises in my mind again, is anything that has seemingly only temporal and non-eternal aspects worthy of the Christians time? If we seek to be consistent I think the answer has to be yes. I will continue to ponder this, but in the meantime, what does everyone else think?

For Jesus the King,


Dax said...

Russ, I would have to agree with you. Yes,there are temporal things that are worth examining, and our eternal hope is what enables us to deal with those issues wisely.

Russ said...

Dax, I agree 100%. Your second point is indeed crucial.

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