Sunday, April 15, 2012

holy love wins

Tim Stoner writes the below at his blog. You should head over there and read more. In a day when many throw out the base meaning found at the cross in an effort to explore other nuances (real or imagined), I find Stoner's words refreshing.

The New Testament represents a grand holiness movement; but it is one which is more concerned with God’s holiness than ours, and lets ours grow of itself by dwelling on His. Christianity is concerned with God’s holiness before all else; which issues to man as love, acts upon sin as grace, and exercises grace through judgment. The idea of God’s holiness is inseparable from the idea of judgment as the mode by which grace goes into action. And by judgment is meant not merely the self-judgment which holy grace and love stir in man, but the acceptance by Christ of God’s judgment on man’s behalf and its conversion in Him to our blessing by faith.

By the atonement, therefore, is meant that action of Christ’s death which has a prime regard to God’s holiness, has it for its first charge, and finds man’s reconciliation impossible except as that holiness is divinely satisfied once for all on the cross. Such atonement is the key to the incarnation. We must take that view of Christ which does most justice to the holiness of God. This starting-point of the supreme holiness of God’s love, rather than its pity, sympathy, or affection, is the watershed between the Gospel and theological liberalism [post-modern Christianity]. My point of departure is that Christ’s first concern and revelation was not simply the forgiving love of God, but the holiness of such love.

… . Our view of what Christ was and did must be the view that does most justice to the holiness of God and takes most profoundly and seriously the hallowing of His name.

A true grasp of the atonement … meets the age in its need and impotence, its need of a centre, of an authority, of a creative source, a guiding line, and a final goal… . Change is everywhere… . With no centre, either for its own action or for our estimate, it means disintegration. And especially does our religion need a moral centre. It grows on the one hand evolutionary, and therefore inevitably unearnest and on the other hand sentimental. It harps on love till it reaches the condition of those decently demoralised people who read nothing but the literature of love, dwell on nothing else, slacken every moral fibre by the submission to this of every other interest in life, and finally gravitate to a chief interest in its morbid or immoral forms. Fraternity grows at the cost of fidelity, the democratic sympathies and pities monopolise the moral world, the moral type changes, and another scale of virtues fills the ideal. [This is nothing but] the removal of authority from a positive centre in Christ’s redeeming act to what I might call a diffused centre in the heart… What is lacking to current and weak religion is the very element supplied in the atoning cross as the reconciling judgment of the world. P.T. Forsyth, The Cruciality of the Cross (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 1997), viii.

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