Monday, May 7, 2012

Dale and Chandler on the severity and kindness of God

Over a hundred years; that is the lapse in time between when R. W. Dale wrote his classic on atonement and Matt Chandler wrote his recently released book called Explicit Gospel. And yet, because they are both concerned with the great themes of Biblical Christianity, there are similar threads that run through both of these tapestries.

This morning in my reading one thread came into focus; the kindness and severity of God. Consider the Scripture passage below and the passages from these two works. And pause and reflect-because it is necessary for both evangelization and exaltation- on the wonderful and praiseworthy attributes of our God who is both just and merciful.

Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. (Romans 11:22 ESV)

In this hour — not of peril, but of fierce struggle — the Church must use all her varied and boundless resources — her science, her learning, her logic, her eloquence — and must use them with a patience, a courage, and an energy corresponding to the great issues of the strife.

But our true strength lies in those moral and spiritual forces by which, in all ages, the victories of the kingdom of heaven have been won. We must not be satisfied with an attempt to demonstrate the authority of the Christian Faith ; we must so preach it that, even apart from demonstration, its authority shall be confessed. The consciences of men must be made to apprehend the reality of sin, and their hearts must be filled with dread and with hope by the anger and the mercy of the living God.  (Dale, R. W. The Atonement. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1878. Print. 31. emphasis mine)

We have to feel the weight of God's severity, because without feeling the weight of his severity, we won't know the weight of his kindness, and we won't be able to worship him and him alone.
(Chandler, Matt, and Jared C. Wilson. The Explicit Gospel. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012. Print. 51)

No comments:

Post a Comment