Thursday, April 10, 2014

What's the Center?

 I remember a few years ago speaking with a friend about the cross of Christ. Our theology overall was similar but different enough to generate some good debates. I remember him saying to me that I was too focused on the cross. To him the cross was the tool that the Lord used to glorify Christ, thus securing salvation for us. He thought I should be more focused on that. To me the cross was and still is everything. As C.J. Mahaney addresses in Living the Cross Centered Life (read this book if you haven't!), we never move away from the cross, but instead only into a deeper understanding of it. Below is a quote from It is Well. In this passage Mark Dever addresses the Christian finding their identity in the cross and how it is the only focus of the Christian's life.

Occasionally some will accuse evangelicals of being too atonement-centered. But I don't know what it would mean to be too centered on the Suffering Servant suffering for us for our salvation. That's what makes us a people. That is our identity. Just a we saw in the last chapter, Jesus clearly understood Isaiah 53 to be talking about his life and his death. He knew that his sufferings were vicarious, that they were endured in sinners' stead. Thus, in just a few nights he would look into his disciples' eyes and say, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many" (Mark 14:24). As Paul would later put it, "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures" (1 Cor. 15:3). What would you suggest we put at the center of our focus instead of the cross?

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