weekend treasure, may (2)


"The gospel of Jesus Christ is an offense to both religion and irreligion.  It can't be co-opted by either moralism or relativism.

The "traditional values" approach to life is moral conformity - the approach taken by the Pharisees.  It is that you must lead a very, very good life.  The progressive approach, embodied in the Herodians, is self-discovery - you have to decide what is right or wrong for you.  And according to the Bible, both of these are ways of being your own savior and lord.  Both are hostile to the message of Jesus.  And not only that, both lead to self-righteousness.  The moralist says, "The good people are in and bad people are out - and of course we're the good ones."  The self-discovery person says, "Oh no, the progressive, open-minded people are in and the judgemental bigots are out - and of course we're the open-minded ones."  In Western cosmopolitan culture there's an enormous amount of self-righteousness about self-righteousness.  We progressive urbanites are so much better than people who think they're better than other people.  We disdain those religious, moralistic types who look down on others.  Do you see the irony?

The gospel does not say, "the good are in and the bad are out," nor "the open-minded are in and the judgemental are out."  The gospel says the humble are in and the proud are out."

Tim Keller - King's Cross