Friday 14 September 2007

The gospel in the newspapers

When someone actually gets the gospel into the letters pages, it is worth more than a hundred feral elections.

Grace comes for nothing

How do you know if you have done enough good deeds in order to be acceptable to God? This is the dilemma of everyone whose religion has no concept of free forgiveness. Mother Teresa's religious doubt and spiritual emptiness was as understandable as it was tragic ("To doubt God is human, and to hell with convention," September 13). If only she had read her Bible she would have seen that grace is a gift, not something that one earns.

Joshua Bovis, Lambton (SMH 14 September)

What I love most about this letter is not so much Josh's letter as great as it is, but the (presumably pagan) subeditor's heading. "Grace comes for nothing". The subeditor has understood what grace means, and that is an extraordinary victory for Christian thought in a society which cares nothing for God.

Well done Josh. Keep writing. We need persistent, faithful newspaper correspondents. I've just been re-reading Jim Packer on the Puritans and his well-researched view is that spiritual revival in the 17th century, just as real as its 18th century counterpart though less well publicized, was (under God) due to puritan writing.

And deliberately dumbed down writing, too. These guys worked overtime to tell the gospel straight, without clever allusion and witty sesquipedelian flourishes. JC Ryle later called it 'crucifying your style'.

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