The Gospel vs. Religion

I had this Gospel vs. Religion list typed up from Tim Keller’s Gospel in Life curriculum (which is excellent; make sure you get the DVD and the study guide).

Here’s a pdf of the list: religion_gospel

This Post Has 42 Comments

  1. Woooww…a gospel-centered daily reminder indeed for all of us. by the way, i am ordering the Gospel in Life curriculum by Keller. And it is good to know at least a part of the content through this blog. Thanks brother pastor Justin.

  2. FALSE religion, not religion! I grow weary of the false antithesis. Never has such a good word suffered such abuse because of ignorance.
    Religion is NOT THE PROBLEM.

  3. It’s sad that the word “religion” has suffered so much. Basically, its definition has changed. I have mixed feelings about letting it keep a pejorative meaning. HC’s right that a good word has suffered abuse, but if it’s for the sake of getting people to hear the gospel with a more open mind and heart, than it’s probably worth it, especially since many peoples’ experience with religion has been with *false* (i.e. legalistic) religion. Of course, you would think that more nuanced conversations about “true religion” would follow, but in the evangelical community it seems that they often don’t!

  4. I would encourage everyone to listen to and/or read the sermons series from John MacArthur titled, “Wicked World, Angry God” to get a proper understanding of “religion” vs. the gospel, then you will likely the two the same as both Dr. MacArthur and Tim Keller – at the very least you’ll better understand their prespective (and the Bible’s perspective).

  5. “This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself undefiles by the world” (James 1:27). Chrisitanity is a religion. It has many biblical religious elements. This false dichotomy has been presented numerous times and is doing some damage to the church. People are ready to react against the church as an institution and we are getting all kinds of distortions of what it means to be a part of the church. This includes the tendency to react against anything religious. We shouldn’t encourage that attitude. We need to distinguish between false religion and pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father. I love Tim Keller and his ministry so I will check out the actual context in which this discussion occurs.

  6. Justin: I came by way of another site. I want to thank you for the clear and cocise presentation you give here. I see religion different from the gospel in that religion is a “do” thing while the gospel is a “what Christ has done thing.” I see it as more of a “be” thing. As for Christianity being a religion: I reckon you can say it is only in the general sense as you would say Muslim in a religion or Hindu is a religion. Biblical Christianity is not a religion in the strictest sense of the word. What you have shown here is that the two are diametrically opposed when compared to each other.

  7. As Gary Blevins pointed out earlier, Christianity is a religion. The Gospel is not some separate thing, but rather the invitation into our religion. I see nothing especially “religious” about anything in that column; it’s merely a collection of misconceptions and bad theology.

    I don’t mean to criticize; I point this out because we need to not run away from “religion” and disown people with bad theology as the “religious ones”. Instead we should try and redeem the word by explaining what our religion is truly like.

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