Christianity is the Unreligion

I am loving Dane Ortlund’s new book, Defiant Grace: The Surprising Message and Mission of Jesus. To give you a taste, here is a quote from the book that I’ll be using in my sermon this Sunday:

Christianity is the unreligion. It turns all our religious instincts on their head…

The ancient Greeks told us to be moderate by knowing our inclinations. The Romans told us to be strong by ordering our lives. Buddhism tells us to be disillusioned by annihilating our consciousness. Hinduism tells us to be absorbed by merging our souls. Islam tells us to be submissive by subjecting our wills. Agnosticism tell us to be at peace by ignoring our doubts. Moralism tells us to be good by discharging our obligations. Only the gospel tells us to be free by acknowledging our failure. Christianity is the unreligion because it is the one faith whose founder tells us to bring not our doing, but our need.

 

19. October 2011 by Justin Buzzard
Categories: Leadership | 5 comments

Comments (5)

  1. Pingback: The 3 R’s: Reading, Riting, & Reviews « Just A Few Thoughts….

  2. Interesting quote –but I like the way Keller said it ——– “advice” v. “news”:

    “[Here] you can see the difference between Christianity and all other religions, including no religion. The essence of other religions is advice; Christianity is essentially news. Other religions say, ‘This is what you have to do in order to connect with God forever; this how you have to live in order to earn your way to God.’ But the gospel says, ‘This is what has been done in history. This is how Jesus lived and died to earn the way to God for you.’ Christianity is completely different. It’s joyful news.

    How do you feel when you’re given good advice on how to live? Someone says, ‘Here’s the love you ought to have, or the integrity you ought to have,’ and maybe they illustrate high moral standards by telling a story of some great hero. But when you hear it, how does it make you feel? Inspired, sure. But do you feel the way the listeners who heard those heralds felt when the victory was announced? Do you feel your burdens have fallen off? Do you feel as if something great has been done for you and you’re not a slave anymore? Of course you don’t. It weighs you down: This is how I have to live. It’s not a gospel. The gospel is that God connects to you not on the basis of what you’ve done (or haven’t done) but on the basis of what Jesus has done, in history, for you. And that makes it different from every other religion or philosophy” (Keller, Timothy. KING’S CROSS: THE STORY OF THE WORLD IN THE LIFE OF JESUS. NYC: Dutton, 2010. pp 15-16).
    Interesting quote –but I like the way Keller said it ——– “advice” v. “news”:

    “[Here] you can see the difference between Christianity and all other religions, including no religion. The essence of other religions is advice; Christianity is essentially news. Other religions say, ‘This is what you have to do in order to connect with God forever; this how you have to live in order to earn your way to God.’ But the gospel says, ‘This is what has been done in history. This is how Jesus lived and died to earn the way to God for you.’ Christianity is completely different. It’s joyful news.

    How do you feel when you’re given good advice on how to live? Someone says, ‘Here’s the love you ought to have, or the integrity you ought to have,’ and maybe they illustrate high moral standards by telling a story of some great hero. But when you hear it, how does it make you feel? Inspired, sure. But do you feel the way the listeners who heard those heralds felt when the victory was announced? Do you feel your burdens have fallen off? Do you feel as if something great has been done for you and you’re not a slave anymore? Of course you don’t. It weighs you down: This is how I have to live. It’s not a gospel. The gospel is that God connects to you not on the basis of what you’ve done (or haven’t done) but on the basis of what Jesus has done, in history, for you. And that makes it different from every other religion or philosophy” (Keller, Timothy. KING’S CROSS: THE STORY OF THE WORLD IN THE LIFE OF JESUS. NYC: Dutton, 2010. pp 15-16).

  3. “Only the gospel tells us to be free by acknowledging our failure.” This is great! It has been TRULY freeing to live this out this week. Lots of failure, lots of articulate confession and surprisingly much fresh thick freedom!

  4. Pingback: Christianity is the Unreligion | Already Not Yet

  5. Pingback: Justin Buzzard

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *