today i was reading a chapter from in my place condemned he stood, a new book by j.i. packer and mark dever. i came across these paragraphs that lept off of the page and stirred my soul’s passion…

the quote is lengthy, but i challenge you to resist the urges of our soundbyte culture and take the time to read and understand it.
it is very worthy of your (and my) time and contemplation: (all emphasis’ are mine)

There is no doubt that Evangelicalism today is in a state of
perplexity and unsettlement. In such matters as the practice
of evangelism, the teaching of holiness, the building up of
local church life, the pastor’s dealing with souls and the
exercise of discipline, there is evidence of widespread
dissatisfaction with things as they are and of equally
widespread uncertainty as to the road ahead.

This is a complex phenomenon, to which many factors
have contributed; but, if we go to the root of the matter,
we shall find that these perplexities are all ultimately
due to our having lost our grip on the biblical gospel.

Without realising it, we have during the past century
bartered that gospel for a substitute product which,
though it looks similar enough in points of detail, is
as a whole a decidedly different thing.


Hence our troubles; for the substitute product does
not answer the ends for which the authentic gospel
has in past days proved itself so mighty. The new
gospel conspicuously fails to produce deep reverence,
deep repentance, deep humility, a spirit of worship, a
concern for the church.
Why?

We would suggest that the reason lies in its own character
and content. It fails to make men God-centred in their
thoughts and God-fearing in their hearts because this is
not primarily what it is trying to do.

One way of stating the difference between it and the old gospel
is to say that it is too exclusively concerned to be “helpful”
to man—to bring peace, comfort, happiness, satisfaction—
and too little concerned to glorify God.

The old gospel was “helpful,” too—more so, indeed, than
is the new—but (so to speak) incidentally, for its first
concern was always to give glory to God
.
It was always
and essentially a proclamation of Divine sovereignty in
mercy and judgment, a summons to bow down and
worship the mighty Lord on whom man depends for all
good, both in nature and in grace.

Its centre of reference was unambiguously God. But in
the new gospel the centre of reference is man.

This is just to say that the old gospel was religious in a
way that the new gospel is not. Whereas the chief aim of
the old was to teach men to worship God, the concern
of the new seems limited to making them feel better.

The subject of the old gospel was God and His ways with
men; the subject of the new is man and the help God gives
him.
There is a world of difference. The whole perspective
and emphasis of gospel preaching has changed
.

From this change of interest has sprung a change
of content, for the new gospel has in effect reformulated
the biblical message in the supposed interests of “helpfulness.”

Accordingly, the [essential doctrines emphasized in the “old gospel”]
are not preached. These doctrines, it would be said, are not “helpful”;
they would drive sinners to despair, by suggesting to them that it is
not in their own power to be saved through Christ. (The possibility
that such despair might be salutary is not considered; it is taken
for granted that it cannot be, because it is so shattering to our
self-esteem.)

However this may be … the result of these omissions is
that PART of the biblical gospel is now preached as if it
were the WHOLE of that gospel; and a HALF-truth
masquerading as the WHOLE truth becomes
a complete UNTRUTH.

 

                       amen and amen.

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