July 12, 2012
Dr. Michael Horton, professor of theology and apologetics at Westminster Seminary in California was also asked by Christianity Today to respond to Alan Chambers’ theological statements from a Christian Reformed point of view. Dr. Horton concludes with two solid points. First, “It is one of the most obvious teachings in the New Testament that without repentance no one can be saved.” Second, “It’s precisely because our bodies are too important to the biblical drama that they cannot be exempted from biblical discipleship.” A couple excerpts from Dr. Horton’s article “Let’s Not Cut Christ to Pieces” follows:
“There is no reason to think that Christians who struggle with these attractions are any less justified and renewed by God’s grace in Christ than are those who wrestle especially with greed or anger or gossip. The gospel frees us to confess our sins without fear of condemnation. Looking to Christ alone for our justification and holiness, we can finally declare war on our indwelling sin because we have peace with God.”
“If there is no biblical basis for greater condemnation, there is also no scriptural basis for greater laxity in God’s judgment of this sin. It is as unloving to hold out hope to those who embrace a homosexual lifestyle as it is to assure idolaters, murderers, adulterers, and thieves that they are safe and secure from all alarm. Nor will it do to say, “Well, we’re all idolaters, etc.,” since here—in 1 Corinthians 6—Paul’s concern is not to beat down legalistic self-righteousness but to warn professing Christians that they cannot worship Diana on Tuesday and Jesus on Sunday. Paul’s point is clear: For Gentiles, sexual immorality (including homosexuality, within proper social boundaries) is normal, but to take that view is to exclude oneself from the kingdom of Christ. A proud sinner defiantly ignoring the lordship of Christ while professing to embrace him as Savior is precisely what Paul says is impossible. These passages do not threaten believers who struggle with indwelling sin and fall into grievous sins (see Romans 7 for that category); rather, they threaten professing believers who do not agree with God about their sin.”
The full text of the Dr. Horton’s essay in Christianity Today can be found at http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/julyweb-only/lets-not-cut-christ-to-pieces.html?start=1.