Episode 350 - Don't Sell Me a Semi-Automatic

Episode 314 · February 21st, 2023 · 22 mins 6 secs

About this Episode

Sometimes I hear a 'Grace' sermon that is just terrific... until the last five minutes. During the last five minutes, the preacher seems pressed to tell me how I should respond, at least mentally, to the message of God's One-Way Love. The preacher -- in good faith and sincerity, to be sure -- tells me to "relax into the Message", "accept the Gift", "live into It", "let It sink in", "allow It to become part of you". And although that sounds good, it ends up, at least for me, feeling abstract. It may even convey a(n un-intended) sense of pressure, as there is still something to do. Which I can't seem to do. It's a little like what Roman Catholics sometimes describe as the need to perpetually return to the Confessional because they haven't quite taken it in, i.e., the forgiveness they were told they had last week.

Luther taught something different. (As did St. Paul.) They both taught that one's response to the Gospel is automatic. When you are "One-Way-LUV'd", you automatically wish to respond -- with love! Belovedness engenders loving back.

I mean, look: it's true in Romantic Love. When you are sincerely loved by another person, no one needs to tell you how to respond. You always, or almost always, respond by desiring to love the other altruistically -- selflessly -- empathetically. That just happens. You don't need imperatives, even subtle ones; nor instructions.

That's the point of this 350th Episode of PZ's Podcast. I am particularly proud of it.

It is dedicated to Tullian Tchividjian and his remarkable ministry of One-Way Love. "Bleib bei Mir fuer alle Zeiten."