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An Open Letter To Mr. Grace-Loving Antinomian
The Gospel Coalition ^ | 21 June, 2011 | Tullian Tchividjian

Posted on 06/24/2011 6:17:53 PM PDT by Gamecock

An Open Letter To Mr. Grace-Loving Antinomian

There seems to be a fear out there that the preaching of radical grace produces serial killers. Or, to put it in more theological terms, too much emphasis on the indicatives of the gospel leads to antinomianism (a lawless version of Christianity that believes the directives and commands of God don’t matter). My problem with this fear is that I’ve never actually met anyone who has been truly gripped by God’s amazing grace in the gospel who then doesn’t care about obeying him. As I have said before: antinomianism happens not when we think too much of grace. Just the opposite, actually. Antinomianism happens when we think too little of grace.

Wondering whether this common fear is valid, my dear friend Elyse Fitzpatrick (in C.S. Lewis fashion) writes an open letter to Mr. Grace-Loving Antinomian–a person she’s heard about for years but never met–asking him to please step forward and identify himself.

Enjoy…

——————————————————————————————————————————————-
Dear Mr. Antinomian,

Forgive me for writing to you in such an open forum but I’ve been trying to meet you for years and we just never seem to connect. While it’s true that I live in a little corner of the States and while it’s true that I am, well, a woman, I did assume that I would meet you at some point in my decades old counseling practice. But alas, neither you nor any of your (must be) thousands of brothers and sisters have ever shown up for my help…So again, please do pardon my writing in such a public manner but, you see, I’ve got a few things to say to you and I think it’s time I got them off my chest.

I wonder if you know how hard you’re making it for those of us who love to brag about the gospel. You say that you love the gospel and grace too, but I wonder how that can be possible since it’s been continuously reported to me that you live like such a slug. I’ve even heard that you are lazy and don’t work at obeying God at all…Rather you sit around munching on cigars and Twinkies, brewing beer and watching porn on your computer. Mr. A, really! Can this be true?

So many of my friends and acquaintances are simply up in arms about the way you act and they tell me it’s because you talk too much about grace. They suggest (and I’m almost tempted to agree) that what you need is more and more rules to live by. In fact, I’m very tempted to tell you that you need to get up off your lazy chair, pour your beer down the drain, turn off your computer and get about the business of the Kingdom.

I admit that I’m absolutely flummoxed, though, which is why I’m writing as I am. You puzzle me. How can you think about all that Christ has done for you, about your Father’s steadfast, immeasurable, extravagantly generous love and still live the way you do? Have you never considered the incarnation, about the Son leaving ineffable light to be consigned first to the darkness of Mary’s womb and then the darkness of this world? Have you never considered how He labored day-after-day in His home, obeying His parents, loving His brothers and sisters so that you could be counted righteous in the sight of His Father? Have you forgotten the bloody disgrace of the cross you deserve? Don’t you know that in the resurrection He demolished sin’s power over you? Aren’t you moved to loving action knowing that He’s now your ascended Lord Who prays for you and daily bears you on His heart? Has your heart of stone never been warmed and transformed by the Spirit? Does this grace really not impel zealous obedience? Hello…Are you there?

Honestly, even though my friends talk about you as though you were just everywhere in every church, always talking about justification but living like the devil, frankly I wonder if you even exist. I suppose you must because everyone is so afraid that talking about grace will produce more of you. So that’s why I’m writing: Will you please come forward? Will you please stand up in front of all of us and tell us that your heart has been captivated so deeply by grace that it makes you want to watch the Playboy channel?

Again, please do forgive me for calling you out like this. I really would like to meet you. I am,

Trusting in Grace Alone,

Elyse

William Graham Tullian Tchividjian is the Senior Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. A Florida native, he is a visiting professor of theology at Reformed Theological Seminary and a grandson of Billy and Ruth Graham.


TOPICS: General Discusssion; Humor; Theology
KEYWORDS: antinomianism; grace; legalism; tchividjian; tulliantchividjian

1 posted on 06/24/2011 6:17:57 PM PDT by Gamecock
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To: drstevej; OrthodoxPresbyterian; CCWoody; Wrigley; Gamecock; Jean Chauvin; jboot; AZhardliner; ...

2 posted on 06/24/2011 6:19:43 PM PDT by Gamecock (It's not eat drink and be merry because tommow we die, but rather because yesterday we were dead.)
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To: Gamecock

Great summation!


3 posted on 06/24/2011 6:38:01 PM PDT by HarleyD
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To: Gamecock
I sort of like the Antinomian types.

Photobucket

4 posted on 06/24/2011 6:47:39 PM PDT by Candor7 (Obama . fascist info..http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/05/barack_obama_the_quintessentia_1.html)
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To: Gamecock
As a Christian, I'm not antinomian. I'm necronomian - dead to the Law, that I might belong to Christ and bear fruit for God!

"So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ,
that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that
we might bear fruit for God
. 5 For when we were in the realm of the flesh,
the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death.
6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve
in the new way of the Spirit
, and not in the old way of the written code."

Romans 7:4-6

5 posted on 06/24/2011 7:04:54 PM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion (A Nation of Sheep Breeds a Government of Wolves!)
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To: Gamecock
...my dear friend Elyse Fitzpatrick (in C.S. Lewis fashion) writes an open letter to Mr. Grace-Loving Antinomian–a person she’s heard about for years but never met–asking him to please step forward and identify himself.

Dear Tullian Tchividjian - I think I can identify him for Elyse! He's the repeatedly banned antinomian blogger delbertt wildcarduces Benchim!

6 posted on 06/24/2011 8:06:33 PM PDT by Alex Murphy (Posting news feeds, making eyes bleed: he's hated on seven continents)
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To: aMorePerfectUnion

There are two laws, which law are you dead to?


7 posted on 06/24/2011 8:08:57 PM PDT by ladyL
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To: Gamecock
Ahem...

No relation to the freeper formerly known as Antinomian.

8 posted on 06/24/2011 8:49:40 PM PDT by SeeSharp
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To: ladyL

ANTINOMIANISM

The doctrine that claims that a person's faith in God and in the person of Christ frees him from the moral obligations of the law, whether natural or positive, biblical or ecclesiastical. It is a logical consequence of any theory that so stresses the work of the Holy Spirit as to exclude the need for co-operation with divine grace. The most authoritative condemnation of Antinomianism was by the Council of Trent, which saw in the Reformation principle of faith without good works the source of Antinomian conclusions. Hence among other anathemas of Trent was the censure of anyone who says that "God has given Jesus Christ to men as a redeemer in whom they are to trust, but not as a lawgiver whom they are to obey" (Denzinger 1571). (Etym. Greek anti, against + nomos, law.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

9 posted on 06/24/2011 9:00:02 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation; Alex Murphy; HarleyD

Which shows the swing towards legalism by the Roman Catholic Church. Interesting who at the Council of Orange Rome was still Gospel centered but Trent reversed Orange.

Tradition? Nah. Contradiction.


10 posted on 06/24/2011 9:11:22 PM PDT by Gamecock (It's not eat drink and be merry because tommow we die, but rather because yesterday we were dead.)
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To: Gamecock
Some Catholic History on Councils

420s
*c. 420 The Semi-Pelagian controversy erupts. Many Pelagians accepted the condemnation of their beliefs at the Council of Carthage (418). In light of that, a more moderate form of Pelagianism, Semi-Pelagianism, arose. It stated that the act of will preceded the grace of salvation. The main proponents of this belief were the monks of Marseilles, including Vincent of Lerins and its main opponents were St. Augustine and his disciple Prosper of Aquitaine. It was condemned at the Second Council of Orange, 529.

*422 Pope St. Celestine I begins his pontificate (-432). During his reign, Nestorius, patriarch of Constantinople, professed the heresy of the two-person nature of Christ, known as Nestorianism.

*c. 422 A mob of Christians in Alexandria murder Hypatia, a renowned female pagan philosopher. They tore her to shreds using sharp roof tiling, then burnt her remains. Damascius attributes the murder to St. Cyril of Alexandria's envy of her reputation; he is, however, a Christian-hater. The Church historian Socrates does not mention any motive on Cyril's part, but says that it did bring disgrace on the Church of Alexandria. More about the incident here

*426 The Council of Africa formally requests the pope that he not be so ready to hear appeals settled in their jurisdiction or lift excommunications that they have imposed. Rome makes no reply.

*427 Nestorius, heresiarch, is appointed Bishop of Constantinople.

*428 Nestorius campaigns and obtains a new law against heresy. His friend, the monk Anastasius, in attempt to promte Nestorius' theology, preaches that the title "Mother of God" should only be used with the greatest of care, if at all. This creates a tumult. Nestorius excommunicates those who object to this novel theology. They appeal to the Emperor.

*429 Vandals invade North Africa led by Genseric. They were Arian and very anti-Catholic. Catholic churches are burnt, Catholic meetings are prohibited, and Catholic clergy are exiled and replaced by Arian clergy.


11 posted on 06/24/2011 9:25:16 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Here is where the confusion comes in...Just as there are TWO HOUSES of Israel that messes up peoples Scripture interpretation there are TWO LAWS that mess up Scripture interpretation. You must determine which law is referenced to in Scripture to know which “law” has been done away with. One law, God's Law, is eternal, written on the hearts of New Covenant/Renewed Covenant Believers. This Law is carried and contained inside of the Ark of the Covenant. DEUT. 10:2 The other law, Moses Law, was carried outside of the Ark and was nailed to the cross. It is dead.

Same with the House of Israel and the House of Judah. Two separate nations, two separate people, two separate destinies. Until you understand that you can't understand Scripture.

12 posted on 06/25/2011 1:42:17 AM PDT by ladyL
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To: Gamecock; Salvation; Alex Murphy
A most excellent read:

As St. Augustine stated,

"Good" people cannot do "good works" without faith in God. Godly works comes from faith and is evidence of faith. Faith is given to us. And good works are given to us as evidence of our faith. It is all God's doing to the praise of His Son's name.
13 posted on 06/25/2011 3:19:46 AM PDT by HarleyD
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To: HarleyD

An excellent read indeed, but in faith first...


14 posted on 06/25/2011 5:56:14 AM PDT by AnalogReigns
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To: Gamecock

I tell you this:

Churches offer too much grace for adultery and not enough challenge to remedy the behavior. I doubt God offers grace for those who do not repent.


15 posted on 06/25/2011 5:58:10 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: HarleyD; All

FYI to everyone:

Cranmer was the English Reformation’s leading Reformer, and pretty much wrote the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, still used in worship around the world by 70+ million Anglicans, the largest Protestant denomination.


16 posted on 06/25/2011 6:05:41 AM PDT by AnalogReigns
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To: yldstrk

There is no faith apart from repentance.

Show me an “easy grace” Church and I’ll show you a faithless one...


17 posted on 06/25/2011 6:08:21 AM PDT by AnalogReigns
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To: ladyL
"There are two laws, which law are you dead to?"

When you are dead, you are dead. The Law no longer has claim on you.


Christians are dead - having been crucified with Christ.

"For I, through the Law, am dead to the Law, that I might live unto God.
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live,
but Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh
I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
I do not make void the grace of God, for if righteousness come by the Law,
then Christ is dead in vain" (Galatians 2:19-21).

There is, of course, a higher law - the law of the Spirit of Life that
overcomes the law of sin and death.

"the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from
the law of sin and death" (Romans. 8:2).

18 posted on 06/25/2011 7:08:56 AM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion (A Nation of Sheep Breeds a Government of Wolves!)
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To: ladyL
"There are two laws, which law are you dead to?"

When you are dead, you are dead. The Law no longer has claim on you.


Christians are dead - having been crucified with Christ.

"For I, through the Law, am dead to the Law, that I might live unto God.
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live,
but Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh
I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
I do not make void the grace of God, for if righteousness come by the Law,
then Christ is dead in vain" (Galatians 2:19-21).

There is, of course, a higher law - the law of the Spirit of Life that
overcomes the law of sin and death.

"the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from
the law of sin and death" (Romans. 8:2).

19 posted on 06/25/2011 7:13:36 AM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion (A Nation of Sheep Breeds a Government of Wolves!)
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To: ladyL
There are two laws, which law are you dead to?

No, the law can be divided into three parts, judicial, ceremonial, and moral. The judicial law was for the governance of Israel at a particular time and place. The ceremonial law has been fulfilled in Christ. And the judicial law has been binding on all people at all times.

20 posted on 06/25/2011 7:17:36 AM PDT by PAR35
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To: yldstrk

Grace is not from the church, but from God.


21 posted on 06/25/2011 7:22:56 AM PDT by Gamecock (It's not eat drink and be merry because tommow we die, but rather because yesterday we were dead.)
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To: Gamecock

“Grace is not from the church, but from God.

Amen!


22 posted on 06/25/2011 7:52:55 AM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion (A Nation of Sheep Breeds a Government of Wolves!)
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To: Gamecock

Jesus directed me to the Old Testament and I rather got more interested in it.


23 posted on 06/25/2011 10:24:36 AM PDT by onedoug (If)
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To: AnalogReigns
but in faith first...

Absolutely. You cannot have good works until you have faith. Faith is a gift from God. So are good works. As Augustine states we do not do good works because we believe. Rather we believe so that we may do good works.

24 posted on 06/26/2011 5:43:25 AM PDT by HarleyD
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