Structure and Content

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Growing Dominion #2

We must seek to understand the tasks assigned to us by God as we exercise dominion in the world. In doing this, we have to remember the basic “creation, fall, redemption” structure. But there is a pitfall here, to which Christians in the West are particularly prone. We like structures and outlines, and too often we think that we have the Christian worldview simply because we have the outline of the Christian worldview.

But our redemption was accomplished through the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, and one of the fundamental lessons we should learn from the Incarnation is that particular content matters. Jesus grew up in Nazareth, not Lexington. His mother was named Mary, not Sally. He was a Jew, not a Gentile. In other words, we were not saved by a death and resurrection pattern. We were saved by the death of a particular man, and in the resurrection of that same particular man, God declared Him with power to be the Son of God.

This is important because those who emphasize Christian content (while neglecting the Christian structure or pattern for their lives) usually wind up with some form of pietism. In other words, the underlying realities are all pagan, while the vocabulary remains Christian. At the same time, those who emphasize Christian patterns (dispensing with the content) find themselves at the end of the day worshiping any idol which broadly follows the outline of the gospel story, which of course all false gospels do.

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Kevin Brendler
Kevin Brendler
6 years ago

“But there is a pitfall here, to which Christians in the West are particularly prone. We like structures and outlines ….” And miss the Story. The Reformed are notorious for this. Evangelicals can no longer be bothered with structures and outlines, but the Reformed place *ALL* their tulips in them … and miss the Story. The content is Story … the historia salutis. As someone has said, “Christianity appeals to history, and to history it must go.” The Reformed have misunderstood the apostle Paul because they don’t get his historical moment. They think Paul was contending against human effort added… Read more »