Against cheap grace

… and compromised proclamation

A sermon preached by Dr Christopher Holmes
at saint benedict’s table on November 9, 2008

“We Christians are quite skilled at baptizing ways of life that are contrary to the ways of Christ,” or so claims Chris Holmes in this sermon preached on the text Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25.  As a theologian with a strong holmes_sbt.jpgaffinity for the witness and message of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, it did not escape his notice that this visit to our community came on the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the night on which good German citizens – most of whom would have comfortably self-identified as Christians and church-goers – took to the streets to attack Jewish homes, businesses and synagogues.

God’s claim upon us is real and challenging, even dangerously so.  God is neither indifferent nor without judgment, for “the God the Bible gives us is one who rages against sin and death.”  Yet, as Holmes elegantly suggests, this is must not be detached from mercy, for we follow “a God who rages, through Jesus Christ, against whatever compromises our true humanity.”

Dr Christopher Holmes is Associate Professor of Theology and Ethics at Providence Seminary, and an active member of St Margaret’s Anglican Church in Winnipeg.

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