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Evangelicals Reject God’s Holiness

From "No Place for Truth: Or whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology" (Eerdmans, 1993), p. 300.

By Dr. David F. Wells

"...the shallowness of modern life derives not from its banality but from its having lost its moral bearings. ... Christ seems to offer little of what this world is asking for. It wants whatever is new; it looks for the next step in the journey of the human spirit...."

"It is this holiness of God, then, without which the Cross of Christ is incomprehensible, that provides the light that exposes modernity's darkness for what it is.... Evangelicals turned from focusing on God's transcendence to focusing on his immanence [pervading all creation] -- and then they took the further step of interpreting his immanence as friendliness with modernity....

"The loss of the traditional vision of God as holy is now manifested everywhere in the evangelical world. It is the key to understanding why sin and grace have become such empty terms.... Divorced from the holiness of God,

  • sin is merely self-defeating behavior or a breach in etiquette...

  • grace is merely empty rhetoric, pious window dressing for the modern technique by which sinners work out their own salvation....

  • our gospel becomes indistinguishable from any of a host of alternative self-help doctrines....

  • our public morality is reduced to little more than an accumulation of trade-offs between competing private interests.

  • our worship becomes mere entertainment.

"The holiness of God is the very cornerstone of Christian faith, for it is the foundation of reality....

"...this God, majestic and holy in his being... has disappeared from the modern evangelical world. He has been replaced in many quarters by a God... whose Word is a plaything for those who wish merely to listen to themselves, whose Church is a mall in which the religious, their pockets filled with the coin of need, do their business. We seek happiness, not righteousness."

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Comment by thewatchman on March 28, 2015 at 8:10am

Yes, Amen. 

Isaiah 6:5 - Then I said, "Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts."

I then think of Paul.  

Comment by LT - TheNET Coordinator on March 28, 2015 at 3:21am

Seeing God's Holiness

Without a view of God's holiness man will always view himself as not being that bad. It is when the holiness of God is revealed that man recognizes about himself that which Peter states so well, “But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord." (Luk 5:8 ESV)


When man comes face to face with the reality of God's holiness and his personal sinfulness he is left with a choice. The question then becomes "What will he do with Jesus?" The Word of God tells us that there are two possibilities as seen in the following verses, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God." (Joh 3:16-21 ESV)

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