The Clash of the Gospels

The philosopher-king Solomon once said, “There is nothing new under sun.” Like Solomon, every generation learns this the hard way.

For some odd reason we attempt to refute this statement.  We always think, “We are going to be the ones to come up with something really new!”  Solomon’s perennial principle always resurfaces.  What we discover as novel always turns out to be rather historical. Whether it’s the archeologist digging down, or the astronomer looking up, our explorations always lead to ancient realities.

Quit looking for something new.  It doesn’t exist.

I was reminded of this today.  I guess everyone considers their Sitz im Leben (situation in life) as unique.  It’s not.

I reviewed two documents today – a debate on creationism & Darwinism, and then my sermon notes from Galatians for the campus church.  I was surprised to find a striking similarity.  Both writings center on one basic distinction, either man’s fate is up to man – OR – it is up to God.

About the Cosmos: Either God exists and made the world – OR – nature is all there is, or ever was, or ever will be (to parapharase Carl Sagan).

About the Gospel: Either it is from man – OR – it came from God (see Galatians 1:11,12).

About Justification: Either it is up to man – OR – it is completely contigent upon God (see Galatians 2:15,16)

There has always been a cosmic clash of the gospels: the gospel of man and the gospel of God.

People have always believed in one or the other.  In the book of Galatians, Paul is astonished that some believers left Christianity for another gospel.  They had found something new.  The problem is, what they found was really only something old.  In the clash of the gospels, they chose to exalt man and deny God.

You either believe in some form of a man-centered gospel or you believe in a God-centered gospel.

You do believe the gospel, make no doubt about it.  The question is, “Which gospel do you believe?”