Month: November 2011

Christian “License” is Actually Legalism

Read this helpful excerpt from an interview with Tullian Tchividijian regarding his new book: Jesus + Nothing = Everything.

Legalism: The Enemy of the Gospel

There’s a common misunderstanding in today’s church, which says there are two equal dangers Christians must avoid. On one side of the road is a ditch called “legalism”; on the other is a ditch called “license” or “lawlessness.” Legalism, they say, happens when you focus too much on law, on rules.

Lawlessness, they say, happens when you focus too much on grace. Therefore, in order to maintain spiritual equilibrium, you have to balance law and grace. If you start getting too much law, you need to balance it with grace. If you start getting too much grace, you need to balance it with law. This dichotomy exposes our failure to understand gospel grace as it really is; it betrays our blindness to all the radical depth and beauty of grace.

2 Legalisms

It’s much more theologically accurate to say that there is one primary enemy of the gospel–legalism–but it comes in two forms. Some people avoid the gospel and try to “save” themselves by keeping the rules, doing what they’re told, maintaining the standards, and so on (I call this “front-door legalism”). Other people avoid the gospel and try to “save” themselves by breaking the rules, doing whatever they want, developing their own autonomous standards, and so on (“back-door legalism”). In other words, there are two “laws” we can choose to live by apart from Christ: the law which says, “I can find freedom and fullness of life if I keep the rules,” and the law which says, “I can find freedom and fullness of life if I break the rules.” Either way, you’re trying to “save” yourself, which means both are legalistic because both are self-salvation projects. So what some call “license” is just another form of legalism.

Get the book    Read Rest of Interview

Update on Gospel-Centered Discipleship (the book)

Things are warming up for the release of Gospel-Centered Discipleship. This book has turned out to be a blend of theology and practice of discipleship. While retaining the core elements of my self-published Fight Clubs, GCD is certainly a new book in many respects.

This Fall, I’m testing out some of the new material on the road (while working out new material at home for a follow up book). I’ll be speaking on discipleship in Georgia and Florida over the next two weeks. So, hopefully these ideas will get good traction for the gospel in those churches and ministries.

For now, I thought I’d throw up some of the promo design Crossway has put together. I really like it. Hope you do too!

 

GLOW: Our New Worship EP!

I am thrilled to announce the arrival of Austin City Life’s 2nd Worship EP: GLOW on November 13!

These four songs are rich in theological depth and diverse in musical arrangement. From indie folk of “Beautiful Love” to the pop of “You are God and I am Not”, these songs also share a common theme of reflecting the glory of Christ. Drawing on the riches of the gospel, we hope these songs will provoke you to glow with Jesus’ glory.