(Bible Gateway) How to Be the Kind of Christian People Can’t Resist: An Interview with Scott Sauls

Why does the word Christian evoke negative reaction among many people?

Scott Sauls: One of the main reasons for this is nominalism, or the dynamic of people being ‘Christian,’ but in name only. Most especially, when kids and teens and young adults see their parents acting differently in private than they do in public—when their parents’ ‘church self’ is markedly different than the ‘home self’ or ‘Friday night self;’ when their use of things like sex, money, and power are contradictory to the Christian ethic, young people start to associate ‘Christian’ with ‘hypocrite.’

What do you mean when you write, “The problem isn’t with Christianity as much as it is with our flawed approach to and understanding of Christianity.”

Scott Sauls: I think there are two errors that many of us fall into, and that lead to a flawed approach to faith. The first is the ‘grace without truth’ error, which leads us to soften the call of the gospel. ‘Jesus loves me, this I know’ becomes an excuse to follow the world instead of following Jesus. It makes us more prone to deny our neighbor, take up our comforts, and follow our dreams than to deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow Jesus. The grace without truth error is salt without savor, light without heat. It’s anemic. It isn’t faith, but is, rather, codependent enabling of others and of self.

Likewise, there’s the ‘truth without grace’ error, which leads us to shame, scold, and separate. And, of course, few things corrupt and diminish the true Christian witness more than such things. We must return to the pattern of Christ, who welcomed sinners and ate with them, and who was willing to be misunderstood—even mischaracterized as a glutton and a drunk—because of who he associated with…

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Posted in Religion & Culture, Theology