Friday, February 20, 2009

To live is Christ

This morning Jared Wilson reminds us that there are, not two, but three approaches to living:
Do not preach as if there are two ways: living God's way or living man's way. Because there are three ways to live: moralistically, irreligiously, and the gospel.
Wilson embeds this short comment by Tim Keller in which he defines the choices as approaches to living.
  1. The gospel approach
  2. The moralistic religious approach
  3. The irreligious secular approach

Keller says he was influenced by C.S. Lewis's wartime essay, "Three Kinds of Men," from which, this:
There are three kinds of people in the world. The first class is of those who live simply for their own sake and pleasure.... In the second class are those who acknowledge some other claim upon them — the will of God, the categorical imperative, or the good of society — and honestly try to pursue their own interests no further than this claim will allow. .... But the third class is of those who can say like St Paul that for them "to live is Christ".' These people have got rid of the tiresome business of adjusting the rival claims of Self and God by the simple expedient of rejecting the claims of Self altogether. .... The will of Christ no longer limits theirs; it is theirs. All their time, in belonging to Him, belongs also to them, for they are His.

And because there are three classes, any merely twofold division of the world into good and bad is disastrous. It overlooks the fact that the members of the second class (to which most of us belong) are always and necessarily unhappy. .... The Christian doctrine that there is no "salvation" by works done according to the moral law is a fact of daily experience. .... If the new Self, the new Will, does not come at His own good pleasure to be born in us, we cannot produce Him synthetically.

The price of Christ is something, in a way, much easier than moral effort — it is to want Him. It is true that the wanting itself would be beyond our power but for one fact. The world is so built that, to help us desert our own satisfactions, they desert us. War and trouble and finally old age take from us one by one all those things that the natural Self hoped for at its setting out. Begging is our only wisdom, and want in the end makes it easier for us to be beggars. Even on those terms the Mercy will receive us. (1943) (C.S. Lewis, "Three Kinds of Men," Present Concerns, Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1986, pp. 21-22)
The Gospel-Driven Church: Three Kinds of Men

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated. I will gladly approve any comment that responds directly and politely to what has been posted.