The Two Christian Paradigms

Within Christianity there are basically  Two Christian Paradigms.    One is where God has done everything for you. So. Let's say you're in a foreign country.

And the other, where God has done a portion for you. God may have done 99.9% and all that remains for you is that miniscule fraction of a percentage point, but it is a portion nonetheless. In this paradigm there are, of course, varrying degrees of percentages of effort, and or sincerity on your part, from a very little (as we have already discussed) to extensive, and quite involved.

Pastor Mark Anderson has done a pretty neat job of explaining just how these paradigms operate within our Christian lives and offers some good reasons as to why one of these paradigms is the truth, and the other is a lie.

Maybe you disagree with this assessment of the two modes of Christian faith, and can offer up a viable alternative.

The accompanying sermon is about 22 minutes and might just supply you all the ammo that you need to either concur or refute Pastor Anderson’s claims.

(click on the blue ‘Two Christian Paradigms’ in the first sentence to hear the sermon)


17 Responses

  1. A full plate lately, haven’t had a chance to explore the audio clips you’ve been posting.

    Down the road I’ll get to a couple! But thanks for adding them and asking good questions to ponder. I look forward to hearing this sermon … in a week or so! Thanks, Steve.

  2. Dennis,

    I know how it is. So much to do. Not enough hours in the day!
    Thanks for the note. I know you’ll enjoy the audio clips when you’re able.
    Take care, my Friend, and God bless!

    – Steve

  3. Those who hold to the God-did-a-portion paradigm are really sabotaging Christianity, for then it becomes like any other religion.

  4. Hannah,

    Exactly! Well put, Hannah.
    If you have an extra twenty minutes to listen to the sermon (audio) on the post, I think you’ll loveit.
    It’s one that is terrific to send to friends to listen to that are stuck in the ‘how to’ churches.

    How’s the foot coming along?

    – Steve

  5. This was an excellent sermon, built upon the finished and perfect work of Jesus Christ. He nailed it every way that is possible, and he diagnosed the problems very well, and along with that diagnosis he prescribed the perfect cure…..Jesus Christ in the place of sinners. I know these past two weeks I’ve been struggling with a ladder of my own design, and tonight I received a healthy reminder that Christ broke my ladder in Baptism that I might fall into His gracious and merciful hands. I loved what He said about the finished work of Jesus, “That Jesus’ death for the forgiveness of our sins is not the first step on the ladder, but the last.” It reminded me of something Bo Giertz said in his book “The Hammer of God”. Where this pastor for part of his life was law driven, but was set free through the Gospel and he was counseling a young pastor and said, “For a time I preached on what we must do, but now I preach what has been done for us through Jesus Christ”.

    I cannot stress highly enough how much I appreciated this message. I once heard Tom Baker of Law & Gospel make a similar point about John 3:16. He said that there are two approaches to John 3:16 one is wrong, and the other is right. One approach makes John 3:16 a requirement to be saved, where the emphasis is on our believing, and in doing this, the Gospel gets lost in a cloud of sinful self-righteousness; this way is utterly and sinfully wrong. The other, the Christian way, is to see John 3:16 as a Promise, where the focus is on the love God in Christ Jesus to save sinners, our “believing” has nothing to do with it.

    Invariably, most of Christianity is asking the wrong question and receiving a worse answer. They start by asking, “Am I good enough, do I believe enough, am I doing enough to be worthy of heaven?” and the answer is of course, “Well….no you’re not, but you’re so close, just go a little bit further, have you tried fasting?” The true question we must ask is, “Was Christ perfect enough, sinless enough, is His death & resurrection full and final enough for my sins?” One cannot help but answer emphatically “Yes” to all of those questions. If one is to answer “no” than your either a turk a pagan, but you’re no Christian.

  6. This sermon and message is a blessing. I sure needed to hear this today.

    I laughed when he spoke about the “books” …

    “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?”

    Steve, I am listening a third time. My friend would really like this message.

  7. “Therefore, we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”

  8. Magdalene,

    Glad you liked the sermon. Pass it along.

    I’ll forward your comments to Mark (Pastor Anderson).

    He will be happy that the Word is making it’s way. As if he didn’t know it would (with or without him).

    – Steve

  9. That verse from Romans 6 is one of my favorite in all of the bible!

  10. Everything that is being said in this sermon is what I have processed and learned the past two years—I love God’s Word. Everything that is being stated is true. And, we must share this with the world—and remind ourselves, daily.

  11. Pastor Anderson’s sermon could put a lot of people out of business. 😉

  12. ‘When the spirit of God grips the heart and mind, religion ends and faith begins.’ Truthful and beautiful word.

    Many churches today teach the ladder-climbing, self-righteous works project (a perfect description)… sending them home with another self-help book. A person can never become worthy enough.

    Dying to the old and being raised to the new.

    Luther’s Small Catechism: What is the significance of such a baptism with water? Answer: It signifies that daily the old person in us with all our sins and evil desires is to be drowned through sorrow for sin and repentance, and that daily a new person is to come forth and rise up to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.

  13. Everything has been accomplished through Christ. We can rest and live with HIm and Believe in His Promises.

    I wonder if Pastor Anderson has a sermon on Confession.

  14. Magdalene,

    Thanks for your very encouraging comments.

    Pastor Mark often says that if preachers would just hand Christ over, that it would put a lot of people out of business.

    But then the Holy Spirit would be in business (in many more lives).

    – Steve

  15. I’ll check and see if I can find one on Confession.

    It’s kind of tough because we are just starting to get organized with recording and cataloging the sermons. We have a ways to go. But I’ll try and put some more up that I think you’d like.

  16. Steve,

    That’s funny!

    “Pastor Mark often says that if preachers would just hand Christ over, that it would put a lot of people out of business.”

    He must have been thinking about ‘those folks with the formula!” 😉

    Remember, in the beginning of the sermon—”the born-again formula” … lol

    Steve… no hurry about the “Confession” sermon, just saw the subject in my Luther’s Catechism following Baptism.

  17. Have a wonderful evening.

    Thank you for sharing God’s Word and the sermon.

    God bless.

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