Though clearly our aim is not to focus on controversial issues on Gentle Reformation, there are times to make known debates when doing so will help sharpen the mind of the church on vital topics. This is especially important when influential pastors and authors are involved. I do so again today.
Recently I drew your attention to a series of posts written about the doctrine of total depravity and the Christian. The gifted pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Tullian Tchividjian, created a stir because of the way his article wed too strongly the believer with an ongoing depravity.
Tchividjian has sought to overcome the concerns expressed by others with a new post entitled “God Doesn’t Need Your Good Works…But Your Neighbor Does.” Sadly, despite much truth in his article, it will only raise further concerns. If “wedding” was the problem in his first post, “divorcing” is the problem here as he separates too strongly sanctification from God Himself. The statement from his article that summarizes its theme would be this: “The aim and direction of good works are horizontal, not vertical.” According to numerous passages, including Matthew 25:31-46 where Jesus taught that believers will be rewarded on Judgment Day according to good works that ultimately were done unto Him, this statement is simply not true.
To read a gracious yet firm critique, see Puritan Seminary’s Professor David Murray’s article “Tullian Keeps Digging.”