Saturday, April 5, 2008


The Internet Monk, who bills himself as a “post-evangelical,” has a very interesting article entitled, Out of Business With God. Subtitle, “I'm throwing out the vending machine Gospel.”

He makes some excellent points. God does not do things for us in response to anything we’ve done. He does not save us or answer our prayers because we believe (and He is thereby flattered), but through our faith, since only belief is capable of receiving, or even asking for, His gifts. He does not love us because of anything anybody has done, including Jesus; instead, He sent Jesus to do those things because He already loved us. (Romans 5:8) He does not graft us into Christ because we are baptized; rather, Holy Baptism is that grafting. He does not send us the Holy Spirit because we are chrismated, but Holy Chrismation is the reception of the Holy Spirit already sent. He does not forgive us because we repent; instead, our repentance is our embracing of that forgiveness already poured out upon the world from the Cross. He does not save us because of anything we have done – although He doesn’t save us without our doing it, either, for salvation by definition is our transformation into, among other things, “doers of the Word” (James 1:22) and co-workers with God. (2 Corinthians 6:1)

There is no vending-machine Christianity, insert your coin (faith) and out comes Grace in various wrappings. There is no bargaining with God, no way to get Him to do anything, because He has already done everything for us and given us everything. It’s just up to us whether or not we want it.

Hat tip: Is God Anonymous?