Archive for October, 2008|Monthly archive page

A Means to an End or an End to a Means?

The question I have posed as the title of this post is directly related to the issue of sanctification in our lives as followers of Jesus Christ. Does this question imply that I am to do nothing with respect to sanctification? Should I contemplate my sanctification so as to appropriate my growth in the fact that I am already sanctified? By no means! What I desire to say and what has solidified in the conversation about sanctification, for me at least, is that sanctification is not a means to an end, but an end to a means. Sanctification is not a means by which I reach for God and grasp His promise of an objective hope known as eternal life in heaven. If this were the case, then I might be tempted to wake up every morning and really get busy doing good for the Lord. Rather, sanctification should be viewed as an end to a means. What God has done for us through Jesus Christ effectively puts an end to any means by which we might self-justify ourselves, even righteous talk of progression by means of sanctification! This is the language of Jesus Christ being our sanctification. (1 Cor. 1:30) When Paul talks about Jesus Christ here, he says that Jesus is our wisdom from God. And in case we miss it completely, Paul unpacks it further by explaining what he means; righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. He is everything! This negates any attempts we might even be tempted to make where boasting about our progress is concerned.

The Lutheran view and the Reformed view do well here, they seem to understand the necessary tension that must exist between talking about sanctification while not allowing the discussion to slip into a tacit approval of works righteousness. The other views seem at times to slip into this trap, maybe not intentionally, but certainly if taken to their logical conclusion then the end is works righteousness. This does not have to be. Sanctification is not the Pelagian magic wand we wave to get God to open wide the gates of heaven. Sanctification, rather, is spoken of as a completed act by which we can rest comfortably in the knowledge, and the growth in this knowledge, of the depth of what God has wrought in us as new creations.


Crossroads Church Plant, KC

I am posting a link here to a prospectus written by AJ Vanderhorst for a new church plant in downtown KC. He has done an amazing job putting together a well-thought out plan for reaching the growing urban core of KC with the gospel. Please take the time to read, pray, and consider how you might assist AJ and his team as they go forward with this project.

Augustine the Rat, RIP (2006-2008)

Augustine the Rat officially passed away today. For those of you who don’t know, this is not a joke, we really have owned a pet rat for the last two years. There was some amount of irony involved from the beginning due to the fact that Steph brought him home after our cat passed away. Replacing a cat with a rat, I always found that amusing. The kids are rather sad, Steph cried, and I even found myself a little emotional. Okay, I’ll admit it, I loved that rat and I am not ashamed to say so. He was probably the most amazing pet we’ve ever had. He knew his name, would sit on your shoulder and sniff your ear, stand on his hind legs and beg for cheese…all of things rats are supposed to do. Plus, I loved the way that he would freak people out when they would come over. No one was ever quite the same after meeting Augustine. So tonight we as a family say goodbye to the coolest rat we’ve ever known, Augustine, RIP…