A great post from an article by Glen Stassen, who was the teacher for a class I had in Christian Ethics at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary sometime between 1978 and 1980. Stassen stayed at Southern Seminary longer than most of the teachers I had there, but finally left when it became apparent that his kind of teaching was no longer listened to. The kind of “evasion” he talks about here is exactly what they’re teaching at Southern now, under the “guidance” of one Al Mohler.
Evading Jesus at inward/outward
Christendom could not have functioned all these centuries without creating some kind of self-justification for its evasion of the way of Jesus, so it created the idea that the Sermon on the Mount is high ideals, hard teachings, impossible. The problem is not just that we donâ€™t practice what we teach. What we teach is: youâ€™re not expected to practice it!
The tradition of evasion is with us still. We still have churches with cheap grace and vague praise of Jesus without Jesusâ€™ way. We still have a Christ without a way to follow, and we still imagine a God who blesses us because we are good people, though lacking a counter-cultural ethic. The Gospel is preached with little concrete direction (other than religious piety and civic virtue) and we sing praise songs about Jesus in which Jesus is not allowed to speak with any content that confronts our way of living.