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The 50/50 American Gospel

February 24, 2009

The 50/50 gospel offers salvation via a blend of fifty percent grace and fifty percent good behavior. The cross is no longer expiation of sin but an example of how to live sacrificially. People are good enough to choose Christ but they simply need to be reminded of how good a choice he is. Broken marriages, patterns of sexual sin, deep-seated anger, and rampant debt are primarily the product of our failure to behave like Jesus.

Enter the church. The church can remind us, exhort us, even train us to be like Jesus, to make good moral decisions, not bad ones. According to the 50/50 gospel, we need the grace of God’s example and a faithful commitment to be on our best behavior. This is the 50/50 gospel, and it is anathema.

Read the rest here.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Joanna permalink
    February 25, 2009 1:02 pm

    Hi Jonathan–

    I’ve been following you posts on Resurgence for a while and they always cut to the core: the Gospel. I shared your “The Church: A Gospel-Centered Community Part. 2” post on my FB profile and it elicited a wide range of respones. Praise God for your boldness.

    This is a water-in-the-face post that really struck a chord with me. I thiink I’ve heard a dangerous version of the 50/50 gospel since I was young–I don’t think I’ve believed the 100% gospel until recently.

    Just wanted to say thank your for serving me through your posts. And, I am spazzing-out over NLOTH: another U2 reinvention gone right!

  2. February 25, 2009 1:12 pm

    Thanks for the wonderful feedback, Joanna. I am pleased to hear the Lord is working his gospel out in your life and hope that your FB commenters also benefit.

    It’s rare to receive such a warm comment on a blog, so thank you. I’ll press on with you in the grace he provides.

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