Michael Wittmer, Professor of Systematic & Historical Theology at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, recent came to Southeastern Seminary to discuss how the gospel impacts all of our lives in his message, “Making Whole Life Disciples.”
Here are a few excerpts:
After salvation, then what?
“It’s most important that sinners turn from their sins and put their faith in Christ. But then what? How do ordinary Christians integrate their faith into their normal, everyday lives? And how do we as pastors and Christian leaders inspire them to do so? We’re going to need a robust theology of creation. And to do that, we’re going to have to honestly confront the tension of life.”
On God’s good gifts to humans.
“God matters more than the world. Of course he does! But we can overplay that tension that we act as if the world doesn’t matter at all. In fact, you read some authors as if you can’t enjoy a sandwich as a sandwich. You can only enjoy God through the sandwich. Now of course, you do enjoy God through the sandwich. But a sandwich is more than just a window to God. It’s also a sandwich. And God wants us to enjoy it.”
Why the Christian hope is unique.
“We’re also the only religion in which the good stuff comes here. How did the Lord teach us to pray? ‘Our Father in heaven, thy kingdom come.’ The kingdom comes.
“In every other religion, the good stuff happens somewhere else, high up and far away. So if you’re a Buddhist, you want to go Nirvana, some other place. If you’re a Native American, [you want to go to] some happy hunting ground in the sky. Only the Christian faith says, ‘No. The good stuff comes here.’ How does the Bible end? Almost the last paragraph of the bible is ‘Come, Come Lord Jesus.’ So redemption is aimed at creation.”
On the gospel
“The gospel is nothing that we achieve. It’s something we receive.”