Reformation Piety

Monday, 01 Jul 2002

Seeking spectacular conversions requires embracing spectacular means; and the more we concentrate on these, the less stock we put in the ordinary means that God has promised to bless.
Many of us were reared in pious evangelical homes and churches where "Christianity" and "Churchianity" were regularly contrasted. Christianity involved having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ whereas Churchianity involved an attachment to mere externals. This contrast could also appear in terms of the informal versus the formal, real versus nominal, born-again versus dead religion-or as an inward, individual, direct, and deeply personal experience with God as contrasted with an external, corporate, mediated, and sacramental faith. In these sharp antitheses between personal experience and churchmanship, unnecessary divisions occur that rob us all of what each ...

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