Friday, December 18, 2009

The Lamb is the Lamp

In getting ready to preach on the prophets, I've been revisiting Isaiah's depiction of the New Jerusalem in Isaiah 60. That means I've been thumbing through Richard Mouw's book, When the Kings Come Marching In. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed this book.

Here's one of my favorite (lengthy) quotes:

“I noted earlier the evangelical declaration that ‘It is well with my soul,’ and insisted that this is an important and profoundly biblical expression of Christian assurance. But it is not enough. It is a central confession, but it is a central confession; it is not a full expression of Christian assurance. The God who declares here and now that it is well with my soul is the same creating Lord who once looked at the whole world he had made and proclaimed, ‘This is good.’ This God wants once again to say that things are well with his entire creation — and he will someday do so when he announces, ‘Behold, I make all things new…’ ‘It is well with my soul’ is only a first step, an initial fruit of God’s redeeming activity. We must share in God’s restless yearning for the renewal of the cosmos…

“In their own ways evangelicals have operated with a restricted view of the redemptive ministry of Jesus. They have placed limits on the scope and power of the Cross. In boasting of a ‘full gospel’ they have often proclaimed a truncated Christianity. In speaking of a blood that cleanses from all unrighteousness, they have consistently restricted the meaning of ‘all’. They have given full reign to the blood of Christ within a limited area. They have seen the work of Christ as being a totally transforming power only within individual lives. They have not shown much interest in the work of the Lamb as it applies to the broad reaches of culture or the patterns of political life, nor as a power that heals the racism, ethnocentrism, sexism and injustice that have for so long poisoned human relationships. To such Christians we must insist that the Lamb is indeed the lamp of the City; just as we must insist to liberal Christians that the light which illuminates the City does indeed issue from the Lamb who shed his own blood as a ransom for sin.”

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