In my sermon yesterday, I mentioned that many of the main points that make the gospel such wonderfully good news are being attacked or belittled from within the ranks of those calling themselves evangelical Christians.
For the sake of time, I did not get into any of those attacks in the sermon. If I'd had the time, I would have at least mentioned this quote from Steve Chalke and Alan Mann in their book, The Lost Message of Jesus.
“The fact is that the cross isn’t a form of cosmic child abuse—a vengeful Father, punishing his Son for an offence he has not even committed. Understandably, both people inside and outside of the Church have found this twisted version of events morally dubious and a huge barrier to faith. Deeper than that, however, is that such a concept stands in total contradiction to the statement: God is love”. If the cross is a personal act of violence perpetrated by God towards humankind but borne by his Son, then it makes a mockery of Jesus’ own teaching to love your enemies and to refuse to repay evil with evil.”
I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that this statement is blasphemous. What's most alarming is that, from what I understand, Chalke is considered the face of evangelical Christianity in London. And the book in which this quote is found is published by Zondervan, the biggest Christian publisher in the business.
What the Apostle Paul said to the Ephesian elders (Acts 20:29ff) is obviously just as true today as when it was written nearly 2,000 years ago:
"I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert..."