Who is Jesus?
Christless Christianity in the Contemporary Church
Contemporary Christianity wants a powerful, successful, and popular Jesus, but not a Jesus who was crucified. Therefore, Jesus is seen as a coach, therapist, buddy, political messiah, and a moral example, but not as an atoning sacrifice that satisfies God’s wrath against sin. The preacher will often focus on moral reform and progressive sanctification rather than on repentance and faith in the forgiveness of sins. The Bible is taken out of context for the purpose of a certain agenda. The Gospel is assumed and, therefore, seldom mentioned and the Sacraments are minimized. Instead of defending the faith, many want to “give their testimony” or “tell their story”.
St. Paul determined not to know anything among the Corinthian church except Jesus Christ and Him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2). The apostle had the cross at the heart and center of the Gospel. The message of the cross may be foolish to the world, but it is the way of bringing salvation to us sinners. We are not ashamed of the Gospel. It is the power of our salvation.
Mr. Craig Parton is a trial lawyer and partner with a law firm in Santa Barbara, California. Upon graduation from college, he spent seven years on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ. His long journey from generic American evangelicalism to confessional Lutheranism is described in his book, The Defense Never Rests: A Lawyer’s Quest for the Gospel (CPH 2003). He is also the author of Religion on Trial (Wipf & Stock 2008) and has published articles in Modern Reformation and Logia–A Journal of Lutheran Theology. He is a member of Wayfarer’s Lutheran Chapel in Fillmore, California.
Rev. Todd Wilken is the host of the radio program Issues, Etc. (found at: www.issuesetc.org). He is also assistant pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Millstadt, Illinois. He is a graduate of Concordia Seminary in 1990. He has written articles for magazines, such as, Modern Reformation, Higher Things, and For the Life of the World. He was born and raised in Dallas, Texas.