Mixed drinks lure us in. They mask the punch of an undiluted shot of scotch and increase the sex appeal with fancy colors and garnish. Theology is no different. We can mix in teachings, trite sayings, and bible verses in a way that can mask the punch of a word of law or add a bit of condemnation to a liberating word of grace.
This is a problem.
Grace should be drunk straight. It doesn't need colors and garnish, in fact anything that we try to add to grace just gets rid of the kick. @@When we add to grace, we lose the scandal and find something that's less offensive and easier to swallow.@@
At the bar called evangelical Christianity, the preachers are experts in mixed drinks and rarely give out the two, undiluted shots of God's two Words - the straight Law and the straight Gospel. But now is the time to get rid of the cocktails - it's time for grace "to be drunk straight." And as a way of detoxing ourselves of dangerous theological cocktails, here's a recipe that you should be aware of.
A Cocktail Guide to Glawspel
1 oz - Jesus, Grace, Gospel Talk
2 oz - "Do this"
2 oz - "Try harder"
Garnish: Lots of fruit... the more fruit the better.
And whatever you do make sure to call it "Gospel-Centered."
How to Make a Glawspel Cocktail
Making glawspel is simple and can be made easily by an amateur theologian; first you need a little bit of law and a little bit of grace and you need to start mixing those up. Being Gospel-centered is actually popular in our evangelical subcultures. But what is often called Gospel-centered is more accurately a well-mixed drink of Glawspel. It is the law disguised as Gospel. It is something that people put their hope in all the while having their consciences burdened by their own failures.
Do you want to make some good Glawspel statements?
Turn grace into something you do. Focus on the commands of Jesus - love God, love others. Focus solely on the importance of the Christian being the emobodiment of Christ in the world. Emphasize radical Christianity; make sure the Christian is burdened with the call to a radical, missional lifestyle.
And here's the key. Because none of those above statements are necessarily bad things. The commands of Jesus are good, representing Christ to your neighbors is good, and living missionally is an important part of the Christian life.
@@If you want to make the perfect Glawspel cocktail, call the law "Gospel."@@ Make people think the Gospel is something they need to do. Make people believe that the Gospel is about their obedience instead of Christ's.
"The first manner of confounding Law and Gospel is the one most easily recognized--and the grossest...Christ is represented as a new Moses, or Lawgiver, and the Gospel turned into a doctrine of meritorious works, while at the same time those who teach that the Gospel is the message of the free grace of God in Christ are condemned and anathematized, as is done by the papists." - CFW Walther
The Glawspel cocktail is one of the most dangerous because people believe they are trusting the Gospel while in reality their confidence rests in their own efforts and intentions.