The Theology of Glory – Greg Albrecht
I just wanted to thank you for the recent (October issue) CWR magazine article “For those who are a little banged up.” The article was helpful and inspirational, but what really helped me was a part of the article that helped me clarify an issue that has been a bit vague and confusing for me. I really appreciated the important explanation of the theology of human glory which unfortunately embodies most of Christendom today.
I know that Jesus during his earthly ministry stated to his disciples “flesh and blood” did not reveal to them that he was the Christ, and the Son of God. I believe he has revealed this to me, and while you are, like me, “flesh and blood” still I am thankful you are proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have had very serious reservations about attending or joining a church for years now. I started to see that a fear-based teaching about eternal conscious torment in hell which coincided with a massive emphasis on performance and human effort to maintain ones relationship with God was way off base, compared with the gospel.
Now, although you and your team continually teach the centrality of the cross of Christ this most recent article opened my eyes. You have explained and revealed what I consider a spiritual truth which the world continues to struggle to understand. I believe this realization that so many churches are not preaching the gospel, but the theology of human glory is the revealing work of God’s Holy Spirit during these time in human history.
While they may have once preached the gospel, so many churches in Christendom have fallen by the wayside, off the path of following Jesus Christ. They have fallen for, among other things, the theology of glory. The idea that one can fix oneself, the idea that one can manipulate God and earn his good favor, the idea that “church” is a place of self-help where programs and seminars and recovery groups are all about what a person can do to improve and overcome – such content and topics may be true and helpful, but it is not the gospel.
Such an emphasis is not “church” in the sense that such teaching and ideas can be heard and read in bookstores, online, in the library, in small groups devoted to a particular topic, like smoking or alcoholism. The gospel of the cross – of suffering – of picking up one’s cross and following Jesus is a much more difficult “sell” within Christendom – who likes to hear that?
By the grace of God you seem to have a Christ-centered focus while first and foremost putting your priority on looking to Jesus – placing your focus on him. That’s what Jesus has in mind in Matthew 6:3, in my opinion – seek the kingdom first.
Follow Jesus first. For that reason we at PTM and CWR speak of faith alone, grace alone and Christ alone. In the same way we speak of “all Jesus all the time.” Seek the gospel of Jesus Christ. Don’t be tantalized by diversions from the Jesus Way that will lead you deep into the jungle and swamps of Christ-less religion!