Thursday, July 27, 2006

David Wells on the Holiness of God (2)

Until we recognise afresh the centrality of God's holiness, until it once again enters into the innermost fibres of evangelical faith, our virtue will lack seriousness, our belief will lack poignancy, our practice will lack moral pungency, our worship will lack joyful seriousness, our preaching will lack the mordancy of grace, and the church will be just one more special interest pleading for a hearing in a world of competing enterprises. Until we acknowledge God's holiness, we will not be able to deny the authority of modernity. What has most been lost needs most to be recovered - namely, the unsettling, disconcerting fact that God is holy and we place ourselves in great peril if we seek to render him a plaything of our piety, an ornamental decoration on the religious life, a product to answer our inward dissatisfactions. God offers himself on his own terms or not at all. The deity who now appears to lie so limply upon the church is, in fact the living and glorious God. His hand may be stayed by patience and grace, but it is certain that he will eventually pass judgement on the world. It is this holy God, glorious in his being, doing wonders, who beckons his people to a deeper working knowledge of himself, and it is he who breaks the power of modernity.
From God in the Wasteland p. 145
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said:
“ Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;
The whole earth is full of His glory!”
And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.So I said:
“ Woe is me, for I am undone!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King,
The LORD of hosts.”
(Isaiah 6:1-5)
In Above All Earthly Powers David Wells promises to discuss the challenge of Christ in a postmodern world. But my copy hasn't turned up from Amazon yet!

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