Rev. Richard Phillips
We have been discussing the terminology Depraved Christian on the Puritanboard. You might gain some insight on this matter and why it is important at this link also.
Reverend Richard Phillips noted…..
One of the most pressing concerns in Reformed churches today is the importance of getting the gospel right. Recently, Reformed churches have had to oppose the Federal Vision theology, which compromises justification by inserting good works into the definition of faith. Unfortunately, Christians tend to defend doctrines by erring in the opposite direction. So it is that Reformed churches are presently facing a corruption of the gospel by the virtual denial of sanctification and good works….
When it comes to sanctification, then, the logical implication of Tchividjian’s reasoning is this: why should I exert any effort towards holiness since I am still totally depraved? For this reason, Tchividjian’s formula, commendably designed to exalt God’s grace, actually denigrates the grace of God in regeneration by leaving sinners in their totally depraved condition….
Concerns that Tchividjian downplays the reality of a Christian’s sanctification are heightened when he pits Christian growth against reliance on God’s grace. Consider his statement:
Many Christians think that becoming sanctified means that we become stronger and stronger, more and more competent. And although we would never say it this way, we Christian’s (sic) sometimes give the impression that sanctification is growth beyond our need for Jesus and his finished work for us: we needed Jesus a lot for justification; we need him less for sanctification.
Notice the dichotomy. To believe that in sanctification we are becoming stronger and stronger, and more spiritually competent, must mean we think that we no longer need Jesus and his finished work. Conversely, those who rely onJesus should not expect to grow stronger or more competent.
The above was written in response to the following
Are Christians Totally Depraved Tullian Tchividjian?
I absolutely think Tchividjian helps us understand and proves that antinomianism is becoming prevalent amongst the Reformed Church just by his conclusions. Rick Phillips nails this issue in his Reformation 21 blog post that he wrote in response to Pastor Tchividjian’s blog. I am grateful that Pastor T. has let us see behind the veil of what he is thinking. This is not to impose ill motive to Pastor T. He is a goodly man who wants to see Christ exalted. At the same time I pray he tunes up his understanding concerning the Gospel and salvation a bit more. Evidently, I am not the only one who thinks this needs to happen. Good men of God are seeing this also. And this tuning up will have a good effect upon us spiritually if we hear what Rick Phillips says.
I am even more grateful for Richard Phillips whom I admire for following up and speaking so boldly on this issue. Thanks Rick!
Rick has to be a cool guy. He can drive an Army Tank!
Thank God that Christians Are Not Totally Depraved – Reformation21