Getting the Gospel Right - Defining the Crisis

It strikes me that the main problem in Christian churches today, where they have gone astray, is that they have failed to both understand and proclaim what the real crisis is.

So, what is the real crisis in the Scriptures? It is not so much that man is “lonely” or just that his relationship with God is “broken”. It is far deeper than that.

The crisis in the Scriptures, from almost the first page, is that God hates sin. Without this in place any remedy that we offer is as useless as a doctor who has misdiagnosed cancer as a “passing tummy bug – it will all feel better in a few days”.

 

The Church has always known this. Perhaps nowhere is the great tension of sin and judgement seen more clearly than in the medieval and later Requiem masses. For all the erroneous additions, at the core of the Sequentia Dies Irae lies a clear theology of the dilemma that a returning Holy God brings to the people of the World.


Verdi captured it perfectly…

 
Dies iræ! dies illa
Solvet sæclum in favilla:
Teste David cum Sibylla!
 
Quantus tremor est futurus,
Quando iudex est venturus,
Cuncta stricte discussurus!
 
The day of wrath, that day
Will dissolve the world in ashes
As foretold by David and the sibyl!
 
How much tremor there will be,
when the judge will come,
investigating everything strictly!
Mozart also portrays the sheer terror of that day…
 
 
Get the diagnosis wrong and you will always provide the wrong cure. If a doctor did that consistently they would be struck off.

3 comments on “Getting the Gospel Right - Defining the Crisis

  1. It would be nice (though probably unrealistic) to reintroduce the Dies Irae at funerals. It might go some way to offsetting the nonsense that too often obtains on such occasions that so-and-so must certainly be in heaven because he/she “led a good life”.

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