Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A New Take on an Old Prayer

David Gushee has an interesting take on the sinner's prayer in the online edition of Christianity Today. Here is what I had to say in response to his article:
"Radical trust calls for both belief and action." Gushee is right. If you take a look at the Greek word we generally translate "believe," you discover that it has three facets. Certainly belief, but also trust and response. In order to have a true biblical faith, I must believe - that is my head, I must trust - that is my heart, and I must respond - feet and hands. Therein lies the rub. For centuries, Christians have fussed over the question, "What is the appropriate response?" To be sure, the sinner's prayer is a response. But is it the most biblically correct response? I can't find it anywhere in the NT. So what is the biblical response? It is any number of actions - all of which can be found in connection with the Greek word(s) for salvation: repentance, confession, baptism, sanctification, and perseverance. The blood of Christ bought our freedom; we cannot earn forgiveness. But clearly there are actions we need to take to appropriate that for which Christ died.


Soren said...

Amen Brother! Preach it!

Instead of "Baptists" maybe these folks should be called "Dry Cleanists" or "Verbal Regenerationists" or "People who can't come up with a plan of salvation that is more than 150 years old." Just a thought :-)

John A. Scott said...

Well put Frank and soren. Thanks for insight and the other greek words in the Bible.