An excerpt from the introduction to the Bishop’s excellent new book, available now from Wipf and Stock.
Jesus’s warning to his closest followers concerning these two cancers [that of the Sadducees and that of the Pharisees] is the simplicity that explains enormous complexities. His teaching helps us to see with a clearer vision and then begin to receive, hear, and appropriate the love that these cancers have obscured and forced out of our vision. Today’s Sadducee is characterized by a low view of God, an unconcern with heaven or hell, and a commitment to self-esteem at the expense of transformation, salvation and true unity with God. The other yeast finds Pharisees in the church with a higher view of God but one reduced to the level of their own worthiness. This means justice without grace, redemption without repentance, and assurance of salvation by one’s own goodness. This discrepancy between God’s justice and our goodness is rectified by lowering the awesome righteousness of God while at the same time inflating one’s own self-worth.
Our secular arrogance and our religious self-righteousness are in our heritage as well as in the very air we breathe. This spiritual asthma chokes our civilization and counterfeits the Christian faith, leaving the gospel’s hope and promise largely unknown. In order to open our hearts and minds to the warning as well as to the promise of Jesus, we must first establish grounds for humble trust in God, in spite of the arrogance of our age. Only with such trust will we be able to sing the Lord’s song in our increasingly strange land.
Bishop Allison then concludes his introduction by quoting Samuel Crossman’s famous hymn, “My Song Is Love Unknown”: “My Song is Love unknown/my Savior’s love to me/love to the loveless shown/that they my lovely be.” Which, of course, is a blatant ripoff of Coldplay:
Bishop Allison will be speaking at our upcoming NYC Conference. Coldplay have yet to confirm…