The Worship Quote of the Week for (01/04/2005):

Saints and Sinners
Are we saints or sinners? Are we both? Today’s WORSHIP QUOTE helps us to remember the Bible’s answer to this important question. The author is Timothy George.

All followers of Jesus are saints in the New Testament sense of this word. We have been set apart and called to live a life of holiness and devotion to Christ. Evangelicals, with all Protestants generally, have emphasized the priesthood of all believers to show that we are all redeemed by God’s grace and that none of us can claim any special favors on the basis of ordination or office. But doesn’t this same theology compel us to declare “the sainthood of all believers”? We are called to live lives that reflect the character of Christ in a world that knows all too little of God’s love and grace. Evangelical spirituality is “for all the saints,” that is, for all who know Jesus Christ and wish to make him known to others, even if we acknowledge with Martin Luther that we are saints and sinners at the same time (simul justus et peccator) and thus ever in need of God’s mercy and forgiveness.

—Timothy George, in the Introduction to FOR ALL THE SAINTS: EVANGELICAL THEOLOGY AND CHRISTIAN SPIRITUALITY, edited by Timothy George and Alistair McGrath. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004, p. 7. ISBN 0-664-22665-5. Contributing authors include George Bray, Robbie Castleman, Marva Dawn, Timothy George, James Houston, Alister McGrath, Calvin Miller, Robert Smith, Jr. Mark Talbot, Stephen Todd, Dallas Willard, A. C. Williams, Ralph Wood, and Catherine Wright.

[How wonderful to remember (with the psalmist, the Apostle Paul, and Martin Luther) that the Christian’s posture before God is that of a “saved sinner” (Psalm 32, Psalm 51, Romans 7 & 8). The world around us often accepts “spirituality” as a virtue, and is suspicious of or antagonistic towards the claims of biblical Christianity. This important new book exposes the counterfeit and puts forward a model for Christian spirituality that is founded squarely on the truth of Scripture. Highly recommended.]

Have a great week,

Chip Stam
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky

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