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Charles Tschetter

September 09, 2014  1:38pm

Tony, Thanks for your thinking and writing about such an important subject as assurance of our eternal destiny. And I applaud you for throwing out the formulas because formulas are not needed for assurance ... simply believing in the promise of God gives one absolute assurance. Forgot the formulas, embrace the promise ... believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. God's promise is the only way to be certain.

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Tony Kriz

September 08, 2014  7:13pm

Tim, I like your addition to the deeper idea I was trying to illumine through this article. Thank you for taking the time to share it. I DO agree with you. The problem is that I have been taught to so prefer one side of the false dichotomy over the other (mercy over justice, grace over judgment, love over wrath) that I think I need to steep longer in the quickly dismissed side of those pairings before I can truly conflate them fairly. I hope that makes sense. Blessings, -tony

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Tim S

September 07, 2014  4:56pm

Hi Tony; you raise some important points in this article, as usual; and I love the heart of it. I think you're right in calling us all out on being too sure of ourselves and being too formulaic. But I also think we in the church, particularly in conservative evangelicalism have a tendency to make the mistake of separating out God's mercy and justice and play one against the other (Just like we have a tendency to do with mercy and judgment, love and wrath). I'd like to humbly submit that they are one. I think we all have a tendency to forget that God is not divided against himself. If God IS love, then everything flows from that and is included in that. I think we have (traditionally) horribly misunderstood the nature and purpose of God's judgment and justice, and turned them into something negative.

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Tony Kriz

September 04, 2014  6:28pm

James Boston, thank you for your important addition/critique of my article. I am really glad that you wrote it because... I was haunted by the same question during the writing. Several times I battled with myself as to whether I should, at least, include "mercy" within the dialogue. I ultimately chose not to. Growing up in Christendom (particularly conservative evangelicalism), I was taught that a focus on "justice" was the "liberal agenda" (social justice gospel). Therefore, I learned to quickly skip over placing hope in God's justice into redirecting that hope to "mercy." James, I agree with you, it is also about mercy... but maybe we need to marinate further in our hope in justice. I am learning to believe that God is purposed to "do justly" just as much as to "love mercy" (Micah 6:8). -tony

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James Boston

September 03, 2014  2:17am

Salvation is not earned by declarations of faith. Catholic kids used to fear hell for sinning. Baptist kids used to fear hell for not having made a real enough profession of faith. Both groups tried to be good, plus the RC kids went to confession more and the Baptist kids got rebaptized as they felt the need. Happily, most went on to place their faith, not on their own faith, but on Christ's love and the Father's mercy. That seems to be the experience of Tony Kriz. I am happy for him. I would suggest that placing one's trust in God justice may not be as Biblical as placing it in God's mercy. Justice has its place, but my prayer is, "May God have mercy on us all."

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