No announcement yet.


  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts



    by A.W. Tozer


    come in modern times a new cross into popular evangelical circles.

    It is like the old cross, but different: the likenesses are superficial;

    the differences, fundamental. From this new cross has sprung a

    new philosophy of the Christian life, and from that new philosophy

    has come a new evangelical technique-a new type of meeting and

    a new kind of preaching. This new evangelism employs the same

    language as the old, but its content is not the same and its

    emphasis not as before.

    The old cross would have no truck with the world. For Adam's

    proud flesh it meant the end of the journey. It carried into effect

    the sentence imposed by the law of Sinai. The new cross is not

    opposed to the human race; rather, it is a friendly pal and, if

    understood aright, it is the source of oceans of good clean fun and

    innocent enjoyment. It lets Adam live without interference. His life

    motivation is unchanged; he still lives for his own pleasure, only

    now he takes delight in singing choruses and watching religious

    movies instead of singing bawdy songs and drinking hard liquor.

    The accent is still on enjoyment, though the fun is now on a higher

    plane morally if not intellectually.

    The new cross encourages a new and entirely different evangelistic

    approach. The evangelist does not demand abnegation of the old

    life before a new life can be received. He preaches not contrasts

    but similarities. He seeks to key into public interest by showing

    that Christianity makes no unpleasant demands; rather, it offers

    the same thing the world does, only on a higher level. Whatever

    the sin-mad world happens to be clamoring after at the moment

    is cleverly shown to be the very thing the gospel offers, only the

    religious product is better.

    The new cross does not slay the sinner, it redirects him. It gears

    him into a cleaner and a jollier way of living and saves his self-

    respect. To the self-assertive it says, "Come and assert yourself

    for Christ." To the egotist it says, "Come and do your boasting

    in the Lord." To the thrill-seeker it says, "Come and enjoy the

    thrill of Christian fellowship."

    The Christian message is slanted in the direction of the current

    vogue in order to make it acceptable to the public. The philosophy

    back of this kind of thing may be sincere but its sincerity does not

    save it from being false. It is false because it is blind. It misses

    completely the whole meaning of the cross. The old cross is a

    symbol of death. It stands for the abrupt, violent end of a human

    being. The man in Roman times who took up his cross and started

    down the road had already said good-by to his friends. He was

    not coming back. He was going out to have it ended.

    The cross made no compromise, modified nothing, spared nothing;

    it slew all of the man, completely and for good. It did not try to keep

    on good terms with its victim. It struck cruel and hard, and when it

    had finished its work, the man was no more. The race of Adam is

    under death sentence. There is no commutation and no escape.

    God cannot approve any of the fruits of sin, however innocent they

    may appear or beautiful to the eyes of men. God salvages the

    individual by liquidating him and then raising him again to newness

    of life. That evangelism which draws friendly parallels between the

    ways of God and the ways of men is false to the Bible and cruel to

    the souls of its hearers.

    The faith of Christ does not parallel the world, it intersects it. In

    coming to Christ we do not bring our old life up onto a higher plane;

    we leave it at the cross. The corn of wheat must fall into the ground

    and die. We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as

    public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ

    and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to

    make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of

    sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets,

    and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum.

    God offers life, but not an improved old life. The life He offers is life

    out of death. It stands always on the far side of the cross. Whoever

    would possess it must pass under the rod. He must repudiate

    himself and concur in God's just sentence against him. What does

    this mean to the individual, the condemned man who would find life

    in Christ Jesus? How can this theology be translated into life?

    Simply, he must repent and believe. He must forsake his sins and

    then go on to forsake himself. Let him cover nothing, defend nothing,

    excuse nothing. Let him not seek to make terms with God, but let

    him bow his head before the stroke of God's stern displeasure and

    acknowledge himself worthy to die. Having done this let him gaze

    with simple trust upon the risen Saviour, and from Him will come

    life and rebirth and cleansing and power.

    The cross that ended the earthly life of Jesus now puts an end to

    the sinner; and the power that raised Christ from the dead now

    raises him to a new life along with Christ. To any who may object

    to this or count it merely a narrow and private view of truth, let me

    say God has set His hallmark of approval upon this message from

    Paul's day to the present. Whether stated in these exact words

    or not, this has been the content of all preaching that has brought

    life and power to the world through the centuries. The mystics,

    the reformers, the revivalists have put their emphasis here, and

    signs and wonders and mighty operations of the Holy Ghost gave

    witness to God's approval. Dare we, the heirs of such a legacy of

    power, tamper with the truth? Dare we with our stubby pencils erase

    the lines of the blueprint or alter the pattern shown us in the Mount?

    May God forbid. Let us preach the old cross and we will know the

    old power.


    A. W. Tozer, 'Man, the Dwelling Place of God.