07 August 2007

The Inadequacy of ‘Instant Christianity’

Some pithy words from A.W. Tozer (1897-1963):

It is hardly a matter of wonder that the country that gave the world instant tea and instant coffee should be the one to give it instant Christianity. If these two beverages were not actually invented in the United States it was certainly here that they received the advertising impetus that has made them known to most of the civilized world. And it cannot be denied that it was America … that brought instant Christianity to the gospel churches…

The American genius for getting things done quickly and easily with little concern for quality or permanence has bred a virus that has infected the whole evangelical church in the United States…

By “instant Christianity” I mean the kind … which is born of the notion that we may discharge our total obligation to our own souls by one act of faith, or at most by two, and be relieved thereafter of all anxiety about our spiritual condition. We are saints by calling, our teachers keep telling us, and we are permitted to infer from this that there is no reason to seek to be saints by character. An automatic, once-for-all quality is present that is completely out of mode with the faith of the New Testament.

Excerpted from That Incredible Christian (Harrisburg, PA: Christian Publications, 1964). The article may also be found on the web here.

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