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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Reflections w/ James Dunn

This is the eighth post in my Recovering E.Y. Mullins and Saving Soul Freedom series. Past posts include: The Golden Hour to Save Soul Freedom, Recovering E.Y. Mullins - Part 5, Saving Soul Freedom w/ James Dunn, On Being An Authentic Baptist, Priests and Prophets, and the original Recovering E.Y. Mullins.

Today, we're bringing back an excerpt from James Dunn published almost 25 years ago in the October 1983 issue of Report From The Capital.
We as Baptists understand instinctively that unless one has the power to say "no" then his "yes" is meaningless. Unless one can refuse then her acceptance is hollow. We know this inwardly because that is the way God made us. We are programmed for freedom. We're wired up as persons with a choice. Unless our chooser is allowed to function we are less than the persons God made us to be.

The Bible teaching about sin takes into account this free moral agency which can be tainted, perverted and used wrongly. We cannot be forced in matters of the will. Being human means being free.

The biblical doctrine of salvation is indissolubly, inextricably tangled with the other great doctrines. That is why we as Baptists want no state-written, government-prescribed prayer in the public schools. We want no tax dollars for our churches or our schools. The best thing government can do for religion is to leave it alone.

Force, even minimal or subtle force, does not mix with freedom. Religious experience must be free to be genuine. Any religious decision that's not free is useless or worse. We come to Jesus Christ freely in love, drawn by His grace. We live the Christian life because-we-have-been-saved not in an in-order-to-be-saved morality. It's grace not Law, Christ not creed, persons not propositions that take precedence in the Christian life. We can't escape from freedom. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.



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