Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Most Important Difference

And whatever else we decide to say about the relationship between the Old Covenant and the New, we must never ever ever confess that the primary distinction between the two is a matter of "sincerity." Heavens, no. Not even for a second should we entertain such sillinesses as believing that Israel was unique in that it was a national entity or a political entity or an ethnic entity (or whatever), and thus lent itself to having a mixture of sincere and insincere membership. Oh please, oh please, no. We must never distinguish between an Israel mixed with belief and unbelief and a Church that contains no natural mixture of unbelief. The long and the short of it is that "justification by faith" is not even remotely the same thing as "justification by sincerity." O Brother, O Sister! Listen to me: If you cannot see the difference between "faith" and "sincerity," then stop wherever you are in your covenant theology tracks and re-think everything, because if you don't know what the Bible means by "faith" then you probably have no idea what the Bible means at all.