I wholeheartedly recommend Michael Spencer’s essay “Hard Times for the Gospel: A Rant.” Simply outstanding. A few choice lines:
“The Gospel is simple. It’s free. It overturns us and our little party. It says things we don’t want religion to say, but that’s ok, because it’s not religion. The Gospel upsets people who are startled by its power and universal application. The Gospel can get you crucified, and then it’s even more powerful.
The Gospel breaks your heart over your own sin, and shuts you up about the other guy’s sin. (Yes, it opens our mouths for the victims of suffering, but it gives us humility before those legalism calls “real sinners.”)
It’s not a new law. It’s not a new set of rules. It’s not a plan, a program or a personality. The Gospel is the son of God, eternal mediator, crucified substitute, doing for us what we cannot do for ourselves. We receive the Gospel, we don’t use it. We don’t make it a principle or a priority. We’re owned by the Gospel.”
I’ve trotted out a little apologetics lately in response to Dawkins and Hitchens and Harris – an exercise for which I am unqualified and which brings me little pleasure. It’s not my style. It’s not why I’m a Christian. I am a Christian simply because I’ve been captured by the Gospel. Honestly, I can see both sides of the arguments for the existence of God. No amount of argumentation ever has or ever will keep me in the Christian faith. Jesus Christ scattering grace like confetti at a birthday party, loving me and saving me despite my stupidity and failure – that’s the reason I’m a Christian. It just sounds like something God would do.