Trevin Wax quotes John Stott in interpreting Jude and 1 John in this naturally balanced yet challenging article on biblical living.
“Christianity isn’t just about what you believe; it’s about how you live.”
“You theological types only care about creeds and doctrines and believing the right things. But the Bible stresses Christianity as a way of life.”
“It doesn’t matter if you believe the Bible if you don’t do what it says.”
These are a sampling of complaints and critiques lobbed at gospel-centered believers and “theology” folks who take doctrine seriously. Sometimes, the critiques are on target. The best preachers and teachers would agree that Christianity involves both belief and obedience, faith and practice.
Ironically, when some of these critics are challenged for their advocacy of lifestyles and behavior outside the mainstream of historic Christianity, they rush to the creeds as a defense. They go from saying, “Christianity is more about what you do than what you believe” to saying “How dare you challenge what I’m saying about a way of life! I believe the right doctrines!”
You can’t have it both ways.
What’s needed today is a robust understanding of the Christian faith that recognizes the multi-faceted meaning of orthodoxy.