My friend Mark was blogging this week on the challenges of communicating the message of grace to Christians in Tanzania – not as strange as it may sound when you consider that Mark (and his wife Laura) are involved in Bible translation in that part of the world.
Anyway, Mark was blogging on the fact that in Tanzania, many Christians go to church to hear how they should live to please God in order to inherit eternal life, rather than understanding that we are saved through grace, not through works. It’s a good blog post, you
should must read it.
However, I don’t think Mark’s conclusion just works for churches in Africa. I think it’s something we could all do with thinking through in the UK.
Maybe if we moved on from the question “How can I have eternal life?”, we might take a step back and ask instead “How is God making himself known in the world, and how am I part of that?” With this perspective, maybe our answer would then be that God’s grace and our good deeds are not two opposing answers to the question of how we are saved, but two perfectly complementary and vital parts of they way God is reaching out to and saving his world.
You see, sometimes there can be two answers to the same question.