"...the shallowness of modern life derives
not from its banality but from its having lost its moral bearings. ...
Christ seems to offer little of what this world is asking for. It wants
whatever is new; it looks for the next step in the journey of the human
"It is this holiness of God, then,
without which the Cross of Christ is incomprehensible, that provides the
light that exposes modernity's darkness for what it is.... Evangelicals
turned from focusing on God's transcendence to focusing on his immanence
[pervading all creation] -- and then they took the further step of
interpreting his immanence as friendliness with modernity....
"The loss of the traditional vision
of God as holy is now manifested everywhere in the evangelical world. It
is the key to understanding why sin and grace have become such empty
terms.... Divorced from the
holiness of God,
sin is merely self-defeating behavior or
a breach in etiquette...
grace is merely empty rhetoric, pious
window dressing for the modern technique by which sinners work out
their own salvation....
our gospel becomes indistinguishable
from any of a host of alternative self-help doctrines....
our public morality is reduced to little
more than an accumulation of trade-offs between competing private
our worship becomes mere entertainment.
"The holiness of God is the very cornerstone
of Christian faith, for it is the foundation of reality....
"...this God, majestic and holy in his
being... has disappeared from the modern evangelical world. He has been
replaced in many quarters by a God... whose Word is a plaything for
those who wish merely to listen to themselves, whose Church is a mall in
which the religious, their pockets filled with the coin of need, do
their business. We seek happiness, not righteousness."