Cheap law

By Dave Henning / July 27, 2014

As Tullian Tchividjian concludes Chapter 4 of One Way Love, he cites J. Gresham Machen’s counterintuitive statement that “a low ( or cheap) view of the law always produces legalism; a high view of the law makes a person a seeker after grace.”  Pastor Tchividjian then contrast the two views.

A low view of the Law:

1.  causes us to conclude the bar is low enough for us to jump over.

2.  makes us think its standards are attainable, its goals are reachable, and its demands are doable.

3.  sees the Law as “helpful tips for practical living.”

4.  causes us to believe that “ought implies can”- if I ought to do something, the logical implication is that I’m able to do it.

A high view of the Law:

1.  eliminates all human attempts at fulfillment.

2.  convinces us of our need for grace.

3.  acknowledges God’s unwavering demand for absolute perfection.

4.  enables us to see that God’s grace is absolutely indispensable.

John Dink (Hallelujah, What a Savior”) offers his explanation of cheap law:

“It creates people of great zeal, but they lack knowledge concerning the question ‘What Would Jesus Do?’  Here is the costly answer: Jesus would do it all perfectly.  And that’s game over for you.  The Father is not grooming you to be a replacement for his Beloved Son.  He is announcing that there is blessing for those who take shelter in his Beloved Son.”

Today’s question: Have you taken a legalistic view toward anyone involved in your vocation loss?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Transformative grace”


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Dave Henning

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