and mostly undetected there has come in modern times a new cross
into popular evangelical circles. It is like the old cross, but
different: the likenesses are superficial; the differences,
The old cross would have no truck with the world. For Adam's
proud flesh it meant the end of the journey. It carried into effect
the sentence imposed by the law of Sinai. The new cross is not
opposed to the human race; rather, it is a friendly pal and, if
understood aright, it is the source of oceans of good clean fun and
innocent enjoyment. It lets Adam live without interference. His life
motivation is unchanged; he still lives for his own pleasure....
From this new cross has sprung a new philosophy
of the Christian life, and from that new philosophy has come a new
evangelical technique -- a new type of meeting and a new kind of
preaching. This new evangelism employs the same language as the old,
but its content is not the same and its emphasis not as before.
The new cross
encourages a new and entirely different evangelistic approach. The
evangelist... preaches not contrasts but similarities. He
seeks to key into public interest by showing that Christianity
makes no unpleasant demands; rather, it offers the same thing
the world does, only on a higher level...
The new cross does not slay the sinner, it redirects him. It
gears him into a cleaner and jollier way of living and saves his
self-respect.... It is false because it is blind. It misses completely
the whole meaning of the cross.
The old cross is a symbol of
death.... The race of Adam is under death sentence. There
is no commutation and no escape. God cannot approve any of the
fruits of sin, however innocent they may appear or beautiful to the
eyes of men. God salvages the individual by liquidating him and then
raising him again to newness of life.
That evangelism which
draws friendly parallels between the ways of God and the ways of men
is false to the Bible and cruel to the souls of its hearers. The
faith of Christ does not parallel the world, it intersects it. In
coming to Christ we do not bring our old life up onto a higher
plane; we leave it at the cross. The grain of wheat must fall into
the ground and die.
God offers life, but not an improved old
life. The life He offers is life out of death.
The life He
offers is life out of death. It stands always on the far side of the
cross. Whoever would possess it must pass under the rod. He must
repudiate himself and concur in God's just sentence against him.
What does this mean to the individual, the condemned man who would
find life in Christ Jesus? How can this theology be translated into
life? Simply, he must repent and believe. He must forsake his sins
and then go on to forsake himself.
Let him cover nothing, defend
nothing, excuse nothing. Let him not seek to make terms with God,
but let him bow his head before the stroke of God's stern
displeasure and acknowledge himself worthy to die.
gaze with simple trust upon the risen Saviour, and
from Him will come life and rebirth and cleansing and power. The
cross that ended the earthly life of Jesus now puts an end to the
sinner; and the power that raised Christ from the dead now raises
him to a new life along with Christ....
Dare we, the heirs of such a legacy of
power, tamper with the truth? Dare we...alter the pattern shown us in the
Mount? May God forbid. Let us preach the old cross and we will know
the old power.
"...none of these
things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that
may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from
the Lord Jesus,
to testify to the gospel of the grace of God." Acts 20:24
"O what marvelous kindness is this! Is my worthless name
written in His book of life? Am I redeemed by His blood,
renewed by His Spirit, beautified with His loveliness, and
clothed in His righteousness? O wonder of wonders! How can I
forbear to love this adorable Savior? Can I withhold my
choicest affections from Him?" - John Fawcett
* A. W. Tozer, Man, the Dwelling
Place of God, 1966)
* This article appeared in The Alliance Witness May 15, 1963, just two days after the death
of Dr. Tozer."