I hear someone saying, “But we have to make Jesus and the gospel relevant to people in our own time and place.” But what does it say about Jesus Christ if the relevance of his person and work cannot stand on its own? Sure, Christ came as “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), but can he help me get that promotion at work or relieve my stress? Can he keep my kids’ attention so they will stay off drugs? “Christianity and …” already assumes that Christianity itself is uninteresting. But as an adjective for other things (Christian aerobics, Christian values, Christian music, etc.), it is just a valuable trademark. As counterintuitive as it may seem, being grounded in the gospel of Christ relieves stress in deeper places than we even knew we had inside ourselves, and I have witnessed countless examples of young people liberated from boredom-induced addictions and sinful patterns by becoming captivated with God’s amazing grace in his Son. Nobody had to tell them that drugs were wrong; they knew that. And all the banal lectures on self-esteem and emotional summer camp calls to “surrender all” only made them more cynical. Genuine preaching of the law diagnoses the sinful condition—the root, not just the fruit—and the gospel is its radical solution.
Horton, M. (2008). Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church (pp. 144–145). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.