Monday, March 17, 2008

Giving to Receive?

One of the mottos of the Word Faith movement is that you have to give to receive. Give God $100 and He will repay you a hundred-fold. By contrast, Oswald Bayer writes:

In his last will and testament Paul Gerhardt reminds his only son, still living after all his other children had died: "Do good to people, even if they cannot pay you back because...." The reader expects that the sentence will continue with: "God will repay you." However, Paul Gerhardt frustrates that expectation by continuing: "...because for what human beings cannot repay, the Creator of heaven and earth has already repaid long ago when he created you, when he gave you his only Son, and when he accepted and received you in holy baptism as his child and heir." (Oswald Bayer, "Justification as Basis and Boundary for Theology," Lutheran Quarterly 15 (Autumn 2001): 276, as quoted in "Handling the Word of Truth," John T. Pless)

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