Looking Back at Repentance of a False Gospel, by Tianqi Wu
Tianqi Wu —While I was unconverted, I began to realize that penal substitution logically implies limited-by-God and effectual-in-itself atonement. But rather than submitting to the truth glorifying the righteous God and Savior, I refused to believe it, and considered it a “theology of glory” because it attributed “cold and calculated” success to God .
Instead, I started looking for alternative views of atonement in which God “takes the risk” so that all sinners get the opportunity to “embrace God’s loving arms”, with any legal requirement hidden in the background as a formal necessity, so that “what really matters” is what is happening now in the God-man relationship.
I was not in neutral. I loved an idol, a false god whose glory was in trying his best to save everybody in spite of foreknowing failure.
There were two main assumptions behind my faith in this false gospel.
1 I understood “grace” as God in his sovereignty choosing to see the best in us, so that even though we are sinful and profane, god still sees some broken reflection of his image in us, and therefore is moved to save us – unless we harden ourselves to even destroy that broken likeness. In other words, I made God’s grace crowd out his justice and holiness, turning grace into a tribute to what’s in the sinner.
2 My boast was that (unlike others who spurned the love of god) I was one of those prodigal sons who had come to their senses and found their way home and made father happy. I wanted my salvation to be about my faith journey, to have my seeking in it, to have my commitment in it, to have my perseverance in it. I was usurping the glory of Christ by conditioning salvation on my faith.
I wanted to be the one who was finally decisive in my relationship with god, and I wanted to make sure that god’s grace on me was not wasted and I did not let god down in his risk-taking, I wanted to make a name for myself as a “grace receiver” rather than a “grace rejecter”. I had no fear of God and his Law, but proudly rejected any god who would condemn sinners for their sins “without giving them a opportunity to be saved”. I had no clue of the righteousness of God that answered his demand in the Law, but covertly tried to establish my own righteousness under the mask of “receiving grace”.
I was hostile to (unconditional) grace for the elect alone but found beauty in a conditional “grace” for everybody. The true God has now caused me to submit to and love the only true and good news…unconditional election deciding for whom Christ would die, this atoning death securing its own application, justification by imputation, sovereign regeneration & revelation of gospel, and God’s permanent security & preservation
Romans 6: 20 For when you WERE slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the THINGS OF WHICH YOU ARE NOW ASHAMED? For the end of those things is death.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is lasting life in Christ Jesus our Lord.