This chapter contains fundamental truths of Christianity concerning the redemption of man through Christ. The danger in this is that as we read these fundamental truths we become callous to how wondrous they truly are. As I read and commented on this chapter this was my attitude. But as we were told in class we must look at these fundamental truths with new eyes every time we read them.
Let me comment on the idea of being made holier. Plantinga says that our lives should follow a rhythm: dying and rising in Christ is a way of life. We must constantly die by confessing our sins and avoiding the “old life” and then rise by receiving forgiveness and entering into the “new life.” Afterwards, in a new situation, we will have to do the same thing over again. A pastor once told me that “Christianity is a journey not a destination.” There will never be a moment of having arrived. I will constantly be on the journey towards obtaining a Christ-like character. Plantinga’s comments on sanctification reinforce the idea of being on a constant journey. He defines sanctification as a life-long conversion that begins with regeneration but does not by any means stop with it. “Regeneration is the explosion that starts its [sanctification’s] motor.” From that point we begin the rhythm of dying and rising with Christ.
I believe this chapter can be characterized by totality. There is total depravation from which we must be totally redeemed as a complete church solely through the grace of God and death and resurrection of Christ. Then we must live our whole lives on the journey of Christianity or the journey of sanctification.
I like the following quote because it sums up where we are as Christians and all that Christ is doing for us. “Her response is… ‘I am a person formed by the cross and resurrection.’ These are my events because I belong to the Lord of these events. And I belong to the people formed by these events. Because I have died and risen with Jesus Christ, I live with the people of Christ, under the shadow of Christ, in a world that has been changed by Christ and that will one day be wholly transformed by Christ.”