Chapter 8—Continuance: Keep the Faith
Salvation — Phase Three
God is easy to please, but hard to satisfy. George MacDonald, quoted in Mere Christianity (Macmillan), p. 172.—George MacDonald
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed. —John 8:31
An abstract Christology, a doctrinal system, a general religious knowledge on the subject of grace or on the forgiveness of sins, render discipleship superfluous with an abstract idea it is possible to enter into a relation of formal knowledge, to become enthusiastic about it, and perhaps even to put it into practice; but it can never be followed in personal obedience. Christianity without the liviing Christ is inevitably Christianity without discipleship, and Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ. It remains an abstract idea, a myth… in such a religion there is trust in God, but no following of Christ. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship (Macmillan), p. 63. —Dietrich Bonhoeffer
While there are few who claim religion apart from an actual relationship with God, it is our purpose to prove that an abstract Christianity is the inevitable result of a faith based on abstract technicalities. We must also realize that the Christian relationship must be continued in to remain a relationship. As it was prior to salvation when we were alienated from God, so it is when the God-man relationship is not maintained and cultivated. Once again there is only one willing party and one party has never made a relationship.