Happy Resurrection Day plus one!


I can’t believe Easter has now come and gone. But what a crazy last couple of days it’s been! I listen to quite a few different podcasts, and one I’ve just started to listen to is Andrew Klavan’s. He’s very smart, entertaining with his opening monologues, and is a Messianic Jew. He has great insight into several different cultural topics, but I was so disappointed when I heard him talk about Easter a couple of days ago. Essentially, he seemed to lean towards Universalism.

He explained on his most recent podcast his interpretation of the following parable:

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Matthew 25:34 – 40

He rationalized how there are some people who clearly never realized they were serving God. So there MUST be people who are doing good and righteous things who don’t claim Christ, but they are STILL serving Christ (albeit, unknowingly). One example would be someone like Ben Shapiro. A practicing Jew who rejects the Messiah, but does a lot of “good” things.


Additionally, one of my favorites as of late is Victor Davis Hanson (VDH). He’s a down-to-earth, brilliant historian who teaches at Stanford and also gives lectures at Hillsdale College. He explained that the entire reason for Christ coming back to life after he died was to prove that he conquered death (YAY!) so that we could also live good lives and have a chance to earn our way into heaven (LORD, what in the world??).

UGH, so should you bother to listen?

To be clear, I will continue to listen to both of these misled, but brilliant minds. I believe we shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. However, this is a great reminder that we should always be diligent to sift through whatever people say on podcasts or what we read from books, even from some of our favorite speakers and authors.

Responding to Klavan

To address the first argument from Klavan, since humans are made in the image of God, clearly there are moments we reflect some kind of goodness whether or not we know the LORD and accept Him as our LORD and Savior. However, the acts themselves don’t save us or impute righteousness on us.

The point of that passage is to convict those of us who don’t put hands and feet to the words we confess to be true. Specifically, saying we’re Believers in Christ, but then not acting in a way that reflects this. Again, it’s not about earning our salvation, but it’s about responding to the love and free gift given to us in Christ. We don’t HAVE to glorify God and enjoy Him forever (Westminster Shorter Catechism). We GET to. It’s our honor and privilege. How we live our lives is a reflection of our response to God’s incredible offer of salvation (see the entire book of James for more!).

Responding to VDH

With respect to VDH, the beauty of the gospel is that we don’t do anything to earn our salvation. On the contrary, as Jonathan Edwards puts it, “You contribute nothing to your salvation except the sin that made it necessary.” We can’t earn our salvation. But by God’s grace and mercy, Jesus freely gives us our salvation.

Essentially, both these men had similar understandings of the gospel and what we celebrate on Easter. What it boils down to is that it’s not about us. We can do nothing to bring about our salvation. This is a free gift of God that is 100% unmerited (Ephesians 2:8-9). Without this basic and essential understanding of the gospel, we will continue to strive to live “good lives,” and actually believe that essentially, it’s all about us. We can do it.

The problem is, no we can’t. No matter the amount of encouragement and well wishers telling us how amazing we are, it just won’t ever work. We live as Believers by the grace of God. Full Stop.

God is so good

What beautiful words of freedom! It’s not up to us. Praise God! And we get to honor and glorify Him. What amazing love.

Don’t ever forget the simplicity of the gospel. These men are great, and I would honestly encourage you to listen to them! But we must always go back to the gospel of Christ and His Word when we hear things that don’t sound quite right. It is only there that we can find Truth.

All other ground is sinking sand.

Happy Resurrection Day Plus 1!

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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