Extremism is a common pitfall, and it has proven a great blessing to be awakened to the fact that one has become extreme. This certainly applies to cases of legalistic and, at the other extreme, relativistic approaches to Christian living.
As a result, many recognize the dangers of legalism and decry relativism and it’s dangers. Some entire books and whole chapters in others are devoted to exposing these errors. Readers have been educated; however, some may not realize they have only moved to a hybrid version of an extreme. Anyone holding a hybrid position has recognized a given danger and addressed it but still embodies (albeit to a lesser degree) the very danger they sought to address. This is understandable since such matters take time to see and correct, but for extremists and hybrid proponents, an answer (the real answer) yet awaits discovery.
The solution to extremes of law or license is not a lesser degree of the problem. The real answer is a person—Jesus. The only solution to the extremes of a law-approach of legalism, a lax-approach of license, or of any hybrid form of either is the life-approach of liberty—the liberating life of Jesus. Accessing and experiencing the life of Jesus liberates from both the bondage of law-dependence and the bondage of flesh-indulgence. Jesus never leads one to sin nor does He lead to mere externalism.
The new book, The Liberating Life of Jesus, addresses these extremes and their hybrids and places the focus on the person of Jesus as both the source of life and the goal/outcome of life. Dependence on the wrong source of power and aiming for a wrong goal will direct you to one of the extremes. Understanding the right source of power while yet maintaining a wrong goal will afford you only a hybrid version of what you have correctly identified as a problem needing to be addressed. If your goal is holiness, it will evade you. But if your goal is Jesus, you will have holiness. If your goal is freedom, you will know bondage. But if your goal is Jesus, you will have freedom.
John Van Gelderen