A friend of mine gave me a copy of Hans Kungs On being a Christian the other day. I have had only a chance to browse through it a couple of times, but today, while studying the way in which the prophet Isaiah uses the word ‘justice’ (Hb tsadiq or tsadiqa), I opened it to see if he had any comments on it and came across this paragraph near the end of the book:
Obviously we are not going to make a sweeping attack here on achievements, good deeds, work, professional advancement, as if the Christian were not expected to make the most of his ‘talents.’ The Christian message of justification does not provide justification for doing nothing. Good deeds are important. But the foundation of Christian existence and the criterion for facing God cannot be an appeal to any kind of achievement, cannot be any self-assertion or any self-justification on man’s part. It can only be absolute adherence to God through Jesus in a trust inspired by faith. What is proclaimed here is an extraordinarily encouraging message which provides human life with a solid basis, despite all inevitable failures, errors and despair, and which at the same time can liberate it from secular pressure for achievement, bestowing a freedom which can sustain it even through the worst situations.” (588 )
Soli Deo Gloria!