Good conversation taking place on the Open Discussion page at the moment, prompted by Aidan’s observations on the law/gospel distinction and whether it leads to formulaic preaching of cheap grace. As Aidan put it:

I’m an LCMS member myself, and it seems like most of the sermons I hear follow a predictable formula:

1. Background
2. A particular sin exposed (on occasion)
3. But don’t worry, Jesus is here!
4. Lord’s Supper, Baptism, Absolution.

My problem is that this doesn’t seem to fit at all with the presentation of truth in the Scriptures, especially the New Testament. Paul was able to preach on sanctification, election, glorification, incarnation, redemption, regeneration, etc. and STILL say that he resolved to know nothing except “Christ and Him crucified”.

So my question is: how? How can a preacher (or any conscientious Christian for that matter) maintain some kind of balance between “This is what God has said” and “Christ is the end of the law”? A good deal of Lutheran preaching looks an awful lot like cheap grace and antinomianism to me. For all of my doctrinal disagreements with them I’d much rather have Spurgeon, Piper, McArthur, or any other faithful Calvinist as opposed to the milk-water teaching that seems to so dominate my denomination. So how can we get the best of both worlds?

Further contributions to that discussion are welcome – feel free to add them to the existing thread or in the comments to this post.