~ Martin Luther
More from Sin Bravely by Mark Ellingsen:
I have presented Martin Luther's vision of the Christian life as a life of brave sinning as an alternative to Warren's and the Prosperity Gospel's vision. . . . It has been shown that the core of brave sinning is the awareness that in all we do (even in our very best, most benevolent and loving behaviors), we are sinning. Such a lifestyle leads to a total dependence on God, for brave sinners know that any good accomplished by selfish human beings must in fact be God's work, since selfish people can't do good works on their own.
When we sin bravely in this way we can get our ego out of the way as we recognize that the good we do is actually being done by God through us despite our seedy motives. The awareness leads to freedom and joy, since the pressure is now removed to do and be good. In addition, such total dependence on God entails a self-forgetfulness (not unlike what happens when we fall passionately in love) that leads to happiness. . . .
It will take a model like Luther's self-transcendent, joyful God-centered way of life to change America, to get us away from our self-seeking narcissism and mad chase for self-fulfillment. . . .
. . . A spirituality totally dependent on God because we have renounced a sense that we have earned our own privileges leads to happiness and fulfillment.
quotes from pages 114-116