We have oversimplified the gospel. The first fatal flaw is the missing emphasis on repentance. There can be no true conversion without conviction of sin....We sugar-coat the gospel when we de-emphasize man's lost condition....It is useless to tell unconvicted sinners to believe on Jesus-that message is only for those who know they are lost. We have forgotten that the message is repentance toward God as well as faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
A second serious omission is a missing emphasis on the Lordship of Christ....
A third defect in our message is our tendency to keep the terms of discipleship hidden until a decision has been made for Jesus. Our Lord never did this. The message He preached included the cross as well as the crown....We popularize the message and promise fun.
The result of all this is that we have people believing without knowing what they believe [with] no doctrinal basis for their decision. They do not know the implications of commitment to Christ. They have never experienced the mysterious, miraculous work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration. (Author's emphasis.)
William MacDonald, "Evangelical Dilemma," Milk & Honey, 4/07, p.4
The flesh, smiling and confident, preaches and sings about the cross; before that cross it bows and toward that cross it points with carefully staged histrionics-but upon that cross it will not die, and the reproach of that cross it stubbornly refuses to bear.
A. W. Tozer, The Divine Conquest, p. 60