Mentadent Theology

Posted: March 29, 2009 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

I’ve always loved mentadent toothpaste because of its incredible upright design (you know, the one you push down on the top to get some to come out). I brushed my teeth with it this morning, and while I was doing so, I decided to read the instructions on the back. Here’s what I found:

The MENTADENT Reaction:
In a unique dual chamber pump, two ingredients are kept separate in their most active state. When you brush, the multi-action formula combines to unleash a reaction that thoroughly cleans and whitens, giving you a whole-mouth clean you have to feel to believe…

1. Place pump dispenser on flat surface and open flip-top cap.
2. Push down evenly with palm of hand to dispense toothpaste onto brush. If the ribbon of toothpaste comes out unevenly, discard it. Continue to press on top of pump dispenser until both halves come out equally.
3. Close cap snugly after each use.

After laughing a bit to myself over the absurdity of discarding your freshly squeezed toothpaste because it came out unevenly, I had an epiphany…based on Mentadent instructions.

Justice and Mercy are the two ingredients. When infused evenly in our thoughts and our theology, the Justice and Mercy shown in the gospel “combine to unleash a reaction that thoroughly cleans and whitens.” However, if we focus on justice to the exclusion of mercy, we feel the weight of condemnation crushing us. “How could God love you, a wretched sinner?” Conversely, if we focus on mercy to the exclusion of Justice, we may create a tame, unholy God who shrugs off sin. This can lead to a licentiousness, resulting in a statement more like “God’s merciful, don’t worry about that little ‘mistake’.”

Let’s always ask for God’s grace to balance our view of his justice and mercy. Let’s remember that both were displayed at the cross, as God justly poured out his wrath on our sin. We thoroughly deserved this punishment, but Jesus took it. Therein lies, also, His precious mercy. Condemnation has no claim because we have Christ’s standing before God. We were “crucified with Christ” (Rom. 6:6). Licentiousness is likewise vile to us when we understand that God forsook his Son to pay for the very sins we may attempt to excuse.

Therefore, if we have invented a gospel in which justice and mercy are not equal, let’s discard it immediately with distaste in favor of the true cleansing gospel!

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Comments
  1. Laurie Lynn says:

    Mike and I read this together and we both said (though not in unison. our words were a little uneven),
    “Good thoughts and great “object lesson” on toothpaste!”
    Is God amazing! Justice and mercy are perfectly compatable ingredients!

  2. zoanna says:

    Wow. That’s good. You crack me up (and bless me) with your seemingly-daily object lessons.

    MOM

  3. beyondtheoutside says:

    That was so weird how you came to that conclusion. I am not that creative, haha.
    Very good post!

  4. Steve says:

    Haha, thanks. It was weird. I think it was probably because I had just been reading in Jeremiah, so I was already thinking about how God is holy/just and judges sin, and yet is merciful:

    “But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth quakes, And the nations cannot endure His indignation.” (Jer. 10:10)

    “Go and proclaim these words toward the north and say, ‘Return, faithless Israel,’ declares the LORD; ‘I will not look upon you in anger. For I am gracious,’ declares the LORD; ‘I will not be angry forever.'” (Jer. 3:12)

  5. Kelly says:

    That was awesome, Stephen. Great insight!

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