The Transformational Power of the Cross

Yesterday was the 123rd anniversary of Hitler’s birth. The fact that we do not celebrate his birth or the evil he did is a testimony to those who gave their lives to stop him.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

One such man was Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a brilliant theologian and humble pastor who wrote two of the great Christian classics of the twentieth century, The Cost of Discipleship and Life Together.

For Bonhoeffer, his faith was not just a private matter or limited only to the church. As he saw firsthand the horrors of Nazi Germany, he resolved to stop them and became involved in a plot to overthrow the government. The plot failed and Bonhoeffer was arrested. He eventually was martyred by Hitler, who imprisoned him in a German concentration camp and then hanged him.

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Does Jesus Want You to Vote?

I may be a citizen of the Kingdom of God, but the precinct where God has me live and vote is here in Virginia.

Because of my citizenship in Christ’s Kingdom…

Because the Lord rose triumphantly from the grave and declared that “all authority on heaven and earth has been given to me”…

And because of His concurrent command in Matt. 28 to therefore go transform all “nations” (the Greek word is “ethne”, which actually means cultures)…

I take the time to understand the issues and the candidates – and then vote.

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Beyond Evangelical? (Part 3)

Post-Modernity

The “You Can’t” Crowd

What I find most bizarre among emerging “Beyond Evangelical” authors is how vocal they are in telling Christians what we can’t do – we can’t be engaged in cultural or civic reform, we can’t go and disciple the nations, we can’t be engaged in politics, we can’t ever take a social position that offends, we can’t this, and we can’t that.

Sometimes, it gets so bad that you can only laugh.

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Beyond Evangelical? (Part 2)

Post-Modernity

History Repeats Itself

History demonstrates that a mainly subjective faith is a largely anemic faith, which increasingly becomes insular and irrelevant.

In the 19th century, an overly subjective focus within the Christian community in the West produced an existential form of pietism, which said that everything about anything came down to one thing: a personal relationship with Jesus.

In the 20th century, this came to a more extreme fruition in the existential theology of Karl Barth. Barth concluded that the Bible is not the Word of God, but rather only leads us to the person of Jesus. Furthermore, our subjective experience of Jesus is the only valid authoritative revelation of God’s word. As such, Barth rejected the plenary authority of Scripture as the written Word of God, and it’s role in providing external standards for judging the authenticity of our experience of Jesus.

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Beyond Evangelical? (Part 1)

Post-Modernity

The spirit of this age – at least in the West – is post-modernity, which views reality as subjective and truth (if it even exists) as individual and relative.

It is not all bad, but neither is it Christ!

Steeped in a post-modern culture, Western Christians are increasingly re-defining Jesus through post-modern sensibilities that we’ve uncritically inherited from the world.

As a result, we focus on a personal, highly individualistic relationship with Him – which is often driven more by our own needs, our own hurts, and our own insecurities than by Jesus Himself.

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We Have Met the Enemy

Losing Our Way

While killing time waiting for an Apple tech to look at my trouble-plagued iPhone, I browsed the racks at an adjacent bookstore.

There was a section for “Philosophy/Humor”.

That was bad enough to make me feel sorrow at our cultural malaise.

But then I saw the section “Faith/Self Help”.

Sigh …

Double sigh …

We have met the enemy, and it is us.

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