Monday, April 01, 2013


Humility and History

Dan Edelen makes one heck of a point:
One of the things that bothers me most about believers in today’s churches, especially Western churches, is our assumption of superiority. Many of us church people display an inflated sense of arrival, as if we are the pinnacle of Christian expression in all of human history.

Those fellow believers in some old cave somewhere who wrote about their experience of the Faith? Morons. Those Middle Ages Christians who hid from “the infidel” and saw their numbers martyred? Know-nothings. Those theologians from the halls of 18th-century European centers of learning? Mental midgets.

Only we get it. Ours is the only understanding of Christianity that matters. The foundation upon which we stand is little more than a pile of spiritual-sounding ideas whose time has passed. Our knowledge and praxis are the epitome of what it means to be a Christian, and no one who came before us has anything to say to us about what to believe and how to live.

Dan then goes on to state that while science may have advanced, man has not essentially changed - so why the disregard? Why is precisely the question that interests me.

For one there is the essential "me" focus of thinking that the past has nothing to offer. Most Christians these days think Christianity is about them. It's their salvation, it's their worship, it's their Jesus. But nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus saves us for His ends, not ours. Somehow our approach to evangelism has got to begin to make this apparent. All the blatant appeals to personal interest that we make DO NOT serve the Kingdom.

Secondly, people are just lazy. They don't want Christianity to be about study - they want it to be about feeling good. Studying does not feel good. Christianity is a delayed gratification sort of thing. Study, among other things restores us to our created state - and nothing feels better - but it is a slow burdensome process. Again we do ourselves no favor when we offer a faith that satisfies now.

Our faithfulness is a small price to pay for God's goodness. The problem is we do not help people understand the real worth of the Christ offers them. Maybe that is becasue we do not understand it ourselves.
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