Saturday, January 5, 2008

Simply Christian...

I finished Simply Christian last night. It was a good book and one I thought to be helpful, but it wasn't quite the revelation I was hoping for. Maybe it just didn't live up to the hype, or maybe it just didn't speak to me in the way I was hoping it would. It was however a good read, and one i would reccommend if you're trying to make sense of your faith. My favorite part of the book was this:

This is the launchpad for the specifically Christian way of life. That way of life isn’t a matter simply of getting in touch with our inner depths. It is certainly not about keeping the commands of a distant deity. Rather, it is the new way of being human, the Jesus-shaped way of being human, the cross-and-resurrection way of life, the Spirit-led pathway. It is the way which anticipates, in the present, the full, rich, glad human existence which will one day be ours when God makes all things new. Christian ethics is not a matter of discovering what’s going on in the world and getting in tune with it. It isn’t a matter of doing things to earn God’s favour. It is not about trying to obey dusty rulebooks from long ago or far away. It is about practising, in the present, the tunes we shall sing in God’s new world.

This speaks to me in a profound way. N.T. Wright is a bishop who is obviously involved in church and all the hierarchy and politics that can come with that but he clearly states here that being a Christian isn't about all that stuff we put on it. I think the church needs to hear that, and more importantly I think people searching for God need know it to be true.

However the sub title of the book was "Why Christianity Makes Sense." For me though, I'm not sure this is the right approach. I don't know why christianity "makes sense." Truthfully Wright's major points didn't make it any more clear to me. He talked alot about the concept of Messiah and the divinity of Jesus, and people seeing the risen Savior, but in the way that I experience faith these ideas just don't always make up for the inconsistencies in God's nature and the hangups I have with my faith. For me it doesn't "make sense." However, I do not that I just can't let go of God. I need his prophetic voice of love, and justice, and mercy, and grace, and all that other stuff in my life. Furthermore when I look at the life of Jesus I am certain that I want my life to be a reflection of His becuase it is full of love. A love that is forgiving, healing, saving, everlasting, and sufficient. I am reminded of Emerson's words about faith. He said "All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen."

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