Thursday, October 28, 2010

White Noise

While listening to a sermon by Josh Harris this morning I heard him say:
"The gospel does not create a desperation that leaves us hopeless, but a desperation that drives us to salvation in Jesus."
This caused me to think about the desperation that most people live in who have not yet embraced the gospel. Henry David Thoreau said it well with this statement-

"Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them."

How sad; but how true this is. Most people that you and I rub shoulders with, go to school with, work side-by-side with will never realize the true song of their life-  for all mankind is created for the purpose of bringing glory to His Maker. That is the joyful song of our life. But so many spend their days stripped of that music and instead quietly pre-occupied with the white noise of life. This is desperation-  the sort that leaves us hopeless.
But what if we shared with others that the desperation they feel is a result of their alienation from God? What if our unbelieving friends could recognize this desperation, but then be driven to the remedy which is Jesus? That is the purpose of the gospel.
Yes, we are desperate. But we don't have to remain in quiet desperation. Instead, let us sing the song of the redeemed! And may we share that song with those who are without music.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Moving Past Recovery

They say the first step to recovery is admitting that there is a problem.

Well, I feel that happened for me quite a few years ago (in college actually), and over the next decade God began to grow me to the point where I could make an honest assessment of fundamentalism. I have since come to appreciate the rich heritage that I received - things like a hearty passion for the innerancy of Scripture, a desire to remain holy in this wicked world, and a love for the local church.

And yet, God also allowed me to recognize some of the unhelpful trappings that can distract - things such as an emphasis on outward holiness over an internal one, an unhealthy focus on politics instead of the gospel, and a separatism which often neglects social justice and community care.

I praise God that He brought people into my life who helped me question the structure of fundamentalism and embrace the gospel tighter than ever before. Some of those mentors include Tom Winkels, David Auckland, Paul Auckland, Don Cade, John Buckley, Jack Tomkinson, Mark Farnham, Bill Brown, Ben Peterson, the faculty at Baptist Bible College, my parents, and the teachers I had at Biblical Theological Seminary. Through it all I had great friends who made that journey with me, and while some reacted vehemently to fundamentalism and rocketed to the other end of the spectrum, most have become some of the most charitable, Bible saturated people I know - Dan Harney, Tim Klabe, and Justin Phipps are a few of these dear friends.

All this to say that I have felt in recent months that it is time for the conversation about fundamentalism to come to a close - at least on this blog. That is not to say that there won't be further ramblings at some point if God so leads, but for the topic of fundamentalism to be the thrust of this blog is disproportionate to what God is doing in my heart and life. He is growing me in so many ways, and teaching me so much about the gospel and His church, that I have lost interest in writing about fundamentalism. Instead I would like to have a place to jot down thoughts on the gospel, the church, our culture, etc...

God is so good!! I want to focus a little more on Him and a little less on the particular segment of Christianity that I grew up in.

So, you will notice some changes to the blog in the upcoming weeks - starting with the name. But I plan on continuing to write about what God puts on my heart, and I pray that the conversation might be re-stoked and we all might grow together.