Sunday, December 17, 2006

Contending in Context

"to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints" (Jude 3)

I just listened to this sermon and really appreciated it. It's long and heavy so be prepared.

In the last few weeks on campus, I feel like I have contended for all the 9 truths that he talks about that are central to our Christian faith but are being ripped into by the postmodern culture. Is it worth it - to hold tightly to these things? Yes! Am I archaic for doing so? No! Otherwise the good news of Jesus Christ having saved me from my sin is not true. For example, take the authority of the Bible out of the Gospel and you have nothing left. I pray that I have done that in a contextualized way - that is the difficult part. "I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings." (1 Cor.9:22-23)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

2 for 1

Two posts in one night? Yup, it's a 2 for 1 deal, get it while it's hot.

I listened to a sermon on the drive home from Waterloo last night which I half enjoyed and half wrestled with. I enjoyed his perspective on the Gospel - the high view of all that God is for us and does for us. He quoted a conversation he had with a woman he was sharing with - she told him that she was scared of all that they had talked about. When asked why, she replied that legalism, or working to become acceptable to God, allowed her to maintain control - like God could only ask so much of her, she was owed something from him and he could only go so far. But grace on the other hand, being acceptable to God because of what he has done for you, was in essence losing control. In grace, God could ask anything of her. Control was no longer hers, anything was fair game. I appreciate this because it is SO TRUE. That is profound. It also flies in the face of what people often view grace as - a license to do as they wish. But a true, deep understanding of grace gives God the go ahead with anything and everything.

What I wrestled with in the sermon was what I think boils down to the "sin of assumption" (to use a "Rod-ism" for those who would know what I'm talking about). He assumes that people are actively sharing the Gospel with others but they are just doing it in a way that is less effective. He says that simply sharing the Gospel "does not work". I will assume his best so I think he was trying to say that we can't just preach it and leave - there needs to be an incarnation of the Gospel in our lives, deeper and broader explanation of all the implications, etc. But at the same time I think it could tend towards stripping the Gospel of it's inerrant power. Sharing the Gospel is powerful, even if you fumble through it. And I think "requiring" people to contextualize and intellectualize the Gospel before they begin sharing it takes evangelism out of the realm of the normal person and leaves it only in the hands of the "experts" which I strongly disagree with.

All this said, of course there needs to be growth in learning how to share the Gospel in a way that is effective, meets people's needs without compromising, and growth in asking penetrating questions. But the question is where do we start? Do we start with learning how to share the Gospel and then growing from there or do we wait until we have it all together and have answered all possible issues and then begin to share. The latter is scary.

Hmm, the English grammar today is stinksville, but you get the idea!


I love Christmas. I'm not your typical "Christmas-lover" with the over the top decorations and "giddy with glee" type excitement. But I enjoy the excuse for extra time with favourite people, giving gifts, and feeling like it's completely okay to just chill at home for days. I even enjoy the malls because of the flurry of activity - but if anything would ruin the Christmas spirit its the mall parking lots.