Why so serious?

Ha! There should be some kind of ban on me writing blog series’. It really seems to put me off writing.

Question: Out of 10 how important is it to not take yourself too seriously?

Good question. (- even if it feels a little clunky worded). I asked it to my colleagues. There was a general consensus that we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously.

Question: Out of 10 how seriously do you take yourself?

Again, good question. And again, we reached a consensus – much more seriously than we think we should. 

It’s a pretty grim fact that we’re all prone to take ourselves much more seriously than we likely deserve. It’s also true that we probably owe ourselves a lot more respect than we dish out for ourselves. So there’s a balance – I guess. On the one hand we want to be able to laugh at ourselves and “enjoy life”. On the other, we want to be able to stand for something. Otherwise: “we’ll fall for anything” (Someone wise like Churchill can get the credit for that one).

And if we don’t take ourselves seriously, people probably won’t take our passion seriously.

How seriously did Jesus take Himself? Good question, didn’t ask my colleagues that.

Ho hummm.

The reason’s for this seriousness dilemma is probably self-explanatory. A concoction of pride and insecurity, a mix of self-confidence and self-doubt. Sin. Society, Circumstances, etc etc.

But I confess I think about it a bit. I can’t decide if I’ve reached the “sweet spot” on the spectrum or if I’ve just got it mixed up. Doubtless different occasions call for different ‘self-seriousness’ gauges. A solemn prayer meeting, might not be the right time to start giggling cause you’ve just thought about a joke. But I did:

“Lord, I was just thinking, earlier today, as I walked towards the sheep and they ran away from me…” It just had me set off like I was at a Peter Kay gig. We Christian’s are so weird. Of course the sheep is going to run from you. And the image of my friend wandering out, arms wide, chasing sheep for a hug – really did keep me laughing.

I’ve also started applauding in Church. (Like a Pentecostal congregant.) Whenever someone in the audience gets the slightest bit of rowdy. I like to add to whatever commotion is going on. The other day, I applauded when the speaker talked about wanting to ‘knock Zaccheus to the ground for being so sinful’….Before realising he was referring to the pharisees’ mindset – Not Jesus’. Safe to say I was the only one clapping.

Anyway. I’m a big believer in happy Christians. Why have we got to be so serious? I know the Gospel is weighty business and Souls are at stake and woe and woe to all who speak well of you. But I think it’s also good news. And I wonder sometimes, if people come into Church and we’re all serious about the worship and all serious about the talk, and all serious about the prayers, people might look elsewhere for fun.

Can the Gospel be fun? Can it liberate people from the stiff-necked pride which stifles laughter? Can it? Can the Gospel allow for accepting someone who gets the giggles in a prayer meeting? Can a relationship with God be made up of fun times?

Tension is key. I know. Like thingers and fumbs. But maybe we need to exercise our pinkies a bit more.

 

 

 

Agenda Item #2  See the Value

So then, Jesus heals the woman. Whoopie! Everyone is delighted. The woman is praising God. The disciples are probably hi-fiving. “Here comes Revival!”. …Hang on a minute, the synagogue leader is not smiling…

“There are 6 days to work, come on one of those days to be healed” – he declares. Interestingly his accusation isn’t at Jesus, this time, it’s directed at the woman. I wonder if she had come on the other 6 days, I wonder if she had come and not been seen. I wonder if she’d been coming all her life and not been noticed. We don’t know. All we know, is that she came this Sabbath and Jesus saw her. Jesus saw her, He spoke to her, He touched her and healed her. And when the Synagogue leader accused her, He defended her.

“This woman, a daughter of Abraham, was bound…” He begins. Jesus doesn’t just see her, beyond (and above) His agenda, He sees her value. He sees her importance to God. A daughter of Abraham. As a daughter of Abraham, she was part of the fulfilment of God’s promise in Gen 12 to Abraham.

It’s not enough for us to just see the people in the way of our agendas, we need to see their value. We need to recognize their significance before God. As Christians, we believe that each human being is important to God. And that He gave His Son to save them (and us!)…

What values do we need to see

  • This Woman – Identity, personhood, characteristics…Who is the person before you, are they male or female, are the rich or poor. Are they loud and outgoing, or quiet and reserved. When we respect their differences, preferences, strengths and weaknesses – we will find it easier to value them. This will usually mean going beyond the stereotyping level.
  • A Daughter of Abraham – Their part in God’s story, their potential, their relationship to others…This isn’t always easy to see, but everyone is part of a larger tapestry. We should try to take into account their relationship to others, to God’s story and purposes. The most significant mentors in my life, didn’t just see where I was at currently, they saw my potential. They saw what God could do through me and encouraged me in it. This isn’t always possible with the stranger on the bus, or the lady at the checkout…not to know the inns and outs, but we don’t need to and it wouldn’t be right if we did without their permission. But to at least acknowledge, this is a person in God’s image, fearfully and wonderfully made.
  • Was bound – the battles that they face, the obstacles in their way…These may things God will urge us to intercede and help with, on the other hand they may be things which we need to factor into our relationship/relating to them. Someone once said, he wouldn’t judge someone until he had walked a few miles in their shoes. How much capacity for compassion, love, mercy and value we would have for someone if we were to recognize their struggle/s.

In order to discover value, we may have to ask questions. Ask questions and listen to responses. We will have to be tentative to what’s being said and why it’s being said. We probably will need to spend time getting beyond a first impression.

One thing is for sure, Jesus saw her value immediately. The more time we spend in the Fathers presence, the closer our intimacy is with Him, the greater the love which has been sown into our eyes – the easier it will be to perceive value.

LOVE-BY-THE-PALETTE

 

Agenda Item #1 See the person

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We all have agendas, some of them are big and important, some a small and silly.

We set ourselves an agenda each week when we go shopping. We look at our watches, outside the doors of aldi, and we see if we can make it round the shop, past the checkouts and back out the door in less than 20mins. Shopping shouldn’t take that long should it? So we set our self the target of getting it done quick.

The thing with agenda’s is that people often get in the way of them. There’s that family with kids running around the aisles blocking your path. There’s the old lady with a walking stick – whose left her basket in between you and your goal (Why is she using a basket if she’s got a walking stick!?) Then there’s that lady at the checkout who is nattering away, like she’s the most sociable woman in the world – totally distracting the customer who is in my way, and also seeming to enjoy a superficial conversation with a stranger!

It’s silly when you put it like this but we all have them – agendas. Whether they’re work related: closing the deal, finishing the project, getting the promotion. Family related? Having dinner together, date nights, movie nights, playing a game of monopoly (and winning it!) Or maybe even “spiritual agendas”: getting to church on time, reading my bible each day or leading the music worship on Sunday…writing a blog etc.

The thing about agenda’s is that they can often make us blind, blind to people.

There is a story in the Bible (Luke 13:10-17) about Jesus teaching on the Sabbath, – anyone who is a teacher or has done teaching will know that you teach with an agenda. They’re called “learning objectives”/L.Os – we had to write them out as school kids, so that we knew what the teacher wanted us to learn. Jesus had an agenda this Sabbath, He wanted people to learn something. But despite His agenda, he saw a woman in the crowd who was suffering. He called her out and healed her. This messed with the agenda of the synagogue leader – who’s agenda it was to make people feel guilty and bad about themselves (joke!) – his agenda was keeping the Sabbath sacred.

Both these agendas are important. Teaching is important (hence the effort that goes into schools in this country: maintaining them, training teachers, inspecting them etc). Keeping the Sabbath is important (it’s the 4th 10 commandment)! But the difference between Jesus and the Synagogue Leader in this story, is that Jesus wasn’t blinded by His agenda. He could see the woman in need.

Who is the person, who are the people – God wants you to see? They may be the very people in the way of your agenda.

 

Plank?

There is a famous story Jesus gives us in the gospels, well, it’s not really a story, it’s more of a word picture that I think we all know but that we all tend to forget. Either we forget it, or we assume, it doesn’t apply to us. On the other hand, ironically, we’re all really good at spotting the specific person who needs to remember the lesson. We can easily spot planks in each other’s eyes – it’s obvious – it’s a plank – and they’ve got it in their eye. Let me just point it out to them. Or maybe if we’re not so bold, we won’t point it out to them, we’ll point it out to ourselves: hey look, we don’t need to listen to what that guy/girls saying because they’ve got a plank in their eye.

We all go round happily plank-hunting. Who’s got the biggest plank in their eye. It’s like where’s wally, but with planks. Wait, I see another one right over there. Yep, you’ve got one two. Hey, look, I think you need to hear the story about the guy with the plank in his eye – that’s you that is. We even plank hunt, plank hunters….Hey, you, yes you, you’re clearly looking for planks in people’s eyes!

Of course, we don’t see the plank in our own eye. That’s why it’s easy and fun for me to write a blog about you-all to get the planks out of your eyes. But me…

Maybe, if we spot the planks in our eye, we’d find the instruction in James: to be slow to speak and quick to listen, a lot easier.

Maybe, we’d have a lot less ‘how to’ videos, books, blogs and podcasts and a lot more humility?

Maybe, we’d be able to hear Jesus’ word to us and not just for our friends, family, colleagues and the-people-we-don’t-like-so-much-or-agree with.

Maybe…we’d have a more united church?

Maybe…I would be more merciful, loving, caring and honoring.

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Systematic Theology 10: The Knowability of God

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Forcing myself to get this up and posted. Thanks to everyone who ‘liked’ the previous post – not that I’m doing this for the approval. Because that would be vain of me 😉 and we all know that is not a pitfall battle for me! ;P But, seriously, it is actually encouraging to get the likes, especially on such a mammoth task as this.

Chapter 10, part 2 of 11 chapters on the Doctrine of God. And I am feeling pretty motivated to get it finished by end of February. That, is a tall order. But it’s worth setting targets.

So, if the previous post/chapter was trying to explain how we can know that God exists. This chapter seems to be building on it, can we really know God and how much of Him can we know. In short, we can know a lot about God, but not all there is (because He’s infinite!). We can know specific things about Him, but not the complete depths of those specific things. Not only can we know things about Him, but we can also know Him as a Person.

What did I like about this chapter?

  1. We can never fully understand God! He is so big, so infinite, so deep and wide we’ll never know too much or know completely. Even in Heaven when sin isn’t affecting us. The Bible is clear: God’s vastness is not fully comprehensible, partly because of sin, but also partly because of His greatness! (Grudem acknowledges an argument against this rooted in 1 Cor 13.12 “now I know in part, than I shall understand fully“….But he says the phrase “know fully” is simply an attempt to translate the word epiginosko, which suggest deeper or more accurate knowledge. Simply looking at Psalm 145.3 and other verses like this should clear up confusion. ‘the passages…attribute God’s incomprehensibility not to our sinfulness but to His infinite greatness p.151)… This makes it fantastic for someone who has a intellectual spiritual pathway to God, like me (!), to know that I can keep studying God’s word and meeting with Him and never get bored! Furthermore, it means that there will very likely be things about God that every other Christian will be able to teach me. This keeps me humble and reminds me to be teachable!
  2. I get excited that not only can we know about Him, like a superhero and famous leader, but we can also get to know Him. Real personally, He is our Abba. In fact, we’re told we should boast that we know Him. We are encourage in Scripture to boast that we know God. How awesome is that! God is my Father, I speak to Him on a daily basis! He knows me, and I know Him! This is amazing! It is also a challenging reminder, whenever my study is invested more in knowing about Him than actually knowing Him personally. May my study always be centered and rooted in prayer!
  3. Finally, even though I can’t know God fully, I can know Him truly. I know that He is love (1 John 4.8), light (1 John 1:5), Spirit (John 4.24) and Righteous (Rom 3.26). I know that He loves the world and has made me. I know that He works all things together for my good. I may not know everything, but I do know that He does. He reveals Himself to me through scripture, nature and His Spirit and I get to respond.

 

 

 

Systematic Theology 9: The Existence of God

Long time coming, maybe we’ll be able to hammer out a bit more consistency over the next few weeks. Who knows. It’s only me putting this pressure on myself to finish the book by the end of 2019. But if that goal is to become a reality we need to pick up our pace. Like seriously.

Doctrine 2, once we’ve passed this section, I’ll be able to say, along with Samwise Gamgee, that this is the furthest I’ve ever been…on the road to finishing Grudem’s book and I’ll be covering *new* ground! Whoopie!

So Chapter 9 The Existence of God, answering the question: How do we know that God exists. I trust no one is on this blog actually hoping to be convinced that God exists by me, because I’m not that clever. But the Bible is compelling and the Holy Spirit at work when we read the Bible is powerfully compelling, so watch out hard-core atheists….(See I still remember what was covered before, it’s not gone over my head.)

Obviously, I’m not going to go through the reasons given in depth, but the 3 main reasons given are 1) Inner Sense of God, 2) a – Evidence in Scripture b- Evidence in Creation, 3) Traditional Proofs (all the x-ological and y-ality arguments you’ve probably heard about in RE classes at school.

What did I like about this chapter:

  • I love that Nature tells of God. The heavens declare the glory of God, writes the Psalmist (19.1-2). As someone who saw Louie Giglio’s talk on if the earth were a golfball and Indescribable, I am convinced that creation speaks of God’s existence. I think the reason it stood out to me in reading, was because I’ve recently tried to incorporate walks in nature into my devotional life. I’ve had some fantastic moments with God doing this.
  • The traditional proofs, make sense, even though there are arguments that find faults in these arguments. Which I understand. However Grudem says that these “proofs” are limited in their ability to compel. I know this goes without saying, but for me this really emphasises the importance of Scripture and God’s power to bring about faith! This is cool, because it means we don’t get to boast that we came to faith because we’re clever, Grace disqualifies us of boasting!
  • Grudem refers to one of my most favourite Bible verses at the end of this chapter, 1 Cor 2.5. The whole chapter unpacks how God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and emphasises our need of God to overcome the blinding effects of sin and enabling us to believe in His existence.

Systematic Theology 1.b Introduction (Why & How)

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About this time last year I read a book by Simen Sinek, which has had a surprising impact on how I preach, teach and communicate ideas – even to a small group. The book is ‘Start with Why’. And in it he argues that instead of starting which What you do or How you do it you need to start with why. This sells people the vision, it keeps them motivated. Sinek argues that most people know what they do and how they do it. But few can express why they do what they do – and yet this is the most important. So why should I, why should we, study Systematic Theology.

Why not?

Grudem address some of the arguments people have against studying systematic theology and then gives responses.

  • “Since the conclusions are too neat and tidy they can’t be true”
  • “It is pointless, since whatever subject is chosen to be studied will determine the answers found.” (E.g. if you chose to study God’s sovereignty you’ll find arguments for Calvinism, but if you choose to study freewill you’ll be led towards Arminianism (a real word?)

Grudem gives good responses to these arguments. However these aren’t objections I have heard before, and ones I wouldn’t be tempted to make myself. For me the most compelling objection to studying systematic theology comes down to the fact that it should just be enough to read the Bible. I love the Bible, and I believe in it we have everything we need to learn to live a life of Godliness. So why should I study Systematic Theology?

I’ve been told to read books before, which summarise the Bible – and always had an inner frustration that we weren’t encouraged to simply read through the Bible itself. As someone who reads through the Bible regularly – what can systematic theology do for me? 

Well, Grudem makes clear that the purpose of S.T. isn’t to improve upon the Bible and give us special knowledge. But instead to help us understand the Bible’s voice on a variety of topics, to summarise and synthesise the whole of the Bible on any given topic, without reading it through from beginning to end every time we need an answer on a topic.

Furthermore it can help us carry out the Great Commission – Matthew 28:19-20. Of which, part of the commission is to ‘teach them to obey everything [He has] commanded us’. As someone who has been involved with teaching, and married to a teacher, I know the value of having an overview of a topic before introducing a fragment of it. By studying S.T. we can have overviews on Jesus’ teaching/commands through the whole Scripture (which we believe is all God-breathed, Spirit-inspired)!

The task of fulfilling the Great Commission includes therefore not only evangelism but also teaching 

To teach others – is the “Basic Reason” Grudem gives. Hence this blog and my desire to share with other Christians. May this knowledge also change the way I live that others see Jesus all the more.

The Benefit to our Lives – This is the 2nd reason given. By studying S.T.:

  • We can overcome wrong ideas (either innocent/naive or stubborn/rebellious). Grudem remarks that when we stubbornly disagree with a biblical idea, it can be helpful to feel the ‘Total weight of Scripture on an issue’.
  • Make better decisions, not just in life, but when it comes to future/unexpected disagreements with theology. Knowing what the Bible says on major doctrines, can clarify trip hazards in minor doctrines.
  • Help us grow as Christians – as noted in Scripture Godliness is often connected to Doctrine (1 Tim 1.10, 6.3)
  • Unity in the Church. This for me is so so important! I’ve come across this distinction before in my reading – between major and minor doctrines. Too often the Church divides over differences in minor doctrines, when it’s the major ones that are really important. What’s the difference?

He describes a Major Doctrine as one that has a big impact on how we view other doctrines (e.g. Authority of the Bible, Deity of Jesus, Justification by Faith etc.) whereas a Minor Doctrine has little impact on other doctrines (forms of Church government, timing of the Tribulation, food laws). Grudem explains that the concept of Major/Minor is more helpfully viewed as a spectrum rather than either/or. Aka: Some doctrines are more major than others. By being able to distinguish between the two, needless divisions and walkaway arguments need to happen.

I hope this is all followable!

So how should I study this?

  • With Prayer: we need the Power of the Holy Spirit, not just to learn this but to apply it. Therefore let us approach this prayerfully and maintaining our devotional lives and love for God.
  • With Humility: rightly is mentioned how knowledge often leads to pride – which puffs us up and isn’t useful without love (1 Cor 8:1, 13:1-3). There is a challenging quote on page 33, I’ll type out since pride is a big temptation for me personally – this is a good reminder:Pride

…it would be very easy to adopt an attitude of pride or superiority towards others who have not made such a study. But how ugly it would be if anyone were to use this knowledge of God’s Word simply to win arguments or to put down a fellow Christian in conversation, or to make another believer feel insignificant in the Lord’s work…

  • With Reason: Grudem argues that we should use our logic to draw deductions from Scripture, however we need to recognise that even though God has given us brilliant minds and abilities our deductions/reasoning are not level with Scripture and must be submitted to Scripture. By that he means that whenever we have reached a conclusion that is contradictory to Scripture, our idea is wrong.
  • With the help of others: be that books, peers, other Christians, by talking about what we’re learning. We are meant to grow and learn together – as Iron sharpens Iron.
  • With rejoicing and praise: What  God reveals to us through the Bible should result in awe, and praise and worship. I think the moment this slips, we are very much in danger of idolising ourselves/our minds. Our study – should result in God’s glory as we learn more about Him.

I want to make a third shorter post on this Chapter about the application questions, memory verse and what stood out to me this chapter. But then we’re starting PART 1!!! The Doctrine of the Word of God!!!!

Slow and steady wins the race, right?

 

Systematic Theology 0.b Preface

Wayne_Grudem_Photo_2014My target posting rate for this project is a chapter a week. That’s what we’ll aim for, but I am interested in applying it all as well, so I might go slower. And that’s not the only reason there might be delays, if you’re the praying type and you can spare a petition for me. Pray that I stay on it this time round! Best to start something like this dependent on God, not just for commitment levels, but also for brain capacity. Anyway enough about my weakness… the Preface.

In short it captures the distinct features that Grudem, no, lets go with Wayne. (Make it sound like I know him well,) the distinct features of this particular study of Systematic Theology has. I think they’re all worth mentioning and I want to unpack a few of them.

  1. A clear Biblical basis for the doctrines. From what I’ve covered so far, in previous studies/attemptes, this guy uses a lot lot lot of scripture to ground the doctrines he unpacks. Which is reassuring. He quotes Bible passages in length and I honestly don’t mind that! Because of his value for the Scriptures he includes a memory verse for each chapter. A memory verse that I’m going to try and memorise. This’ll be quite straight forward for the first few weeks, but maintaining that for a while will increase in difficulty. All the best.
  2. Clarity in the Explanation of doctrines. As an advertisement for this book, what I’ve read before also lives up to this standard. It is very simple to read and follow. Not like other books I’ve read: Piper, Lewis and Willard all fantastic fantastic fantastic reads – but  do require a bit of extra brain grease to fully engage. This one although clever and deep is also easy to read.
  3. Application to life. You’ll notice I bold and underlined this one too, that’s because it’s really important to me. I don’t just want to study this, to grow in head knowledge, but also grow in love of God, love for the Church and the world. (Corny?) Maybe, but if this study doesn’t increase my love then it’s just a clanging symbol. (I think another Paul said that once).  But it’s not just love I want to grow in, Obedience and Humility are virtues that I’m hoping to grow in too. That’s why I’ll be doing the applications, and at the moment the intent is to record how it was – here. “Learning by doing – what a novel idea” – Propaganda: Board of Education
  4. Focus on the Evangelical world. Wayne says that you can only go so far in reasoning on theology without an agreed bases for authority. Therefore in this book he focuses on dealing with arguments from the parts of the Church that believe the Bible is true and authoritative. I agree and get the reasoning. As someone who loves reading the Bible, it will be so helpful getting the different scripture arguments for different interpretations and viewpoints. For example end times & beginning times.
  5. Hope for progress in doctrinal unity in the Church. One of my personal values for the Church today is unity, I believe Jesus cared massively about this. And I think as a Church we miss this too much. Even without realising. What value we place on those who can critique a book, a service or a sermon. How quick do we compare our churches to another based solely on style. I don’t think Wayne’s goal here is to get everyone thinking the same as him – he even says he expects people to disagree on points, but the fact that we can discuss these things with honesty and humility allows us to learn from each other and be united.
  6. As a Church we need to grow in this area. On one hand I don’t agree with this statement. I see a lot of “intellectual” churches (perhaps because I work among University students) whose sermons are very theologically sound and thought through – but who’s love has gone a bit cold and passion and emotion has been outweighed by thought. But this outbalance, one way or another, actually demonstrates that we need to grow in this. If we are to worship God with all our heart and mind…we need to know truth and not just knowledge-facts, but freedom-bringing, change-initiating, Christ-exalting TRUTH.

Wayne then goes on to thank some people I don’t know.

There we go, Wayne’s (No, I’m going to stick with Grudem – I tried it, I did and it just feels weird!) systematic theology preface. But wait, there’s more. Before we go any – further. I want to give some of my own reasons/attempted distinctives in this blog. So excuse a blog with two lists but brace yourself for more of this. (I’ll soften the blow with a couple of pictures..)

  1. Personal Satisfaction – I recently read Gary Thomas’ book Sacred Pathways, which talks about the different ways individuals connect with God. It’s very much like the concept of the five love languages, but for a relationship with God. And there’s like 9 of them. Anyway for me 1 of my top ways to connect with God is as an Intellectual. No, that doesn’t mean I’m super bright – but I find that as I am learning and reading and listening and picking new things up – that’s when I feel close to God. It is my sacred pathway. For some it’s walks in nature, or tradition or….you get the point, read the book it’s fantastic! Really freeing for Churches and congregants to get. Highly recommend it. Anyway  to return to the question (RTTQ) why do this – because it’s one of the ways I worship God naturally.
  2. Ministry – in the olden-day, misguided sense and use of the word – my work with Church and Navigators. I want this blog to train people. To be an informal means for them to pick up some of the basics without reading/buying the shoebox of a book (1000+ pages) I got because I’m…(see last post!) Hopefully some of these posts will also be professional/formal enough to easily be turned into worksheets/resources to be printed for group studies.
  3. Evangelism. That the gospel I present, argue and live out is more truthfully Biblical than it is culturally-(westernis-ed-ly)-relevant-slightly/majorly-distorted.

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Phillip Yancey – Vanishing Grace

23307619And I have a lot of catching up to do…There is a lot I want to write about, a lot of things have been being processed in my mind. A lot of good stimuli, and not a lot of time to put them into blog form. So I’ve got an hour or so to clear some of the backlog.

Vanishing Grace – Well thanks Tim Fawsett for recommending this book to me, when we did our pre-marriage counselling with you over 3 years ago. It’s not marriage related, but I bought it, and 3 years later read it. And what a mistake to leave it so long, but what good timing. As we enter a year of evangelism being our focus for the student ministry – such good insights.

What’s it about? Yancey is acknowledging that Christianity just doesn’t seem like good news for a lot of people. And why is that and what we can do about it.

What’s stuck with me and struck me? Glad you asked. Aside from a lot that was fantastic in this book, one of the sections was devoted to how we can effectively and attractively communicate the good news to people. Vanishing Grace offers 3 really great pathways to do this – to a post-christian culture/society.

  1. As Pilgrims – if we as Christians were honest about our own shortcomings, and that we are also pilgrims on a journey – this would be much better. A lot of the time we try to present to the world, that we are “sorted” people, with it all together. Not only is this a lie, but its also unattractive. However if we are prepared to say that we don’t have all the answers, we still make mistakes, but that we do have a hope and that hope keeps us moving.
  2. As Activists – One of the biggest objections to Christianity is that the Christians don’t practice what they preach. They say they care about such and such but what do they do. Yancey encourages us to care for the marginalized, the down trodden, lonely. Etc.
  3. As Artists – Using creativity, in art, drama, poetry, writing (books, blogging, letters), to convey. He uses a powerful illustration that our art should both be ‘wise like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails’. That art has responsibility to tease and challenge and ‘prod to action’, but also to lodge itself in us and make us really think.

I can’t really do justice to the book, other than recommending it. But I would say that if you feel called to art as a means of witness do read that chapter, or this article I found by the author on the topic.

Short and simple, sorry no flare, I have a few more to write now.