Culture

Living with Breath

Many of us are waking up numb after a weekend of watching the festering wound in our nation pour out its infection. We need change. We need a move of God. We need Pentecost again.

I have long appreciated the preaching of Chicago pastor Charlie Dates. Yesterday’s sermon “I Can’t Breathe” is an important one. It helps us see our theological errors when it comes to image bearing. Give it a watch and ask for the wind of the Spirit to give all of us breath.

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Whom we are meant to fight…

Especially in the blogosphere, Christians are more and more
confused as to whom they are in battle with. Sadly, we determine to
war with each other over issues not always essential and neglect
the war on sin in our own lives. If we are to be part of widespread
revival and renewal, we must be champions of stopping this trend.
“With whom is the Christian soldier meant to fight? Not with other
Christians. Wretched indeed is that man’s idea of religion who
fancies that it consists in perpetual controversy! He who is never
satisfied unless he is engaged in some strife between church and
church, chapel and chapel, sect and sect, faction and faction,
party and party, knows nothing yet as he ought to know… But as a
general rule, the cause of sin is never so much helped as when
Christians waste their strength in quarreling with one another and
spend their time in petty squabbles.” J.C. Ryle in
Holiness. The world, our flesh and Satan are
our true enemies. Let us remember this as we wage into the
theological fray…

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Watch your tone…

Donald Miller is telling the story of light criticism he received over twitter before a recent performance. And while the story and Miller’s reaction to the quasi-criticism was interesting in itself, he uses it to launch into a discussion of what he sees as arrogance among one and perhaps many, “white young man in his early twenties.”

I spend all day thinking and talking about theology and I get what Miller is saying. Our comfort with criticism of things unknown, authors we have not read, preacher we have not heard, is unsettling. I personally get most frustrated when I read and hear some of the things out there! We do though need to function in as much grace as we have received. There is clearly a place for confronting wrong, or heretical theology but perhaps your blog is not the place for it.

Miller labels the young man in his story as one struggling for identity and with that he has answered the question of humanity’s sin, mine and even Miller’s. We long to be clearly identified and neglect our identity in Christ alone. I pray we can learn to recognize this tendency when it arises and put it away in pursuit of a right identity in the wake of Christ’s sacrifice for us.

Miller ends with a good point worth repeating here: “When we are young or immature, right theology makes us feel superior, but when we are older and more mature, a study of theology makes us feel inferior and unworthy, undeserved, and grateful.” I would suggest that age has nothing to do with it. Maturity here is in the faith. Just because you are 40 we can not assume you are mature. But as we grow in our knowledge of God there should be a humbling and graciousness about us. Here is to pursuing that.