Month: June 2016

Staying Focused Around Land Mines

As I get ready to preach through the Olivet Discourse in Mark 13, these words resonate:
 
“The most important thing that Christians have been called to do is to preach the gospel to all the nations (13: 10). When the Son of Man comes, he will not quiz people to see whose predictions on the date were accurate. He will want to know what we were doing. Were we proclaiming the gospel to all the nations? Were we enduring suffering faithfully? Were we fulfilling the assigned tasks? Those who have been asleep on the job or buried in the task of trying to map out the times rather than carrying out the mission will be more than just embarrassed; they will be judged. That is why Jesus warns his disciples to be on their guard (13: 9)” – David Garland, NIV Application Commentary

Being Spiritual and Drifting From God

I’m reading a book by Eugene Peterson, whom I’ve grown to greatly appreciate:

 

“There are seething energies of spirituality in evidence everywhere. To begin with this is a good thing. But spirituality is also prone to imprecisions that clutter the playing field and make it difficult to carry on a conversation. Four are common: First, spirituality easily, almost inevitably, develops elitist postures as it notices that so many of the men and women that we rub shoulders with in our work and worship are so “unspiritual.” Then, in the enthusiasm of firsthand experience, spirituality imperceptibly wanders away from its basic spirituality text, the Bible, and embraces the inviting world of self-help. Now, exposed and vulnerable to a culture that is only too happy to supply the terms of discourse, spirituality is diluted or emptied of any gospel distinctiveness. Finally, in reaction to what is assumed to be “dead” theology, spirituality easily becomes theologically amnesiac and ends up isolated from any awareness of the grand and spacious God horizons, the truly vast landscapes in which we are invited to live out the Christian life.”

– Peterson, Eugene H.. Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places: A Conversation in Spiritual Theology (p. 13)