the forty-second parallel

Archive for the ‘Jesus’ Category


Contextualization

Mark Driscoll:

Every church and ministry contextualizes. The question is what culture and which year?

Posted on July 27th, 2011 | Culture, Jesus, The Gospel

We Drift in Other Ways

D.A. Carson:

People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.

Posted on June 8th, 2010 | Jesus, The Gospel

None of those things works

Robert Farrar Capon:

[Jesus] did not come to teach the teachable; He did not come to improve the improvable; He did not come to reform the reformable. None of those things works … Jesus came to raise the dead.

Posted on April 6th, 2010 | Jesus

There’s No Step Three

Jared Wilson:

Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength (and your neighbor as yourself).

Do what you want.

In that order.

You could (and people have and will) fill libraries of books full of footnotes, addendum, clarifications, helpful hints and the like. I know it’s tempting.

But please don’t.

Posted on September 2nd, 2009 | Jesus, Life in General

It Does Not Work

Jared Wilson:

American evangelicalism has not done a great job at making Jesus the point of the enterprise of faith. We take the Gospel notion of “faith alone,” a belief many Reformers died contending for, and make it about us. We turn perseverance into personal empowerment and sanctification into self-improvement. We’ve made religion a bad word by turning Law into legalism and grace into license. We made Jesus our buddy, our co-pilot, our sidekick. We don’t have sin — we have “issues.” We say we have bad habits rather than admit we have sinful hearts. We look to Scripture in general as a toolbox of pick-me-up quotable quotes and to the Gospels specifically as a chronicle of warm-fuzzy behavioral aspirations. We forgo Christian repentance and gospel proclamation in favor of the culture war against gay marriage, evolution, atheism, liberalism, America forgetting her heritage, what-have-you.

But if the point of any of it is not Jesus, it will not, cannot, and does not work.

Posted on May 7th, 2009 | Jesus, The Gospel

So radical, so real and so costly

John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life:

Of course, we do not use the word cool to describe greatness. It is a small word. That’s the point. It’s cheap. And it’s what millions of young people live for. Who confronts them with urgency and tears? Who pleads with them not to waste their lives? Who takes them by the collar, so to speak, and loves them enough to show them a life so radical and so real and so costly and Christ-saturated that they feel the emptiness and triviality of their CD collection and their pointless conversations about passing celebrities? Who will waken what lies in their souls, untapped — a longing not to waste their lives?

One could easily cross out young from the phrase young people because I think what Piper describes applies across the board to millions and millions of everyday people. Just replace CD collection with gadgets or clothes and substitute politicians for celebrities.

It’s never occurred to them to live any other way. That’s why it’s so important to push back against triviality with the fullness of the Gospel. Not so that we can be “good” Christians and stake our identity to a moral code, but so that we might live for the only thing that truly matters — the glory of Christ Jesus.

Posted on March 26th, 2009 | Jesus, John Piper, The Gospel

Not a circus or a show

Michael Spencer:

I was reminded again how many of us are homeless in evangelicalism. It’s sad. I know we can be a difficult and hard to please bunch, but most of us want a church more than anything else. Not a circus or a show, but a church. Is that so hard?

Posted on March 13th, 2009 | Jesus

Cash

Greg Pinkner, The Trial of Wealth:

Money is a tangible promise of an uncertain future. Christ is an intangible promise … of a certain future.

Posted on December 7th, 2008 | Jesus

The Broken and the Marginal

Tim Keller, The Prodigal God p. 14 – 15:

Jesus’s teaching consistently attracted the irreligious while offending the Bible-believing, religious people of his day. However, in the main, our churches today do not have this effect. The kind of outsiders Jesus attracted are not attracted to contemporary churches, even our most avant-garde ones. We tend to draw conservative, buttoned-down, moralistic people. The licentious and liberated or the broken and marginal avoid church. That can only mean one thing. If the preaching of our ministers and the practice of our parishioners do not have the same effect on people that Jesus had, then we must not be declaring the same message that Jesus did. If our churches aren’t appealing to younger brothers, they must be more full of elder brothers than we’d like to think.

via Steve McCoy

Posted on November 24th, 2008 | Jesus

He is Better

Matt Chandler, Nine Pastoral Prayers:

We don’t follow Jesus because he makes things better. We follow Jesus because he is better … We don’t follow him because he makes our life better. We follow him because he is better than life.

Posted on April 13th, 2008 | Jesus

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