Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Cross and the Crown

The current financial crisis has been a blessing for me. It has worked to reveal some of my own idols and helped me to see the gospel a little more clearly.

As I survey the landscape of current evangelicalism and the depths of my own heart, I am convinced that I want the crown without the cross. You see the church and I are often plagued with wanting the blessings of glory, while not understanding the fellowship of His suffering. We have a over-realized eschatology. We want to live in the fullness of his kingdom right now, and we are not so interested in the not yet. Instead of being a witness through daily suffering for the glory of Christ we want our best life now.

Yes I want to experience the miraculous, healings, the tangible presence of God, and lives radically transformed. But, that stuff is becoming increasingly dull to me. I don't know how to put it any other way. I am becoming more and more disinterested in what we might narrowly call "the supernatural" and am finding real excitement in watching others make Christ look great in the midst of their suffering. I am encouraged and provoked when Christians live in what Eugene Peterson called "a long obedience in the same direction."

Besides the financial crisis bringing clarity to this a new book by John Piper has helped me with this. It is not your typical Piper book, but it is a poetic and illustrated book based on the life of Job. This book has pierced me with many uncomfortable questions: Could I suffer like Job and still not curse God? Do I love God more than my wealth and health? If I want to follow Jesus do I realize that he was crucified? .....and many more similar questions. Anyway, I if you are interested in previewing the book you can watch the trailer below. Also I would love to hear your thoughts....



Anonymous said...

You can also go to this link,
and listen to John Piper read the whole poem online.

Jason_73 said...

I think what you might have meant to say is, "I am bored with what others portray as the super-natural".

I know you know, and I actually agree with you on all your points a lot. My thinking though is that I don't want the way others worship, or their concept of God and the super natural to cause me to lose my "wonder" in the super natural God.

That can be difficult though, because their doesn't seem to be a good example of that mix. People tend to either go fully from one side to the other.

Make sense?

Maybe that wasn't the point of your post... hopefully it might provoke a chat though.