Committed Christians

There are an abundance of people in our world who claim to be “Christian”, and yet that claim seems to have no great influence on their lives. If you are at all like me, that is a frustrating phenomenon.

From God’s Potters: Pastoral Leadership and the Shaping of Congregations, by Jackson Carroll, pp. 39-40:
“…A high degree of religiosity is not the same as commitment…it fosters a kind of complacency that may even serve as an inoculation against serious religious commitment and involvement in church life.

When almost everyone professes to be a Christian, regardless of whether they are committed and involved in a church, it may be difficult to know what commitment actually means.”
And from Søren Kierkegaard:
“It is easier to become a Christian if one is not a Christian than to become a Christian if one is already supposed to be.”


Observation #11

It’s been said that the church is a hospital for sinners, and I think that is absolutely true. At the same time, the cure of the Great Physician is fundamentally for those who want to be healed, not for those who think they are just fine the way they are.

To put it another way, it’s hard to deal with your problem until you admit that you have one.


The “Right to Believe” vs. “The Rightness of Belief”

The other day while reading one of my textbooks, The Art of Biblical History by V. Philips Long, I came across the following quotation which I really liked:
“Are all worldviews equally valid? In many modern societies there is an insistence that individuals have the right to believe what they will. But this affirmation need not, and should not, slide into the kind of relativism or subjectivism that would insist that every individual’s beliefs are right. Put another way, the right to believe and the rightness of belief are separate issues, the former by no means guaranteeing the latter.”
At a time when postmodern thought as invaded our culture at virtually every level, this is a controversial statement, but its implications are enormous. You have the right to view the world however you want to, but that doesn’t mean that all worldviews are equally valid.

To use the classic example that everyone uses: as evidenced by his actions, Adolf Hitler was evil, regardless of the fact that his actions were in keeping with his beliefs. At the end of the day, if you can’t affirm that statement, then there really isn’t much common ground for any sort of serious/productive philosophical or theological discussion.

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