For those who aren’t aware, I also blog at Creation Project, where I try to think and reflect Christianly about life and culture. I also recently updated my Article Archive, which lists various writings under subject headings such as: Discipleship, Culture, Community, Church, and so on.
Austin City Life City Groups went through Tim Chester’s book You Can Change YCC will be released in the U.S. in March 2010 (new cover to the left) this summer. It was a powerful experience for all our communities. In chapter 5, Tim helps us fight the fight of faith for Gospel change by introducing four powerful truths we can believe in face of the lies of sin.
1. God is great – so we don’t have to be in control
2. God is glorious – so we don’t have to fear others
3. God is good – so we don’t have to look elsewhere
4. God is gracious – so we don’t have to prove ourselves
Our friends at Soma Church are now calling these the “4 Gs”, which is catchy. I encourage you to meditate on the power of God’s grace promised to us in the 4 Gs. When we are tempted to fear, flee, flaunt, or force our way, God promises a better way. He is Great, Glorious, Good, and Gracious. Memorize these phrases. Look for their truth in the Scriptures. Meditate on God’s goodness, glory, greatness, and graciousness….and Enjoy Grace!
You Can Change Resources
Dennis P. Hollinger, Ph.D., President and Professor of Christian Ethics at Evangelical Theological Seminary (ETS), Myerstown, PA, has been named the new President of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Professor of Christian Ethics.
American Christianity has overplayed the cross. The symbol of the cross has been co-opted for all kinds of causes other than the cause of Christ. Not only has the cross been co-opted, its meaning has also been diluted. Placing a cross on a building makes it a church, when the new testament notions of church are infinitely more than a building. The cross is only mentioned ten times outside of the gospels (1 Co. 1:17, 18; Gal. 5:11; 6:12, 14; Eph. 2:16; Phil. 2:8; 3:18; Col. 1:20; 2:14; Heb. 12:2). Staggeringly, the greek word for “cross” is omitted entirely from Paul’s letter to the Romans.
It appears that new testament authors chose to focus their attention less on the symbol of the cross and more upon Jesus of the cross, what his work on the cross accomplished. The cross, when used biblically, is used interchangeably with the “gospel” and the “power of God to save” (1 Cor 1:17, 18). However, that power is often absent from presentations and sermons regarding the cross. Paul considered the cross a “stumbling block” in his preaching (Gal 5:11; 6:12). Today the cross has become step ladder for financial success, social identity, spirituality, and political power. Perhaps we should recover the centrality of Jesus, the Jesus of the cross as opposed the cross of Jesus. What would happen if we tried to reflect the biblical emphasis of a person-centered, not symbol-centered faith?