Now that I can no longer play golf, I have figured out the key flaw in my grip that caused my inconsistency for many years. Even though I got to the point of breaking ninety with some regularity, I believe I could get my handicap to single digits if only I could play again now. However, this thesis cannot be tested, so you may take it with a grain of salt.

On Not Making a Religion of Politics | Roger E. Olson

Roger Olson is on fire. I cannot but concur. In fact, I’ve been compiling notes for a post to the same effect and haven’t done it yet. Also is 100% on track.

On Not Making a Religion of Politics | Roger E. Olson:

Sadly, much to my dismay, many conservative and liberal Christians seem to more passionate about politics than about Jesus Christ and the gospel. Of course, they claim that their political commitments and activism are inseparable from Jesus Christ and the gospel, but they are absolutely, unequivocally wrong.

One thing became surprisingly clear to me—that some smart and successful people fall into a state of delusion, believing in and committing themselves to simply outlandishly absurd belief systems that were clearly invented for the purposes of power and money. They could not be talked out of that.

A massive delusion has gripped the minds and hearts of many American Christians and it is near-idolatrous if not blasphemous. It is the job of Christian theologians such as I am to challenge it, to name it for what it is, and to call it out. That is why I write this. Let him or her who has ears, hear. Hell awaits anyone who places anyone or anything alongside or above God in terms of their ultimate concern. That is traditional Christian doctrine, not just my opinion.

How a Christian Lives

Many of the (supposed) Christians I know have lost their first love. You can tell by the way they live. A Christian obeys Jesus and follows Jesus rather than being invested in a political process. If I person is more invested in conservative (or liberal) politics, I don’t care what they say they believe. They are lukewarm, at best, Christians.

Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 3:7–14, NRSV)

If you have ears to hear it, I offer a word from Volf and Croasmun.

To perceive a form of life contrary to our own as truly desirable, to recognize in it the pearl of great price for which we are willing to sell everything, requires more than good vision and hearing, more than reliable information combined with unassailable arguments. It requires a death of the self and its rising again and a resultant shift in seeing and hearing, a new set of eyes and ears as the organs of a new self.

Volf, Miroslav; Croasmun, Matthew. For the Life of the World (Theology for the Life of the World) (pp. 123-124). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Please, please, please, Christians, get your story straight. Who are you?

Rest for the Weary

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
(Matthew 11:28–30, NRSV)

We want the rest. But we resist the yoke.

The yoke is one on learning, discovery, and growth. But we fear it is a yoke of rules, restrictions, and limitations.

The heart of Jesus is gentle and humble. He wants us to have the same heart. I’m ready to lay down my burden and take his instead.

Who will join me?

Obedience is not an add-on to faith. It is an expression of faith. In fact, obedience is the expression of faith.

Faith without works is dead.