It is possible to overcome the dogma generated by our cultural and theological backgrounds. We do this not by giving up truth. Rather it is about discovering a better way that doesn’t require abandoning the faith nor blind acceptance of dogmatic interpretations of Scripture by some Christian apologists. In other words, by realizing that our original choice was not between truth and error but between two errors.
— Read on thenaturalhistorian.com/2019/11/25/responding-to-the-false-dichotomy-on-the-age-of-the-earth/
I wonder what it will take to finally repudiate the entire Young, Restless, and Reformed movement? How many Piper Cubs have to crash into the ground before we realize they are wrong-headed to begin with? How many ludicrous interpretations of God’s sovereignty are required before we see through them? How many church people have to be abused before we discover it’s all about abuse and control? How many financial irregularities will it take to make us stop giving? How many sexual failures will it take before we realize they have lost the moral high ground?
In other words, how stupid are we?
The church relates to God on the basis of the fact that Yhwh had been at work in Israel; “salvation is from the Jews” (John 4:22). The church can never grow out of or escape its indebtedness to the Jewish people. Yhwh’s relationship with Israel remains the model for Yhwh’s relationship with the church.
John Goldingay, Baker Commentary on the Old Testament: Psalms 90–150, ed. Tremper Longman III, vol. 3 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2006), 124.
Fact: Most people do not follow Jesus. Prove it by looking around.
Conjecture: Most people in the church do not follow Jesus. Confirm it by looking around a little more.
No matter that people around me take the easy way, I will not. I will follow Jesus.
No matter that churches around me take the safe with within the culture. I will not. I will follow Jesus.
When Jesus sends out the Twelve to announce God’s reign and to back it up with its signs, he warns them that they, too, are not to assume that people will welcome them or listen to them (Mt 10:9–39). They are like sheep among wolves. They are to allow for the possibility of being handed over to councils and flogged in synagogues, arrested and brought before governors and kings, betrayed by family members, hated and persecuted, and called Beelzebul, as Jesus was. Persecution is “the climate in which Jesus lived,” and the one in which they will live. He knows that he comes to bring a sword, not peace. They have to be prepared to be killed because of their proclamation and the signs they give.
Jesus later reiterates that the mystery of opposition that he has faced will also face his followers (see Mt 24; Mk 13; Lk 21), though their predicament will at least be the means of the good news being proclaimed to all the nations. It will then be the case that “you are not the ones who are speaking, but the holy spirit” (Mk 13:11). Such pressures will mean families and communities being riven by conflict and hatred. The disciples will be hated by all nations (Mt 24:9).
John Goldingay, Biblical Theology: The God of the Christian Scriptures (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic: An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2016), 247.
You know what, it has been a long, long time since I heard a sermon that included anything about counting the cost of following Jesus.