Monday, October 26, 2009

Why I Quit Blogging through Luke

You might have noticed that I began blogging my way through the Gospel of Luke in September, but then I quit, and a month has now passed. I promise you that it's not simply procrastination. Here's the deal: I got to chapter six, and realized that I could have easily written about good trees producing good fruit (6:43-45), or the importance of building on a solid foundation (6:46-49). However, I wasn't so sure about that first part, specifically all those "blessed's" and "woe's." For that reason, I felt that I couldn't write, much less preach, on this until I had a better understanding. I had this hunch that understanding a passage such as this one was key to understanding this radical Gospel as a whole.

So that brings me to today, and more specifically, to my last few days in Cincinnati at the CCDA Conference. I had the privilege of being around many men and women who have forsaken so much in order to live out and proclaim the gospel in difficult settings. To say that I was moved would be a major understatement, however. There was a moment on Friday night where I felt as if God was ripping out my heart. I came to the understanding that my view of the Gospel is very incomplete, so I repented to God and asked for understanding. Now hear me out - I know that none of us know completely, but I realized that there are some major gaps in my understanding.

I feel that over this past year my gaps have been growing smaller. I chalk much of that up to what I have learned listening to and reading Tim Keller. My understanding of the difference between the Gospel and religion has grown so much. What I'm learning right now is very similar to this.

For some time now I have really resonated with the idea of the upside-down Kingdom of God. The life and message of Jesus is radically counter-cultural to the way many of us live today. I've always believed that it was counter-cultural to the world, but I now believe that it is often counter-cultural to Christianity as well. Jesus taught us to pray, "Let Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven", but right now I wonder if we would actually recognize the Kingdom if this was a reality.

Shane Claiborne ended his talk on Saturday night by taking us to the the fall of the great whore of Babylon found in Revelation 17-19. He made a statement that shook me. He said, "I wonder if we will rejoice with the angels (18:2) or weep with the merchants (18:3) when we hear this news. Here's what's scarier than not recognizing the Kingdom coming: it's fighting against it. Why in the world would we fight against it? Because we do not see it for what it is. Because we do not hear. This is perhaps why Jesus said over and over, "He who has an ear, let him hear."

So with that as a rather long explanation, I will return to blogging through this great book of the Bible, asking God continually to give me the courage to see what He wants me to see and hear what He wants me to hear.

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