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April 19, 2013

So I googled ‘the gospel’, and here’s something that I keep coming back to-

Perspective #1-

“… and that’s why the Bible is so thick. It’s because there are so many different needs that you have, and there are suitable places where the gospel is unfolded for you, so that if you immerse yourself in the whole Book, always with an eye, to what Christ has wrought for you and purchased for you in this thick, glorious history of God’s direction, people, he will give you what you need.”

The Bible is for me and for my needs?

Well. Here’s something else I looked up-

Perspective #2

“We want: to be driven by a purpose that has been tailored just right for our individual lives [which is of course infinitely preferable to living aimlessly]- when we should be seeing the purpose of all life, including our own, wrapped up in the great mission of God for the whole of creation.

We ask: ‘where does God fit into the story of my life?’, when the real question is where does my little life fit into this great story of God’s mission.

We talk: about the problems of ‘applying the Bible to our lives’ which often means somewhat adjectivally to fit into the assume ‘reality’ of the life we live ‘in the real world’. – what would it mean to apply our lives to the Bible instead, assuming the Bible to be the reality- the real Story- to which we are called to conform ourselves?”

___

One voice talks of the Book of the Bible being unfolded for our lives and our needs, the other talks about our lives and our needs being fit for the Story of the Bible.

Maybe there is no real contradiction, for both these men love God and give their lives to furthering his Kingdom and serving His people. Which is good and brings comfort, in the midst of loud noise from so many debating and faulting. There’s a whole cacophony of sounds out there, mostly claiming authority; a prime example here- http://vinothramachandra.wordpress.com/2010/11/20/whose-prioritywhich-gospel/

It’s unsettling to follow the conversation and read commentators assuming superiority, and worse, smearing mud on the personal characters of others they disagree with. I know we can get worked up and exceedingly so in the thick of a heated discussion, but we are a peculiar people set aside for him and marked by grace and called to reconciliation- and unity. It is a sorry situation to reflect on. Thank God, for his Word, which gives calm to an uneasy soul. I’ll end with this from Romans 14:17 (see also 18&19)

“The kingdom of God is … righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

And that, is what the kingdom is about. Thank God, it is not about who’s right, or who knows more, or is superior. God’s kingdom is marked by the qualities of righteousness and peace and joy, and whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men.

Let me then pursue what makes for peace, and mutual upbuilding.

.

Postscript: for citation’s sake, the first was from Piper, and the second, Wright (of Chris Wright, not N.T./Tom).

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