Bar Code Christianity

I am deeply thankful for Gary Black, Jr. and the work to carry on the writings of Dallas Willard. The latest work is a compilation summing up Willard’s thoughts on renewing the Christian mind. It is becoming a primer on spiritual formation.

One of my favorite illustrations from Willard’s writings is about “bar code” Christianity. When we are committed only to mimicking right answers and not following Christ fully, it’s like a bar code on a can. The scanner reads the bar code and the register says “salmon.” But you get the can home and it’s dog food.

Bar code Christianity simply wants to “hear the right words” and fruit doesn’t matter. We have to DO BETTER. We must follow Christ.

This is the struggle of American evangelicalism and political power. It’s also an issue on the “liberal” side of the equation as well. We look for “code words” that help pacify our anxieties.

Our minds, our lives, need to be geared in a different direction. It is to follow Christ, bearing his fruit, rather than mimicking right answers so others will like us.
Renewing the Christian Mind: Essays, Interviews, and Talks

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