The ordinary radical

In the current tension between “radical” (via David Platt, Francis Chan, et al) and the case for the “ordinary” (latest from Michael Horton), there is some sort of balance to strike.

We don’t want complacency in our lives, but we should learn something of the term Paul calls content. 

We don’t want our lives so set on edge we burn the spiritual and mental gears out before we’re 30, but we need to hear the urgency of a world still needing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I think in living ordinary lives, walking intentionally with Jesus, we find extraordinary opportunities. They are not necessarily everyday, but they are wonderful. It was in a very “ordinary” service over 2 years ago the Lord first spoke to me about planting churches and then, a month later, “owning” a country. It was the ordinary daily routine a year ago the Spirit spoke and said, “You’ll be in Africa next year.”

And, in an extraordinary way, it happened.

It’s a both/and world, folks. Not either/or.

Repenting of Sin? Or Sorry You Got Caught?

To fear the Lord is to hate evil.
I hate pride and arrogance,
the path of evil and corrupt speech. (Prov. 8:13, CEB)

“Lukewarm people don’t really want to be saved from their sin; they want only to be saved from the penalty of their sin. They don’t genuinely hate sin and aren’t truly sorry for it; they’re merely sorry because God is going to punish them.”
— Francis Chan, Crazy Love

As one cartoon I once saw said, “I haven’t really died to sin, but I did feel faint once.”

Hell is Still Selling

Introducing in this corner Francis Chan with his latest entry into the foray and fallout from Rob Bell’s book.

I do not think having these conversations is wrong, but if I were conducting these interviews (be it Rob Bell or Francis Chan or Mark Galli or whoever is next out with a book), I dream it would go something like this:

ME: So tell me (fill in name here), what REALLY prompted you to write this book?

OTHER: Well, Dan, it seemed to me I needed a bit more revenue. I already have a large audience (or church or readership), so I thought, “Hey, I’d like that vacation home by the lake so I don’t have to keep paying for vacations every year.” So, I wrote the book.

ME: So let’s talk about your take on eternal damnation…

OTHER: Can I be honest? I was only stirring the pot. That makes money, you know. Just preaching the gospel? You kidding me? You need to kick over a few chairs, make some noise. I don’t HAVE a position. Ask me what I think right now, or just take a swing at what you THINK I said in that book. Go ahead.

ME: Well, Rob, it seems you are leaning more to the universalist side…

OTHER (Rob, in this case): WHAT? Did you even READ my book? Are you kidding me?

ME: Ummm…

OTHER (Rob, in this case): See? That PLAYS on TV, I’m tellin’ ya! Get in the face of someone and just keep asking more questions…

ME: Well, that about wraps that up with (fill in the name). Thanks for the time.

OTHER: No problem. Where’s my check?

(DISCLAIMER: Please note this is filed under HUMOR and tagged HUMOR. Deal with it. 😉 )

 

And the Hits Just Keep on Coming

I am not opposed to the conversations Rob Bell has generated by his book Love Wins. We need to have these discussions, though I don’t think they are going particularly well. We just have our problems with the concept of hell and wanting to wish it away. (A notion I’m not opposed to myself. But, alas, it is simply a notion on my part.)

What is so interesting is the publishing industry. Hell for the Christian book world has become what vampires were to the secular publishing world. All of a sudden everyone is taking up this subject. Because it’s worth taking up? Umm… not really. Publishers don’t take up topics for the sake of discussion. They have to make money. They take up the subject if it sells.
So, we have Rob Bell, now Francis Chan, and now Mark Galli from Christianity Today.
Publish or perish. (Modified to make money while you publish or perish.) And if you perish, at least there won’t be a hell to go to. 😉