“The fundamental problem in the evangelical world today is not inadequate technique, insufficient organization, or antiquated music, and those who want to squander the church’s resources bandaging these scratches will do nothing to stanch the flow of blood that is spilling from its true wounds. The fundamental problem in the evangelical world today is that God rests too inconsequentially upon the church. His truth is too distant, his grace is too ordinary, his judgment is too benign, his gospel is too easy, and his Christ is too common.” David Wells, “God in the Wasteland”
Matthew 16:24-27 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.
Does the church inspire you? Why or why not?
If I had to answer that question today, I’d have to say that the Western church, except in small pockets, does not inspire people to live Holy Spirit empowered lives that impact the world. We seem to busy compromising with the world. We seem too busy pursuing the values of wealth and prosperity to impact the world with the Gospel. Sadly God lays lightly on too many portions of the evangelical church today.
I don’t know about you, but I want to be inspired…and I want to inspire others for the sake of Jesus my savior and Lord. I do not want to be the center of my world…that’s Christ’s place. My prayer is that my life, empowered by the Holy Spirit, will inspire others for the sake of the Gospel. I hope that you will join me in that prayer.
“They said that I should lose my ideals and begin to believe in the methods of practical politicians. Now, I have not lost my ideals in the least; my faith in fundamentals is exactly what it always was. What I have lost is my childlike faith in practical politics.”
― G.K. Chesterton,
I am not a pragmatist for many reasons and I’d like to address a few of these.
Pragmatism at it’s core is an atheist-based theory of truth, advanced by American philosophers such as John Dewey and William James. On a simple level pragmatism states that something is true if it produces desirable or beneficial effects. Truth is what works…
The first problem with pragmatism is that we can never know ahead of time what the usefulness of a belief or decision will be. It presupposes to know the future, which no one can know.
There is another problem…how will we assess how well something has worked? Believing something might cause someone to feel better about themselves…but this does not necessarily lead to what is real. Telling someone that they are sure they have been healed of some horrible illness…or to give them a placebo, might cause them to feel better for some time, but does not solve the underlying problem. A man might believe that because of their sloppiness they lost their valuable watch…which might cause them to become more organized therefore giving them greater success in business. But later on discover that their watch was actually taken by their spouse and pawned. The belief caused a positive outcome, but it wasn’t true. Therefore what works wasn’t true.
G.K. Chesterton discovered a serious contradiction in pragmatism. “There is an authoritative need to believe the things that are necessary to the human mind. But I say that one of those necessities precisely is a belief in objective truth.”
The church today is filled with pragmatic leaders… When I read the Gospels, I see very little in Jesus that I would call pragmatic. I see little that is pragmatic in the cross. The pragmatic thing for 1st century Christians to do should have been to put a little incense on the idol of the emperor. They rejected the pragmatic, the easy, what works…and instead set their mind on the cross. They trusted their Savior and were often put to death for that trust. May the Holy Spirit give His people the courage and boldness to stand for their Lord today.
Adel Thalos, Teach Elder