5:18 PMThis afternoon I’ve been watching YouTubes of Malcolm Muggeridge, and one of them merits at least a very brief comment. In it, Muggeridge opines:
To identify Christian hopes with an earthly cause, however ostensibly noble, is disastrous, because all earthly causes end in total disappointment.
It was my reading of Muggeridge (as well as Jacque Ellul) that launched a path that ended up in my book Christian Archy.
Muggeridge (and Ellul) taught me a powerful lesson about God’s work in the world. Participating in political causes as Christians inevitably requires acceptable compromise. That’s not to say that Christians shouldn’t be involved in government or politics. But it’s most certainly not their duty to do so. The most important part of Christian initiation is the new birth, for without the new life that comes to us through conversion, we simply have not begun living out the kingdom of God. Being a Republican or a Democrat has nothing to do with it. What would happen if the church took the words of Muggeridge to heart? What if Christians did what Jesus called them and empowered them to do? I submit we would do more than the combined efforts of all the world’s governments and political parties put together. Sadly, a secular world looks at the church and concludes that the only kind of power most Christians think makes an actual difference is political power. But our job is to manifest God’s scandalous love by using our time, talents, and resources to serve the world.
The one thing I like most about Muggeridge is his call to regeneration. There must always be a surrender to the claims of Jesus. And consequently, there must always be a lifestyle change. Without the new birth, we have good reason to doubt that Christian discipleship has begun. The older I get, the surer I am that this message of Muggeridge’s — this message of the New Testament — needs to be at the very center of our proclamation as followers of Jesus Christ. The new birth is crucial, but it is often muted or absent in churches that are into the maintenance of the chairs on the Titanic. Christianity begins with conversion, a personal encounter with the risen Christ. I thank God that I heard this call to conversion when I was 8 years old. I am well aware that not all are so fortunate.
As you may have observed, most posts on this site come from Dave Black Online. You may wonder why we have a site that produces largely copied material (with permission, of course). The reason is simple. Dave Black’s blog doesn’t allow linking to specific posts, and so material posted here gets a permanent link. It’s also divided up by topic. You’ll find posts here that relate to Dave’s book, The Jesus Paradigm. I read Dave’s blog regularly, and as I find material that I believe would interest readers of this site, I cross-post it here.
But recently Dave has posted quite a number of things that relate to the home-going of his wife, Becky Lynn Black. He has provided an abundance of personal testimony about this experience that I think is helpful to Christians. After the death of my son James, I found that many, many Christians struggled with the idea of grief and didn’t know how to relate the four little words I put in the title (and a few others). Dave’s personal testimony is tremendously helpful.
I simply don’t have time to post everything here. I’d suggest heading over to Dave’s blog and check out at least the last few weeks. I think you will be blessed.
I couldn’t resist bringing this to your attention!
4:40 AM Our contest has now come to an end.
The Winning Caption:
The 5th horseman of the Apocal-oops: behold a brown horse w/a moistened tongue of saliva. And he who sits on the horse is old and grey, and authority was given him to wreak havoc on all first year Greek students.
Just in time for Gettysburg 150: Robert E. Lee and Traveler Ride Again!
The Jesus Paradigm has been selected as book of the week by Energion Publications. This offer is only available via Energion Direct. That means it’s available today and tomorrow for $10 – shipped (within the U. S. + sales tax where applicable). International shipping is just $7.50, or $17.50 shipped during this sale. Sale ends at midnight May 14, 2010.
Today is the last day to submit your entry for our blogging/essay contest. Entries will be accepted up to midnight eastern time tonight, based on the sent date/time from your e-mail. If you are posting on your blog, please make sure to e-mail us as well at the same time.
Links and/or entries will be posted here tomorrow, and the judges will begin their work. We will be including one additional prize which was not announced (no changes to the awarding of the original prizes), and will announce that tomorrow as well.
I’m not going to go into the details here, because it is best if you read about it at Dave Black Online, but Dave and Becky Black need our prayers. Becky has been diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of uterine cancer, and they are continuing through testing.
From July 22, 2009 through July 10, 2009 Energion Publications will be offering free shipping worldwide on The Jesus Paradigm. This offer is only good via this web site. You will not receive the special offer through our direct store or any other means. This offer is not good with any other offer, including quantity discounts. If you want to order more than one copy, please check EnergionDirect.com.
We really do mean worldwide, and yes, shipping and handling are completely free. You pay only the price of the book.
Our U. S. customers can take advantage of this offer, but we would suggest you also check the “Where to Buy” list, as you may get a better offer from retailers, and we encourage you to patronize our retailers.
Note: If shipping to your country should prove to be illegal or if large envelope mailing is not available, we will refund your money. We have checked a wide variety of possible destinations, and have found no exceptions. You can email us with any questions prior to ordering if you wish.
We have added where to buy links to the sidebar. Keep in mind that these are pre-purchase links; the release date remains approximately July 20. When individual dealers will have the book in stock may vary by a number of days.
The Jesus Paradigm: A Book that will set you on a downward path