Would Anything Be Different?

I believe that much of the American churchgoing population, while not specifically swimming downstream, is slowly floating away from Christ. It isn’t a conscious choice, but it is nonetheless happening because little in their lives propels them toward Christ.[1]

A friend asked me what is hopefully a soul-shaking question: “If Christ wasn’t in your life, what would be different?” Before you answer too quickly, consider this:

A Christianity reducible to therapy or activism is, in the end, sentimentality. It is therapy and activism performed by people who could as easily do what they do without talk of Jesus and Israel and the kingdom of God, but who have mouthed these platitudes so long they can’t quite let them go.”[2]

Dallas Willard wrote:

I have to try to do real good work; and that’s my business – to do real good work. I wouldn’t say it’s the best in the world or anything like that, others can make judgments, but my intention is to do the best work possible. And by that I don’t mean within my human limitations; I also mean God helping me. I’m going to put my human limitations on the line, but my expectation is not from them. I expect to see something happen that I could not possibly do. And I would do that if I were preaching or witnessing on the streets, or doing whatever wherever. I want to see something happen that I couldn’t possibly do. [3]

Is your life committed to something that on your own, without Christ, you could not accomplish?

For myself, it is clear that without Christ my life would be radically different. However, I too often find that I’m laboring for Him according to the powers He created in me, rather than in dependence upon the power of His Holy Spirit.

[1] Francis Chan, Crazy Love: Overwhelmed By A Relentless God (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2008), 93.

[2] Rodney Clapp, A Peculiar People: The Church As Culture in a Post-Christian Society (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 1996), 18.

[3] Dallas Willard, “My Journey To and Beyond Tenure in a Secular University”, http://www.dwillard.org/biography/tenure.asp, accessed 10/20/2009.

Paying Attention

Elorah will turn 3 in January of 2010. She’s been talking up a storm for some time now, but not necessarily in discernible English. So I’ve become a bit accustomed to smiling at her and saying something along the lines of “Oh, really?” or “Wow”.

This Sunday morning she caught me off guard. Elorah was telling me something about a teddy bear, while I was drinking some orange juice. I smiled at her and nodded, when suddenly from 35 inches off the floor I heard a mildly indignant,

Dad, talk to me.