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If you’ve read any of my recent posts, you would have seen a recurring motif: that coming to Christ doesn’t necessarily make our lives better. Or that he even came to make this life better.

There is a prevailing wind of teaching–call it TBNinanity, BestLifeNowianity,  blab-it-grab-it-name-it-claim-it the 1st Church of the Bank of Heaven God’s blank checkianity–which has mass consumer appeal (especially) here in the United States. Point is, people like it when they’re told what they want to hear.

Or that they can tell God what they want, and He has to do it.

I don’t know about you, but my faith walk has never quite worked that way. I make my requests, but Father knows best. Plus a careful reading of scripture seems to bear out the notion that God’s favorites (if we may term them such) were the ones who suffered the most. Nobody likes pain, right? I don’t. Thus it is that a Christianity promising wealth and a life of health has great mass appeal.

The problem is that it’s just not true. I mean if God didn’t spare his own son, what should we reasonably expect? Look at Abraham: being called out, burying his father, burying Sarah, receiving a promise–but not its fulfillment. The Bible is replete with such stories. What I want is your story: how the world, the flesh, the devil, the prevailing wind of doctrine sold you a bill of goods–promised you a better life… When in reality God instead gave you a new life. How he didn’t in fact come make your life better, but rather to give you a better life. I want the honest account of how the rubber of your expecations met the road of life.

Please send your story to:

Chad Jones

My purpsoe here is to counteract the myth that coming to Christ makes everyhting better.

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Who is Jesus? How do we begin to answer that question? Of course, the safe answer is that He is God. Which, again of course, is absolutely true. But how do we define God? To our finite minds–as with any other person–all we have to go on are His demonstrated attributes. Yet as much as they tell us about Him, that’s all they do: tell us about Him. It’s a starting point, but He is vaster still than the cosmic ocean of stars seen in the night sky. We will never plumb the depth, breadth, or height of Him with Whom we have to do…

I don’t presume to speak for you, but for me it’s far easier to define what He isn’t–rather than what He is.

Why?

Because He constantly defies all expectations. He won’t be cajoled, or pigeonholed, beaten or boxed up. Knock Him down, and He rises again. Most frustratingly for us finite creatures, He tacitly refuses to give answers, simply saying–with arms outstretched–that He is the Answer.

Yet, for me I find no other guide I’d rather follow between here and there, the now and the not yet:

He is God–He is Jesus–shatterer of all paradigms.

Who is He to you?

Hat tip to my friend, Larry Shallenberger, whose post, Why Jesus Might Not Like “Just Give Me Jesus” Theology, inspired my post today. Thanks for being my muse, Larry!