Answering This Generation’s Question of Essential Identity
the church must remind this generation, that true self-knowledge can only be ascertained by looking to God. Men and women will remain in their folly of improper self-identification until they see themselves as God sees them. More than ever, the church must help this confused generation find the answer to “Who am I?” by declaring these three truths to each and every person.
The tragedy of such hypocrisy is not that it merely contradicts your faith claims. As a Christian, hypocrisy betrays your new identity and nature in Christ, which is the source of your ability to have integrity in the first place.
Nobody is as happy as he seems on Facebook. And no one is as “spiritual” as he seems in what we deem as “spiritual” enough for Christian worship. Maybe what we need in our churches is more tears, more failure, more confession of sin, more prayers of desperation that are too deep for words.Maybe then the lonely and the guilty and the desperate among us will see that the gospel has come not for the happy, but for the brokenhearted; not for the well, but for the sick; not for the found, but for the lost.
The World Is God’s Classroom
Far from belittling theology, God provides unending object lessons for us. His world is filled with purposeful echoes of him. We didn’t luck out that the world helps us grasp the contours of God and his ways. God designed it this way. God embedded lines of code into the universe, revealing his attributes, teaching us how to think, feel, respond, love, taste, and behold — how to live for his glory (1 Corinthians 10:31). Our textbooks are his world, his word, and the Word made flesh.
I heard of a preaching professor who took his students to a graveyard to make this very point. He stood them around the burial spot of a man and commanded them to preach life into the body. They refused, out of embarrassment. But he prevailed as the professor, and the men preached passionately to the corpse. You already know what happened . . . or didn’t happen. You were probably humored when you read this because the scene is so absurd to imagine.
So the next time you’ve got to step in front of a podium, keep in mind the following advice from the English Bulldog himself. Some of his methodologies were uniquely suited for his temperament and time, but all are rich sources of guidance and inspiration: