Hope y’all had a great weekend. Here’s some links to start your week.
When it comes to skeptical challenges against the Christian faith, though, I find an interesting thing going on: Without exception, as far as I can recall, they’re based on small truths, partial truths.
So much of the Christian life comes down to the matter of identity. At heart, who are we? Who or what has the right to define us? What is our deepest identity? Identity is at the core of many issues, not the least of which is same-sex attraction. In her book Gay Girl, Good God, Jackie Hill Perry offers four “categories” to guide our thinking about identity as we “act the miracle” of sanctification. Though she applies them specifically to Christians who struggle with same-sex attraction, in various ways they pertain to every believer and every temptation.
The Bible Never Ignores Our Feelings
I heard a counselor describe it this way: Guilt is like a stain on a shirt. The stain may be difficult to remove, but it can be washed. Shame, by contrast, would be a disfigured face. It feels like a permanent part of who you are, and it prevents you from ever attempting to draw near to others.
Shame says, “I am defective. I am damaged. I am dirty. I am ugly. I am worthless. I am pitiful. I am insignificant, unlovable, unwanted.”
Christian counselors say the person held captive by shame needs three things, and they are all in the story from Luke 8 of the bleeding woman who touches Jesus’ robe and is healed.
It’s easy, perhaps even necessary, to mock Christian jargon from time to time. As George Orwell said decades ago, jargon first obscures—and then prevents—thought and communication. And that’s intolerable if we are, in Paul’s words, to be transformed by the renewal of our minds.