I sat in a bar in an evangelistic question and answer panel. It was Cambridge University in the mid-nineties. Suddenly the audience rushed forward, reaching for the microphone in front of me, turning it over and shouting, “You believe in a god, right?” I just said something, I just yelled back over the noise of the general amusement: “Right!” “That means you think all the other gods are wrong, right?” I would like to have answered with considerable theological subtlety. But given the circumstances, it seemed necessary. So I just said, “Right!” With a horrified expression, my interlocutor replied, “How can you be so arrogant?”
Forced by the love of God, the glory of the grace of Christ was made known. But for this person – and for many others today – consider the claim to exclusive devotion to the biblical God as arrogant, if not downright dangerous.
How can we live a god-centered life in this day and age? Harvard professor as intellectually credible. You could answer that question in a way that is understandable to a child, and in a way that makes a Harvard professor seem intellectually credible.
Here are five ways to lead a God-centered life, not because it’s best, but because, after Cambridge, Yale, and Wheaton, I’m the most critical of today’s 18-to-30-year-olds.
Immerse yourself in the All-sufficient Wonder of the God who is.
Gotthasser spits out his self-referential criticism with God-given intelligence – but in the God who finds himself in Scripture, in conscience, in creation, and in the fictionalized God of the blogosphere or the caricatured God, of whatever, ultimately, in Christ. Let this beautiful, brilliant, almighty, transcendent, immanent, wondrous God, occupy the religious compromise of the temple and the hypocrisy of the Pharisee, speak the Beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount, and dispel the pagan idols of the fascination of our culture. To make gods out of our own imagination. And let him impress you.
Get involved in a church that teaches the Bible.
Only a few habits are safe for long-term mental health as your voluntary, enthusiastic and unrestricted collaboration with the local church of God.
Why go to church at all? Because the church is the bride of Christ, and if you love Him, you will love her. I know that she is perfect, but despite her imperfections, the church is God’s means to change the world. Your local church is an outpost of the heavens – a message of the kingdom in a world of love, grace, compassion and truth.
Forgive, fear, fight.
I easily lose insights when I receive them and summarize what I have learned in memorable form.
Forgive others, fear God, that was the good fight of faith.
It is too easy, resentment against those who cheated, hurt, abandoned or abused you. But such a grudge does not do you any good. It is only consumed with anger or depression and sometimes years of success energy in the inner life of your mind. The path to forgiveness is to think about what you have been forgiven. Once you realize that you deserve hell, apart from Christ, any act against you may be forgivable. This forgiveness will then better orient you than withdraw you from others. And when you are in fear, you will find the wisdom from above that does not please people but pleases God. Only this perspective wants to give you ballast to fight the good fight of faith.
Follow the unfashionable virtues.
At any age, some biblical virtues are easier than others. It is unlikely that you will be ostracized today for love and tolerance. But if you talk about submission and humility, your approval rating may vary. Well, this does not mean that you can do any of the works without translating the work of translation of its meaning into the vernacular of our time. It means that you want to do it yourself and then discover it.
The scandal of submission is that it’s a dirty word, if it’s really a liberating word. Have you ever discovered the glorious freedom of giving someone proper authority over you? Have you ever discovered the glorious joy of admitting that you do not know the answer and are humble enough to be wrong?
Use your mind.