Thank you for taking the time to comment on my book. I think you have some great questions so please put them in the comment box so we can get some more thoughts on these points.
Below are a few highlights I’ve been making on my iPad as I read through your book. I’m over a third of the way through it already. I love the humor, in fact I’ve always loved your humor and of course many excellent insights.
I hope you never stop you public teaching for you truly have a gift and a lot of maturity to go with it. So here’s few thoughts:
Love this excellent point regarding Adam and Eve after they have sinned. “The Bible says the first thing that happens is their “eyes are opened” and they feel shame. What the Bible means by the phrase “their eyes were opened” is that they became self conscious. This is the beginning of the loss of innocence.”
And this one as well: “The tragedy is not man’s sin, but what we choose to do with it. We run away from God, cover up and hide. God’s solution to your sin is not that you run away and hide but that you run to Him”.
“You see, your tragedy is not that you sin – but what you do with it. Cover up, run and hide. When you run and hide, you break relationship with God. You are now facing away from Him. He still loves you and you are still His child, but you are in hiding.”
“Prayer is really nothing more than communication within a relationship. Apart from the relationship, prayer reduces God to little more than a cosmic vending machine, not a friend and loving Father. This, He detests”
On another matter. I wondering if you shouldn’t maybe balance out your comments about relationship and not knowing good and evil a little more. It’s almost like you’re saying that we don’t discern good and evil and chose good.
Heb 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. NIV
Maybe I’m missing something in what you’re teaching but even though I’m in love with Jesus and seeking to please him I do have to have a knowledge of good and evil to discern what to do.
If I’m overlooking something here please correct me.
What about some of the following scriptures. Yes, I agree it all must be related to a relationship with Jesus. This needs to be understood, stressed and preach like never before but what about these scriptures.
Rom 12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. NIV
Yes, it’s true Jesus is good. But is this all your saying or are we to know what’s right, good and cling to that. Good morals, good company, good thoughts?
By the way I love this point:
And the funny thing I noticed from looking at their picture albums was that none of the missionaries were wearing suits!
Sent from my iPad
Thanks for the comments. I think what I am doing is over-emphasizing the relational motivation for choosing to do the morally correct action. For too long the focus of much Christianity has been on fortifying our wills to do right, usually by willpower alone. I want to focus our attention on Him such that our wills are empowered by His love so that obedience follows naturally. The book is really an attack against a purely moral definition of Christianity [religion]. The fact that God never intended us to operate from a moral framework [law] does not negate the fact that we are moral beings and we live in a moral universe. Good choices and bad choices both have real world consequences for better and for worse, here now, and in eternity. I think the problem is that when our gaze focuses on our moral choices we end up disengaging from the source of our ability to live successful moral lives. His life in us is our only hope for holiness. As far as my experience has been, His life in me grows the more I focus on Him and the less on my own self effort to be good. I think that the chapter on Obedience near the end of the book is my attempt to bring balance to the discussion. If my memory serves, I think I start the chapter by saying that it would be possible to misinterpret my argument as to discount the need for obedience and holy living – something like that. Let me know your thoughts after that chapter. It may answer your valid concerns. Thanks for taking the time to really examine my arguments!
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