Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Newly Discovered

I've just discovered the blog of Ryan Cordle, which is named tensions (2 ages verging)--awesome title, btw. Now, there's just all kinds of good stuff at Ryan's blog, including (heavens above!) poetry! But here's a post that simply caused me to SIT UP AND TAKE NOTICE:
The turning point of my college education has been a hermeneutics project on 1Corinthians 1:18-31. It was not until I dove into this passage two years ago that the utter stupid glory of the gospel hit me like a car hits a headlight blinded deer. Learning that the gospel is not supposed to make worldly sense, in conjunction with studying the life of Jesus transformed my notions of what it means to be a Christian. To be a Christian is not to be a credentialed theologian, but it is to be a nobody in the world so that the Holy Spirit can make us like Christ for the redemption of the world. If people can see how smart we are, how talented, and impressive we are, God is not glorified, but when we become nobodies for the sake of the gospel, God will use us to bring Christ to countless. Christ calls Christians to use their smarts and talents, not to get ahead, but to be last. Sometimes, God calls us to be last through becoming a theologian at Harvard Divinity, a Senator of the great state of Ohio, or pastor at the next emergent congregation, but our presupposition ought to be obscurity. If God calls us to become a desert mystic, public school teacher, or the guy who mops up puke at Disneyland, then we are not to dream about being the world famous whatever. When Christ calls us, he calls us to die, and maybe harder for some of us, he calls us to obscurity.
"The presupposition ought to be obscurity." I like that. But I have a question: how does this concept fit with the contents of all those leadership/Christian living books that show a guy raising his fists in triumph on a mountaintop (or something like that)? How does it fit with all those contemporary sermons about "dreaming big for God," etc.? Me, I think all that is just so much good old fashioned personal ambition with a vaguely "Christian" gloss. But that's just me being snarky again . . . sorry.

Okay, so anyway, Ryan Cordle's blog is, ummm, a corker. And not only that, but his bride, Noel, has a blog of her own. Good stuff here, too, but the single line I want to focus on, excerpted from a post about the Gospel of John called Getting to Know an Old Friend, is this:
Jesus was really weird and scary.
Uh-huh. I'm reading John too. And getting the very same impression. I recently heard a preacher say that everything Jesus ever said was "nothing if not crystal clear." I wondered if he was reading some new "cystal clear" translation that I hadn't heard about yet.


Anonymous said...

good blog discoveries...
and i like the word snarky...
and i bet there is a lot of puke at disneyland

Milton Stanley said...

You've made me want to read more. Thanks for the recommendation.