Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Two for the Price of One

I'm not sure when he wrote them, but Kevin DeYoung has come out with two top notch writings, one a blog post, and the other an article for Ligonier Ministries.

The first is an article that goes hard against the current American Evangelical trend against the 'institutional church' and the post modern 'revolutionaries' of emergent and 'social gospel' stripe.

A taste:

What we need are fewer revolutionaries and a few more plodding visionaries. That’s my dream for the church — a multitude of faithful, risktaking plodders. The best churches are full of gospel-saturated people holding tenaciously to a vision of godly obedience and God’s glory, and pursuing that godliness and glory with relentless, often unnoticed, plodding consistency.

He says our generation all want to be Bono, a lone, rich, social justice machine, when we really just need to be faithful everyday where God has placed us. He calls us back to the church, WHERE LIFE HAPPENS (my words, not his), instead of trying to become a rock star revolutionary.

He closes

Don’t give up on the church. The New Testament knows nothing of churchless Christianity. The invisible church is for invisible Christians. The visible church is for you and me. Put away the Che Guevara t-shirts, stop the revolution, and join the rest of the plodders. Fifty years from now you’ll be glad you did.

Read the whole thing.

The blog post is equally good, and maybe even more practical than the article. It has to do with humility, how we interact with one another, and the role that talking plays in both. It's a really great insight that as I read, brought to mind people I know who really exemplify the humility he describes and who are masterful at drawing people out in order to learn about them and love them. He has a great quote by CS Lewis to start things off:

Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call “humble” nowadays: he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody. Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him.

Read the whole thing.

I have a little more to say about this one I think... not because I disagree with him at all, but there is an aspect of this that there needs to be a warning about. As with most virtues, they can be manipulated and can become a vice. Using questions to deflect the light of conversation away from yourself and shine it on others is a wonderful tool and does indeed show a very humble heart - however, if the person wielding that tool uses it to the point where he is disengaged himself and refuses to allow others in to engage him and to know and to love him, then it is not humility at all - in fact it is pride. It is a false humility that says 'you need me more than I need you.' And is nearly as bad as one who only talks about himself.

One anothering is exactly that - it requires giving and receiving. Too much of either leaves people weak and vulnerable. Love others, indeed! But you must also allow others to love you.

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