Saturday, February 26, 2005

Chasing the life change of the week

Mr. Standfast shines the light on how cheaply and presumptuously the term "life-changing" is thrown around for the latest Christian fad. Christians make the claim for changed lives, Mr. Standfast notes, without even waiting to see if they really will live differently:
Christian publishing caters incessantly to this tendency in us, this inclination to spiritual fads, this incessant grasping for novelty. Christian merchandising assaults us with the same rank hyperbole so endemic to the mainstream culture. We no longer even consider it lying, because we've been inoculated with this particular brand of truth-stretching since childhood. Over-exposure has dulled our capacity for discernment. I wonder how many people, good and sincere people, who claimed their lives were forever changed by "The Prayer of Jabez," are still praying that prayer today. Relatively few, I suppose. They've moved on to being "wild at heart," or "purpose-driven," or whatever.
Not to be reductionist, but it's not the latest book on Christian discipleship that changes lives. Let's remember Paul, sent by Christ to preach the gospel, "and not with eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God" (1 Cor. 1:17-18).

Update: John at Blogotional continues the conversation with a very thorough review of what the Christian blogosphere has been saying on this topic. John makes a critical point about the dangers of treating God as a means to an end. He also includes an extensive quote from one of my own favorite passages out of the Chronicles of Narnia. Good stuff.


Blogger John Schroeder said...

It is very easy to offer someone some self-help advice. It is very hard to ask someone to come to a God that wants to tear off their skin. That; however, is our call. I have done a whole post on this related topic, with quotes from you, here

10:41 AM, February 27, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Thanks, John. I'm adding a link to your article to this post. Peace.

2:07 PM, February 27, 2005  

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