Monday, December 31, 2012

Sunday on Monday

LONG DRIVE YESTERDAY FROM THE MOUNTAINS OF EAST TENNESSEE after a wonderful Christmas at Kiawah with family. I love this quote on the Christian storyline at one of Tim Keller's sites.
Look again at the uniqueness of Christianity. Only the Christian worldview locates the problem with the world not in any part of the world or in any particular group of people but in sin itself (our loss of relationship with God). And it locates the solution in God’s grace (our restoration of a relationship with God through the work of Christ). Sin infects us all, and so we cannot simply divide the world into the heroes and the villains. (And if we did , we would certainly have to count ourselves among the latter as well as the former.) Without an understanding of the gospel, we will be either naively utopian or cynically disillusioned. We will be demonizing something that isn’t bad enough to explain the mess we are in; and we will be idolizing something that isn’t powerful enough to get us out of it. This is, in the end, what all other worldviews do. The Christian story line works beautifully to make sense of things and even to help us appreciate the truth embedded in stories that clearly come from another worldview.

The Christian story line, or worldview, is: creation (plan), fall (problem), redemption and restoration (solution): The whole world is good. God made the world and everything in it was good. There are no intrinsically evil parts of the world. Nothing is evil in its origin.

As Tolkien explained about his archvillain in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, in the beginning ‘even Sauron was not so.’ You can find this ‘creational good’ in anything. The whole world is fallen. There is no aspect of the world affected by sin more or less than any other. For example, are emotion and passions untrustworthy and reason infallible? Is the physical bad and the spiritual good? Is the day-to-day world profane but religious observances good? None of these are true; but non-Christian story lines must adopt some variations of these in order to villainize and even demonize some created thing instead of sin. The whole world is going to be redeemed. Jesus is going to redeem spirit and body, reason and emotion, people and nature. There is no part of reality for which there is no hope.”

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