Friday, May 2

Ridiculousness Overheard

This same girl has managed to make my jaw drop two class periods in a row now:

Friday we're talking about the environment and its effect on health and the discussion moves to the ecological crisis and what we can do to. She turns around and says to me, "I don't even know why we're talking about this. God is going to destroy the earth anyway."

And today we were talking about the Reformed Worldview and how our vocation can be used in the kingdom of God:

"I don't know why we're learning this either. Advancing the kingdom of God? Come on! I mean, it's not like there's anything we can do. The world just keeps getting worse and worse and it's just heading towards total chaos..."

It was a great wake-up call to remember that people actually think like this. What depressing theology! I'm not for a "salvation by works" per se, but I still think that salvation takes work. I don't think that the new creation would be nearly as exciting if God hadn't let us take part in it. If we're made in his image to problem-solve, be creative, and glorify him with our talents, it only makes sense that he would give us some work to do, rather than tell us to hang tight until the world ends in a fiery mess.


Ric Wild said...

The Left Behind series did this to us…

Have you read Surprised by Hope? Wright gives an illustration of what it's like to build for the kingdom that I find exciting:

“The image I often use in trying to explain this strange but important idea is that of the stonemason working on part of a great cathedral. The architect already drew up the plans and passed on instructions to the team of masons as to which stones need carving in what way… They may not have seen the complete architect’s drawing of the whole building with their bit identified in its proper place. They may not live, either, to see the completed building with their work at last where it belongs. But they trust the architect that the work they have done in following instructions will not be wasted. They are not, themselves, building the cathedral, but they are building for the cathedral, and when the cathedral is complete their work will be enhanced, ennobled…”

Pretty cool, eh?

Rachel said...

YES! Thanks for sharing! I haven't read it yet but it's definitely near the top of my list.

Jason Pratt said...

It's been around for longer than LB... {s}


Jon said...

I think many Christians have bought into a quasi-Gnostic world view where creation isn't really all that important, what's important is the Platonic here-after. This world doesn't matter, because it's going to be destroyed (even though, biblically, it's about the restoration, not the destruction of creation).

It's a very dangerous theology because it's, in my opinion, entirely too easy with that theology to see the Incarnation as unimportant, or as merely an abstract dogma rather than vital reality.

One of the things I've learned in my interactions with religiously devout Jews is the traditional Jewish idea of Tikkum Olam, mending the world. That the good things we do in this world have substantial meaning, and that the created world is fundamentally good even as God proclaims in the account of creation. That by doing good things in the world we are participating in real, substantial change in the world. If that's not advancing the Kingdom I'm not sure what is.

As Tony Campolo likes to emphasize, the prayer of Jesus very specifically says, "Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

But yeah, amazing how much crappy theology there is huh?

Victor said...

This is is one of the most theologically important things I've learned the past few years - that God is in the business of renewing and restoring rather than destroying, thanks to NT Wright, Rob Bell, Michael Wittmer, etc.

Even though I've just recently walked out the door of earth-destroying theology, I already find it hard to believe that people still believe it. It's good to hear other people share my surprise at such ideas.