So let's review the last few blog posts. There will be a test.
1. Our cultural assumptions are consistently built on a foundation of rationalistic humanism. Not to say that we are all rational beings; far from it. But when push comes to shove, we believe in the power of our own minds to make sense of the world, and we believe that "good" is defined by what's good for human beings.
2. Jesus did not operate according to these assumptions. He was neither rationalist nor humanist.
3. Jesus did not argue for the existence of God; he lived, proclaimed, taught, enacted the kingdom of God, or perhaps more accurately (though he did not choose this term) the kingship of God. Jesus operated as if God is absolutely sovereign.
4. The core of Jesus' mission and message, the core of the kingdom of God, the answer to the question "What is Jesus all about?" is simply love. Well, not simply love as we define love, but love as Jesus defines it. Biblically our definition of love and Jesus' definition are worlds apart.
5. This kind of perspective, that God is completely sovereign and I am called to live not according to what makes sense to me, but according to what he says is true, is an incredible challenge. Those who would follow Jesus are required at some point along the journey to submit to this perspective, to this way of life. We held up Dietrich Bonhoeffer as one whose words point in this direction -- that in order to know God, we must know only God.
6. The republic of the United States of America was founded not on rationalistic humanist principles, though they played a part, but rather on a shared sense of reality, a shared "worldview" if you will. However, our worldview has shifted and we are culturally adrift on a sea where the winds blow in all directions at once and personal opinion has become the ultimate tyranny.
For those who have been following these posts, understand that these are not random assertions; rather, we are taking our time getting at a complex argument about how those who follow Jesus in this culture are called both out of the world's perspectives and back into the world with Jesus' perspective.
More coming soon.