Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The contemporary christian

From p. xv of Willard's 'The Divine Conspiracy':
Whatever the ultimate explanation of it, the most telling thing about the contemporary Christian is that he or she simply has no compelling sense that understanding of and conformity with the clear teachings of Christ is of any vital importance to his or her life, and certainly not that it is in any way essential. We - including multitudes who have distanced themselves from any formal association with him - still manage to feel guilty with reference to those teachings, with a nervous laugh and a knowing look. But more often than not, I think, such obedience is regarded as just out of the question or impossible. This is largely because obedience is thought of solely in terms of law...

More than any other single thing, in any case, the practical irrelevance of actual obedience to Christ accounts for the weakened effect of Christianity in the world today, with its increasing tendency to emphasize political and social action as the primary way to serve God. It also accounts for the practical irrelevance of Christian faith to individual character development and overall personal sanity and well-being.

Hmm... Ouch.