March 03, 2007

But is Christianity true?

Every once in a while I'm hit by a big idea. And over the past week I've been struck by a big idea that seems so obvious I'm almost embarassed to write about it. But that's exactly why I'm writing about it. The idea that has so taken hold of my mind is that Christianity is actually true. It is a correct description and explanation for what the world is (and, of course, who God is). Now, to all of you Christians out there this should seem as self-evident as the nose on your face. I think it always seemed that way to me too. But I think this week I've been rediscovering this most fundamental notion.

I've been reading J. P. Moreland's book, Love Your God with All Your Mind. In it, Moreland bemoans the loss of the Christian mind. Evangelicalism, he asserts, has withrdawn from the cultural and intellectual spheres, and instead embraced a strong anti-intellectualism. Now reading this as a thoughtful, dare I say academic, Christian, I kept thinking, "Right on!" I love to think and read deeply about the Christian faith, and especially about the intricacies of theology. Yet, as I kept reading, I kept seeing myself implicated. I think the point that hit home the most was when he contrasted revival-style preaching that has come to the fore since the great Awakenings to Paul's preaching in Acts 17–21, the preacing of the gospel that reaches the felt need contrasted with the gospel of the Truth. I believe absolutely that the gospel is a gospel that solves the felt needs of our society. And that good gospel preaching will awaken a need that only God can fill. But do we focus too much on making individuals feel like they need the gospel? Instead, maybe we should be preaching about how it is True, good, right. God really exists, sin isn't just a fantasy, Jesus really came to earth, Jesus really died and rose again. These aren't theological categories or psychological projections, they are reality. What a powerful idea.

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