Automation, automation, and then some more… automation:
Churches planted by riding the waves of the latest sociological fad movement can’t last, because their ecclesiology is like a house built on the shifting sand of the sociology of the prevailing culture. In other words, when a church’s ecclesiological philosophy is rooted more in the whims of the outside, secular world and what they esteem as satisfying and energizing, the foundation has been laid for its inherent compromise and collapse, sooner or later.
Late have I loved Thee, O Beauty so ancient and so new; late have I loved Thee! For behold Thou were within me, and I outside; and I sought Thee outside and in my unloveliness fell upon those lovely things that Thou hast made. Thou were with me and I was not with Thee. I was kept from Thee by those things, yet had they not been in Thee, they would not have been at all. Thou didst call and cry to me and break open my deafness: and Thou didst send forth Thy beams and shine upon me and chase away my blindness: Thou didst breathe fragrance upon me, and I drew in my breath and do now pant for Thee: I tasted Thee, and now hunger and thirst for Thee: Thou didst touch me, and I have burned for Thy peace.
Augustine, Confessions, Book X, Ch. XXVII
This is the time of contemplation and remembrance in the church calendar when we consider the intentionality of Christ in pursuing the cross. The love of God is magnified and displayed in its brilliance at Calvary: the complete and total orchestration, pre-planning, ordering, and sovereign, loving providence surrounding the events leading up to and fulfilled in Christ’s incarnation, life, death, and resurrection on behalf of His people, unto the ultimate restoration of all creation.
“Everywhere there rises before our eyes the spectre of a society where security, if it is attained at all, will be attained at the expense of freedom, where the security that is attained will be the security of fed beasts in a stable, and where all the high aspirations of humanity will have been crushed by an all-powerful state.”
Classic Dave, preaching on Romans 4 and justification …
How does one sum up the trajectory-shifting influence a single gospel-focused mentor can have on your life? How does one sum up a mentor whose aim is to point you to Christ, the one through whom the entire universe was spoken into existence, the one through whom redemption came and the entire cosmos would one day be made right again?
How does one sum up a person who points others to Christ through the scriptures, the content of which was articulated over the ages by modern giants of the faith, resting on the shoulders of other giants of the faith through church history, going all the way back to the Apostles? How does one sum up a man whose aim was to bring you the gospel, not merely for salvation, but growth in the faith? It is indeed an inestimable gift, a rare jewel.
“They don’t recognize that it’s actually robbing them of joy.”
“Robbing them of joy.” That phrase stuck in my mind as I read this article about Facebook and the endless scrolling we can find ourselves addicted to, and how it sucks the life and joy right out of us. There is tons of spiritual application in this, especially during this Lenten season of self-assessment, confession, repentance, cleansing, and joy-renewal in the full scope of Christ’s person and work on our behalf.