Tuesday, November 02, 2004

New Way to be Human

Spent last night in Egham. A new experience. I was invited to give a talk to a new CU at Royal Holloway University. A great opportunity to speak to a gathering of about a dozen students, committed to mission on campus. Our passage for the evening was John 9 - Blind Man Sees! And he does. I was rejuvinated as I prepared, seeing the way in which Jesus comes both to illuminate the darkness and yet to blind people at the same time.

Evil and Virtue are defined in the narrative of John 9, and they have their focus on what you do with Jesus. Recieve or reject? Love or Hate?

Here are a few of my conclusions...

1) As you confess Christ in corridor, course and clubs, some will come and confess Christ like you do. Some will encounter the greatest of all joys in life. Seeing the only Saviour! Seeing the Light of the world who died to save them. Some will do that.

2) But others will become more and more hardened as you confess Christ before them. The simpler you put it the harder they will get. They will stand opposed to Christ and to you who confess him You will be opposed by outright rejection of Christ and yourselves.

3) A third group, really belong in the second group. They will strike you with abject apathy. People who are so blind that when you portray the Crucified Christ before them will say “that’s nice”. And walk on by.

That is the worst blindness of all. Christ who is so supreme and so wonderful and such a shining light treated not with distain but with deference. Outright hatred of Christ I can understand, honestly – the light of the world exposes sin and people hate that.

Apathy to Christ is the greatest proof of spiritual blindness. Christ cannot simply be ignored. But it will happen. And when it does simply keep confessing him. Don’t be tempted to change the message. Don’t be tempted to modify your messiah. It might be tempting but it would be the equivalent of closing your own eyes to him. Confess the Christ of Scripture. Open the Word with people and show them the story of Jesus. Invite them in. Run evangelistic Bible studies with people. Some will believe. Some will not. Nonetheless, confess Christ.

Jesus came to judge, to divide and bring life and death. Blind eyes will be opened. And eyes who think they see will be blinded. Since he is the judge it is who do decides who will come to life.

Meanwhile on the train I finished reading Charlie Peacock's great book
New Way to be Human. Which is, as it's subtitle suggests, a provocative look at living for Jesus. Charlie writes as only an artist could, inviting us to join the story of God-people-and-place. With my interest in "Biblical Theology" it's great to see people writing from this perspective... calling us into the big picture of God's dealings with humanity, God's desire to have us in community with each other and with him. Much recommended.