Special to ASSIST News Service
SWARTZ CREEK MI (ANS) -- Is it is possible that the world's problems are not so bad because people don't believe in God; but because Christians don't realize how much God believes in US?
I currently am reading Timothy Keller's book The Reason for God - rather overdue on my part -- and enjoying his manner of sharing the Gospel with his congregation at Redeemer Church in Manhattan. "Enjoying" is an insufficient description -- I am intrigued, challenged, provoked.
The book wastes no pages before listing Keller's responses to contemporary culture's main "problems" with what he calls his orthodox Christianity: hewing to scripture, stressing personal salvation, the centrality of Jesus. Many of the questions he confronts are variations of a basic challenge to the existence of God Himself. The challenge is not new; it has been asked by skeptics, non-believers, and anguished doubters throughout history. "How can I believe in a God who..." and the sentences end with questions about "allowing" sickness, "overseeing" brokenness and hatred, "watching Christians kill each other."
Keller brilliantly parries the arguments of those who claim a better, or "higher," morality than the Bible's; and who maintain that the natural state of the universe, and the universe's inhabitants, can admit to no God of any sort.
I would like to linger a moment at what I feel is a proper response to the traps and trappings of a culture that tries to wash God out of the fabric of society, which is a related topic. Many well-meaning Christians are seduced by the argument that we are so inferior to a Just and All-Powerful God that we must, therefore, feel inferior to an indiscriminate degree, and adopt inferiority in all manners. This attitude is not humility but error. It can make people insecure about their standing as children of God; it can make them susceptible to arguments for a more "logical" conception of God. And this, after all, is the oldest lie in the Book.
It could be that contemporary culture's problem is not a faulty belief in God, but a mistaken understanding that He believes in US. Of course I do not mean that He has abdicated His throne. But He believes that we can overcome, we can be more than conquerors, we are citizens of Heaven.
We can know this is true because, when we have accepted Jesus into our hearts, God does not see us any more in our sins. He sees Jesus instead, the Jesus within us.
God does not look upon our dirty rags. He sees the blood shed on the cross, under which we are covered.
God does not dither over our quirks, transgressions, and shortcomings. If we are truly repentant and are born again, He sees the Holy Spirit that lives within us. That is why God sent the Holy Ghost!
When we spiritually see God's viewpoint aright, we should be embarrassed ever again to do other than to boldly approach the Throne of Grace. Not to presume upon God, but to recognize our status as joints heirs with Christ!
How many Christians spend a lot of the their prayer life (or abandon it altogether!) reminding God over and over and over again of things He has already forgotten! For when we repent in the name of our elder brother Jesus, God has said he will throw our sins into the Sea of Forgetfulness.
Does God believe in US? The plan of salvation, the work of the cross, and the gift of the Holy Spirit, would be wasted if He did not! Strive to be worthy, and claim your inheritance!
Click: God Believes In You
|Rick Marschall is the author of 65 books and hundreds of magazine articles in many fields, from popular culture (Bostonia Magazine called him "perhaps America's foremost authority on popular culture") to history and criticism; country music, television history, biography and children's books. He is a former political cartoonist, editor of Marvel Comics, and writer for Disney comics. For 10 years he has been active in the Christian field, writing devotionals; co-author of The Secret Revealed with Dr Jim Garlow. His biography of Johann Sebastian Bach for the "Christian Encounters" series (Thomas Nelson) was released in April, 2011. His history of cartoon Advertising, Drawing Power, will be published in July 2011 by the Marschall Books imprint of fantagraphics Books. In October his major biography of Theodore Roosevelt, BULLY!, will be publ;ished by Regnery History of Washington DC. He is currently working on a One-Year CDevotional for Tyndale House; and edits the the reissue of Harper's Weekly -- the Civil War Ye ars for NOVOink e-books. Rick is a former Director of Product Development for Youth Specialties. He is recipient of the 2008 "Christian Writer of the Year" award from the Greater Philadelphia Writer's Conference, and produces a weekly e-mail devotional, "Monday Morning Music Ministry." His e-mail address is: RickMarschall@gmail.com.|