27 January 2008

"Real World" Christianity

The Militant Pacifist is currently reading The Divine Conspiracy:  Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God by Dallas Willard (Christian, Baptist, Scholar and currently Professor of Philosophy at USC).  At present, the Militant Pacifist is only about 100 pages into this 400-page book and is finding it slow going due to his having to underline almost everything.  To get a feel for the incisive nature of this work, enjoy the convicting quotation below:

     “In any context in which people are supposed to be smart and informed, even the most thoughtful and devout Christian will find it hard to make a convincing presentation of the relevance of God and his spiritual world to “real life.” 

     The “real” world has little room for a God of sparrows and children.  To it, Jesus can only seem “otherworldly” – a good-hearted person out of touch with reality.  Yes, it must be admitted that he is influential, but only because he affirms what weak-minded and fainthearted individuals fantasize in the face of a brutal world.  He is like a cheerleader who continues to shout, “We are going to win,” though the score is 98 to 3 against us in the last minute of the game.

     When this cheerleading approach to the “real world” triumphs among those who profess Christ, they may then have faith in faith but will have little faith in God.  For God and his world are just not “real” to them.  They may believe in believing but not be able to rely on God – like many in our current culture who love love but in practice are unable to love real people.  They may believe in prayer, think it is quite a good thing, but be unable to pray believing and so will rarely, if ever, pray at all.”

Willard, Dallas.  The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God.  San Francisco.  Harper Collins, 1997.  p 91.

No comments: