Jesus likeness is not something you tack onto the outside. His is an inside job. His way of transforming us into his likeness is from the inside out. The white-knuckle approach to Christianity only leads to frustration and failure. We can only hope to live out the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount in the power of the Savior on the Mount!
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The zeitgeist of today’s evangelicalism is more dissimilar to the Church we read about in the New Testament than I’d like to admit. It makes it difficult to recognize our own Christian tribe sometimes.
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The typical gospel of contemporary evangelicalism is predominantly individualistic. It’s about how your sins are forgiven and how you become a better person. As magnificent as this is, apart from a vision to make the world a better place, this partial gospel truncates the vision of God for the advance of his Kingdom on earth. His vision is to make better people who in turn, with his supernatural potency, make a better world.
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I can’t segregate my moral concerns between personal and social issues. I’m concerned about all things biblical, which unquestionably includes how I relate to God, my family, my church, and my own sphere of influence. But the gospel also clearly speaks to such issues as racial, economic, and political justice. In this book we’ll focus on those sorts of things often overlooked in the reading of Jesus’ famous Sermon.
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His is a revolutionary social agenda, which clearly functions not on the basis of power but of love. He doesn’t coerce but persuades. He transforms us not by force but by fascination, a playbook we would do well to emulate.
These are excerpts from a book I hope to publish in the near future on the Sermon on the Mount called: What In The World? Some Moral, Social, and Politically Disruptive Implications of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.
As such, I’d appreciate your feedback on this post and others to come in order to make the final copy publish-worthy.