Saturday, June 7, 2008

The God Who Demands

While on vacation, I finished reading Why We’re Not Emergent (by two guys who should be) by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck. I know very little about the emergent church phenomena and this was a good introduction. DeYoung is a pastor in East Lansing Michigan, and Kluck is an author and writer for ESPN. They write in a congenial manner, pointing to some positive features in the emergent movement. As can be seen by the title, the authors feel the liabilities out weigh the assets in the movement.

One of the statements that struck me was in Ted Kluck’s introduction to the book. His statement was especially significant to me since attending the Basics Conference at Parkside Church last month. The theme of the Conference was “Preaching the Gospel to Yourself.” The concepts from those sessions have been cooking in my heart since mid-May. Kluck’s words are important:

As a Christian man, specifically a husband and father, I need truth. I need to worship a God who makes demands on my character, with consequences. I need to know that Christianity is about more than me just “reaching my untapped potential” or “finding the God inside me.” I need to know that I worship a Christ who died, bodily, and rose from the dead. Literally, I need to know that decisions can (and should) be made based on Scripture and not just experience. These are things that give me peace in a world of maybe (emphasis mine).

Where is the God who makes demands? The popular concept is of a God who affirms, who believes in us, who cheers for us and who “is there for us,” but makes no demands upon us. The whole “Lordship” controversy of 20 years ago is proof that we are more comfortable with a non-confrontational Deity.

Of course there are many other things in this book worthy of attention. For me, it gave me a greater appreciation for the truth of God’s Word and the unpopular practice of declaring the whole counsel of God.

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