Christians Preach a Shallow, Small Christ

Christians Preach a Shallow, Small Christ

Joined: May 4th, 2005, 1:31 pm

June 30th, 2010, 1:25 am #1

One for the Christians out here .. and anyone else who this may interest. Just realized, this won't interest some "Christians" at all.


Authors: Christians Preach a Shallow, Small Christ
Tue, Jun. 22, 2010 Posted: 08:33 PM EDT

What is Christianity? "It is Christ. Nothing more. Nothing less," say two popular authors.

Yet Christians have made the gospel about so many things other than Christ, Frank Viola and Leonard Sweet lament.

"The sad truth is that the Jesus who is preached so often today is so shallow, so small, and so uncaptivating that countless believers are enthralled with countless other things," the authors wrote in their newly released book, Jesus Manifesto: Restoring the Supremacy and Sovereignty of Jesus Christ.

Christians have dethroned Jesus from His rightful place, they say.

Viola and Sweet were burdened and concerned about the place that Jesus Christ was getting in Christianity as a whole. So in 2009, they wrote a 2,400-word essay and titled it "A Magna Carta" and subtitled it "A Jesus Manifesto." It went viral immediately.

"We're very interested in people knowing their Lord, falling in love with Him, and learning how to live by His indwelling life," Viola, a church planter and best-selling author, told The Christian Post in an e-mail. "The way to be a true disciple is to know Jesus, to love Jesus, and to learn how to follow Him by the indwelling Spirit in the here-and-now. That's not WWJD. It's 'not I, but Christ lives in me' (present tense)."

Many Christians do affirm the orthodox teaching of the Person of Jesus, Viola acknowledged. But they get easily distracted with "things" - even good and religious things that are related to the Lord - and miss the Lord Himself.

"As A.W. Tozer once put it, 'you can be straight as a gun barrel theologically and just as empty as one spiritually,'" Viola pointed out.

To put it another way, it's one thing to parrot correct doctrine about Jesus; it's quite another thing to have "an earthshaking revelation of Christ," said Viola. And that's what many Christians are missing.

"When someone really sees that Christ is ALL (as J.C. Ryle put it) on a heart level, it changes everything ... even our vocabulary."

Jesus' greatness, beauty and splendor are unknown to many Christians, the authors write in the book. They may rightly describe Jesus as the Son of God or the savior of the world but few would describe Him in a way that "arrests and rivets" their heart.

"To our minds, there is one reason why a Christian would not be absolutely occupied and consumed with Christ," the authors state. "That person's eyes have not been opened to see His greatness."

For Viola, the journey of seeing His greatness began in April 1992 when someone presented Christ in a way that he had never seen or heard.

"It wrecked me and left me hungry and thirsty to know Him," he recalled. "He has been my chief pursuit ever since."

And he's hoping more Christians will join the pursuit and become aware of a Christ so grand and glorious that it boggles the mind.

"One of the things that our book is designed to do is to create hunger and thirst for Jesus - a real longing to know Him that's not generated from guilt, duty, or obligation, but out of a sighting of His glory," he said.

Viola and Sweet, who occupies the Chair of Evangelism at Drew University in New Jersey, challenge pastors to unveil Christ and present Him in all His fullness just as the apostle Paul did when preaching to the Colossian Christians who had become distracted from Jesus.

The Scriptures, they note, are completely occupied with Christ and thus those who do not present Christ when they minister "not only miss a note, but they play the wrong tune."

"The tragedy of our time is that countless preachers, teachers, even healers are giving dozens of sermons, lectures, and messages, relegating Jesus to little more than a footnote or a flourish to some other subject. At best, He gets honorable mention," they lament.

And if they're not proclaiming "this amazing Christ," they will settle for something so much less and be tempted to motivate God's people with lower things like principles, rules, religious duty, shame, fear and guilt.

But the authors assure preachers, "it doesn't get any better than Christ."

"We can never exhaust Him," they emphasize. "Christ is so large that no search party in the universe can explore an iota of His infinite depths. What is more, He will never grow old or stale. Jesus Christ is the only thing in God's universe that doesn't wear thin."

Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: December 8th, 2003, 1:16 am

June 30th, 2010, 2:53 am #2

began as a concept -an ethereal concept which was expected to materialize. Only later, was a human being "plugged in" to the role to fulfill the expectation.

As long as Christ REMAINS an ethereal concept, there's no harm in believing in Christ. In fact, Christ can add a missing element of life and meaning for life.

It's when people INSIST on materializing something spiritual ... that it becomes counter-productive.

-Vince
Quote
Like
Share

Striver
Striver

June 30th, 2010, 11:36 am #3

One for the Christians out here .. and anyone else who this may interest. Just realized, this won't interest some "Christians" at all.


Authors: Christians Preach a Shallow, Small Christ
Tue, Jun. 22, 2010 Posted: 08:33 PM EDT

What is Christianity? "It is Christ. Nothing more. Nothing less," say two popular authors.

Yet Christians have made the gospel about so many things other than Christ, Frank Viola and Leonard Sweet lament.

"The sad truth is that the Jesus who is preached so often today is so shallow, so small, and so uncaptivating that countless believers are enthralled with countless other things," the authors wrote in their newly released book, Jesus Manifesto: Restoring the Supremacy and Sovereignty of Jesus Christ.

Christians have dethroned Jesus from His rightful place, they say.

Viola and Sweet were burdened and concerned about the place that Jesus Christ was getting in Christianity as a whole. So in 2009, they wrote a 2,400-word essay and titled it "A Magna Carta" and subtitled it "A Jesus Manifesto." It went viral immediately.

"We're very interested in people knowing their Lord, falling in love with Him, and learning how to live by His indwelling life," Viola, a church planter and best-selling author, told The Christian Post in an e-mail. "The way to be a true disciple is to know Jesus, to love Jesus, and to learn how to follow Him by the indwelling Spirit in the here-and-now. That's not WWJD. It's 'not I, but Christ lives in me' (present tense)."

Many Christians do affirm the orthodox teaching of the Person of Jesus, Viola acknowledged. But they get easily distracted with "things" - even good and religious things that are related to the Lord - and miss the Lord Himself.

"As A.W. Tozer once put it, 'you can be straight as a gun barrel theologically and just as empty as one spiritually,'" Viola pointed out.

To put it another way, it's one thing to parrot correct doctrine about Jesus; it's quite another thing to have "an earthshaking revelation of Christ," said Viola. And that's what many Christians are missing.

"When someone really sees that Christ is ALL (as J.C. Ryle put it) on a heart level, it changes everything ... even our vocabulary."

Jesus' greatness, beauty and splendor are unknown to many Christians, the authors write in the book. They may rightly describe Jesus as the Son of God or the savior of the world but few would describe Him in a way that "arrests and rivets" their heart.

"To our minds, there is one reason why a Christian would not be absolutely occupied and consumed with Christ," the authors state. "That person's eyes have not been opened to see His greatness."

For Viola, the journey of seeing His greatness began in April 1992 when someone presented Christ in a way that he had never seen or heard.

"It wrecked me and left me hungry and thirsty to know Him," he recalled. "He has been my chief pursuit ever since."

And he's hoping more Christians will join the pursuit and become aware of a Christ so grand and glorious that it boggles the mind.

"One of the things that our book is designed to do is to create hunger and thirst for Jesus - a real longing to know Him that's not generated from guilt, duty, or obligation, but out of a sighting of His glory," he said.

Viola and Sweet, who occupies the Chair of Evangelism at Drew University in New Jersey, challenge pastors to unveil Christ and present Him in all His fullness just as the apostle Paul did when preaching to the Colossian Christians who had become distracted from Jesus.

The Scriptures, they note, are completely occupied with Christ and thus those who do not present Christ when they minister "not only miss a note, but they play the wrong tune."

"The tragedy of our time is that countless preachers, teachers, even healers are giving dozens of sermons, lectures, and messages, relegating Jesus to little more than a footnote or a flourish to some other subject. At best, He gets honorable mention," they lament.

And if they're not proclaiming "this amazing Christ," they will settle for something so much less and be tempted to motivate God's people with lower things like principles, rules, religious duty, shame, fear and guilt.

But the authors assure preachers, "it doesn't get any better than Christ."

"We can never exhaust Him," they emphasize. "Christ is so large that no search party in the universe can explore an iota of His infinite depths. What is more, He will never grow old or stale. Jesus Christ is the only thing in God's universe that doesn't wear thin."

Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
All belief systems are created by minds at different stages of evolution. Once mind evolves to where it knows, among other things, many other things, that there is no death, just constant cosmic mentation, man begins to walk without a crutch. Once one identifies with cosmos, not just on ephemeral condensation of cosmos called a planet, all fear generated by the primitive brain is reduced to irrelevance.
Quote
Share

Joined: July 13th, 2009, 1:50 pm

June 30th, 2010, 11:49 am #4

Then kill yourself and tell us what it's like.

"If I must choose between righteousness and peace, I choose RIGHTEOUSNESS"." ~ Theodore Roosevelt
Quote
Like
Share

Striver
Striver

June 30th, 2010, 1:47 pm #5

There's a body corruptible and a body incorruptible. It's in the Bible.
Quote
Share

Joined: August 8th, 2009, 11:19 pm

July 1st, 2010, 3:06 am #6

Then kill yourself and tell us what it's like.

"If I must choose between righteousness and peace, I choose RIGHTEOUSNESS"." ~ Theodore Roosevelt
or a mansion in the sky or something?

Maybe I'm mixing my superstitions?

Who cares. You die, you die. No magic potions available.
____________________________________________

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lzq0p ... o1_500.jpg






Zombie Jesus who sort of came back from the dead...

<i>Away in a graveyard, a stone overhead
The zombie lord Jesus is raised from the dead
The bones and the corpses are at his command
And rise like their master to swarm o'er the land!
The women are screaming, then running away
Poor Mary and Martha are gnawed where they lay
I fear thee, lord Jesus, your curséd undeath
With worms in your bowels and rot on your breath.
Have mercy, lord Jesus, don't eat me today
Next year I'll be bigger, I promise! I pray
Some shaman or rabbi or priestess or such
Will stake you and save us from your deadly touch.</i>

___________________________________

I know Bible literalists apologists have their explanations, but they are ultimately just <b><i>band aids over bull sh!t.</b></i>

Biblical Pitfalls .http://www.network54.com/Forum/660399/
Quote
Like
Share