unfashionable ch 4

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An Unfashionable Standard

We live in a culture that seeks to convince us that man is the measure of all things. That each of us is the captain of our fate and master of our soul. In other words, it’s more fashionable to be our own guide and develop our own standards. (Side note – in the news right now is how Miss California is under considerable attack on her stance against gay marriage. She didn’t develop this ideal on her own, she has stated that it is God’s stance.)

We as Christians have been called by God to be “…people of the Book, regardless of how outmoded that rule might seem to others. The Bible is God’s manual on how to live unfashionably.” (Tchividjian, p 34)

During the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century, five phrases outlining Christian beliefs arose: sola Scriptura (Scripture alone), sola fide (faith alone), sola gratia (grace alone), solus Christus (Christ alone) and soli Deo gloria (glory to God alone). Most Baptists don’t talk about these terms often but do have importance in our beliefs. Sola Scriptura means that the Bible serves as the fullest and highest God-given and authoritative standard by which to govern our thinking and living. We are to think and live the way the Bible teaches us; cherish what the Bible values and reject what the Bible warns against. Sola Scriptura also implies that the Word of God alone is sufficient

Christians don’t have much trouble appreciating the Bible’s truthfulness. But when it comes to its timelessness and relevance, many begin to struggle. According to Tchividjian, “That’s because God and his Word have been relegated to the fringe of what’s important and defining in our society, a process defined by the term secularization.”  In other words, the world strives to make the Word of God irrelevant and “It restricts the relevance of God to the private sphere … We embrace the Bible’s integrity but have a hard time embracing its sufficiency.” (Tchividjian, p 36)

Another example of this is that so many Christians begin to take their cues and quotes from gurus in our society “like Tony Robbins, Peter Drucker, Oprah and Rush Limbaugh … Therapeutic techniques, marketing strategies and the beat of entertainment world often have far more influence on how we live and think, what we like and dislike than does the Word of God.” (Tchividjian, p 37)

“The tragedy here is when professing Christians, discard the Bible, they’re largely prevented from making a lasting difference in the world. Why? Because their standard is no different that the world’s.” (Tchividjian, p 38) In 2 Corinthians 10:5, we are taught to think biblically about everything. That means to compare everything we take in or observe to the God’s standard. Every song.  Every movie. Every relationship. Being a Christian involves thoughtful, Bible-based cultural analysis and cultural engagement on all levels. “We must have a ‘theology’ about everything under the sun.'” (Tchividjian, p 40)

The Bible exposes our needs for God-centered adjustment in out thinking, our feeling, and our doing. That’s how the Bible transforms us. “Trying to follow God’s lead without God’s light guarantees a life of stumbling.” (Tchividjian, p 42)

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