Thursday, October 22, 2009

Don't forget the gospel

I've just finished reading CJ Mahaney's book 'The Cross Centred Life' (Lifechange Books : 2002). I read it mainly because its been translated into Spanish and I wanted to know whether its one to recommend to folks here.

Its a good little book - 85 little pages - and on one hand isn't all that profund. The message of the book could probably be summarised by the phrase 'In all the stuff that goes on in your Christian life, don't forget the gospel.' There's some snappy discussions on issues of justification, sanctification, legalism, guilt and a couple of other bits and pieces which are quite helpful.

But on the other hand, its a very profound book - because here in Latin America it brings a message that desperately needs to be heard. Don't forget the gospel.

It's not that people are deliberately forgetting the gospel (sure there are those who deliberately want to change it and water it down to take out all the 'yucky' bits like sin and judgement and salvation and those people need to remember the gospel as well but I don't think who CJ is writing to.) He's writing to the people who are being so weighed down with programs and fads and trying to imitate the latest guy and denominational politics and getting the music and technology just right - that they don't have time for the gospel any more.

Over the Christmas break I'm heading to a big student conference and I'll be interested to see how the gospel fares. The promotional literature is very schmick, very appealing and 'applied' with all the buzz words you need in this day and age of Christian conferences, but in the midst of that, I wonder where the gospel will be. I'll let you know.

But its easy to criticise others, point out their shortcomings and see how it 'should be done'. But aren't we all in danger of falling victim to being weighed down with Christian stuff, that we forget the gospel? It was a good reminder and challenge to me.

This week's photo comes from Cuatro Cienegas - a small desert town about 350km NW of Monterrey where we spent last weekend. One of the highlights was being in the midst of the annual monarch butterfly migration from Canada to central Mexico.

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