Tuesday, January 9, 2007


At Christianity Today, in an article titled "Dethroned," David Gushee reflects on the demands of discipleship:
To say that Jesus is Lord is to renounce our natural instincts, several philosophical systems, and the constantly reinforced message of the culture, which upholds the primacy of the self and the supposed need to organize my life around advancing my interests. When I remind myself in prayer at the beginning of a day that Jesus is Lord, I am challenged to dethrone the All-Important Self, just as I was taught long ago. ...

Affirming Jesus as Lord relativizes all earthly attractions, pleasures, and goods. They all come a distant second to Christ himself. That's why we can hardly be reminded too frequently of the implications of his lordship.

... When I started getting interested in politics and national affairs, I once again was brought up short by the claims of Jesus. To affirm that Jesus Christ is Lord is to acknowledge that no political leader, party, flag, nation, or ideology can share lordship over my life. The one who confesses Christ alone as Lord cannot simultaneously affirm utmost loyalty to another idea or person. This realization has constricted my understanding of politics. I've learned to fear the seductive power of political ideologies, the temptation to idealize political leaders, and the amoral bloodlust of partisan politics. Perhaps I have overreacted. ...

In recent years, I have found the confession that Jesus Christ is Lord remarkably inconvenient in ecumenical and interfaith dialogue. I am often asked to represent evangelicals in various settings. In such places, I choose to speak my native language, which includes an affirmation that Jesus is Lord. This sometimes evokes puzzled or even angry dialogue, as listeners ask why I must use such exclusivist language about God, faith, and ethics. I respond by saying I would rather engage in a richly textured dialogue involving native languages than a desiccated, thin exchange of inoffensive mush. These are uncomfortable moments. ...
Source: Dethroned | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

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