Sharing from his own life regrets and from the work of Dr. Mirsolav Volf, Kyle encourages us that the magnetic and powerful life Jesus leads us into is found in choosing embrace over exclusion, in choosing self-sacrifice over others-sacrifice, and in resisting the power our in-group loyalty tests have over us.
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Does Jesus on the Cross paint a picture of an angry, violent God who needs his wrath satisfied? Vince shares his journey away from that unsettling interpretation of Jesus on the Cross and toward a different interpretation that is the opposite of unsettling — one that is loving and inspiring and beautiful in the way it speaks to humanity in general and in the way it can speak to each of us personally.
With (sadly) U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions providing a perfect case study last week, Kyle demonstrates a particularly American tendency toward misinterpreting the Bible: taking out of context a secondary supporting point from a Biblical writer and turning that into a timeless truth or ultimate ethic. As an alternative, Kyle suggests the power and helpfulness of reading the Bible “descriptively”.
Everyone wants to change and grow and be a different, better person in the future than they are today. But so much of what we default to doing to try to change and grow just doesn't work. (And, sadly, so much of what churches tend to teach is things that don't work.) Kyle teaches us a helpful way to approach trying to change, and brings us to an incredible promise from God that makes change feel possible.
Whether it's the consumerism bred into Americans like us today, or the hunger for power and status bred into the Greco-Roman culture of St. Paul's day, all people, no matter the era, seem to default to asking "what's in this for me?" rather than "what's in this for us?"
Living without fear doesn't really seem to be a legitimate possibility... But can God offer help in the midst of whatever fears we have, so that those fears don't drive us and our decision making?
How St. Paul's encouragement to be "justified by faith" rather than by works can help us when we feel pent up with an exhausting drive to prove ourselves.
Giving ourselves permission to be uncertain, and inviting God into our pain and suffering.
Second in the series: A God for everyone