Wednesday, June 11, 2008


on humility, the cross and some other stuff thrown in there :-D

there is so much to look at and think about here that i dont know where to start, and i hope that i am not too long winded (even in type) as i randomly try to think stuff through, but here goes.

starting off Stott says we need to seriously look at both the "seriousness of sin" and the "majesty of God"... and really when we can look at these I think that humility is all that there is room left for. It seems like the more we see who God is and His perfect and scary Holiness, well thats when we can see how imperfect, dirty and small we are. If we can really look at who we are then we can realize that we are nothing and that God is everything, and I guess when we get to that point there is really no room for pride.

The Holiness and the wrath of God seems so crucial to this point, because without them our sin doesnt seem too bad and we look like maybe we could make do on our own. And we dont really talk about a wrathful God all that much, because honestly who wouldnt rather talk about happy, loving Jesus all day? Stott quotes Hab. on page 104 it says that God is "too pure to look on evil." its just something that i've been thinking about and still trying to understand....

so far as building humility in ourselves and in our community... and what it looks like to live it out... i just get the word honesty. like pure honesty and openess with who we are and the crap that we've done. being honest about who God is and how short we fall down- and how AWESOME that makes God's grace. learning to be open and honest with each other and holding each other accountable to that.
and (honestly...) this isnt something i am wicked great at all the time, but thats the idea that i'm getting about humility and as i read this book... i'm looking forward to see what other stuff you guys are thinking about!


Ben said...

Bethany, you hit on a point I've noticed as I've been plowing through Part 2. The book is written about the cross and deals with the cross, but the main topic of disussion is constantly the character of God. Who God is determines what the cross means, and the central question is not "What happened on the cross?" but more "Who is God? Because of who God is, how do we know what happened on the cross?".

It was mentioned in there a couple times that how one views the majesty of God determines whether one believes that the cross was a substitutionary atonement for sin or whether it was just a nice sacrifice to symbolize how we ought to love and sacrifice for others. That's an eternal gap of difference there, and the determining factor between whether we are saved at the cross or just taught at the cross is the character of God. Is he holy and just or not?

As you mentioned, we hear a lot today that God is loving (if you've ever seen the movie "Dogma" you will remember the "Buddy Jesus" action figure - - I've got thoughts on this I'll save for tomorrow) and we do obviously see this at the cross. The cross also reveals that God is also utterly holy. Later on, the book will show how the cross reveals just how WISE God is (which is something I never thought that the cross showed). It is just fascinating to me that a book overtly written about the cross is actually more about the character of God than it is about the cross.

A false view of God seems to give us a false view of the cross. Perhaps that is instructive for the rest of life as well.

Ben said...

"The possibility of substitution rests on the identity of the substitute." -pg. 149

Once again, everything rests on the question, "Who is God?".

Ben said...


"If [Jesus] was not who the apostles say he was, then he could not have done what they say he did." -pg. 159

Evie said...

Following up on the theme of humility and the idea that it begins with honesty has made me realize that I rarely have shown my Christianity out in 'the world'.

As a kid who was never part of the 'cool' crowd I must admit I enjoy being part of the 'cool' people at work. We eat together and have inside jokes and often give opinions that we would never say face to face with the person involved. I guess we rationalize by saying we're just letting off steam, we need to do these things because of the stress of the workplace.

Today I think I owe it to God to be honest and add some humility to my workplace. This may sound painfully simple to all of you young adults who seem to be far ahead of me when it comes to your spiritual lives. But I can honestly say that despite listening to many Good Friday talks I don't think I really understood the power of the cross and the extent of Jesus's sacrifice until I read this book.

So tomorrow starts another week and I will try to live more like the person God wants me to be, the person I owe to God to be.

Bethany said...

its interesting how really everything does come down to the idea of who God is. i tend to be totally self centered all the time, so when i think about the cross i think about myself and how i fit into it... and i think it is like how you said, ben, that when we correct our view of God our ideas about everything else will be corrected as well...

and thank you for what you said, evie... because i know that i do not live every moment for God in all the places I am, and yet that is what i should be doing. showing christianity in the "real world" is a form of honesty that glorifies God... and is something that i think i will need to be working on for a verrrryyy long time.