Jamin Goggin and Kyle Strobel, authors of “The Way of the Dragon or the Way of the Lamb,” pose one question only to recognize there are many more questions in any discussion of Christianity and Christian Churches and what Christianity means in our modern day world. Goggin and Strobel show a great love for Jesus in their writing set on the back drop of a world ethos quite different than what the world is today: a massive ego trip we all share by breathing together in this world. An ego that teaches us how to survive in a blood bath, which is the world we live in.
The one question Goggin and Strobel want to ask their pilgrimage, their initial question, “What does Christian power look like,?” (p. XIX) begs for them a whole set of other questions they state as: “What happens if the church reflects the power of Christ? What happens when Christians embody a worldly approach to power and try to use that to advance Christ’s kingdom? What happens when believers live their lives according to a power that is antagonistic to Christ?”
They seek discussion and answers to these questions from Christian theologians, philosophers and teachers: Mara Dawn, J. I. Packer, James Houston, John Perkins, Jean Vanier, Eugine Peterson and Dallas Willard.
The journey is informative, interesting and poignant. The common thread in the array of interviews of these people is that there is a problem in Christianity: it has been hijacked by the voices from under.
From my point of view this adds up to the fact that Jesus’ way and his stories are always with us, made known to us even with the distortion. But we miss the message, and of course we killed the messenger. Listening to Jesus, we will find ourselves in an entirely different world. While we don’t does not affect my faith.
I believe, as the authors do, Jesus’ message is very clear and simple. Our problem is that the message is unequivocal. The ego world that lives in our heads is set up to hear something like his message and then change it to what our message is and we can’t let go of it without Jesus’ help.
But we will let go. And for the very reason we can’t stand his message, there is no other message. Only our dreams that their could be some other power besides God’s.
Each of the theologians our authors speak with, and their own conclusions, seem to leave out what I believe is the heart of Jesus’ message, forgiveness. But forgiveness of a kind we are yet to get in a world we make up to bury all of his ideas. He told us everything, much got lost because of the building of the Roman empire’s church. Yet, Truth as he knew it, still stares right at us — the way that he lived his life short life here. Our authors are concerned with the growing impotence of the Christian Church.
I believe there is more to the world’s problems than that. There is one problem in our world: perceived separation from God and the ensuring guilt that stems from that one perception. Jesus knew this of course. It is how Jesus was able to go through what he did without sacrifice. Jesus did not die. He came to teach us there is no such thing as death and he came to tell us what life really is. Nothing has happened to oppose God’s will, for it cannot be opposed. We must stop thinking there is some kind of power from “down under.” That false power is in us. And nothing ever will happen that is opposite of God, because there is no opposite to God. His children have not left him. He certainly has not left us. Jesus knew full well crucifixion could not do anything to him that would oppose the will of God, Our Father, who only knows truth and wills His holy son, life. God’s Son is still exactly as He created His Son. He does not create anew what He has already created.
However, genuine love comes out of the pages of this book and it does identify the problem, not just for the churches the authors lead but the problem of power is the authority problem everyone has, we try to oppose our Father and are blind to it. Do we really think God is concerned about lack of power among his children who have all the power He has given them, everything? There is but one power we do not have: we cannot be God. If Christian churches would start delivering this message the world would begin to change.
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