Monday, July 20, 2009

Attitudes Hindering Religious Experience and Christian Belief

Some unbelievers may fail to experience the clues, signals, and wooing of God through personal experiences—or fail to respond to them wisely—because of certain settled dispositions that hinder an awareness of God’s presence. The Christian message may be found offensive because of three basic reasons, which have nothing to do with Christianity’s truth or rationality.

First, the offer of salvation through Christ is free; it cannot be earned. This offends our desire to earn what is most important to us.

Second, the gospel calls sinners to repentance. The message of Christ and his Apostles is inherently humbling to the prideful ego. We may chafe at this.

Third, the way of Jesus is the way of the Cross and of personal sacrifice for Christ and the Kingdom of God. The Cross asks for our all and warns us of the costs therein—but always with the promise of God's presence and ultimate vindication in view. Many would rather (try to) control their own lives as “captains of their own ship.”

These ideas are culled from John Stott's Why I am a Christian, but I cannot find the page number!


pgepps said...

I think I catch you alluding to W. E. Henley's "Invictus" here--a poem I thought was great in my teens, and repented of in my twenties. Excellent points.

J. Paul said...

Would you mind if I reposted your blog on Myspace?

Daniel said...

These points can sure effect us Christians as well as non-Christians. Great post.

Anonymous said...

Very good and very true. This trifecta with consumerism make apologetics nearly impossible to carry out. The bits and pieces I have read on Pascal's advice on engaging the will and affect seem apropos in a culture such as ours.