Two from Jared
Jared at Shizuka Blog is saying things I've wanted to say myself, but couldn't find the words. Like this:
The real devil in the details of the prosperity-type teaching overtaking evangelicalism is not really that it skips over the stuff about sin. Sure, it does that too, but the pernicious paradox of this stuff is that it champions "victorious Christian living" yet does not equip believers for sustainable discipleship. It emphasizes feelings and "outlook," not the power of the Spirit, which is hard for some folks to notice since the latter is often conflated with the former (so that being optimistic or a go-getter is ipso facto being Spirit-empowered). The problem over time is that, going from victory to victory, expecting victory after victory, cultivates a contagious form of spiritual greed. (Is it any wonder that this sort of teaching often goes hand and hand with talk of financial riches and prosperity?) The real stuff of discipleship -- what Eugene Peterson calls "a long obedience in the same direction" -- involves hard stuff like discipline and the fruit of the Spirit. In pop discipleship discipline is replaced by steps, tips, and amazingsupercolossal breakthroughs.The post is called Content (as in contentment) and is well-worth a careful reading.
Oh, and while we're in a "let's quote Jared" mood, how about this one from a brief post called Flipside:
We are in a strange -- but, dare I say it?, exciting -- place where the Gospel continues to scandalize even those sitting in the pews next to us or in the chairs across from us in small group.Indeed.