John Alan Turner

Speaker, Author, Mentor, Coach, Facilitator

Oh Yeah...Jesus

What I've been attempting to do for the past couple of weeks here is show that when it comes to resolving social and political issues, the thinking of Christians ought to be distinctive from other perspectives in our world. After all, as we've seen, God isn't just interested in "spiritual" things; he's interested in everything. He's not just interested in "his" people; he's interested in everyone. He's not just a God of mercy and compassion; he's also a God of justice. This sets Christianity at odds with most other philosophical and theological mindsets -- which tend to stress one extreme or the other.

After we talked about God, we talked about humans (which is the appropriate order). I said that, because humans are created in the image of God, they are worthy of respect and honor -- simply by virtue of their humanity -- not because of anything they have done or might do.

This sets Christianity apart from naturalism or Darwinism because the origins of humanity lead naturally to dignity. We ought to have compassion and show mercy on the weaker members of our world rather than allowing the process of natural selection to weed them out of the gene pool. I'm not saying that believing in naturalism or Darwinism leads inevitably to the Nazi death camps. I'm just saying that when Nazi death camps arise, naturalism and Darwinism don't really offer much of a rationale to stop.

I should also add that Christians aren't to reduce humans to merely souls -- so our work cannot be simply about evangelism. Nor should Christians think of humans as merely bodies -- so our work cannot be simply about relief and physical comfort. Finally, Christians should not think of humans as just social beings -- so our work cannot be simply about social reform. The distinctively Christian view of humanity is that we are all soul/body/community simultaneously. Thus, our work should be for the betterment of all three of those spheres.

So, our theology proper (understanding of God) sets us apart. And our anthropology (understanding of humanity) sets us apart. But you can't have anything distinctively Christian without mentioning Christ.

Oh yeah...Jesus.

One time, near the end of his time here on earth, Jesus said to his closest friends, "As the Father has sent me, I am sending you" (John 20:21).

What do you suppose that means?