procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Four Ways To Live

I've heard of 2WTL, some have even suggested there may be 3, but my recent reading of things such as Luther v Melancthon, as well as hearing sermons from the sermon on the mount in Matthew's biography of Jesus, plus my recent work on eschatology and restoration, has led me to a 4th way to live.

Now, I'm not trying to suggest there isn't two ways to live, either under, or against God's rule, that every person needs to either accept, or continue to reject Jesus as God's appointed King. I'm just trying to add a few shades in this fairly black or white picture.
For some explanation, the crown with a J means accepting Jesus as King. The little drawing of a round thing is my attempt at a 2D globe, symbolising accepting the God-given role of caring for this world, it's inhabitants, as per Genesis 1, which in this stylised description, would also include the so-called "golden rule" of loving one's neighbour as oneself (one's self?).

This is partly trying to think through the place of works in the Christian, as well as the non-Christian.

  1. The top one is obviously the person that God desires we all be - firstly, accepting God's rule, and because of the great gift of forgiveness in Jesus, being spurred on to good works.

  2. In the middle, on the left, we see the type of "Christian" that non-Christians always hold up as the reason they wouldn't want to become a Christian. The type of person that knocked Jesus off the top spot (behind Mohammed) of the most influential people, simply because his followers can't take him that seriously, coz they don't do what he says!

  3. On the right then, is perhaps the group Paul refers to in Romans chapter 2, "For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law." This is the group many of my non-Christian friends would fall into. They are great people. Really nice. As infallible as a fallen human can be (please excuse the oxmoron). And, all this, despite not knowing God, not living for eternity, compelled by naught, but their love for their fellow creature.

  4. At the bottom, perhaps rightly so, is the group who both reject God, and live in all ways despite his desires for this world. The people who say, "it doesn't count if you don't get caught."

Now, the third group i've mentioned, doesn't get too much of a mention in the New Testament. The latter gets a fair turn in the OT; Jesus' focus seems to be railing agaist the Pharisees for their impenitent hearts, and arrogance due to their nationality and position. The epistles are directed towards the 2nd (Jewish) and 4th (Gentile) groups.

We have good precedents, then, in talking to the 2nd and 4th groups, and a clear goal, in the 1st. I think, however, we find it hard to know what to say to the 3rd. To the "good person". To the honourable, kind, caring, selfless, genuine person.
Who happens to be a non-Christian.

Man, I need to start writing some short, witty posts. Just go to and have a look through the videos of the day (especially the Pasha Bulka Transformer, and the iPhone isn't bad either!).

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Blogger Lara said...

That's really cool, Doug. And I think you're so right about needing to work out what to say to "good" non-Christians. So often we're told that if we live out our faith, people will notice the difference, but I don't think that's always true, because there are "good" non-Christians, who love people, give money to charity, do good things, don't go out and get drunk etc. etc. What do we do about that?!

Not sure how to solve this one, and it's certainly not going to happen tonight!

5:27 am  
Blogger samgirl said...

mmm...interesting Doug!

But surely – what they need to hear is the gospel. And it's through hearing His word that God will change them!!

I need to think about this some more!! I’ll be back!

6:30 pm  

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