As we engage in mission, it is critical that our minds and hearts be connected God through a life of vital piety.
The wrath of God is a necessary corollary to His love. Were God not angry with our sin, He could not truly be said to love us. It is almost impossible to conceive of the absence of anger in any relationship marked by love. I deeply love my wife, when she is wronged by another I become angry at the injustice. I deeply love my children, but when one of them does something that places them in harm’s way—running into a road, for example—I become angry.
Evangelicals are learning to face some new realities about the gospel’s encounter with contemporary culture. The church exists for the purpose of proclaiming the truth of the Christian gospel–that reconciliation with God is possible through Christ. As God’s missional community, we are to embody that truth we pursue the various callings God has given to us (father, mother, husband, wife, etc). We are also to verbally communicate that message as God gives us opportunity to do so through organic, authentic, respectful conversation. As a result we live with a tension in deciding which parts of our message and faith are culturally-conditioned.
The gospel teaches us that the Church is the one and only foretaste of heaven now because she alone has a real participation in the life of God on earth…. This divine reality of foretaste and first fruits is the key to understanding the Church’s power and relevance. Scot Sherman, “Why the Church?” in Looking…
I have come to love Lent–in fact to view it as a significantly overlooked gift–because it provides a period of focus and, perhaps ironically, of freedom. Most associate Lent with refraining from something. Some associate it with adding a practice, perhaps as a substitute for the thing given up. This practice is almost always popularly depicted as a miserable, punitive experience.