In this post I am going to tip my theological hat. I was motivated by the latest issue of “Christianity Today,” a magazine to which I have subscribed since the early 60’s. I was encouraged by the commitment of CT to what they call, “a Beautiful Orthodoxy.” Since the days of my conversion in 1960, I have been a “Jesus Man” and a “Man of the Book.” However, I have had to do a lot of theological growing and stretching. By the mercy and grace of God at this stage of my journey, I can be a fairly open minded guy who has a strong theological center. I have always felt at home in the “evangelical” camp, but lament that some want to define the camp too narrowly. Having been a life long Lutheran, I have tasted the good wine of the charismatic movement and enjoyed the rich fruit of the classic spiritual tradition of the catholic tradition. I can’t go back into a narrow “church box.”
I am motivated in this blog site to share “a Beautiful Orthodoxy,” an orthodoxy that desires to reflect the beauty of the Lord, confessing the Lordship of Jesus over all of creation and the truth claims of Scripture as the compass for godly living. I firmly believe that the next generation is ready to receive an orthodoxy that is loving, winsome and welcoming; not judgmental, critical and rancorous. A Beautiful Orthodoxy is being both told and lived out in the most unassuming parts of the church today. I fit into this camp. I take my motivation from the words of Ps. 71:18, “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.” Men, that is why I write this blog.
Therefore, I identify with what CT had to say in its editorial comments. “Only relatively recently has it seemed that to be winsome and loving, one must downplay truth claims. Or that, to speak the truth in a pluralistic world, one must pick a rhetorical battle…..we aim to ensure that every ‘no!’ we imply is followed by a ‘yes!’ That as we name wrong thinking or behavior we also heartily affirm the abundant life in our true and beautiful Savior.” Carl F. H Henry, the founding editor of CT is quoted as saying, “The evangelical task is the preaching of the gospel, in the interest of individual regeneration by the supernatural grace of God, in such a way that divine redemption can be recognized as the best solution of our problems, individual and social.” I say amen.
So men I encourage you to embrace a beautiful orthodoxy. How? These are a few things I have learned over the years. First, surrender to the love of God. Open your soul to the beauty of God’s love for you, not grasping but welcoming. Secondly, forsake all your self-improvement projects for making yourself spiritual, by humbly admitting your total dependence on God to change you. Our effort only reinforces the false “religious self.” Thirdly, let the healing word of God penetrate your soul, giving you a new vision of God, yourself and the world. Fourthly, commit yourself to be a humble, loving follower of Jesus, one of those “tough and tender” types, who has strong convictions but also an vulnerable hearts. Fifthly, run from the religious, Pharisaical spirit, which is so common among “church people.”