5. Everything Wears Out Except for Christ
Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I often feel that way about contemporary Christianity. As an observer of the passing parade, I’ve noted the following: Most of what’s put on the table with respect to reforming and renewing the church are the same ideas repackaged from decade to decade. There’s very little new in any of them. But more critical, these “renewing’ and “reforming” ideas and solutions lack one critical element. That element is best illustrated by what Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, once said during an interview:
‘Lots of companies have tons of great engineers and smart people. But ultimately, there needs to be some gravitational force that pulls it all together. Otherwise, you can get great pieces of technology all floating around the universe. But it doesn’t add up to much…. There were bits and pieces of interesting things floating around, but not that gravitational pull.’
Jobs’s metaphor is an apt description of the great need in the church today. Christians have made the gospel about so many “interesting things floating around” but without the gravitational pull that brings them all together. And that gravitational pull is the Lord Jesus Christ. That said, if there’s anything I’ve learned by being a Christian over the last thirty years, it’s this:
• Any solution, cure, or remedy that doesn’t have Jesus Christ at its centre is doomed to fail.
• Everything in the Christian life eventually wears out. The only thing that doesn’t is Christ Himself. He is new every morning.
Consequently, all of our methods, techniques, innovative ideas, strategies, programs, and solutions don’t stand a chance if the Lord Jesus Himself isn’t front and centre of them all. He and He alone is God’s method, technique, idea, strategy, program, and solution. He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6) – Christ and Christ alone is the gospel (2 Cor 4:5). Everything else tastes like plain yoghurt.
1. See Jesus Manifesto co-authored with Leonard Sweet.
2. By “Christian life” I mean the life that Jesus lived, which was a lifestyle lived by His Father’s life. And it served as an example for all Christians (followers of Jesus).
3. See my book From Eternity to Here for a detailed discussion on the eternal purpose of God.
4. Voices of the Innovators, “The Seed of Apple’s Innovation,” Business! leek, October 12, 2004, http://www.businessweek.com
5. Obviously, God the Father and the Holy Spirit do not wear out either. But all of the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Jesus, and we come to know the Father by the Spirit through Christ.
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