Wednesday, 18 February 2009

The Jesus Way and the world's way

On the final pages of The Jesus Way I found this quote from Peterson. He is writing about the uniqueness of following Jesus,

"It is like nothing else. There is nothing and no one comparable. Following Jesus gets us little or nothing of what we commonly think we need or want or hope for. Following Jesus accomplishes nothing on the world's agenda. Following Jesus takes us right out of this world's assumptions and goals to a place where a lever can be inserted that turns the world upside down and inside out. Following Jesus has everything to do with this world, but almost nothing in common with this world."

This connects with so many things I've been thinking about.

The life of the citizen of God's Kingdom, a follower of Jesus, is counter every culture of this world. However, Peterson's final sentence here won't allow us to escape from the world into some other-worldly kind of existence. Following Jesus is done in this world and engages with life as it is lived in this world (or as Qohelet would have it 'life under the sun'). But the values, the patterns, the means of this world are rejected by the follower of Jesus in favour of the values, patterns and means of Jesus. Living Kingdom lives now will turn the world upside down, for the blessing of all, Gen 12:3. Peterson's final sentences in this must read book,

"But in every generation a few do follow Jesus. They deny themselves, they take up their cross, and they follow him. They lose their lives and save them - and long with their own, the lives of many, many others."

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