I am a new cabbage in this patch, so I figure I might as well make myself at home. I look forward to getting to know many of you. I am an ordinary guy. My fiancee, my dog, coffee shops, star gazing, softball, daydreaming, ultimate Frisbee, cooking, and hanging out at the beach occupy my free time. God, people, politics, languages, and ideas in general interest me.
The biggest and most captivating idea that I have encountered is called the Gospel. The notion of a God who so desires to reveal himself to humanity that he came in human form must affect you in some way. You can not be neutral about any person who makes this claim. The stakes are simply too high. If God has made himself known, we must worship him for who he is. A false claim to be God may be laughed off. But those who follow such a person invariably end up being heinously victimized to some degree. Those who do not follow such a person should be outraged and do everything they can to rescue his or her followers. The stakes are high. Jesus made such a claim, and about him you must react somehow.
C.S. Lewis has noted that there are three general categories of reaction to Jesus. Some people consider Jesus Christ a lunatic, which is a logical conclusion if he was merely a man who really believed he was God. He was well-intentioned but ultimately crazy. Others consider him a liar of a terrible sort; a blasphemer who claimed to be God although he knew it was not true. This seems inconsistent with a person where everything else he said was so blunt and straightforward. But for every man or woman who has ever claimed to be God, these options must be considered first and usually suffice. Other people consider Jesus to be Lord. They believe his claim to be God.
Such an ambitious claim needs substantiation. Jesus was killed by people of the first two categories. But what happened next created people of the third category. Sure, some observed his miracles and believed he must be God. But the deal sealer for most was that on the third day after Jesus was executed in a gruesome death on a Roman cross, he rose back to life. He walked around. He touched people. He ate with them. He was seen by hundreds of people. His closest followers who had doubted him when he died became convinced that he was, in fact, God. Who else could come back to life after such a treacherous death?
The news that Jesus is God who rose from the dead is the best news this world has ever heard. God has visited earth. He has initiated a way for humans to relate to himself. He has overcome death and offers an eternal life that transcends death to those who believe in him. This good news is called the Gospel. The Gospel changes everything... And unlike Apple's claims about the iPhone, the Gospel changes everything FOREVER. The iPhone is designed to be discarded; made of recyclable materials. The Gospel offers eternal life. The Gospel promises to ultimately transform the earth, the heavens, and every facet of society and existence. This Gospel is so large that it has not been fully unpacked. And it is toward understanding this idea that I dedicate this blog.