Another Good Question: What Are We Missing?

As a pastor I occasionally get some really good questions from people who are wrestling through stuff. Some of them are so good I feel it's a pity that only 2 of us are talking about it, and more people aren't listening in and participating. So I'm going to start a series of posts on this blog that I'll refer to as "Another Good Question." From time to time I'll add a good question I've been asked, along with a few musings that may point toward an answer, and invite your thoughts too.

In this inaugural post of the Another Good Question series, I submit this gem, which actually came to me from a member of my church a while back: as a pastor, what do you see is the main thing missing in the life of the average Christian today?

There is almost certainly more than one good way to answer that question, but my answer is as follows: Christians today are in desperate need of a bird's-eye view of God's redemptive plan. It is this plan that forms the context of everything from theology to Biblical commands to the daily lives we live in his service.

That context acts like a container for Bible knowledge and our worldview: with it intact everything begins to settle into place and become cohesive. But without it, everything rolls around loose and unconnected in our minds, like a drawer full of hundreds of beautiful unconnected pearls. The pearls are pretty, but you need to string them all together to wear them.

Part of teaching this idea at Harvest Community Church was the development of a chart that lays out a non-detailed, high-level view of God's plan to buy back the world order he created (and which we broke). Starting with God's Glory as the point of it all, the chart moves through creation, the fall and it's results, redemption anticipated, redemption accomplished, and finally redemption realized.

It traces the three elements that have always been present in God’s redemptive plan (something that really struck me when I was thinking through the covenants with Abraham and David last year). And of course the chart, like God's plan itself, centers on the cross and empty tomb - redemption accomplished. The chart includes a doc with explanatory notes, to hopefully decipher what can look a bit complex at first (but which, like most things, really isn't too bad once you get into it).

Of course this chart itself is merely a teaching tool, and not the final word on anything. But it is a tool - one I hope will help Christians get the big picture so they can make much better and more Biblical choices in the little, daily picture that we call life.
How about you? Could you articulate even the non-detailed, broad strokes of God's plan through the ages? If so, good for you. I think you're in the minority and you can probably just ignore this whole post (now that you've already read it! Ha!) If not, let me know what you think of the chart, and how helpful it is to you.


Amy Guerino said...

I love this chart! It continues to help me see the brokenness in life and how it won't remain that way. God has been about something even before time began and I need to stretch my mind to understand it. When I do, even the little frustrations of life do not bog me down. I love how you help me "get my eyes up" as Stu Weber frequently said. It is a pleasure and privilege to do life with you!

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