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August 21, 2005

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OK...I used to attend Trinity and have tons of friends there...no fair scaring the poop out of me with a headline like that!

The sermon better be worth the near heart attack you gave me! :wink:

My heart burned within me when I listened to that sermon.

It seems like Caesar’s proclamation of lordship was more of an obvious antithesis to Jesus’ claim—it was clear that making the statement “Jesus is Lord” was in opposition to the ruling powers. In our day, this antithesis seems more nebulous. We have a culture where all political and cultural powers seem to assume both secular categories and a god-like status for the state. As long as they think that Jesus helps motivate us to serve the needy and find satisfaction in life, most people don’t seem to get too offended by our confession that Jesus is Lord. They may look at us as naïve simpletons who use Jesus as our Prozac, but “whatever works for you.”

I see our confession of Christ as Lord being in opposition to the prevailing secularism around us. But I often wonder what it looks like for us to confess, “Jesus is Lord, and I am your servant” to a culture steeped in secularism without giving off an “us v. them” vibe. How do we confess that Jesus is Lord in a culture where it’s okay to proclaim His Lordship as long as we only mean that He is Lord of only our personal, private lives? How do we proclaim that Jesus is Lord of every realm of everybody’s life—from science to education to government to sexuality to money to environment to serving the poor?

I realize my question is ridiculously broad. I am just trying to illicit thoughts. I am on a kick lately where I feel like too often we assume that secular assumptions are compatible with Christian faith. I dislike that secular assumptions are treated as a neutral, unquestionable default, on top of which we may proclaim Jesus' lorship over our personal lives if we like. And I am wondering how to proclaim that Jesus is Lord in this context, without adopting the secular assumption that legislation (whether conservative or liberal) is the best solution.

Dude, Glenn, you freaked me out for a second.

I heard Ben's sermon a couple of weeks ago; I'm looking forward to listening to this one now. Oh, and I'm currently enjoying "Common Grounds" for my Trinity Fellows' reading. I hope to see and hear more of/from you in the coming year or so.

--Grace and Peace--

- Hunter C.

Hunter,
I'm looking forward to spending time with the Trinity Fellows. Jon T. and Clark W. are stud guys I've known for years and I'm delighted that they will be a part of the Fellows experience this coming year. I'm sure we'll be hanging out soon.

Alex,
Good questions. I think you're right that juxtaposing Caesar vs. Jesus is clearer than Thomas Jefferson intellectual stratosphere vs. Jesus. Yet, I think Ben Laugelli did a superb job bringing into relief the idols that we serve in C'ville and UVa. He has a great eye for status inequalities and exposing ways we think and talk that are often taken for granted. And thus his gospel call to LIVE as Jesus, taking up the cross and doing the hard work of loving people through suffering, was challenging and inspiring.

I see what you're saying about the difficulty of the making the distinctions clear without communicating an alienating "us vs. them" vibe. Perhaps the emphasis is more on incarnating through gospel-driven deeds than proclaiming. Emphasis. Of course we have a call to words as well, but I'm wondering if lives lived sacrificially as Ben points to Jesus living might not accomplish a fair amount of 'proclamation.'

Perhaps other believers who have thought more about this can point us in the way.

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