Sunday, October 29, 2006

Addl Reading - Blue Like Jazz

I'm finding this book easier to get through than Traveling Mercies. Maybe part of it is being set in Oregon and I am very familiar with many of the places he references.

Chapter 7 is on Grace. It makes me wonder if many of us don't need to go through more of a legalistic doing it ourselves phase to really understand grace. For some this may be longer than for others. How can we help each other to struggle and try to do it personally? And yet we also need to push against them so they are keeping it personal and not imposing it on the others around them.

Any thoughts?


Mike Clawson said...

I sometimes wondered this as a youth pastor. We were trying to introduce our teens to this new way of being a Christian; and yet my own journey was one of going through a more legalistic and rigid form of faith and then struggling through to a more open one. I knew how to lead someone through a process like that, but I wasn't sure what it would look like to try and help someone circumvent all the negative things that I experienced. Was the struggle necessary? Without something negative to react against would a student never grow into the good places that I had emerged into? But I couldn't just deliberately create negative experiences for them just so they could react against it... that would be absurd.

Maybe another way of asking this question is whether sin is necessary in order for us to really grasp goodness? We all know that adversity often helps us grow; but can we still grow even when everything is encouraging and good?

WarePhreak Wyncoop said...

You went a different direction than I was going. But in response to your questions, did God set us up to fail originally? I don't think so.

We people are very proud, some more than others. Once we've sinned, we generally cannot just accept His grace freely. I'm thinking it is through the legalistic struggle that we find out that we can't really do it by ourselves or pay him back for it even. Although it is not necesarily a complete revelation in all areas of life at one time.