On fear and Christian faithfulness

While helping a friend prepare for one of their exams last week, I found myself getting rather frustrated with the portrayal of views the lecturer clearly disagreed with. Their understanding of other views seemed rather shallow, and their criticisms were stock-standard and fairly superficial. It seemed as if they had not really grappled with what was really going on in the subject. They were just on their way to a presentation of an accepted evangelical view, and they chose the path of least resistance.

As I read a bit more, I was driven to thinking about this year, and some of the issues I’ve become aware of. I was reminded of how massive these issues are, and how terrifyingly complicated. Sure, there are guys who take the easy way out and bury their heads in the sand by either denying issues or superficially dismissing them. But this is just cowardice, and is often seen to be so! [To be fair, this is not what the lecturer usually does – he was teaching a class outside of his area of expertise.]

And to make matters worse, now that I’ve seen how morally reprehensible this easy path is, there is no going back. I am only left with a much harder path before me. And, as I turn my eyes toward it, I’m petrified. If I want to walk that path I have to recognise that there are really (REALLY) difficult questions that everyone is bashing their heads against – even the people who believe the Bible is the Word of God. And I’ve got to face those questions, and try to understand the real issues involved. And look to Scripture, wrestling with the relevant texts. And find various answers, taking into account both the strengths and penetrating criticisms of each view. And, then, before the face of God, I’ve got to take steps forward. I’ve got to develop convictions in this world. Not the world of my forefathers.

It is easy to be patriotic about a world which has passed, for we are the offspring of that world, and we have been reared by its heroes. But those lands which we nostalgically look to held out no security for our heroes. To them, they were entering uncharted territory. They carved the paths for us because they faced the challenges of their day under God. They allowed God to shape, challenge and wrestle with them through his Word.

I ask that God would allow me to be a person of like character. And I thank him for the brave, thoughtful evangelicals whom he has raised up in my day; men of courage, who I can look up to.

Kyle Groger
Sometimes I wonder about who God is and what the world is all about. Other times I attempt to get Christian African content distributed on the web.
  • Reading this I couldn’t help but think of Gandalf and Aragorn’s conversation atop Mount Mondolluin. They look over the entire realm of Gondor and Gandalf tells Aragorn the defeat of Moredor and the destruction of the Ring has spelt the end of the Third Age and the dawn of a new one.

    Gandalf says, “though much has been saved, much must now pass away”. The Elder Kindred, of whom Gandalf is part, will soon fade or depart. But Aragorn, knowing this, ruefully longs for Gandalf’s counsel in his task of ordering the new beginning and preserving what can be saved.

    The answer Gandalf gives stings the reader perhaps as much as it does Aragorn, “The Third Age was my age. I was the Enemy of Sauron; and my work is finished. I shall go soon. The burden must lie now upon you and your kindred.”

  • Just read this again and found myself challenged. Thanks bro.