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testament of devotionMore from Thomas Kelly’s A Testament of Devotion . . . about what Kelly calls the “revolutionary explosiveness” of full obedience to Jesus. After quoting Meister Eckhart’s comment about how many will follow Jesus halfway but few will continue with the other half (btw, Eckhart places giving up all our possessions in the first half!), Kelly summons us, “It is just this astonishing life which is willing to follow Him the other half, sincerely to disown itself, this life which intends complete obedience, without any reservations, that I would propose to you in all humility, in all boldness, in all seriousness. I mean this literally, utterly, completely, and I mean it for you and for me – commit your lives in unreserved obedience to Him.” And then he says, in case we’ve missed that he’s not playing around, “If you don’t realize the revolutionary explosiveness of this proposal, you don’t understand what I mean.” I’m reminded of something Dallas Willard once suggested churches should put on their outdoor signs: “We are committed to training all those interested in actually obeying the things Jesus said to do” (or something like that). And I believe part of his point was that if this isn’t a true statement about what the church is doing, then we aren’t really paying attention to the Great Commission. Easier said than done, of course. The reality is that we find ourselves in a situation where most of the people we would “reach” have no idea who Jesus really is, and many of them don’t care. That’s not to say the essence of our task changes, but it does mean that we’ve got to find new virtues – patience more than any other, as well as new tactics (catechism, perhaps?). I’m happy to be part of a church that meets people “where they’re at,” since that’s the only place we can meet them; the question is how to move forward…

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