You know what I'm talking about... the lame, all-loving, all-caring, never judging, always tolerant god of 21st century imagination. The god who is more interested in our happiness than our holiness... the one who is just patiently waiting for you, no matter what you do, no matter where you go... the "big-squishy-lovable-but-slightly-senile-grandfatherly-'man upstairs'-who's-always-there-to-give-you-whatever-you-want" kind of god.. the one who just might - if you get out of line - maybe give you a nuggy. He's so loving, and kind, and gentle and patient. The "whenever you get around to it in your honest seeking He'll be waiting for you" kind of god.
I know there's a thread of truth in that, but the God of the Bible is "... the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy..." (Isaiah 57:15). He's the one who gave "commandments, not suggestions". He's the God who's infinite love is understood through the His infinite Holiness... and He is the God who does not change (Mal. 3:6). He's the One who demands obedience. He loves us - and He wants to conform us to the image of His Son.
That's not the God I hear too much about these days... and I attend a "conservative, bible-believing evangelical"church! Every day, I'm surprised and discouraged more and more as I see the failure to hold to - wait, even recognize - propositional truth. For many people, doctrine is irrelevant, theology is irrelevant, and whatever you think is fine! More and more, I read books with "2 views of this" and "5 views of that"... as a functional matter, fewer and fewer people I know:
- Believe the Bible is the actual, literal final authority for faith and practice
- Believe that the Bible is knowable and understandable - enough to actually be applied to daily life
- Believe that the Bible is God's Word to us... and that our life's mission and passion ought to be to know the God of the Bible through the book that He wrote for us!
So, I'll write a little. I know I'm not the only one out there.... Hey, when's the last time you changed your mind and your behavior because of something you read in the Bible (Romans 12:1)?