I’m reading Rodney Stark’s newest book, “The Triumph of Christianity.” I’ve enjoyed his point of view on history; none better than in his brand new book.
In it, Stark tells that an over 40% of people on the planet today pledge some allegiance to Jesus; that Christianity is the most vital, vibrant, and growing faith on the planet. I stand amazed at that, particularly when you think about 2,000 years after the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, with all the hate, anguish, misunderstanding, and abuse that Jesus has suffered, He is still relevant, still here, and still changing lives.
As a ramp-up to the Christmas season, I decided to do a 7-part series entitled, “Polyester Jesus.” The idea that like polyester, we try to make Jesus into some synthetic religion; something that’s easy to clean and care for. And yet Jesus is anything but easy, nice, sweet, and simple. He is alive, here, and dangerous.
So in these weeks we’re going to be talking about the contrast between synthetic religion and authentic faith. Today we talked about that the real Jesus gives assurance. That’s the fundamental foundation. That’s where we start. We have assurance of His love, assurance of His acceptance, and assurance of a place in His new future. Yet all of life takes on a different view.
Listen to the talk today. Sit down with your family or your group of friends and ask, “Just how relevant is Jesus?” Do you understand the difference between synthetic faith and authentic faith? Identify the four absolute essentials of an authentic faith in Christ and make application in your own life.