In Her Good Days, the Church Has Made Christ the Center of Her Life…

Yesterday, I happened to be listening to Dr. David Jeremiah as he was preaching part two of a sermon called, “Stewardship is Lordship.” In it he read a great quote, but as happens all to often, gave no credit to the source. Dr. J’s words follow:

Someone far more eloquent than I will ever be put it in perspective when he penned these words, he wrote, “When the church has been victorious in power and has had a cutting edge in society it has been because she has kept Jesus Christ at the center of her creed and her members have been captivated by his greatness.  They have realized that in him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. They have not relied on a philosophy of empty deceit according to human tradition. They have not gloried in intellectual superiority. They have been rightly related to the churches head.

“In its vital hours,” he wrote, “Christ has been the center of the churches worship. He has received the adoration of believing hearts. And if we would see the church blessed in our days with vibrant spirituality, we must constantly strive to build our religious life on him alone. We must increasingly make him the object of our faith, the subject of our song. All of our spiritual concepts must be derived from his meaning in human history. We must not speak vaguely of religion or Christianity, not just of God, but of Christ.  In our hymns, in our anthems, in all of our preaching and teaching, we must show that we have been so conquered by his greatness that we have made the grand capitulation and yielded to his grace and to his power. In her good days, the church has made Christ the center of her whole life.”

“Someone far more eloquent than I,” David? Come on — WHO!?

Does anyone know the origin of this material?

It’s excellent.


Jesus and Humor…

Through the years, I’ve seen a lot of Christians look down on others for their sense of humor, particularly when it is expressed in homily or in any other “spiritual” context. I am not sure how that works, since I believe that all of life is holy. It’s hard to imagine Jesus telling a joke. Yet humor is distinctly human. And Jesus was fully human.

To investigate the concept of Jesus and humor further, I am reading an older book by Elton Trueblood called, The Humor of Christ (Harper & Row, San Francisco, 1964). At first, I was skeptical of what Trueblood might say concerning Jesus’ humor, but he does an excellent job of explaining humor and then demonstrating it. Trueblood begins by defining humor and illustrating it from literature in general.

You may think it strange that he’d have to explain humor, but if you’ve ever been in a different cultural situation, you know that without familiarity with that culture, you need an interpreter just to explain the jokes. Continue reading