Been vaguely aware for some time that when it comes to the Kingdom, I’m a whole lot handier at talking about it than I am at actually living it. I try to ignore that awkward truth, but it’s becoming more of a burr in my backside while I go on talking. And talking.
This week I’ve been reading Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne, a book that my friend Bryan says is “the most dangerous book I’ve ever read.” Shane is a young man who’s actually putting feet to his words, living with the homeless, standing up against injustice, and caring for the poor. He says he’s not interested “in a Christianity that offers these (poor families) only mansions and streets of Gold in heaven, when all they really want is a bed for their kids now. And many Christians have an extra one.” That, right there, is the kingdom. And I really am wanting to find my place in it. But see? There I go with words again.
“The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know the minute we understand, we’re obliged to act accordingly. Take any of the words of the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that, my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world? Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to be sure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close … It is dreadful to be alone with the New Testament.” – Soren Kierkegaard