Christianity 201

May 4, 2010

More From Plan B by Pete Wilson

I wish I’d had this nearby to answer someone last week.

[Louie] Giglio pointed out that there are really two parts to John 16:33.  First, Jesus clearly says that we’re going to have trouble in this world.  Then he tells us to be brave because he has defeated the world.   Two statements — and if you separate them you have two bad theologies.

For instance, if you just focus on Jesus’ first statement, “in this world you will have trouble,” you could develop a mental framework of “this world stinks.”  Stuff happens, and you can’t do a thing about it.  You live and then you die.

…But what if you only focus on the second half of this verse, where Jesus says, “I have overcome the world”?  If you take just this statement as a mental framework, you start to think there will never be any trouble — or at least no serious trouble.  “Nothing bad is going to happen to me as long as I’m following Jesus.”  If you cling only to this statement, you force yourself to live in a false reality.   Despite all evidence to the contrary, you just pretend everything is great and all the charts of your life are going to keep moving up and to the right.  In the process, you’re probably setting yourself up for a fall because your false reality will eventually be shattered.

But if you take the two statements in this verse and put them together, then you have what Jesus was talking about.  You have a more complete theology.

You are not exempt from trouble, even serious trouble.  You are not exempt from Plan Bs.  But at the same time, you can have confidence that Jesus will win out over trouble.   In that there is hope.

pp. 147-148;  Pete Wilson, Plan B:  What Do You Do When God Doesn’t Shop Up The Way You Thought He Would? (Thomas Nelson, 2010)

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: