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)

May 3, 2010

Pete Wilson: Plan “B”

This week I want to post some quotes from the book Plan B: What Do You Do When God Doesn’t Show Up In The Way You Thought He Would? by Pete Wilson.

You can read my full review of the book at Thinking Out Loud.

Someone once said, “Adversity introduces a man to himself.”  Unfortunately, more often than I like to admit, I have found this to be true.  And I cringe when I look back on how I’ve acted during times when it felt as if God was not there and the bottom was dropping out.