Monday, May 3, 2010

An Unmessianic Sense of Non-Destiny

This is something else that the Spirit has used to teach me more about myself and my idols. It's an excerpt from something Carl Trueman wrote. The rest of it is here.

"This belief that we are each special is, by and large, complete tosh.  Most of us are mediocre, make unique contributions only in the peculiar ways we screw things up, and could easily be replaced as husband, father or employee, by somebody better suited to the task.  The mythology nevertheless helps to sell things and allows us feel good about ourselves; indeed, the older you get, the more things it sells, from gym memberships, to cosmetic surgery, to hair pieces, to botox injections; but it is just mythology - the whole of human history so far strongly suggests that, as you get old, you cease to be as cool, and that you inevitably find that life just isn't as sweet as it was when you were eighteen.

As I look round the church, it strikes me that this zen-like condition of a lack of ambition is much to be desired because far too many Christians have senses of destiny which verge on the messianic. The confidence that the Lord has a special plan and purpose just for them shapes the way they act and move.  Now, just for the record, I am a good Calvinist, and I certainly believe each individual has a destiny; what concerns me is the way in which our tendency to think of ourselves as special and unique (which we all are in some ways - D.N.A. etc.) bleeds over into a sense of special destiny whereby the future, or at least the future of myself, comes to be the priority and to trump all else."

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