the Cruciform life
the Cruciform life: Cruciform Freedom
Rankin Wilbourne • November 12, 2017
Anxiety may be compared with dizziness. He whose eye happens to look down into the yawning abyss becomes dizzy. But what is the reason for this? It is just as much in his own eyes as in the abyss . . . Hence, anxiety is the dizziness of freedom. - Soren Kierkegaard, The Concept of Anxiety Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it. - George Bernard Shaw Nothing is more wonderful than the art of being free, but nothing is harder to learn how to use than freedom. - Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America It seemed to me that if we were going to be elevating freedom to the defining principle of what we're about as a culture and a nation, we ought to take a careful look at what freedom in practice brings. The weird thing about the freedom of Freedom is that what it doesn't bring is happiness. - Jonathan Franzen on his novel, Freedom
Celebrating our Theological Underwear (or why the Protestant Reformation still matters 500 years lat
Rankin Wilbourne • October 29, 2017
Today is known as Reformation Sunday where we remember that in 1517 a young monk named Martin Luther turned the world upside down when he posted 95 theses on a church door in Wittenberg, Germany, decrying that God’s church had lost her way, had abandoned her primary authority (Scripture alone), had forgotten the gospel (Grace alone by Faith alone in Christ alone) and the reason for the church's existence (God’s glory alone). In 1521, Luther was summoned by the emperor to the Diet of Worms to renounce his views. Below is the prayer he prayed the night before his statement. "O God, Almighty God everlasting! . . . How small is my faith in Thee! . . . Oh! The weakness of the flesh, and the power of Satan! If I am to depend upon any strength of this world – all is over . . . The knell is struck . . . Sentence is gone forth . . . O God! O God! O thou, my God! Help me against the wisdom of this world. Do this, I beseech thee . . . thy own mighty power . . . The work is not mine, but Thine. I have no business here . . . I have nothing to contend for with these great men of the world! I would gladly pass my days in happiness and peace. But the cause is Thine . . . and it is righteous and everlasting! O Lord! Help me! O faithful and unchangeable God! I lean not upon man. It were vain! Whatever is of man is tottering, whatever proceeds from him must fail. My God! My God! Dost thou not hear? My God! Art thou no longer living? . . . Thou dost but hide Thyself. Thou hast chosen me for this work. I know it! . . . Therefore, O God, accomplish thine own will! Forsake me not, for the sake of thy well-beloved Son, Jesus Christ, my defense. Lord – where art thou . . . Behold me prepared to lay down my life for thy truth . . . for the cause is holy. It is thine own! . . . I will not let thee go! No, nor yet for all eternity! Though the world should be thronged with devils – and this body, which is the work of thine hands, should be cast forth, trodden under foot, cut in pieces . . . my soul is thine. Yes, I have thine own word to assure me of it. My soul belongs to thee, and will abide with thee forever! Amen! O God send help! . . . Amen!"