We Can’t Have a Foot in Both Worlds

David F. Wells:

 

“There is no doubt that we are now having to come back to some very basic Christian questions. Those who pursue their selves, with all their worldly and self-serving interests, lose their selves. Those who become like the world, and live for the world, end up like the world, but they are not liked by the world. Because they are hypocrites. Those who become poor in their own eyes, and before God, become rich. Those who forsake all things for Christ’s sake are given all things. Those who want to have a foot in both worlds lose their place in both.

 

As baffling as all of this may seem, as wrongheaded as it may seem, the fact is that there is no personal, Christian authenticity if we are playing the game by two sets of rules, one set from the Bible we claim to believe and the other set from the strategies we have devised for ourselves. We cannot claim to know God and not know that he is holy. We cannot say we know his truth and not know that we must forsake ourselves to be accepted by Christ. We cannot say we are born again and not show any signs of regeneration. We cannot run with the hares and yet imagine that we are hunting with the hounds.

 

The fact that the modern self is empty and disintegrating, that our (post)modern society is fragmented and fragile, presents biblical faith with a truly golden moment. A deep longing exists in our society to see the real thing, to see lives lived out that have authenticity, that have substance. This authenticity, however, has nothing to do with following the broken promises of the self movement, which is now simply bankrupt. It has everything to do with taking our place before a holy God, through Christ, in such a way that his character, as it were, reaches into our lives with both the restraint and the direction we need if we are to be restored. It is when this kind of thing happens that integrity is born. And with integrity come the salt and light of which our society stands in such great need.

 

Much in the world of our daily experience is not enduring. Its experiences are real, but their deepest reality is what parts good from what is bad. That adjudication is made in eternity, and so we live in the postmodern world not just as postmoderns, consumed by the present age, but as those who are of eternity and whose eyes are on the “age to come.” We live not simply as those born again, but as those who belong in God’s world, those who, by his grace, are to be a reminder in this fallen world that there is another world that will be there long after all the ravages of time have done their work and all that we now see in our world has passed away.”

 

Copied from pages 173-174 of “The Courage To Be Protestant” by David F. Wells.

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