John David Kudrick

putting words to work for you

Tag: Christ (page 1 of 2)

Dueling Perspectives on Faith?

The time when young people are most likely to abandon their Christian upbringing is in their teens. And the reason most often given is unanswered doubts and questions. It’s time for parents, pastors, teachers, and youth leaders to step to the plate and provide answers to those questions.

Author Nancy Pearcey
from her endorsement of
So the Next Generation Will Know
by Sean McDowell and J. Warner Wallace

Aligning faith in God and certainty about what we believe and needing to be right in order to maintain a healthy faith—these do not make for a healthy faith in God. In a nutshell, that is the problem. And that is what I mean by the “sin of certainty.” … Doubt can certainly leave us empty and frightened, but that is precisely the benefit of doubt: it exposes the folly that strong faith means you need to “know what you believe,” that the more faith you “have,” the more certain you are. … But doubt is not the enemy of faith, a solely destructive force that rips us away from God, a dark cloud that blocks the bright warm sun of faith. Doubt is only the enemy of faith when we equate faith with certainty in our thinking.

Author Peter Enns
from his book
The Sin of Certainty

That’ll Quote: War and Jesus

The waging of war is incompatible with following Jesus.

Brian Zahnd

From “Brian Zahnd: Postcards from Babylon”

Newsworthy with Norsworthy podcast — Jan. 14, 2019

Worth a Read (and a Second Read) …

Extracts from a Thomas Merton essay,

“We Have to Make Ourselves Heard,”

first published in the June 1962 issue

of The Catholic Worker

 

It would be legitimate and even obligatory for all sane and conscientious people everywhere in the world to lay down their weapons and their tools and starve and be shot rather than cooperate in the war effort. If such a mass movement should spontaneously arise in parts of the world, in Russia and America, in China and in France, in Africa and in Germany, the human race could be saved from extinction….
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Commemorating Armistice Day’s 100th Anniversary: Day 11 of 11

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Jesus of Nazareth

From the Book of Matthew,

Chapter 5, Verse 9

Commemorating Armistice Day’s 100th Anniversary: Day 10 of 11

You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

Jesus of Nazareth

From the Book of Matthew,

Chapter 5, Verses 43-44

“Broken people with deep wounds …”

Great line that echoes an idea I continue to share with authors wanting to craft novels with visceral characters who are more than cardboard clichés (since none of us are):

 

The older I get, the more I’ve come to understand that there are no real villains, only broken people with deep wounds who cannot help but to bleed onto others.

Jamie Wright

 

(And the entire blog post is well worth reading too!)

A Different Way

From “The Gospel of Luke” in the book God Is Disappointed in You, by Mark Russell (writer) and Shannon Wheeler (cartoonist):

As he slowly bled to death, it seemed like the whole world had gathered to ridicule Jesus. As he hung there dying, they beat and mocked Jesus for being so naive as to waste his time on pathetic and misguided ideas like forgiveness. For which he forgave them.

 

Merry Christmas!

“Peacemaker in the Manger”

Not as an invincible, weapon-wielding king,

But as a tiny-boned babe born to die came He.

Empire might made right all around Him,

But the Nazarene’s peace gospel made righteous sinners.

Not warmongering or vengeance for a suffered wrong,

But the Savior showed another way—other-cheek turning.

Sword and shield crushed enemies of Rome,

But by compassion Christ conquered assailants.

Not apathy or hatred toward His persecuting killers,

But only bloody love did thorn-crowned Messiah pour out for them.

Armored mockers drove deep the spikes, raised high the cross,

But naked Jesus gasped final forgiveness as our Prince of Peace.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

—Matthew 5:9 (New International Version)

Going into All the World with the Gospel: Part 4

It's God's Call on How Far You Should Go   // Going into All the World with the Gospel: Part 4 -- From book editor, John David Kudrick // johndavidkudrick.com #christianwriter #christianbook #writing #novelwriting

It’s God’s Call on How Far You Should Go

Since I left you hanging in Part 3 of this series, I’ll get right back to my thoughts on the main question we’re exploring in all of this: Can Christian novelists go too far with their content in trying to reach the world with life-changing stories that can touch hearts and point readers toward God?

With that in mind, I also think about the prophet Hosea and how God called him to marry a prostitute … and then to go so far as to seek her out and take her back after she’d left him and likely cheated on him. As I shared this with one of our teen daughters on my lunch break just a little bit ago, she said, “Isn’t the Bible pretty much R-rated?” And I could only say, “Good point.” Because beyond Hosea, you can find all kinds of strong language, graphic violence, disturbing scenes, mature content, and even explicit sex (no matter how much people try to make Song of Solomon a strict allegory).

Finally, there’s the example of Jesus, who hung around the societal dregs of his day and age, with Matthew 11:19 going so far as to call him “a friend of tax collectors and sinners”—as in, the worst of the worst. Yeah, I know this isn’t a direct comparison to a Christian writing what might be considered tawdry fiction, but it gives me enough pause to keep thinking on this, because isn’t Jesus our best example of how to go into all the world with the gospel?

As a side note on that final thought about Jesus setting the example for us, XXXchurch also comes to mind: a ministry not only reaching those in bondage to pornography addiction, but also reaching out personally to those involved in the pornography industry itself—as in, setting up a booth at porn trade shows and showing God’s love to those in the industry and anyone in attendance through a variety of means.

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Going into All the World with the Gospel: Part 3

Can a Christian Novelist Go Too Far? // Going into All the World with the Gospel: Part 3 -- From book editor, John David Kudrick // johndavidkudrick.com #christianwriter #christianbook #writing #novelwriting

Can a Christian Novelist Go Too Far?

And so we come to the pivotal point in this series on Christ followers who are novelists that want to share their stories with the world. It’s time to dive into the main question we’ve been driving toward by way of the first and second posts: Can Christian novelists go too far with their content in trying to reach the world with life-changing stories that can touch hearts and point readers toward God?

At the end of the second post, I took us into an imaginary writing group of Christians who were sharing their story ideas in the initial meeting. Each novelist who presented a story idea was kind enough to also associate the content of the novel with a typical US movie rating: G, PG, PG-13 … and R?

Huh? A Christian novelist thinking that God might be calling him or her to write an R-rated story—and one that doesn’t even have any in-your-face stuff about God, Jesus, the Bible, etc.?

And so I ask again: Can Christian novelists can go too far?

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