I’ve been reading “Renovation of the heart” by Dallas Willard, which I highly recommend to anyone who would like to learn more about life with Christ. As I read through it, there are so many things that resonate in my heart about Jesus that I wish the world would hear. And I think that’s how I am an evangelical.
I want all people to understand Jesus on the character and philosophies of Jesus, not on the failing tradition and dogma of man. A lot of people think they’ve rejected Christ, when they really haven’t. In fact, too many people are ignorant of his teachings. I think because the evangelical movement in this country for so long focused on telling people that Jesus died for them and that they would go to hell without Him. What eventually drew me to love Jesus was his character and his person.
I’d like to highlight a few items from the first chapter of The Renovation of the Heart below that I want the world to hear.
The revolution of Jesus is in the first place and continuously a revolution of the human heart or spirit. It did and does not proceed by means of the formation of social instructions and laws, the outer forms of our existence, intending that these would then impose a good order of life upon people who come under their power. Rather, his is a revolution of character, which proceeds by changing people from the inside through ongoing personal relationship to God in Christ and to one another.
And later on, regarding the Church as it should be:
Jesus did not send his students out to start governments or even churches as we know them today, … instead, to establish beachheads of his person, word, and power in the midst of a failing and futile humanity.
While any manner of religious living can provide the framework of a healthy, happy life. Jesus offers a transformation of the heart, a continual process of making us into something more like himself. Something profoundly better than we could ever seek to be on our own.