Some things aren’t fixable.
JULY 22, 2020
Some things aren’t fixable. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
Welcome to Key Life. I’m Matthew executive producer for the program and our host is author and seminary. Professor Steve Brown. The church has suffered under, do more, try harder religion for too long. And Key Life is here to proclaim that Jesus sets the captives free.
Thank you Matthew. Uh, if you’re just joining us this week, we’re wrapping up a series that we’ve done for several weeks on the subject of boredom with Jesus, or the formal term for boredom or spiritual boredom, which is Acedia, one of the seven deadly sins. And as we land this plane, I’m taking a text from 2 Corinthians, the first chapter. And I’m not gonna read it to you again, but I’ll be referring to it as we go along, um, about some things that are good about being bored with the Christian faith. And if you were listening yesterday, I said that a loss of passion reminds us that we’re not home yet. 2 Corinthians 1:8a, um, my late mentor, uh, Fred Smith said the rich are the saddest people on the face of the earth. And I said to him, when he told me that, that’s cause his riches make you sad, don’t they? He said, no, it’s better to be rich. And I said, well, why are people who are rich so sad? He said, because they got what they wanted and it wasn’t what they wanted or needed or thought it would be. And there is a pathos about wealthy people because they’ve discovered a horrible truth. What is that truth? That truth is that we’re not home yet. And yesterday I was talking, or Paul was giving me permission to talk, about how when, when we go through really dry periods, the dark night of the soul, Acedia, when we go through that period, that reminds us that we’re not home yet. You know, we as Christians, don’t take very seriously, The Fall. Genesis one through three is at the very heart of the Christian faith. In fact, it’s at the very heart of politics and sociology and education philosophy. It goes on and on. It’s the heart of status, anti status arguments. It’s The Fall and it’s Adam and Eve. And there’s something in us and something in our world and something in our water, and something in our air, and something in everything that we touch that isn’t what it’s supposed to be. And you know, it. You know, you get angry or I do sometimes, sometimes I want to join them with protesters. I mean, boy, we’ve seen a lot of that and that’s, that’s some really hard stuff. And with very good reason, I think too. But even if some of those protesters are atheists, even, even if they don’t believe in anything, except this particular cause. By marching in the streets, they are proclaiming a Biblical reality, and that is something’s wrong. Something is really wrong. And it is, it really is. Uh, and, and when you go through periods of Acedia or boredom, that reminds you and you say, this isn’t what it’s supposed to be. It’s not supposed to be this way. Well, who told you that? And how did you know that? And where did that come from? If there weren’t a God, it would be just what it is, is what it is. But there’s something inside of everybody, atheist and believer, pagan and Christian, there’s something inside of every believer, and C.S. Lewis wrote about it in Mere Christianity. It’s this sense that something’s bent, something’s missing, something’s wrong. This can’t be what it’s supposed to be. And in that reminder, at least for a Christian is the reminder that we’re not home yet. But Acedia and boredom with Jesus and a loss of passion, all from God. Don’t only teach us that we’re not home yet. They teach us that we personally or not fixed yet either. 2 Corinthians 1:8b
For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself.
You want to say, Paul, you wrote the New Testament. What do you mean, despair of life itself? What’s wrong with you? You’re a Christian leader. We elected you as head of this church. You’re the one who is supposed to get this thing, right. You’re the one who’s supposed to encourage us and make us feel better. What do you mean you despair of life itself? And Paul knew, and you can read Romans seven to find out the confession of his knowing it. Paul knew that not only was the world fallen and wasn’t fixed yet, and bent. Paul looked at himself and he realized there’s something wrong with me. There’s something that is not fixed about me to it. C.S. Lewis in The Magician’s Nephew, one of the Chronicles of Narnia, a little boy’s mother is dying. And, and, uh, he asked Aslan the lion, if he would fix her, and there’s silence. And then the boy notes that Aslan is crying. And Asalyn says to him, we must be very kind to each other, because life is really hard. It is. We’re not fixed yet. We’ve got a long way to go. Hey, you think about that. Amen.
Thanks Steve. That was Steve Brown teaching on the sin of becoming bored with Jesus. Yesterday, Steve reminded us that we’re not home yet. And today the simple truth that we’re not fixed yet either. Even more good stuff on tomorrow’s show, please join us then. Well, a few times recently I’ve told you about how we spoke with Brant Hansen on Steve Brown Etc. Brant is a radio host and he’s an author of a book called The Truth About Us: The Very Good News About How Very Bad We Are. But to give you a real sense of Brant, I’d like to let you actually hear a little piece of that conversation. Take a listen. Then I’ll be back to tell you about a free gift.
But Fred said that everything about politics, about life, about educational philosophy, about theology, about our walk with Christ, depends on which of two propositions you accept. We’re very bad with a proclivity toward good or were very good with a proclivity toward bad. Comment on what Fred said, and then we’ll jump in.
And I think it’s true. And, but what’s fascinating. And this is what prompted me to write this particular book is if you read mainstream cognitive psychologists right now, like Daniel Kahneman or Jonathan Haidt, these people that are, they’re not writing from a Christian standpoint at all, but they’re talking about how beset we are with cognitive biases. Like we’re so biased. Our brains are just full of hundreds of different kinds of little shortcuts that we use. And so many of them, you can trace it right back to self righteousness. And I’m fascinated by that, because here are these guys who are saying, we shouldn’t even trust ourselves. We’re so delusional about how good we are, and they’re not believers. And they’re agreeing with Jesus. I just did a radio interview yesterday with a guy and I liked the guy and everything, but he kept trying to spin my book back to, well, you know, some of us are good people, but none of us are good enough to go to heaven. I got it. That’s not what Jesus ever said. You don’t compare yourself with people. What’s what’s fascinating is to have these cognitive psychologists then come along and say, we understand now the humans are so capable of fooling themselves about their own moral goodness, it’s mind blowing.
Christians who know the truth have to be careful too, because it’s addictive and it’s, you’re drawn to it all the time. I’ll bet you, 15 times a day, I’m convicted about my own self righteousness. I should know better by now. I really should. By the way, Brant you said that people in the psychological discipline agree with us and they’re not even Christians. That’s not just true there. That’s true in the arts. It’s in fiction, good and profound fiction. It’s in film, it’s everywhere. And you would think, now I get that people aren’t Christians. I get that. They don’t buy into our message. I get that. It’s hard to believe. But in this one place, you would think that self righteousness would suffer a death blow. But it doesn’t. We continue with our cancelled culture, the arrogance, the anger, the judgment, the condemnation, it’s everywhere and in every place and you can’t get away from it.
No, I think that’s really interesting too, is just, I think a lot of people associate self-righteousness with religion and we can certainly understand why, I associate it with Steve Brown. But the point is, the point is that while we can do that, and there’s a record for that, we understand that, you can look as we’re getting more pagan as a culture, almost more post-Christian, you don’t see us getting less self-righteous on Twitter. It’s not like now we’re just magnanimous. Like the virtue signaling and the canceling like you’re talking about is going up. We’re getting more self-righteous I think. The idea that we’re supposed to repent and that there’s something brutally wrong with us. It’s so obvious. Yes, but we still resist it. You know, it’s so obvious. It’s played out every day on social media. You can see our problem it’s on display vividly. And yet, repenting is so weird. It’s so odd. But Jesus said if just one of you will do it, we’ll all party. If just one of you guys would repent, all of heaven would break into a party. It’s just one of you. It’s so unnatural for us to do something like that and get humble.
Brant has a real gift for delivering hard truths in a winsome way. And I know you’re going to love hearing our full conversation. We have it on a CD and we’d love to mail it to you for free. Just call 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also email Steve@keylife.org and ask for the CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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