|Bangkok Train Station|
Greg Boyd, in his brilliant little book Present Perfect, writes:
“One of the reasons why many contemporary Western Christians place so much stress on hearing sermons, engaging in Bible studies, reading books, and attending seminars and conferences [is because] we believe that acquiring information is the key to helping us grow spiritually and solve our personal and social problems.” (98)
While sometimes information does help people grow and sometimes helps people solve problems, knowledge “does not on its own empower us to become more Christlike. When it comes to living in the Kingdom, moment-by-moment, our typical Western confidence in information is misplaced.” (98-99)
In the West we are “massively informed.” We have more data, more information, then Christians at any time in the past. But it is not evident that we are more spiritually mature than Christians in the past. Many today have written about how the lifestyle and core values of Western Christians are no different from pagan, worldly non-Christians. And this, in spite of all our Christian bookstores and books and websites and seminars and conferences and Bible studies. We have a real problem. And clearly it isn’t due to a lack of information.
Greg asks, “Why do so many Christians today spend more time listening to sermons or reading books than they do feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, welcoming outcasts, visiting prisoners, or engaging on other activities Jesus said should characterize Kingdom people?” (98) The answer lies in the great gap being knowing about the Kingdom and knowing Jesus and living out the Kingdom. I fully agree with Greg when he writes that “all the information in the world is worthless if it distracts from the simplest thing in the world, which is practicing the presence of God in the present moment.” (100)
Submit to God now, in the present moment. As we do this God’s “Life flows in and through us,” and “transforms us in a way no amount of knowledge can.” (101)