Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Biography and Theology-New Birth

Christian formation is not about life change. It is about new life--new biography.

Having led churches for over 30 years, I can tell you there is a huge difference between helping people change their lives (old biography) and helping people cooperate with their new life. (new birth-new biography)

When Jesus spoke to Nicodemos in John 3 he completely ignored the man's observations and the man's biography. He told him that nothing less than a new view and a new biography would do. "You must be born again."

I have found that nothing is more tiring than trying to help people change their 1st biography so it makes sense. I have found nothing more inspiring that helping them get into the moment by moment joy of their new biography in Jesus. Abiding is learning to live from and release from the new biography. Teaching others to abide is really exciting.

"Christ in you the hope of glory" is new biography. "For to me to live is Christ" is new biography. "Christ is all and is in all" is new biography. It is also great theology! This theology is inspiring stuff when taken as our new biographical identity. It is theology birthed from biography and not from work for change.

Bertrand Russell once wrote "I have dreamed of a combination of spiritual and physical companionship, and if I had the good fortune to find it, I could have become something better than I shall ever be." (Quoted by Os Guinness in Long Journey Home-great book!)

Bertrand Russell could not only have been "better". He could have been "new". His new biography would have included automatically the two things-spiritual and physical companionship-- he said he could not find in his first biography.

If you want to burn out helping people, just try signing up to help them change their first biography. You can't.

If you want to be inspired while helping others, do it with an eye on their new biography in Jesus as you live from your new biography in Jesus.

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