Eschatological Discipleship

I’ve been re-reading some of Trevin Wax’s new book Eschatological Discipleship, a great book that could be best described as reading N.T. Wright with Russell Moore glasses. Wax nails the importance of eschatology for not only theology, but for discipleship too. The most important part of the book is where Wax shows how Christianity is different to rival eschatologies, including the Enlightenment, the Sexual Revolution, and Consumerism (I wish he did Islam, Marxism, and Postmodernism, but maybe in a second edition).

On the sexual revolution, I’m not sure it is completely a bad thing, you could argue things like #MeToo are an expression of the quest for gender equality and an attempt to draw attention to the insidious nature of masculinity, sex, and power. That said, I take Wax’s point, the idea that your sexual desire is the single most determinative thing about you and your identity needs to be critiqued. We are more than our genitals and what we’d like to occasionally do with them. I like this quote from Wax:

In a world deeply influenced by the sexual revolution’s eschatology, Christians must contextualize the preaching of the gospel in a way that emphasizes the difference between the sexual revolution’s “good news” of self-fulfillment through sexual expression and Christianity’s good news of the ultimate fulfilling of all human longings in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Christians have good news to offer in an age where “gospel” is “self-actualization.” After all, the idea of discovering and being true to oneself can become exhausting. the sexual revolution’s narrative paints a picture of exhilaration in casting off society’s restraints and expressing one’s inner essence, but the initial euphoria of salvation through self-expression wears off, and the resulting society is plagued with doubt, where people constantly wonder if their “true self” is good enough. … In response to this cultural narrative, we must proclaim the gospel that comes from outside ourselves, no matter how countercultural this may seem. When people in today’s culture discover how exhausting it is to try to be “true to themselves,” when looking further and further inward eventually shows them they do not have the resources to transform their own lives, the church must be ready to break in with good news that life change is not mustered up from inside but rather granted through grace from outside. (pp. 155-56).

I agree, “Be true to yourself” is so lame and bad for people who are selfish and disgusting. Harvey Weinstein doesn’t need to be true to himself, the dude needs a total make0ver, a new way of being human, his old self needs to die, and he needs to be born anew, in fact, we all do.

 

 

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