Fanatics and Faithfulness

I had the chance to hear Tim Keller speak last weekend on “The Gospel in a Pluralist Society.” It was a great talk, in which he referenced theologian Lesslie Newbigen’s book by the same name. At the end of his talk, someone asked whether Christians must be fanatics. He replied by saying that the people we think of as “fanatics” tend to be fanatical only about one part of the gospel. They might be fanatical about the cross, for instance, without being fanatical about loving their neighbor. Or they might be fanatical about the proclamation of the gospel without being fanatically humble and devoted to serving others. For any Christian who is committed to the whole gospel–to everything that Jesus taught through his words, way of life, and through his death and resurrection–fanaticism isn’t really an option. Or perhaps there’s just a particularly Christian way of being a fanatic. If so it means radical commitment to the truth-telling, grace-filled, humble, loving way of Jesus. It means Faithfulness.

What is your experience of Christianity? Fanatical or faithful? Arrogant or humble?


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