The Demands of Jesus: A Letter

The Demands of Jesus: A Letter May 30, 2013

From a campus minister, and used with permission:

Is the Jesus Creed bad news? Where are you seeing this interpretation of the demands of Jesus?

Let me first say how much I have enjoyed reading your books, specifically The Jesus Creed, One Life, & The King Jesus Gospel.  I am a Baptist campus minister in Georgia.  Interestingly, I began working with campus ministry in the Chicago area … [and am now using] your book on prayer for a class I teach on Spiritual formation.  I myself have been praying fixed hour prayers using Phyllis Tickle’s prayer book.  It has provided structure and spontaneity at the same time.

Recently I heard a strange interpretation of the Jesus Creed saying it is really bad news because we can never fully love God and neighbor because of our sin.  He then used the Ten commandments as proof that we are never able to live the way God intended.  We must daily confess our unworthiness.  This is of course coming from a reformed way of thinking.

It just seems so fatalistic and negative to me.  For me, the Jesus creed is uplifting and challenging.  It challenges me to love more fully both God and my neighbor.  I realize that I may very well fall short but I see Jesus saying this to change our own way of thinking and living.  Is it really wrong to think we can love God and neighbor more fully by his grace?

Thanks for any insight you may have.

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