How does the church effectively confront the chaos of the age we live in. That’s what J.P. Moreland explores in what I’m calling an outstanding book of the 21st century, “Kingdom Triangle.” He says the church needs to recover three things: A Christian worldview, a focus on the renovation of the soul, and the ability to operate in the power of the Holy Spirit. This book has been so thought-provoking for me that I thought I would should share some highlights with you. If you long to see the church operate with the same impact it had in the first century, you will benefit from reading it. Here’s a overview from the book. Enjoy!
Make no mistake about it: The crisis of our age requires nothing less than a revolution of those who live in, proclaim, and seek to advance the Kingdom.
Chapter 1: The Hunger for Drama in a Thin World
Currently, a three-way worldview struggle rages in our culture between ethical monotheism, postmodernism and scientific naturalism. People under the influence of naturalist and postmodern ideas no longer believe that there is any ultimate meaning to life that can be known. These folks have given up on seeking that meaning and instead are living for happiness. Today, the good life is a life of happiness. But if happiness is overemphasized or made the focus of one’s life, it leads to depression, a loss of purpose in life, and a deep-seated sense of fragmentation. In short, it ruins your life.
Chapter 2: The Naturalist Story
The dominant worldview of Western culture is scientific naturalism, which says, “The only sort of knowledge of reality is that which can and has been quantified and tested in the laboratory. If you can measure it and test it scientifically, you can know it. If not, the topic is nothing but private opinion and idle speculation.” Unfortunately, physicality is woefully inadequate to account for the world as it really is. People pretend that there are no serious implications for individual and social life that follow from accepting a naturalist worldview. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Chapter 3: The Postmodern Story
Postmodernism is primarily a reinterpretation of what knowledge is and what counts as knowledge. More broadly, it represents a form of cultural relativism about such things as reality, truth, reason, value, linguistic meaning, self, and other notions. In a postmodern view, there is no such thing as objective reality, truth, value, reason, and so forth. Postmodernists generally deny the notion of objective truth. Reality for postmodernism either does not exist or we have no direct access to it.
Chapter 4: From Drama to Deadness in Five Steps
Naturalism and postmodernism both disagree with Christianity on one important point: there is no non-empirical knowledge and no objective immaterial world. Many people believe religious claims are neither factual in nature nor subject to rational evaluation. Even many Christians accept the claim that religion is a matter of faith. The contemporary version of tolerance, popular in general culture, claims that one should not even judge that other people’s viewpoints are wrong.
Chapter 5: The Recovery of Knowledge
The possession of knowledge is crucial for life. In essence, knowledge is the ability to represent things as they are on an appropriate basis of thought and experience. Knowledge provides truth about reality along with the skillful ability to interact with reality. This is no time for the church to adopt an anti-intellectual approach to knowledge and faith.
Chapter 6: Renovation of the Soul
It has never been more critical to weigh Jesus’ words about “happiness” and one’s basic approach to life than today as we live in a culture united in support of a perspective diametrically opposed to his. Jesus’ invitation to “follow him” is actually an invitation to enter a different kind of life and to learn from Jesus himself how to live well. If one wants to become a flourishing person of character with a deep sense of well-being, then one must learn to give one’s life away for Jesus’ sake. This brings true happiness. The Christian life requires transformation, and a spiritual discipline is a tool for laying aside bad habits and forming new ones more consistent with the nature of God’s kingdom.
Chapter 7: Restoration of the Kingdom’s Miraculous Power
Evangelicals are often too quick to dismiss healing, demonic deliverance, miracles, and prophetic words of knowledge and wisdom. But in imitation of Jesus’ ministry, the church is invited to exercise the miraculous power of the Spirit in the service of the Kingdom. We must put into place the Kingdom Triangle meaning the three legs that provide a balanced, healthy way forward: recovery of knowledge and the Christian mind, renovation of the heart and spiritual formation, and restoration of miraculous power. All three are crucial if we are to meet the needs surfaced by the crisis of our age.
Conclusion: Confronting the Crisis of Our Age
Make no mistake about it, you are here to be an apprentice of the Lord Jesus to learn how to live your life well as part of God’s broader purposes. This is your calling, this is your destiny, and this is your only chance to have a life of genuine, full human flourishing. The Kingdom Triangle must be at the core of your life and strategy. The first leg provides a thoughtful sense of truth, knowledge, and direction to this approach to life. The second leg gives passion to the journey and allows one to lay aside baggage that gets in the way. The third leg provides the faith and confidence to risk more and more for God, and expect him to actually be a co-worker in the only sensible life plan available.
Interested in reading more? You can purchase the book here: http://amzn.to/2AnC8QV