I'm currently reading "The Irresistible Revolution" by Shane Claiborne and "Surprised by Hope" by N.T. Wright together. I wasn't quite sure why, but I thought they might supplement each other pretty well. It turns out after a couple chapters, I'm finding how much they really are beginning to not only supplement each other, but really change my life. Things are connecting a bit and I'm experiencing a pleasant internal discourse as some of my questions are being answered and others are surfacing. But at the same time, I'm caught in the middle of a tension. Its a cataclysmic sort of personal tension that I'm wrestling with, but its beautiful! I'm in a battle and it invigorates me; it makes me feel real...alive.
The topic or catorgory of thought is that of how we, or rather, I as a Christian am supposed to live; how I am supposed to use my finite life on this earth. I just can't accept the normal human paradigm of life. You grow up, go to school, get a job, get married, have kids, go to church, retire, and then die. I grew up in church, had the Word given to me in more ways and times that I can count, and was told what to do and what not to do. But really, how in the world can one read the Bible and continue to live the generic life that all humans live without being drastically impacted by the implications of Jesus' words, not to mention those of the other authors?
N.T. Wright starts his book off by asking a few pertinent questions about the ultimate Christian hope, and some of which question the age-old traditional thoughts and pressumptions of most people in church today. Was Jesus' body really resurrected? Is there a heaven outside of this realm in which our disembodied souls will go to spend eternity? What affect does the implications of the ultimate hope of eternity have on our lives right now? Questions like these have rolled across my mind for the past couple years, but never have surfaced because of all the muck of growing up in the 'normative' christian culture in which I was spoon-fed popular doctrine. A surplus of knowledge and a shortage of experience has commissioned me everywhere but towards the true reality of the Gospel.