Jesus-Centered Parenting in a Child-Centered World

Jul 10, 2014 | Trevin Wax

Greear's085_croppedIf you’re like me, your greatest desire for your children is that they will love Jesus, love people, and be on mission for His kingdom. There are all sorts of other hopes and dreams that cluster around those three things, but in my prayers for my kids, I find that I keep coming back to those.

Almost anyone will tell you that parenting is tough, but trying to be the kind of parent God wants you to be is even tougher. We recognize there are high spiritual stakes in how we raise our children, which is why we’ve got to take this responsibility seriously and lean heavily on the Lord for His wisdom and grace in the midst of our failures.

J.D. and Veronica Greear have an 7-session study called Ready to Launch: Jesus-Centered Parenting in a Child-Centered World. Over the last couple weeks, Corina and I have watched the session videos and reviewed the group materials. We found their counsel to be on target, and we believe their emphasis on training for mission is long overdue in parenting studies.

Today, I’ve asked J.D. and Veronica to join me for a conversation about their approach to parenting:

Trevin: The world tells parents they should be centered on kids; as a pastor, you tell parents they should be centered on Jesus. The primary responsibility of both the church and the home is to teach the next generation the gospel.

Some people may hear a statement like that and think “teaching” in the classroom sense of getting your kids to sit down in rows and hear you tell Bible stories. That’s not what you’re talking about here. What does a broader vision of teaching your kids the gospel look like?

J.D.: God gave us two gospel “laboratories,” or “gardens,” in which to grow our kids: the family and the church. “Teaching our kids the gospel” means immersing them deeply in gospel-saturated relationships in both of those environments. That certainly includes the teaching of gospel doctrine—our kids should “bleed” Bible—but it is so much more than that. We must foster deep relationships within the family and church so that

  1. the gospel can be spoken into their lives in strategic ways and
  2. they can see the gospel lived out in day to day life.

Good gospel teaching is explaining to kids what they see lived out on a daily basis.

Furthermore, gospel-training must always be given in the context of mission. Gospel instruction divorced from mission leads to boredom and stagnation. After all, how can we really believe the gospel and not be on mission? We have to show kids that believing the gospel launches them into the greatest adventure in the universe.

005644088Trevin: It’s easy for people to get into parenting studies like this or watch pastors lead their families and think, Oh, of course, they’ve got it all together. My family is so dysfunctional. We’re hopeless. Veronica, you and J.D. are honest about some of the struggles you have in leading your family. What gives you hope that God is making something even in the “mess” of family life?

Veronica: Parenting probably taught me more about my desperate need for grace than any other thing in my life. Up to that point, I always thought (in the back of my mind) that given enough time and will power, I was sufficient for the task. But in parenting, though I was more motivated than I’d ever been before, I was still failing miserably. Daily. And J.D. felt that way, too.

Fortunately, the Bible God inspired reads like a Who’s Who of dysfunctional families. Really messed up stuff.

Yet, in the midst of these ugly stories of family dysfunction, God called out a people for his purposes and changed their stories into stunning examples of his powerful unexplainable grace. God didn’t love them because they were beautiful—far from it. They became beautiful because God loved them.

So if we, in the midst of our “dysfunction”, hope in his ability to work through difficult situations, whether they be mild or intense, we are in excellent company. Think about it: Why else would God fill his word with so many stories of messed up people whose lives he rescued, if not to reassure us that he loves us, in our family struggles, and can transform our families into trophies of his power and grace?

Trevin: In this study, you two talk a lot about the gospel and the need to reach the heart of your children. But you also talk a lot about mission and how we should see our kids as belonging (first) to God and His purposes.

What’s the difference between sheltering your children towards safety and shepherding your children towards mission?

J.D.: The ultimate purpose of parenting is not to hang on, but to let go; not protection but empowerment.

We certainly hope parents don’t interpret that approach as advocating a sloppy, carefree approach to parenting where you put your kids in unnecessary danger. But many Christian parents fail to grasp that God entrusted their children to them to train them up for his purposes, not theirs.

Psalm 127 says that children are like arrows in the hand of a mighty warrior. Arrows are given to the warrior to launch into battle, not as accoutrements to your lifestyle. And here’s the key: When you take what God intended to be a weapon and you turn it into a piece of furniture for your house, not only do you thwart the plan of God for their life, you discourage them from faith altogether!

The gospel, you see, only makes sense when it is taught in the context of mission. Many kids in evangelical churches are bored because parents look at kids like furniture for the completion of their houses and churches like classrooms to fashion them as “Christian” pieces of furniture.

Children are arrows, and arrows are designed to be launched out.

Trevin: When you talk about the D word (discipline), you mention that it’s not just Christians who are trying to discipline our children; the Enemy is focused on disciplining our children as well. What do you mean by this?

Veronica: I’ve heard it said that when Satan convicts you of sin, he starts with what you did and tears down who you are; the Holy Spirit, by contrast, starts with who you are and helps you rebuild what you did.

As parents, we want to be used by the Holy Spirit in discipline, which means disciplining within the context of affirmed gospel identity. While we correct the wrong, we declare even louder the new identity in Christ.

For example, when our kids turn ten, we make a printable with all of the characteristics and graces that we (together with close friends and family) have seen the Lord developing in them, and then we hang that poster it in their rooms. We want them to feel their new identity in Christ, and so we call out the manifestations of grace—things like taking care of a younger sibling, offering to help when not asked—things to which we could just say, “Oh, hey, good job thanks,” we try to say “Wow, that is really the evidence of God working in your heart.”

J.D. often quotes Martin Luther’ s statement to this end:

The voice of condemnation speaks accurately about the sins we have committed; God speaks a louder word over us in the gospel.

As parents, we want to speak that louder word of the gospel in all we say in discipline to our kids.

Trevin: How does the gospel impact not just the way we parent, but our identity as parents? Especially considering that we are not going to do this perfectly?

J.D.: In 1 Peter 5 the Apostle encourages his church to hope in God’s grace to “lift them up” in the day of adversity. At the end of the day, it is not their strength of character, the quality of Peter’s teaching, their missional strategies, or their charismatic leadership that will obtain the victory. It is God’s grace.

The same is true for parenting. God’s grace at work in our kids’ lives is our greatest, if not only, hope as parents.

A tragedy of many otherwise good, biblically-based modern parenting approaches is that they can communicate (however subtly), “Do this, and your kids will live.” Ironically, this approach keeps us from clinging to the one thing we most need desperately need as parents: hope in the grace of God!

Just as the gospel is not about getting ourselves to a place where we have no need for the grace of God, but realizing it is our only hope, so gospel-saturated parenting means placing our ultimate hope as parents not in our abilities to parent but in God’s willingness to save.


For more information on Ready to Launch, watch the trailer or visit the website. Below are some teaching clips from the series.

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Worth a Look 7.10.14

Jul 10, 2014 | Trevin Wax

WorthALook1Kindle Deal of the Day: Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy by Al Mohler, Peter Enns, Michael Bird, Kevin Vanhoozer, and John Franke. $3.99.

A timely contribution by showcasing the spectrum of evangelical positions on inerrancy, facilitating understanding of these perspectives, particularly where and why they diverge.

Ed Stetzer – The Never-Ending Need of Multiplying Leaders:

If the problem of this leadership crisis is never-ending, what ultimately is the solution? God gives Moses the same solution twice: once through Jethro and the second time directly from Himself: multiply leadership. The key to this solution, however, is hidden right in the solution itself. The very burden of multiplying leadership is a burden that the pastor should not carry alone. The new leaders are both the answer and solution.

Richard Mouw – Our Slippery Slopes:

Some slopes are indeed slippery, and we do well to approach them with caution. Which is why I take it seriously when I find myself challenged by a slippery slope argument about something that I advocate.

9 Secrets Your Pastor’s Wife Wishes You Knew:

I’ve sat for coffee, exchanged emails and had lengthy conversations with many who freely shared their secrets with me in exchange for the promise of anonymity. What follows is a condensed collection of their words.

Aaron Earls – Does God Give You More Than You Can Handle?


Oh, you don’t believe me? Here’s why that catchy saying contradicts what the Bible teaches.

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Learning from Rich Mullins – a Ragamuffin at the Door of God’s Mercy

Jul 09, 2014 | Trevin Wax

MV5BOTYzNjg2MTAzM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDEyODc3MTE@._V1_SY569_SX400_AL_Over the weekend, Corina and I watched the new movie based on the life of Rich Mullins - Ragamuffin, a biopic that chronicles Rich’s rise in the Christian music industry and describes his ongoing struggle with sin and redemption until a car accident claimed his life in 1997.

If you’re not familiar with Rich Mullins’ music, you have missed one of the few bright spots in contemporary Christian music over the last few decades. “Awesome God” is an evangelical staple, but I suspect few Mullins fans consider the song to be his best or their personal favorite. I find myself going back to “If I Stand,” “Creed,” and “Elijah.” Then there’s “Hold Me Jesus” - an authentic cry to the Savior that neither wallows in despair nor covers up the pain. Mullins paved the way for Caedmon’s Call, Chris Rice, and Andrew Peterson (see my conversation with Andrew about Rich’s impact on his music).

Rich Mullins was a sinner and a saint, like all believers in Jesus, and this movie does a good job showing us both aspects of Rich’s life.

The storyline of the film makes Mullins’ complicated relationship with a disapproving father the centerpiece, a relationship that hinders Rich from fully embracing the love of God for him. From beginning to end, the need for fatherly affection, both human and heavenly, carries the story of Rich’s life along, with his biggest hits interspersed throughout.

In the way they tell Rich’s story, the filmmakers satisfy the curiosity of fans who want to know “the stories behind the songs” while not allowing Rich’s career to overshadow the deeper, often problematic elements of his relational and personal struggles.

If you are looking for an idealized or sanitized portrait of Rich Mullins, don’t watch this movie. Here’s a chain-smoking man with salty language and a propensity toward alcohol abuse who sees himself and everyone else in desperate need of God’s mercy and grace. At the same time, here’s a man who gave away almost all of the money he earned, spent time ministering to the broken who lived on a Native American reservation, and pointed people away from himself and toward the church for spiritual nourishment.

It’s the rawness of Rich’s admission of sin and his provocative words about grace that disarm the viewer, just like he startles the listeners of his music. In one scene, a radio host asks Rich about a song he wrote for Amy Grant, “Doubly Good to You,” which communicates gratitude for God’s good gifts:

And if you find a love that’s tender
If you find someone who’s true
Thank the Lord
He’s been doubly good to you

The radio host, acknowledging a painful break-up in Rich’s past and his subsequent life as a single man, argues that the song is cruel for the way it implies God hasn’t been doubly true to Rich. To this, Rich responds: “God is not obligated to be singly good to any of us.”

Grace. Unmerited favor from an unobligated Giver.

It’s the truth that opened Rich up to the wonders of creation (“Calling Out Your Name”), the fragility of fallen humanity (“We Are Not as Strong as We Think We Are”) and the necessity of God’s “foolish” mercy (“Let Mercy Lead”).

Rich Mullins is still something of an enigma. His life isn’t a paragon of virtue or a sterling example of “the victorious Christian life.”

But at the heart of his story and music is good news for the sinner, the “beggar on the door of God’s mercy.” And that’s why his music appeals to a ragamuffin like me.


Watch the Trailer for Ragamuffin here.

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Worth a Look 7.9.14

Jul 09, 2014 | Trevin Wax

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKindle Deal of the Day: Is There a Meaning in This Text?: The Bible, the Reader, and the Morality of Literary Knowledge by Kevin Vanhoozer. $3.99.

Guides the student toward greater confidence in the authority, clarity, and relevance of Scripture, and a well–reasoned expectation to understand accurately the message of the Bible.

Why Geoff Holsclaw is Worried about Bonhoeffer’s Rising Popularity:

I worry that people will either look for the next Bonheoffer or try to be the next Bonhoeffer in some heroic protest, rather than entering the more humble protests of daily life. I worry that people will think that large gestures of protest are the way to change the world, rather than entering on the difficult daily path of ordinary resistance.

You see, Bonhoeffer had to be Bonhoeffer because the national church in Germany failed to be the church at all.

This is the forgotten lesson of Bonhoeffer: The Church in Germany had failed!

Michael Horton – Faith and Mental Illness:

Many of us were raised in an era when “it’s all in your head” meant that mental illnesses weren’t real—at least not as real as a broken arm. This tendency reflects not only a lack of appreciation for the rapid growth in medical diagnosis and treatment of such disorders, but a cluster of theological misunderstandings. So here are a few introductory theses to consider.

Mary Reichard – The Supreme Court is Not as Unified as it Looks:

Out of 69 decisions the U.S. Supreme Court issued in its latest term, 44 were unanimous. But there’s more to those decisions than meets the eye, and unanimity is not always what it’s cracked up to be.

Jefferson Bethke – Why Jesus Didn’t Have us Pray “Give Us This Day Our Daily Steak:”

One very common phrase for the Word is referring to it as bread. It’s even been popularized to call it our daily bread in our normal reading plans. But one thing I’ve noticed is we give lip service to the bread analogy, but treat the Bible more like a beautiful once in a lifetime steak or prime rib.

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The Great Commission Means Sharing Christ’s Story, Not Yours

Jul 08, 2014 | Trevin Wax

Girl-Bible clutch-NO-RINGEvangelicals love a good story. We’re all about “sharing our testimonies” and “telling our stories” and recounting our “spiritual journey.”

This emphasis on personal experience is one of evangelicalism’s strengths. We understand conversion as more than mere assent to Christianity’s teaching and more than mere observance of rites and rituals associated with the church. It’s no wonder that sharing our stories is a main aspect of evangelical identity and evangelistic activity.

But there’s a subtle danger lurking here. Because of our emphasis on conversion stories and testimonies, we can unintentionally make people think that evangelism is the same thing as sharing your experience.

We interpret The Great Commission’s “Go make disciples” as “Go tell your story.” They are not the same thing.

Here’s why…

Jesus and the Great Commission

When most of us think of the “Great Commission,” we start with the word “go.” The gist of Christ’s command is that we are to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing and teaching, right?

But Matthew’s version of the Commissioning scene doesn’t start with “go.” The commission itself is sandwiched between two statements related to Jesus Christ: the first concerns His authority, and the second concerns His empowering presence.

The flow of the passage goes like this:

  • All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus.
  • Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations…
  • Jesus promises to always be with His people.

Luke’s commissioning scene gets at this same truth in a different way. For Luke, the focus is on the gospel going out in Jesus’ name.

  • The Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms point to Jesus, whose death and resurrection fulfills Old Testament prophecy.
  • Witnesses will proclaim a message of repentance and forgiveness of sins.
  • This message is proclaimed “in Jesus’ name” to all nations.

For Luke, the name of Jesus is the source of authority. In Acts, this element is not emphasized in the commissioning scene itself, but in the rest of the narrative, where the theme of Jesus’ name carrying power and authority becomes a major point of the story.

3 Elements of Genuine Christian Witness

Both Luke and Matthew infuse their commissioning scenes with christological truth. So, how did the apostles, under the authority of Jesus, witness to the truth? Notice three elements:

  1. The events at the heart of the gospel are at the heart of their proclamation. The sermons in Acts reveal how the apostles walked their hearers through the story of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection.
  2. They are witnesses to the character of Jesus in the way they pattern their ministry after his miracles and show his compassion to those in need.
  3. They are witnesses to their own Christian experience. The Apostle Paul, for example, recounts his conversion experience on two occasions in Acts (22:6‒21 and 26:12‒23).

What About Now?

So what does this mean for us today?

  1. The events of the gospel – Christ’s life, death, and resurrection – must be at the heart of our proclamation.
  2. What we do should also witness to Christ as we follow His example.
  3. Our conversion experiences should back up our gospel proclamation.

If we get these out of sync, we hinder our effectiveness in fulfilling the Great Commission.

For example, some Christians may focus so much on the second aspect (what we do) that they fail to verbally proclaim the gospel (what Christ has done).

Another example: some Christians focus so much on the third aspect (our conversion experience) that they fail to properly proclaim Christ’s life and work.

Let’s look at this second danger a little more closely.

Christ’s Work in History vs. Christ’s Work in Your Life

The meaning of the word “witnesses” in Luke 24 and Acts 1, as well as throughout the narrative of Acts, refers to those who witnessed the work of the Lord and spoke of it to others. The witness of the disciples was centered on Christ’s life and work, most clearly seen in his death and resurrection.

So, let’s take note: the focus of apostolic preaching in Acts is not on the conversion experiences of the disciples, but on the work of Christ that makes conversion necessary. For this reason, we should ensure that our testimony of Christ’s work focuses primarily on what Christ did in history, not merely what Christ has done in our life.

The Place for Personal Testimony

That said, there is a place for personal conversion testimonies. After all, Paul appealed to his experience when testifying to his uniqueness as an apostle. The Samaritan woman ran into town and told of her conversation with Jesus. The man born blind, after being healed by Jesus, went and told everyone what had happened to him.

Don’t hear me saying that we should stop giving personal testimonies! They are powerful.

We should work, however, to make sure these testimonies undergird and support the clear gospel message and don’t somehow replace it. What Jesus has done for me should always be connected to what Jesus has done, period.

What Happens When Personal Testimony Takes Over

Focusing primarily on our own experiences with Christ can unintentionally downplay the importance of the historic events upon which the Christian faith stands or falls.

An evangelist who speaks only of his personal experience with Jesus may be surprised to encounter others who speak just as genuinely of their personal experiences in Islam, Buddhism, or Hinduism. The initial desire to speak of what one has experienced personally may run into the rocks of multiculturalism, leading to a neutered presentation of the gospel that loses its basis in historical reality.

The role of personal experience in testifying to the work of Christ should be seen as a further evidence of the power of the gospel. It is not the gospel itself, but it testifies to its power.

To sum up: gospel presentations that include personal testimonies should take care to emphasize the gospel itself (the news of Christ’s death and resurrection), not merely our personal experiences of life transformation. A change of heart is a further demonstration of the gospel and should be used in personal evangelism, as long as the focus remains on Christ’s objective work on the cross.

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Worth a Look 7.8.14

Jul 08, 2014 | Trevin Wax

WorthALook1Kindle Deal of the Day: Three Views on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology) by Walt Kaiser, Darrell Bock, and Peter Enns. $2.99.

To read the New Testament is to meet the Old Testament at every turn. But exactly how do Old Testament texts relate to their New Testament references and allusions? Moreover, what fruitful interpretive methods do New Testament texts demonstrate?

Half of the United States Lives In These Counties:

Using Census data, we’ve figured out that half of the United States population is clustered in just the 146 biggest counties out of over 3000.

Here’s the map, with said counties shaded in. Below the map is the list of all the counties, so you can see if you live in one of them.

Ross Douthat on Hobby Lobby as a company liberals could love:

The entire conflict between religious liberty and cultural liberalism has created an interesting situation in our politics: The political left is expending a remarkable amount of energy trying to fine, vilify and bring to heel organizations — charities, hospitals, schools and mission-infused businesses — whose commitments they might under other circumstances extol.

J. D. Greear – The Next Wave of Missions:

I am convinced that the next wave of missions (at least coming from the Western World) is going to happen on the wings of business. This has a strong biblical and historical precedent.

Skye Jethani with a good word for pastors and church leaders – Blessed Redundancy:

This lesson from civil aviation may be relevant for the church today.

Many churches, both large and small, seem to engineer their ministries around the antithesis of redundancy-singularity. A single leader becomes the focus of nearly everything that happens, and I’m not just talking about on Sunday morning.

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God’s Gospel, God’s Commands, and God’s Mission

Jul 07, 2014 | Trevin Wax

Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 8.46.11 AMAt the Southern Baptist Convention last month, Whitney Clayton (pastor at The Bridge Community Church in Wilder, KY) hosted a conversation with me, Eric Geiger, and Matt Capps, who works with me on The Gospel Project.

We discussed the rise of “gospel-centered” terminology within evangelicalism, how the gospel relates to God’s commands, and how we can better serve and empower our churches by displaying the glory of Christ.

You can watch the video here, or go to the section that interests you.

  • 1:00 “Gospel-centered” has become a buzzword and risks losing its meaning. What do we mean by this terminology?
  • 3:30 The Bible has plenty of commands we are to obey. How does the gospel fuel our obedience?
  • 6:00 The gospel doesn’t only empower us; it also gives shape to what our obedience looks like.
  • 8:00 The gospel versus Moralistic Therapeutic Deism
  • 10:19 How can the church equip leaders in creating a gospel-centered culture?
  • 13:15 Gospel centrality and The Gospel Project
  • 15:44 Teaching kids the gospel
  • 18:07 How do we get people passionate about God’s mission?
  • 21:11 Gospel centrality and my church: Where do we start?
  • 23:45 Helps for leaders

The Need For Gospel-Centeredness In Our Churches- Whitney Clayton, Trevin Wax, Eric Geiger, Matt Capps from CP SBC on Vimeo.

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Worth a Look 7.7.14

Jul 07, 2014 | Trevin Wax

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKindle Deal of the Day: Miracles (VeriTalks) by John Lennox. $0.99.

Using crisp logic to cut through common confusions about faith and science, Oxford mathematician John Lennox argues for the existence of God, the possibility of miracles, and the actuality of one extraordinary miracle: the resurrection of Christ.

Alan Jacobs responds to Peter Conn’s view that religious colleges should not receive accreditation:

Peter Conn is right about one thing: college accreditation is a mess. But his comments about religious colleges are thoughtless, uninformed, and bigoted. Conn is appalled — appalled — that religious colleges can receive accreditation. Why does this appall him? Well, because they have communal statements of faith, and this proves that in them “the primacy of reason has been abandoned.”

Why Pastors Should Go On More Walks:

It is obvious to see how pastoral sitting can be linked to decreased activity and weight gain, but that is a problem for another time. The problem that we often don’t realize is that all of our sitting is actually hindering our creativity. Yes, sitting actually makes you less creative!

World - Stop Eating Red Meat, But Don’t Worry About Abortion:

Research suggesting a possible, slight link between the consumption of too much red meat in early adulthood and breast cancer received much media attention recently. But numerous studies showing a much more robust link between breast cancer and abortion are largely ignored—or worse—scoffed at.

7 Characteristics of Highly Evangelistic Christians:

Stated simply, the evangelistic churches that I have researched for the past twenty years have one or more highly evangelistic Christians.

I know. The previous statement is no great revelation. It is almost stating the obvious. But, if it is reality, why are we not hearing more about these Christians who seem to have a passion for evangelism? Why are we not doing a better job of telling their stories?

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Be Merciful To Your Church and To This Nation

Jul 06, 2014 | Trevin Wax

John-WesleyShow mercy to the whole world, O Father of all;
let the gospel of Your Son run
and be glorified throughout all the earth.
Let it be made known to all unbelievers
and obeyed by all Christians.

Be merciful to Your church and to this nation;
give Your pastors a discerning spirit,
enable all who are ordained to any holy function
to diligently feed their flocks -
instructing them in saving knowledge,
guiding them by their examples,
praying for and blessing them,
exercising spiritual discipline in Your church
and duly administering your holy sacraments.

Multiply Your blessings on our government leaders,
that they may all,
according to the talents they have received,
be faithful instruments of your glory.

Give to our schools and universities,
zeal, prudence, and holiness.

Visit in mercy all the children of affliction;
relieve their necessities,
lighten their burdens,
give them a cheerful submission to Your gracious will,
and at length bring them and us,
with those that already rest from their labors,
into the joy of our Lord,
to whom with You, O Father, and You, O Holy Spirit,
be all praise, now and forever.

- John Wesley, adapted

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Longing Leads to Action

Jul 05, 2014 | Trevin Wax

1402116452seaJames K. A. Smith:

We have spent a generation thinking about thinking. But despite our “folk” accounts and (deluded) self-perception, we don’t think our way through to action; much of our action is not the outcome of rational deliberation and conscious choice. Much of our action is not “pushed” by ideas or conclusions; rather, it grows out of our character and is in a sense “pulled” out of us by our attraction to a telos. 

If we… are going to be “prime citizens of the kingdom of God” who act in the world as agents of renewal and redemptive culture-making, then it is not enough to equip our intellects to merely think rightly about the world. We also need to recruit our imaginations. Our hearts need to be captured by a vision of a telos that “pulls” out of us action that is directed toward the kingdom of God.

Action and creative cultural labor are generated more by visions than maxims, more by a telos than a rule. This intuition is captured in a saying attributed to Antoine de Saint-Exupery, the author of The Little Prince: “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”

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