I want a new drug
One that does what it should
One that wont make me feel too bad
One that wont make me feel too good
A new book takes Huey Lewis’ suggestion and offers a new Christianity/spirituality for the discontented Christian. The description is below, with the most disturbing line in bold.
A Contrarian’s Guide to Knowing God by Larry Osborne
When Jesus walked the earth, God was anything but accessible. Spirituality was reserved for the elite—those with pedigree, education, and a commitment to rigid self-discipline. Jesus, countering with a different path, raised the bar of righteousness but lowered the bar to entry.
A Contrarian’s Guide to Knowing God follows in Jesus’ footsteps. Believing that the bar has been re-raised with our widely accepted ideas of what it means to know God, Osborne seeks to place spirituality back within our reach. Defining what spirituality is and isn’t, he explores what it takes to get there and then looks in depth at what God wants and expects from each of us as individuals.
If you’ve walked the “tried-and-true” paths and found them wanting, Osborne offers hope and some other ways to get there. If you have nagging doubts whether it all really works as advertised, you’ll find the tough questions asked—and answered. If the spiritual disciplines work well for you, you’ll better understand those who struggle with them.
Most disturbing, of course, is the “buffet-style” Christianity Osborne’s marketers are appealing to. (Disclaimer: Since I haven’t read the book, I’m relying on those marketers to get a sense of what the book’s about.) If the path to God as it’s been followed for two millennia doesn’t suit you, try another. And another. Until you get what you’re looking for. Whether Osborne’s book suggests such an approach or not is immaterial; the logic of his marketers is to appeal to the Christian consumer looking for a new supplier.
Side note: I find it interesting that the scriptural way nearly always points not to discovery or invention (or even innovation) but to rediscovery. For example, following an extensive passage on the fast God chooses, Isaiah reveals one of its results: “And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in” (Isaiah 58:12).
Isn’t it interesting that while we American Christians seem to be looking for something new, God points us to something old?