No. I’m not talking about essays I wrote at College (although there may have been a couple that fitted in this category).
I’m talking about what Christians do when we invoke particular doctrines as the All Purpose Answer — the sovereignty of God and the Holy Spirit spring to mind (but they’re only the most common).
They function as conversation-closers. Problem is, they often don’t answer the question. They just relocate it.
Last week I asked some people: “How does Jesus transform and liberate us so that we can now please God?”
After not too many attempts, they hit on the ‘answer’ — he gives us the Holy Spirit!
Of course, this can’t possibly be wrong.
And it’s not. It just doesn’t get us quite as far as we imagine it does.
This became obvious when I pressed them: “How does having the Holy Spirit transform and liberate us so that we can now please God?”
That question is much harder to answer! But it’s only when we can answer it that we’ll be on our way to helping people experience lasting change and genuine freedom.