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February 28, 2008



For what it's worth, I look forward to hearing what you have to say every Sunday morning. I won't be there in a couple of weeks, and I'm already a little sad about it. I take comfort knowing I've got the podcast to listen to.

I like what you say and how you say it, even when it's uncomfortable (although masturbation really was over the top). But the best thing about what you have to say is that I hear God's word and it always comes back to Jesus.

I don't see how anyone can find the hope in Jesus Christ that you talk about every Sunday morning to be "dark and heavy." The dark and heavy stuff is what makes us cling to that hope.

Keep up the good work.


Hey Matt, I am procrastinating for a moment from a big Hebrew assignment that is just about the worst thing that I can imagine as an assignment.

I hear what you are saying and I really don't want you to read what follows as a criticism because as far as I understand you I am on board, but...

What I see sometimes is that people turn to or live in their darkness and doubt on ourpose because it is a safe place. I used to love caving and when I was fourteen I was determined that if there was a way to make a living as a cave explorer then I would do it. Part of that love to put it crudely, was the thrill of discovery and the self-importance of having intimate knowledge of that which no one else dared to know. The caver has a solitary, mysterious identity. Even in a caving community there is a satisfaction in knowing that all those on the oustide don't have any idea what is underneath it all. I am assuming you can make the analogical connections.

But one of the bigger things I wonder about is if the darkness becomes necessary to folks because the light never shines brighter. When your eyes become accostomed to the dark even dim lights stand out. I wonder if folks over-emphasize the darkness sometimes in order to make the gospel they have a grasp on seem bigger than it is. "What, you don't see how light my gospel is? Here, stick your head under the covers for a while and then you'll be able to see it." That is a gospel presentation I have seen far too many times. Speakers and hearers of the gospel depend on the darkness to facilitate transformation instead of walking further into the light. I wonder if we need more vision casting, more efforts to spark a redeemed imagination for what Christ is doing in the Church and in the world. I wonder if an emphasis on affirming and exploring our identity as creatures of the new humanity would do more to bring healing to our dark places. Instead of treating sin as an igredient for grace we focus on the grace itself - Christ's good news of restoring his people to glory. What if instead of monograming our luggage we left it at the cross and walked freely further up and further into the kindgom.

Again, I want to avoid pitting the two against each other because honest recognition of our sin and brokeness and having the freedom to grieve is right and good. But sometimes I don't see grieving but instead I see celebrating or revelling in the darkness of our lives. To be clear, I'm not talking about anyone in particular, just commenting on a general sense I get. What do you think?

Matt Adair

Rob - Thanks sounds kind of hollow or self-serving but I'll say it anyway since you're genuinely looking to encourage and help make my point. And you're welcome for the masturbation comment (which you know is true but consequently forces you to have conversations with your boy you hadn't planned on having yet...or ever!).

George - I'm with you but my guess is that most people would be. The trick is to corporately move people to the kind of grief/repentance that leads to a deeper experience of the grace God has already given us...while understanding that individuals can take what's said and turn it into celebrating the darkness. So while we really believe we need to be a place where its OK for people to not be OK, we don't believe God calls us to stay there. Moving out of that takes place at his speed and in ways he sees fit, but there's always movement towards the cross, even if it's only a look.

Now get back to Hebrew...or trying to figure out how to beat me in fantasy baseball.


I believe you came in 3rd last season. So maybe you should be the one figuring out how to beat me.

Keith Watson

Hey Matt,
No experiential knowledge of your service, but the post has my mind turning...
There are a couple of ways to talk about the depths of darkness. I believe that both are capable of leading us to the same place - the cross.
One is to describe the horrible darkness in all its depths and despair - to present it as dark as we possibly can. Then to present the way out - Jesus.
The other is to present the glorious light of Jesus. And to truthfully present Him as beautiful and wonderful as He truly is. Then, the beauty and glory, and splendor of Christ draw us out of the darkness and into His marelous light.
One is not right and the other wrong - Balance is (as always) the key.
Thanks for the reminder thru this post!

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