the weblog of Alan Knox

The Bourne Christianity

Posted by on Aug 5, 2007 in discipleship | 10 comments

Yesterday, my son and I watched The Bourne Ultimatum with a friend. (There are no spoilers in this post.) We had previously watched the other two movies in the trilogy: The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Supremacy. Throughout this trilogy, Jason Bourne suffers from amnesia and is trying to remember his identity while evading those who want him dead.

It seems that many Christians suffer from this same problem. They have forgotten who they are. They do not remember their true identity in Christ. Instead of living an abundant life connected to God through Christ, indwelled and empowered by the Spirit, they live a life of ritual and tradition. Instead of growing in grace, they learn religion.

While there are some who prefer the chains of ritual, I have seen more and more followers of Christ remember who they. It is a beautiful transformation out of the bonds of religion and into the freedom of Christ.


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 8-5-2007

    I think one of the main reasons that many Christians have “lost the plot” as far as their identity goes is the same root/reason that many Christians have lost the plot as far as what “church” really is. I think the root cause is that they’ve never been taught in the first place, never mind having forgotten it. :(

    Many people, IMO, blindly “go to church” each week and go through the rituals, and they don’t really realize what they’re missing because they’re essentially taught that “this is what it’s all about.”

    And many people, IMO, blindly go through the motions of Christianity, without really having any clue about who they really are in Christ, and I think many people don’t even realize that they’re missing something.

    You talk to people about “church” being some other thing than what they’ve experienced all their lives, and all you get is a dazed and confused look, or even anger. And you talk to them about grace, and their identity in Christ, and it’s really just one other subject of Christianity, rather than the core of their true being and existence!

    Keep at it, Alan. :) You have words that I think are helping a lot of people to discover “true” church and who they are in Christ.

  2. 8-6-2007


    Great comment! That is a wonderful follow-up to my post. Thank you for expanding my concept and showing us how it relates to us individual as followers of Christ and corporately as the church.


  3. 8-7-2007


    I got this from one of my co-workers. your thougts?

    What does freedom in Christ mean? It seems like a silly question, but I have seen and practiced many variants of this belief. I know Paul spoke on the subject, but does it realy mean that we no longer are bound by law and we no longer need to follow tradition? In some aspects I feel like I need relegion (get a little wild somtimes).

    Organized Faith. Can Christianity (religion) survive without it, even if it is corrupt?

  4. 8-7-2007


    Thank you for this comment. I appreciate you sharing your co-worker’s comments. I think your co-worker asks a very important question. In fact, I think that many people equate being bound by the law with being bound by the Spirit. Instead of answering in the comments, I’d like to think about this for a couple of days and write a post in response.


  5. 8-8-2007

    Hi Juan,

    I’m not speaking for Alan or for anyone else, and I don’t mean to steal from anything that Alan might say, and it’s possible that Alan and others won’t agree with me, but I just thought I’d share from my own experience.

    I’ve been consciously ‘growing in grace’ for over a dozen years now. I mean, it was at that time that I made a conscious decision to leave religion behind and swim freely in the sea of grace. It was scary, because of what you have brought up here. I was very scared that breaking free from the reins of religion would cause me to live wildly or recklessly. (By “religion,” I’m talking specifically about mixing in rules, law, tradition, etc, into the way I live the Christian life).

    I just want to say that rather than going off the deep end as far as living wildly, I have become a much more self-controlled person – with much more room to grow, of course. The point is that the fruit of the Spirit is something that Law/religion can never and will never produce. Law is impotent. Worse yet, Law is actually an aphrodisiac, if I can be so bold! (Rom 5:20, 7:11, etc). Sin, rather than being bound by law, becomes loose and deceives me.

    The law itself is holy, just and good, but its absolute weakness is that it can do nothing to help us live righteously, and in fact we are driven the other way when we put ourselves under it. I’ve personally become more and more convinced that 2% law will leaven 98% grace, and leave us with ineffective grace (“watch out for the leaven of the Pharisees”). I honestly believe that people are scared of grace because they haven’t fully given themselves over to it. They’ve perhaps experienced some of its power, but law has come back in and killed grace – making grace seem to be much less than what it really is.

    I’ve experienced the freedom for which Christ has set us free (Gal 5:1). I’ve experienced the grace that teaches us to deny ungodliness (Titus 2:12) (which, again, law holds no power to do). And I’ve experienced the leaven of just a tiny bit of law mixed in with grace, and I can tell you from experience that it produces disaster!

    The bottom line here – and again I’m only speaking from my own experience and according to my personal understanding of scripture – is that the way to overcome wild and loose living is not by putting the so-called “restraints” of law and tradition on yourself, but by breaking free entirely from them and digging your roots into the very fertile soil of grace, abiding in the Person, Jesus, and allowing the Spirit to produce His very own fruit (which never goes against His law) in you in His own ways and in His own timing.

    Romans 5 through 7 is a great study on all this. “When the commandment came, sin revived and I died. And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death.”

    We have a worldwide body of believers who are still trying to live their Christian lives attached to the chains of rituals and laws, and in doing so I believe they are missing out on the true life and power of the Spirit.

  6. 8-8-2007


    In the words of every Family Feud contestant: “Good answer! Good answer!”


  7. 8-8-2007


    Thanks for the post. It is great. I will pass on to my co-worker. You say “I just want to say that rather than going off the deep end as far as living wildly, I have become a much more self-controlled person – with much more room to grow, of course.”

    This has happened in my life too. I was stunned with it to say the least.


  8. 8-8-2007


    I just feel very privileged to be a part of this “family” team. :)


    Amen – it’s very stunning to see the power of grace, especially after coming out of the sterility and despondency of religion and legalism. :)

  9. 8-8-2007


    I’ve been stunned by grace as well. It’s amazing that the Spirit can do through grace what the law, rules, and regulations can never do.


    I agree… this is a wonderful family.


  10. 4-19-2012

    I have found an understanding of the covenants (and particularly what the Lord promises to do for us through the New Covenant) to be of great benefit, and this book ( has more than helped in this regard. Although the book’s over 100 years old, I can’t recall being taught much, if any, of this ‘material’ when I was a churchgoer.