Ed Stetzer recently published a post called “You Can’t Love a City if You Don’t Know a City, Pt 1.”
While the post is primarily about the importance of research (you know, he does research), that’s not really what I want to talk about.
Instead, I want to talk about something he brings up in his first paragraph:
“The city” is an emerging phrase that seems to be embraced by a growing number of Christians. I intentionally say they are embracing the phrase, because I do not think that all are actually embracing the city, but rather they are embracing the idea of embracing the city.
I’ve seen people “embracing the idea” in several aspects of our walk with Christ. Some areas include loving people, caring for those in need, sharing the gospel, making disciples… the list could go on and on.
There are many, many Christians who love the “idea” of these things, but I’m not sure they have actually embraced loving, caring, sharing, or discipling.
What do you think? Is it possible to embrace the idea of something without embracing that thing itself? If so, how do we tell if we (or others) are actually embracing life with Christ, and not just the idea of life with Christ? What do we do if we’re only embracing the idea?