I’ve invited several people to write “guest blog posts” for this blog. There are several reasons for this: 1) To offer different perspectives. 2) To generate even more discussion and conversation between blogs. 3) To introduce other bloggers to my readers.
(If you are interested in writing a guest blog post, please contact me at aknox[at]sebts[dot]com.)
In my book Viral Jesus in Chapter Eight: Viral Discipleship I note:
Today much of Christian activity seems to originate with human plans, and it is then carried out in human strength, with human results. It has nothing to do with the kingdom of God. The world does not need any more religion! It needs Jesus Christ. Religion is people’s attempts to do God’s work in their own strength. Jesus wants us to live and walk in God’s strength. God is only interested in His work, not our work. He oversees and empowers those things that originate in His heart. On judgment day, only that which was birthed and sustained by the Holy Spirit will survive.
Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines humanism as “a doctrine, attitude, or way of life centered on human interests or values; especially: a philosophy that usually rejects supernaturalism and stresses an individual’s dignity and worth and capacity for self-realization through reason.”
Most Western Bible-believing Christians are behaving as humanists. Yet most, if they are aware of humanism as a philosophy, would be offended by the idea that they are humanists. However, if we disdain the words, yet still behave like a humanist, we are a humanist.
The basic issue of humanism is that humans make the decisions and cause things to happen by their own will and ability, using their own rational intellect. We may do this for the best of intentions, but since we started from the wrong place and are functioning with the wrong operating system, we end up in a very desperate situation. We are lost in the woods thinking we know where we are going. All the time we are moving farther and farther away from home, away from God.
We have brought this same humanism into discipleship. Hence we focus on such things as witnessing techniques, small group dynamics, and biblical doctrine. None of these things are wrong, in and of themselves. The problem is the source of our accomplishment. We aren’t asking some prior questions. Rather than asking what is a good technique of sharing the gospel, perhaps we should ask: Did God set up this witnessing situation? How is He leading us to share the gospel? Instead of asking how can I utilize good small group dynamics to lead this group, perhaps we should ask how is God leading in the small group? Through whom does He want to minister? Instead of asking what doctrine is this Bible passage teaching, perhaps we should ask how is God ministering to us through the Bible? How is the Holy Spirit activating the truth of the Bible into our lives though His power?
For more on this subject read Chapter 8 of Viral Jesus.
- Is it possible to do good things with the best of intentions and still end up “lost in the woods thinking we know where we are going?”
- Do you believe God can actually lead the discipleship process, or is that our job?
- Can we do God a favor?
- If God leads discipleship, does that mean we have any involvement beyond being automatons? Is there any room for our creativity and thoughts?
 Brother Yun, Living Water, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008), 54.
 Merriam-Webster Online, s.v. “humanism,” http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/humanism (accessed July 20, 2009).