More Christian Politics

This is a post I wrote as a comment in a thread in Good Reads of an excellent book review by Natalie Vellacott…which I totally agreed with…of the book by Dinesh D’Souza called Hillary’s America:


Christianity is the most radical thing in all of human experience.  At age 18, I became a Christian.  Before then I was about as worldly as a person could be.  I was way ahead of my peers in debauchery and self-centered pursuits.  Jesus Christ changed me into a new person…with news goals and an elevated purpose for living.

The cross of Calvary is as radical as it gets.  God taking upon Himself the penalty for our sins took everyone by surprise.

The cross is more radical than the philosophies of Aristotle and Plato, more radical than the Protestant Reformation, the American Revolution, the abolition of slavery, or the defeat of fascism and tyranny in WWII.

How could anything be more radical than being raised from the dead?  The validation of Jesus Christ the Son of God…through God the Father raising Him from the dead…is the apex… the pinnacle…the epitome of being radical.

The radical achievement of being resurrected to life after the grave…puts into context the words of Jesus: “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mk. 8:36-37).

What does this have to do with Natalie’s book review, politics, and the viewpoint that Christianity appears to be losing the cultural battle to secularism in America and elsewhere?  The answer is…everything.

Christian foreign missionaries tell us what is the correct political persuasion for Christians.

The best political approach in every third-world country is to have a base of support at the bottom of a society to provide stability and security…and at the same time prevent the accumulation of wealth concentrated at the very top that robs (hence the term “robber barons” in the late 1800’s in America) the society as a whole of the resources it needs to function.

As Natalie has described in her books…part of the challenge to overcome in presenting the gospel message to homeless children on the streets in the Philippines…is the economic poverty and lack of stability and security that would allow those who accept the message to be able to escape the streets and step forward into their new Christian lives.

It is easy to see here that Satan has some people, some countries, and some cultures by the throat…and as Christian foreign missionaries trying to take the gospel message of salvation out to the world…according to the Great Commission…the stark reality is that in some cases… more is needed.  Abject poverty in these third-world economies makes Christian evangelism an uphill struggle…a roadblock that needs fixing concurrently with sharing the gospel.

This part of the challenge in my opinion is not conservative or liberal.  Where it splits off into conservative or liberal as political terminology…is the varied approaches that people suggest and advocate as solutions.

The underlying question this thread raises…through Natalie’s excellent book review…is what is the best form of government to provide the best platform for Christian evangelism…in initially winning people to Christ…and then having a society and a culture that enables (at least does not absolutely prevent) new Christian converts from stepping into their callings and realizing their God-scripted destinies.

In my first post in this thread…number    above…I said that I am a moderate Democrat…living in Southern California in the United States.  I did this to present upfront my bias and presuppositions.

I think that foreign missionary experience is telling us that the best platforms in societies for sharing the gospel message are those cultures that do not have widespread poverty at the bottom, do not encourage wealth disparity at the top, and have a large middle class…where the opportunity for advancement is open to everyone within the zone of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.

This is the sweet spot where a God-composed journey of faith can rise above worldly conventional thinking according to God’s higher ways and thinking.

This is why I said in my post above that I would not have read this book Hillary’s America (I probably will now) or watched the movie…because on its face it is too polarizing.

I think the best form of government…politics…is at the center…taking good solutions from right of center and good solutions from left of center.

I wish I could take more space…as I am trying to be as brief as I can.

One last thought.  I briefly described above the radical nature of Christianity.  But in nature we see God using in innumerable examples what is termed “the Goldilocks zone.”

We find this in the position of our earth in our solar system…not too hot or not too cold…in its distance away from the sun.

There is a term that refers to innumerable conditions within our bodies…homeostasis.  Our body temperature is not too hot or too cold.  The same for blood pressure, blood sugar, heart rate, and a host of other incredibly balanced things in our bodies that are a compelling argument for intelligent design…all needed concurrently and in an integrated coordination to sustain our functioning bodies.

I think that homeostasis…the Goldilocks zone of not too hot or not too cold…is the correct approach to politics…for Christians.

A fundamental feature of the biblical narrative stories of faith is the displacement of our ways with God’s higher ways…for the best of reasons.  As Abraham walks towards Canaan the Promised Land…God is displacing whatever normal life Abraham might otherwise have lived…with a new life-script that Abraham would never have dreamed up in his wildest imagination.

This same pattern occurs throughout the Old and new Testaments in a wide range of political conditions.  It is apparent from this that the callings of God are not limited by anything that is happening in the politics of the “outside world.”

The calling and ministry of Jesus occurs in the most adverse environment…resulting in His rejection and crucifixion.

My point in this post is simply that in our political calculus…Christians should factor in what provides for the greatest degree of stability and opportunity for the most people…to produce and sustain the best environment for the sharing of the gospel.

The Bible tells us that this world will pass away.  We should try to fix it and maintain it according to “occupy till I come” (Lk. 19:13)…but this must have salvation for others as our primary mission.  This is the radical, socially reforming part of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead that is paramount.

Apologies again for the lengthy post.

Christian Politics 9

No kingdom works very well if the citizenry thinks they know better than the ruling king.  The cross of Calvary is the epitome of this.  The Pharisees and scribes thought they knew better than Jesus (Jn. 7:15, 26).

The question as to who possessed divine authority…the ruling religious elite in Jerusalem…or the miracle working Jesus of Nazareth…ultimately hinged upon who possessed the higher social status according to worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.

But during the time of the ministry of Jesus Christ…even people who had Isaiah 53 memorized word-for-word…did not see the cross of Calvary coming.

Jesus can command loyalty and obedience from the people of faith He enlists into journeys of faith…because as the King of heaven He gives Himself sacrificially as the Passover Lamb for us at Calvary.

When this is combined with the displacement of our ways with God’s ways in a journey of faith…this is too much to expect in a humanly invented fiction…if God is actually not at home according to atheism and religious skepticism.

When we look at the Bible through the self-centered lens of the expectations and aspirations of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…of what is in it for us…of what belief in God can do for us…we will miss the displacement component altogether of God’s ways removing our ways…as evidence of the divine origin of the biblical narrative stories of faith.

But if we look at the Bible through the lens of Jesus Christ as sovereign King and Ruler of the realm…then everything challenging and difficult in the called-out people of faith’s lives make perfect sense…because the scenario of events and the purpose behind each storyline changes 180 degrees into being about what we can do in service to the King…according to His plans and direction (Jn. 15:14-16).

The most radically unconventional thing in the entire universe is that when we are called-out into a God-composed journey of faith…we are called-out to serve a King…the King of Isaiah 9:6…Jesus Christ.

The reality of this in the biblical narrative stories of faith, and in the lives of tens and hundreds of millions of people from Abraham onward down through history…who have experienced a biblical quality walk of faith…is simply nonsensical if in fact God does not exist…if God is a fiction.

Christian Politics 8

What does all of this have to do with Jesus and politics?

In the Soviet Union during Stalin’s time in power, the ruling Communist Party could decide that PhD history professors in Moscow were more valuable manually digging ditches for new roads into the city…rather than teaching history in the university.

In a moment of arbitrary decision-making the political rulers in the Soviet Union system had the power to sweep away careers, dreams, and the investment of years of hard work and study…according to the whims of a few worldly powerful people having their own agenda.

In a godless, atheistic society like the Stalinist Soviet Union…autonomous, independent free-thinking does not have value.  If tyrannical despots in power in the Soviet Union possessed the authority to tell people what to do…they obeyed or they were sent off to labor camps in Siberia.

But in an atheistic worldview…what did it matter?  There is no god…and no meaning and purpose in life.  Material particles and energy are the extent of reality.  A fixed moral standard for right and wrong, good and evil…does not and cannot exist.

If material particles and subatomic energy have the inside scoop on what is right and wrong, good and evil…who or what endowed them with this capacity?

If this standard for judging good and evil is not a fixed standard…then it is relative…and therefore worthless as a standard.

The abuse of authority in the interests of personal benefit…at the expense of other people…is an attribute that resides within the broad range of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.

The void of non-purpose and non-meaning inherent in the atheistic worldview of naturalism…or the meaninglessness of robotic human beings having free-thinking, independent moral reasoning thanks to material particles and subatomic energy alone…are both unsatisfactory explanations for rational reality.

Free-thinking does not belong to atheism…it belongs to God-composed journeys of faith where God displaces our ways with His higher and better ways…in tandem with our free-will choice.

Christian Politics 7

The question can be asked…what is more complex in terms of information content, quantity, and functional coherence…the issues introduced in the Christian apologetics debate on the existence of God and the truthfulness of the Bible…or the fine-tuning of the mathematical constants in physics and chemistry that support life in our universe that is one of several key evidences that argue for intelligent design?

If broken down into the smallest pieces…”bits” of information…we might find that the complexity and quantity of information in the apologetics debate exceeds or equals that which we find in DNA, the fine-tuning of the force of gravity or the expansion rate of the universe.

The complexity we find in the Christian apologetics debate …like we now find in the intelligent design debate…simply outpaces gradualistic explanations of trial-and-error development via material particles and energy alone…in a naturalistic Darwinian model.

If the apologetics argument is light-years out in front of the basic Darwinian survival-of-the-fittest explanation for this extremely advanced and sophisticated capacity in the realm of moral and intellectual reasoning…then the grounds for philosophical atheism is no longer tenable.

The irony of being a “free-thinking” atheist is: what is the point of calling oneself free-thinking if this leads back to a worldview of naturalism that has no purpose or meaning itself?

We can’t have it both ways.

We can’t argue for a worldview of naturalism that has no meaning or purpose…then insist that our argument for free-thinking atheism…outside of Christianity…has meaning.

This line of reasoning for free-thinking as a product of atheism…appears to be self-refuting…on the grounds upon which a non-theistic world is built.

The only way free-thinking works and has value is in a non-materialistic worldview that has a superior thinking, intelligent agent God…as the transcendent arbiter of an independent moral code.

No one can produce zero purpose in life.  Like absolute zero friction, an absolute zero vacuum, or an absolute zero temperature…producing an absolute zero of purpose is an unattainable fiction.  Zero purpose and meaning is not only impossible to achieve…it is virtually inconceivable and unimaginable.

Christian Politics 6

The Reformation conflict between the old-guard doctrine and teaching of the sixteenth century Roman Catholic church that people should submit and be obedient to authority…as defined by the leadership of the church in the form of popes, bishops, and priests…versus the new Protestant approach of translating the Latin Bible into the common languages so people could read it for themselves and make up their own minds…this entire galactically important  issue is itself meaningless and utterly nonsensical if in fact God does not exist.

Independent free-thinking is superfluous on any and all subjects…including philosophical atheism…if material particles and energy are the sole basis for intellectual thought and moral reasoning.

To have any meaning, value, and sense there must be an independent moral standard to go by…an intelligent agent God as an arbiter.

Material particles and subatomic energy do not qualify as rational arbiters…no matter how much professing atheistic materialists would like this to be true.

Non-theism actually removes the supporting virtue of independent free-thinking…by bringing free-thinking down into the meaningless realm of bland and thoughtless particles and energy…somehow theoretical coalescing over eons of time according to Darwinism…into this exceedingly complex dichotomy of opposing viewpoints of either submission to tyrannical authority on one extreme or free-will independent thinking on the other extreme.

Christian Politics 5

Like it is meaningless and nonsensical to base a moral framework on material particles and energy according to the philosophy of naturalism…the “free-thinking” moniker adopted by atheism and religious skepticism suffers from the same reduction to meaningless, purposeless, zero value…when placed within an atheistic worldview.

What is the ultimate difference between tyrannical despots in any social relationship…within a family, at our workplace, or as dictator, king, or Pharaoh…telling other people what to do…compared to free-thinking people having unfettered freedom of choice to follow their own independent course…what is the real difference if our autonomous thought processes and free-will extend backwards to being the mere product of the random chance roll-of-the-dice of material particles and subatomic natural forces?

What value does free-thinking have if it connects directly to a universe that is empty of purpose and meaning?

In a non-theistic world devoid of purpose and meaning…based on the incapacity of material particles and energy to possess or to produce a moral framework…on what basis do we make a value-judgment in favor of autonomous free-thinking and independent decision-making…as opposed to obeying and submitting to a tyrant who tells us what to do according to his or her personal whim or pleasure…based on their claim to possess authority by having the worldly physical power to enforce it?

A universe built upon the moral authority of bland and unthinking material particles and energy…has no moral authority.

Here the claim to “free-thinking” by atheists and religious skeptics dissolves itself.  Free-thinking in a world having no underlying purpose or meaning…is itself meaningless…is by further extension without value or worth.

Without an independent moral standard to go by…how would we know when it is the right and good thing to submit to authority or not?

Jesus and Politics 4

When we are living in self-sovereignty…we see no need to repent…to ask God’s forgiveness for our shortcomings…because our self-evaluation is conveniently biased toward a lower, more tolerant standard.

The pride of self-righteousness gives us a false standard to go by.  Because we are in charge…sitting atop the decision-making thrones of our lives…we give ourselves a pass on our shortcomings.  Without giving it a second thought we look the other way…make excuses…sweep things under the rug.  We optimistically say to ourselves: “We’re not so bad.”  We subscribe to the idea that “no one is perfect.”  In self-sovereignty we have no one “looking over our shoulder”…evaluating the quality of our lives.

And we genuinely accept this favorably biased self-appraisal as valid and “normal” according to conventional thinking.

When we are living in self-sovereign self-reliance…we unilaterally forgive ourselves…because God is nowhere in the picture.  Absent a God in our lives having an alternative higher standard…we have nothing else to go by other than the standards of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.

If we step back a moment and take a mezzanine view of life…the blindly presumptive arrogance of human self-autonomy is nonsensical…it doesn’t stack up…it doesn’t hold water.

Self-autonomy is based on the erroneous idea that we are in complete control of our lives.  What untrue and unsupported evidence lies behind this grand notion for our guidance in life?

Every innate human attribute…without exception…has no source or origin within ourselves.  We do not choose the time-period or the location in which we enter this world.  We do not choose our parents or our extended family.  We do not choose…before birth…to be physically beautiful or handsome, or to be intelligent, to have gifted athletic ability, or a savvy business acumen, or the politically social ability to influence and lead other people.  We certainly have no control over how long we live.

Some people show their specific God-given talents at a young age…long before mature cognitive reasoning or the independent ability to make rational choices begins.

The famous concert pianist Van Cliburn…when he was three years old…mimicked at the piano the simple piano piece that he had heard five minutes before…played by a departing student of his piano-teacher mother…Van climbing up to seat himself at the piano while she had gone into the kitchen to start preparing dinner.  Hearing the piano piece being played again, she came out of the kitchen saying: “Johnny you must go home now…your mother will be expecting you” only to find her young son sitting alone at the piano instead…having repeated the musical melody nearly note-for-note played a few moments previously…entirely by ear without ever having touched the piano keys before.

We do not choose our individual abilities and talents…we discover them.  They are innately built into us…and not a matter of our choice at all.

The universally accepted and basically unquestioned principle of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…that we have a right to the self-autonomous opportunity to prove our self-worth according to the dictum of the Frank Sinatra song “I Did It My Way”…reveals that there is something fundamentally wrong…something oddly amiss…something that does not add up…in this taken-for-granted equation for life that has us sitting atop the thrones of our lives as if we actually knew what we were doing…as if we possessed our individual play-book for our optimum life.

If people entered into life with an accompanying Instructions Manual…an Owner’s Operation & Maintenance Manual…that applied specifically to each of us…then self-autonomy might make sense.  If we possessed foresight into our individual abilities and capacities upfront…early on…that was obvious to everyone and to ourselves…then going it on our own would simply be a matter of autonomously following through on the information…of connecting the dots…of “painting by the numbers.”

The idea that we can “run our own show” without God…is a fatally flawed concept that should be obvious by virtue of the fact that we do not come with an Owner’s Operation Manual.  Some crucially important factor is missing on one or the other side of the “equals sign” in the equation of life.  We act like we are independent, self-sovereign operators…yet we do not have the Instructions Manual as to how each of us works best.

And we are violently offended when anyone even begins to question our “right” according to worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…to live our lives according to the dictum “I did it my way.”

Self-sovereignty versus God-sovereignty should be the number one priority…at the very top of the list of life questions to resolve before anything else…yet curiously it is not.

Self-sovereignty is the unquestioned, presumptive, crowning jewel of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.  It is the central governing principle.  It is the pride-filled guiding light of the human life lived apart from God.  It is defended to the death by all those radically committed to its cause.

How does this relate to Jesus and politics?

2 Corinthians 10:18 reads: “For not he that commandeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commandeth.”

John 5:44 reads: “How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?’

Matthew 23:11-12 reads: “But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.  And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.”

Matthew 23:13 goes on to say: “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.”

The obvious critical question is: “go in where?”  The answer cannot be scholarship…the scribes and Pharisees were the most highly educated people in Israel (Jn. 5:39, 7:15, 9:34).  The answer cannot be political power…as they were already the ruling elite in Jerusalem (Jn. 9:22).

The answer to the question of where we should enter in order to go in…can only be God-sovereignty.  The answer is to enter into God-composed journeys of faith as patterned for us in the biblical narrative stories of faith…at the time of this statement of Jesus these would be the narrative stories of faith recorded in the Old Testament…Noah through Malachi…the New Testament Book of Acts having not occurred yet.

The one offending thing that gets the perfect Person Jesus Christ all the way to the indignity of the cross is the very thing that worldly conventional normalcy and thinking celebrates…which is self-sufficient self-sovereignty.

What will violently offend a person that is committed to self-reliance quicker than anything is to suggest our need to repent of the direction of our lives…to question our life management skills sitting atop the thrones of our lives as a junior god…to instead submit ourselves to the will and ways of God…thus wounding our pride.

Anyone who has ever been on the tipping-point of repentance…at the point of accepting Jesus Christ into our lives…or rejecting Him…knows that control is the bottom-line issue at stake.  The choice is to reject Christ and continue to maintain sole control over our lives…or to accept Christ and surrender our lives to Him as the new Lord and Master in our lives.

This is fundamental to Christianity…but it is an integral component of every positive adventure of faith recorded in the Bible.

How could this singularly perceptive insight…recorded in the Bible…about entering in at the worldly unconventional point of God-sovereignty…possibly be the product of humanistic literary invention?

When the Pharisees and Sadducees came to John the Baptist at the river Jordan…to check out what all the fuss was about this prophet preaching in the wilderness of Judaea…John said to them as recorded in Matthew chapter three:

7 But when he say many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

8 Bring forth therefore fruits befitting for repentance.

9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.

12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the granary; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

In speaking with such courageous boldness and candor to the Pharisees and Sadducees…John the Baptist goes straight to the point.

John the Baptist does not tell the ruling elites in Israel to improve their political, cultural, and social approach…or their personal piety…while remaining within self-sovereign self-rulership.  John the Baptist does not suggest an outside-to-inside approach that will produce godliness in these religious and political leaders.

John the Baptist takes the approach of inside-to-outside…of repentance that leads to God-sovereignty…which will produce fruits befitting repentance actualizing into better leadership, decision-making, and government of the people throughout the nation of Israel in the first century.

This brings us to one of the most important and influential verses in the Bible in terms of human politics and culture:

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9).

This is the biblical concept: “The just shall live by faith” (Rom. 1:17; Hab. 2:4) and the verse written by Paul in Ephesians 2:8-9 that Martin Luther re-discovered that led to the Protestant Reformation.

Martin Luther brilliantly realized that works performed within self-sovereignty such as indulgences, pilgrimages, and the veneration of relics…fabrications out of the minds of men having no power to save…have no functional place within God-sovereignty having salvation by grace through faith.

“That not of yourselves” for Luther obviously did not include indulgences, pilgrimages, and relics designed primarily to raise money for the building of St. Peter’s cathedral in Rome…and we are indebted to him for this insight that very nearly cost him his life…when again in human history self-sovereignty violently clashes with God-sovereignty.

The fundamental take-away in this struggle between self-sovereignty and God-sovereignty…is that if we repent and cross-over from self-rulership to surrendering and yielding our lives to Jesus Christ…that from that time forward God is going to do it His way (Isa. 53:6, 55:8-9).

The ruling religious and political elite in Jerusalem at the time of the ministries of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ…put themselves forward through the pride of self-righteousness.

This is the direct opposite of the biblical-quality journey of faith in which people submit themselves to following God’s leading for their lives.

What led to the cross at Calvary was not entirely that Jesus claimed to be divine (Jn. 5:39, 6:40, 6:48, 8:12, 8:36, 10:30, 19:7) or that He inferred or admitted to being a king (Jn. 18:31-37, 19:12-15, 19:19-22)…but primarily the perceived threat to the political leadership of the religious elite in Jerusalem that was based upon the worldview of maintaining and protecting their self-sovereign self-rulership.

Politics and the cross come together with deadly impact at the point in time when the ruling religious elite in Jerusalem realize that Jesus has become a real threat to their self-sovereignty…the control over their own lives…after Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead:

“Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees council, and said, What do we?  for this man doeth many miracles.  If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation” (Jn. 11:47-48).

If we love God with all of our heart and mind…and our neighbor as ourselves (Mk. 12:30-31)…we will not be self-serving…but this can only be actualized living in a God-composed journey of faith…within God-sovereignty.

Jesus and politics are connected at the very root…the essence…of good leadership principles that are universal and eternal in their application and outcomes…in the earthly life of Jesus and in our lives as well.

A perfect life as demonstrated by the perfect Person Jesus Christ…the Son of God…will be in absolute God-sovereignty…perfectly following a God-composed journey of faith life-script…without any shortcomings or missteps.

Living within God-sovereignty is also accessible and attainable by non-perfect, non-divine human beings…saved by graced through faith and not of works.

This is how Jesus is able to say in John 8:36…”If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”  If we cross-over from self-sovereignty to God-sovereignty…and find our footing within our adventure of faith following Jesus Christ as Lord and King in our lives…then we are forever safe from the temptation to become rebels again in the kingdom of God.

If the reader will indulge me further in this already too long opening chapter…I would like to make a few final points to tie together the commonsense apologetic arguments put forward so far…for the divine origin of the Bible and its gospel message.

When Abraham is asked by God to take Isaac to Mount Moriah and sacrifice him as a burnet offering…after the long adventure of faith Abraham had experienced up to this point…the human side of him must have thought: “What do I have to do to bring to closure this called-out journey of faith?  Will I ever reach the end-point victory in what God has scripted for my life?”

As Joseph languishes in the prison of Pharaoh in Egypt…having failed in his attempt to gain release through the butler and baker…prior to the dream given to Pharaoh by God…Joseph must have entertained the thought that the two prophetic dreams he had as a young man back in Canaan will never be realized.  With each day Joseph performs his duties as a prisoner/caretaker in Pharaoh’s prison…with no foreseeable scenario for escape…Joseph is looking failure square in the face.

As Moses travels back to Egypt to confront Pharaoh and demand the release of the Israelites…certainly Moses is entertaining the possibility of utter failure and the sheer magnitude of his called-out assignment to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land of Canaan.

As David is being chased for his life by King Saul…surely David must think to himself at various times that this unanticipated development…and especially at the time of the disaster at Ziklag…that this was not part of the information given to David upfront at the time he was anointed to become king by the prophet Samuel.

On Saturday after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ as he lay dead inside the rock tomb of Joseph of Arimathea…Peter is wondering where and how everything seems to have gone wrong…and how he has fallen short of his potential and calling to be a leader of the presumed future Christian church…with the living Jesus as its head in Jerusalem.

The day after Jesus Christ reveals Himself to Saul/Paul in a brilliant light on the road to Damascus…as Paul sits inside the house of Judas on the street named Straight…temporarily blind…Paul must have contemplated the absurdity of God choosing him to take the message of Jesus Christ as Messiah to the greater Greco-Roman world at-large.

2 Corinthians 12:9 tells us that God’s strength is made perfect in weakness.  1 Corinthians 1:27 tells us that God has chosen the weak to confound the mighty.

The final compelling commonsense argument that ties together the key points in this first chapter…is that Jesus Christ as the Son of God…cannot be weak…but He can be a failure in terms of the appraisal of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.

Looking back in time upon the first advent of Jesus Christ…He is all of Isaiah 9:6, Psalm 22, and Isaiah 53 combined into an unimaginably complex life-script.

Jesus Christ can exhibit divine humility in order to connect with us where we are…can askew participation in contemporary politics and cultural wars…can preach world-changing new doctrines and work miracles befitting the Son of God…but to make it all the way to the cross of Calvary to shed His blood as the Passover Lamb of God…Jesus must be a failure in life in terms of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.

This is how you get a perfect Person Jesus Christ to the cross at Calvary.

What is truly remarkable from an apologetic standpoint and an inspirational viewpoint…is that God is capable of composing a life-script for Himself that challenges the divine character of the divine Son of God Jesus in the two major areas in our discipleship that challenge us the most.

In Luke 22:42 it famously reads: “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”

Jesus cannot be outside of God-sovereignty…He is God…the second Person of the Trinity.

Yet the fact that Jesus has difficulty…in the Garden of Gethsemane…with His upcoming ordeal in taking upon Himself the sins of the world the next day…tells us that in making the difficult transition from self-sovereignty to God-sovereignty…that amazingly God has been there Himself and can help us in this regard.

Likewise for those called-out Christians today enlisted to be medical missionaries in the Amazon rainforest, or pastors of small town churches, or Bible college professors on a teacher’s salary, or street evangelists in the poor sections of major cities, or foreign missionaries called to plant new churches around the world…along with a host of other tasks misunderstood, unappreciated, and disdained by worldly conventional expectations…the fact that the perfect Person Jesus Christ was also a failure according to conventional normalcy and thinking…tells us that God has purposely been there Himself and can help us in this regard.

How to get a perfect Person Jesus Christ all the way to the cross…yet maintain perfection in order to quality as the blemish-free Passover Lamb sacrifice for sin…while setting up the context of a life-script that would enable God to experience in a human body humility, self-discipline, and the unimaginable element of failure…all for our benefit…is simply beyond human imaginative creation.

Chapter Two starts with a discussion of another commonsense apologetic argument for the divine origin of the Bible…and the existence of God…which is the delicate balance between belief and unbelief.