Good Christians Make Good Humans: A Q&A with Michael Wittmer on “Becoming Worldly Saints”

Jeremy Bouma on 2 years ago. Tagged under ,,,,,.

Becoming Worldly Saints by Michael Wittmer

Can you serve Jesus and still enjoy your life? That’s the question author and professor Michael Wittmer asks in his new book Becoming Worldly Saints. It’s also a question that gets at the heart of what it means to be a Christian, as much as what it means to be human. Because, as Wittmer argues, “Good Christians make good humans.”

Or at least they should. And yet many wonder if you can do both — be a Christian, with all that it entails, and still live a normal human life. I know I have.

Wittmer maintains you can, because the Christian life and the human life are actually one in the same flourishing life.

An intriguing proposition, to be sure. One I explored in an interview for OnFaith. Our discussion included:

His thoughts on why there’s such a disconnect between our earthly…

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How to Fight the Fallout from the Fall, and Win

Jeremy Bouma on 2 years ago. Tagged under ,,,.

worldly_saints

The current issue of Time (Feb. 23/Mar. 2 , 2015) says my nine-month-old, Simon James, could live to be 142 years old thanks to advances in longevity science and technology.

For some—including me—the prospect of adding twenty to thirty years on our life expectancy is thrilling. Others, however, hope to die when they’re seventy-five, arguing “society and families—and you—will be better off if nature takes its course swiftly and promptly.”

How should Christians think about Death? Is it something to embrace or resist; is it good or bad?

One famous hymn suggests Death is a release from the prison of life:

When the shadows of this life have grown, I’ll fly away Like a bird from these prison walls, I’ll fly away

Others suggest Death is our reward. Michael Wittmer quotes David…

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Extracurricular Activity 2.14.15 — Why Becoming a Worldly Saint is a Good Thing

Jeremy Bouma on 2 years ago. Tagged under ,,,,,,.

worldly_saints

Trevin Wax Interviews Michael Wittmer on New Book Becoming Worldly Saints

Trevin Wax: Your title is provocative. Becoming Worldly Saints is the last thing we want for people, unless we recognize the proper sense of “worldly” versus the improper sense. Can you explain why your title is a good summary for the main point of your book?

Mike Wittmer: The Puritans were called “Worldly Saints” in Leland Ryken’s book by that name, so it may not be as provocative as it sounds. It might just be old-fashioned!

“Worldly Saints” may seem like an oxymoron, but it’s the perfect title for what God calls Christians to be. We must be worldly—enjoying creation, loving friends and family, and excelling in our cultural tasks. All things being equal, Christians should make the best humans. We also must be saints—loving God, fighting sin and…

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Did You Know the Sabbath Was Given as a Gift, to Enjoy? — An Excerpt from “Becoming Worldly Saints” by Michael Wittmer

Jeremy Bouma on 2 years ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

Becoming Worldly SaintsDo you realize the Sabbath is a gift?

On most Sundays it probably doesn’t feel that way: getting ready and off to church is usually far more hurried than restful; afternoons are often filled with mowing and housecleaning, not enjoyment; and when we do rest, we often feel guilty for doing so, like we should be catching up on work email.

Yet God has gifted us one day at the beginning of the week to rest and enjoy the life he’s gifted us.

That’s what Michael Wittmer helps us realize in his new book Becoming Worldly Saints. It answers an important—yet neglected—question Christians are asking: “Can I serve Jesus and still enjoy my life?”

Yes, he says, you can—especially because of Sabbath…

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Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth: “The World” — Excerpt from “Becoming Worldly Saints” by Michael Wittmer

ZA Blog on 2 years ago. Tagged under ,,.

Inigo Montoya, you keep using this word

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. –Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride

[This post is selected from Michael Wittmer’s book Becoming Worldly Saints (releases 2/3/15).]

The Bible says creation is good seven times in its very first chapter, and it never lets up. The story of Scripture centers on the incarnation and resurrection of our Lord — two redemptive events that only work if creation is good (John 1:14; 1 Cor. 15:1 – 20) — and it ends by promising physical pleasures of delight on our new, restored earth (Rev. 21 – 22).

Why then are so many Christians suspicious of their bodies and the material world? Because other passages, such as 2 Corinthians 4:18; Philippians 3:20; Colossians 3:1 – 2; 1 Peter 2:11; and 1 John…

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What it Means to Be Human (Excerpt from Michael Wittmer’s “Becoming Worldly Saints)

ZA Blog on 2 years ago. Tagged under ,.

The following is an excerpt from Michael Wittmer’s book Becoming Worldly Saints (releasing 2/3/15), which asks us: Can you serve Jesus and still enjoy your life?

Becoming Worldly Saints

We learn what it means to be human from Scripture’s opening act of creation and what it means to be Christian from its closing act of redemption. If redemption restores creation, then the point of being a Christian is to restore our humanity. All things being equal, no one should flourish like a Christian.

We may not drive BMWs or vacation in the Hamptons, but we should thrive in every aspect of our human lives. Flourishing is a high-minded and hazy term, and since it’s a key concept in this book, I must explain what I mean by it. Merriam-Webster defines flourish…

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Does Pleasure Fit in the Plot of Scripture? (Excerpt from Michael Wittmer’s “Becoming Worldly Saints”)

ZA Blog on 2 years ago. Tagged under ,,.

The following is an excerpt from Michael Wittmer’s book Becoming Worldly Saints (releasing 2/3/15), which asks us: Can you serve Jesus and still enjoy your life?

We often read the Bible as if it were an encyclopedia, looking up passages on parenting, patience, or whatever we’re struggling with. As helpful as this can be, a selective reading of Scripture can lead us to easily forget that the Bible, like any other story, has a plot. Its plot supplies the outline for this book and a map for integrating the high purpose of heaven with the normal pleasures of earth.

Becoming Worldly SaintsScripture’s story line is straightforward. Genesis 1 – 2 opens with creation, a garden of delight that conveyed but could not contain God’s hopes for the world. God created Adam…

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