1) I think maybe you should read these: Christ, Community, Culture, and You.
2) Let's say my brain is an office. There's a balky 1980s PC on the desk, and old gray filing cabinets lining the walls. Since I've never invested in a waste basket, nothing gets thrown away. Though the room itself is remarkably small, those filing cabinets contain apparently endless drawers. Nevertheless, the files in them (thoughts, memories, images, ideas, old jokes, etc.) long ago overwhelmed my rather half-hearted "filing system." Anyway, I was going to say that . . . socked away in one of those endless drawers, no doubt wildly mis-filed, is a carefully-worded "statement of faith." The problem is, I can't find it. And I don't think I ever will. Oh, well. At least the short version is easy to remember. It's very much like what blogger Jeff Garrett said here.
3) The cross. It offends. It causes us to glance aside, to go home by a different way, to change the subject. Even our churches are embarrassed by it. Although we were happy to flock to Gibson's filmic rendering, that was just another Christian fad, apparently. We reveled briefly, then forgot. If you don't think so, why is it that, one year later, Osteen is our best selling author?
4) A couple of Mormons came to the door last week. I had some friends over, and we were just getting ready to open our Bibles when the two LDS evangelists showed up. We heard them out more or less politely, asked them a few questions they couldn't (or wouldn't) answer, and then we prayed for them to know the truth. Sweet kids, making their folks proud. Deluded, but sweet. Incoherent theology, flaky history (i.e., Indians descended from runaway Jews). I wanted to say, "Children, Children, but where is the cross in all this? What ever made you decide that Golgotha just wasn't enough?"
5) The Cross. I'm sorry, but without the cross, nothing matters. On the other hand, in the light of the cross, everything else comes into perspective, takes on its proper hue and proportion. Which reminds me of the statement Rusty asked over at Believer Blog: "As believers, we're reading Revelation well when the reality of Jesus Christ as He really is starts to break through to our hearts. We know we're on to something when our interpretation causes us to conclude that Jesus is more real than anything else."
Ah, well said.