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Where grace and the cross meet


As I have discovered, there is a large body of literature out there on the relationship between faith and wellness.  So, it is no surprise to hear about a book, “How God Changes Your Brain.”   Michael Gerson describes in his review of the book by Andrew Newberg how religious practices like prayer and meditation “actually alter the neural connections of the brain,” leading to a more healthy emotional or inner life.  But if this is the only reason for our faith, something is wrong.  Gerson writes,

But if this is what spirituality is all about, it isn’t about very much. Mature faith sometimes involves self-sacrifice, not self-actualization; anguish, not comfort. If the primary goal of religion is escape or contentment, there are other, even more practical methods to consider. “I didn’t go to religion to make me happy,” said C.S. Lewis, “I always knew a bottle of port would do that.”

In his book, Culture Making, Andy Crouch talks about the calling of Christians to be cultural creators and cultivators.   But that creativity must go through the cross.

But our callings do mean that we will find ourselves at the places of pain, offering new creation in the midst of brokenness forsakenness.  We cannot expect to be in those places without being touched and even broken by their pain.  . . . So where are we called to create culture?  At the intersection of grace and cross. 262

Faith often lead us to a healthier inner life, but it is a life that we then give away to others. . . May this be true of me, may this be true of me.

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