“And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 5:18-21
This weekend I finally picked up some measurable traction on my latest book proposal – which turns out to be close-to-the-wire good timing as I already promised the acquisitions editor in question I’ll have something for the publishing house to look at by Tuesday morning.
My plan is to write a book designed to help Twenty-first Century men get a better handle on what the Bible teaches when it comes to living as beings created in the image of God.
The primary motivation for this project is a strong sense that it’s past time we get the story right when it comes to Christian men. It’s my belief that much of what is taught misses the mark by a long shot. Many men’s ministry enthusiasts prop up a cultural stereotype that is more evocative of mid 20th-Century North America than the teachings of the Bible, a view of manliness that is markedly chauvinistic, socially reactionary, and often served with a large side of partisan politics.
MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: I believe, however, that the scriptures teach something else entirely. The good news is this: the more that Christian men disentangle themselves from false models, the more natural the process of “reconciling people to God” will become, and the more compelling will be our testimony to grace.
I plan to feature key characters from the New Testament, witnesses to the transformational love of Jesus, and they will teach us that what God is calling men to is integrity, purpose, vulnerability, authenticity, undaunted courage, and outrageous love.
I value the thoughts and the observations of each one of you, and I’d love to share some of your stories – as well as those of the friends you pass this post on to – about what it means to be a real man, living into the image of God. – DEREK