12 December 2011

'Reverting Back to Our Successes'

Fascinating commentary here from Kordell Stewart (3:10-4:02), revealing how we are forced to cope with human disapproval without the gospel.


Brad said...

I've been reading Hebrews lately and Kordell's comments reminded me of Hebrews 10:32 - ...Recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings.

I took from that passage that we can endure by remembering our past successes! Thanks for sharing!

Dane Ortlund said...

Thanks for the comment Brad.

Interesting--you took this post exactly opposite my intent.

I share Kordell's words because it is a telling example of how impoverished we are without the gospel. There is a resource for dealing with failure that Kordell seems unaware of. Without an alien approval in the gospel, all we can do is feed on past victories of *ours* in life to make it thru the failures--and what fickle, unsatisfying, empty stability our past 'successes' provide! Hollow comfort. So much better to feed on the true victory of *another.*

Reconsider your words, brother.

Brad said...

Hey Dane!

Thanks for your reply! I was wondering what an "alien approval" is? When I think of an alien I think of someone who is not like me, someone who is from a different planet or country. So I was thinking that an alien approval is being accepted or spoken highly of by someone other than myself. So in the Kordell example, I guess it would mean that we should remind ourselves of how much God loves us when we fail and hear other people booing us. Instead of listening to ourselves and mentally affirming ourselves we should listen to God's voice of approval. I like that idea!

I definitely will add this tool to my toolbox for dealing with failure, but I also think it is ok to remember specific instances when God brought me through past difficulties so that I can be confident that I will be successful and obedient in present difficulties.

I could be wrong on this, but it seems like you are arguing for a more "theological" approach and I was trying to make a principle out of a single verse I had been studying. I think I was reading my principle into your words/illustration.

Thanks again!

Dane Ortlund said...

Brad, you are a good brother.

I agree with everything you said here. Thanks for this.

By "alien" I meant totally outside of us--Luther is famous for talking about the gospel as an "alien righteousness," not meaning a righteousness from martians but a righteousness from what Jesus did, which is a total gift--totally outside us.

I think you're right that it can be healthy to gratefully remember past victories. Well put--I agree.

Amens all round.

Bless you.