Here’s a story that beautifully illustrates why I started this blog. It concerns the decision of Brian McLaren and some other Christians to join with Muslim partners in fasting during Ramadan. Although the way this story is framed is getting rather old (McLaren vs. whoever; in this case Driscoll and Mohler), it does display two ways of being Christian, one of which is more attractive to me than the other.

I’ll characterize these ways with an image that Brian McLaren uses: clenching fist or open hand. The question is whether the goal (if not the practical result) of walking in the path of Christ is to make us stingier or more generous. Will we decamp to our church buildings and entrenched theological positions and insist that all others join us there in order for us to be in fellowship? Or—with those who’ve thought about what it means to be “missional”—will we, confident in the Lordship of Jesus, open ourselves to others for the sake of our common humanity?ramadan

Is it more Christ-like to remain in places of comfort or to enter into others’ experiences so that “the other” becomes “the neighbor”?

“Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness” (Phil. 2:5-7).