I am being provoked over and over by The Divine Conspiracy, even as I (we, at Christ Church) attempt to discern if and how to implement his Renovare-based “Curriculum for Christlikeness” in our congregation. An apt passage from the book:
If I, as a recovering sinner myself, accept Jesus’ good news, I can go to the mass murderer and say, “You can be blessed in the kingdom of the heavens. There is forgiveness that knows no limits.” To the pederast and the perpetrator of incest. To the worshiper of Satan. To those who rob the aged and the weak. To the cheat and the liar, the bloodsucker and the vengeful: Blessed! Blessed! Blessed! As they flee into the arms of The Kingdom Among Us.
These are God’s grubby people. In their midst a Corrie Ten Boom takes the hand of a Nazi who killed her family members. The scene is strictly not of this earth. Any spiritually healthy congregation of believers in Jesus will more or less look like these “brands plucked from the burning.” If the group is totally nice, that is a sure sign that something has gone wrong. For here are the foolish, the weak, lowly, and despised of this world, whom God has chosen to cancel out the humanly great (1 Cor 1:26-31; 6).