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The Third Way, Part 1

June 23, 2010

I’ve been thinking about a lot of thinks lately. Where lately = several months. Things I thought I understood and things I’ve never had the guts to really think about before.

I’m in that stage of thinking where I have read and studied a lot, and I have some ideas and lots of notes, and my brain is a little jumbled because I have no definite structure for these notes and ideas. I considered writing it out research-paper-style because (1) I’m that nerdy, and (2) it necessitates organizing said thoughts. But … well I just don’t really want to.

Instead, I’m going to start throwing out some ideas so we can maybe finish them together, and so I can see them in front of me – which will help me/us organize them. (Or so you all can tell me I’m way off base and I can ditch wrong ideas and crazy thinking before it I throw a bunch of time into them.)

First, a starting point. Let’s establish a couple things as a foundation:

  • Jesus came teaching and modeling a new way to live.
  • Few, if any, of us have that all figured out. It’s a bit of a journey.

Agreed? Good.

I don’t remember why, but several months ago I started thinking about the concept of right vs. wrong. (Or “just vs. unjust,” “acceptable vs. unacceptable,” “correct vs. incorrect.”) And I started really hearing how often we talk about things like criminal justice, and our rights, and liability, and just wars, and right-of-way in traffic.

And something started to bother me.

There’s nothing wrong, of course, with criminal justice, and legal rights, and traffic laws. All good things.

But every time one of these conversations came up something just … bothered me about it. Finally, in one such conversation I – probably only by the grace of God – managed to accidentally articulate what I didn’t realize was on my heart. As someone insisted on his/her defense I interjected, “Maybe it shouldn’t be about right or wrong. Maybe it’s about Christ.”

The conversation got way off-track after that because said person thought I was accusing, which was not my intent. But I went home and started digging through the gospels to see how Jesus handled the idea of right vs. wrong.

Three gospels and pages of notes later, I started referring to my little project as “the third way.” Tell you about it tomorrow.

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