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The Fine Line
Re-envisioning the Gap between Christ and Culture
By Kary Oberbrunner
Copyright © 2008
All right reserved.
Chapter One WALKING THE LINE
Ask anyone who's single: there's a fine line between friendly and flirtatious.
Ask any athlete: there's a fine line between confidence and arrogance.
Ask any Christ-follower: there's a fine line between being in the world and being of the world.
The danger of walking the line is that we may accidentally cross it - wherever the line is. This fear often makes us shrink back and fall prey to the other extreme and become, in the case of the single, shy; the athlete, timid; and the believer, irrelevant.
People miss out on having healthy friendships. Fans miss out on celebrating victories with their team. And the world misses out on seeing the kingdom of God on earth.
Discovering this fine line is difficult but not impossible. All who follow Jesus must wrestle with this question and emerge with some kind of answer. This question of relevance, as author and journalist Michael Joseph Gross put it, is "the most basic ethical question of the Christian faith."
I've seen enough of the next generation leaving the church. According to some estimates, 58 percent of young adults who attended church at eighteen no longer attend by age twenty-nine. This number accounts for more than eight million twentysomethings who are simply "missing in action."
Why are so many from this generation voting on spiritual matters with their absence?
Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that there is little difference between the attitudes and actions of believers and unbelievers. Rather than drawing people to Christ, many Christians are pushing people away because of the disconnection between what we say and how we live.
That cannot continue.
Christ-followers are supposed to be the most liberated, grace-filled people on earth. We're supposed to have what people want - a message so powerful it will cause the dead to rise and the blind to see. We're supposed to have the living God living inside us. We're supposed to know how to live in the world but not be of it.
Most believers I know don't know. Most are either living out of the world or they're of the world. No wonder Christians have so little impact, so little relevance. Now more than ever, we need to understand how to live in the world but not be of it.
And that's exactly what this book will do: help you discover the fine line.
Excerpted from The Fine Line by Kary Oberbrunner Copyright © 2008 by Kary Oberbrunner. Excerpted by permission.
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