Friday, April 24, 2009

Louie Still Just Doesn't Get It

I don't want you to get the feeling like I am picking on Mr Giglio. I know I posted about his "How Great is Our God" presentation before, but I feel like I gotta take another stab at it.
As I said before, Mr Giglio has more rhetorical skill and writing style in his little finger than I have in my whole body and his presentation is incredible inspirational. And I love all that he says about this great big wonderful world that our God has made for us to enjoy. But when it gets right down to brass tacks, Mr Giglio misses the point.
A few Decembers ago my parents decided that they wanted to treat the family to a holiday outing. My parents, my siblings, our spouses, their respective families and I all went to Chicago for a special weekend. The entire event was crafted around fostering family togetherness and creating a lasting memory for their children and grandchildren. For my father, the pinnacle of the event was a meal at Lowry's, a world-famous restaurant that specializes in prime rib. The meal was fantastic, the service was like no other the experience was incredible. The point of that meal was that it was a time for the family to be gathered around the same table and enjoy some of the best food available together so that we could have an opportunity for family togetherness and an event that we all would remember. It was just that.
Now imagine if years from now one of my children were to retell that event. And in the retelling she left out the food, the family, the environment, the event and instead talked about water. At the beginning of the meal, when we sat down to eat there were glasses of water on the table. The water had ice in it. Now don't get me wrong, ice water is great. It's cold, it's refreshing, it cleans the pallet. But it is just water, earth's most abundant resource. Ice water is available at every restaurant in the city of Chicago. Even the fast food places, even the gas stations, even the state prison serves water. To rave about water when there were so many other good things to be mentioned would be to miss the point.
That is exactly what Louie does. Sure God created the world. sure it's a big world. Sure it's a good world. But you can get a big god with a good, big world in many of the world's religions. Islam gives you a big god. Mormonism gives you a big god and (like Louie) they even put his son on a cross. But only Christianity puts that god, the God on the cross for us for our sin. To talk about God only as big, to give his saving work on the cross only honorable mention is like coming away from a lasting family memory and only talking about ice water.
Sure God is big. Sure God created a good and a big world, but for sinners dead in their sin, who are enemies of God is there anything better, anything greater than that God dead on a cross to forgive your sin and take you to heaven. Is there anything more exciting than that formerly-dead God risen from the dead and ascended into heaven where He has been given all authority in heaven and on earth? (Matthew 28:18) Is there anything greater than knowing the because He died, rose, and ascended there is nothing on earth that can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:39)
"How great is our God?" Absolutely! How great it our God! Crucified! Risen! Ascended into heaven for you!

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