Listen: before you read another word of my blog, I'm going to explain something to you that you need to know -- a kind of disclaimer or truth-in-advertising issue.
I am a nutter. If you are a regular reader of this blog, it is entirely possible that you are a nutter, too, but let's be honest: you knew that already. It's the new readers, or the occasional readers, who may not know this on the front-side and need some information to make good choices.
So what is a "nutter"? It's British slang that means "a foolish, eccentric, or crazy person". You're reading a blog, so you probably had some idea that this could be true, given that there are no calm, rational bloggers. But, unlike 99.9% of all bloggers, I am ready to come across and particularly explain my nuttery and admit up-front that it is my nuttery.
In the first place, I am nutty for Jesus. Let me give you an example: yesterday, I was teaching Sunday school for the teens in my church and we are reading 1Cor 15:1-4. We were talking about the word "us" in that passage -- talking about who "we" are, who the "our" is in "Christ died for our sins". Now, I attend an SBC church, so in the best case we are a mixed bag of tricks when it comes to consistency regarding the matter of soteriology.
What we stuck to in 1Cor 15:3 was to whom Paul was specifically talking, and about whom Paul was talking. The "us", of course, is Paul, his companion Sosthenes, and the church at Corinth. It is also possible, in the broader sense, to believe that Paul is also talking about all those "called to be saints", as we read through 1Cor 1:1-3. In that, the principles Paul is expounding in 1Cor are not just for the particular local church at Corinth, but for all the Church (big "C") wherever you may find it.
Now, why does that make me a nutter for Jesus? It makes me a nutter because I believe that one of necessary parts of 1Cor 15:1-4 is that Paul is saying specifically that you can tell the difference between the church and the rest of the world. The church is not a theoretical entity or a metaphorical entity or some anthropomorphic device: it is clearly distinguished from the world by something is particular -- and that's the Gospel. Paul says as much when he says that it is the Gospel in which the church stands and by which it is saved.
And that Gospel, for those who have missed it in my sidebar, is that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scripture, he was buried, and he was raised on the thrid day in accordance with the Scripture. The reason I am telling you this is that as we are talking about this in Sunday school, these teens are seeing the message that Paul thought was good news back c. 60 AD was not some jolly philosophical position or some literary device to describe God's love: Paul knew – and was arguing forcefully – that this news was a dividing line between hope and despair.
I am nutty for Jesus because I am certain this is the case. Jesus did something for me personally that I could never have done for myself -- which is to redeem me from sin not just in the eternal sense but also in the present, immediate sense. Jesus' work has changed me from who I used to be -- a sin-bent self-idolater and atheist -- to who I am today -- a decent husband, a loving father, a diligent worker.
And just so you understand what I mean when I say "nutty for Jesus", I mean I am nutty only for Jesus: Jesus is unique and not a first among equals or a peer in the common spiritual heritage of the world. Jesus is greater than Abraham and Moses; Jesus is far greater than Mohammed; Jesus outstrips the gods of the caste system, the household, and the planet Kolob; Jesus is greater than any ancestor or any alleged spirit. To ever draw the conclusion that Jesus can be compared with these other things in a way which allows those other things to be worshipped or admired completely overlooks the method by which these other things attempt to replace Jesus in the hearts of men.
So I am a nutter for Jesus, and when you read the rest of the posts this week, both here and at PyroManiacs, you will understand why I started at this place. Nice to meet you; nice to see you; prepare to be boarded.